Things That Make You Go Hmmm: Home-Ice Advantage
[Inspired by Arsenio Hall's "Things That 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.]
Less than a week after leaving for Boston, the Vancouver Canucks return to the friendly confines of Rogers Arena tied with their series against the Bruins tied at 2 games apiece. Just hours away from one of the biggest and most anticipated games in club history, here are three Things That Make You Go Hmmm:
- Will Canucks fans really provide a home-ice advantage? With Boston’s massive wins in games 3 and 4, there have been more than a few Canucks fans breaking their ankles jumping off the bandwagon. Much has been said about the crowd at Rogers Arena: they’re too quiet, they’re too corporate, they’re too busy on their iPhones and Blackberries during the game. As I mentioned in my most recent Clay’s Canucks Commentary, Canucks fans need to lift up the team in game 5. There’s a reason why it’s called home-ice advantage. You need to be loud and proud. Cheer hard if we’re winning, cheer harder if we’re losing. Sure we’re all nervous, but that doesn’t mean we have to be silent. Just as we expect the Canuck players to leave it all out there on the ice, so should we fans leave everything in the stands. The Canucks say that they do indeed feed off the home crowd. Let’s give them something to chew on.
- Do the fans still have confidence in Roberto Luongo? Robert Luongo let in 12 goals in 5 periods of play in Boston before giving way to Cory Schneider in the 3rd period of game 4. I was watching game 4 at the Rogers Arena viewing party and was appalled to hear the crowd cheering when Luongo was pulled. Fans in this town seem to have a short memory when it comes to Luongo; I seem to recall him being the primary reason why the Canucks won games 1 and 2 of this series and I also remember his massive performances against Chicago in game 7 and San Jose in game 5. Nevertheless, the crowd will be antsy and will likely be merciless if Luongo lets in an early goal or two. I think Luongo will bounce back with a huge game – he hasn’t played poorly in Rogers Arena in a couple of months.
- The similarities between this series and round one vs. Chicago. There are many similarities between both series. Both times, the Canucks raced out to an early lead only to have to thwart off a big comeback from their opponent. Both series had devastating (and series-changing) hits: Torres on Seabrook vs. Chicago and Rome on Horton vs. Boston. In both series, Roberto Luongo was the 2nd best goaltender on the ice. And the Canucks were threatened by both teams, whereas I don’t think they truly felt threatened by Nashville or San Jose. Much like round one, ultimately I believe the Canucks will be victorious over their Original Six nemesis.
I’m looking forward to an exciting game 5 and I’m looking forward to the Canucks restoring their dominance on home ice. By the end of Friday night, one team will be one win away, while the other will be faced with the daunting task of staving off elimination twice. Which team will be which? That’s a thing that makes me go hmmm.