We're sorry this recap took so long to show up, but let's be fair: So did the Hawks.
By now, anywyay, you would also have heard from a number of other blogs (some twice) about last night's game. You've either seen the game already, and if not, probably read up on the beat writers' various recaps and gone through the highlights.
If you haven't, here's a brief run-down of the stuff you need to know:
- Bickell opened the scoring, as he is wont to do, with a Tazerish deke that got the past just outside the reach of Luongo's skates, which he is not wont to do.
- The Canucks' tying goal was off a double-tip: first it hit Johnson, then Campbell, and unfortunately Crawford could not have predicted that bounce.
- The Hawks' chance to take a lead off a TMM penalty that the Canucks took went to waste, but only until seconds after it expired, when Keith and Campbell scored 17 seconds apart.
- Six different Blackhawks scored for the team, with Sharp the only player with two goals, but the line of Bolland-Frolik-Bickell was the most dominant. They, along with Campbell and Hammer, ended the night a collective +20. Especially impressive is the fact that they were assigned to the Sedins' line.
- Luongo was pulled after the 6th goal in the 3rd period, but seemed to tweak something towards the end of the 2nd. Surprising that AV kept him in, but it's never been in AV's modus operandi to pull Luongo when he's up against the Hawks.
And a few thoughts (mostly on Bolland):
- Holy Batman on a stick, BOLLAND. I don't remember how vocal I'd been about it, but I am definitely one of those who didn't want him to play tonight. Too risky, lost cause, etc etc. And I'll be honest, despite being president of the David Bolland Apologist Society, I didn't expect his comeback to spark that sort of fire in the team, let alone his line. I was really more worried about Scott being back on the ice with Seabrook out, and convinced myself that was the equivalent of being fed to the lions. But man, can you say game-changer for The Rat? UNF.
- This is still on Bolland: I still can't figure out what he does that helps his linemates' play. But I've never played hockey and compared to many of you out there, still pretty new to the intricacies of the sport, so maybe someone with more experience can figure out what it is he does on the ice that helps.
- The guys at Fifth Feather had a pretty detailed argument for why putting John Scott in the lineup has a trickle-down effect to how the rest of the team plays. I'm still hesitant to lay as much blame on Scott, but there is some merit to that line of thinking, which can be applied to Bolland's return, which the Fifth Feather also alluded to in their recap of last night's game. We were grasping at straws with the center position, which makes the decision to keep Sharp AWAY from center for so long that much more questionable, but having Dave just gives Q better options at creating lines.
- Lost in all this Bolland love: Viktor Stalberg and Troy Brouwer led the team in hits, with 8 apiece. Viktor Stalberg had 8 hits. What the fuck. Obviously someone's told him he'll need to be tougher and chippier to stay on the team, but this is still mildly shocking if only because it seemed, when we first got him, you could never mention Stalberg without adding "soft" in the same sentence. Me likey.
- I'll be the first to admit: I was ready for this season to end. I still am. I know this was an awesome showing, but the trick is acknowledging reality while basking in the glory of last night's victory. Is this still the Canucks' series? They're up 3-1, aren't they? Is this, as Puck Daddy says, just "Delaying the Inevitable"? Well, the numbers are definitely against us. You can count on less than one hand the number of teams that have come back from 3-0 deficits in the playoffs. The Canucks are, on paper at least, one of the most impressive President's Trophy winners in the last few years. We're headed back to Vancouver, and we're down half of our top defensive pair. This is still an uphill battle, but my mistake was in letting myself accept defeat so easily. I was ready to bring out the brooms and hand them to Vancouver, but somehow, and surprisingly so, the Blackhawks weren't. My mistake was in thinking they'd continue to take this abuse lying down. And if this season ends quicker than we'd all like to see, I would be happy to know the Blackhawks would rather die with a bang and not a whimper. If we're going to go down, we better go down like mother fucking Stanley Cup Champions.
LET'S GO HAWKS!