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Monday Morning Coffee- Fine... Whatever.

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Beavis goes for the wrap around and tries but fails to stuff it in.  You said stuff... heh heh.  (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Beavis goes for the wrap around and tries but fails to stuff it in. You said stuff... heh heh. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
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I suppose we shouldn't be surprised.  Many warned us this would happen.  While dismissing Alex Burrows' claims against referee Stephane Auger, they also said that we would pay for it in the playoffs, rarely getting calls when we should, and getting punished when it seems it should not be necessary.  The penalty for too many men on Saturday night was simply unacceptable for the regular season, let alone the Stanley Cup playoffs.  An incorrect interpretation of the play, and the rule itself by a linesman cost the Canucks the game.  Fine, whatever.  But the NHL can take their 'explination' and stuff it.  Would it kill them to do the right thing and admit that they screwed up, and try to repair the optics of the situation?  Apparently, because the sorry excuse they offered up today was embarrassing, and simply lends credence to the notion that the officiating is incompetent.  So fine, if that's the way it has to be, we will deal.  It's not the first time this Canucks team has had to battle two teams at once and won't be the last.

The confidence the Kings are showing is a bit baffling to be honest.  I can understand confidence because they came out of Vancouver tied.  But they're not showing a lot of respect to this team in their comments, and I like that.  Take this team lightly.  The streets this season were littered with teams who did that.  4 of their 5 goals have come on the power play.  And the winning goal was far from a rocket of a slapshot to the top corner.  No, they've decided to talk tough when they got a bounce. 

With Andrew Alberts sure to be out of the lineup tonight,  and Aaron Rome back in, the Canucks D will be a little bit tighter.  They will need to continue to be as disciplined as possible, but let's face it, with the series shifting to LA, there will be calls against the Canucks, deserved or not.  Home teams usually get the advantage there as we have seen.  Roberto Luongo will need to continue his strong play, and the real change will need to come offensively, as the Canucks will need to pound shots on net like they did in Game 1.  Right from the start they need to get an early goal and take the crowd out of it.  Quick has been offering up rebounds like GM Place gives out towels at playoff time, so they Canucks need to have players going to the slot after shots to pounce on these.  Quick has played very well, but he was no where near as good in Game 2 as he was in the opener.  The Canucks did a poor job of capitalizing on this.

Ryan Johnson has made the trip to LA, which is a good sign he may be ready to return to the PK soon.  That part of the game will need to be much better obviously, along with the PP.  The Canucks need to simplify things, as it seems on the PP they're trying for that sweet set up instead of the muck and grind goal, like the one Bernier scored Saturday.  If that's why he's on the PP, then we better see more of that from him and other net presence guys.

The madness continues

Insanity continues to reign in the playoffs so far, as we have seen some mind boggling things happen.  All 8 series tied 1-1.  The Friday night shoot em ups.  And then the biggest shocker of them all: Dan Boyle and Evgeni Nabokov teaming up to show the world this San Jose Sharks team may really be cursed after all.  How else can you explain that goal?  We've seen own goals in the playoffs before, but that one takes the cake.  If that was scored at the other end of the ice, it would have been a brilliant backhander.  Now, we wait for Tuesday to see if the Sharks are going to be able to overcome this crushing mental blow.  If they can't better get a snapshot of the team.  They won't look the same come October.

Speaking of bad officiating, another embarrassment for the NHL yesterday when they didn't call Philadelphia's Daniel Carcillo for his brutal acting job yesterday against New Jersey.  I hate embellishments as it is, and that includes members of my team doing them.  But that was so far beyond someone going down easy to get a tripping call.  That was a player deliberately trying to draw a call that was not there.  On the bright side, I suppose we will see one of the officials have a little skate and chat with Carcillo next game, right?  For them not to make a call for diving was unacceptable.  The league should fine Carcillo to send a message that it was over the line.  And they should fine the officials for not having the stones to actually make the call as it's written, instead of as an even up.  This penalty only works if it's a stand alone.  If not, it's hardly a deterrent.

Full marks to Phoenix yesterday for marching into the JLA and pulling out a gritty 4-2 win.  I haven't heard if the injury to Shane Doan is serious, but it will be a crushing blow to the Coyotes if they're without their best player and leader.  I see the Jimmy Howard is god talk seems to have died down.  And it's not a surprise.  The playoffs are indeed a different beast.  The Red Wings were running along at a ridiculous clip, they were due to cool down.  Now with the pressure on Howard to tie the series at home, we will see what he's really made of.

Could it be any clearer that Ottawa is done?  They were brutal yesterday, and that one is gonna be over quickly, methinks.  If that's the case, you can look back on that shift by Sidney Crosby as the reason.  One shift that completely broke the back of a team stuggling without some of their best players.  They might have had a chance healthy, but the Reaper is circling over Ottawa right now.  Tuesday should be the last game in Ottawa til October.

Another one to watch is how the Buffalo Sabres handle the loss of Tomas Vanek.  With news that Marc Savard is on the road to recovery from his concussion, the Bruins are gaining confidence and gunning for the upset here.  It's been a real knock-down, smash mouth kinda series, which plays right into the Bruins hands.  This one will go long, but I think the advantage is with Boston as they head home for Game 3.

So what will happen tonight in Montreal?  Amazing to see how one game, an overtime one no less, has altered the talk in this series.  One day we were talking about the no-show of Alex Ovechkin.  The next we were listening to him trash talk the Canadiens about how they're in Halak's head.  It's deflection for sure, as the pressure will be on Jose Theodore should the Caps start him.  If they do, will he be able to overcome the pressure of trying to win in that building?  Or if they start Symeon Varlamov, what kind of message does that send to Theodore?  Will he get his confidence back after that?  The Canadiens will have to get back to the tenacious checking that led them to a Game 1 win, and try to contain Ovechkin and Niklas Backstrom, or they're in danger of suffering the same fate as the Senators.