Game Review: WCQ Gm6

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Sedins were FAR better last night.
But. It. Just. Wasn’t. Enough.
(Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Game Day Review: Western Conference Quarterfinal Game 6 – Canucks @ Blackhawks

The Vancouver Canucks have backed themselves into a massive corner. A 3-0 series lead and a spot in the driver’s seat has now totally evaporated. It’s now down to a game 7, winner-take-all match on Tuesday.

Do they have any momentum at all after losing their third straight game against their playoff nemesis? We’ll find out Tuesday.

The Vancouver Canucks were the better team Sunday. All three of Chicago’s goals in regulation were essentially gifts. The first goal was started by a great play by Dave Bolland (I hate this little puke of a rat) which forced the puck to squeeze out in front of the net in a very awkward spot… where Brian Bickell just happened to be waiting and popped the puck in the net. The second goal was a boneheaded gaffe by Cory Schneider, who passed the puck directly on the stick of total piece of hatable crap talented winger Patrick Kane (of all people!) who fed it to superrat Bolland for an empty net goal. As for third goal, it was a very good move by Frolik, but if Schneider isn’t somewhat dehydrated and cramped up on that play, there’s a chance he saves it. It’s clearly the best of the three goals, but there was still some gift behind it.

Which leads me to my next point – the officiating. I’m not one who regularly complains about reffing. Far from it. Excuses cannot be made for losing games because of poor officiating. And the Canucks had every chance to win this game, that much is true. That said, the officiating in this game was slanted HEAVILY to the Blackhawks. The penalty shot call was one example. The Bickell hit on Bieksa was terrible, and there was no call. If you’re going to compare that to Torres’ hit, remember that Torres DID get penalized on that hit on Seabrook. In yesterday’s game, no call. Then there was the tomahawk chop from Bolland on Henrik Sedin, snapping his stick. No call. And then there was the icing debacle in OT. The Blackhawks iced the puck, meaning they couldn’t change lines and they had already used their timeout. But the refs allowed the ice crew to clean the ice, allowing the Blackhawks to rest after the icing call. Nonsense. The refs could have waited until the next whistle, but they didn’t. Those are probably the most obvious examples, but there were certainly more. Again, I am not saying that those are the reasons that the Canucks lost the game. The Canucks dominated the third period and OT and didn’t put the game away.

The bottom line is that the Blackhawks got some INCREDIBLY lucky bounces, the Canucks got NO bounces (they hit two posts between 3rd period and OT), and the reffing was tilted to the home team. Take out the reffing because I won’t use that as an excuse to a win or loss, but if the Canucks get ONE lucky bounce… OR one of the Blackhawks gift goals doesn’t go in, and the Canucks win the game.

The Sedins were much better, despite some dubious stats. Bieksa was great. Burrows was fantastic. AV did make some great moves, especially putting Kesler and Burrows together.

I have only one suggestion for Alain Vigneault for game 7. GET RAFFI TORRES OUT OF THE LINEUP. The Canucks have been terrible in the playoffs with him on the roster. They’re 1-3 and since he hit Seabrook, the Blackhawks have used that as a rallying point. Get him off the ice against the Blackhawks. PERIOD.

Other than getting Torres the hell out of the lineup, Canucks fans simply ask for more of the same at home in Game 7. I have lost all sense of knowing what could happen in the deciding game. There’s no point. If they win, they win and move on. If they lose, they’re out and will likely be regarded as the worst collapse in Noth American sports history. At this point, after being a Canucks fan for 30 years, I would really see it poetically happening either way.

Three Big Stats

Here are my top 3 stats from last night’s game:

1. The Canucks threw 85 shots toward the net last night. 35 SOG, 31 blocked shots, 19 missed net. They had far more pressure on the Blackhawks net than vice-versa evidenced by the fact that the Blackhawks had only 54 shots towards the net.

2. -4 combined for Christian Ehrhoff and Henrik Sedin, who were both on the ice for three of the Blackhawks four goals. This could be chalked up to simple math because of the fact that Henrik and Christian played more last night than either had in the previous five games.

3. 4:17 – The amount of time the Canucks were shorthanded in the 2nd period. The Canucks were up 2-1 going into the middle frame, had a late goal in the first to snatch away the momentum. But a string of penalties zapped away a chance for the Canucks to build off that momentum and get a two-goal lead. Instead, the Blackhawks controlled the 2nd period and eventually tied the game.

Three Big Moments

Here are my top 3 moments from last night’s game:

1. Ben Smith OT goal. Luongo makes a weird save to stop the initial shot, likely because it deflected. As a result, Luongo ends up flopped on his belly, and Smith slotted home the rebound to win the game.

