Henrik’s all jacked up. So too will be the crowd at the Garage tonight.
With the series tied at 2 wins each, the Vancouver Canucks and the Los Angeles Kings now play a best of 3. The series shifts from California to BC, as the Canucks return home to host the Kings tonight at GM Place.
This series has arguably been the most exciting, erratic and difficult to predict from game-to-game, and boasted some of the playoffs best saves, goals, and storylines. I guess this is to be expected from one team based near Hollywood, and the other based in Hollywood North.
As the Canucks head into the rest of this series, which is now a best-of-3, history is certainly NOT on their side. From Jeff Paterson via Twitter, The Canucks have lost their last 4 series when tied 2-2. Also, they are 1-7 lifetime & 0-3 when they have the home-ice advantage. Furthermore, when tied 2-2, the Canucks are 1-8 in Games 5 thru 7 in last 4 series, 4-15 lifetime.
But, as Jeff asked, is it time for a change?
At home, the Canucks were flat out better than the Kings. Despite the identical score lines in Games 1 and 2, and despite the fact that the teams split those games, the Canucks were the dominant team. In game 2, if not for a bad spell of less than a minute and one dubious penalty call in overtime, the Canucks would have gone into California with a early hold on the series. So the Canucks need to channel that energy, that domination, the pulse from the home crowd, the familiarity of their home where they have been so good all season, and continue that tonight.
There really isn’t any reason to spew stats for tonight’s game. The seres has been so crazy and unpredictable and erratic that no stat line is going to make sense or matter tonight. However a few things do have to improve.
Alex Burrows needs to get himself going. He was GREAT to start each home game so far, so I look to Burrows to have a similar start tonight. I would like to see him back with the Sedins at home to get him firing on all cylinders again.
Andrew Alberts needs to shake off his dubious penalty-taking distinction and play a smart yet tough game. His ice-time will be limited, I’m sure, so he needs to make smart, efficient decisions with the puck, play physical, and watch the hits from behind.
The Sedins need to dominate from the start of the game, not just the third period. If Daniel and Henrik can get their game going early, get Burrows involved and hit the scoresheet early, it will lift the entire team. The passion from Henrik when he scored the GWG in Game 4 was purely awesome. He feels it now. If they can tap into that passion and energy early, they will an unstoppable force tonight.
I want to see it. I want to see that unbridled passion. I want to see it early. I want to see it often. I want to see it from every Canucks player. I know we will see and hear it from every fan around GM Place and around the Lower Mainland and BC and abroad. Let’s harness it.