Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Game #3 - Canucks 3 - Blackhawks 1 - Game Notes

After suffering their first post-season loss the Vancouver Canucks came up with their best game of the playoffs in game three defeating the Hawks 3-1. Everything they didn't do in games one and two they did in game three. They got the puck in deep, they got traffic in front of Khabibulin, they played physical against Chicago's star players and they were air tight in their own end.

Full game notes to come later tonight...

Some delayed game notes...

  • Without Sami Salo the Canucks needed someone on defense to step up and Kevin Bieksa was that man. Bieksa was a presence all night, playing physical in almost 28 minutes of ice time. He also made a great pinch to start the play on the Canucks first goal.
  • Outside of his delay of game penalty Mason Raymond played one his best games of the year. Adding some speed to the second unit Raymond scored the first goal on a great play from Kesler and Bieksa and followed it up with some great work on the PK.
  • Speaking of penalties the Canucks started the game with the "good" variety. Ossi Vaannanen layed out Kane after he was in the crease wacking away at Luongo. If the refs aren't going to take care of business their you have to. The next two penalties were both "hard" plays and interestingly the Canucks killed off the first three penalties... until their first "soft" penalty, Daniel Sedins dumb trip of Campbell on an icing play.
  • It was great to see Taylor Pyatt back in the lineup.
  • Ossi Vaananen had a pretty solid game in only 8:47 of ice time.
  • It's funny how the home crowd can often be a disadvantage. In game 3 the Hawks were often guilty of being over aggressive trying to get hits. The same was true for Vancouver when they were at home. Instead of taking them when they're there the home team seems to get caught out of position a little too much.
  • Mats Sundin is obviously not right. There were several times in game 3 where Sundin could have hit someone, but instead chose to do a fly by. Anyone who has watched Sundin in the past knows that's not the way he plays.
  • What can you say about Ryan Kesler? 22 minutes of great hockey. The Canucks needed him to step up his play and he certainly did that in game three.

Game four goes tonight and the Canucks should get a boost with Sami Salo back in the lineup. Vancouver needs to keep doing the things they did in game three. Play physical, get traffic, get the puck in deep and keep the Blackhawks to the outside. Should be a good game...

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