June 09 2011 10:22AM
Roberto, I'm liking the "Blue Steel", but you should open up a school called, "The Roberto Luongo Center
For D-Men Who Can't Pass Good And Wanna Learn To Do Calm Down Good Too"
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Game Day Recon: Stanley Cup Final Game 1 - Bruins @ Canucks
Boy, oh boy...
This series has become Round 1... part deux.
And Canucks fans are speechless again.
Remember when the Canucks were up 2-0 in this series? And remember when we thought to ourselves, "Can the Bruins win 4 of the next 5 games? No. There's no way." That was awesome.
The Canucks have been soundly outplayed for four of their last six periods. They started both games 3 and 4 with decent first periods. In fact, in Game 4, the Canucks outshot the Bruins 12-6, outhit them 13-12 and dominated faceoffs. Then the second period started and all hell broke loose, and the Canucks forgot how to play playoff hockey.
The Canucks have two big problems - their defense and their power play. Their defense has been dreadful in the past two games, and the line starts behind Alex Edler, who made bad decision after bad decision in Game 4. He personifies everything that went wrong with the blueline in the past two games. Panicked passes , poor decisions, bad positioning, staying flat-footed. It's all there and Edler has been the biggest culprit. There were many times when a Canucks D-man had the puck, took his time, thought first, made the right pass, and away went the offense. It was satisfying to watch. But there were just too many times that the D panicked and rushed a pass tried to scoop it along the boards, and lo and behold a Bruin was waiting to make a hit and steal the puck. It was very clear.
The power play has been the biggest problem though. Their power play had the opportunity to solidify the game for the Canucks. They had the first couple of power plays and did absolutely nothing with them. They are not showing their creativity, they are not getting enough traffic in front of Thomas, and they are not getting him moving around his crease. Their inability to capitalize has now cost them two games, as they went 0-14 in Boston.
The frustrating part about these one-sided losses is that the stats are proving that the Canucks are doing many things right. They are dominated faceoffs, they are hitting, they are blocking shots, they are taking shots. But they are not capitalizing. And they are not doing enough to be simple yet creative on the power play.
And every body can calm the f*ck down about Roberto Luongo. The Canucks let in 12 goals in the last 5 periods. And I counted 2 that he should have had. 2. Out of 12. The rest were all thanks to his crumbling defense and an inept, creatively bereft and misaligned power play.
Get simple to fix the power play. Calm down defensively. Quit playing every puck along the boards in your own zone. Think first. And you get your game back on track.
Writing this was cathartic. It's not as bad as it looks, folks. The real lesson here is that the Canucks have not capitalized on their MANY opportunities, whereas the Bruins have done nothing BUT capitalize on their chances. Don't believe me? The Canucks had 38 shots in Game 4. They had 8 scoring chances. EIGHT. Ya AIN'T gonna win with EIGHT scoring chances.
Three Big Stats
Here are my top 3 stats from last night's game:
1. 0-14 on power play opportunities in Games 3 and 4 in Boston. It is the #1 reason why the Canucks have not been in really present in the final two periods of both games.
2. 3 @ Even. The only three players that were even last night were Ehrhoff, Hansen and Malhotra. Everyone else was a minus, which shows the poor play was rampant amongst the lineup, not concentrated on a particular player.
3. 11-for-13. The Canucks were 85% in faceoffs on the power play. AWESOME. Again. They are doing the little things right offensively to get them the chance to win games. But they are simply not capitalizing on their chances they are giving themselves.
Three Big Moments
Here are my top 3 moments from last night's game: