Game 5 Report Card.

You know what? $%^& them.  

If you want to be told how great Bolland was... ( he was not. Once again the Sedins did not really engage. Dave had 1 shot, a minor penalty, was 15 of 29 in the circle ) the fine folk at Second City Hockey will help you out there I am sure.

This is about the Canucks.  Their response. Who stood up and who did not. Here's ESPN. NHL here.

Anyone can tell you how great you were when things were great. Its when everyone is down on you that your true mettle is shown.

How about those supportive fans at the Rog' tonight huh? I get it, you paid big money, and they soiled the bed. Badly.  But I thought the jeering of the Jennings Trophy majority starter a little much. He did not have much help, as defenders were once again backing in with impunity, and allowing Hawk forwards to set up in front.  

What happened to making you earn that ice? Its supposed to be the high rent ice on the entire rink.  The Hawks looked good tonight.  They had a lot of help at it.  Or, to put it another way, the Canucks made it look easy. There was not enough effort, plain and simple.

Shit, the home team outhit them in a huge way, and had the most shots too. Just not the best ones.  But did it look like it?

 

The Best Line - 

Tonight, on a bad night, there was one line that seemed to have jump every time they were on the ice.  It was not the Twins line again tonight ( as evidenced by the fact they once again had Samuelsson with them as we finished up, instead of Burrows ) Kes's line had a few moments amidst the darkness.  The fourth line had a few.

But the guys that had Bolland's line ( the supposed "checking" line )  out there with them as a matchup by the later parts of the game, surprisingly enough, was the Hodgson, Raymond and Hansen.

The rookie Hodgson was a great insert into the lineup, as it turned out.  He had a bit less TOI (11:45, and even saw 1:01 PP TOI in the third, compared with 15:29 TOI for Raymond 2:37 PP/2:28 PK & Hansen's 14:42 with 2:32 SH TOI ) then his linemates, but does not kill penalties, and there was a bit of that again tonight.  Most of it was with positive impact. Cody had 2 takeaways to lead his team ( nuff said there huh ? ) He had 4 shots, missed one, and mad ethe most of his time on the ice. He went 4 for 9 in the circle. 7.8/10

Linemates Hansen and Raymond were hard workers, and though they were part of a not good enough penalty kill at 2 for 5, when on 5 on 5, this line showed they could maybe grow together even more. Hansen had 2 hits and 3 shots, and Raymond 2 shots, 1 hit and a takeaway 7.5/10 and 7.3/10.

Number Two.

Kesler and his cohorts did not have the best of nights.  The effort was there with Kesler as always, but not the results. 1 shot, and 2 hits are not good enough for him on a night the Canucks outhit the Hawks 40 to 14. 7 for 15 at the dot.  On a night that the penalty kill was not good enough, it was a 5 on 5 goal, the second in rapid fire, that was Ryan's less than shining moment. He let Johnson hold the puck on him and feed Keith for the shot, on a play he usually is almost automatic on in the defensive zone, checking the puck carrier with far more...zest. 6.5/10.

The line juggling occurred in the third again, with Burrows out with Kesler and Higgins, and Samuelsson up( or down as the case may be on this night! ) with the Twins towards the end of the second and to start the third.  I would like to see that change happen to start Game 6.

But on this night, Samuelsson struggled, and even Higgins was kind of just OK.  Sammy had 3 shots, but most of that was on the power play, where he also struggled, fighting the puck. He was credited with only 1 giveaway, but I am pretty sure I saw more. He had 5 hits somehow, and in his 15:46 TOI (4:12 PP ), just did not seem to have it tonight. He also took a 4 minute penalty for accidently cutting Hjalmersson. For which he immediately apologized. So, sportsmanship points there. Only brought him up to a 6.6/10.

Higgins? Well, he did have 3 hits and a blocked shot. But thats it in his 16:10 TOI ( 2:39 PP/2:03 PK ) He was a -1. 6.3/10.

One is Three, and Three is One.

For the record. I still have a belief in the Sedins. And following this game as closely as I could through eyes squinted in rage most of the night, I still believe that they will be the difference in this series in a Canuck series victory. It seemed that Quennville was trying hard for the Bolland match up.  But, for the life of me, it was not like he was some superchecker. They were out against other lines as well. One of the few times they looked really dangerous 5 on 5 was when they got the fourth line after an icing call, but again, its on them more than the match up.  The Hawks are checking the Twins as a five man unit. So, some kudos to them as well.

Hank - 2 shots and 2 giveaways in 16: 14 TOI ( 4:38 PP ) 11 for 21 on faceoffs 5/10.

Dank - 2 shots, 1 hit, 1 takeaway and 1 giveth it back.  15:56 TOI, and 4:36 PP. 5/10.

Alexandre Burrows - He started out with his guys, and was again putting up big PP minutes (3:35 of his 15:56 TOI.  a 1:43 PP number as well. ) 2 shots, 2 missed ones. 1 hit seems a little low for him. A bit unlucky on the 3rd goal when the point shot just ticked his shin pad, before Kane tipped it as well.  Let's try him with Higgins and Kesler for a full sixty next game though AV. Let those guys push the play, and the Tre Kroner can do the slick play.  Couldn't hurt. 6.1/10.

