Can Canucks bounce back?

Boston Bruins v Vancouver Canucks - Game Two

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Canada’s team was goshawful in the U.S.
And they haven’t had a lot of time to regroup for Game 5.

Luongo gets the start

What Vancouver has to do

Marchand a perfect fit for Boston

Sedins held in check

A watershed in Vancouver team history

Tim Thomas is in their heads


  1. mike3131 says:

    Canucks WILL win because NBC is broadcasting the game. NBC broadcast games 1, 2 and not games 3, 4. You are fully aware of the results. NBC broadcasts tonight’s game, game 6 AND game 7!

    ♪ And we’re livin’ here in Allentown… ♪ – Stu (Hangover 2)

  2. RetroMikey says:

    By the way, on this date yesterday on June 9, 1993 our Habs won the Cup on home soil ( I was there!).
    That is almost 18 years ago!
    Will it be another 18 years until we witness a Stanley Cup?

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  3. Bripro says:

    I’ve been reading the blogs about Marchand in the “Province”.
    What a little weasel. I know he can play, but shup up already!
    And in reading the comments, it becomes painfully obvious that hits and injuries to players are subjective.
    Chara gets nothing but Rome gets suspended for the last 4 games of the finals. The NHL is doing its best to make sure daddy Campbell’s boys get their cup. It’s been like that all year. And the officiating is no better this late in the season. I wonder what would have happened if the roles were reversed. Murphy’s response would have been as always: “we thoroughly reviewed the play, and saw no ill intent….blah, blah….” I hate Boston.

    • RetroMikey says:

      I’ll take a Marchand or Chara on my team anyday and so would you.
      Marchand reminds me of Claude Lemieux, a winner and that’s what you need on this team, winners!
      Funny how we never complained about Lemieux’s mouth when he played for us?
      Kudos to Marchand, he likes to get on everyone’s skin including fans here.
      It’s working.

      “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

      • aemarchand11 says:

        If you ever met Brad you would change that though process. The guy is arrogant, self centered and selfish. He is hated back in Halifax by his peers, and has been a locker room cancer since he was a kid. Bruins can have him, habs are too classy to have a player like that on their team.

        “I have a different constitution. I have a different brain; I have a different heart; I got tiger blood, man.” – Charlie Sheen.

        • RetroMikey says:

          I’d rather him represent me on my team than some Swedish meatballs, and HE IS CANADIAN!

          “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

      • D Mex says:

        No complaints about Lemieux’s yap when he played for Montreal – that’s a good bet. There was no HIO either.
        Agree that he was an effective agitator, altho his on-ice crap was plenty hard to take. Thankfully, Pat Burns got that under control by holding the trainer back when Lemieux was on death’s door for the umpteenth time in front of the Habs bench.

        ALWAYS Habs –
        D Mex

      • JayBee says:

        And Lemieux got shipped out cuz of his theatrics.

      • Habfan4lfe says:

        Actually we did complain about him and he had a relatively short stay with us. Wasn’t he also the one diving? I remember that too. He also spent a good amount of time in the box when it counted. He actually improved in a lot of ways after leaving montreal. Marchand is a dick and I wouldn’t want him on my team and neither would I want that giant goon Chara. I also don’t think Chara is a good denfenceman either. All he has is his size and people know he is psycho and has a carte-blanche to do what he wants.

    • B915 says:

      Bripro= whinebag,,,wah…wah

  4. Ian Cobb says:

    Bean Street Bully tactics win out over speed and finesse quality hockey.
    The NHL is at the mercy and black mail from the U.S. T.V. contract in waiting. Who prefer WWF style game.

    T.V. numbers are up big time in the States for those who know not how the game should be played. There only interest is in there advertising numbers.

    Canada means little in this game anymore and even less if the cup goes to a Canadian team.
    Bettman follows the bucks.

  5. cheezboie says:

    Darche just signed .700 Great signing!

    My armchair GM 11/12 habs –
    rough salary guestimates in brackets = cap hit of 56.9 mill
    leaving 5.3 million for in season adjustments (cap ceiling rumored to be 62.2 million) or ufa – ?Konopka/Laich?

