Game #8: Blackhawks 1 - Vancouver 2 (SO)
Game SummaryThe Canucks held tough and managed to win this grudge match, but it was not a dominating performance. In fact, they narrowly escaped with the victory. Roberto Luongo was terrific, as he kept Alexander Edler's goal meaningful for nearly 50 minutes. After Patrick Kane tied the game in the third period, Luongo stood tall for the remainder of regulation, overtime, and even stopped all four shooters he faced in the shootout.
For the home team, Jordan Schroeder came up huge with the game winning shootout goal, beating the nearly impenetrable wall established by Corey Crawford.
Three UpRoberto Luongo - Despite being outshot, the Canucks led for most of the night and pulled out a victory in the shootout. Bobby Lou was the largest reason for this.
Jordan Schroeder - Scoring the shootout winner and playing another solid game, this young forward has been creative offensively and responsible defensively.
Team Discipline: True, these are not the Chicago Blackhawks of 2010 that steamrolled the Canucks physically en route to their Stanley Cup, but they still have the pesky Patrick Kane, Dave "the rat" Bolland, and a host of team toughness to go along with it, but the Canucks didn't bother to go out of their way to get retribution for Duncan Keith's hit on Daniel Sedin. The Canucks showed poise and discipline and walked away with two points.
Three DownSedin Twins: Yet again, the twins did very little offensively. In fact, the scoring chances were 15-5 for the Blackhawks, and the Canucks tried to trap and suck every ounce of excitement out of this game. The Sedins need to find their legs and their scoring touch soon, as the team is relying upon amazing goaltending and timely goals from the defence to get by.
Powerplay: Once again, the Canucks struggled on the power play. The third period alone saw multiple opportunities to re-take the lead, but they were unable to capitalize.
Secondary Scoring: Not to beat a dead horse, but Alexander Edler provided the only offence for a team starving for goals from the forwards. Burrows has been better, but Henrik, Higgins, Hansen and most of the 4th line have yet to hit the scoreboard. Daniel Sedin's two goals are also not on pace for a player of his calibre.
Final ThoughtThe team has managed a 4-2-2 record to start, but has forfeited third period leads in four separate games and given away points to conference rivals in every one of those games. Perhaps a win is a win, but there are some troubling trends.
Defenders are providing a lot of offence for the Canucks - which is good - but a lack of primary scoring and sporadic secondary scoring has been flying under the radar thanks to Zack Kassian, Mason Raymond, and the amazing start to the year by Roberto Luongo.
All in all, a win is a win, but hopefully the 'real' Canucks will show up soon for their fans. Or, are these the real Canucks?