The Eastern Conference Finals match-up is already set with both the Boston Bruins and the Tampa Bay Lighting sweeping their match-ups against the Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals, respectively.
Tonight the Canucks try their hand at becoming the first team in the Western Conference to win a berth in the Western Conference Finals. Both the Canucks, against the Predators, and the San Jose Sharks, facing the Detroit Red Wings, are up 3-1 in their series’.
The Canucks haven’t been to a conference finals in 17 years and they hope tonight at Rogers Arena will be the night they finish off the Predators and don’t let them win and get back into the series. Just like they did with the Chicago Blackhawks.
The past two games have been the Ryan Kesler show and the Canucks look to him to keep up his superior play in the series to make sure Game 5 is the last game in this best-of-seven Western Conference semi-finals series. Kesler has 7 points, including 3 goals and 4 assists, in 4 games against the Predators
The Canucks have a feel about them, even more so after taking out their playoff nemesis in the Blackhawks, that hasn’t really been felt since they made it to the Stanley Cup Finals all the way in 1994, which they ultimately lost to the New York Rangers.
The Canucks aren’t planning ahead though and they already know what it felt like to be up 3-0 only to lose three games in a row before eventually winning the series. Roberto Luongo, a key contributor this series said that the Canucks, “have to take it one game at a time. The series is not over. We got to make sure we come ready to play Saturday.”
If the Canucks just focus on tonight’s game at home, where they have been 4-2 in this year’s playoffs, and Luongo continues to play at a high level then this should be the Predators’ last playoff game of the year.