On the road again
By Joey Kenward & Derek Jory
On the heels of one of their worst road loss in franchise playoff history, the Canucks will look for revenge tonight in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins.
With Aaron Rome suspended for the remainder of the Final following his major penalty for interference in his open-ice collision with Nathan Horton, the Canucks will be making at least one change to their line-up tonight. Keith Ballard is the most likely candidate to draw into the line-up on the blueline. For what it’s worth, Vancouver is 7-2 in the playoffs when Ballard plays. Dan Hamhuis is on the trip with the team, but did not take part in the morning skate; he has not taken to the ice since suffering an injury in Game 1.
Henrik Sedin has failed to register a point, let alone a shot, so far in this series. He collected 12 points in the Western Conference Final against the San Jose Sharks.
Henrik knows that although Tim Thomas has been next to unbeatable in allowing only five goals through three games, the Canucks need to make life harder on the Bruins tender.
“We need to put pucks to the net and like any other goalie, if you can put traffic in there and create some havoc, he’s going to crack so that’s what we’re going to try to do,” said Henrik, who was also adamant Vancouver needs to be better on the power play.
The Canucks went 0-for-8 on the power play, their poorest showing so far in this year’s post season. Through three games against Boston, Vancouver is a combined 1-for-16 on the man advantage.
“We looked a video, we know what’s going on and what we can do better, now it’s just a matter of us going out on the ice and executing,” added Henrik. “That maybe doesn’t always show up as goals, but we at least need to create some momentum, that has to be the case.
“Special teams overall has been a big advantage for us all year. Last game they scored two on our power play and that’s can’t happen, that’s why the score ended up like it did.”
The last time the Canucks surrendered eight goals in a playoff game came May 17, 1995, when they dropped an 8-2 decision at the Pacific Coliseum in Game 6 of their opening round series with the St. Louis Blues.
Monday’s 8-1 loss by the Canucks equaled the second-worst loss in the history of the Cup Final.
Vancouver outshot the Bruins 41-38 in Game 3. The Canucks record in the playoffs when outshooting an opponent is 9-4. When Boston has been outshot this post season, they are 10-4.
The Bruins are coming off their biggest out-burst of the playoffs. Monday’s win at the TD Garden was the first home ice victory the Bruins have had in a Cup Final since May 21, 1978. They had lost their previous five Cup Final games in Boston.
With Horton not returning to the line-up for the remainder of the series, Boston is expected to have Tyler Seguin return to the line-up. He had gone seven straight games without a point before being a healthy scratch on Monday.
Since 2006, the home team in the Stanley Cup Final has won the first three games of the series. Only once in club history have the Canucks allowed a team to tie a series up 2-2 after Vancouver won the first two games (2002 vs Detroit).