The premise that I've been hoping for and building on thus far in the Canucks/Stars series is that the Canucks should have another level to play. That came through yesterday in the 3rd and OT period as the Canucks dominated the puck and offensive chances. Shots were 18 vs. 9 in those periods combined.
The Dallas Stars are just the Dallas Stars. You know what to expect from them, their speed and depth. I don't know what another level means to them or if they can pick up meaningfully to any kind of "new place." Imagine being in their heads, after pound Luongo with shots and opportunities and seeing him save them all. The legend can only build in their head.
Now with the two OT wins (despite after leading and now also in coming back on the road) the Canucks are brimming with confidence and they know what works. Certainly our road play has also been a source of strength, the team focus and perhaps road routines favouring many plays aptitudes and styles. In any case, I would expect the 1st period to be a tone setter for Game 4 and if the Canucks can continue their pace of play, Game 5 will deliver at home an awesome experience in our hunt for the next level... of the race to the Stanley Cup.
---and in other news---
Tampa Bay has now stolen home ice advantage. Tampa's home record seems to be stronger defensively, so I'd expect another low scoring game maybe lower than 3-2. This is one of those scenarios where the underdog (TB) is feeling confident both about their play in the past two games and now gaining home ice advantage. NJD is NJD, you know what you're going to get. That's exactly their weakness too.
Being the bold person that I am, I think the Sabres come out hunting for goals tonight. Lindy should get them riled up and it's time for Vanek to show up and finish. His play's been good, but he needs to find the back of the net this star in the rising, 43 goal scoring dudio. Maybe a nice 6-2 pounding is in order.
Minny... dear minny, I feel bad for you as I picked you to upset the ducks, but clearly the ducks are making a statement that they are unstoppable... I watched a good portion of this game and I have come to a simple conclusion. The Wild need some new defensemen. Otherwise, you're still going to have to wait if you're a Wild fan, a few seasons, before the real post-season impact can be observed. Foster and Schultz are ok, but on the Powerplay, you need some better quarterbacking and less cross ice passing. On paper you're done... now it's just a matter if you can at least pull of 1 win at home before facing the doom. I think it's time that they let the 3 big boys play together and home between the superstar line they can score a goal or two and contain the ducks otherwise.
That's enough hockey talk for the morning
Go Canucks Go!