    Camm 6 – Pleks 5 – AK46 (off-wing) 3.25
    MaxPac (2.5) – Gomez 7.357/ Desharnais (0.850) – Gio 5
    Darche (0.8) – Eller 1.27 – White (0.9)
    Moen 1.5 – Engqvist 0.900 – Weber (righty) (1) (and on PP a la Streit)
    Pyatt (0.6)

    First call up – Palushaj

    Markov (lefty) (5) – Gorges (lefty) (3)
    Gill (lefty) 2.25 – Subban (righty) 0.875
    Yemelin (lefty) 0.984 – Spacek (lefty) 3.833
    Diaz (righty) 0.9

    first call up – Nash (lefty)

    Price 2.75
    Auld (1)

    -0.5 Laraque buyout
    (would be better if could move Gomez and/or Spacek)

    Gomez for captain of the Hamilton Bulldogs?

  6. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Canada’s team? Says you. Vancouver’s welcome to them. This Hab’s fan is pulling for the Bruins. That should tell you how much the Nucks suck. At least, in my humble O.

  7. JayBee says:

    Couple things:

    – Anyone still hope Wiz is signed? I really like the guy

    – Pick 2 out of this list (Kopecky, Laich, Connoly, Handzus, Gagne, Cole, Leino, Upshall)

    – Pick 1 out of this list (Talbot, Rupp, Konopka, Eager)

    – Pick 1 out of this list (Jovo, Hannan, Wiz, Brewer, Kaberle, White, Vandemeer, Hejda)

    – Vancouver WILL win tonight

    – Tim Thomas WILL win the Con Smythe

    – The last 2 games were an embarassment to the NHL.

    – I thought Horton had a “severe concussion”

    – Can’t remember the last time I’ve been excited about so many young Hab players (PK, Price, Patches, Eller, Weber, White)

    • adamkennelly says:

      Connelly, Upshall
      Rupp (and Eager)
      Agree but not because of all the BS – but because Van was so terrible.

    • RiverviewCanadien says:

      I like Markov more than the Wiz.
      Laich, Leino
      Me too, but maybe we should ask Dr.Recchi first
      Me too, the young guns on this team are going to be exciting to watch for years to come

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      – Pick 2 out of this list (Laich, Upshall)

      – Pick 1 out of this list (Talbot)

      – Pick 1 out of this list ( White) – because of the likely cap hit

  8. Marcusman says:

    I can’t see why people are so quick to give up on Benoit #57. The man has talent, heart, skills and size. He is not afraid to fight and he has the goal scorer’s touch. He was certainly the coaches whipping boy last year, he had 13 goals last year and rating of +2 on a team that didn’t score much. Plus he and Desharnais had great chemistry together last year. Move Eller to the wing and you’ve got yourself a very hard working goal scoring third line.

    • Greg says:

      Heart is the one think most people believe he lacks. Skill and size, sure. But sometimes he’s just invisible. Put Darche or White’s work ethic into Pouliot, and you might have a 40 goal scorer on your hands. The problem with Benny is that if he’s not playing top 6, he’s not really useful.

    • G-Man says:

      He falls down by himself while skating. He has a serious balance problem.
      Eller must remain at center between AK and Moen- that was a solid 3rd line with scoring potential.

      • Marcusman says:

        I think his balance issues are from trying too hard. if you were watching this game you might remember just how hard he worked on this shift. Best thing the Habs can do is sign him to a 3 yr deal and let him pay 18 mins a game. He’ll score 30.

        • Caballero says:

          Perhaps, inconsistent play is the hallmark of young players right? At the same time, Benwa always reminds me of the smart kid who always got by on smarts instead of working hard, then he hits University and wonders why he is getting Cs.

        • kirkiswork says:

          So he should try less hard ??

          • Marcusman says:

            He needs to find a grove…not feel like his career with the Habs hangs in the balance every night.

        • Habitoban says:

          Nice to see some support for the much-maligned Pouliot. Sure, he falls down a lot, but I think it’s hard to keep on your blades firmly on the ice when you’re skating on eggshells!

        • G-Man says:

          I have never seen another player fall as much as he does without another player causing it. Otherwise, he has all the tools to be a great street hockey player. 🙂

    • twocents says:

      Despite Boone’s declarations, I would give him another shot. 1 year deal, no raise.

      Who knows what kind of reflection he’s done this summer, he might be itching for another kick at the Habs can and want to show Martin what he can be.

      At 1.3 it’s not easy to replace the 15/30 he should be good for. Add that to the potential upside and I can’t see the justification for walking away other than attitude. If he’s given up on making it work here or expects more coin, he won’t be back

      • JF says:

        Agree. He’s still young enough to turn it around, and he could have been given more icetime last year. But he may not want to stay. He was benched during the playoffs (for the second year in a row) and was the only Hab who chose not to meet the media after the team was eliminated.

