Posts Tagged ‘NHL playoffs’

Are you following the NHL playoffs? If you haven’t there have been some great games so far this post-season. Some years it’s hard to get excited during the first round when a team gets up 2-0 or 3-0. And that might even be when you’re following your team. But this year everything is so close. We didn’t have to wait at all to start seeing games go to overtime. And the 8th seeds on both sides are giving the top seeds a run for their money by stealing the first game and home ice advantage.

Being from BC I’m going to follow the Canucks more than any other team. And it seems like everyone else around here is as well. There is always some extra excitement when the playoffs roll around and the Canucks are in it. This year there seems to be an after-glow from the Olympic gold medal game in February that has carried over to the start of the playoffs. But I’m not sure about the Canucks chances.

The Kings are playing really well right now. They’ve good some good young defencemen. Their goalie didn’t show any nerves on the road in Vancouver for his first playoff experience and is comfortable at home. Plus add to that their power-play is on fire and their key guys are getting it done for them.

The Canucks on the other hand have shown spurts of energy but not enough to be leading the series. And Luongo in particular did not play well in Game 3. It would hard to fault him on the first goal which he probably didn’t see. On the second he didn’t seem to do a very good job of controlling the rebound. He played it off his blocker right to Handzus. While it would be hard to fault Luongo on the third goal the fourth was a mental breakdown. Had the paddle of his stick been on the ice he would have made the save. Instead he wasn’t set or prepared for the shot, gave up the goal and got yanked as a result.

So what’s going on with Luongo? He’s given up 12 goals in 5 periods at the Staples Center. Sure he has faced some power plays and maybe the skaters in front of him haven’t been doing the best job of clearing rebounds and letting him see the shots. But maybe there’s more to it.

Apparently Luongo is the type of player who doesn’t skip a practice. While veterans and certain key players may rest during optional skates, Luongo takes part. Add to this grind of the long travel schedule the Canucks experienced this year plus all the games Luongo played during the Olympics and it could be that he needs a rest. The lack of concentration on the last goal and the difficulties he has had playing in LA might suggest the last thing he needs is more time on the ice.

Obviously the Canucks will go back with him tonight for game 4. He is their captain and when he’s on his game, arguably their best player. Hopefully he takes some time for himself, gets away from the arena for a bit and is able to relax. They need him to be on for game 4. Because if he doesn’t play the way he is capable the Canucks will be in a deep hole going back to Vancouver. And having taken both games 1 and 2 to overtime in Vancouver the Kings have no doubts they can compete in GM place.