Game 3: Canucks 3, Blackhawks 1

There goes the momentum again.

After the Hawks stormed back with a road win in Game 2, the Canucks came out in a racous United Center, weathered the early storm, and then put on a clinic in winning a playoff game on the road.  They got an early lead; they extended their lead; they had a couple bounces go their way; they hung on to their lead. 

Just like that, the Canucks recaptured home ice advantage.

The Hawks had every chance to jump on the Canucks early.  Ossi Vaananen, filling in for the injured Sami Salo, took a bad penalty a minute into the game.  With the Hawks buzzing around Roberto Luongo, they had more than their share of chances to draw first blood.

It never happened.   

Their best chance came after Taylor Pyatt took a boarding penalty.  Cam Barker snuck down low on the ensuing power play, Jonathan Toews hit him with a pass, and the puck slid right through Luongo’s legs and across the crease.

Minutes later, Nikolai Khabibulin made a poor pass around the boards; Ben Eager let Kevin Bieksa beat him to the loose puck; Matt Walker misplayed 2-on-1 down low and Mason Raymond deposited the puck into the empty net to give the Canucks the lead. 

With less than a minute left in the period, Patrick Kane got called for hooking after having a shot blocked (that would be a trend).  The Canucks capitalized on that power play the following period when Steve Bernier banged home an Alex Edler point shot. 

For good measure, Henrik Sedin scored eight minutes later and the Canucks found themselves in a similar position, up big. 

Three minutes later, the Hawks finally got on the board when Brian Campbell ripped a power play point shot past Luongo.  The goal breathed life into the team who looked like they were sleep-walking through a game in March instead of fighting for their playoff lives. 

From there, Luongo and the Canucks were too strong in the defensive end to allow another comeback from the Hawks. 

The best chance to cut into Vancouver’s lead came in the third period after Alex Edler launched a puck into the stands for a delay of game penalty 28 seconds into the third period.  Brian Campbell came barrelling down the left wing,  he threw the puck towards the net; it got deflected by a Canuck and glanced off the cross bar.  The puck slid across the crease and Dustin Byfuglien got a few whacks at it before Luongo froze it. 

After that, any chance the Hawks had was turned away by Luongo or a Canuck.  As a team, they finished with an astronomical 20 blocks.

Advantage Vancouver.

Leftover Thoughts from Game 3

–When Eddie O mentioned halfway through the third that he had Vancouver marked down for 13 blocks, I figured he was sniffing glue again.  Then I counted them on the play-by-play report after the game and found that Vancouver notched 20 blocks total.  That is ridiculously high.  For all the time and pressure the Hawks had (they had a decent amount), most of it was negated by Vancouver’s ability to prevent shots from getting to Luongo.  That’s probably the biggest reason why the Hawks were hesitant to shoot in the waning minutes of the third more than anything else.

–This will fall upon deaf ears I’m sure because the people that were guilty of this probably don’t read blogs like this but that was absolutely embarassing for the majority of the 100 section to clear out with a minute left.  This is the playoffs, you stay until the end if it’s close enough that the goalie has to be pulled. 

The Hawks have rallied from deficits of 2 and 3 just in the past week and for good measure, the NCAA champion Boston Terriers scored 2 goals in the final 40 seconds to force overtime in the National Championship.  Congratulations, you’ve just admitted to everyone you know nothing about hockey and are a newbie douche nozzle.    

–I’m not sure the reason (and maybe I’m better off not knowing) for the boo birds with 7 minutes to go.  This loss wasn’t due to a lack of effort, it was due to the fact that Vancouver was the better team.  It happens.

–Bobby and I are doing a piece for Thursday’s ‘Committed Indian’ about the aforementioned newbie doosh nozzles.  Be sure to pick one up.

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11 Responses to Game 3: Canucks 3, Blackhawks 1

  1. Lou says:

    The block shots killed us. Q said it bet about the passing was too cute. Kane needs to shoot when he has a clean look from the face off circle. He is a scorer and he is too cute. Shoot the frigging puck. And his dunb penalty cost us a goal and got him to the fourth line. All year long he has stick penalties and a lot of dumb ones. Maybe Q can use his ouiji board and bring Herb Brooks in to run some Herbies.

    What is up with Dunc and his play this series? He just seems to be not conecting in the defensive zone. His passes are all over the place

  2. Leonidas says:

    I didn’t see last nights game as a solid effort by the Hawks. I thought, for the most part, that the defense was incredibly lazy. The Hawks were probably thanking Khabibulin during the first intermission for making some humongous saves after defensive miscues and breakdowns. I also don’t like to equate the Canucks 20 blocked shot with 20 quality Hawks attempts. The Canucks staff outcoached Q and Co. as the game went on, finding matchups to disrupt the Hawks speed and net crashing which had been so effective 1 and 2. It was apparent late in the second that, despite having decent puck possession, the Hawks weren’t getting open and were forced to take a lot of subpar shots from the point.

