Canucks/Hawks Series

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Canucks/Hawks Series

Postposted on Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:34 am

Comrades

2nd round; Blackhawks vs. Canucks. I'm extremely impressed with the overall competence of the Canucks this year, and their hardwon dispatching of the Blues. However, the Hawks looked pretty good vs. the admittedly underperforming Flames. The Canucks shutdown the Hawks in their last two games, inlcuding a dominating 4-0 shutout at the end of the season. A key points:

Goal Tending: I will give 'Bulin credit where due, he played very well against Calgary, a team whose number he's had for a long time (odd stat: 1/4 of 'Bulin's lifetime playoff wins have been against Calgary). However, it's pretty hard to deny that Luongo is the best goalie and maybe the best hockey player in the world. The guy has some kind of superhuman will of iron and you can just feel that he wants a cup. If Bobby Lu brings his 'A' game then Chi can break out their driving irons.

Defence: Both teams have strong defensive cores. I am thinking that the Canucks is deeper defensively, while Chi's is very strong offensively. Brent Seabrook is pretty much in a league with Pronger, Burns, and Green as the best D'men in the league (no Phaneuf you say? Lifetime thus far he's a black mark in the playoffs), but the Canucks D core has no holes in it at all and the ability to roll three shutdown pairs is pretty significant. Certainly that's what Calgary couldn't do vs. Chi.

Offence: There can be no doubt that Kane/Sharpe/Toews is a better line than almost any other in the league. All three are superstars and I am licking my chops to see them play for the Red Leaf in international competition. After that it's Havlat. Sedins, Kesler, and Burrows the wonder boy are solid threats for the Canucks. However, the question for the Nucks comes back to the big horse; will Sundin step up? If YVR can field two real scoring lines I don't see that Chi has the defensive depth to shut them down.

The question for me is how Vancouvers consistentcy and solid balance throught its lineup will match up against the star power of Chicago's marquee talent.

I'm predicting Canucks in 6.
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Re: Canucks/Hawks Series

Postposted on Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:56 pm

I think this is going to be the best series of the playoff. Both are smaller puck moving teams, which will make for a fast game, but it doesn't have the stupid Ovechkin/Crosby that'll make that series ugly. But there should still be some good hits.

Overall, I have to give the edge to Vancouver in this one. Their offensive lines have more depth and will get better secondary scoring. And the break that Vancouver had after sweeping the blues really pulls things in there favour.

I agree, Vancouver in 6.
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Re: Canucks/Hawks Series

Postposted on Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:26 pm

Calling Luongo perhaps the best player in the world is laughable. The fact is, the guy doesn't show up in big games. He hasn't been spectacular but above average in past playoffs. The Canucks are well rounded and the Sedin line gets it done. however, the hawks have youth, endless energy and I think an equal in net with the wall. I think these are two very evenly matched teams, but the inexperience of the hawks weighs on me. I still want to go with the hawks in 6. Should be ok to watch. I think the pens caps game will be much more exciting - does anyone remember the mid-late nineties blood baths? Woah.... granted those players are gone, the hate remains.
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Re: Canucks/Hawks Series

Postposted on Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:37 pm

I'll go with the 'Hawks in 7. Too many weapons. I agree 100% that Luongo is the best goalie in the league. I do not agree that he's the best player in hockey. I'm way biased here but I'm going with Pavel Datsyuk there, for overall play.

Any discussion of the best DMen in hockey needs to include Nick Lidstrom.

I'm with SteelCity: The Caps / Pens matchup is going to be insane. After the Wings my favorite teams I root for now are: Pens, Caps, and Blackhawks in that order. That of course changes dramatically if the Wings are playing them in the playoffs :wink: It was awesome watching Federov get the game winner last night, that same move and shot he's been using forever - he still has it! I want him to come to the Wings for his last year and play Defense. I bet he would win the Norris.

I listened to the end of the New Jersey / Carolina game last night - CRAZY!!!
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Re: Canucks/Hawks Series

Postposted on Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:47 pm

FroBozz_Inc wrote:I'll go with the 'Hawks in 7. Too many weapons. I agree 100% that Luongo is the best goalie in the league. I do not agree that he's the best player in hockey. I'm way biased here but I'm going with Pavel Datsyuk there, for overall play.

Any discussion of the best DMen in hockey needs to include Nick Lidstrom.

I'm with SteelCity: The Caps / Pens matchup is going to be insane. After the Wings my favorite teams I root for now are: Pens, Caps, and Blackhawks in that order. That of course changes dramatically if the Wings are playing them in the playoffs :wink: It was awesome watching Federov get the game winner last night, that same move and shot he's been using forever - he still has it! I want him to come to the Wings for his last year and play Defense. I bet he would win the Norris.

I listened to the end of the New Jersey / Carolina game last night - CRAZY!!!


I still have his autographed wings photo. I'll never lose it. #91 was my favorite for years, I felt he left for money so my feelings have changed but so be it.

GO WINGS GO!
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Re: Canucks/Hawks Series

Postposted on Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:48 pm

Does it matter? The Canucks get to the Stanley Cup once a decade, and they always get sent home without it.
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Re: Canucks/Hawks Series

Postposted on Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:00 pm

I don't think calling Luongo the best player in the world is laughable at all. Calling Pavel Datsuk, that is laughable. Good player, for sure. But he's on the best, deepest team in the world. Datsuk would be a solid player anywhere else, tho if he was in Phoenix you wouldn't even know who he was, but he is hardly the kind of player who can single handedly carry a team. You want proof? If Datsuk was out for this playoffs, would it change Detroits fortunes? I don't think so at all. People don't fear Datsuk, they fear the Wings as a team.

Luongo, on the other hand, can, and does carry the canucks. He is the Canucks. People don't fear the canucks, they fear Luongo. Your point about his past playoff performances? Thats laughable. In the three years that Luongo has been a Canuck, they've captured the division title twice, once with a really mediocre team in front of him. In that first series he carried the team to the second round and stopped about 40 shots in each game, just in regulation. Sure, he blew it at the end of last year, but his wife was having a complicated pregnancy and again, he had no scoring forwards in front of him. There is no other player in the league who can do the same thing without another superstar with him. Syd? Not without Malkin. Tim Thomas? Certainly not without ALL of the other bruins in front of him. We'll see about Ovechkin, but with one goal in 7 games, he's hardly been a force against the Rangers this playoffs. Brodeur? Just got beaten by Cam Ward. Iginla (the best forward in the league imo)/Kiprusoff/Phaneuf? Playing golf right now.

Luongo is the best player in the league because he single handedly elevates his team, not the other way around.

Canucks in 6.
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Re: Canucks/Hawks Series

Postposted on Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:20 pm

Oh, one more thing: I left out Lidstrom, unarguably the best defensive defenceman in the world, because my list was of two-way defencemen. Like I said, Lidstrom is the best shutdown guy anywhere, no question. He's not a viable '4th forward' the way Pronger, or Brent Seabrook is.
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Re: Canucks/Hawks Series

Postposted on Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:35 am

The league agrees with me and thinks Datsyuk is one of the best overall players in the league too, witness the nominees for league MVP:

Alexander Ovechkin
Pavel Datsyuk
Evgeni Malkin

I agree with everything else you said about Luongo. He's amazing for sure.

All I know is I'll be looking for Mike Green next year as the first DMan I pick up in hockey :D He's more forward then defenseman it seems like at times! Sure is fun to watch.

PLAYOFFS 2nd ROUND START TONIGHT! 8)
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