Jun 142011

[About the game from two viewpoints. Chris and Caylie watch the game and exchange their thoughts via email.]

From: Christopher Golden
To: Caylie King
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2011 17:00

Hey Caylie,

For what could be a defining moment in my favourite NHL team’s history, I’ve been surprisingly calm throughout the day. Not confident (after games 3 & 4 I’m still apprehensive of the TD Gardens) but at peace.

Mind you, the puck has yet to drop.


From: Caylie King
To: Christopher Golden
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2011 17:17

Hi Chris,

I was calm until about 3 PM when I really thought about it. This could be it. I am full of nerves, butterflies and I am anxious.

A 60-minute effort is all we need. Games 3 and 4 are in the past. The boys know what they need to do to get it done. It WILL get done tonight.

Go Canucks!


From: Christopher Golden
To: Caylie King
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2011 17:33

Hey Caylie,

In a game of bounces, we’ve already missed out on one with the puck bouncing over Hank’s stick. I didn’t hear, but how is the ice in Boston tonight?

And here’s hoping the first goal scored means nothing tonight.


From: Caylie King
To: Christopher Golden
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2011 17:51

Hi Chris,

There are no words. How is possible to play so horribly JUST in Boston?! All the players said the right things, I truly thought they were ready, but I guess not.

We are down 4-0 and there is still 10 mins left in the first.

It’s one thing to lose but now we are taking stupid penalties and yet again, getting involved in all of the pushing and shoving.



From: Christopher Golden
To: Caylie King
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2011 18:15

Hey Caylie,

I don’t think horrible defines this period for the Canucks. The bounce over Hank’s stick, the injury to Raymond, and the meltdown of the team. And all of this not even 10 minutes in.

These next two periods are about pride. I’m not talking about having a pissing contest with the Bruins, but showing there’s some compete left in this Canucks team. Generate chances. Skate hard. Play a SMART physical game. Get the systems in place for Wednesday.


From: Caylie King
To: Christopher Golden
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2011 18:26

Hi Chris,

Bad bounces, bad goals, bad defensive coverage… It can’t get much worse, can it?! The last Sedin shift looked good, so hopefully we can build off that.

Look, there are 40 minutes left in the game, if Schneids shuts the door and a few bounces come our way… anything can happen. We need some positives!


From: Christopher Golden
To: Caylie King
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2011 18:47

Hey Caylie,

The Canucks have been better in the 2nd, but how much improvement is due to the Bruins playing a more conservative style of game?

If there is one thing that frustrates me about the Canucks offense is the desire to throw pucks at Thomas with little support in front. With his aggressive style, the Canucks need to battle harder in front and get a couple greasy goals. Hell with the pretty stuff at this point.


From: Caylie King
To: Christopher Golden
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2011 19:01

Hi Chris,

It could very well be the fact that the Bruins have let off a bit. But the bottom line is the Canucks didn’t just lie down in the fetal position (like most people in BC are probably doing) and give up. There has been good puck possession, we have gotten A LOT of scoring chances. But yes I agree with you. Enough with the pretty plays we need a hard working greasy goal.

It is what it is, we need to just keep at it and finish this game off without any injuries or being totally blown out. And for the LOVE OF BABY JESUS, figure out our damn powerplay.


From: Christopher Golden
To: Caylie King
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2011 19:53

Hey Caylie,

You’re right. You’re usually right.

If I take one thing from this game is the “puck domination” that we saw squeak through a few times when the Sedins were on the ice. So often these guys are knocked for not being big game material, yet we started to see glimmers of their potential.

Let’s home the break out in Game 7.


PS: Is this how the Rangers fans felt after game 6 in ’94?

From: Caylie King
To: Christopher Golden
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2011 20:03

Hi Chris,

Unfortunately, it was a 5 minute brain fart that lost us the game.

Sedins were in on both of those goals, that is the best thing to come out of this game, IMO.

Well it’s the Stanley Cup Finals, no one said it would be easy. This is what all players work for, game 7. Clean slate, one win to win the cup.


