[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.]
Game 1 was quite entertaining on Wednesday night, especially in the third period after the penalty parade of the first two periods had ended. It was a marvelous display of outstanding goaltending, as I predicted in my last blog.
For this blog, I’ll take a quick look back at game 1, I’ll take a quick look ahead at game 2, and I’ll pose a more general question… all things that make you ho hmmm…
- Where was the power in our powerplay? The Bruins’ futility on the powerplay was hardly a surprise given their pedestrian 8% success rate coming into the Finals. However, the Canucks went 0-for-6 (as did the Bruins) with the man-advantage, relatively surprising given they were coming in at a clip of over 25%. Daniel Sedin mentioned that the Canucks were admittedly a bit nervous to start the game, rendering their early powerplays ineffective. And it didn’t help that Alex Burrows took 2 minor penalties while the Canucks were on the power-play. Still, look for the Canucks to capitalize as the series progresses, especially as the Sedins find a way to navigate around Chara. And speaking of Chara, I actually don’t mind him behind in front of Luongo with the Bruins have the man-advantage – he actually blocks a lot of the shooting lane.
- The Manny-watch: who’s in and who’s out?Dan Hamhuis is listed as day-to-day after his crushing check on Milan Lucic. If Hamhuis can’t go, the feeling as I write this (Friday night) is that Andrew Alberts will draw into the line-up ahead of Keith Ballard and Chris Tanev. Readers of my blogs know that I’m a big Ballard fan…but once again Alain Vigneault is a Jack Adams winner and I’m not. But the bigger story is the possible return of Manny Malhotra. After taking giant steps towards returning, the talk of the town was that he would suit up for game 1. Then, he was held back and Canucks fans started looking at the glass (proverbial, not Tanner) as if it was half-empty as opposed to half-full. Well, Malhotra practiced on Friday and is apparently once again “cleared to play.” My sense is that he will indeed play in Saturday’s game 2, giving the home team an extra emotional boost. I will be especially interested in how well he responds to contact and how many minutes he’ll end up playing. I’m guessing he plays 6 to 8 minutes – a bit more than the usual 4th-line ice-time, but certainly not close to the 15 minutes he was playing in the regular season.
- The tribe has spoken… and it doesn’t like us. I must admit that I’m quite fascinated by the way the Canucks and their fans seem to be vilified across the league. JJ did a nice post yesterday talking about comments from players like Dave Bolland and Ryan Whitney, both dissing our team. It’s one thing for fans to spout off about opposing teams and players – just look at how much we chirp about the Blackhawks here – but it’s another thing when players get into it. There are so many different factors and emotions at play, but I think it comes down to jealousy, envy, and pride. It’s exactly like on the reality TV-show Survivor. When the “jury” (the players voted out prior to the final 3) gets to ask the 3 finalists anything they want. Some of the jury members come across as classy, often congratulating the finalists for in essence outplaying them. But more often than not, the jury members start whining, complaining and moaning about how they should still be in the running for the million dollars. They resort to name-calling and cheap insults while refusing to admit they were outplayed and outwitted. Sound familiar? Except there aren’t many similarities between the Canucks and Richard Hatch.
I won’t be able to go to game 2 as I have a work event; instead I’ll be watching the game with about 300 youth and young adults. Speaking of work, I have a friendly wager going with my “equivalent” in Boston: if the Canucks win, he will send me some New England clam chowder and Boston baked beans. If the Bruins win, then I will have to send him some smoked salmon and Canadian bacon. Planning ahead, am I supposed to eat the chowder the beans together? That’s a thing that makes me go hmmm…