2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Game 5: Vancouver Canucks vs. Chicago Blackhawks @ United Center
HAPPY MOTHERS' DAY! To all you mothers hope your children have treated you right, and to all you kids thank your mothers!
After shaving his beard, having his face posted on most newspaper covers, and not talking to the media, Roberto Luongo looks to summon that demon he was during the 2010 Olympics and stave off elimination and look forward to a game 6.
Trying to find something new, none of the Canucks wore their helmets during the warm-up skate and we saw Luongo with no beard. And I made sure my room and myself was clean, as if to symbolise a new, clean slate.
Again, trying to avoid elimination, Christian Ehrhoff opens the scoring from the blueline at just under a minute (59 clicks)! If that wasn't interesting, Luongo's confidence is back! The control he had of the puck in his crease, the confidence he dealt/followed the puck with, and the rebound control was much better than the past couple of games. Well, his rebound control is actually more like swallowing the puck, but it's control nonetheless!
Sometimes whilst watching this game, I thought our defencemen were forwards. Like Kevin Bieksa. Bieksa jumped in on the rush with Kyle Wellwood, and once he got that pass he practically demanded, he made a very Bieksallent goal. And then another. That's what you call jumping in on the rush.
As the clock ticked on, the defensive bodies dwindled to a small number. From 6 defencemen, our strained defensive efforts got even more so. Sami Salo took a shot on his wrist (presumably) and had to be taken to the hospital half-way through the second. And then Shane O'Brien took a high-stick inbetween the eyes from Dustin Byfuglian and had to go to the dressing room because he was GUSHING blood. (I couldn't believe we didn't get a 4-minute PP from that.) But at least, SO'B came back.
If that wasn't enough, we got some offensive woes! Daniel Sedin got a stick to the hands from Dave Bolland and barely got to the bench before having to go to the changing room. WE ARE LOSING MEN HERE! But at least two men came back.
But other than that, the game was very much to a good liking. Canucks played a simple game and a solid game. The risk factor was a tad lower than previous, defensive efforts were solid and intelligently made, and the offensive chances and plays made were very good and plenty. There wasn't much I can complain about that's needed to be complained about.
I liked Wellwood tonight. Not only did his hands (that I tease of being soft all season (and post-season) long) make some magical plays, he also played the ice and game with great intelligence. He knew when to do what, and he made some nice dance steps in the neutral zone to make some creativity.
Chicago probably is not happy with their game. I certainly am not impressed either. Elimination games are one of the hardest to play and win. So well done to the Canucks! And we'll see you, Chicago, here on the West Coast.
1) Kevin Bieksa
2) Roberto Luongo
3) Jonathan Toews
My 3 stars:
1) Kevin Bieksa
2) Kyle Wellwood
3) Roberto Luongo