Between the Green Men and their flasher friend, crazy has become the norm amongst Canucks fans, so the appearance of Captain Canuck and his Canuckettes hardly draws attention anymore. But a dude in a Red Wings jersey at a Vancouver playoff game? That’s just wrong.
Second line concerns
Todd McLellan has them, and he also knows that a key element to scoring goals is to be in the other team’s zone.
Don’t worry Todd, we have a solution
Or at least Yahoo’s Jason Bourne does…
On zone entries — whether they have numbers or not — the Sharks need to place puck possession at a premium. Whether that means they need to run some delays and wait for help, or they need to curl back in the neutral zone until they can regroup and take another offensive run, it has to happen. They need to keep the puck in their hands until it’s time to fire.
When you work so hard to get possession, and find that the second your opponent touches the thing they establish solid control right back, frustration builds. As McLellan said, the score was only 3-2 when his team started having a meltdown, but they didn’t seem to sense that the game was still within reach.
I’d keep my head up, Mr. Eager
Please recall Alain Vigneault’s quote from yesterday in which he called out Ben Eager after the Sharks’ rampant idiot wasn’t given any punishment for his conduct during Game 2. Vigneault gave more than just his candid opinion of Eager, subtly saying that retribution may be forthcoming.
“Obviously if he (Eager) is undisciplined and the referees call it, then it’s favorable to us. That being said, you don’t want players running around trying to hurt people. It’s evident by him challenging the bench, him challenging the bench at the end of the period, his coach saying that’s how he wants him to play, that I hope nothing bad happens because some people are going to have to pay for it.”
Sure, retribution is very much part of the hockey culture, and that’s fine as long as it’s limited to some fisticuffs and doesn’t cross into Todd Bertuzzi territory. But players and coaches need to learn that even hinting at retribution prior to a game makes them look unintelligent, and sends hockey another step back towards joining the cavemen.
Game 3 of the Western Final seems like a fine time for a playoff debut
Canucks centre Alexandre Bolduc thinks so, or at least he has to because he doesn’t have a choice. Bolduc hasn’t played since March 31, but he’ll replace Cody Hodgson on Vancouver’s fourth line tonight. At 6’1″, 197 pounds, Bolduc is better suited for the brief but important fourth line minutes he’ll receive in which he’s primarily expected to throw his body around.
There’s also a possibility that Vigneault will slide in Tanner Glass, giving Jeff Tambellini a seat in the press box.
The physical battle isn’t going as planned
One of the few sure advantages the Sharks seemingly had entering this series was their size, which lead to the obvious conclusion that they could win battles for loose pucks and maybe intimidate the Canucks. As Nucks Misconduct notes, that hasn’t happened, and Vancouver has actually shown more physicality.