In watching Game 1 between Canucks and Blackhawks, it was clear early on that Vancouver was running things. They were controlling the puck, getting all of the scoring chances and of course, scoring the goals.
As they took a 2-0 lead to the first intermission, they knew they'd have to come out with some fire to get back into the hockey game. In the latter 40 minutes of the contest, they certainly turned up the volume a bit, but some fine play by Roberto Luongo kept them off the board. Surely, Luongo won't be as brilliant as he was on Wednesday night for the next two months.
He's capable of playing at a very high level, to be sure, but during stretches of Game 1, it seemed as though the net was one of the alien ships in Independence Day and Luongo was that obnoxious blue force field that you can only destroy by giving Alain Vigneault a virus to disable it.
Color me surprised, then, to see the reaction from Canucks fans this morning at SB Nation's Nucks Misconduct. Cake walk?
I didn't anticipate a 1-sided affair. I didn't anticipate this many shots off the posts, HUGE LOU SAVES, goals from Higgins and Hansen. While the Sedin-Burrows line didn't impress me much other guys took over. Many have talked about the Canucks' depth and it was on display tonight. He may have slowed a bit in the 3rd but Christopher Higgins played like a beast. So did Jannik Hansen. So did Roberto Luongo. So did Edler and Salo. So did the whole team.
The Canucks outshot the Hawks 13-7 in the first period, scored 2 goals and contained Chicago after the 2-goal lead. Yes, Chicago pressed as well but were greeted by IRON and a stingy defence.
That looked like a cake walk. Believe me, it's just getting started and will not look like that every game this series. The Hawks will press back, and I anticipate the Canucks defending that well again PLUS Luongo matching that performance. Speaking of Luongo, doesn't it seem like his has his FU Chicago mojo going on? Luonjesus christ.
Meanwhile, on Chicago sports radio this morning, there's no doubt in my mind that they're talking up a storm on how they shut down the Sedin twins and how it's only a matter of time before Luongo breaks. Ah, the playoffs.
Be sure to check out SBNation.com's full continuing, coverage of this series.