5.07.2010

Game of the Night


2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Game 4: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Vancouver Canucks @ GM Place
Final

Trying to find a way to bite back and/or give Chicago a taste of their own medicine, Vancouver search into the depths of their soul for answers to the young Blackhawks.  And amongst those answers is an answer or two for Dustin Byfuglien.


It didn't get off to a good start for the home team.  Not even 20 seconds in, Brent Seabrook opened it up with a shot that squeaked through the pads of Roberto Luongo.  One of the goals that made you go, "How the hay did that happen?"  But they got a weird one of their own past Antti Niemi about a +1 minute later from Mikael Samuelsson - who got recently moved down the third line for some production.  All we needed was that and a PK for Vancouver to feel like the ice wasn't tilting underneath their blades.

Discipline became an issue early on.  Last time, Chicago got 2 very good PPs.  Tonight, after killing the first penalty, were tested again.  This time it wasn't enough as Vancouver was just as much to blame for the traffic in front of the net.

Back to my point, discipline was key to staying out of that sin bin and giving Chicago chances that they could score on.  First round, I had issues with Andrew Alberts.  Now in round 2, I'm having issues with Shane O'Brien (who has earned his old nickname I gave him then dropped.  FYI, it ain't a pretty one).  It's one thing to agitate, but to take a penalty doing it IS NOT SMART!

I don't know what has happened to the formerly rejuventated Canucks team.  Nothing has changed from the Blackhawks from game 2 and onwards; why are we acting like this is some new thing we've never seen before?  Canucks need to dig down into their bag of tricks, roots, and whatever else they got and pull out the winning ways that got them to the division title.  If the need to score becomes less hectic and the need to do it a step at a time kicks in, this series can take a different turn.

Now why are the Canucks coming undone?  Let's start from the bottom up!  Goaltending, Canucks aren't getting/giving.  Luongo is one of THE top goalies in the world, but he's reminding me a bit of Nabokov with a mid-May choking hold.  And then there are the PP units.  Production with the man advantage needs to increase by a large amount.  How many PPs did Vancouver go without a goal?  I think 9.  That needs to get so much better.  PK units need to get better.  It's not horrible, but I've seen this PK have MANY better days.

Big complaint that I mentioned earlier: discipline.  With the refs being as inconsistent as the weather in Vancouver, we can barely tip-toe on that fine line between taking a penalty and not.  Marginal calls were made and huge misses too.  This is what puts a kicker in the bucket, horrible losses that put you down deep in the series.

Honestly, I'm too distraught right now to even come close to thinking clearly.  Chicago played better and had the better goaltending.  Vancouver needs to shake-up, take a chillaxant (a variant of a chill pill), compose thyselves, do some soul-searching, and get that winning stride and confidence.

I'm done.  My brain is fried, my emotions are wrenched, and the world that I live in has just been shaken to give me a horrible migrain.

3 stars:
1) Jonathan Toews (Congrats on your first NHL playoffs hat-trick, dude.  I'm a bit bitter about it.)
2) Patrick Sharp
3) Alex Burrows (Really?  He played mediocre, in my opinion.)






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