Some debated prior to game two of this series if that game was indeed a must win. Opinions were split; obviously you never want to lose the first two when you are the home team but really, just look what Boston did last season before going on to winning the Stanley Cup.
Now we wait for game three to get going Sunday night and there is no doubt about it; this is a must win game for the Vancouver Canucks.
Going down three games to none is not an option; not for a team that has such high hopes of not only winning the Stanley Cup, but just getting out of the opening round.
It’s funny as it’s been pointed out that the Vancouver Canucks must now look to their biggest enemy for inspiration to win.
Keep in mind, inspiration is different than motivation. This team hasn’t looked motivated when they should but motivated Sunday they must be.
Back to the inspiration side of things; ah yes, the Boston Bruins.
Not only did the B’s lose Games 1 & 2 of a series twice last season, they lost those games of their first round matchup at home. As Alanis Morissette would say, isn’t it ironic?
Stay the Course
So how do the Canucks respond in Game 3? They don’t have Boston’s toughness and grit. They do have equal diving power.
Yeah, I said it! Alas diving, as we saw in game one, is not the answer. It’s staying out of the penalty box like they did for the most part in game two but failed to do so in the 3rd period, which is when LA scored the winning goal.
The mantra doesn’t change though, don’t take penalties. It’s pretty sad the refereeing isn’t ever going to be consistent, but that’s not something the organization can control. It’s keep doing what you’re doing and just play to your full potential.
Be disciplined and play smart hockey.
1A or 1B
Another rather sad and pathetic thing about this apparently great team we have is that they play better in front of the backup.
This is just another reason why Roberto Luongo deserves better than what credit we so scarcely give him. Coach Alain Vigneault said Saturday that he has made a decision on who he’s starting but wouldn’t reveal who. Either way, one can expect a great performance from the netminder.
It’s just such a travesty because if the Canucks lose in this round or whatever round, and I stress IF, the blame will somehow be put on Luongo, regardless of if he plays like the all-world goalie that he is.
Let’s be honest, the Canucks have a better chance of closing the gap tomorrow night if Cory Schneider gets the nod, but it won’t be because of how he plays.
Coming into this series, it was the 8th seeded LA Kings who really had nothing to lose. They were never expected by anyone to beat the mighty President’s Trophy champs.
However, up 2-0 in this West Quarterfinal, they find their opponent with almost nothing to lose anymore, at least in contrast to what they had to lose before the series started.
Sure, Henrik et al would be blown up should they lose this best of 7, but if they lose game three, it’s more or less over.
Now please don’t get me wrong, I’ll be the first to tell any Canucks fan to believe no matter what but less than a hand’s worth of teams have ever come back from three games down to win a series…in pro sports history.
This squad, with all their talent just have to bear down and do what they know they can do.
Win every puck battle, finish every check, stay classy and for crying out loud, as we’ve learned from Junior in Cool Runnings, “Don’t take no crap from nobody.”
BEST BET TO WIN: I’ve been wrong twice so far but this time I am sure; take the Vancouver Canucks.
In my mind, there is just no way I can see the Canucks going down three games to none. It would be the second to last thing I expected to happen before we began this series; the last thing being the Canucks getting knocked out.
Puck drop is at 7:30PM on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada and TEAM1040 Radio.
Follow me on twitter @vancan19 for some great in-game tweets!