First off, my utmost apologies for not having a preview ready. There is simply no excuse I can provide. In the midst of printing tonight's Indian, it simply slipped my mind. Thankfully I have a brother I don't deserve to pinch hit, but that doesn't mean that's something that can happen. The three writers of this site, myself by far in the lead, take far too much leeway in our reputations as drunken layabouts, and it won't happen again.
Secondly, we don't seem to have any pictures available tonight, so there won't be any of those.
Right, to the game. I won't bore you with the linear recap, we'll just get to bullet points:
(I'll get to these later)
-I suppose there are some who expect me to rant and rave and flagellate myself like I did after Game 3 against Nashville, but I don't feel that way. We'll get to that in a moment.
-First the bad. The 2nd period was so flat I expected all of us to be charged with pedophilia. The Hawks had serious struggles with the 2nd in the March swoon of misery, and it reared its ugly head again. They were beaten to every loose puck, lost every battle, and their defensive coverage looked like old people fucking. Other than that, I can't think of anything else to criticize. Whatever you think of the Canucks, they are a very good team, and require 60 minutes to be beaten.
-The Hawks broke two cardinal rules, which are don't give up a goal in the last or first minute of a period. There's your ballgame.
-We haven't said word boo recently about goaltending being the Hawks' downfall, but I'm not sure where else you start tonight. Ehrhoff's goal cannot go in, I don't care if Sharp is screening you. You cannot serve that rebound for the Canucks' 2nd out to the slot like a virgin being offered to a dictator. The 4th Canucks goal is a puck that's got to be covered. It's simply too much. Tonight, the difference between the Hawks blue line and the Canucks was made up for and then some by the difference between the Canucks goalie and ours. This is the third game in a row Niemi has looked jumpy, to put it mildly. Though Q in his postgame did not put anything on Niemi, there will be serious thought to starting Huet on Monday. If nothing else, it might electro-shock the Hawks into being solidly defensively again, which they were far from tonight.
-Troy Brouwer, what the hell happened to you? Your ass used to be beautiful.
-Ok, now that that's all out of the way, I don't think it's as bad as the score looks. The 1st period came out exactly as we all thought it would. It was open. The Canucks D looked helpless at times. The Hawks piled up 17 shots, and some real bonafide chances. Vancouver took penalties. Kane missed an open net. So i really don't want to hear or read that the Hawks started flat, because that's simply not the case. But Luongo stood tall, and you have to give him credit. While he didn't always look so smooth, he kept the pucks out, and that's all that's asked.
-While we're giving credit, the Canucks were awesome tonight. If they can roll out three more efforts like that, it'll be serious trouble. Thing is, I don't think they can.
-The power play is a disaster. The puck or bodies don't move. All I ask is that one of them do.
-Why are our forward still crashing down below the circles in the defensive zone?
-It didn't take long for Q to hit the old Line Slot Machine again. Everyone played with everyone. If this were the 60's it would have been an orgy.
-Right, positive. Looking at the Corsi, no one got murdered out there. It simply came down to the Canucks burying every chance they had. The Hawks didn't.
-I don't know what else to say here. It's best of 7, not one. The Hawks pulled this act last round and last time they saw this team in the playoffs. Such a long way to go. You don't get style points in the postseason.