Game 4 and the Canucks need one win to become the first team to advance to the second round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs. If the first three games were any indication of what to expect, you can believe that there’s a lot more coming. Only two teams in the NHL have ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a series, the Islanders and the Leafs.
The first three games have given us everything we could have possibly asked for. There’s been hitting, some of the cheap stuff, fantastic goal tending, spectacular goals, can we really ask for anything more?
The fourth game is always the hardest to win, and it’s even harder to win when you’re on the road. In front of about 19,500 St. Louis fans the Canucks put on a special teams clinic last game and the Blues just couldn’t respond. The Blues have given the Canucks their best shots and only been able to muster 3 goals in 3 games. I really don’t think they have anything left in their bag of tricks. They’re going to come out desperate, they’re going to come out fast again, and at this point they’re on the verge of playing for pride. Mason has done his job in net for them and it’s clear that he is not the one at fault for the Blues so far in this series.
The Canucks defence has been solid starting with Luongo and working out. The penalty kill has been solid and the blue line boys have done a fantastic job of shutting down the Killer B’s – Backes, Berglund, Boyes, oh yeah, and that TJ Oshie kid. That’s been the real key. St. Louis have nothing when those guys are disabled, they don’t have any secondary scoring to talk of. Luongo has been on his game and is right now in a zone that we haven’t seen from him since he set all those Canucks records in our march to a second round exit at the hands of Anaheim two years ago.
I would usually say that I hope the Canucks come out flying in the game tonight, but it seems they’ve gotten over that hump of coming out flat. Be it on the road or at home, they’ve learned to come to play every night. They’ve built a level of team chemistry we haven’t seen since the days of the West Coast Express and I for one am excited to see a little history made tonight. What’s impressed me hte most is that the Canucks haven’t just sit back and taken all the cheap shots. They’re playing tit for tat and that little bit of feist, in the game of every single one of them, has pushed St. Louis over the edge.
Tonight Vancouver is going to be rocking like they’re playing at home, and the home town fans are going to rock this city like the Canucks were actually playing on home ice. I have to hand it to the St. Louis fans, they were loud, they willed their boys on, but at the end of the day it wasn’t enough as a St. Louis’ penalty parade cost them the game.
I say this every night because I want it to come true, so I’ll say it again. Tonight’s game is going go to multiple overtimes and I have a feeling we’re again going to have the privilege of seeing two of the hottest teams in the NHL right now play some of the best hockey of this playoffs so far. The way this series is going, tonight has Epic written all over it.
Oh yeah, and the Canucks could win their 7th game in a row tonight.