As the 2011 Canucks try to become the first Canucks team since 1994 to go to the Stanley Cup finals, most members of that 1994 team are going to be having a reunion at the River Rock Casino on Monday.
What a game that was! The Canucks won game 2 by a score of 7-3 and looked like the powerhouse team that won the President’s Trophy during the regular season. That was the best the Canucks have played in the playoffs this year, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Their top three lines are all producing, and their defense is jumping into the play. Roberto Luongo is steady in between the pipes, and making the big save when he needs to (in both game 1 and 2, he made a key save in the third period while the Canucks were trailing or tied). And their defense, judged by many to be the best in the entire NHL, is looking like it. There’s still a long way to go, but they are firing on all cylinders right now.
With a 3-2 win in game 1, the Canucks are 7 wins away from their first Stanley Cup, but surprisingly it’s not all positive news the day after. There are more than a few misconceptions that are spewing from the mass media today. Maybe it’s because there’s a two day break, maybe it’s cause they’re bored. Maybe it’s something else.
There’s a lot of talk about whether or not the Canucks are “Canada’s team” lately, given that they’re the last remaining Canadian team in the playoffs and the fact that a Canadian based team has not won the Stanley Cup since 1993. So are they Canada’s team? Do we care?
With their thrilling 3-2 game 7 victory over the Detroit Red Wings, the San Jose Sharks avoided a collapse of epic proportions and booked a ticket to Vancouver for the Western Conference final. Sharks… Canucks… Get excited Vancouver!
It was a slow day in Canuckland today given that the team has been given their second day off without practicing and the fact that they won’t play game 1 of the conference finals until Sunday. That was, until Jason Botchford of the Province dropped this in the Twitter world:
It wasn’t a picture perfect win, but it was a win nonetheless Monday night at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. The Canucks limited the Predators chances, en route to a gritty 2-1 win. Usually I’m not a big fan of sitting on a one goal lead for long periods of time, but if there ever was a time to do it, it was game 6 in Nashville. The ice surface was so poor that it was very difficult to make complete passes and hold pucks in the offensive zone. The puck looked like a bouncy ball out there, hopping and skipping around all over the place.
I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Henrik Sedin has 1 goal (an empty netter) in his last 18 games. Daniel Sedin has not scored since the Chicago series. Their plus-minus is a combined -14 in the postseason. Mason Raymond has zero goals.
It’s a cliché, but it’s true: your best players need to be your best players. That’s exactly what is carrying the Canucks right now, as they lead the Nashville Predators 3-1 and are one win away from advancing to the conference finals for the first time since 1994.
Head coach Alain Vigneault tipped his hand on a few key adjustments at practice designed to improve the Canucks chances for a victory in game 3. Scoring two goals in 8 periods of hockey will do lend itself to that.