Jun 132011

The commercials may say otherwise but in reality, history has already been made. I’m not sure how many of us have stopped to think about it but we are witnessing an important point in time. Regardless of whether we win or lose, this magical playoff run of the 2010/2011 Vancouver Canucks will be spoken of for generations. I can see myself now, an old man chatting with my equally old friends, telling our grandchildren of this illustrious time of our youth.

“Where were you when Burr gloved that puck down and scored to beat the Hawks?”

“You remember when Juice was the only one in Rogers Arena that knew where that bouncing puck off the glass was and sent us to the Stanley Cup Finals?”

“Game 1 was a thriller where Raffi Torres scored with 18 seconds left and Lu shut the Bruins out!”

“11 seconds! That was all it took for Burr to win us game 2!”

“Man, how awesome was Luongo when he bounced back after two awful games with a shutout in game 5?”

This will be especially true for those of us who weren’t born in ’82 and were a little too young to fully-comprehend how important ’94 was. I was 11 in ’94, and while I followed the whole run and idolize guys like Linden, Bure, and McLean, I’d be lying if I said my memories weren’t hazy and greatly supplemented by highlights in the 17 years since. I remember the way I felt, I remember that our boys gave it their all and came a goal post away from sending that epic series into overtime, but specifics about the times or where my life was? That’s all a little much for my 11 year old brain to remember.

But this time is different. I can tell you exactly where I was for almost every goal. I can tell you things I said at specific times.

I can tell you that I called Chris Higgins (I call him “Chiggins”…) to score the double-OT goal in game 5 against the Sharks and swore at the very moment that he got on that breakaway that if he scored, I would run outside and buy a jersey with his name across my back.

I can tell you I actually jumped for joy when I watched Burr pot that wraparound goal only 11 seconds into overtime of game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, spilling my beer and immediately high-fiving any and all around me, including several other bloggers here at Canucks Hockey Blog, most of which I met in person for the first time.

I can tell you I did not see the twins before a friend said “Wait a minute…” and pressed rewind. No, I am not talking about the Sedins.

Just like I can tell you where I was when we won gold in 2002 and when Crosby scored The Golden Goal in 2010. I’m sure I’m not the only one that will remember where I was not only in terms of location but where I was in life at this particular moment in time. If that isn’t making history, then someone needs to bring me a dictionary. I know it’s recent but there are things you don’t forget. For me, that’s things like this… and the lyrics to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Will we win? Let me be the first to tell you that winning when we’ve come so far together… it isn’t irrelevant but it isn’t everything. This is a very results-orientated business and a highly-critical city but here on the cusp of something so great, we really should remember what we love about our team.

While bandwagoners and naysayers will only look at results, what most true Canucks fans want is to see is a real effort. Real fans are different in that way. I won’t say it’s a uniquely Canadian quality or unique to hockey. It’s something about sport and true fans of it. We want to see our team give it their all, to leave every last bit of themselves on the ice, to show us what they’re really made of. If they give us that, then a positive result is a bonus. A huge bonus but a bonus. We remember and revere ’94 and ’82 because that’s what we got from our team, an effort.

We love Roger Neilson because he would never surrender. We love Kirk McLean because we could count on him to make that save. We love Pavel Bure because we could count on him to score. We love Trevor Linden because even if he was on crutches… we knew he would play.

Look at our franchise’s greatest heroes. Not a Stanley Cup ring among them… at least not while they were on our team. If the Canucks win it all this year, will we forget about Stan Smyl? Gino Odjick? Geoff Courtnall? Cliff Ronning? No, because they’re not heroes because they won. Their bodies were bruised and perhaps a few bones were broken but their hearts would never give up. They are our heroes because they littered the ice with their sweat, tears and Canuck-colored blood.

