April 21 2010 09:45AM
As Al Davis once said, "Just win, baby!"
The Vancouver Canucks look to rebound from a deflating effort on Monday and even the series at 2-2, as they play the Los Angeles Kings in Game 4 of their best-of-seven series tonight at Staples Center.
The ice will be choppy. The crowd will be boisterous. The game will be tense.
Who cares about all that? Just win, baby.
Tonight, the Canucks need to forget about their past troubles and just get the job done. They have to forget that their penalty killing has been as impotent as an 80-year-old owner of an NFL franchise. They have to forget that their goaltender captain has been simply ordinary. They have to forget that they have goals from only 4 players thus far.
Who care about all that? Just win, baby.
It may sound like the Canucks have been miserable failures thus far in the playoffs, but that's obviously not the case. If not for one very questionable call in overtime in Game 2, the Canucks could be leading the series 2-1 instead of trailing. The Canucks have been utterly dominant at 5-on-5, and Luongo has shown flashes of brilliance. In Game 1 he was solid and steady. He was mostly solid in Game 2, and it's quite hard to fault him for most of the shorthanded goals against his club.
Despite the obvious keys for the Canucks (better penalty kill, Luongo has to be the best player on the ice), the Canucks need to do the following tonight:
1. Calm down in their own zone. They looked panicked and skittish in Game 3. Slow the game down. One or two passes out of the defensive zone. That's it. Keep it simple, keep it calm.
2. Skate. The Canucks are a fast team, and the Kings have a few guys that have a tough time keeping up. The Canucks have to be moving at all times, to get better breakouts, to get better jumps on creating turnovers in both zones, to control the puck. Don't stop. Never stop.
That's it, that's all. Just win, baby.