Friday, April 15, 2011

Game 1 Deju Vu All Over Again

Canucks win Game 1! The team dominates! Our third liners (Chris Higgins and Jannik Hansen) come through! Luongo is a potential Conn Smythe winner! The goalposts are our friends!

Sound familiar?

Well, Game 1 in 2010 vs. the Chicago Blackhawks went much the same way. The Vancouver Canucks won 5-1. Michael Grabner and Kyle Wellwood got two of those five goals. They were also outshot 37-25 so Luongo pretty much repeated his Game 1 performance of 2010 in 2011.

Strip this down and it came down to the Canucks getting out of the gate fast, but if they think they can take the Stanley Cup by only playing one excellent period per game, well, good luck with that.
The bottom line is for once Roberto Luongo did what he has supposed to have been doing the past two seasons--stealing games with his goaltending (and friendly goalposts). Given Chicago dominated the last two periods the Canucks are not exactly sitting any prettier than in 2010 or 2009 when they took Game 1s vs. the Hawks.

Worrying is the virtual no-show by the Sedin line which had all of six shots on goal. Yes, they had less ice time, but if the play of Ryan Kesler does not prove once and for all who the real MVP of the team is, then I suggest you return your Volvo to the dealership.

Then apparently there is much ado over how much ice time the Hawks players had especially in comparison to Vancouver's skaters.
Newsflash, hockey fans: When a team is losing, coaches tend to play their top players more. It's not like they weren't fairly fresh going into Game 1 that they couldn't handle it.

The ploy actually worked as the Hawks outshot the Nux 25-20 over the last two periods.
Sure, they didn't score but sometimes Luongo shuts teams out.

Good game all around from an entertainment standpoint but wait till Game 4 before we see where the Canucks stand.

It's Game 4 in both 2009 and 2010 where the Blackhawks took control of both series.
In 2009 Vancouver had a shot at going up 3-1 on Chicago in the series. They took a 1-0 lead and went to the rope-a-dope move (they generated just 15 shots the entire game) only to see Chicago score with less than three minutes left and win it in overtime.
In 2010, Chicago was up 2-1 in the series and Luongo melted down giving up 6 goals on 33 shots in the 7-4 loss before the final meltdown in Game 6 (a 5-1 loss and a trip to the golf course).

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