Tag Archives: Canucks

Hawks-Canucks Game 7: 1st period notes

As expected, both teams came out flying early.  Vancouver had a lot of jump and more speed than the Hawks, who were on their heels by the end of the opening period.

Alex Burrows put Vancouver on the board first, for the only goal of the period.  Ryan Kesler got a pass from Mason Raymond at the Chicago blue line and drove tight and hard wide around Duncan Keith, who went for the bump and stopped moving his feet.  Kesler held to the goal line selling the stuff attempt before backhanding a pass into the low slot to the oncoming Burrows.  Corey Crawford had no chance.  Nick Leddy was in front but unable to stop the pass.  Burrows did a good job a leaving himself proper separation space as Leddy was where he needed to be.

Vancouver reverted back to the pace they set in games 1-3 of the series.  The Canucks were credited with 13 hits, to the Blackhawks’ 3.  Keep in mind these are Vancouver’s hometown official scorers.  The United Center is home to some pretty liberal stat keepers itself, but the Canucks were the decidedly more physical team in the opening twenty.

Joel Quenneville’s lines started out:

Viktor Stalberg – Jonathan Toews – Patrick Kane
Ben Smith – Patrick Sharp – Marian Hossa
Troy Brouwer – Dave Bolland – Michael Frolik
Marcus Kruger – Ryan Johnson – Fernando Pisani

Niklas Hjalmarsson – Brian Campbell
Duncan Keith – Nick Leddy
Chris Campoli – Brent Seabrook

By the midway point of the period, Smith had moved up to the Toews line and Stalberg to the Sharp-Hossa line.  The fourth line had a really nice shift, pinning the Canucks deep for a good 30 seconds cycling and winning the battles along the walls.  Pisani was brings up the rear as far as ice time so far (2:11, 3 shifts) which is already 2x the amount of ice time the guy he’s replacing, John Scott, had in a 75 minute game 6.  Seabrook and Keith are together at times too.  Keith, and the tandem of Hjalmarsson and Campbell are the ice time leaders.  Probably Campbell’s best period of the series.  Hawks have been poised under intense pressure.

Vancouver is killing the Hawks in the face off circle.  65% to 35%.  Toews is 0-3 vs Henrik Sedin and 1-3 vs Ryan Kesler.  Sharp is 3-4 vs Sedin.  Bolland is 2 for 7 overall.

Hawks held the shot advantage 12 to 8.  Luongo has been sharp early.  The Rogers Arena let out one big collective sigh of relief when Luongo stopped his first shot early, a long wrister from Frolik.

The officials are letting a lot go, but Brent Seabrook managed to get called for cross-checking at 16:21 to give the Canucks the only power play so far.  Vancouver picked up 3 shots during the man advantage and several other close attempts as they were all over the Hawks in those two minutes.

Despite the Vancouver goal the Blackhawks hold a 14-10 goal advantage at 5 on 5 play in this series.   Granted, the differential was created in two Chicago blowouts, but that’s something to be encouraged by if the referees keep the whistles in their pockets as you’d expect in a game 7.

ChrisBlock@thethirdmanin.com

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Lindbloom: Stayin’ Alive

By Rich Lindbloom

“Well you can tell by the way I use my walk,
I’m a woman’s man, no time to talk,
Music loud, and women warm,
I’ve been knocked around since I was born…”
– The Bee Gee’s

Warning: The following piece may contain disagreeable and highly objectionable material to those offended by the pulsating sounds of “Disco Music.” If you were in attendance at Comiskey Park on July 12, 1979 for Steve Dahl’s infamous “Disco Demolition Night,” I urge you not to read this. That was the night Dahl and his “Insane Coho Lips Anti-Disco Army” demolished the field in between a double header with the Detroit Tigers. I realize most hockey fans would not have been caught dead in a disco. And I risk being physically beaten if they read this and spot me at the United Center; but in my mind the Bee Gee’s song Staying Alive perfectly describes the Blackhawks’ pulsating season. (On a side note – tell me some of you macho men wearing Bob Probert jerseys did not practice some of Travolta moves in the shower. You know who you are.) Read more »

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Video: Game 7 Hype: History doesn’t quit

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The Playoff Legend of Ben Smith: Hawks-Nucks Game 6 Highlights

Incredible hockey game. A punch, counter-punch type affair but in the end the Blackhawks had a horseshoe in their back pocket.

Corey Schneider was a late surprise starter for Alain Vigneault. Schneider did pretty well until two and a half minutes into the third period when he pulled a muscle while attempting to stop Michael Frolik’s penalty shot score. That tied the game 3-3 after Kevin Bieksa put the Canucks up 3-2 a minute into the third frame. Roberto Luongo was sharp in relief, stopping 12 Hawks shots, 10 in overtime, until the Niklas Hjalmarsson shot Luongo seemed surprised by rebounded to overtime hero Ben Smith. Marian Hossa made the game-winner happen but it was the line of Bolland-Bickell and Frolik that carried Chicago as they did in Game 4.

In a scene straight out of the parallel universe, a huge Dave Bolland check behind the Vancouver net led to Bryan Bickell’s goal, tying the game 1-1 late in the first. Bolland struck a lucky puck twenty minutes later to answer Alex Burrows’ lead-taking tally after Corey Schneider coughed the puck up to Patrick Kane behind his goal.

Daniel Sedin and Alex Burrows (first goal and second point of the series for him) were the other Vancouver scorers. Sedin was first to the scoresheet, putting the Nucks up 1-0 early in the game after a horrible defensive play by Niklas Hjalmarsson. A nice 25-foot wrister by Burrows beat Corey Crawford’s right pad from the slot.

