Yes it was a game of revenge, and the Canucks did a fine job of it. In the end, Hawks fans were left with a bitter taste in their mouths, as the much-hated Mikael Samuelsson scored the winning goal to help the Canucks beat Chicago 3-2. Most of the questions surrounding the Canucks were answered tonight.
-Roberto Luongo watched the Blackhawks practice today, to get himself prepared. I thought he played very well and I also thought his mates bailed him out by once again limiting the quality chances against. That being said, Lou made some enormous saves as well.
-The Canucks outshot the Hawks 25-10 in the final 2 periods. So despite Troy Brouwer's 2-1 goal very late in the 2nd period, the Canucks kept pressing. Despite Antti Niemi's great play, the Canucks persevered.
-Willie Mitchell was out of the penalty box for 10 seconds or less before he decked captain Johnny Toews, which gave the Canucks even more reason to bury Chicago. Up until that point, I was wondering if Vancouver had the balls in them to score the tying/winning goal. That they did.
-Sure, there were no fights, but it didn't matter. That was the most entertaining game of the year so far. What a win by a team that was winless on the road and had to make amends for that horseshit loss to Chicago in the playoffs.
It was a small bit of retribution. Luongo may play it down:
"At the end of the day, it's a game," he said. "I was real excited to come back here and play even though there wasn't such great memories from last year. Nothing is going to bring back what happened last year.
But it's nice to come in here and show we can win, and just start moving on from what happened. They still won the series. We just won a game."
Ok, fair enough Roberto, but that smile on your face after the game was won told the story. This team had better now come to realize that they know deep down inside what it takes to win.
My questions to you, the fans are:
1. Hell yeah, Michael Grabner finally scored. Can we expect more from him now?
2. Is this win going to spawn a winning streak? Has this Canucks team found its identity now?
Bring on the hapless Leafs and let's find out!
ZANY'S 3 STARS:
1. Mikael Samuelsson. The winning goal late plus an assist. Clutch, Mikael.
2. Duncan Keith. 1 goal and 1 assist, over 27:00 ice-time, a +2. I wish we had this guy.
3. Roberto Luongo. He only faced 20 shots, but some of them were high quality chances. He gave the Canucks a chance to win.