The 4th line

The new configuration brought about by the line up changes saw Torres join Lapierre and Glass on the mucker and grinders line.  Lapierre led the team in hits again with 9. He had 2 shots, and of his 10:48 TOI, 2:08 was SH.  He was also given a headscratcher misconduct again. On a play at the end of the second that should have seen Brouwer put his team shorthanded for at least two, and instead took our 4th line centre for 10. I did not get it. It was Bieksa Brouwer tried to punch, wasn't it? Points for trying. 7.1/10.

Torres had 4 hits, a shot and a takeaway in a 11:27 TOI, all 5 on 5. He did not back down from the supposed threats, and hit Scott hard, for instance.  That line tried on several occasions to get the temperature up again, but the other lines never followed it up. 7/10.  Glass? Well, no shots, 4 hits and 1 giveaway in his 10:14 TOI, also with no special team time. An almost accidental but still unnecessary interference call on Kane. 6.8/10.

 

The Dream Six?????!!!!

WTF right? Where are those guys that stepped up on rushes at the blue line instead of backing off?  Got their shots through at the point?  Sent Twins and others away on chances the other way? I want those guys back.

E-Money and the Hoff - Edler and his German partner had a bad game. I know it is exacerbated by having a lot of top opposition ice time, and it was not all bad. But it was Edler's stick that got just enough of Hossa's shot to hurt not help on the first goal.  He did have 5 shots, but not as dangerous as usual. Blocked 1, and only had 2 hits ( I remember the big one on Smith. Again, not up to his usual money standards. ) Bones and AV must have noticed he had it not going this night as well, as he had 19:42 TOI (2:44 PP/ 2:58 PK ) Least of the Top 4, and only a little under 2 minutes less then Salo. 6.8/10.

Ehrhoff fared a bit better, but not much. I mean, 1 shot, 2 blocked shots, and 1 measly hit. 22:20 TOI ( whopping 4:27PP/ 1:40 PK ) 6.6/10.

Juice and Hamhuis - Well, let's see. Bieksa had 4 hits and 2 blocked shots. In his 21:48 TOI, 4:33 was SH, on a PK that let 2 goals be scored. He somehow managed to have a fight in which Brouwer was going to give his team a penalty to kill, and made it an even up.  He was the one that was responding physically the most, but also jumped up at the wrong time a couple occasions. ( 1 play he hit two Hawks, but was too far out of position down low, and left Schneider to stone Sharp on the breakaway. 6.9/10.

Hamhuis had the most minutes on the blue line at 22:56 ( 4:12 SH) TOI. He did have 4 shots on goal, but I don't remember a dangerous one. 1 blocked shot, and 2 hit. Just for fun, and because he is a BC boy, he gets a 7/10. Big deal!

Salo and the new guy -  I do love Rome, but I don't know if he gets into Game 6. I got the change, just to get more size, in a physical series.  But Rome was a -2 in only 10:49 TOI. 1 shot, 1 giveaway and not that impressive. 6/10.

Sami Salo picked up some of the extra minutes, as the coach's most experienced defenseman.  It was a mixed bag. He was also a -2. He had 3 shots, one at least a dangerous one on the PP, and of his 18:13 TOI, over five minutes was on special team s ( 2:48 PP/2:30 SH ) 6.4/10.

 

That's not very good. The mainly failing or barely adequate play of the blue line, together with the almost non existent 200' x 85' play of the forwards did not help out ...These Guys -

Luongo is going to be a lightning rod for critique and derision until the team wins in the playoffs. He knows it, the team knows it, everyone knows it.  But for the second game in a row, he was not given much help.  Perhaps he might have got the first one, though Edler tipped it.  The second was a clean win for the shooter on a screen, the third deflected once for sure and maybe as much as two or three times ( some were arguing in addition to Burr's shin pad, and Kane's tip, Toews tipped it last as well ). Hossa's second was the only goal to beat him cleanly, on a breakaway, and for that he is jeered? On home ice? Really people? 4 goals on 12 shots looks bad, but I am not going to crucify him as some of the reactionary media surely will.

I am sure Rozner and his cohorts will do it anyway. As always, the goalie looks better or worse depending on how the team plays. 6.5/10.

Cory Schneider, conversely, had little chance on the only goal to beat him out of 14 shots. He made a great save on a Sharp breakaway, and the team maybe played a little better in front of him ( and maybe it was because the score was 5-0 by the time they did ). He was not the problem. 7.5/10.

So, whomever starts ( and we have two days to debate it before the decision comes down ) it will be the right choice and the wrong one to either/or the fans or the media, or both.  

Stay away from TEAM radio on Friday folks, for your sanity if nothing else. Twitter might be a minefield as well.

All I can say is yea of little faith. Who is still ahead in this series? The #1 team in the league? That's right.  As silly as it seems right now, this team needs a little positive reinforcement, and some time away from this city.  The overraction of our media in the loss will only just be matched by the overreaction of the Second City media.

Fun times.

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