A loss would hurt. No one would think otherwise. I mean, have you heard this city? It erupts when we score. You can hear all of Vancouver telling the refs they suck. We are invested. A loss would in all likelihood end with me in the back of a police car or so drunk out of my mind, I will actually appear in The Hangover 3 despite not being cast in the movie. (Ed. note: Hyperbole people. Relax.) But afterwards, we can’t help but look back fondly on the days we supported our team for over two months after the last regular season game. Oh, how long and awful those scraggly playoff beards were on our otherwise handsome face-parts, we will say. Even bad memories will eventually get a laugh or two. Have you heard anyone speak of Nathan Lafayette in anger? Probably not. It isn’t as if he didn’t try. He just missed. Even Gretzky can miss. People are probably more pissed at the post – that bastard.

If this, then, is how Vancouver speaks of those who haven’t brought home the big prize, then what sort of praise do our boys deserve if they do? To be honest, I have no idea. Congratulations sound empty. Clapping or cheering seems unworthy. I wouldn’t even know what to say if the Canucks get their name engraved on that trophy and in turn, engrave themselves into the memories of millions of us Canucks around the planet. It would be part of our city as I’m sure a day, park, statue, bridge or whatever else we can find will be named in their honor. Minstrels will write songs in their praise…well, more of them anyways. It wouldn’t be enough. As those would have won before will tell you, there are no words.

I would tell the players to make Vancouver proud but the reality is, we are already proud. Proud that we’ve made it this far. Proud that the Canucks wear our city’s name on your chests like Supermans (…Supermen?) and that we can proudly wear their names on our backs.

Thank you, Canucks. Thank you for this historic season. Thank you for being our team. Our Canucks.

It seems like the cool thing to do these days is to claim that what you’ve written is unbiased and objective. I, instead, will claim the exact opposite. Alright, boys… we got a Cup to win.

Go Canucks Go!

Jun 132011

Only a few more hours until gametime; here are some quick thoughts.

  • Because there are a few in the mainstream media who refuse to play Roberto Luongo’s full quote on Tim Thomas right after the Canucks’ game 5 victory, I’ve embedded the video for you to see. At the 2:22 mark, a reporter asked Luongo, “Roberto, could you just talk about the goal, and from a goalie’s perspective, how difficult it is to play a shot off the end boards when it comes from a weird angle so it goes off Tim’s body… just how hard it is?” Luongo’s full response was, “It’s not hard if you’re playing in the point so it’s an easy save for me, but if you’re wandering out and aggressive like he does then that’s gonna happen. He might make some saves like I won’t but in cases like that, I mean we want to take advantages of bounces like that and make sure we’re in good position to bury those.” Of course, only part of Luongo’s response is being reported and this has started yet another sideshow to these playoffs. Maybe I’m being too idealistic, but it would have been nice if the media reported the full, accurate story and in its proper context rather than manipulating it for eyeballs and cheap website hits.
  • If you haven’t read Harrison Mooney’s post on the biased media coverage in these playoffs, you should.
  • By now, you’ve probably read that Tim Thomas has already been awarded the Conn Smythe trophy awarded to the player judged most valuable to his team during the playoffs. I know it probably won’t change minds out there, but IMHO, Roberto Luongo should get some consideration. Yes, he’s had some bad games (games 4 and 5 against Chicago and games 3 and 4 against Boston), but so has Thomas (allowed 4+ goals in 4 of 7 games against Tampa Bay). Taking the entire playoffs into account, Luongo has only allowed 6 more goals over 23 games than Thomas has. But perhaps the most telling statistic is that the Canucks are only one win away from their first-ever Stanley Cup while averaging a piddly 2.44 goals per game (ranked 13th of 16 playoff teams). They’ve only scored 6 goals in 5 SCF games, yet lead the series 3-2. As much as the Canucks haven’t been able to put the puck in the net consistently in the playoffs, they’ve been that much better at keeping the puck out. And Bobby Lou deserves some credit for that.
  • It shouldn’t be a secret that Ryan Kesler is playing hurt. It’s obvious when you see him on the ice. Near the end of game 5, he had the puck near center ice with a chance for an empty-netter, but a Bruins player caught up to him and took away the opportunity; that doesn’t happen a couple of weeks ago. Regardless, Kes hasn’t stopped battling, mostly against Patrice Bergeron’s line but sometimes against David Krejci’s. He’s still on the powerplay fighting against Zdeno Chara, and still on the first PK unit. In short, his play reminds me of Steve Yzerman’s in 2002, and I wish more people would talk about this than wasting more ink on painting the Canucks as the dirtiest, most evil, despicable team in the history of the NHL.
  • Some numbers to chew on (via whowins.com): Only 4 out of 9 times (44.4%) has the team in the Canucks’ situation (i.e. win the first 2 games at home, lose the next 2 games on the road and win game 5 at home) won game 6; however, that team has also historically won game 7 at home 77.8% of the time. But before we brace ourselves for a game 7, also consider this – 3 times in their history, the Bruins have trailed 2-3 in the Stanley Cup Finals; all 3 times, they’ve lost game 6.
  • I’ve tried to remain even-keel for this entire season, but I’ll admit it’s getting harder not to get too excited. I felt myself getting emotional at Rogers Arena after game 5. I can’t imagine how I’d react if the boys do get one more win.
  • Jun 132011

