The Vancouver Canucks got well and truly beaten tonight. Smoked. There were some good performances amongst the bad ones, but mostly they were just beaten. The Canucks stood up to the physical play more or less, (they equaled the Bruins tonight with 27 hits each, and outhit them 40-31 the game before).
The way the power play worked tonight did not help. Their dump ins were pathetic. For the # 1 PP, one that almost always gains the line with the puck, it may speak to the Bruins suddenly very good penalty kill. Or maybe we should give credit to Campbell and Paille, and the other forwards for their aggressive play killing penalties. Or the fact that even though the Canucks once again won the face off battle ( 39 to 32 ), it seemed the Bruins were still on those pucks quicker on the battled draws. To think we were mocking the Bruins power play at the start of this series. It is smokin' compared to ours!
All I know is, that the tough, after the whistle style of play from the Bruins will continue until they do. What makes me mad is that the Bruins proved in these two games that they may be able to skate with the Canucks. They don't need to play that kind of style. Or perhaps they know they can't really. They looked faster in Boston than they were in Vancouver. Hopefully our ice is better in the summer than the TD Garden was tonight. The puck bounced all over the place. Or maybe the Canucks, like the Bruins, just look faster at home.
Maybe they just can't get themselves to drop the "Big Bad Bruins" style after all. After all, when Tim Thomas is allowed to throw blocker punches ( if he connects ) and not get tossed, it sure adds to that tale. It goes with the narrative that he is allowed to throw hits too. I guess this means the Canucks are allowed to hit him now, right? Timmy, listen... Chara is right there. He can handle that. If you are going to fight, take off the blocker at least. They will have to do something to get him off his game though, because, for all the other stuff, he sure is stopping the puck the last two games.
Yet the narrative from the Boston media was that the Canucks are the goons and headhunters. Aaron Rome wanted to take Horton's head off, instead of just stepping up to make a hit. Marchand will be lauded as some kind of folk hero, yet with less than three minutes left, in a game he is leading 4-0, he tries a close line on Ehrhoff, then instead of standing up to noted pugilist Daniel Sedin, he goes for the clip and gets penalized for that too. Keith Ballard may have upped his dismal number from me tonight just by going after the little son of a bitch. ( The "dusting the hands" move past the bench was noticed by the reaction. Maybe he just does not care if the Canucks are angry at him . We will see on Friday if they remember and do something about it on the scoreboard, instead of letting him get under their skin.)
That being said, I would love him if he was on my team! But man that is tough to watch sometimes.
Maybe we can get him to bite a finger or something.
I would be remiss if I did not include the absolutely negative broadcasters on the CBC. Those from Boston and back East that call them homers should have their heads examined. Jimmy was cutting, as if he was trying to prove he is not the homer. Craig Simpson will take every chance to be the biased ex Edmonton Oiler that he tries so hard not to be. Craig, you cannot be an asshole and then say something kinda sorta positive to offset it. Its not always on one player or line there Craig. I don't remember you being all that good anyhow, but you sure talk a good game now.
And Glenn Healy is just a douche. Its not being honest when you go for the negaitve there Glenn. ALL. THE. TIME. You are a broadcaster now Glenn. Its called balance. Plus, I know in your own mind you stopped every damn shot that was ever sent your way, but not everyone can be like you! Have some sympathy for the lesser mortals that cannot live up to your obvious perfection. Is it any wonder this guy was fired from the NHLPA? Not to say that pointing out mistakes is a bad thing. Just that Healy points out nothing but.
Yes, they lost 4-0 guys. We saw it too. They also had another first period where they outshot the opposition by double and still could not score, while going down one on a mistake. Let us at least try to just call the game without the "back in the day" excuses for one team's mayhem, and the jumping on any perceived mistake like it is the main cause of the game being won or lost. Man, I was actually wishing I had the Versus broadcast tonight. The next one is on NBC though right?
We are going back to the assumption that Henrik is injured, right? ;
Henrik Sedin sure looks like he might be. He looks like he did in the Nashville series. I am willing to bet that when the series is over, we find out it is a back or groin or something. Tonight? 23 shifts and 21:52 TOI, with a whopping 8:06 on the power play that was mostly wasted. -1, 2 shots, missed 1, 1 hit. I am not going to blame him for the penalty though. That was just a bad call. The replay proved it too. Peverly was going down from stumbling, and the stick barely touched him. 8 of 18 draws won is better, just not good enough. 6.5/10.
