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Chicago vs Vancouver: Where was the venom?

Prior to the start of Saturday’s Round 2 series opener between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Vancouver Canucks all the talk was about the possible recurrence of the bad blood that occurred in last year’s playoffs.  Both teams were deemed to be on a par, with both starting slowly in their first series and coming on strong to win. Expectations for the series opener were those of high energy levels and a certain amount of vindictiveness.  Unfortunately for ‘Hawks fans, the game did not live up to the hype.

Early on and at home, the young ‘Hawks stars were flying with several good chances, included a thwarted breakaway by Patrick Kane. The Canucks countered with stellar goaltending from their captain, Roberto Luongo, who was looking to put behind him whispers that he couldn’t deliver during the playoffs.  Vancouver staved off the early pressure, including a couple of early penalties, and ended the first period with a two goal lead.

The second period, in fact the rest of the game, showed none of the hyped up vitriol that was supposed to overflow from previous meetings.  None of the next 3 Canuck goals were particularly weak, but the ‘Hawks seemed to have no answer for the Canuck offence.  All three lines were flowing, scoring and hitting.

The ‘Hawks then turned to backup Cristobal Huet for the third period and despite several power plays, were only able to solve the Canucks ‘minder once.  By the time the game was over the Canucks had the opening game in their pocket and the ‘Hawks had a minor goaltending controversy to handle.  A 5-1 definitive and passive loss was not what the Chicago faithful had in mind and they showed it with the choruses of boos rained down on their team.

Game 2 is on Monday and the Blackhawks had better hope that they carry the trend of their first round series with them and come back with a strong game from their young guns and rookie goaltender because Vancouver seems to have picked up where they left off from their first round and Luongo is starting to look like his all-star self.

Categories: NHL
  1. May 3, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    The ‘hatred’ between the teams was overhyped by the media (big surprise) as several players on both teams made a point of saying that anybody looking to settle personal vendettas in the playoffs wasn’t being a team player. (Seriously, if I read one more article about the “rivalry” between the teams, I’m going to gag. Is this the best the pro sports writers can come up with?)

    That being said, Saturday’s game was easily the worst in *months* if not all season. Team loss, all around. But hopefully Niemi has a bounce back like he did in the first series.

    • May 3, 2010 at 5:23 pm

      I agree wholeheartedly! There is too much talent on this ‘Hawks team to just flop the rest of the series. Quenneville did say Niemi would start, but I’m hoping there is a bit of a shakeup to tonight’s line up. I want to see some energy and puck possession!

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