Here's Thursday's Slap Shots:
- Dustin Byfuglien played the role of Buffy The Canucks Slayer perfectly in game 3. His hat trick and constant net presence won the game 5-2.
- The Canucks had tremendous pressure early in the game. They were guilty of overpassing the puck. They need to simplify things: Puck in deep. Hard retrieval. Cycle. Puck back to point or open man. Puck on net. Crash net for rebounds and deflections. You know, sort of like what Chicago is doing.
- Antti Niemi made some real good saves for Chicago, and is somewhat of an overlooked hero. He shut the door, stymying the Canucks confidence as much as their shots. His rebound control was excellent.
- The same could not be said about Roberto Luongo. The first four goals were all because he left sloppy rebounds. He needs to eliminate those rebounds, and/or the Canucks defense needs to do a better job clearing the puck.
- Luongo's rebound troubles are directly a result of Chicago's net presence. They are crashing the net with ease, forcing Luongo to fear contact. While I thought the referees missed a couple of interference calls, the onus is on the Canucks defense to do a better job. Chicago's forwards have done a great job down low, really exposing the Canucks defense.
- I have been strangely confident of the Canucks' chances this post-season. The game 3 loss is a big blow, but not a death blow by any means. That being said, game four is almost a must-win. No team wants to go down 3-1 with the next game on the road. The Canucks need to win on Friday night.
- Elsewhere, San Jose and Boston both have commanding 3-0 leads in their series with Detroit and Philadelphia, respectively. Only two teams have ever come back from 3-0 leads.
- In other news, a report has surfaced that suggests Jaromir Jagr will return to Russia's KHL next season.
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