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Keys

Ouch.  That was... awful.  After a tentative first, some bad luck to start the second then a descent into hell.  Ow.  Still, just like with wins, you can only lose one game at a time, and the Canucks still lead the series 2-1.

So now what?


First, rip the hell out of the team.  Yes, everyone knows they did badly, but outside three or four players, Vancouver completely lost their shit.  Focus was lost; passes were forced and predictable; strategy and carefully laid out (and practiced) plays were abandoned. Boston outplayed them in every facet of the game after twenty minutes.  If everyone knows this, why criticize them?

Because they need to hear it, out loud, or what they all know is going to sit in their heads and turn gangrenous.  But then move on.

Look at the year up to this point: what won Vancouver the President's trophy?  What got them through three rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs?  The same thing everyone was told at the very beginning of the year, remember that?  Stop the shenanigans after the whistles.  Cut it out with retaliation.  Yes, Chara hacks the calf of whatever player is closest to him whenever play is stopped: let him.  Be aware of it, but don't (for lack of a better word) bite.  This is a seven game series, and the NHL has TiVO technology.  They'll see it.

Get back to the set plays.  Use the counterattack, support the puck, mix the repeated short pass with the long off-the-end shoot in.  Play the body, make them hear footsteps, force their mistakes.

Plan the shots, don't force them.  No shot?  Fine: keep the puck moving until the Bruin's eyes roll back in their heads.  If that means only one shot on a power play, so be it - so long as the puck is in the attacking zone for the minute and a half leading up to that shot.

Play the long game.  The Canucks' best period is the third for a reason: the other teams have had to chase the puck, chase the players, for forty minutes before the third even happens.  Tired legs make tired minds, and mistakes make goals.  And mistakes are for other teams.

Use the preternatural calm of your captain: the last game is done, the next game is coming.  It's gotten us 14 wins so far.

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