What started as a best of 7, went to a best of 5, and then tonight after being tied up again is now down to a best of 3. The Canucks have home ice advantage playing two of the potentially remaining 3 games in the friendly confines of GM Place, but the Blackhawks have proven that no matter where they’re playing they have the comeback down to a science.
While the Canucks fixed one problem area in their game, they let up in another. I think back to the game tonight and am left scratching my head as to what actually happeened. The Canucks didn’t play badly, they didn’t play phenomenally either. They were just there… skating back and forth. In a season where Filet Mignon abandoned trap hockey and utilized his offensive weapons to capture the Northwest Division, tonight, out of nowhere, it was as if Jacques Lemaire had taken over control of the bench and the game hinged on boring.
Rypien’s heads up play was like an injection of adrenaline as the game picked up significantly after his second period tally, but neither team had any chances. Luongo was rarely tested, but when he was he seemed on top of his game. Neither team spent much sustained pressure in the offensive zone and apart from the desperation by the Blackhawks late in the third resulting in their tying goal with about two minutes left, the game seemed emotionless and empty; Even the United Center seemed strangely deflated, for no real reason.
With the series tied, it’s back to square one. Equal series wins apiece, the only difference being the two teams know a little more about each other’s play. Two at home, one on the road. The Canucks cannot afford to go back to the United Center facing a do-or-die game with their backs against the wall which makes taking advantage of Saturday’s home game 5 that much more pivotal. Saturday’s game could make or break the series and they have a lot to work on from now till then.
Blog Song: Sleepyhead by Passion Pit