2. Kevin Bieksa’s 3-2 goal. A terrific play from the defense, one pass out of the zone to Raymond who bolts down the wing, while Bieksa follows up on the rebound by charging straight to the net.

3. Michael Frolik penalty shot. At first I thought that Hamhuis had played the puck, but you can see pretty clearly that Hamhuis dives, first knocking out Frolik’s feet, then the puck. Frolik’s move was nice, but it was made to look at the more dramatic with Schneider’s huge leg cramp after stretching awkwardly to try to make the save.


  • Bolland is truly a rat. He looks like a rat. Stupid face. I hate him.

    But he’s been the Blackhawks best player since he came back. He’s outplayed Kane, Toews, Sharp, Hossa, you name it.
    I haven’t seen him do anything to suggest that he’s really shutting down the Sedins, as was the big talk upon his return. He’s just playing his game and has been very effective. AND LUCKY. The two goals yesterday were he got the goal and an assist were both absolute gifts.

    Right now, the Canucks would be well advised to use one of their fourth liners or Ballard/Alerbts and rub Bolland out of the play as often and as physically as possible. Bolland WILL take stupid penalties when goaded into them. The Canucks aren’t engaging him. They should probably do that.

  • Wax Man Riley

    I am almost positive its a playoff OT rule that the first stoppage in play after 10 minutes pass in OT is a break to clear the ice. I remember it happening last year in the Hawks/Sharks playoff series as well.

    Since there are no designated TV timeouts in OT, they have to schedule a time to clean the ice and for whatever reason they decided on the first stoppage after the halfway point in the period. Just sucks for the Canucks it happened after an icing call. It wasn’t some arbitrary “lets help the Hawks out” call.

  • @Tony – they talked about this on the TEAM1040 this morning.
    I didn’t know about this rule, but it seems asinine that they would allow the ice-cleaning to happen on an icing. Make the rule: Clean the ice at the first whistle after the midpoint of the period that ISN’T an icing call.
    I agree that it wasn’t an arbitrary “let’s help the Hawks” call, but it was perfectly in keeping with the slant of calls. All the refs had to say was “Wait one more whistle”. Again, I’m not blaming refs for the Canucks losing. But the luck was WAY on the Blackhawks side, and the Canucks had NONE.

    • Wax Man Riley

      Take out the reffing because I won’t use that as an excuse to a win or loss, but if the Canucks get ONE lucky bounce…

      For someone that doesn’t want to use reffing as an excuse, you are sure turning to reffing as an excuse a lot.

      There have been questionable calls on both sides of this series, as there are in every series. If Vancouver is a true contender, they will be able to win despite the calls they take.

  • Wax Man Riley

    I have a feeling that if Van wins game 7, they will have a true chance at the cup. They will use this as the adversity they needed to overcome in order to take the next step.

  • Wax Man Riley

    The Canucks can only look at themselves if this ends badly.

    Im one of those old-school hockey types and believe that Karma has a big place in the game. And one Kevin Bieksa (who I think is a talented, functional and very effective player) is the one to point at first with the Bad Karma. I get the chirping and politicing about John Scott…But when Bieksa elects to challenge Stalberg (who by no means is a pugilist) and feeds him a few then he has PO’d the Karma gods.

    Canucks are done in 7 …. and this is by far a bigger collapse than the Bruins/Flyers last year.

    PS there was no way on God’s little green earth Schneider stopped the Frolik penalty shot unless he had pads that were about a foot wider.

  • Mantastic

    puck luck goes towards each side. look at games 2 and 3 and how many pucks beat luongo but rang off the posts.

    and bickell’s hit on beiska is different by only the fact that beiska played the puck then got hit in the head. torres got an interference penalty for the seabrook hit and you can’t give bickell the same penalty because of that reason.

    • If you leave your feet, that HAS to be a penalty. I’m not complaining about any suspensions, because Torres wasn’t suspended (even though he should have).

      But if you leave your feet, that’s a charging penalty. Anyway it doesn’t matter now.

      The Canucks hit two posts, outshot the Blackhawks 85-54 (if you count in the blocked shots and missed shots – meaning they had much more offense than the Blackhawks), and Schneider gifted them two goals when he left his net.

      The Canucks should have won the game, but they didn’t bury their chances.

  • 24% body fat

    Wow, reading your writing is very much what I imagine reading the writing of a little puke of a rat would be like.

    Have you gone back and counted how many posts the Blackhawks hit in games 2 and 3?