    [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.]

    With a win tonight in Boston, the Vancouver Canucks can win the Stanley Cup for the first-time in their 40-year history.  But it won’t be easy – the Bruins hammered the Canucks by a combined score of 12-1 in games 3 and 4.  As we look forward to what could be the most memorable night in Canucks’ history, here are some Things That Make You Go Hmmm:

    1. The parallels between this game and game 6 of the NBA Finals.  Congrats to the Dallas Mavericks for winning the 2011 NBA Championship by disposing of the Miami Heat in 6 games.  That’s the first parallel.  Secondly, the Mavs won game 6 on the road in Miami, as the Canucks are hoping to do in Boston’s TD Garden.  And thirdly, it was the Mavericks’ first-ever NBA title.  And we all know that the Canucks are tantalizingly close to their first-ever Stanley Cup.  If Vancouver does indeed win however, I hope that their post-game celebration is a bit better than that of Dallas:  that was one of the strangest and most subdued championship celebrations I have ever seen.  It was touched off by MVP Dirk Nowitzki leaving the court for the locker room with seconds still on the clock.  I know he was emotional and likely still feeling the effects of his sinus infection, but can you picture Luongo or the Sedins leaving the ice and/or bench for the locker room instead of celebrating with their teammates?  I think not.
    2. The Conn Smythe candidates.  There has been a lot of talk about Tim Thomas winning the Conn Smythe Trophy, which is given to the most valuable player for his team in the playoffs.  Note that unlike the MVP awards of other leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB), the Conn Smythe is supposed to take into account the entire playoffs, and not just the Finals.  It’s only natural though that voters would be biased towards the finals, given that it’s the culmination of the playoffs.  So having said all of that, is Thomas the favourite right now even if the Canucks win the Stanley Cup?  If so, he would be the first player of the Stanley Cup runner-up to win it since Jean-Sebastien Giguere did it in 2003 backstopping the Anaheim Ducks.  With the Sedins and Kesler having a quiet series, the Canucks’ best hope for the trophy is likely Roberto Luongo.  Sure he’s had a few bad games but he also has 4 shutouts, including 2 in the finals.  It’s just too bad that 2 of his poorer games came in this series.
    3. Some rest for the weary.  The extra day between games 5 and 6 will benefit players from both teams, but hopefully even more-so for Canucks centres Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler.  Both seem to be nursing injuries that have hampered their effectiveness in this series; Henrik has no points in the series while Kesler has only one assist.  While it’s not imperative that the two of them score points for the Canucks to win, it certainly would help.  The Canucks third line has come up big in both 1-0 victories (game 1 and game 5):  Torres scored in the opener and Lapierre had the GWG on Friday night.  Maybe it’s Jannik Hansen’s turn to play hero?

    After watching game 4 at Rogers Arena, I’ll be hosting a viewing party at work so I can be downtown for the post-game festivities.  Will we be celebrating the franchise’s first Stanley Cup?  Or will we be lamenting another lost opportunity in advance of a game 7?  Hmmm…

    Jun 122011

    The Situation
    We’re four minutes into the third period, and no one has scored yet. It’s yet another goaltending battle, as Thomas and Luongo have both shut the door so far. Both teams have had stymied on glorious scoring opportunities.