In this game, the Blackhawks blew a minute and forty-three second 5 on 3 man advantage and went scoreless in 6:17 of power play time overall; Patrick Kane blundered a clear breakaway straight out of the penalty box and the ‘Hawks played the 75-minute game a man-short (John Scott dressed and skated less than a minute; coach’s decision).

Go figure. Vancouver played a great road game and still lost. Luck probably runs out for the Hawks in Vancouver. Or, maybe not. Doesn’t matter. The hockey was great. Vancouver’s still the better team and capable of raising their game a notch. But the Hawks have better big-game performers. Chicago can’t play the no-pressure card anymore. They’ve won 3 in a row, have the Canucks on the ropes, play very well in Vancouver and have the Canucks’ number historically. Everyone is anticipating Vancouver to choke and they’ll need a Vezina-like performance from a supposedly ailing Roberto Luongo to win Game 7. Should be fun.

Game 7 Tuesday night in Vancouver.  Game time is now listed as 9pm central/7 pacific.  Versus broadcast nationally, ComcastSportsNet in Chicago.  Since the Chicago Bulls game Tuesday night starts at 7pm and is likely to run until around 9:30, the beginning of the Hawks-Canucks game will be shown on CSN-Plus.

NHL.com highlights

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Hawks-Nucks: Hits Count

Much has been made of the physicality in this year’s Blackhawks-Canucks series.  While the Canucks hold a substantial (+46) advantage in the overall credited hits column, they also (according to official scorers in Vancouver) collected a hefty 40 to 14 margin over Chicago in Game 5.  This on a night the Canucks were shutout in their home rink and have worked themselves into a situation where they could see their season slipping away if they don’t get their act together fast.

Now one aspect sometimes overlooked when analyzing hit counts is that if one team has the puck, they’re not looking for hits or finishing checks.  So if one team owns the puck for a great majority of the game, or is sitting back protecting a hefty lead (which the Hawks were in Game 5 as well) they’re not forechecking as hard and thus not finishing as many checks.  Thus why hit counts can oftentimes be misleading.

By periods in Game 5, Vancouver out-hit Chicago 12-4. 17-5 and 11-5.

From a Blackhawks’ perspective you can see how certain players such as Bryan Bickell and Viktor Stalberg have dug into their roles and pressured the Canucks when they’ve been on the ice.  They along with Troy Brouwer (the Hawks regular season hits leader) and Chris Campoli on the blue line have been the most physical Hawks. Read more »

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Game 5 Highlight Package: Blackhawks blow through Vancouver 5-0

A lesson to all you young hockey coaches out there: Don’t be a Vigneault. Taking any game (4) off, no matter the series score, has its consequences. Alain Vigneault has been bitten once again. Now he has a rattled team and a shaken goaltender heading back to Chicago for a Game 6 he almost can’t lose if the Canucks are to close out the series successfully.

NHL.com has the highlights

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Blackhawks 7, Canucks 2: Gm 4 Highlights

They have “Bad Moon Rising” on continuous repeat in B.C. tonight.

Blackhawks are still in a 3-1 hole, but are now back in the series, relieved by the “no pressure – nothing to lose” position they earned over the previous 85 games.

NHL.com has the Game 4 and some guy named Bolland – highlights.

Game 5 in Vancouver on Thursday night.

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Canucks 3, Blackhawks 2: Gm 3 Highlights

The referees tried. Raffi Torres tried. But no one could hand the Blackhawks the game and they weren’t good enough to take it own their own. A demoralizing defeat at the hand of the Canucks after the Hawks saw a first period 5-on-3 and eight and a half minutes of power play time (to VAN’s 1:17), the Blackhawks find themselves facing elimination Tuesday night in Game 4 at the United Center.

NHL.com highlights after the jump. Read more »

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With my good eye closed; Hawks lose, return from Vancouver down 0-2

Searching for hope inside the Blackhawks’ Game 1 and 2 efforts in Vancouver can be like finding a needle in a haystack.  More like pouring a glass of milk three days after the expiration date.

Those looking for positives will need to keep their good eye closed.

Corey Crawford has been mostly great, but the Hawks are still in a 0-2 series’ hole coming back to the United Center for Game 3 on Sunday night.

Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp have yet to be heard from in this series.  But, neither have Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows and Mason Raymond.   Habitual Hawk-killer Mikael Samuelsson was a late-scratch Friday with the flu and the Sedin twins have flubbed a few prime scoring opportunities they normally wouldn’t.

Words cannot describe how awful Chicago’s blue line has been.  Future and former Norris Trophy winners will petition to have Duncan Keith’s name removed from the statue at this point.  Brent Seabrook’s pressing too hard and can’t be everywhere.  Brian Campbell is the Hawks’ best defenseman five on five and that’s not saying much.  He’s been terrible at times too.  Chris Campoli at least didn’t do anything too stupid.  Nick Leddy simply doesn’t belong.

Niklas Hjalmarsson did something on Friday you don’t see very often at the NHL level.  With the Hawks pinned deep in their zone, Hjalmarsson tried to outlet to his defense partner twice in a matter of seconds.  Just a minor issue with that though.  Neither time did Brian Campbell have a stick.  Ben Smith tried to give his stick to Campbell after the second Hjalmarsson pass but the puck was ten feet from Campbell in the Hawks’ right corner and the exchange didn’t happen.  The Hawks eventually got the puck out.

For the Hawks, hope is yet a glimmer in a narrowing eyelet.

For those steadfast in denial, the milk is on the table. Read more »

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2011 WCQF Gm 1 CHI-VAN Highlights

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