In my first round series preview, I wrote the following:
“Instead of directing loathing and fear towards Jonathon Toews’ and Patrick Kane’s team, Canucks fans really should thank them.”
For many of us, parts of that first round series were pure torture, especially the 2 days leading up to game 7 and the 15 minutes between the 3rd period and overtime. I’m not so sure I want to thank them anymore.
According to some people, we’ve learned that wearing diapers might be a good idea for future game sevens. We learned some other things too:
What The Canucks Learned In Round 1
1. The Green Men Never Let Us Down
The Green Men felt the importance of game 7 against the Blackhawks, and they brought their A material.
It will be interesting to see who they target in the second round.
2. Burrows-Kesler-Raymond are Unstoppable
This line, thrown together out of sheer desperation in the third period of game 6, provided the killer instinct that had been so hard to find. They may be the most important Canucks trio going forward, and if the Sedins draw the top shutdown pairing of Shea Weber and Ryan Suter, that will leave some very inexperienced players for the second line to face.
3. Something’s Up With Samuelsson
Promoted to the first line mostly because Burrows and Kesler looked so deadly together, Samuelsson seemed to lack intensity for much of the night. He refused to forecheck, instead hanging around near the blueline, as if in powerplay formation.
Not meant to be an indictment, most believe Sammy is playing with a serious injury, and it showed as he almost nullified the all-powerful Sedins.
4. Jannik May Be The Solution
One of the Canucks best players in the first round, Hansen was rewarded for his tireless efforts by being thrown on with the Sedins in overtime of game 7. He did not look out of place, either.
This may be something we see more of going forward, though the third line needs him as well.
5. Keith Ballard Is Strong
Keith Ballard plays defense like this road sign:
He steers the opposition to the outside, and often throws in a hip check just to make it hurt. For the mistakes he makes with the puck once in a while, it’s well worth having his presence as a strong defenseman on the Canucks’ blueline.
What The Canucks Should Watch Out For
1. The Howitzer
Just thought it would b nice to give you a visual of the word Jim Hughson uses so often to describe Shea Weber’s shot.
During the 2010 Olympics, Weber shot a puck so hard that not only did it beat Germany’s goaltender, it ripped right through the net. I’m not sure how you feel about Burrows or Kesler laying down to block a shot like that, but it worries me.
2. The Distraction
Many of us male fans will enjoy the gratuitous shots of Carrie Underwood on our television screens. Hopefully the players aren’t as easily distracted.