Chicago followed a key victory in game 3 with an even more impressive victory over the Vancouver Canucks with a 7-4 win.
Many people predicted home ice advantage would be huge in this series, as both teams are solid at home carrying impressive numbers over the regular season.
Obviously this is not the regular season, and thus far in the playoffs home ice advantage has meant diddly-squat. Vancouver took game 1 in Chicago, thumping the Blackhawks and taking a split back home, which for the Canucks was huge. However, Chicago walked right into Vancouver’s barn and stole 2 games, with both games being by convincing scores in favour of the Hawks.
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp led the way with a combined 9 points between them.
Toews set a Chicago Blackhawk record scoring 3 powerplay goals and adding 2 apples, Patrick Sharp quietly added a goal and 3 assists. Tazer is showing the signs of being a great captain in leading by example, not getting rattled when something goes the wrong way for the Hawks, but the next shift coming out and making key plays and working even harder. Sharpie’s speed seems to be overlooked, how many times did Patrick take the puck in the Hawks’ end and race down to the opposition’s end last night? Now Patrick is getting rewarded on the scoreboard for his huge efforts and solid play.
How good has Brent Seabrook been in the playoffs?
Seabs is leading all Hawk defenseman with 8 points in the playoffs and is a key part of the powerplay and penalty kill along with bringing some serious physical play to each and every game. Shades of last year, huh? Brent played a touch under 26 minutes last night and every minute of it was solid Partner in crime Duncan Keith played a whopping 29 minutes. The combo of Keith and Seabrook so far have been able to limit the dynamic duo of Henrik and Daniel Sedin to limited scoring opportunities which, for obvious reasons, is key to winning this series.
What’s going on with Bobby Lou and the gang?
Roberto Luongo last night did not do what he needed to do and that is make a big save. The prior game he looked shaky giving up numerous rebounds on easy shoot-ins from the Hawks, and in game #4′s contest he was even worse and with that being said, I tend to believe some of the Canuck crowd faithful were not chanting “Louuuuu” but many of those were actual “Boooo’s”. A ton of complaining about officiating coming from the Vancouver locker room last night and the one that shocked me the most was Daniel Sedin saying something on the lines of that the referees are calling the penalties as they are seeing them and it is costing us games. Will Daniel be fined for that? Who knows. Vancouver has been taking some ridiculous penalties with Burrows and O’Brien taking the worst of them and if they are going to come back in this series they need to find some composure quick-like.
“We lost our composure again,” said Luongo,. “I don’t know why it happened. We were all on the same page before the game, and I don’t know.” via Yahoo Sports.
There are a ton of Hawks’ fans who seem to think this series is over Sure the odds are in Chicago’s favour, but I urge you to not get cocky… Confident? You bet, but be wary of what you say, as the 4th win and/or ending a series is always the toughest.
Chicago carried a 2 goal lead into the third period, and if I was a betting man, I would bet that 90% of the Chicago faithful were sitting on the edge of their seats, as we all know what the Canucks can do offensively. Vancouver scored 4 times against the Hawks last night and that’s not something to write home about. If Chicago did not capitalize early on their powerplay opportunities this game could have been a different story but they did and was a huge reason why they pulled out a monster playoff road win. Also, take the Montreal Canadiens who came back against the Washington Capitals who were the overall best team in the regular season being down 3 games to 1 with huge Kudos of course going to Jaroslav Halak. Can Luongo play like Halak? He definitely has the skill set to do it.
In ending, Chicago’s game plan has been working to a tee and using Dustin Byfuglien up front so far has been a genius move by Joel Quenneville as he is clearly in the heads of the Canuck players. In game 3 he lit the lamp three times while being a pest in front of Luongo. In game #4 he was not as much of a pest although he was definitely a presence and the Canucks were seemingly focused on Big Buff taking ridiculous penalties that would make any coach cringe. Let’s hope the Hawks can end the series Sunday night and keep up with their stellar play, so far so good.
About the Author
Written by Trent Kondo
An all around sports fan and has been a Chicago BlackHawks supporter longer then he can remember. Currently writes for Prosportsblogging.com on the Blackhawks and NHLHotstove.com on the Edmonton Oilers. (If you would like to email feel free to contact Trent at TKONHOCKEY@gmail.com )