Monday, April 20, 2009

Game #3 - Canucks 3 - Blues 2 - Game Notes

Another game, another playoff victory for the Canucks. This one wasn't pretty, but the Canucks got it done on special teams and came out on top. This series kinda reminds me of the 2001 playoffs where the Canucks were swept by the Avalanche. The Canucks were in each of the first 3 games, but in the end it was the experience and depth of Colorado that made the difference. On to the game notes...

  • As in game 1, the key to game number 3 was the huge effort on the penalty kill. The Canucks managed to kill off yet another lengthy 5 on 3 which really turned the momentum around in game 3. I'm amazed that the Blues haven't made an obvious adjustment, their point men are playing down at the top of the circles and it's making things a lot easier for the Canuck PK. This was never more obvious then when the Canucks scored on their 5 on 3. The contrast between the two PP units was pretty striking.
  • Ryan Johnson was outstanding. Great job on the PK and in the faceoff circle.
  • Mats Sundin's absence had a much greater impact than I think most would have predicted. Without Sundin the second line looked lost and the Canucks at 5 on 5 felt really disjointed. I wouldn't expect him to be back for game 4, simply because there's no reason to play him and risk further injury with a 3-0 series lead.
  • What's happened to Jannik Hansen? I don't know how healthy he really is, but Hansen just hasn't been the same player that he was earlier in the year.
  • Shane O'Brien had another strong game.
  • Alex Edler did not. Simply a brutal play on the Blues first goal. Edler was out hustled and out worked by the much smaller McDonald.
  • Speaking of McDonald, he has been the only dangerous Blue all series long. Who would have thought that? Boyes, Oshie and company have been a complete non-factor.
  • Despite some botched defensive coverage by Kyle Wellwood on the second Blues goal, the third line had another strong game. Steve Bernier has really stepped up in the playoffs, his ability to control the puck on the boards has been huge for Vancouver.
  • I'm gonna have to cut this one short... should be back with some more thoughts later tonight.

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