Canucks and Beyond

Canucks/Preds Game 3

05/03/2011 at 5:54pm EDT

image—Sami Salo is a game time decision
—Shane O’Brienpromises he’s “not going to go all Charlie Sheen” on his new Twitter. Damn.
—Carrie Underwood appears to be getting along with the Canucks whale (Sorry. That one’s disturbing.)

All in all, a day with mixed expectations. But Nashville coach Barry Trotz has a prediction for everyone:

“I think this series changes tonight.”

“It was a feeling-out process in Vancouver and I think it changes. It’s on right now. And I told our guys that I think it’s going to be more of what the series is going to be. Each game is a different story line. In Game 1, we didn’t show up and in Game 2 we showed up and both teams realize now that we’re engaged in this series.

“The team that adjusts will probably end up winning the series.”

And Vancouver’s adjusting:

The Canucks’ best chance might be in their expected altered lineup. Chris Higgins is back on the second like with Ryan Kesler and Mason Raymond, while the struggling Mikael Samuelsson was down on the fourth line with Cody Hodgson and Tanner Glass in practice Monday. Tuesday was an optional skate.

“It’s the playoffs and momentum changes so quick,” said Raymond. “Our goal is to score the first goal and we’ve been a good team all year with the lead. If can get that first one, we can build on it.”

Fair point, though during these playoffs, my own advice would be to avoid third-period, last minute goals against. (Bloody nightmare, that.)

And speaking of adjustments, there’s always the Sedins—who are struggling mightily to find a net they can slot a puck into.

Any puck. Ever.

From Cam Cole (via Yahoo):

If they’re not heroes, they’re villains. In the pitiless environment of the Stanley Cup playoffs, there is evidently no third option. When the highest-scoring team in the regular season turns into the lowest-scoring squad when it matters most, the alarm bells start going off, and the searchlight always stops first at the Sedins’ front door.

It’s hard to argue that it belongs anywhere else.

“But it’s been like this since Year One,” Daniel said Monday. “In [Vancouver] you get criticized when you lose. That’s the way it is. I think we’re pretty used to that. You can’t get down about it. Especially now, playoffs are the best time of year. If you’re going to get down on yourself or listen to media and fans, you’re in trouble.

“I think we’re good at knowing if we played good or bad, whether we score or not, and we need to do more than we did last game.”

Shane O’Brien of Nashville, and the Sedins’ former teammate, makes this observation:

“There’s so much attention put on those guys every night, and you got to give them a lot of credit, going against the top D pair and checking line every night, it’s pretty impressive the two years they’ve put together back to back,” said former Canuck, now Nashville, defenceman Shane O’Brien.

“But playoff time, it’s a different game. Hank and Danny compete hard, they want to win and they’re great guys, but at the same time, you got to hit them, do the little things that get them off their game.

The lineup changes might be a big help, though. With Burrows moving back up to the top line, it might change the mojo. He’s been a good fit for the Sedins. Hell, Burrow’s a good fit with anybody. You could probably put him on MY wing and I might very well pull out a hat-trick.

So the new Burrows plan is a winner. I’m sure the twins approve.

Prediction: 11-3 for Nashville.

(Going with some reverse psychology this time.)

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