Some thoughts from the NHL on TSN on Thursday night:
Having lost two games in a row to the Chicago Blackhawks, this is a defining moment for Roberto Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks.
You win with your best, and you lose with your best. If the Canucks lose another game, the series isn't over, but it would certainly feel that way, it almost feels that way now.
That's what the Canucks have to overcome.
The Blackhawks have given Vancouver a very good lesson on what to do in a tough situation. The defending Stanley Cup champions are a bit like Rocky being down on the mat, when he's just gotten beaten, battered and bruised and he's out.
Then Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane and rest of the Blackhawks pulled themselves back up and got back-to-back wins.
The Canucks were granted a freebie on the first loss because they got bit by the complacency bug. However, there is no excuse for Thursday's performance on home ice.
Now the table is set for all those really great players who have had amazing seasons in Vancouver to do what Keith, Toews, Kane and Hossa are doing for Chicago.
Ference facing possible fine
The referee didn't notice Andrew Ference's obscene gesture to the fans in Montreal, otherwise he could have invoked rule 75.5, which would have resulted in Ference being kicked out of the game and forced to report to the commissioner's office.
Rule 75.6 is the next part of that rule, which states that once the action has become apparent that it happened, the report does still go to the commissioner. Gary Bettman will rule on whether there is any supplemental discipline.
The options are really quite simple, either a fine (the maximum allowed is $2,500) or a suspension and the max you would think you would get on that would be one game.
I'd be surprised if there is a suspension. I think it will be a fine.
The new NHL is not so new anymore
In the playoffs we always like to identify trends and themes. We had the too many men on the ice tote board getting going again, and that was pretty good. We've had all sorts of suspensions, we've been counting those, but it's all about the comeback.
Last time Los Angeles and San Jose met, the Kings had the four goal lead, and the Sharks came crawling back. Washington had to come back from a 3-0 deficit to beat the New York Rangers in overtime. Boston, tonight, comes back from two goals down to win their game in overtime.
It's fun, it doesn't get much better than this.