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Canucks hope past adversity serves them well

Thursday, 06.09.2011 / 10:22 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

By Dhiren Mahiban - NHL.com Correspondent

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Canucks hope past adversity serves them well
Vancouver hit a speed bump on the way to winning its first-round series. The Canucks hope to learn from that adversity as they enter Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final off back-to-back losses.
VANCOUVER -- Having lost Games 3 and 4 by a combined score of 12-1,  the Vancouver Canucks are in fairly familiar territory heading into Game 5 at Rogers Arena on Friday night.

The Presidents' Trophy winners lost Games 4 and 5 of their first-round series against the Chicago Blackhawks by a 12-2 margin before bouncing back to win the series in Game 7.

"You got to use your past experiences,  that's what it's for, ” goaltender Roberto Luongo said Thursday. "Obviously we all remember that series and the ups and downs we went through – the adversity we faced. We came in and we rose above it,  and at the end of the day it made the victory so much sweeter."

Luongo,  who surrendered 12 goals on 58 shots in Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Final,  hit a speed bump in the middle of the Western Conference Quarterfinal as well.

"The same situation applies here,  tomorrow night we got to come out strong,  firing and realize the last two games were bit of a bump in the road for us,  but the opportunity is still there for us, " he said. "Nothing's changed from two games ago."

The Vezina Trophy finalist was pulled before the five-minute mark of the third period in Game 4 in Chicago and then early in the second period of Game 5 in Vancouver,  then was benched in Game 6 in favor of Cory Schneider. However,  Schneider cramped up early in the third period of Game 6,  forcing Luongo to come in off the bench in the 4-3 overtime loss.

"That's part of the adversity that any team that has playoff success is going to go through, ” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "Boston's faced their share of adversity,  we've faced ours,  and both teams are going to try and hit it head-on tomorrow night.”

According to Vigneault,  this time around,  he has no doubt about who is starting between the pipes for his team.

"Roberto is the guy,  he's my guy,  and he's playing. It's that simple," Vigneault said. "I just felt at that time,  with Chicago,  there was a special situation in the fact that we had lost twice to them before in the playoffs and felt that we needed to change momentum a little bit.

"My gut at that time told me that putting Schneids in was the right thing to do. It was just a one-(time) thing."

Luongo turned aside 31 shots,  returning to his Vezina-like form,  as Vancouver got past Chicago 2-1 in overtime advancing to the second round back in April.

The 32-year-old Montreal native expects his teammates to come out Friday night with a Game 7 mindset.

"They're all so important and you don't wait to let anything slide by, " said Luongo. "Definitely for us (Friday) is going to be a Game 7 mentality."
Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres