Redemption in Chicago: A Vancouver Canucks Win


Feb 11, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Vancouver Canucks right wing Zack Kassian (9) is checked by Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival (32) during the third period at the United Center. The Vancouver Canucks defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

It’s nice to finally get a win eh?  The Vancouver Canucks beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 in OT 2 nights ago and boy was it sweet!  People are finally starting to see some offensive prowess from this Canucks team and they are definitely starting to trend in the right direction.  The Canucks played an amazing game for 2 periods but unfortunately, completely fell apart in the 3rd.  Luckily, the Sedins were there to bail the Canucks out in OT.  Before I discuss that 3rd period break down and what exactly what wrong, lets talk about some positives that I observed in this game.

The first major thing I noticed in this game (or at least for the first two periods) is that we were hitting like crazy and we were playing with intensity.  The hits for the game were 22-15 in favor of Vancouver.  When was the last time Vancouver out hit an opponent?  I think after the Chicago game, Vancouver will realize the importance of hitting your opponent, as a hit set up the Horvat goal in the second period.  Vancouver needs to realize that hits can cause turnovers, which in turn can lead to goals, which is exactly what happened with that Horvat goal.  I also noticed that Vancouver was the faster team to loose pucks and their forecheck was a hell of a lot better (again, only in the first two periods, notice a trend?)!

Feb 11, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Vancouver Canucks left wing Alex Burrows (14) checks Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (4) during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive coverage.  Wow, did I ever see an improvement in defensive coverage in the first two periods of the Chicago game.  I thought we had good gap control and there were always numbers back to negate any secondary scoring chances.  The PK too was very well executed in the first two periods.  The Canucks blocked shots, got in the shooting lanes and took away the Hawks time and space.  The one thing I particularly enjoyed is how the Canucks handled Patrick Kane on the PP.  I saw that the Canucks had 2 players covering Kane on the PP and it’s good that they recognized how dangerous he can be on the man advantage (too bad he got 2 A’s in the 3rd, 1 being on the PP….).

Another positive was that A) we scored 5 goals and B) The ‘right people’ scored those goals.  We got goals from Vey, Horvat, Kassian and 2 from Daniel.  Goals have been hard to come by for the Canucks in the last 5-6 games so goals from these guys will do wonders for their confidence, as well as the teams confidence.

So for some reason, the Canucks completely faded away in the 3rd period.  I really don’t know what happened but we completely fell apart.  We gave the Hawks wayyyy too much time and space and the Hawks used that to their advantage and ended up tieing the game late in the third.  We stopped hitting, we stopped aggressively forechecking and we stopped playing good defence in the third.  We also ended up taking 3 consecutive penalties in the 3rd, 2 of which the Hawks scored on.

Canucks did however dominate OT and ended it with an AMAZING Sedinary goal.  The goal doesn’t forgive the horrible third period the Canucks played, but I will definitely take it!  I have to give a shout out to Sbisa on that OT goal as well.  Sbisa kept the puck in the zone and he definitely deserves that second assist.

My 3 Stars:

#1) Daniel Sedin for that amazing goal

#2) Chris Tanev for being Chris Tanev and blocking a shot with his face and still trying to get over to block another shot while clutching his face: this guys is an absolute warrior!

#3) Marian Hossa I guess….because you know he did score two goals, including the tieing goal.