    Frame 1

    Torres plays the puck up to Lapierre, who chips it past a pinching Seidenberg at the point.

    Frame 2

    Chara is the lone man back as Lucic and Seidenberg sprint back to prevent the 2-on-1. Somehow Malhotra is on the ice instead of Hansen for this shift.

    Frame 3

    Now it’s only a 3-on-2, but the three Bruins are bunched up in the middle. Instead of taking the trailer, Lucic goes down to block the expected pass to Malhotra. Instead, Lapierre throws it back to Torres coming in late.

    Frame 4

    Lapierre heads to the side of the net, unguarded, as Torres throws the puck right back at him.

    Frame 5

    But Thomas easily slides over to block Lapierre’s one-timer. Inexplicably, a member of the crowd is facing in the wrong direction.

    Frame 6

    Undaunted, Lapierre collects the puck behind the net and presses on. He shakes off Chara’s check and relays the puck to Torres in the corner.

    Frame 7

    Torres passes up to Bieksa at the point, who has all kinds of time to walk in and make a play.

    Frame 8

    Bieksa deliberately fires the puck wide of Thomas, bouncing it off the boards behind the net right to Lapierre.

    Frame 9

    The ever-aggressive Thomas is suddenly way out of position, and no Bruin has picked up the unguarded Lapierre. The net’s wide open, but he has to shoot from a very sharp angle. Can he make it?

    Frame 10

    He does! Thomas and Seidenberg lunge desperately, but the puck squeezes across the line. Lapierre — and the rest of Vancouver — explode in celebration.

    Jun 112011

    The other night, Mike Milbury referred to Henrik and Daniel Sedin as “Thelma and Louise”. After last night’s game 5 win, the Sedins fired back.

    Courtesy of Chris Stevenson (Toronto Sun).

    First, from Henrik:

    That wasn’t too much fun. My son told me a man was making fun of me and Uncle Danny on TV. I said that can’t be true because that’s what usually happens in kindergarten. That’s what happened. Sometimes grown-ups have low self-esteem and get on guys and say stupid stuff.

    I think he has to be happy with his career. He did a great job on Long Island. I’m sure he is happy with that.

    Also, from Daniel:

    Usually, the guys who sit in those situations, they’re called experts. They’re there for a reason, I think. We don’t really worry about those kind of comments. He made a bad comment about us, calling us women. I don’t know how he looks at women. I would be pretty mad if I was a woman.

    No word if Milbury, in response, chased after the Sedins with a shoe.

    Jun 102011

    Today’s Vancouver Sun Playoff Panel preview of game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals include Dean Broughton, Scott Brown and Matt Black from the Vancouver Sun, Bob Mackin from 24 Hours Vancouver, Kristina Meakin (@vagablond), the Hockey Luvin Homos, and Chris Golden and myself from CHB.

    Watch live streaming video from thevancouversun at livestream.com

    Jun 102011

    Some quick thoughts going into game 5 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals tonight:

