I have to tip my hat to Blues' GM John Davidson for aiding in the creation of this Blues team. It's going to be a spectacular team next year unless something terrible occurs.
Let me be honest. Chris Mason is a good goalie but not a great one. Alex Burrows' OT winner to clinch the series was ugly. It went through the wickets again... like several other Canucks' goals did in this series. Mason could not steal a game in this series.
The Canucks' win also proved that it doesn't always matter how hot a teams' special teams are going into the playoffs or even what their record is in the final, say, 10 games of the season. I thought the Blues would win at least 2 games in this series based on how they entered the playoffs. But once the Canucks won 1 or even the 2 first games all bets were off. The playoffs are a new season and that was proven in the opening round with these 2 teams.
The Canucks killed 23 of 24 penalties in the series.
Did Roberto Luongo have to be great? Yes. But only on occasion. The Canucks' team defence was a big key. Their penalty kill was superb, and that was accentuated when the Blues had a 4 minute power play in overtime in Game 4. The Canucks killed that off rather handily. I'll admit it, I thought we were done.
Andy McDonald is a freak. I mean that in a good way. Any chance to get a good shot away and he made it count. He was the best Blues player by far. I somewhat feel for Blues fans that Paul Kariya was hyped to return weeks ago yet never made an appearance in the playoffs. I hate the guy, but he would have made a difference.
Speaking of differences, the Blues really needed the presence of Eric Brewer and Erik Johnson from the point. That can be a big reason why their power play was so terrible against the Canucks. They just couldn't get shots through from the point no matter what formation they tried. The Canucks can be commended for that no doubt, but those 2 missing players would have helped.
Check out Roberto Luongo's stats after 1 series:
-5 goals against in 4 games
-a 1.15 GAA
-a .962 save percentage.
Check out the Canucks skaters' stats. The Sedins were money in Round 1. Salo had 4 points in 3 games.
The unsung hero award has to go to Ryan Johnson. He was a PK monster out there. I don't know what his blocked shots totals were, but you know they were way up there. He was a checking machine.
So now...the Canucks get up to 10 days off. That is either a good or bad thing. I say good and most people disagree. They disagree because they want the Canucks to play the next opponent and not lose momentum. I say it's a good thing that they rest tehir weary bones after an ultra physical series and get Sundin and Salo back refreshed. Yeah, go home to your families and what-not, Canucks. You've earned it.
Think fans are happy in Vancouver?
Highlights from TSN give you a taste of what Shorty and Larscheid shreiked after Burrows scored the winner. "Unbelievable, undeniable, unstoppable, undefeated in the Stanley Cup Playoffs" yells Larsheid. Love it!