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.
As you’ve no doubt heard by now, the Vancouver Canucks have locked up the President’s Trophy as the NHL’s top team in the regular season. We know this because they absolutely took the night off in their first meaningless game against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night! But I digress. They’re the top dogs, which means we know that they will play whichever team ends up in 8th place in the conference. In case you haven’t seen the NHL standings in a while, here they are:
The more and more I watch Canucks games this year, the more I find myself thinking “what does Keith Ballard got to do to get some playing time?” The guy blocks shots, hits (hip checks!) and fights. He does this while having a great upside given what he has accomplished in the league and the fact that he’s relatively young. Still, Alain Vigneault treats him like a Manitoba Moose call-up by giving him minimal ice time and even sitting him as a healthy scratch on multiple occasions. I don’t get it, and I haven’t gotten it all year long. Take last Sunday’s game versus St Louis for example. He received just over 13 minutes of ice time (fewest among Canuck d-men), was a +2 and was a goal short of the Gordie Howe hat trick. AV, give this man some ice time!
What an entertaining game we saw on Monday night. High intensity, high drama, complete with a last minute goal to win the game. Unfortunately for Canucks fans, the Blackhawks prevailed on this night, winning 4-2 and evening the series coming back to Vancouver. Lets take a look at the bad, good and what to look forward to.