*Game three preview as posted on the CLS mini-blog Canucks vs. Blackhawks.*
So after 2 games in Vancity, the Hawks have taken home ice advantage. After outplaying the Canucks in Game 2, the sky is falling in Vancouver. A guy at my work is already wanting to sell his tickets to game 5. Bandwagoners. It's not like the Canucks are down 3-1 in the series, no, we have a split. Ok, so we have now lost the home ice advantage, and yes we are now going into one of the (recently) loudest buildings in the NHL, but whatever, it's called adversity. I didn't sit through games at GM Place during their 9 game losing streak to give up on them after 1 loss. The Canucks were on an 8 game winning streak before Saturday night, something had to give. Even Boston and Detroit lost, only the Caps are up 2-0 in their series. The parity from each of the series' and the numbers from that Crovechkin match-up has Bettman grinning ear to ear these days.
What else makes Mr. Bettman smile? Celebrity bandwagoners.
Obviously it would be great for the Canucks to win both road games, but realistically I would like for them to steal one on the road and come back home even.
Game 2 the Blackhawks just outplayed the Canucks. The Canucks scored two goals, on the powerplay, lost a D man and then just decided to pack it in. By the time the Hawks scored twice in the 2nd period, the fans started to revolt. If only I had called security on the fan nazi sitting behind me earlier. Just a heads up, if you behind me at a game, DON'T tell me I have to cheer or try to rally the troups to join your dumb chants, it ain't happening. If being down 5-2 doesn't motivate the players to score goals, your scratchy bitchy voice ain't doing it.
Looking ahead, the Canucks have gone to Chicago without Sami Salo who can be arguably one of the Canucks' best defencemen. Besides the fact we will miss his rocket of a shot from the point, his defensive pairing with Mitchell will be shaken up. Ossi Vaananen will draw into the lineup to replace him, but it won't be the same for the team that has been weak on their play in the defensive zone.
In other injury news, Demitra didn't practice today, which led to speculation that he is also injured from the hit with Campbell. In a perfect non-injury world, Pyatt would draw in to replace Hordichuk on the 4th line, but instead he might move on to the 3rd and Raymond moving up to the wing on the 2nd. All this remains to be seen tomorrow, and Pyatt playing is purely speculation on my part, but since there was an almost loss, and then a loss, I can't see why you wouldn't play him if he's ready.
To the Chicago fans, man Seabrook is playing like he's superhuman. I only hate because I'd love him on my team.
Luongo issued a challege for the guys to "step up as a team" and I think they will. Maybe Vancouver won't see a win tomorrow, but a good game would make up for the fact that we gotta skip out of work early to catch the 5pm start.