2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Game 4: Vancouver Canucks vs. Chicago Blackhawks @ United Center
2-7 Final; Vancouver leads the series 3-1
On the brink of elimination, the 2010 Stanley Cup Champions - Chicago Blackhawks - look to hold on to their dear lives and continue on the series. Will Chicago be able to hold off the Vancouver Canucks and their parade? Or will they fall to the demise of the Vancouver Canucks and the "Stanley Cup hangover"?
Will the freshly added Dave Bolland continue to be a pest to the Sedin Twins or has the Swedish pair found an answer for the forward? And remember when the Blackhawks pretended they were on the road when they were at home? Well, they're doing that again, but will it pay off.
Like their first night back in the United Center. At just 1:43 into the game, Bryan Bickell got his first goal of the playoffs as he beat the skate of Roberto Luongo into the net. The Canucks could not let the worry get into them. Chicago had scored first before, but keeping it that way may or may not go as to the Chicago plan.
The newly added Dave Bolland placed his team on the penalty kill nearly two minutes after the goal. The Blackhawks had been good at keeping the #1 off the man-advantage, and have only allowed two PPs per game (and killed 4/6 in the series). But on their first kill of the night, they were not able to stop the red-hot Canucks. Sami Salo holds the title of having the strongest shot on the team for the past couple of years that he has been in Vancouver. And that mighty shot of his came in handy when at 4:46 his slapper got past the penalty kill unit and Corey Crawford into the net.
Remember in Game 1 how Brian Campbell thought he beat Luongo but really was stopped by his skate? Well, he finally gets to celebrate tonight as Campbell took a pass from Patrick Kane and struck the puck under the iron to beat the top-rated goalie. It didn't take long for the Blackhawks to awake the dead fans in the United Center. Duncan Keith took a shot while going East-West - after a feed from Michael Frolik - to put his team up by two. The defenceman got into this game and put up two goals within 17 seconds of each other! I don't think that was in any Canuck's game book.
Not letting this Game 4 be their last game, Dave Bolland came back into the this game with one goal in mind - making a difference with his team down three games and avoiding elimination. Mr Speedy-with-a-mouth, Bolland became the fourth Blackhawk to beat Luongo and put his team up 4-1 by the 14:45 mark.
The second period was not the period for the Canucks or Luongo. Luongo allowed four goals in the middle period and the Canucks appeared to have lost their winning energy and fell asleep for twenty minutes. Michael Frolik earned a breakaway from centre ice and off to the races he went! It didn't take much to see his shot beat Luongo and put his team up 5-1. Was that the end of Luongo's night?
Luongo says no, this is not the end for him tonight! But that was his choice. Luongo allowed one more goal in on the PK. Patrick Kane may not be getting the goals, but he's setting them up. And tonight he set up another one - this time for Patrick Sharp. A little (knowingly) hesistant play by Kane allowed the play to set up and the Hawks went up. And in came Cory Schenider for his first career playoff game. Don't let them get into your head Schneider! Battle of the Cory's/Corey's!
With the penalty boxes full and the Blackhawks end up on the powerplay, Patrick Sharp got his second of the night. A quick tap-in on the pass from Marian Hossa put the Hawks up by many goals and tonight, Vancouver just got blown out of the waters.
Realising that the score was not going to go their way, the Canucks allowed for a physical play and the hits began to rain. And then a Bieksa-llent fight occurred between Kevin Bieksa and Viktor Stalberg. After the fight was cleared, the Canucks somehow managed to get on the PP and not taking long to convert a goal, Daniel Sedin tipped Christian Ehrhoff's pass, and the puck fluttered just above Crawford's pads and into the mesh.
Despite this big of a loss, I am still confident in my Canucks. I called it before the series started that the Canucks would win in either six or seven games. I didn't expect a sweep at all. The win will come for Vancouver, that I'm not worried about. What I'm worried about is games like this where the score is just ridiculous! A score like that should not happen in a playoff game! It's quite unflattering!
(1) Dave Bolland
(2) Duncan Keith
(3) Michael Frolik