Winds Of Change
With every win the Canucks move one game closer to lifting Lord Stanley’s mug, but with every loss the City of Vancouver moves one step closer to riot 3.0.
The Canucks know how important every last game can be, so after every win and loss NWSB will outline the reasons the Canucks are either destined for Stanley Cup glory or hockey riot hell.
Daniel the Difference
Daniel Sedin gave the Canucks something the rally around in Game Four, reinforcing Vancouver’s top line alongside his brother to give the Canucks some confidence after a frustrating first three games against the Kings.
Henrik Sedin looked like a new man playing alongside his brother once again, burying a power play goal to solidify Vancouver’s first win of the series in Los Angeles. Win or lose the captain has lead by example throughout the series and will need to carry the load offensively the rest of the way.
Schneider Shuts it Down
Cory Schneider was phenomenal in Game Four, keeping the Kings to a lone goal allowed early after Mason Raymond played the Bull to Anze Kopitar’s matador during the first period. After allowing the early snipe past to give the Kings an early lead, Schneider shut the door, keeping his skaters confident throughout the final forty minutes.
Kevin Bieksa elevated his game on Wednesday, keeping calm in his own end and contributing offensively with the game-winning goal past Jonathan Quick. You know Bieksa is in the zone when he’s playing games with the media.
In which Kevin Bieksa impersonates Ryan Kesler, boasting american propaganda to an oblivious Mike Dunsmore. youtu.be/DkEnLGTI3ro
— Kevin Vanstone (@KevinVanstone) April 21, 2012
Alex Edler played his best game of the series Wednesday against the Kings, contributing a goal of his own to ensure he can celebrate his birthday on a high note. Edler turns 26 on Saturday, and can expect some playoff-calibre gifts from friends, family and Canucks fans alike.
Power Play Produces
The return of Daniel Sedin reignited Vancouver’s power play on Wednesday, leading to a pair of goals on the man advantage after the Canucks had gone 0-14 to start the series.
Oh Daniel, so humble.
More Daniel: “We’ll see how it goes. Hopefully, I can play on the power play and be a little bit of a difference there.” #Canucks
— Brad Ziemer (@BradZiemer) April 17, 2012
The Canucks have a number of turning points to look towards after Wednesday’s confident win in Game Four. Cory Schneider’s third period stop on Dustin Brown could be the save of the series, a converted penalty shot could have easily sparked a comeback to preserve the sweep.
Just as Cory Schneider’s big save gave the Canucks the confidence they needed to close out the game, so does the in-series momentum favour Vancouver heading into Game Five. With every victory the possibility of a reverse sweep for the Canucks becomes a reality.
Despite being down three games to one, the Canucks have one advantage heading into the final few games of the series. After disappointing the home crowd in Game Four, the Canucks can look forward to last change and lively fans on Sunday at Rogers Arena.
Mason Raymond has seriously struggled against the Kings during the series, and has been sent a clear message by Head Coach Alain Vigneault heading into Game Five.
Vigneault on Raymond – “Obviously the way he’s playing right now, he doesn’t deserve to be on one of those top three lines.” #canucks
— Hosea Cheung (@hosea24hours) April 20, 2012
Roberto Luongo may have lost his position as Vancouver’s starter for the time being, but #1 continues to be a team player as the Canucks attempt to complete the comeback. Don’t rule Roberto out of the series altogether, even the Kings know he’s still the best goaltender this city has ever seen.
Mitchell on Luongo:”We have a guy who has been outstanding, but I think Louie’s goaltending (in 06/07) was the best I ever saw.”
— Iain MacIntyre (@imacVanSun) April 20, 2012
Thanks to a pair of Coldplay concerts over the weekend, the Canucks and Kings have been given three days off between games four and five. The delay undoubtedly favours the Canucks who gain additional recovery time for Daniel Sedin and can allow a frustrating loss to sit with the Kings as they are forced to fly back to Vancouver.
All four series’ in the Western Conference were locked in at three games to one heading into Friday night’s action. Can the Canucks be one of the teams in the West to turn it around after the Red Wings bit the bullet in Nashville?
Jonathan Quick was a key to victory for the Kings in Game Three, but couldn’t keep up with Cory Schneider and the Canucks in the first elimination game of the series.
The Canucks must win the goaltending matchup if they are to have any chance at completing the comeback.
Both the Vancouver Canucks and the Pittsburgh Penguins were Stanley Cup favourites heading into this year’s playoff but face a serious challenge after dropping the first three games of their respective series.
After both the Penguins and Canucks responded with confident wins in Game Four, can either conference juggernaut come back with the reverse fix?