Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Canucks 2 Stars 1

I'm not surprised that the final score last night was 2-1 once again. After all, it was the sixth time in eight meetings this season that a Canucks/Stars game ended 2-1. I expected close games and a tight series, and if anything, I'm more surprised - pleasantly surprised - that the Canucks now have a 3-1 series lead.

Game five played out like every other game this series - tight-checking and very good goaltending from both Roberto Luongo and Marty Turco. All three goals scored came in the latter half of the third period. Trevor Linden, the '94 Cup run veteran, scored a garbage goal for the gamewinner.

It's eerie watching this Canucks team right now. They're playing with great calm and a great sense of confidence. No matter their circumstance, they're so committed to Alain Vigneault's system, knowing full well that if they stick to it and keep the game close, then somehow, some way, they have a chance to come out with a win.

Last night's was probably the Canucks' most complete, team effort of the series (well, except maybe for the powerplay). They rolled four lines, even later in the game. They killed all six Dallas man-advantages, including a 1:55-long five-on-three chance.

Throughout the lineup, guys have elevated their games. Rookie Jannik Hansen continued his strong play; Jan Bulis is playing his best hockey of the season and even dropped down to block a shot - I think the first time in 83 games I've seen him do so; Willie Mitchell and Mattias Ohlund have pretty much made Mike Modano's line disappear; Lukas Krajicek seems to have grown leaps and bounds in this series.

Most importantly, with Sedin, Sedin and Naslund closely watched by Dallas' best defensemen, others have stepped up to the scoring plate. Bulis and Hansen combined for the tying goal on Sunday night. The third line of Smolinski, Linden and Pyatt line scored the winning goal on Sunday night; they were also responsible for both goals last night.

Just one more effort like that on Thursday night, guys. Just one more.

More from the Mainstream

About the game around the blogosphere

My 3 Stars of the Game

  1. Roberto Luongo (VAN): For every Canucks win, Louis is pretty much a sticky as 1st star.
  2. Trevor Linden (VAN): Came through when it counted.
  3. Marty Turco (DAL): Can't fault him for the loss. 27 saves.

Official Statistics

Next Game

Back at the Garage on Thurday night.

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:48 AM


At April 18, 2007 7:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Game five played out like every other game this series"

You mean, game 4?

At April 18, 2007 8:32 AM, Blogger Johan said...

I have to agree with your assessment of Lukas Krajicek. In a way, he reminds me of a young Scott Niedermayer - ridiculously fluid skater, reasonable shot. Most importantly, he is getting his nose dirty too.

At April 18, 2007 6:57 PM, Blogger Ariane Kitspace said...

Great seeing your face on CTV tonight - congrats, you crazy Canuck!

Ariane C

At April 18, 2007 9:17 PM, Blogger hoopsjunky said...

anon - D'oh! Looks like I'm guilty of looking too far ahead.

johan - Totally agree! I think the biggest thing is that he hasn't completely blown his coverage yet this series. (knock on wood)

ariane - Thanks! That piece was a blast to be a part of.

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