Courtesy of Daniel Fung
THE PROVINCE REPORTS
Were it not for Roberto Luongo, Game 5 would have been over in a hurry. Luongo stood tall despite a lackluster effort and deserved much better on this night, writes Ed Willes.
Louie was one-man show against Ducks
"Of the many ways a team can lose, the Canucks were going down in the most dishonourable manner possible," writes Willes. "They looked like they quit on each other. In so doing, they'd compromised the character of every member of the organization not named Luongo. And their performance was so weak, so uninspired, so utterly lacking in passion and conviction, it called into question everything this team accomplished this season.
"That's how bad the Canucks were. And this is how good Luongo was. The lasting memory from this night will not be a Canucks team which was outshot 39-13 after two periods and failed to mount anything but the most token resistance against the Anaheim Ducks. It will be Luongo playing goal like Superman, extending himself to the point of exhaustion and coming out for more in overtime."
Even his teammates seemed mesmerized by Luongo's performance.
"What can you say about [Luongo]," said Brendan Morrison. "It was probably the best goaltending performance any of us have ever seen in one game."
"He did everything in his power to keep us in the game and it was solely his play that kept us in the game," said Markus Naslund.
Luongo pins blame on self
Apparently being Superman isn't good enough if the job doesn't get done. Despite turning in perhaps his most brilliant performance in his career, Roberto Luongo was pinning the blame, undeservedly, on himself after the game, writes Jason Botchford.
"It's probably one of the games I felt my best in my career," Luongo said. "I felt [I deserved better], but what are you going to do? Obviously I made a mistake there and it cost us the game. Right now, everything is surreal. Obviously, I'm disappointed because our season is over. I didn't feel like I deserved the season to be over. I wanted to keep going. I think it's going to hit harder when I wake up in the next day or two and I have nothing to do."
Canucks coach Alain Vigneault clearly saw things a bit differently.
"We asked our guys to try to put their best game on the ice," said Vigneault. "Roberto was able to do it, and play possibly his best game of the season. For whatever reason, none of our other guys were able to do the same thing."
Sedins sick to their stomachs
Criticized throughout the series, the Sedins finally shed some light on why perhaps they were not having a stellar second round, reports Jason Botchford. The Sedins had apparently been suffering from a serious stomach virus they contracted during the Dallas series and required IV and other medical treatments in order to keep playing. Still, after their season ended, they weren't making excuses about it.
"It's nothing we want to use as an excuse," Daniel said. "But because of it we haven't had the jump. Even so we have to play better than we did."
THE SUN REPORTS
Canucks a work in progress
Pegged by many at the start of the season to be on the outside of the playoffs looking in, the Canucks can hold their heads up high reflecting back on the season that was, writes Iain MacIntyre.
"Most people said we'd miss the playoffs," [Vancouver Canucks GM Dave] Nonis, almost as distraught as Luongo, whispered outside the Vancouver dressing room. "They said we wouldn't win our division, picked us to lose against Dallas [in the first round] and said we couldn't compete with Anaheim. I'm proud of these players. We've worked tremendously hard to get the respect back for our team."
Still, the Canucks will have a number of issues to address in the off-season. More size, more speed, more scoring, and more toughness seem to be the key points on the checklist.
"We've got more to do," Nonis concedes.
Call-up surprised Reid
In what he described as the most frustrating year of his pro career, Brandon Reid was shocked to learn he had been called up for Vancouver's Game 5 against the Anaheim Ducks last night, reports Brad Ziemer. A healthy scratch in three of Manitoba's seven games in their first round playoff series, Reid made the most of his one game in the playoffs with the Canucks drawing an assist on Alex Burrows' tying goal in the third period. Despite a poor season, Reid feels the call-up has boosted his confidence.
"I think it means that Vancouver actually does think I can play," Reid said. "When Vancouver calls me up it gives me a little bit of confidence because when you have to sit down in the American Hockey League it's tough on a player who has always played. It's going to be a good opportunity for me and hopefully I can show them that I can help the team out."
THE LA TIMES REPORTS
Wrong for Luongo to take blame
After the game, Roberto Luongo admitted he allowed his attention to wander which led to the game-winning goal, writes Helene Elliott. But while Roberto pinned the blame on himself, his Canuck teammates knew he was wrongfully taking the fall for something that wasn't his fault; not one bit.
"Without him, we wouldn't be here. We wouldn't have gotten this far," [Canucks centre Brendan] Morrison said. "By no means is this his fault."
And while the Ducks were clearly deserving of their Game 5 victory, even they had to tip their hats to the man who almost single-handedly extended this series to a sixth game back in Vancouver.
"Roberto gave them a chance to win tonight. Playing like that, at the end of the day, you deserve to win," said Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere. "You've got to give him credit. He never quit. He gave them a chance to stay alive, but at the end of the day it comes down to how we played, and when you play like that you put all the chances on your side."
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER REPORTS
Ducks GM Burke credits Linden
Trevor Linden might be the reason the Ducks have a chance to compete at the Stanley Cup, writes Mark Whicker. No, this isn't a criticism of the way Linden has played in the series which the Ducks clinched on Tuesday with a 2-1 overtime victory. Rather, it refers back to Linden' days as the President of the NHLPA and the key role he played in bringing the NHL back on the ice.
"Without him we might still be out," said [Brian] Burke, the Ducks general manager who was Vancovuer's assistant GM when Linden signed, and was Vancouver's GM when Linden returned in '02.
"He got a small group of players and management together and kept trying to get something done. He showed a lot of leadership."
Canucks.com would like to thank the LA Times, the Orange County Register, and the Riverside Press-Enterprise and their respective staff writers for providing their thoughts, opinions, and analysis throughout the second round of the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Canucks.com would also like to thank the Vancouver Sun and the Vancouver Province and their respective staff writers for providing their thoughts, opinions, and analysis all through-out the Vancouver Canucks 2007 Stanley Cup Playoff run.