The 2011 Western Conference Finals provided us with our only other glimpse of these two teams meeting in the playoffs, a series decidedly won by the rougher and more tumbling Vancouver Canucks. The first two games of this series were tight, low-scoring and gave fans everything they want out of a hockey game. A few thoughts:
– Big names for the Canucks were invisible in the first two games, aside from Ryan Kessler and his 2 goals during Game 2. The Sedin twins combined for 2 assists and a -2 rating. By comparison, Patrick Marleau has scored twice, Joe Thornton has a goal, Logan Couture has 2 points and Brent Burns got the key assist in OT of Game 2.
– Wow the Canucks are physical. You wouldn’t think it but the boys from Vancity can dish it out. Bieksa’s dirty sticking not withstanding they are outhitting the Sharks like crazy. (add in stats from games combined). Really there’s only one guy on the Sharks who can compete: Raffi Torres. The Canucks outhit the Sharks 40-26 in Game 1 and 45-27 in Game 2. Hits in hockey are like body blows in boxing; you notice one or two of ‘em per session but ultimately over time they wear you down. The hits are what have me thinking the Canucks can still pull this one out. The Sharks have to pick up the hitting or close this series out early if they want to win.
– While I’m speaking of him, everyone hates Raffi Torres except for folks who are cheering for the team for which he plays. Torres’ hit on Frank Corrado was exquisite. I can’t find a link to it but you can find it on the game recap under videos on NHL.com. Amazing. Oh yeah, and there was his OT winner in Game 2.- Martin Havlat was on the recieveing end of