It was the wrong call without question. ‘Too Many Men’ penalties happen and like the ‘Delay Of Game’ it is often a matter of inches. However, in the playoffs and especially in Overtime you don’t call those penalties unless they are very obvious such as throwing the puck out of play or having 7 guys involved in the play. The Canucks players and fans have a right to be upset with that call by the officials but unfortunately there is no recourse. The ref’s won’t remember or care that it happened because it seems to be so inconsistent everywhere in the league and in every game that it hardly matters but that is little consolation to the rest of us.
The first game was full of jump from both teams and the deciding factor was exactly what we expected with the forwards stepping up and the depth of the team showing its full force. Obviously Mikael Samuelsson was the hero and I would say there were maybe only 2-3 players that weren’t playing the proper jump in their step. I’ll avoid names for game 1 because they won.
In game 2 however I have a name I will gladly throw under the bus without hesitation. Remember how you felt watching Shane O’Brien when he first came to Vancouver and how slow and lazy this guy was, leading the league in penalty minutes for almost 2 seasons. Well Andrew Alberts is worse and considerably more frustrating. I was happy to see him come to Vancouver as he had played pretty well in Carolina, I liked his style and his energy and he had no problem with leveling someone on every play. Since coming to Vancouver I have barely seen him move his brick-like feet and his apathy to playing with energy probably cost Vancouver the game yesterday. I know it’s a team sport and sure they could have had a better second period but I’m going to pick on Alberts and blame him for the whole thing. Move your feet, keep your stick down, don’t elbow anybody and maybe you’ll get another chance to play. If I’m Coach V, I’m putting in pretty much any other person I can, even Evan Oberg at this point because Alberts is hurting the Canucks much more than he is helping.
To the strong points, Luongo was not fantastic but still very good and the forwards were playing with energy even if the passes were not as crisp as the first game. The D group was slow all night and maybe that is just everyone playing big minutes they are not used to. I was glad to see Edler continue his strong play and watching him obliterate Drew Dougthy in game 1 was proof that the playoffs don’t require any buildup.
Look for the Canucks to simplify their defensive strategy going into Game 3 with an aggressive fore-check. Aaron Rome should be ready to play for Game 3 and that should help as he has been spectacular this season and will allow everyone on the back end to ease up on the work load. There should still be much confidence in the Canuck dressing room and they should be ready to avenge their Game 2 loss on the very questionable penalty call.
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Written by Luke Mirza