It had to happen sooner or later. The Canucks finally lost a playoff game this post season, and did it in disturbing fashion, blowing a 2-0 lead, the 2nd game in a row that a lead was blown.
There are not enough obscenities I can utter towards the referees for the phantom hooking call on Kevin Bieksa in the 2nd period. Tragic. Willie Mitchell took a stupid delay of game penalty moments later to give the Blackhawks a 5 on 3 advantage and they capitalized on it, tying the game at 2.
That was all the Canucks had in the tank it seemed, because 3 minutes later Dave Bolland scored a shorthanded goal (where in the hell did he come from?) on the breakaway. The Hawks never looked back. I was thinking of Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out For A Hero" tune, but there were none to be found on the Canucks bench.
I'm not blaming the refs for the loss. But that bullshit call on Bieksa was the beginning of the end. So was Steve Bernier's missed opportunity with a breakaway. Before we knew it it was all over.
Beyond Ryan Johnson, I think the Canucks can all look at eachother and ask what the fuck happened tonight and then promise eachother that they will stop blowing these leads.
How will they respond in Chicago in front of that rabid crowd? That will be the million dollar question over the next few days, as the teams don't play again until Tuesday.
The status of Sami Salo will also be questioned. The CBC guys were mentioning how much the loss of Salo was hurting the team but that infuriated me. We don't need Salo to win. Roberto Luongo agrees. “Obviously Sami is a big part of our defence corps but it’s not an excuse and not the reason why we lost tonight,” Luongo said. “We played without him in St. Louis [3-2 win] and we have make sure we step up and do a good job without him.”
Yeah, the winning streak had to stop at some point, but you wish it didn't happen like this.
More on the loss tomorrow.