(Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)
There’s no point sugar-coating it. The Canucks performance yesterday was brutal, and the game was simply hard to watch.
Is there anything that makes Canucks fans as uniquely furious as watching their team lose to Chicago, in the Mad House, in a blow-out? I found that the anger physiologically lodged itself in the pit of my stomach, a sensation similar to the one you get when you leave your belly some 40 feet behind you on a roller coaster – except it’s a dull, resentful feeling – totally devoid of "amusement park ride" exhilaration.
That being said – the Canucks still have a commanding lead in this playoff series, and get a prime chance to finish off the nemesis Blackhawks in Vancouver on Thursday night.
Dave Bolland was unbelievable. He had four points – scoring all of them at 5-on-5, despite beginning only two shifts in the offensive zone. More importantly, he was matched up against the Sedins who he dominated. As the corsi numbers make clear, the first unit (including Ehrhoff and Edler, who take most of their shifts with the Sedins) had a terrible night.
It’s important to remember, that a game that could’ve gone either way – like the LA-San Jose game last night – are usually more devastating to the psyche of a team, than a blowout loss. The Canucks can put this in their rear-view mirror with a solid home performance on Thursday, and anyone who has watched this team respond to adversity all year has to like their chances.
If the Blackhawks do manage the highly unlikely, and come back to win this series – it would, combined with the Philly comeback from last season, represent one of the all-time weirdest Poisson Bursts.
Three Big Stats
1. 19-4-5 – I’m trying to stay positive here, and 19-4-5 was the record the Canucks posted in the two months that immediately followed the last time the Blackhawks put up 7 goals against them in a game (November 20th 2010).
2. +10. Kevin Bieksa’s Corsi number from last night. As it was last year – the one Canucks player who seems to be able to keep it together against the Blackhawks when things are going badly at the Mad-House is #3. It’s strange to think that the Canucks "shut-down" pairing had a strong game in a 7-2 blowout, but that is indeed what happened.
3. 1 goal, 3 assists, 3SOG, 2 hits, 2PIM, +4 with a +13 Corsi. That was what Dave Bolland posted last night. What a remarkable performance from the Blackhawks centre – and in his first game back after a long injury layoff. Obviously I wish last night’s game had never happened – but I’ll remember that playoff performance for a long time. Borderline heroic stuff from Mr. Bolland.
Three Big Moments
1. Duncan Keith’s GWG was the one that sealed the Canucks fate. It’s always so important to have a strong push-back shift directly after a goal, however, the Canucks clumsily fail to gain the blueline and then Duncan Keith waltzes in for a gimme. No chance for Luongo on this goal
2. This is a Canucks blog, so I’m not going to put anymore Blackhawks goals in my top three plays. I will, however, admit that Campbell’s goal, and Sharp’s 2nd goal, were of the jaw-dropping variety. Instead of those highlights, here’s Patrick Kane demonstrating how well he takes a punch:
3. As PiTB persuasively argued, Luongo was not responsible for last night’s blow-out. But that’s not how the Canucks haters will see it. Which, is fine, but Luongo is still my guy – and I have the utmost faith in him to bounce back on Thursday. Why? Becasue he makes saves like this one on Jonathan "don’t call me Dave Bolland" Toews.
The all important game 5 will be played on Thursday at 7PM PST at Rogers Arena. It should be a doozy.