McKenzie: Shifting scenes the perfect remedy for Canucks

Bob McKenzie
6/11/2011 1:20:56 AM
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I think Vancouver refocused and re-booted. If you've got a computer or appliance that's not working quite right you just hit the reset button and you hope everything is going to function a lot better.

They were physically engaged from the get-go, whether it was Alex Edler leading the charge on the blueline, or the third line, led by Max Lapierre, Jannik Hansen and Raffi Torres up front.

I thought they were a much more physical hockey team, they had their eyes on the prize right through this whole game, and they had a lot more jump in their step.

They got to loose pucks, they played a straight line game, and they won the physical battle, by far the more physical team of the two teams involved.

And Lapierre really had a lot of jump in his step, and he's the guy that ends up getting the goal, but he had a little bit of everything. He had four hits, three shots on goal and won more face-offs than he lost. That line for me stepped up in a big way.

It's been a funny series: the Sedins have not been an offensive factor, Ryan Kesler's line has not been an offensive factor. Torres got the winning goal in Game 1, Lapierre gets the only goal in this game. Third line hockey – they have it going for Vancouver.

Luongo Bounces Back in Big Way

This was a highly motivated Roberto Luongo. He was not at all happy with how things went in Boston. He was not at all after Game 4 in Boston when he got pulled, when people were asking him about the fans in Vancouver watching the game at Rogers Arena cheering the fact that Cory Schneider was going in.

And you could tell he was a highly motivated individual. Very focused, but the thing that really impressed me about Luongo's game is that he didn't try to do too much. He recognized, that, as much as he needed to do, he couldn't go out and score goals for his team.

He was square to the shooter, he didn't overplay things and the Bruins did not do a good job (and they were the first to admit this afterwards) of getting really heavy duty traffic in front of Luongo. He saw most of what he was able to stop, and I thought he was right on top of his game, 

Canucks Attempted to Rattle Thomas in Net

Vancouer tried to make a few little things happen over the course of the game to try and take Tim Thomas off-balance, though I'm not sure it ever fully worked.

Kevin Bieksa gets a chance to give him a snow shower, he does it. Henrik Sedin has the opportunity to do the same thing, he does it. In the second period, Alex Burrows gives a pretty good hack, after Thomas had made a save, which got him a crosscheck in the chest by Dennis Seidenberg for his trouble (no penalty either way on that one).

 It was just that sense of trying to get him off his game a little bit. I don't know if it was ironic, or perfectly planned, but Bieksa's shot goes wide – one of the things Thomas does is come out and challenge as much as he can. He sometimes gets spun around, and has trouble tracking pucks off the boards. So that's certainly part of the strategy for the Canucks to get one by him.

But Thomas really was exceptional in this game – it was a goaltender's battle.

Tough Getting Calls Going Forward for a Pair of Canucks

I think Maxim Lapierre and Alex Burrows are going to have a tough time getting the benefit of the doubt.

In Lapierre's case, did Zdeno Chara give him a poke with the stick? Absolutely, he did. Was there an embellishment on the part of Lapierre as to how hard that little spear was to the midsection? Of course there was.

The referees don't like that anymore than the situation with Burrows. Off the faceoff with Milan Lucic, Lucic gets the tripping penalty, Burrows gets the embellishment.

You're not going to get the calls. Kerry Fraser is sitting back and watching these games for us, and his analysis was it's going to take an unbelievable foul to be committed on one of those guys , because the referees are only human.

If they see guys going down and clutching their stomachs or flipping backwards and embellishing things, they're simply not going to give those guys the benefit of the doubt, and that can work against you, in the long run.

Bob McKenzie


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