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Canucks Look To Stop The Bleeding In Game 4


Coreyoke

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Now is not the time to push the panic button, but for those bandwagoners out there, good to know you. Take care. The Canucks-Kings series has been one that the Canucks have virtually dominated in every aspect except for special teams and goaltending. Unfortunately, those are probably the two most important. If the Canucks don't figure out there penalty killing and Luongo can't raise his game to at least a solid if unspectacular level, the Canucks will not win this series. Where is that panic button again?

If you take special teams out of the equation, this series is probably 3-0 for Vancouver right now. For those of you saying that the Canucks need to stay out of the box, that's not realistic. You can't play aggressively and with intensity in the playoffs if you know that you cannot take a penalty or you will get scored on. They do need to cut down on their stupid penalties, but more importantly they need to kill a good chunk of them off. In game 3 they didn't even make it beyond the first minute. By the third power play goal it was actually becoming laughable. The most successful way to kill a penalty is be aggressive. The PK forwards have to pressure Doughty and Johnson, who don't ever seem to leave the ice on a power play. I don't know why we started to sit back and watch in that last game.

There's no doubt Luongo needs to be better, he will certainly admit to that, but it all starts in front of him. We need to compete better. They played a great first period in the last game and then came out in the second like they were proud of their accomplishments and could sit back and coast. The trouble was it was only 1-1 at that point.

I hate to keep pointing fingers at Vigneault but at some point in that second period (well before the backbreaking fourth goal) he should have called a time-out. The only reason I think he's reluctant to do so is that he has no clue how to motivate his players. He is not a motivating, intense type of coach, and because he's not, they at least need an intense assistant coach. Ryan Walter shows about as much intensity as a small plastic soapdish. There are certain times when a coach needs to lose it. Like in game 2 when we received that phantom too-many-men call. I would have gone ballistic. If a coach shows that he will battle for his team, that he will do whatever it takes, that he will be intense and emotional when need be, then his players will do the same in return. After the infamous Daniel Sedin goal (err non-goal), I would have gone Jim Playfair. And I would probably have become a hero in the eyes of Canuck fans. I know tht the refs on the ice didn't make that awful decision (actually they made the right call) but you've got to show that these inexcusable mistakes will not be tolerated. On the bright side, I strongly believe that if LA goes on to win this series, that Vigneault will be gone. Nothing personal, I actually think he's very likeable and a pretty good coach, the trouble is good coaches generally don't win Stanley Cups. Great coaches do. Nobody will be happier than myself if he proves me wrong.

The other major obstacle that the Canucks will have to overcome is the apparent fact that the NHL does not want Vancouver to win this series. First of all, I would like to say that I don't really care who the NHL wants to win. Bettman can be a Hurricanes fan for all I care. But if they are trying to influence games, then I have a problem with that. I'm still not sure about a conspiracy against the Canucks and all Canadian teams in general, but you can make a pretty good case for it. The best way to tell is to watch some of these series. The NHL would want Phoenix, Chicago, LA and Washington to win. They've already appeared to have some influence in the Capitals-Canadiens series. It will be interesting to see if that continues. In game two of the Canucks series, the too-many-men penalty that Bieksa took in OT was clearly not a penalty. That's a call the refs would generally not make in overtime even if Bieksa has played the puck intentionally. I was furious. (Vigneault just quietly shook his head.) In game three, I believe it was before the disallowed goal, people seem to be forgetting about Steve Bernier's stick being held when he was in front of an empty net with the puck within 10 feet of him. If he gets his stick loose, it's an easy goal. No call. There are two refs out there and neither of them see one of the most obvious calls that you could make? Then the Daniel Sedin goal that was called back. Clearly there was no kicking motion. That should have been looked at for about 20 seconds and then ruled a goal. The fact that they looked at it for about 8 minutes proves that there was no DISTINCT kicking motion. Not to mention that if you watch the play at regular speed you will see that it's simply not possible for anyone to intentionally kick the puck in with less than a half a second to react while a defenseman is pushing you towards the goalie and you are trying to stop to avoid running the goalie and taking a penalty which will lead to an obvious power play goal against. (*catches breath*) Now you can overlook a ref on the ice making a bad call, but you can't overlook 'experts' in Toronto taking 8 minutes to look at the play from several different angles and then overturning the RIGHT call. Inexcusable.

So the Canucks have a lot to overcome in game 4. It won't be easy, they just have to want the puck more than the Kings and hope for better goaltending. I would love to rant some more but Idol Gives Back is coming on. My rush to finish this will also explain any spelling mistakes. I hope I am forgiven.

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