of elimination, the Vancouver Canucks’ discipline is unravelling fast.
For the second game in a row, they paraded to the penalty box and the
Chicago Blackhawks made them pay, scoring four power-play goals in a 7-4
A fifth goal came seven seconds after defenceman Andrew Alberts served a
holding penalty for grabbing Patrick Kane by the helmet and whacking
him on the shoulder with his stick.
A subdued coach Alain Vigneault couldn’t explain his club’s composure
"I don’t know what the answer is to that," Vigneault said after the
Blackhawks took a 3-1 stranglehold in the Western Conference semifinal,
which continues Sunday in Chicago.
"I really believe this group is ready for this time, ready for this
moment, but obviously our actions right now are proving me wrong."
The Hawks scored three power-play goals in the second period when the
Canucks were called for four minors in four minutes 40 seconds of
playing time. There were two 5-on-3 man advantages in that span.
Daniel Sedin was called for cross-checking Kris Versteeg. Alex Burrows,
who took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that cost a goal in
Wednesday’s 5-2 loss, was nailed for roughing when he gave Dustin
Byfuglien a few shots with his stick as the Hawk lay on the ice after a
Jonathan Toews got his third power-play goal of the game on that power
Asked if the Canucks were losing control, Toews diplomatically replied,
"They have their own personality, their own character. I guess what you
see is what you get."
Byfuglien, who scored two power-play goals in his Game 3 hat trick, was
an early target.
"They definitely paid attention to me a little bit more and got me a
couple cross checks, a couple penalties and that’s the way it goes,"
Byfuglien said. "Some teams can’t hold it together and some teams let
that stuff go."
Burrows bristled when asked if the Canucks were losing their composure.
"That’s your opinion,"? said Burrows who was shifted to the top line
with the Sedin twins who have been stymied in the series by the trio of
Dave Bolland, Andrew Ladd and Versteeg.
"I think we stayed pretty composed on the bench. We took some penalties
that maybe we shouldn’t have taken, but we stayed composed on the bench
and we were right into the game going into the second and even the
Luongo appeared to focus more on Byfuglien in front of him at times,
once thumping him in the back with the edge of his goal stick paddle.
The Canucks goalie, who allowed six goals on 33 shots, including one by
Brent Seabrook 18 seconds into the game, also couldn’t explain the
Canucks’ lack of discipline in a rare second consecutive home-ice loss.
"We talked about it," Luongo said. "We were all on the same page before
the game started and . . . just one thing led to another."
Henrik Sedin suggested the Canucks need to be better than their current
64 per cent on the penalty kill through 10 playoff games.
"It’s tough when they score almost every power play," he said.
"Some of (the calls) were borderline but that’s what you get when you’re
pushing it. So we’ve got to bounce back and be stronger."
Ryan Johnson, who spent most of his ice time defending power plays, said
his teammates shouldn’t be surprised by the referees’ calls.
"It’s playoff hockey," Johnson said as the Canucks teetered one game
from the end of their season.
"We know what’s going to be called and you have to be able to bite your
lip and suck it up and it’s not happening right now.
"If this isn’t the last wake-up call I don’t know what it’s going to