Tonight’s game was even better than game one, which I enjoyed immensely. Some of the glaring weak spots in game one (Sundin, Rypien, Raymond) looked substantially better, and the Canucks controlled the game from start to finish.
Sundin was a sight. His face looked even uglier than normal, with him sporting a massive shiner that he picked up in practice, courtesy of an errant puck. Underneath the bruise was a scar; after Sundin scored the first goal it started bleeding and at one point he was having difficulty seeing because of all the blood around his eye.
On a non-trivial note, his play was much improved as well. Other thoughts from the game:
- Kyle Wellwood had a phenomenal game. He kept getting hammered by Blues players (in particular David Backes) but he didn’t shy away from scoring areas and he made plays all night. I was very impressed.
- Steve Bernier had another solid game, and was moved up with the Sedin twins for several shifts, where he looked dangerous. I don’t know what he did with the Steve Bernier from the regular season, but I’m assuming this new one is a genetically modified clone of some kind.
- Roberto Luongo played like he is the best goaltender in the NHL. I’m not saying he is, but he looked like it tonight.
- That scrum at the end of the game was clearly caused by Kevin Bieksa’s nasty (but oh-so-subtle) trip on B.J. Crombeen. I’m not sure whether to admire his sneakiness and psychological warfare, or criticize the cheapshot, but I am sure of one thing: the guy on the Team 1040 postgame show (I thought it was Larscheid but I couldn’t be sure) who tried to minimize that and blame the events on Crombeen was out to lunch.
- Andy Murray could clearly be seen screaming “Use your head!” and pointing at the Canucks bench. I’m not sure if his anger was entirely or only partially manufactured, but there’s no doubt the guy can amp up the emotion. I expect the Blues to be much more dangerous at home where they have the favourable matchups.
- On the Blues side of the equation, Andy MacDonald had an incredible evening and deserved at least one goal, maybe even two.