Things That Make You Go Hmmm: Roster Changes, (Lack of) Discipline and Two-Man Advantages
[Inspired by Arsenio Hall's "Things the Make You Go Hmmm…", Clayton Imoo talks about Canucks-related things that make him go hmmm… You can follow Clay on Twitter at (@canuckclay) or on his website, Clay's Canucks Commentary.]
Hello readers. My name is Clayton Imoo and I am thrilled to join the talented group of passionate Canucks fans here at the CHB. I do a regular video-blog called “Clay’s Canucks Commentary” that is featured on Canucks.com and I’m excited to take a different approach for my contributions to this site: “Things That Make You Go Hmmm…”
If you were at least a teenager in the late 80s and early 90s, then you’ll likely remember The Arsenio Hall Show. One of Arsenio’s regular features occurred when the host would ponder certain thoughts. This recurring segment was the inspiration behind C&C Music Factory’s top 10 hit “Things That Make You Go Hmmm…” in 1990.
Similarly, I’ll be taking a regular look at the Canucks and aspects of their games that may make us wonder, whether it be a strange play, puzzling coaching decision, or bizarre call for example.
Looking back at the Canucks’ 4-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks in game 3 of the Western Conference Final, there are certainly a few Things That Make You Go Hmmm…:
- If it wasn’t broke, why did you try to fix it? Canucks Coach Alain Vigneault surprisingly inserted Tanner Glass and Alexandre Bolduc into the line-up for Cody Hodgson and Jeff Tambellini, even after the team’s dominant 7-3 win in game 2. Perhaps AV anticipated a rougher game and having nightmares about Ben Eager. Ultimately, Eager didn’t even play and Glass (6:34 TOI) and Bolduc (4:34 TOI) played but not very much. Granted, the number of Canuck penalties prohibited any type of flow, but Glass and Bolduc didn’t do anything to stand out. While I don’t agree with AV’s decision to change the lineup, he does have one more Jack Adams award than I have.
- Where was the poise and discipline? Coming into the game, the Sharks were a perfect 3 for 3 on the power play. In game 3, they scored a couple of quick power play goals in the first period on their way to a 3 for 10 night overall with the man advantage. These 2 quick goals meant the Canucks were playing a tough game of catch-up just 8 minutes into the game. It’s clear to me that the tighter a game is called, the worse off the Canucks are. Whistle-happy referees nullify the Canucks’ aggressive and high-flying style. So why were the Canucks so undisciplined given both the proficiency of San Jose’s power play and seeing how Ben Eager hurt the Sharks in game 2?
- Can you decline a penalty? The Canucks failed to score on back-to-back 2-man advantages in the second period. Their futility with 2-man advantages is a great mystery to me, especially given their exceptional talent and that they own the best PP in the league. This isn’t new. In the regular season, they converted on just 1 of their 9 2-man advantages. Last night, they seemed hesitant to shoot and often took too long to set-up their ideal shot(s). The Sharks undoubtedly got a lift from killing off the penalties, while the Canucks missed a golden opportunity to get back into the game. Though before we completely throw the PP under the bus, they at least scored a couple of goals on Jamie McGinn’s 5-minute major in the third period.
It will be interesting to see what the line-up for game 4 will look like given the incomplete marks for Glass and Bolduc and the injuries on the blue line to Ehrhoff and Rome. It’s looking like Keith Ballard will draw into the line-up for the first time since game 2 of the Nashville series. I’m not sure why Ballard hasn’t been playing more in the playoffs… yet another thing that makes me go hmmm.