I just have to thank the Vancouver Canucks…for proving, once again, that individual performances during the National Hockey League regular season mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Not a DAMNED THING! If they did mean something, we wouldn’t have to be surprised by the shameful display the Canucks are putting on against Chicago. Shameful.
This regular season, just like they have several times since the 2005 lockout, the Canucks had fans bushwhacked into thinking that they might be the real deal. After all, they had the gold-medal winning netminder from the Olympic Games. He won us gold! For the first time ever, they had the Art Ross Trophy winner! There was no stopping the Sedins, right? Wrongo!
Last night, in Game Three at General Motors Place, the Canucks proved that, once again, they are nothing but a joke. Frankly, I’m surprised it took two games for Blackhawks’ head coach Joel Quenneville to figure out how to get under the Canucks’ skins. A little pushing. A little shoving after the whistle. A little chop here. A little slash there. Hey, Dustin Byfuglien, stick your a** in Roberto Luongo’s face! And the Canucks can’t handle it.
To kick off the pestering, Hawks’ forward David Bolland chopped at Daniel Sedin. Ignore it, Daniel. Just put the puck in the net. Oh no, can’t do that. Tough little Swede that he is, Daniel decided he would retaliate. Started bitch-slapping Bolland. Tiny Daniel looked like a little, elderly, annoyed Tribble. And Bolland had the Canucks right where Chicago wanted them! Just like that! That’s how simple it was. Not only aren’t the Sedins dominating – like they should be – now they’re trying to play a physical game with the Chicago Blackhawks.
After the game, I watched Canucks’ netminder Roberto Luongo say, “There’s nothing we can do about it!” OMG, are you kidding me! Your team captain is throwing in the towel after Game Three. Maybe it’s because he spent too much time flopping around his crease. Maybe he got too much whiff of Byfuglien’s hiney in his face.
Oh, the Canucks tried to figure it out. Alexandre Burrows decided the best way to get back at the Hawks was to take a stupid penalty. Ditto Shane O’Brien and Kevin Bieksa. The Canucks need to bob their heads out of their butts and smarten up – or their season’s going to be over on Sunday night.
Here’s what you do, Vancouver. Play tough, but smart. DO NOT RETALIATE! The referees are no dummies. They figure it out pretty quick. Let the Blackhawks parade to the box.
Chicago can play any game it wants. The tough game. The speed game. The scoring game. They are a completely well-rounded team. They are not a twin-trick pony. They do not rely on a couple of Tribbles to lead them to the promised land.
Get ready for a great Western Conference Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks – ‘cause that’s what coming up next.