Vancouver’s chances are slim – Metro US

Vancouver’s chances are slim

It hasn’t happened since 1989, when the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens met.

And there won’t be an all-Canadian Stanley Cup championship series this year, either.

Oh, the Ottawa Senators are playing respectable hockey and may well get there. But the Canucks?

Not now. Not after squandering a 2-0 lead on their home ice late in the third period last night and allowing the Anaheim Ducks to come back and defeat them 3-2 on Travis Moen’s overtime goal.

The Canucks trail the best-of-seven series 3-1 now, and let’s not kid ourselves. There won’t be any comeback. There can’t be.

Not even with Roberto Luongo in goal.

No team can rebound with three consecutive victories after a loss as psychologically deflating as last night’s.

Let the post mortems begin.

Martin Brodeur is a future Hall of Famer, of course, but he hasn’t enjoyed much playoff success at all in Ottawa.

While his regular-season record is 17-7-2 in Ottawa, the veteran goalie is a mere 2-6 in post-season tilts on the Sens’ ice.

Brodeur will try to improve on that tonight when he and the New Jersey Devils visit the Sens for the fourth game of their best-of-seven playoff series. The Sens lead 2-1.

• The Devils were still irked yesterday at the way the Sens beat Brodeur Monday night. Mike Fisher inadvertently interfered with the goalie, allowing Tom Preissing to score Ottawa’s winning goal on a bad-angle shot early in the third period.

Let’s not mince words here. The officials missed the infraction and blew it.

Overshadowed by the referees’ botchup, however, was the fact that Ottawa’s netminder was efficient enough again to record his second playoff shutout. Ray Emery blocked 25 shots in the Sens’ 2-0 triumph.

“You’ve got to look at what Emery’s doing,” the Devils’ Scott Gomez said. “He’s coming up huge. This is the time of year when you want to make a name for yourself, and Emery’s doing that.”

It’s true. In fact, the 25-year-old Hamiltonian is establishing himself as a legitimate candidate for the playoffs’ most-valuable-player award.


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