Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Round Two Game Three: Canucks/ Blackhawks
photo by Lisa Ovens
"Just a Greasy Road Win"- Canucks defenseman, Kevin Bieksa
Canucks lead the series 2-1
By Lisa Ovens
The Chicago Blackhawks nation, including the multitude of bandwaggoners was out in full force Tuesday night for Game Three in the Western Conference Semi Final Canucks/ Blackhawks Series. With all of the Hawk love in the air, the majesty of the anthems and the presence of Bobby Hull in a ceremonial puck drop, the Canucks knew letting the air out of United Center would be key task in the always crucial Game Three of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Meanwhile, back in Vancouver, the talk around town was riddled with concern that the Canucks were in trouble without injured defenseman, Sami Salo, and goal tender Roberto Luongo suddenly looking human in net after Saturday night’s 6-3 loss. Rumors spread rapidly that Canuck car flags were sheepishly removed from cars, as local bandwaggoners jumped into panic mode on message boards, chat rooms and call in radio shows.
Yes, the best thing that could ever happen to the Canucks was getting on the road, away from the yoyo like, emotional madness permeating the moist Vancouver air. Not only were they free from the pockets of panic from Abbottsford to Whistler, they looked like they were having fun attending a Cubs game the night before. Good on them. Now on to the game...
Once the Canucks had the 2-0 lead, fans were thinking “yes by now, we know you can get a 2-0 lead, now let’s move past that with a few more goals and a convincing win. Because we know everybody refers to the fun loving Blackhawks as the come back kids.”
The boys did get a third goal, and kept the Blackhawks from scoring more than one by minding the little things like clearing rebounds, toiling in front of the net, and dispensing snippets of trash talk.
No one wants to know their team leads all others in the playoffs when it comes to penalties, so naturally Canucks nation sat on pins and needles throughout the six Pk’s, especially when we suffered through two delay of game penalties in the third period. Not one, but two of those accidental flips of the puck into the stands really made me cringe. However, Mats Sundin’s success at the faceoff dot and Ryan Kesler’s performance throughout the entire game balanced everything out for this girl. Plus, this was the second game the Canucks have won this post season without Sami Salo in the line up, so they CAN win without the veteran blue liner...relax everyone!!!
Thursday’s game four will be another test for the Canucks: can they activate their killer instinct and push the Chicago Blackhawks onto the ropes? Can they continue to get inside the heads over in the other room, casting more doubt that maybe being the “comeback kids” was only a short lived fad?
Game Four: Canucks/ Blackhawks, United Center, Chicago Il. 5pm PST....Go Canucks GO, GO CANUCKS GO!!!!
Special Note: Canuck fans everywhere continue to supply Taylor Pyatt with encouragement as he returns to play after time off, grieving the sudden death of his fiance, Carly. It takes courage to comeback, and to do it during the most intense time of the season shows a lot of character. Kudos to his teammates for looking out for him as he adjusts to the post season routine.