GAME TIME: 6:30 PST
TV: CBC, Versus, RDS
THE ENEMY: Second City Hockey
Update (3:50 PST): Not so cocky now, are ya Stevie?
Update: Salo did skate this morning, wore a green jersey (no contact) and left early. They are still calling him a game time decision. The way he was skating I'd say he's not going to play. Check out TSN's Ice Chips video about it. You'll laugh. Vigneault is so damned funny, as is SOB.
It's amazing how the team identities have changed during this series. The Blackhawks sort of became guilty of becoming the Canucks of Game 4 last game: undisciplined, not playing to their potential, etc. Nobody is winning by a mere goal in this series. The close games we anticipated are not really materializing. The winners win decisively for the most part.
The Hawks want to get more pucks on net in Game 6. They want to get back to harassing Roberto Luongo. They want some scoring out of Patrick Kane, even though he has 2 goals and 4 assists in this series. They want to play more disciplined.
The Canucks need to emulate Game 5: score early and take control, stay on Auntie Niemi, don't let the Hawks get under their skin, maintain pressure in Chicago's zone, play strong and smart in their own zone, and of course get another great performance from Luongo.
It's amazing how the bounces went Vancouver's way last game. Hell, one banked in off Wellwood's ass. Even Luongo's rebounds were all heading in the right directions plus he got a lot of help from the guys in front of him to clear away errant pucks. Maintain that. Work your asses off boys and it should continue.
STATS FROM GAME 5
-3 points for Kevin Bieksa.
-3 players with 2 assists: Hank, Wellwood and Samuelsson.
-1 goal and 1 assist for Alexandre Burrows. Is he snapping out of his funk?
-The Canucks only gave Chicago 3 power play chances (went 0-for-3). The Hawks gave the Canucks 6 (went 1-for-6).
-The Hawks committed 12 giveaways to the Canucks' 8.
-9 takeaways by the Hawks, 3 by Vancouver.
-Chicago missed the net 11 times to Vancouver's 8.
-14 blocked shots by the Hawks and 12 by Vancouver.
Info from NHL.com
STATS FOR THE SERIES
-Hawks' Power Play: 7 goals on 40 shots
-Canucks' Power Play: 5 goals on 29 shots
-My math says the power plays-given count is: Hawks - 24 Canucks - 25
1. Toews: 4-7-11
2. H. Sedin: 2-4-6
3. Sharp: 2-4-6
4. Kane: 2-4-6
5. Bieksa: 2-3-5
There are some Canucks that need to be scoring more goals.
Chicago 18 Vancouver 17
GOALS BY DEFENCEMEN:
Canucks 5 Hawks 2
Can the Canucks finally beat Chicago at GM Place this series? Can the fans at the game please be as bloodthirsty and insane as the Montreal crowd was last night? Or maybe not. Kidding, however.... said Bieksa today:
"We seem to play a different game at home against this team," Kevin Bieksa said. "Maybe we're too riled up with the fans. We're good when we're in control. When we play like that we win games.
"But the team we're playing against is really frustrating. There's a lot of little rats running around."
That's about all I can muster right now. It's do or die time again. Backs are still to the wall. For some reason there is no panic in me. I guess it will come at game time. But hopefully that doesn't happen to the Canucks.
GO CANUCKS GO!!