Last night’s 5-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks was an important one. The obvious first reason is that it gave our Vancouver Canucks a 1-0 series lead. That’s cool, but also, the process by which they won will surely serve as a lesson for the remainder of the series.
After building a 3-0 lead in the first 40 minutes, the Canucks came out flat in the third period. For the first 18 minutes of the third period, their defensive coverage was sloppy and they showed about as much emotion as Freddie Prinze Jr. in character. As unthinkable as it seemed at the time, they allowed the Blackhawks to claw back and tie the game.
To be fair, the Canucks kept their composure, and in the end, they pulled off the victory anyway… but not before I hope they learnt, 1) to play the full 60 minutes, and 2) not to take these Blackhawks lightly.
I love what Darcy Hordichuk and Rick Rypien has brought to this lineup, but man, the penalties they took last night were just dumb.
Speaking of dumb…
You guys already know how I feel about the NHL’s method for disciplining players. I wonder how they will handle Ben Eager’s late hit to Rick Rypien’s head.
In a lot of ways, it’s similar to Donald Brashear’s hit on Blair Betts last week – a cheap shot that earned Brashear a six-game suspension. Take a look:
Both Brashear and Eager went out of their way to deliver late, late hits to the head. Both have a history of these sorts of incidents with the league. If one was suspended, shouldn’t the other be as well?