Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Playing the Perfect Road Game
2 days ago in Vancouver, the sky was falling. Injuries to Salo and Demitra, the loss of the home ice advantage, a loss on Saturday and going into one of the loudest buildings in the NHL was a recipe for disaster. The Blackhawks were poised to take control of the series. With a win, the Hawks would have put the Canucks in a "must-win" situation on Thursday. Maybe it was them focusing on hunting down the Canucks instead of playing the game, but the Hawks just wasn't able to do it last night.
Vancouver set the tone that they would not be pushed around by a cross check on Kane in the opening few minutes. The Canucks scored first again from a nice pinch from Bieksa, to a pass from Kesler to Raymond in the first period. Kane took a late lazy penalty to start the Canucks on the powerplay in the 2nd. Bernier was finally able to bang in the puck to make it 2-0. Quenneville must not have been pleased, because Kane's TOI dropped in the 2nd period to 2:56. Henrik Sedin gets another goal that trickles through Khabibulin that puts the Canucks up 3-0. Daniel then follows that up with dumb penalty on a puck that was destined for icing. The icecapader Campbell gets a goal on the powerplay but in the end it didn't help.
The game had the Canucks look like they were reverting to pre-lockout hockey. Trap. Trap. Trap. They took the time and space away from the Hawks who looked like they just didn't have room to move. Though it may not have been as exciting of a game to watch (as compared to some other games), but it got the job done.
There's a difference between taking a good penalty and a dumb penalty.
-Good penalty? Vaananen's cross check on Kane - sets a tone for the Hawks that the Canucks won't take them hanging out in Luongo's kitchen.
-Bad penalty? Kane's lazy hooking call. Daniel Sedins dumb tripping call.
Players seem to be able to kill off the good penalties. Penalties that result in goals always seem to come from the lazy hooking or tripping calls. It's hockey karma.
-The Canucks defense really stepped up their game last night, in particular Bieksa and O'Brien
-Duncan Keith played a terrible game
-Patrick Kane only played 14:22 (with only 2:56 in the 2nd period)
-Nice punch from Burrows on a Hawk player on the bench, and then the stick back in the face of Burrows
-Havlat seems back to being Havlat again, otherwise known as invisible. Someone should tell him that isn't good for contract negotiations.
-Campbell got nailed in the boards when O'Brien read his little ice capade spin-o-rama move and just crushed him
Ice capades, you just end up looking like a retard.
-Photo from People.com
Next game: Thursday in Chicago, Canucks are up 2-1 in the series.