Is Game 2 Really a "Must-Win" For the Canucks?

Dimitri Filipovic
May 03 2013 02:20PM

For me personally, the best part of a 7-game playoff series is the game of chess that takes place between games. The playoffs are all about adjustments; the ability to make the correct ones and push the right buttons often goes a long way in determining who comes out on top. This is especially true for the team coming off of a loss, as they have to go back to the drawing board in an attempt to figure out ways to avoid tasting defeat again.

That's where the Vancouver Canucks find themselves, after they relinquished home-ice advantage with their Game 1 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night. I'd say that the biggest adjustment the Canucks can make heading into Game 2 is the way in which they utilize the Sedins. As Cam Charron astutely pointed out, Alain Vigneault has to find a way to get them out on the ice against Brad Stuart and Scott Hannan, while avoiding Marc-Edward Eduard Eduoard Edouard Vlasic's suffocating coverage.

The fact of the matter is, that the Canucks likely would've been able to sneak out a win on Wednesday night had they gotten anything from their top line, but they didn't. As a result they now face a Game 2 which they probably have to have if they plan on playing deeper into the postseason. But is it really a "must-win" as the team's captain has proclaimed? 

Read on Past the Jump for More.

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Microanalyzing Canucks faceoffs issues

Cam Charron
May 03 2013 12:30PM

Quick observation on faceoffs based on Game 1. This seems to be the target for Vancouver Canucks observers and I don't particularly get why. Any microanalysis on faceoffs I don't like to trust. For one, the NHL is inconsistent in properly rewarding winners and losers of draws. For two, virtually anybody who looks at faceoffs on a macro-level usually finds inconclusive evidence that teams that are good at winning and losing draws help teams win a lot of games.

There's some evidence to indicate that faceoffs have a hand in puck-possession, but it's not the thing. Vancouver, New Jersey and Ottawa all seemed to do well at overall possession, calculated by shot differential statistics, this season without being particularly proficient on faceoffs. Boston, San Jose and Chicago are good at draws.

It's a thing but it's not the thing.

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Sharks @ Canucks: Game 2 Preview

Thomas Drance
May 03 2013 10:56AM

All eyes will be on Luogno, as usual, in game 2.
Photograph by: (John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail)

It didn't take long for the Canucks to get their backs up against the wall in the 2013 playoffs. Teams have come back from 2-0 deficits in a playoff series in the past, hell it happens every second year or so, but usually that team is the road team. Vancouver's already lost home-ice advantage, and the outlook for this series will turn grim if the team loses again on Friday night...

If they hope to avoid that fate, they'll need to generate more quality looks and test Niemi. The Canucks only challenged Niemi with five difficult shots on Wednesday night, a paltry number and not nearly enough, especially when you consider that none of those shots came in the third period of a tied playoff game.

Read past the jump for more.

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Canucks Sign 2011 Draft Picks Tommernes, Grenier

Thomas Drance
May 03 2013 10:04AM

The Canucks Signed Henrik Tommernes to an Entry-Level Deal This Week.
Photograph by BILDBYRÅN via Aftonbladet.

Among a certain segment of Canucks fan, the 2011 NHL Draft is more widely known as "the draft the year after the Canucks took Adam Polasek ahead of Brendan Gallagher." But it's looking like it could actually be an interesting one. This week the Canucks signed two more of the eight players they selected in Minnesota that year in puckmoving defenceman Henrik Tommernes (team press release), and beanpole forward Alexandre Grenier (team press release).

Read past the jump.

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The Canucks Week in Quips for May 3

May 03 2013 09:05AM

Alain Vigneault lost the battle behind the benches in Game 1. (USA TODAY SPORTS)

It's the playoffs, and my regular Friday feature combining a healthy mixture of observation, analysis, and foresight on the Vancouver Canucks lives on! If you'd like to get at me about anything covered in this column, follow me on Twitter at @yyjordan and let's start a textual relationship (wink).

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