|David Booth was one of the few bright spots in the Canucks lineup last night. (Getty Images)|
It’s hard to really qualify or quantify or categorize last night’s game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Chicago Blackhawks, a 5-1 win for Chicago that looked more like a 2-1 win until the final minutes of the third period, when the Great Chicago Fire got hot and burned the pinching, forechecking Canucks and inept (but abandoned) goaltender Cory Schneider.
Was that succinct enough? Polarizing enough?
It’s hard to watch the first 50 minutes of last night’s game and believe that the outcome was a 5-1 win. I could believe 2-1, or 3-1, but I would only believe 3-1 if you told me that Chicago scored an empty net goal with (approximately) 37 seconds left to go.
The Canucks actually outplayed Chicago for large parts of this game, and the final shots rang in at 29-27 Vancouver – the only team I can ever remember to not have one powerplay in a National Hockey League game.
(*NOTE: the Hawks had a penalty called on them as time expired in the third period. Congratulations, Zebras, you gave them one. Quota filled.)
The Blackhawks had their chances in the first period as the Canucks did their traditional move of pinching and not recovering, Kevin Bieksa most of all (although he was curiously a +1 on the night). Then again, the Canucks had their chances too, most notably an open net tap-in that glided over the stick of Vancouver’s Jannik Hansen and tumbled depressingly into the corner. That goal would have put the Canucks up 2-0, and only a pro-refereed game in favour of Chicago could have saved the Blackhawks at that point (although they got it, in the end).
It’s impossible to complain about poor refereeing – or inconsistent refereeing – in a 5-1 game, but this wasn’t your normal 5-1 game, in much the same manner that the Canucks 6-2 win over Chicago a week-and-a-half ago wasn’t your normal 6-2 game, and the Canucks 7-4 win over the Capitals on October 31 wasn’t your normal 7-4 win, either.
(*NOTE: If you can’t pick it up already, I’m saying that there aren’t any trends, patterns, or logic we can apply to last night’s game.)
The scary thing about last night is that the Chicago Blackhawks beat us in the same manner that they beat us in two straight playoff rounds in 2009 and 2010. They beat us badly in game that they didn’t outplay us in, and they cashed in on their powerplays while the Canucks refused to kill them – regardless of the quality of the calls.
Cory Schneider looked extremely normal as a goaltender (which is not good for a job position of which there are only 30 in the world), and Canucks fans got the feeling that it may not have been Luongo’s fault all along.
|This doesn’t matter now, as much as it does…|
At 9-9-1, the Vancouver Canucks are still waiting to show up. Canucks fans are saying that it’s painful that they haven’t shown up yet, and that this is sad.
What would be really sad is if they have shown up.
White Cover Staff
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