Well, that's about what we expected. Take away empty-net goals and I would not be surprised one bit if every game in this series is decided by one goal.
Credit to the Canucks:
- Roberto Luongo was every bit an all-world goalie. The lone goal he did give up he nearly got his stick on, too.
- They played a more physical game. Every player in the corporate logo was hitting. While there weren't any devastating checks, the repetition is what wears teams down and reduces their will to absorb hits to make plays.
- They stayed on the attack even with a one goal lead. That disrupted every counter-attack the Blues tried to mount. At the very least it's a more entertaining brand of hockey than going into a shell to protect a lead.
Good news for the Blues:
- There's nothing to worry about here. They were not out-classed and they never looked like they were in awe of their opponent, which are sure signs of a quick exit.
- They didn't play their game and still stayed close. When they match the physicality and get the power play working the way they have all year, it changes the game.
- The rule for playoff hockey is to get the split on the road. If the Blues can address their issues they'll have a good opportunity to grab a win in Vancouver and come home to a DrinkScotch crowd that will be ready to blow the roof off the joint.
- So, all of you who wanted Paul Kariya to stay in the pressbox... any change of opinion?
It's a long series and if anyone on either side expected this thing to be over in four, they were/are seriously deluded. The good news for the victor is that they'll go into the second round with some serious playoff scars on their resumes.