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Maintain Intensity: Canucks-Blackhawks Game 2 Preview

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Time 6:00 PM PST
TV CBC, Versus, RDS
The Enemy Second City Hockey Scoring Leaders Samuelsson: 7-4-11 Toews: 2-7-9
Category Blackhawks
4.29 (1)
Goals Per Game 2.57 (12)
2.71 (4)
 Goals Against Per Game 2.86 (8)
3.0 (1)
5 On 5 GF/GA 0.79 (10)
25.0 (6)
Power Play %
17.2 (11)
65.6 (16)
Penalty Kill %
93.6 (1)
30.7 (9)
Shots Per Game 31.0 (8)
29.0 (6)
 Shots Against Per Game 27.7 (3)
50.0 (12)
Winning % When Scoring First 75.0 (2)
66.7 (3)
Winning % When Leading After 1 100 (1)
 100 (1)
Winning % When Trailing After 1 33.3 (5)
100 (1)
Winning % When Leading After 2 80.0 (2)
66.7 (1)
Winning % When Trailing After 2 0
53.8 (2)
Faceoffs % 53.1 (4)
13.6 (11)
 PIM's Per Game 10.4 (4)
+15 (1)
+ / - GF/GA (see here)
-5 (11)

Unreal. I still can't quite get over the awesomeness of Game 1. Yes, Chicago will adjust their attitudes and come out much stronger in Game 2. But you know, if the Canucks don't let off the gas...who knows? We really wanted at least a split in the first 2 at the United Center and the boys have already accomplished that. Great stuff.

OK, first things first. Andrew Alberts. I don't take back that I wanted to crucify him after Game 2 against the Kings, because he really was atrocious. But my oh my has this big guy settled down into a great role now. Since that penalty atrocity in Game 2 Alberts has played 3 games, all of them wins, has 1 assist (which really is just a bonus), and is a +3. Oh, and no penalties taken! In over 16:00 played in Game 1 versus Chicago, I can recall praising Alberts at least 5 times for great plays. He looks solid right now. He's starting to resemble....Willie Mitchell! Oh my god! Keep up the great work AA. And of course credit goes to Alain Vigneault for sticking with this guy. When most of us wanted his nuts stapled to the bench.

Loumouse_medium Roberto Luongo. Ah! The Luongod has returned! He had already returned in the latter stages of the Kings series but Game 1 was just pure beautiful insanity.. In his last 3 games, Lou is 3-0, with a .945 save percentage and a 1.66 goals against average. Yes, the team gets credited in aiding him with those stats, of course, but Lou is making game-changing, momentum-turning stops. I am very pleased, especially after giving him such a hard time for all those weeks. Luongod looks possessed. I think the Hawks really pissed him off last year. I think the media did this year.

The road. Vancouver has won 4 straight games. 3 of those wins came on the road. They are 3-1 on the road in the playoffs. They were 1-4 in their final 5 road games of the regular season. Playoffs are a whole new scenario aren't they?


-Gotta get off to a better start says Bieksa. Maybe they shouldn't. Maybe that kind of action gets Luongod pumped and focused and into the Hawks' heads early. OK, really though that is playing with fire...or is it?

-It worked with Demitra before. He is probably getting demoted to Line 4 while Michael Grabner gets promoted to line 3. Fair enough. Demo just isn't showing enough offensive flair.



-Auntie Niemi will start Game 2 without a doubt, says coach Q. Niemi has proven that he can rebound after a tough game several times this season.

The Canucks need to maintain their level of attack from all 4 lines. Are they going to tighten up defensively a bit, after surrendering 36 shots in game 1? Probably. I also hope they can take a few less penalties, phantom calls or not. The Hawks were given 6 chances in Game 1.

-"I just don't care for those guys, to be honest with you," Adam Burish said of the Canucks. "I don't like the way they act. I just don't care for them.
I think I can add an important element. Every time I'm on the ice, I want them saying 'I don't want to play against this guy.
At the end of the night, I want them to say 'I hate that guy. He's a punk, he's a jerk.' So, Burish in, Jordan Henry out and Dustin Byfuglien back to defence? That seems to be the word out of the Chicago camp. Nice try starting the verbal diarrhea, Burish. Hopefully the Canucks keep their poise. More on bitch Burish here.

As an aside, I'm sure this was brought up on the CDC boards before...but doesn't Sami Salo look like Robert Duvall?


Salo has shown amazing resiliency so far and has been a steady presence back there. Keep it up Sami!