The Canucks could’ve have had a 2-0 stranglehold in their series against the Blackhawks. They could’ve had the young, cocky ‘Hawks against the ropes. The Canucks certainly got the start they wanted, but unfortunately, didn’t have the finish.
They carried a 2-1 lead into the third period, but surrendered a shorthanded goal that tied the game and the eventual game-winning goal with only 90 seconds left. To put this into context, the Canucks were 34-1 in the regular season and the playoffs when they carried a lead into the second intermission, and had outscored the opposition 112-68 in the final 20 minutes of games.
The series, tied at 1-1, now shifts to GM Place for the next two games.
After building a 2-0 lead only 5:02 into the game, the Canucks seemed to deviate from doing the little things that made them successful. Besides Mikael Samuelsson’s goal on an early 5-on-3 man advantage, the Canucks’ powerplay was essentially powerless. They were too cute too often and couldn’t get the puck on net. In fact, the Canucks managed a grand total of 0 shots on the powerplay in their final three opportunities, including both in the third period. (Plus of course, they allowed Patrick Sharp’s shorthanded goal to tie the game.)
A few days ago, I would have been satisfied about the Canucks earning a split in Chicago, and it’s obviously not the worst thing in the world to have home-ice advantage in a best-of-five series. But given the chances they had, it’s disheartening to think the Canucks could’ve instead come home with two wins in their back pockets.