Rob The Hockey Guy

// A Vancouver Canucks Hockey Blog

Canucks-Blackhawks Game 3 Preview: Raffi's Back

Before every Canucks playoff game, will be looking back at the previous game and provide a preview of the upcoming game. We’ll let you know what happened, what needs to happen and what’s likely going to happen.

There are a couple of ways to look at the Canucks 4-3 win over the Blackhawks on Friday night. On one hand, the Blackhawks finally found a way to get pucks past Roberto Luongo. Ben Smith and Viktor Stalberg scored on Luongo, and they weren’t great goals. If the Blackhawks can get goals from their depth players on a regular basis, they will climb back in this series. Another way to look at it is that the Canucks were able to win game when they let the likes of Ben Smith and Viktor Stalberg score and get an average game from Roberto Luongo.

And that’s the way I see it. In game 1 the Canucks got great goaltending and secondary scoring. Game 2 was about the Sedins stepping up. In both games the Canucks have been able to shutdown the Blackhawks top guns. Toews, Kane, Sharp, Hossa, Keith and Seabrook have combined for 1 point in the series.

Lineup changes

Raffi Torres is back from his two game suspension, as is Mikael Samuelsson, who sat out game 2 because he was sick (or at least that’s what the team was reporting). Samuelsson will play with Kesler and Higgins on the 2nd line, while Torres will play with Hansen and Raymond on the 3rd. That means that defenceman turned winger Aaron Rome will draw out of the lineup (thank god). Cody Hodgson will sit out as well.

For Chicago, John Scott draws into the lineup for the injured Bryan Bickell. It looks as though Tomas Kopecky and Dave Bolland still aren’t ready to return to the lineup either.

What to look for

Look for the 6’8″, 258 lbs of John Scott. He’ll likely be running around, trying to hit Canucks defencemen and bumping Roberto Luongo. He’s also said that he will be challenging Canucks players to fight. Kevin Bieksa doesn’t sound too concerned:

When a guy is 6-foot-8 that challenges you who can’t skate? Usually, you say no and go around him and score

Also look for some emotion from the Blackhawks who will undoubtedly be spurned on by the ‘Madhouse on Madison’. Hopefully we won’t hear too much of this song.

What the Canucks need to do

The Canucks will need to keep their composure and weather the storm early. The Blackhawks will probably be running around, and will get out of position and take dumb penalties. The Canucks need to let them do this, protect Luongo and capitalize on the power play. If the Blackhawks have any hopes of getting back in the series, it goes without saying that it will need to start with a win in game 3.

Yet another Canucks song

There are a million Canucks songs being produced lately, some good, some terrible. I’m not sure where this song fits in, but it’s worth a listen:

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