GAMETIME: 8;30pm Central
TV/RADIO: CSN, VS., WIND 560
B.C. BULLHORN: Nucks Misconduct
Before we get started, let us all take a moment to soak in Scum being down 3-0 to the Sharks, including blowing a two-goal lead at home and allowing Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau to become playoff heroes. Canucks fans, you should join in this too...
...(man, this feels good)
...(just a little longer)
...ah, there we go. Anyway, back to the matter at hand (and yes, we're gonna ride the Alice In Chains train until it stops). The Hawks are going to face a fury greater than what they saw from Nashville in Game 3 of that series, and we know how well they handled that. Perhaps the lack of surprise will help, I don't know. What we do know is Canucks fans have been waiting for this game since Dave Bolland potted that power play goal (back when that used to happen) with five to go in Game 5 (it was after that game that GMH labeled Patrick Kane as having the devil in him and possessing black magic, and she's been the best writer on this site ever since). The Nucks are going to come out hitting, skating, and will have some prime chances whether we like it or not. Antti Niemi, welcome to Thunderdome. If the Hawks can get out of that initial rush unscathed or at least not buried, things will look up.
As far as lineup changes, Brouwer is out and Hendry is in, but I doubt Hendry sees any more ice time than is necessary to give the other five the occasional breather. While we like Hendry around these parts, he has been out of his depth in the playoffs, and either a rapid improvement is needed or he needs to be sheltered. I think we all feel for Brouwer, it's not lack of effort but clearly his head isn't there and he's not helping the team. Buff gets his chance with Daydream Nation, and hopefully he can make it count. Though in Game 2 that line wasn't really all that good.
More importantly, the Hawks 3rd line needs to be just as good as they were, if not better. Even though they got the better of the Sedins' on Monday, I don't know that Alain Vigneault is going to go out of his way to avoid it this time. Also, the Hawks power play tends to be better on the road -- perhaps due to dumbing it down -- and with the added rabid-ness of the Canucks tonight I fully expect to see the Hawks get a few chances on it. Bury some of them, please.
For the Canucks, it appears Ryan Johnson is back from injury, which will move dipshit-athon Rick Rypien to wing, a vast improvement. However, word has it that even bigger dumbass Darcy Hordichuk will be in the lineup, probably to counteract Burish and Eager. It'll be a race to see who can act like the biggest moron first, I hope Hordichuk wins.
You will not enjoy this. It will not be over quickly. Feel free to suffer here together.