Canucks Beat Predators 2-1, Advance To Western Conference Final For First Time in 17 Years!

WOOOOOOOO!!!!

Oh thank the good KesLORD and mighty LuoGOD that this series is over. It's a huge testament to the Predators team that they kept this series close for 6 games and could have pushed it to the brink. It's an even bigger testament for a team whose owners do not spend to the cap on their team yet draft like a bunch of wizards nearly every year. And they keep playing the same way under coach Barry Trotz...smothering defence. Keep it to the outside. Pounce on opportunities. Make life hell in front of a most-excellent Pekka Rinne. Yeah you, Shea Weber and Ryan Suter. I'm so glad we don't have you beating the hell out of our guys anymore. So..a big hat tip to the Preds and their fans. You did very well and have nothing to be ashamed of. I thought the reception for the Preds from the fans post game was terrific.

But....

The Canucks didn't do themselves enough favors in this series either. I think it should have been over in 4 or 5. Like I said repeatedly, the Sedins didn't show up/capitalize on their chances enough in this series. A lot of that had to do with Pekka Rinne, the smother job by Shea Weber and Ryan Suter and just an apparent lack of determination. Until tonight. Yes, they got pushed around and were knocked on their asses repeatedly tonight but the winning goal in Game 6 was scored by..Daniel Sedin..on the power play..on a mucky effort. Perfect! With all the heat on them they produced and I am happy for them.

But let's call a spade a spade. A LORD a LORD. Ryan Kesler had 4 assists and no goals in the Chicago series. He had 1 assist in the Game 2 loss vs Nashville. Then something clicked. In the last 4 games of this series the beast scored 5 goals and 5 assists! A glorious monstrosity! He took the team on his shoulders and carried them. He now leads the NHL in playoff scoring.

How about the play of Roberto Luongo after a shady Game 5? How about the team's defensive effort in front of Lou in the clinching game? God I hate 2-0 leads. The Canucks basically defended it from the half-way mark of the 1st period. They were outshot 11-7 after 1 especially due to the power plays given to Nashville and then 7-2 in the 2nd period. They beat the Preds at their own game in their building. When it looked like they would blow the lead they came out and dictated the play in the 3rd to close this one out. The Canucks outshot the Preds 10-6 in the final frame.

  • Final shots: Nashville 24 Canucks 19
  • I believe the Preds were 1 for 22 on the power play in this series.
  • Hey MSM! Still flashing lousy Luongo stats in series-clinching games? How about a .958 save percentage to chew on? I thought Luongo was solid tonight. Period.
  • Joel Ward scored 4 goals and 4 assists in this series. Yeah..who had him in their hockey pool? Well done Mr. Ward. You gave us fits.
  • Shea Weber scored 3 goals and 2 assists vs the Ducks in round 1. Against the Canucks? Nothing. You would think he would score some power play points against us but no. He was a beast anyway, and hey Mr. Weber, you made the Sedins' life a living hell. Love those BC boys. Sicamous should be proud of you.
  • Daniel, Hank and Bank each were a -1 tonight despite the win. No, I'm not going to do the Sedin +/- math. But I will project that they do better in Round 3 away from Weber and Ryan Suter.
  • Dan Hamhuis played 25:07, more than any other Canuck, against his former team. He was a -1 but has to be happy to not only beat his old team, but now be on to Round 3.
  • Jeff Tambellini only played 4:41 tonight. However, that defensive play on Martin Erat that would have been a clean cut breakaway chance was one of the highlights of the night.
  • 17 long years since the Canucks have gone this far. Another demon exorcised, The age cap in this fandom is what's baffling me. I can still remember the '82 run. Many of you probably weren't even born yet? How old were you in 1994? Really? Well you missed a hell of a show. I like being the old guy in all this. But I'm more happy for Canucks fans of all ages.
  • Hey Canucks fans, relish the moment. These are the good times! They don't happen all that often! 
  • Now let's hope the San Jose-Detroit series goes 7. We get a much-needed rest because damn, there was no break between this and the uber-emotional Chicago series.
  • Once again, a big tip of the ol' hat to the Preds, their fans and On The Forecheck. I always love the work Dirk Hoag, Chris Burton and Co. do at that Preds site.

HIGHLIGHTS:

Oh yeah....and this:

Photobucket

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