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Cinco De Mayo, Blowout Denial: Canucks at Hawks Game 3 Preview

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GAMETIME: 7pm Central

TV/RADIO:  CSN for those in Chicago, Versus for those not, and WGN 720 AM

OPPOSTION BLOG:  Nucks Misconduct

Yeah, I used a Liz Phair quote for the title.  It's from when she was still cool, and not a total cougar-sellout, so shut it.  Anyway...

You know it's a series when the yapping really gets going, and boy has it.  Adam Burish is sounding the clarion call to run the other Canucks d-men now that Salo's out, and Kevin Bieksa claims not to have noticed Dustin Byfuglien all series.  Maybe that's why he's caused such havoc then, doofus.  Speaking of Sami Salo, when did this guy become Paul Coffey?  A good offensive blueliner?  Sure.  But a total difference maker?  C'mon...  Maybe just a ploy to get the Hawks to let up, I don't know.

You can expect some changes from the Canucks tonight.  It's looking for all the world that Demitra won't play, under the guise of injury but mostly due to him not doing much at even-strength.  This would open up a  spot for Taylor Pyatt, which would be a huge emotional lift for the Canucks, as he returns from the horrific death of his fiance.  It would also reunite a third line of Wellwood, Bernier, and Pyatt that was playing some pretty solid hockey before disaster struck. 

There will be tactical changes as well.  The Canucks will be dumping everything in, unless their name is Sedin, and trying to put our blue line corps out into the concession stand.  Or, you might look for a total trap in the neutral zone, so the Hawks can't build any speed through the middle, which has given the 'Nucks fits.  But this is what playoff hockey is all about, I'll make my move, you make yours, and then I'll make another one.

One thing to watch is if Q does the juggle-palooza with his line to get a banger on the ice at all times, or with the last change if he can just get the matchups he wants.  For me, I'd love to see Pahlsson staring at the Sedins all night.  I know Sammy hasn't had the best series, but this is what he was brought here for, and if you keep the Swedish Molina brothers in check, you go a long way towards victory.

With all the talk of Luongo, it would be pretty sweet if Khabby stepped up and stole one tonight.  Khabby has been much better at home in these playoffs, with a GAA of 1.66 and a SV % of .936.  He made some huge saves in Games 1 and 2 against the Stampeders, and we could use those again tonight. 

Most of all, we need 60 minutes.  The Hawks can't keep going to that well marked, "We'll get going when we feel like it."  No more stupid penalties, skate from the outset, and with a frothing UC it's hard to imagine how they couldn't. 

I'll be at my normal post outside Gate 3 selling the Indian if you want to say hello, at least until I'm arrested.

Let's Go Hawks.