May 062009

Game 3 boasted a Canucks team that we hadn’t seen since the St. Louis series. They were defensively responsible while playing offensive hockey. But just because it was better than games 1 and 2, isn’t reason to go crazy just yet.

Public enemy number one right now is Dustin Byfuglien and that’s no secret. He’s their secret weapon at the moment and about the only part of that team’s game that’s clicking (other than game 2 the ‘Hawks have looked awkward and out of place). He’s placing himself in front of Luongo and having his way in the crease. The Canucks absolutely cannot allow that. On replays of the first and only Chicago goal Byfuglien was given liberties. Edler stood there like he was afraid of Byfuglien, the screen ensued, and the rest is history.

Windy City Canuck commented on an earlier post saying, “I was at the game last night and I don’t know if this was ever caught on TV but every single timeout, Byfuglien would jump off the bench and skate up to Luongo as Luongo was going to the Canuck bench and start yelling at him. It was comical.”

The Blackhawks know, as do all other teams, that Luongo is the key to the Canucks. That’s why the Blues tried snow showering him all series, heck even the Blackhawks are trying that. The bad news is that Byfuglien is finally getting to Luongo. After several whistles Luongo was in B-Fug’s face showing for the first time all playoffs that people can get through to him. Edler, Mitchell, whoever’s on crease patrol, has to assert their presence. We all saw Bieksa hulk slash Backes stick out of his hands towards the end of one game when Backes was near the crease. Where’d that go? What are they afraid of Byfuglien?

The Canucks defence have to do everything they can to prevent the Blackhawks from harshing Luongo’s mellow. When Luongo is on his game we’ve seen the miracles he can perform. The Blackhawks have been taking liberties with the Canucks, it’s time to return the favour. Byfuglien should not have an all access pass to the crease, and incase Pyatt, Sundin, Bieksa, or any of the other big boys that park themselves in front of the net forgot, we can mess with Khabibulin too. Time to fight fire with fire.

Blog Song: Public Enemy vs Benni Benassi – Bring the Noise –

May 052009

Through the game there were several names that people came with on Twitter instead of Byfuglien. I coined Byfuglidouche, there was B-Fug, DieFuglyOne, Buttfugly, and my personal favourite, (and no, I have no idea how you get the following nickname from Byfuglien) Barfing Lama. I’m sure there are a couple more out there. He’s starting to get on my nerves about as much as he’s bothering Luongo.

All Byfuglien nonsense aside, with the game time scratch of Demitra, it was Raymond bumped to the second line and Pyatt inserted for the first time since he left to mourn the passing of his fiancee. I’ll admit, before becoming Sundin’s harshest critic, (okay maybe second harshest, Iain MacIntyre is just ridiculous, he needed another Swede to rag on after Markus left) I was pretty rough on Taylor. Now I just fee bad ragging on him because of what happened, but in all seriousness he played much better than I expected him to.

I expected the odd gaff or two, missed pass, screwed up play. None of those from number 9 in an important game 3. In fact, Pyatt out there was part of a consistent 3rd line that played shut down hockey when we needed them to. He blocked a shot or two, he laid a few hits, none bigger than the one just before he took a penalty where he layed out a Blackhawk behind the Khabibulin’s net. It was good to have him back and it looks like the team was happy to have him back. He’s a big boy, he needs to start using that size of his.

The Canucks played a statement game. I said they would in my last post, and they came to play. Blowing multi goal leads three games in a row is a formula for nothing good and they showed they could shut it down when they needed to. While the bandwagon is slowly piling on again, this by no means is a sign the Canucks are home free. They played a better game. They played a full 60 minutes, but there are certainly a few more issues that need to be fixed. The Canucks look to be back on track. It took them 2 games to get their game back together, but they finally look like they did back in the St. Louis series. The Blackhawks if this continues are going to have to look for a few aces up Joel Quenville’s sleeve.

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