Reading the headlines of the local papers here in Vancouver would lead you to believe that the Canucks are on the verge of being eliminated from this years Stanley Cup race. To that I would have to say that I totally agree.
Despite being tied at a game a piece, the Canucks have not played well in the first two games of this series. There were moments in game one that reminds you of the fact that the Canucks won the Northwest Division, but on the other hand, there were more moments over the course of both games that reminded you that viturally every hockey writer in North America had written the Canucks off this season.
Personally, I have felt throughout this season that the Canucks have a decent team and if there was a weakness it would be in their team depth. Enter Nathan Smith and Jan Hansen, neither of whom were the reason for the Canucks loss in game 2. Eventhough it was only one game, my theory was put to the test and the two youngsters looked to be decent playoff performers (let's see if this holds true in game 3).
Heading in to Fridays contest, I posted a blog indicating my thoughts on the effect of the loss of Cooke, Burrows and Kesler. My question was, who fills in these guys shoes? I did not expect the names of Hansen and Smith to even be considered for the roll. My expectations were that names like Bieksa, Mitchell, Ohlund, Salo, Cowan, Linden, Bulis, Morrison to step up their game.
Throughout the final few weeks of the regular season the Canucks tended to come up with pretty large efforts after so called duds like Friday, which we can only hope is the case today. If the effort is similar to that of the first two games in this series then we can all look forward to the Canucks returning from Dallas down 3 games to 1.