Oh how naive I was yesterday. Was game three the best game ever? Not by a long shot. It was painful for large stretches and left me almost physically sick for hours after it was over. I really am just a very bad loser. But you know what? Today I woke up with a feeling that it was awesome. It was my first ever playoff game and I wouldn’t give that experience back for anything. Doolins treated me ridiculously well and sent me, my guest, and two lovely guys that were also contest winners to the game in a LIMO. Our section was fun and rowdy and we had a really good view of the ice. The crowd was absolutely deafening during the anthems and the opening few minutes. You know what I never knew I was missing in my life until last night? Taking part in a refs you suck chant with 17 000 other angry people. It is ridiculously fun and enchanting.
The Canucks did have some sustained pressure on Neimi and the Hawks but it just wasn’t enough. He had a strong game but the Canucks could have cashed in on some of his rebounds. It flummoxed me all game why the Hawks were coming down every rush and crashing Luongo’s net and the Canucks seemed to not want to do the same to Neimi.
Luongo has been very good recently but not last night. Those rebounds CANNOT happen. He has to eat those pucks like a delicious sammich. Almost every Hawks goal last night was a nice little gift for them two feet from his crease. No! No! No!
Oh the refs were truly awful. I don’t think I’ve ever seen officials call a game quite that bad. Who knew that Hank Sedin could have his stick slashed right out of his hand and not get a call? You can bowl right into a goalie without trying to stop and get off home free. Oh and of course you can send the goalie in on the puck and have it count as a goal! I didn’t think Luongo looked like a puck but apparently I’m misguided.
Now that I’ve got that off my chest I feel so much better but it wasn’t the refs that cost the Canucks this game. They had their own chances on the power play and couldn’t cash in. They couldn’t pounce on rebounds. They got overly emotional, made stupid decisions, and let the Blackhawks push them around. It infuriates me that they heard constant questions from the media for WEEKS about not being able to contain Byfuglien and then let him score a bloody hat trick.
This series is by no means over. But Luongo is going to have to be a hell of a lot better and the Canucks are going to have to get meaner and smarter if they want to beat them this time around.