Game 7’s can go one of two ways. They can be built up and ultimately disappoint because the superior team comes out and dominates resulting in a dud of a game, like how the Philadelphia Flyers did tonight as they beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 in their Game 7 contest, or they can be close, exciting and provide edge-of-your-seat play for 60 minutes or more.
The second type of Game 7 is exactly what the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks brought us in their Game 7 tonight at Rogers Arena.
All the talk going into Game 7 was how much pressure was on the Canucks, and especially starting goalie Roberto Luongo after he was benched for Game 6.
The real story might have been the rookie goalie starting in net for the Chicago Blackhawks. While all the attention was on how Luongo would respond after his benching, Corey Crawford played a spectacular game in net for the Blackhawks, as he helped them stay in the game with big save after big save. One on a penalty shot against Alex Burrows early in the 3rd period and another clutch save late in the third period against Ryan Kesler really stood out.
That save on Kesler might have been the turning point if the Blackhawks had gone on to win as it kept the Blackhawks only a goal behind. Eventually the Blackhawks kept pushing and pushing until Jonathan Toews finally scored to tie it up at 1-1 at the 18:04 mark of the third period and helped send the game into overtime. Without Crawford’s play they might not have been in the position to tie it so late.
You couldn’t have asked for more than a Game 7 that goes to overtime if you’re a fan. Regardless of whether you’re a Canucks fan or a Blackhawks fan you can’t deny what a great Game 7 this was to watch.
What looked to be a Canucks first round series victory after they led for the first 58:04 minutes of the game as they after protected a 1-0 lead on a goal by Alex Burrows turned in the matter of seconds after Toews tied it up.
You certainly can’t blame Luongo for the game going to overtime as he played like his regular ole’ dominating self making 30 saves on 31 shots before the overtime frame started.
The other big name of the night was Alex Burrows.
He scored the first goal of the game, he had a penalty shot, he took a penalty early in overtime and then he made the play of the game after he caught the puck in the air with his glove in the Blackhawks’ end and took a rolling puck after he dropped it and just drilled it into the net and past Crawford for the game winning and game series goal. Needless to say, it was the biggest goal of Burrows’ career.
What an exciting play to end an exciting series as the Canucks finally exorcised their Chicago playoff demon and eliminated the Blackhawks at home in Game 7!
Next up, the Nashville Predators.