The Goods: Hawks top Canucks
Emotion. Effort. Fight. This game had it all, except the right finish.
The Vancouver Canucks played their best game in weeks dropping a 2-1 overtime decision to the Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday night at the Madhouse on Madison, aka the United Centre.
The Canucks presented a united front rebounding from a shutout loss with an inspired game that began with Jannik Hansen opening the scoring a mere 27 seconds in on Vancouver’s first shot.
The opening period was controlled by the Canucks right up until Duncan Keith delivered an elbow to the head of Daniel Sedin knocking him out of the game after he made a brief appearance on the ensuing two-minute power play.
The weather outside in Chicago was so hot Wednesday it tied for the hottest day in March ever on record, yet it
paled in comparison to the heated battle that ensued following Keith’s hit.
Emotions boiled over for the Canucks in the second period as they were assessed six two-minute minors and a pair of 10-minute misconducts; Keith was tagged with a pair of minors and a 10-minute misconduct as well.
When the dust settled the real game began and the play between these hated rivals, who were meeting for the 35th time in the last four season (more than any other Western Conference opponents), brought the best out of the two.
The fact that the Canucks lost again and have just a goal in their first two road outings of a four-game trip is beside the point. Vancouver showed up on this night and that says more about where the team is right now.
“This was by far our best team game in a lot of weeks, we won games before but we really didn’t play the way we wanted to,” said Henrik Sedin, who was a minus-1 with two
shots and a pair of hits. “Tonight everyone showed up, we used all four lines and stuck to our game plan. We didn’t feel that we needed to score right away or feel that we
needed to win the game 5-0, we played as a team and we should be proud of that.”
Roberto Luongo, who came into the game at 0-3-0 with a 5.28 goals-against average over his last four starts, was excellent in the loss; were it not for Johnny Oduya’s shot deflecting in off the shin of Andrew Shaw in overtime, he might have just stolen this game for the Canucks.
“I felt good, made some big saves, obviously it’s unfortunate they got that lucky one in OT, I thought we had a really good effort in the third period, but their goalie made some
big saves as well,” said Luongo, following a 35-save effort.
“It was a high intensity game, the crowd was into it, that always gets the guys going a little bit and just like every other game, it was a playoff type atmosphere for sure. It was a
fun game to be a part of; unfortunately the result was not so fun.”
Special teams both helped and hurt the Canucks with the power play struggling going 0-for-3, all in the first period with Vancouver leading 1-0, while the penalty kill was flawless going a perfect 5-for-5.
The Canucks stressed the importance of taking the positives from this game and moving on with the Dallas Stars up next Thursday night in the team’s second last back-to-back series of the season.
KEITH TAKES OUT D.SEDIN
The elbow Duncan Keith delivered on Daniel Sedin with 6:24 remaining in the first period was “deliberate” according to Canucks coach Alain Vigneault.
It was apparently even more deliberate than anyone thought.
Post-game Henrik Sedin said Keith told Daniel “I’m going to get you,” or something to that effect, prior to delivering the nasty blow that knocked Daniel from the game.
Keith didn’t admit or deny the hit was premeditated, but there’s no denying his actions could have a lingering affect on one of Vancouver’s best players.
Vigneault said Daniel will be re-evaluated Thursday in Dallas and he wasn’t willing to comment on his player’s condition without more information.
He’s now hoping the NHL disciplines Keith for the blow that was “everything you’re trying to take out of the game.
“I expected a major, I got a minor. We’ll let the league deal with it."
ON THE REBOUND
The Canucks have been shutout four times this season, most recently last Monday in Minnesota, and in losing to Chicago, Vancouver fell short for the first time this season after being blanked.
Vancouver sported a 3-0-0 record after being shutout, having outscored its opponent 16-8; that record falls to 3-0-1, with the goal differential at 17-10.
Under coach Alain Vigneault the Canucks are 17-5-2 after being shutout, having heavily outscored the opposition to the tune of 90-57 with four or more goals in 14 of those 24 games.
Vancouver has not suffered a regulation loss after being blanked since October 5, 2009. Henrik Sedin has led the Canucks in scoring with 29 points (5-24-29 with three game-winning goals) in those games following being shut out while Daniel Sedin is a close second with 27 points (11-16-27 with five game-winners).
Thank you Jen Rollins.
-@sportsnetmurph, questioning who would step up and avenge the loss of Daniel Sedin.
having bobble head nights at 1-0-1. You asked for random, right?
game 1,100 of the NHL’s season schedule. That’s a lot of hockey.
played before pre-game warm-up and it was sweet. I couldn't find the original video, but here's the song.