Ending on a Blue note
op·po·nent – Someone who competes against or fights another in a contest, game, or argument.
It’s mid-April and the weather is nice. Usually this means the playoffs have started. (The Vancouver Canucks actually are in a weird position this year where their regular season will end later in April than their playoff run did last year).
Thanks to the lockout, we’re not quite there yet but someone maybe forgot to tell the Canucks. After a chippy game against Nashville the night prior, Vancouver and St Louis engaged in an all-out bloodbath that a bit of hockey thrown in.
Considering we could very well see these two teams tangle in the first round, it’s a candidate for game of the year.
1. That Schneider kid is pretty good
It’s not shocking, but the Canucks success in the playoffs this year entirely depends on Cory Schneider. If they’re gonna win the cup, he’s winning the Conn Smythe.
Last night was just another day at the office for the redhead, keeping the Canucks alive and coming within a late Jay Bouwmeester goal of stealing the game outright.
Save us ginger Jesus.
2. Steady Eddie
Alex Edler‘s powerplay goal with 13 seconds left in the second was huge, both for him and the powerplay.
Edler’s been sleepwalking through the season, not even noticing when Phoenix goaltenders are in his path. Quite like Schneider, he holds the Canucks fortunes in his playoff ceiling.
3. Kassian’s hairline
Turns out either David Backes is my father, or my father’s friend, or inside my head or something, as the Blues captain mocked Kassian about going bald after a scrum last night.
You’re late to the party Backes, but your wife is still a great gal.
To win a hockey game, you need to score goals. Preferably more than one.
This has been the Canucks’ achilles heel this season, who somehow prefer to see how few goals both teams can score.
Can’t rely on your goaltender to be perfect and then throw him under the bus when he’s not (again).
2. A shootout?
This was a playoff game, and by rights it should have been settled in 5-on-5 overtime.
That a skills competition could decide who rightly won that rugby scrum is as relevant as flipping a coin, drawing straws or playing potatoes.
3. No more Ebbett
This whole Roy/Kesler on the wing thing is fine enough, but the failing of the experiment comes when Andrew Ebbett becomes the third line centre. Especially in this game with playoff intensity, he faltered. He was miserable.
The Canucks need Derek Roy to anchor a third line that can tear up opponent’s third pairing come playoff time.
Ebbett can’t even tread water at this point.
- 1. D. Backes
- 2. J. Bouwmeester
- 3. B. Elliott