CANUCKS 4-0 SERIES VS BLUES
Wow! Tonight’s win in St. Louis gave the Canucks their first-ever 4-game sweep in franchise history. However, contrary to common beliefs, this is actually NOT the first playoff series sweep for Vancouver, as they did sweep the Calgary Flames in 1982, during a time when NHL playoffs consist of five games instead of the current seven. That was also the team which went straight to the Cup Finals, a game short of winning it all.
Everyone is hoping that this season will have a different outcome than their attempts in 1982 and 1994.
Of course, this calls for some kind of celebration, but again if you ask anyone in the Canucks’ dressing room, they will tell you that nothing has been won, just yet.
A series doesn’t mean a whole lot, especially against a team with three of their key players out of their line-up. Paul Kariya, Eric Brewer and Erik Johnson were all scratched during their entire four playoff games, due to various injuries. It’s not like they are the Wings or the Bruins or the Sharks (well…some may argue about the last team despite their win tonight against the Ducks).
But the team did win something tonight, they have won themselves some resting and recovery time. With Sami Salo and Mats Sundin both out of the line-up due to lower-body injury, and various un-disclosed injuries to other players, a week rest will be extremely crucial if the Canucks are to go deep into the playoffs.
Talking about the game, Burrows continue to play the cluth role he’s so famous for during the regular season. He scored two key goals to tonight, the last one being the overtime-winner in the first OT period with less than 30 seconds to go, siliencing the entire 19,350 crowd in Scottrade Center. Alex is perhaps the best player for the Canucks in this series, with the possbility of some people arguing for the Captain as the series-MVP.
Luongo played another great game tonight, it’s almost like he is only getting better as the games went on. A 47 saves effort despite being so exhausted after the overtime period that he required IV fluids to recover, Roberto is definitely a key factor for completely shutting down the Blues’s Powerplay units throughout the entire series.
The Blues played a great game, and it showed their character when they were down 2-0 in the second period. They could easily just give up with half a game to go, three games down, and trailing two goals. But they didn’t, they kept on trying and could’be taken over the lead if Jay McClement had poked the puck across the line a few seconds earlier before the referee put up his hand. Who knows what would’ve happened if they had that lead, and if they can win this game. The momentum will surely swing back St. Louis side, and as Canucks fans, we seen this happened before…maybe too many times.
But their herorics were to be in vain, except for earning cheers from their fans and their organization. Maybe that is enough for now. Since the Blues is a team with a lot of young stars, and this experience will be benefitial for them in the future. If they can continue to grow along this path, we will see the Blues amongst the league leaders in no time.
Having said that, honestly…I don’t really care about the Blues team… I can go on and on about how well the opponents played, and how it’s too bad that there can only be one winner if this was the last series of the playoffs, and the Canucks are now the Stanley Cup Champions. But they are not there yet, not by a far distance.
So looking ahead, the team is probably on their way back home for a well-earned rest, with absolutely no clue as to who they will play next. The Red Wings look like they will win their series against the Blue Jackets, but the Sharks-Ducks series and the Blackhawks-Flames series are far from being decided.
Round 2 Prediction, Western Conference:
I predict the Ducks will upset the Sharks and eliminate the President’s Trophy winner in six games. The Blackhawks will finish off the Flames in seven games.
Red Wings (2) <——–> Ducks (8)
Canucks (3) <——–> Blackhawks (4)
The Canucks should benefit from their rest against a tired by motivated Blackhawks team. Hopefully, by that time both Sundin and Salo will be ready for play.
Go Canucks Go.