    I don’t blame the crowd for being frustrated. The Hawks had two third period power plays without a decent scoring chance. I’m sure most who weren’t blacked out felt as though they were pushing the team uphill all night. Plus, the secondary market for the game was outrageously expensive and I think everyone got overexcited about the Canucks missing Salo and having a flustered Luongo. I, for one, was brought back down to reality in seeing this as a very even series in which each Hawk will have to ratchet up their game just like our new hero Byflugien.

    BTW, what has happened to Havlat? No, I’m not suggesting he’s injured. But the wonderful Czech has been playing pretty soft as of late.

  3. John says:

    Regardless if those were 20 quality chances the Canucks blocked, those were 20 shots Luongo never had to stop, never had a chance to cough up a juicy rebound on, and never gave a chance for the Hawks to crash the net. So just because they were from outside doesn’t really mean a whole lot because they still prevented what could’ve been quality scoring chances.

    I wouldn’t call the Hawks solid but I wouldn’t call them bad either. In my opinion, they probably played good enough to force overtime but didn’t get the breaks necessary. They dominated the flow for stretches and the two plays that stand out the most for me were Versteeg’s deflection that landed right in Luongo’s lap in the second and Campbell’s cross bar in the third. Oh well, dem the breaks.

    Havlat’s problem is a matchup one. He needs to be out there against Sundin’s line at all points. The Sedin line is too much for HavBolLadd and their Grindy line is too damn grindy.

  4. cb says:

    1) The Hawks are a better team with Khabibulin in front of the net. No seriously – that’s where he needs to stay, even if by way of a rider contractually preventing him from going behind the net to play a puck or in fact leaving the crease for any reason.

    2) Hjalmarssy was full of energy last night.

  5. cb says:

    1) The Hawks are a better team with Khabibulin in front of the net. No seriously – that’s where he needs to stay, even if by way of a rider contractually preventing him from going behind the net to play a puck or in fact leaving the crease for any reason.

    2) Hjalmarssy was full of energy last night. A very strong first period in particular.

    3) What you’ve mentioned before but didn’t mention in the recap is that the Hawks generally have trouble winning when Duncan Keith stays home and sends his incompetent twin brother to take his place. Granted, they still managed to win game 2 with brother Keith but they are not going to make it past this series if it continues this way. -1 on the night, and that with an assist. Not a very good day for one of the greatest defensemen who ever played the game.

    4) I now coin the term “kaner” to indicate totally unnecessary, lazy-ass penalties taken by highly skilled players who so talented that they are incapable of playing defense or skating at a respectable speed.

    5) Somehow it seems more frustrating that our best players aren’t getting the job done than it would be if the usual suspects were entirely responsible.

  6. John says:

    The only saving grace of Keith’s play in the playoffs (and final month of the season for that matter) thus far is that it’s made it pretty obvious to all those involved that Toews and Kane are the most important players to lock up next summer with Keith considerably behind.

  7. Lou says:

    I think Toews is the most critical person to lock up. He is the face of the franchise. He is the best all around young talent we have had in decades. Sign him to a 6 to 10 year deal and will talk to him when he is thirty.

    Kane has a bright future but has to grow up on the ice. He still takes portions of shifts off, doesn’t skate hard all shift, is reluctant to shoot when he has a good shot, pouts when he misses, won;t check his own shadow, and of course takes too many lazy, as quoted above, kaner penalties and most of them are with his stick. Basically immaturity and work ethic issues that can be fixed. How did he like playing on the fourth line with two guys who never stop moving? I don’t think he does.

    The kid could/will be great but to get the big bucks he has to develop a more complete game. By no means is it time to give up on him, it is time for Q to get in his sandbox and put his foot in his hind quarter. Toews needs to do the same thing. He has to learn what it takes to be a true scorer. He is only 20 but so is Toews and there are light years in hockey savvy b/w the two of them.

    As for Dunc, he has been sloppy lately, but he is a blue chip defenseman that is only going to get better. He is not Brian Leetch by any means but he is a key piece to our future and we need to lock him up too. Fortunately, he is not going to be able to command as big of $ as he could have earlier in the year.

  8. John says:

    Just out of curiousity, why is that when Kane doesn’t score he’s pouting and when Toews doesn’t, he’s just pressing?

  9. rhythm says:

    Nice recap.

    I can’t add any words of wisdom, but I think there’s a spelling issue with your adjective of 100 level fans. IIRC, it is “douche-nozzle” as opposed to “doosh nozzle”. I could be wrong.

    Anyways, keep up the good work!

  10. John says:

    Corrected, thanks rhythm, you are right. Blackhawkbob may or may not have been searching the correct spelling for douche today at work. It was a productive day.

  11. blackhawkbob says:

    Haha, thanks Rhythm. We actually conferred this afternoon and came to the same conclusion.

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