A whole playoff series later and the Blackhawks leave another team questioning their team makeup. This time they just out-hustled the Sharks and surprisingly swept the series.
Does the sweep of the Sharks make me feel any less disappointed about the Canucks' loss to the Blackhawks? No not really, but I think it's about time that I get around to give my thoughts on the team that was.
In the summer, Mike Gillis will have some interesting choices to make with Demitra, Mitchell, Johnson, Wellwood and Raycroft being some of the UFA's on the Canuck roster. There's also a plethora of RFA's as well, like Raymond, Hansen, O'Brien, Rome and Schneider to name a few. But this team that we had this year had what people thought of as the make up of a team that could have gone all the way, so what happened?
After the jump I go through the car crash that was the Canucks in the playoffs...no comments
Henrik and Daniel were on The Hour Strombo this week, here's the video if you didn't catch it:no comments
I've taken a few days away from writing to just relax and let me tell you, it's a whole new world out there with no hockey games to watch every single night. I'm still following the playoffs but with the schedule for the conference finals having both games scheduled on the same day for today and Tuesday, well it leaves me a little bit more free time. Here are some links of stuff I've written, stuff written about the Canucks and interesting hockey stuff to read for this links dump.
- Me and the other Cycle Like the Sedins writers have written a round table on our thoughts about the conference finals
- One of the best things I read after the Canucks exited the playoffs was this one written by the Kurtenblog on their thoughts about Luongo being captain. I completely agree that although I don't think Luongo should be captain, I can't say his captaincy was the downfall of the team. There is a photo of an otter holding a beer bottle in the post, and if that does draw you to click on the link, well I don't know what will
- The Province lets us know that Shane O'Brien will be around in Vancouver to watch the UFC and questions whether O'Brien will be on the roster next season
- Last week Luongo said "I love being captain", "I really do. I enjoy the role. I enjoy the pressure of it. It's nothing around the hockey aspect that has changed. It's just other stuff, like talking on the morning of games. That seems to be a big deal. Those are things I have to reflect on."
- Also last week, Willie Mitchell slams Colin Campbell and the league's refusal for handing out a suspension to Malkin for the hit that caused the concussion (Vancouver Sun)
- Interesting quote from Mitchell in The Province: "There are a lot of things I wanted to do in the last couple of months to get myself in the right frame of mind, but a lot of those things I just couldn't do. People would kind of look at you the wrong way."
- Mason Raymond and Christian Ehrhoff was added to Canada and Germany's roster respectively at the World Championships. Not to slag Mason Raymond or anything, but you know that Team Canada doesn't have it's top players playing when you see Raymond's name being added to the roster
Good Hockey Reads:
- Pierre Lebrun on San Jose success as a hockey market. Also come with video of shirtless Jumbo Joe
- James Mirtle write this excellent piece on Keith Tkachuk's brutal dental injury and resulting surgery. Really really good read
- Puck Daddy has it's 10 facts about the Sharks vs. Blackhawks and 10 facts about the Philadelphia vs. Montreal
I still haven't gathered my thoughts for an end of season post mortem, but will have that up when I get some time in the next few days.
Last night I attended my last Canucks game of the season. Yes the loss was disappointing but before going to the game I knew that there was the potential to be disappointed. After the 1st period I was still cautiously optimistic but after those two quick goals in the second period by the Hawks were like a dagger to my heart. Highlights of the night involved the crowd chanting "Balls of Steel" for Salo when he carried the puck up ice.
Now I love playoff games. Really, really love them. The crowd is completely different (sometimes a little bit more bandwagoney or douchey) but for the most part the energy off of the fans that go to playoff games, well it's awesome. It all starts with the nervous anticipation, the intro video that gives you chills, the beers, the anthem, the high fives and Woos and sometimes the really disappointing losses.
Here is my photo adventure from game six:
Click on read more to see the photos...no comments
Disclaimer: I'm to nervous to even write a traditional game preview, so this is what you are stuck with. Apologies
Last game's win meant our playoff lives get extended. We need two more wins for this to mean anything in the long run, but let's just take this one game at a time boys.
Road teams have been tearing it up in this round, tonight would be a good night to change that Canucks.
Our defense pulled together last game, let's hope in the assumed absence of Sami Salo that they'll be able to do it again. It goes without saying that the team is going to need a strong game from Luongo tonight. It really is balls to the wall tonight.
Gonna be nervous all day today Vancouver.
Game time is at 6:30pm PT at GM Place, as always your opposition blog is Blackhawks Down Low. Bring your Woo tonight.
Your pre-game reading links are after the jumpno comments
What a night.
I could barely breathe watching this game. So nervous throughout it, even when we are up 3-0 I was still nervous. But the Canucks came up big tonight. They played a full 60 minutes of solid hockey. They were controlled with their emotions and didn't take the stupid penalties like we saw in games three and four.
The defence came up huge tonight and in more ways that one. Ehrhoff with the initial goal that quieted the UC, then Bieksa joining the rush and scoring off of a pass from Kyle Wellwood. And Bieksa again with a slapshot on the ailing Canucks' powerplay.
Who is this guy Bieksa and where did he come from? Actually I don't want to know if he just keeps playing like he did tonight.
And then this happened:
TSN reports that Sami Salo may have a ruptured testicle from a puck that hit his groin.....
The Province reports that Sami Salo does not have a ruptured testicle.
But the Canuck D stepped it up to cover the minutes he logs, then this happens:
But O'Brien is a trooper, gets stiched up and comes back to play the game. What a beast.
Recap continued after the jump...no comments