    • According to various reports, 21-year old Chris Tanev will slot in tonight in place of Keith Ballard.
    • Every team has jerks in its fanbase, but it’s disappointing to hear about the lengths some Bruins fans went to make life miserable for visiting Canucks fans. Never mind the bars that refused to serve Canucks fans, I’ve heard first-hand accounts from friends who made the trip to Boston that Bruins fans dumped beer all over them in the stands and called them all sorts of racist names on the streets. I’ve only seen a couple of news clips about other, similar incidents, but in each one, the Bruins fans interviewed all brushed them off. One fan went further and said, “What do they expect when they come here?” I know this isn’t a reflection of all Boston fans – and I would never dare paint all of Beantown with the same bad brush – but it’s disappointing to hear these stories nonetheless.
    • Mike Milbury’s track record as the Islanders’ GM is everything you need to know about his credentials as a hockey analyst. Among his moves include: trading Zdeno Chara and the second overall pick that turned into Jason Spezza for Alexei Yashin, and trading Roberto Luongo and Olli Jokinen for Oleg Kvasha and Mark Parrish. Of course, there are others. When you hear him call the Sedins, Thelma and Louise, take it with a grain of salt.
    • Speaking of Milbury, I find it hilarious to hear a guy who once beat up a fan with a shoe talk about how Maxim Lapierre denigrates the game.
    • Last point on the mudslinging in the media. Besides Milbury, Stan Fischer also called the Sedins ” a pair of Raggedy Anns” and Barry Rozner wrote a gutless piece on the Chicago Daily-Herald. Even as a blogger, I realize it’s one thing to be critical of a team or its players I follow and a completely different thing to make personal attacks on them. It’s baffling to me that these so-called professionals don’t see the difference. Rozner, especially, has written multiple, similar hit pieces, and should considered exhibit A as to why the ongoing MSM vs. blogger debate must end. I mean, given what Rozner has written, is the Chicago Daily-Herald really more reputable than some of the good Blackhawks blogs out there?
    • I heard Elliotte Friedman on TEAM 1040 this morning as he talked about how Boston fans at the TD Garden made a big difference in game 3 and 4. With all the talk about how quiet it is at times inside Rogers Arena, I hope Canucks fans can get as loud and give the boys in blue a big boost.
    • Some stats to chew on courtesy of Joey Kenward: the Canucks have won 5 straight playoff games at Rogers Arena and the Bruins have lost 4 straight away from the TD Garden. It’s often said a playoff series doesn’t turn until after a team loses on their home ice. That hasn’t happened yet and the Canucks, needing 2 wins to win the Cup, potentially, have 2 home games left.
    • A couple of articles I agree with: Jim Jamieson calling game 5 the biggest game in the history of the Canucks and Tom Benjamin calling this season the potential to be both the greatest season and greatest disappointment in Canucks history.
    Jun 102011

    There’s a scene in Will Ferrell’s flick Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, where he’s racing his nemesis Jean Girard when all of a sudden the two NASCAR drivers’ cars collide in an epic crash on the very last lap. Just when you think the race is over, the two start racing on foot towards the finish line. In case you haven’t watched the film, here’s the scene:

    Poor music and male-on-male kissing aside, that seems to sum up the Canucks’ current Stanley Cup situation to a tee. The racecar just crashed and it looks like if anyone’s going to get to the finish line, it’ll be in a 100-yard dash.

    Yes, the Vancouver Canucks are banged up. Such is life in the Stanley Cup playoffs, where it’s a marathon and not a sprint. In this current war of attrition, the Bruins are doing their job in the trenches and the Canucks couldn’t muster a response. But whether or not Ryan Kesler is still ailing from a groin injury or Henrik Sedin is battling some sort of lower- or upper-body injury, the reality is that this is a 2-2 series. For the Canucks, the finish line is within view. It’s so close, and the team can smell it.

    Vancouver is this close to either achieving something never before done in 40 years, or watching everything they worked so hard over the course of the last nine months slip from their fingers. That’s how much pressure is on the club.

    While the Bruins have been buoyed by the emotional loss of Nathan Horton, it’s become clear the Canucks need some sort of spark or some sort of leadership to drag them to that finish line. On normal nights, Ryan Kesler would be the driver of that car, but I’m seriously wondering if he’s physically able to put on the hero’s cape one more time and lift this team on his back. The Sedins, they’re giving it what they’ve got, but Brad Marchand is playing the Dave Bolland card perfectly. Who’s going to be the person to step up?

    Here’s where the character and integrity of this team will be tested. The Canucks car has clashed with the Bruins car on that final lap and the two are hobbling towards the finish line, and right now, the Bruins have a slight advantage.

    Can someone please will the Canucks on for just two games, three games max? Forget the bumps and bruises, because they’ll have all summer to recover. Recovering with a Stanley Cup would heal all wounds.

    One thing’s for certain; when it’s all said and done, the Canucks and Bruins will shake hands. But unlike Ricky Bobby and Jean Girard, Henrik Sedin certainly won’t be french-kissing Brad Marchand.

    Jun 102011

    [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:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.

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