Okay, this is starting to become a repetitive and frustrating pattern.
Instead of earning a 1-1 split heading into the San Jose Shark Tank tonight, the Canucks are down two games to none, thanks to a costly move by Jannick Hansen within the final minute of the third period – He missed the open net from just over the center line, allowing the pesky Sharks to enter the Canucks zone unabated and score the tying goal. And sure enough, another former Canuck haunts the former team.
(Still) Not A Team Effort
Ryan Kesler showed up and was instrumental in the Canucks’ brief lead in Game Two. However, despite his third period heroics, the Canucks as a whole didn’t play a complete game. For the first 10 minutes of the first period, the Canucks on every line was unrelenting. Then after that, they simply stopped. The Sharks didn’t just “weather the storm,” the Canucks didn’t keep up the pressure. This allowed Thornton’s goal and it created for San Jose many power play opportunities. Once again, the Sharks were successful in playing their frustrating, fore check strategy to a tee.
And again, where were the Sedins? Nowhere to be found. They’ve had their opportunities in the first ten minutes but then just went away, trying to make their shots from Antti Niemi’s perimeter. What makes them think that scoring from an impossible angle could work? Burrows registered at least one shot and was instrumental in the Canucks’ penalty kill. But again, more will be needed from this line before it’s too late.
HNIC Commentator Don Cherry was right for a change. It’s not Roberto Luongo’s fault that he is in a 0-2 deficit. The problem is the team in from of him. Even if Coach Vigneault started Cory Schneider in San Jose, the goaltending really isn’t the entire problem. Give either Schneids a shot or Lou another chance and either of them would do just fine. It’s the defence and the forwards that need to pull back and help him out. And in turn, create better scoring opportunities past the perimeter and make things difficult for Niemi and the Sharks defence.
Into the Shark Tank
The Sharks have defeated the Canucks all season and into the first two games. Coach Todd McLellan is breathing a sigh of relief now that his team is on a roll. If the Sharks lose in the first round, and there’s a minuscule chance now that they still might, there will be some changes afoot from the management level down. But thanks to Logan Couture, Raffi Torres, and Brent Burns for stepping up during the first two games, San Jose’s chances of moving to the next round seem to be more likely.
Despite being up two games to none, Todd McLellan isn’t taking any chances:
— Perry Solkowski (@ctvperry) May 5, 2013
Historically, the odds will certainly be against Vancouver. The Canucks have never won a playoff series being down two games to none. And home is not where the heart is lately, having lost six straight home games going back to Game 7 against Boston in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. Perhaps a change of venue might work best for the Canucks because for the home team, Rogers Centre appears to be an intimidating place to play. Just ask Boston, Chicago and L.A.
Dorothy used to say, “There’s no place like home.” For the Canucks, anyplace other than home would suffice right now.
A former novice/atom player, timekeeper and fan of the game, Peter has lived and breathed hockey throughout his life, covering hockey happenings in Edmonton, Vancouver, and currently in Saskatchewan. He is now a contributing writer for the Hockey Writers.