Daniel Sedin did not do much better. In his 23 shifts and 21:54 TOI, his 8:06 on the PP was just as inept. He had 2 shots, but missed 3, and could not take care of some chances that he might have buried in the past. I know he was standing up for his guy, and the other guy got a penalty for it, but that going ass over tea kettle over Marchand was kind of indicative of his night. 6.5/10.
Alexandre Burrows did some things I liked. he was good on the PK. I liked that he stood up to Timmy's slash, and happy his haymaker missed, or we would be without him. Though, maybe that would have gotten Timmy suspended. Naaah! Its Thomas, they probably would erect another statue! In Burr's 28 shifts and 17:50 TOI ( 1:46 PP / 3:46 PK ) he was a -1. He had 3 shots on net, and 1 giveaway. He needs more than 1 hit to be effective. 6.89/10
Where did the second line we know and love go? ;
Ryan Kesler looked frustrated tonight. He was throwing the body around a lot tonight, with 5 hits in his 25 shifts and 19:47 TOI ( 6:37 on PP, where he took a beating in front, and 1:36 PK ). He won 15 of 24 draws, was a -1, and had 3 shots on net. 1 takeaway, and 3 penalties for 14 minutes ( 1 for a slash that was let go all night early in the 3rd, and then a 10 and 2 for the kerfuffle at the end. We need more angry Kes, and not frustrated Kes now. 7.05/10.
Chris Higgins actually had a good game. He had 3 breakaways that he could not convert ( and somehow the stats guy only gave him a shot on net and another missed. Weird ) in his 22 shifts and 13:11 TOI ( 1:10 PP / :57 PK ). He won 1 of 3 draws, and was credited with 3 hits. 7.35/10.
Mason Raymond was another that had a fairly good night, all things considered. His speed created chances several times tonight, but he just could not cash in. In his 23 shifts and 14:18 TOI ( 1:10 PP / 1:00 PK ), he was -1, had 2 shots, ( 1 missed ), 1 takeaway, and a minor for a high stick 200 feet from his own net. 7.34/10.
The third line used to be much more effective in Vancouver ;
Maxim Lapierre and his line did not have the best night. In 18 shifts and 11:53 TOI ( 2:09 PK ), he was very good in the circle, winning 9 of 12 draws. But he was a -2 ( though one was off a bad change on the Ryder goal ), with 3 shots and 1 hit only. Not enough for our top hitter in the playoffs. Took a slashing call in the third. 6.95/10.
Jannik Hansen somehow ended up an even on the night, in his 20 shifts and 11:55 TOI ( :07 PP / 2:42 PK ). He was best on the PK, but his line was not good enough 5 on 5. I mean, the only mark on the stat sheet was 1 hit. Kind of "meh" Beaker. 6.75/10.
Raffi Torres saw a little time on other lines when AV mixed it up in the third. He was shooting when he had the chance, but somehow the 3 or so shots I thought I saw only counted for 1 in the Boston stats guy's book. He had 14 shifts and only 9:53 TOI, and was only credited with 1 hit. 6.88/10.
Manny can only inspire so much ;
Tonight was not as good of a night for Manny Malhotra. He had 21 shifts and 11:00 TOI ( :22 PP / 2:33 PK ), and was credited with 2 shots, and he had a couple shifts on his line that were solid. Mainly though, the Boston 4th line outplayed the Canuck 4th line. He won only 5 of 11 draws, which is kind of un Money like. 7.05/10.
Victor Oreskovich had a pretty good night. He saw time on the Sedin line for most of the third ( Burr was on the Lappy line instead of Raffi ) He had 16 shifts and 8:44 TOI ( even saw :15 on the PP! ) A -1, and was only credited with 1 shot and 2 hits ( both those seem a little light, Mr Boston stats guy! ) He gets closer to the give a shit line of 8 tonight with a 7.75/10. I would like to see him get more ice time, actually. His speed and size gave the Bruins problems in the 3rd.
Tanner Glass was a bit more effective than Tambellini tonight. That's something right? He had 12 shifts and 6:58 TOI ( :22 PP ), was a -1, and lost the only draw he took. He was credited with 3 hits though. 6.65/10.
