The hype behind most sporting events never lives up to it’s billing and while game one didn’t live up to the intense, close fought, gritty game we’d thought it would, you can be sure the rest of the series isn’t going to mirror game one in the slightest. The Canucks won the game because they did one thing fundamentally different from last year’s playoffs: They made Chicago play Vancouver hockey.
One of the biggest reasons the Canucks controlled the game was because they avoided the physical game which Chicago used to dominate last year. The Blackhawks clearly came into the game confident they had the Canucks number. Especially because in their last outing they put up six goals against Luongo. This series is going to get physical and now that the Blackhawks know what to expect from the Canucks Game Two is going to be the real indicator of where this series is heading.
Niemi’s getting the nod for the Blackhawks in game two and the Canucks have nothing to worry about. They played close to a perfect 60 minutes and it’s clear that redemption and revenge are in their play. Sixteen Canucks on the current roster were there last year. The Canucks waited a year to make the statement they made last night and while it was fun for Canucks fans, get ready for the war that’s about to ensue for the remainder of the series. The Canucks did good to avoid paying Byfuglien too much attention and a defensively sound game frustrated the Hawks all night long. Luongo made some key saves which the Canucks used as momentum to capitalize in the first and never look back. Game two won’t look like game one at all, that’s one thing we can be assured of.