Canucks and Beyond

Game 4: Canucks/Sharks -- Open Post

05/22/2011 at 4:18pm EDT

Vancouver at San Jose, 12pm PT. Dave Lozo of NHL.com, tweets the love from HP Pavillion:

Couple hundred Canucks fans start a GO CANUCKS GO chant here at HP. Shark fan responds, “Hey! Vancouver! You suck!” Good one, brah.

Vancouver is up 2-1 in the series, but apparently today’s game is the “pivotal” one of the series, according to numerous columnists and bloggers (most of whom are no-doubt hockey people than myself). But while I understand where this argument comes from, I’ll have to politely disagree.

If Vancouver wins, they keep their lead and they still need to fight tooth and nail for win #4… certainly no guarantee in this year’s tumultuous playoffs. And if San Jose takes it, well, then we’re basically back to zero and playing a best-of-3.

The only thing on the pivot today is whether the Canucks can ice some new defensive pairings which effectively deal with the loss of Aaron Rome and Christian Ehrhoff. Will it be Tanev and Ballard? Alberts? Whatever they decide, is Vancouver up for this challenge at this stage of the playoffs?

In Vancouver’s favour is certainly their extensive preparation for this situation—an entire season of dealing with a constantly-mutating defensive matchups. As such, maybe these adjustments won’t phase them too much. The most important thing is getting back to disciplined, quick transition hockey. Being the leaders, not the chasers.

If they do that, they’ve got a great shot at winning this game and getting one more conquest under their belt.

(Oh, and Roberto Luongo apparently hasn’t won a game in this building since 2007. Today might be a wicked day to kill that trend, dude…)

Go Canucks!

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