Blue line feeling a little blue ;
Kevin Bieksa must be missing Hamhuis. A lot. His 3rd partner in this series had a tough night too, and that reflected a bit on Juice, but his play on the last goal was an out and out screw up. He had Ballard taken away and played with others in his 31 shifts and 25:31 TOI ( 3:36 PP / 4:05 PK ), but was back with Hips in the third as well. He was a -2, had 4 shots, 1 block, 4 hits, and a team high 3 giveaways. Too much negative is noticed in his game without Hamhuis there. 6.9/10.
Keith Ballard is going to get some bad press tonight. It was not the greatest debut, but some of that is tough. The 3rd goal for Marchand, he was slewfooted behind the net to give up the puck, but a bad clear before that was the reason the puck was still in his zone. His 21 shifts and 15:48 TOI ( :19 PP / :35 PK ) were a bit of an adventure. For instance. He blocked a team high 6 shots, but several of those shooting opportunities were because of play in his own end. Maybe that is not playing with someone he knows. Can you say Christopher Tanev for Alberts in Game 5? -2, 3 shots, and a minor for sticking up for Ehrhoff late. 6.8/10.
Christian Ehrhoff was the most dangerous of the defenders tonight. In his 27 shifts and 22:43 TOI (5:33 PP / :47 PK) he somehow was an even tonight. He had a team high 7 shots and missed 2 more. 2 blocks, 2 takeaways, and a giveaway. 7.33/10.
Alexander Edler had a tough night by his standards. He made a bad judgement to step up when Torres was not backing him up on the first goal, directly leading to Peverly being in cold. The high minute man in his 31 shifts and 25:42 TOI ( 6:13 PP / 3:44 PK ), he was part of a PP that seemed to only have one play, setting up Ehrhoff for a shot. 3 shots, 2 misses, only 1 hit, and 5 blocks. 7.2/10.
Sami Salo went from a solid night in a blow out to a not as solid night in a shutout loss. In 29 shifts and 17:53 TOI ( 3:33 PP/ 2:19 PK ), he was a -2, and should have got his stick the hell out of the way on the Ryder goal. 1 shot on, 1 off net. 2 hits, and 1 takeaway. Not bad, not up to his usual solid game. 6.98/10.
Andrew Alberts might be replaced by Christopher Tanev in the next game, if only to balance out the blue line a little better. Alberts was not all that bad though, at a -1 in his 24 shifts and 12:43 TOI ( 2:52 of pretty good PK time. actually. ) He had 1 block, 2 hits ( a little low for him, not sure if that is the stats guy or he just got 2 hits! ) and 1 takeaway. 7.1/10.
What happen Lui? ;
Man, what do you say about the goaltending from Roberto Luongo tonight? Let's see. The first goal, yes, a mistake let the guy in cold, but he had his stick in the wrong place and was beaten 5 hole. That one is on him. Ryder's goal is tough to put on him, though at first glance it looked like a muffed glove stop. The replay showed the puck hitting Sami's stick, so that is kind of tough. The Marchand goal was a nice shot, but he was beaten up top at a time he needed to make a big save for his team. The fourth one was just one of those bounces, I guess, and I am not sure what he could have done better. So, you could say Bobby Lou was not good enough and be right about it. The other guy stopped them all right? I am still confident in Lui in Game 5, but he gets the "mark of the beast" again tonight, and that is not a good thing. 6.66/10.
Cory Schneider came in with a little over 16 minutes to go, and he stopped 9 shots, including a couple good ones. He looked solid in the net, but even though the folks that cheered Luongo being pulled in Rogers tonight ( hey guys, you know that goes out national right?) will call TEAM tomorrow and give their reasons why he should start Game 5, I am not going to jump on that tired, creaky old bandwagon. He was good, and gets an 8/10 just because. The Bruins were mainly laying back by that time anyhow.
So people, are we still confident? I am. Its a best of 3, and the Canucks have home ice. I expect them to come out with an angry game, to make up for the two losses on the road. Some times a team just does not play well on the road in certain barns. The Canucks have 8 wins in Boston in 40 years. They are a bit better than that at home.
Besides, the EA guys said we win in 7 right? And that they are all home wins? Playing out just like that so far....