OK, this is my lame attempt to write a Hockey Blog.
Keep in mind when you read it, that I am relatively poor and therefore I don't have cable. Because of this, I don't see a lot of games. My 'radio' is a little clock radio that changes reception drastically based on where I am in the room. All that white noise will definitely wake you up in the morning, but it doesn't give a clear picture of what is going on in a hockey game.
So... How does somebody who can't watch hockey write about the sport? I follow the numbers.
Using various different methods of tracking the statistics, I "watch" Hockey games on the internet. For instance, just by reading the "Official Scoresheet" which you can find for any game, I keep up with, and can generally tell the overall trends of a game. Often I will read a post-game recap, or a hockeybuzz blogger's recap, and think, 'Yeah, that's what I thought happened'.
So, when this opportunity arose, I figured I'd have a crack at it. I won't be talking about individual players for the most part, unless somebody scores a lot of goals or takes a lot of penalties, or if I notice that someone has great stats overall. Lastly, if you hear me comment on a 'great play', it's because I do get one 'sports' channel which mostly shows a lot of WWE and MMA, but it also give highlights.
Feel free to disagree with what I write, but keep in mind, I am at a handicap.
WHY THE CANUCKS LOST LAST NIGHT
Two words: Marty Turco.
Marty Turco had the playoff game of his life. Everything I have seen or heard about this game would suggest that he was excellent. (Pretty hard to read the numbers when its a shut out, but I try... j/k)
So a Vancouver fan might say "Well, I guess there's not a lot we can do about that. We got beat by a hot goalie, it happens."
And that is where they would be wrong. Vancouver lost that game because of Turco, it's true, but they had the power to control their destiny in that regard, and just failed to capitalize on it.
Truth is, Almost indefinitely, Marty Turco started game two of the series a little shaky. As I am sure Roberto Luongo did as well with one crucial difference. Luongo was coming off a win, and Turco was coming off a loss, and not just one loss, but a string of playoff losses. A long, long string of them. And although Luongo was tried, he probably came into the game knowing that he had the ability to win. Turco was almost certainly a bit nervous, whether he'd admit it or not. And keeping that in mind, if you turn the clock back 24 hours, how does Vancouver win game #2?
Shots on goal. In the frst period, Vancouver was outshot 14-10. This should have been at the very least the opposite, if not more lopsided in Vancouver's favour. I guarantee, that if Vancouver had taken 17 shots in the first frame instead of in the final period, this game would have turned out differently. Very differently.
By only taking a medium amount of shots, Vancouver essentially allowed a tired, frustrated, nervous goaltender to leg his confidence back, which is something Marty Turco never had in the 2006 playoffs. As such, even later in the match, when Turco WAS shelled, he already had that confidence back, and just ask Jose Theodore, confidence is what'll make or break you in this league.
So what can the Canucks do to try to their next game? IMO, I'd say they need to come out with guns blazing, and keep firing all game. Though not a Canucks fan myself, I hear a lot about how they consistantly squander leads. Which makes sense because Vigneault has turned them into a more defensively responsible team. When you are more worried about D, it tends to be that you forgot to play O when you have a lead, which is always a killer especially with game we have today. Against a goalie like Turco, they are facing a brick wall. You can't take a brick wall down with just one sledge hammer shot, it's gonna take quite a few. BUT once you've put that wall down and out, it's gone for good. Take lots of shots, from any and all angles. Even garbage goals will do the deal with the problem.
The Canucks need to shatter the new-found confidence of Marty Turco. Run up the score, chase him from the net, and then do everything they can to destroy the backup, (Still Mike Smith?). It's the only way they'll win this series...
By the numbers,
I'm Mike Fisher (lol)