    Did you really use the penalty shot call as your first example in that list of reffing calls against the Nucks, only to later in your post concede that the defencemen clearly tripped Frolik before making contact with the puck?

    There is no comparison between the Torres hit and the Bickell hit for one simple reason: Bieksa was playing the puck. Therefor, it’s not interference. Have you simply chosen to be incapable of objectivity, or is it unintentional?

    Left his feet? I just went to the trouble to re-watch the video, and my above question about your inability to not be a little puke of a rat objective stands.

    You haven’t seen Bolland do anything to suggest he is shutting down the Sedins? Wow, you really are a little puke of a rat. Did you not hear that in games 4 and 5, Corey Crawford (that’s the goalie that just shut your team down) had more points than the Twinkie’s COMBINED! And that including game 6, the COMBINED twinkie point total is only one more than Corey Crawford. Oh yeah, you’re right, there is definitely an absence of a telling stat to suggest that Bolland is shutting down a line that includes two of the leagues top four scorers. Thanks for that insightful tidbit….you little puke of a rat.

    P.S. You mention that AV did some great moves, but conveniently leave out the best one of all, namely benching Bobby Lou. If you actually think that Bolland “truly” is a rat because of his stupid face, I cannot imagine what you think of that grease ball extraordinaire, Luongo. By the way, methinks the Blackhawks chances of completing the *cough* greatest upset in North American sports history *cough* go way up if the most overrated athlete in North American sports history is placed between the pipes.

    This has been fun.

    Thank you for your consideration.

  • Mantastic

    @Oiler Fan who is part of some team

    Thanks for the question. At first, I thought Mr. Davie was simply engaging in good natured loyal fan playfulness when he called Bolland a “little puke of a rat” in his post. I get that. One of the main reasons that I think of Luongo as greasy is because he plays for a team that is not only a main rival of my team, but dominated my team (the Flames) this year. So, Mr. Davie, having been dominated for the last three games (well, minus the third period and overtime of the last game) was simply venting…I though.

    Then, in his first reply on the comment boards, he let us know that Bolland “truly is a rat” and that he has a “stupid face”.

    Well, I live by a fairly simple principle. If you’re willing to dole it out, you better be able to receive it back. There is a second somewhat subsidiary principle: it takes one to know one. From the latter, I concluded, obviously, that Mr. Davie must also be a little puke of a rat if he was “truly” so confident that Bolland was a little puke of a rat.

  • @Jonathan.

    Thanks for your many replies.

    1. I NEVER said that Bickell’s hit on Bieksa was interference. I said it was charging. And yes, he did leave his feet.

    2. Yes, I am playfully poking fun at Bolland. He’s a Canuck killer right now.

    3. Bolland’s play is not what is killing the Sedins. Bolland is not shutting the Sedins down. The Sedins are shutting down the Sedins. They have had 2 good games in this series. They have had 4 bad games.

    4. Bolland has been the best player in this series.

    5. Yes, I admit I am complaining about the reffing. But as I have stated several times here, I am not using it as an excuse for their losses. I am simply venting.

    6. Thank you for calling me a little puke of a rat. That really helps me improve my playful writing.

    • Wax Man Riley

      …uuummmm… seriously.

      It’s a fan site. Have you ever seen Wanye blog on Oilers Nation? Woooooo That can be one “playful” dude.

      I’d be saying and writing the same things if I were a Van Fan. (for the record, I like the team, and love the city, but having a cup is one of the few things E-town has over Van)

    • Mantastic

      if you can blindside someone behind the net and not get a penalty for it, you can charge someone behind the net and not get a penalty for it. it was barely a charge therefore in OT it will be a non-call regardless. so you really can’t compare the torres’ hit to bickell’s.

      also calling bolland a dirty rat in the same contexted of your article does make you sound very bitter because you don’t “playfully” write anything else in the article.

      • “also calling bolland a dirty rat in the same contexted of your article does make you sound very bitter because you don’t “playfully” write anything else in the article.”

        Except that in every article that I’ve written since Bolland the Rat has returned, I’ve called him a Rat. And also, that’s his nickname.
        Just like I have insulted Patrick Kane’s hair in every article I’ve written where I mention him.

        But y’know… whatevs.

        And yeah, I’m done with commenting on the refs. Not because I am bitter or anything. But because there is no point in even venting about it.
        As a former Canuck famously said, “It is what it is.”
        Refs be damned in Game 7, Canucks just need to go out and fkn PLAY.

  • Mantastic

    I was embarassed for Gillis yesterday. Talk about a lack of leadership. Make more excuses. With a leader GM like that, it’s not surprising the rails are coming off.