        • twocents says:

          I know things didn’t look good at the end of the season. But, as I mentioned above who knows how this has played out in his head subsequently.

          Time has it’s way of proving alternate perspective.

          • JF says:

            I’m hoping both for Pouliot’s sake and that of the team that he’s decided to stay in Montreal if given the chance and is determined to succeed. He has all the tools to be a very valuable player for us. And if he goes elsewhere, he’ll have two failures behind him. How many times can a player start all over in a new place and hope eventually to succeed? Failing and giving up can become a habit.

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      first point – right now Eller is the biggest NHL level centre in the organization, and a natural at that spot (he perfromed much better last year at centre than on the wing) so there is no way he gets moved out of the centre position.

      second point – Benny looks great when he is scoring, but goes long periods of times with no production, is incredibly weak on the puck despite his size, and is weak defensively. I have to completely disagree with your assessment on his “heart”… and it’s unfortunate, because he does have the talent skills and size that you mention.

    • Bripro says:

      At the money’s he’s making, he shouldn’t have to find a groove. Look at Darche. Perhaps it’s because he came in later and maturity made him realize how fortunate he is, or perhaps he’s always had that work ethic, but Minnesota got rid of him because of his lack of determination, and things haven’t changed. You’ll get no argument from me on his talents, including great hands, but it’s time to spend money more wisely and give him up as a bad investment.

  9. punkster says:

    24 Cups mentions Johnny Bower when talking of the excellent and exciting work Tim Thomas has delivered. Yes, I fondly remember Bower and the magic of 4 Cups in the 60s back when I was a Toronto fan. The two goalies are rather similar in style and attitude. We call Thomas a flopper today but it was Bower who turned that into an art form. Old and slow? You bet. Out of position? Quite often. Just when you thought he was beaten he’d fling himself across the goal mouth to make a miraculous save.

    Lucky? Great teams in front of him? Ya, sure, whatever. 4 lucky Cups and 2 lucky Vezinas are Bower’s legacy. What will Tim’s be?

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • JayBee says:

      Thomas is a good goalie…I think he benefits big time from his D. His D is very underrated. They do a great job of collapsing. When Thomas is fluttering all over the place look at the D….they drop anyone near the crease. It also helps to have Chara taking up the entire net.

    • hdcase says:

      Johnny Bower was my goalie coach when I was a lad. I was always torn when the Leafs played the Canadiens. I was a Canadiens fan but I had to root for Johnny Bower, he was always very kind and encouraging with me.


  10. HalifaxHabs says:

    ok PG, time to get Markov & Gorges deals done, and trade Wiz’s negotiating rights if you aren’t going to sign him/or sign him… we need these deals done so we can properly fantasize about UFA day on July 1st.

    • Greg says:

      I know it would require some pretty extreme general managing, but I think the Habs need to keep Wiz. Sign Markov and Gorges, but I would try and move Spacek. Now that definitely won’t be easy. But how’s this for D?
      Webber (Diaz)

      That is one of the most solid bluelines in the NHL, if not the best. And that’s in front of a goalie like Carey Price. With full seasons from Pacioretty and an improved Eller/Desharnais/White, and with Gomez being better (come on, he can’t be worse right?) I think this team is very dangerous.

      Wiz could be key. We gotta try and keep him, and why wouldn’t he want to stay? Would he stay for $4 mil? Spacek’s getting $3.8 I think right? If PG can move Spacek, it’s doable, and I’ll be a very happy fan.

      • G-Man says:

        Spacek not going anywhere- Habs are losing Hamrlik and JM likes experience back there. Spacek will finally play the left side where he belongs. It will probably be his swan song.

      • HalifaxHabs says:

        I love those d-lines… but since we don’t have the option to buy out Spacek, or send him to the AHL, to save his contract… I don’t see any scenario where we can save his cap hit.

        I know humans will say trade him, but that’s much easier said then done. Even if we do find a suitor for him, it’s pretty unlikely they’ll take him without wanting to send us back a similar player in terms of salary commitments.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Agree, no way another GM is picking up Spacek before free agency opens up. Milbury isn’t a GM anymore, so that window has closed, and JFJr is no longer in Toronto.

          Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

        • Greg says:

          I agree 100% that it won’t be easy. I just hope PG is giving it his best shot. If the Habs are going to contend for the Stanley Cup, that’s the way to do it. To lose Wiz (if someone else throws term and cash at him it’ll be for good) because Spacek has one year left… it’s frustrating. Who needs a veteran defenceman and trying to reach the cap floor? Florida?
          I love Spatcho, but we need Wiz.

    • issie74 says:

      i have to think Wisnewski would have to be asking for a lot less,if he wants to stay in Montreal,he can’t ask for Markov money.


  11. HabinBurlington says:

    Well I guess when you have a guy under contract for the next 13+ years, you have to start him. I would go with Schneider, but at least Luongo has played better at home.

    The Sedin’s have to show they can play tough playoff games. At this point they are looking more like Semin and Backstrom. Great in the Reg. Season but come on it’s the PLAYOFFS!

    Kesler must be pretty nicked up, he has not looked anything like he did in previous series.

    Cheering for the Canucks, but this constant puking and diarrhea tells me the Bruins are looking like cup champs. Oh does that hurt to type. fffffffff

    Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

    • TommyB says:

      If Vigneault wanted to send the message “I am totally panicking here, boys!”, then yeah he should start Schneider. You are 2 wins away from hoisting the Cup. Do you replace the guy who got you to this point? How about tightening up that horrible D, instead. How about putting some pucks behind Thomas, instead. There are 20 other guys on that bench who need to provide a solution just as much as Luongo does.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Well I think what got them here was the rest of the team playing well which they no longer are. It is when the rest of the team plays poorly you need your goalie to steal a game, or at leat keep you in a game. That Luongo has not done.

        He has played well at home, but if he sucks tonight, then do you start Schneider, when all the pressure will be on?

        Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

  12. I was just checking out the Canadiens’ situation on capgeek, and it doesn’t look too pretty. I might have added stuff up wrong, I’m working on an all-nighter.

    Anyways, what do you guys project their season-opening lineup to be?

    • twocents says:

      I actually think it looks fairly good. Once Gorges and Markov are signed, I suspect for a total between 7 and 8 million, the D will be set. Weber won’t get a big raise, and that leaves plenty, about 12-13 million for 6 forwards, a backup, and an insurance D(maybe Picard again). Most of the returning forwards who need to be signed, and the spare parts, will have salaries hovering around 1 million.

      I actually think we’ll have enough to sign another approximately 4 million dollar forward. Or, we could ditch Spacek and then Wiz is infinitely signable.

      Looks good to me. Far better than I expected what with “The Weight” still on the roster.

      • Very true, I must have made some erroneous calculations/estimates when I was looking at this morning.

        What do you think Pacioretty will get for a deal? Because before he got hurt, he showed some great stuff out there. I’m thinking he’ll get somewhere around $1.25-1.5m a year. And I think he deserves at least that.

    • twocents says:

      Now, next summer is trickier, what with Price, Subban, Eller and Kostitsyn up for new deals. We’ll have Spacek and Gill coming off freeing up 6 million, but that won’t be enough likely, cause Price and Subbie especially will need big raises. Of course Laraque comes off the docket and the cap will go up, so it could be doable without anything big having to give. Having said that, I suspect Gomez could be gone after next season, his salary(not cap hit) could make him movable, and buyout is always there… then all will be fine.

      • JayBee says:

        Subban is not going to get that big of a contract IMO. Lets say he puts up 50….I think Habs can sign him to under 5. If Price steps up again this year…he’ll get probably $5.5M. Pacioretty I can see in the $3M+ range unless he really breaks out (35+ goals).

        This is a good thing though…if we have this “problem” it means that the guys are all superstars. A good problem to have.

        Gomez will be moved
        Gill and Spacek salaries are gone
        AndreiK is a UFA
        Cap goes up.

        I think we’ll be fine.

        Habs need to make a run now though. Don’t worry about next year.

    • Sharks9 says:

      Make sure you account for the fact that the cap is going up, possibly by 4 million! I’ve calculated a few rosters and it’s not that bad, much better if we could get rid of Spacek.

      25 before 14

      • Ah, yes, I didn’t take into account that the cap is going up, good call.

        The biggest issue I have with the current roster is the Gomez cap hit, it’s just ridiculous. But, we’ve got a whole new season coming up and who knows, maybe he’ll earn 75-80% of what he’s getting this year. He showed some bright spots here and there last season, albeit they were few and far between.

    • cheezboie says:

      My armchair GM 11/12 habs –
      rough salary guestimates in brackets = cap hit of 56.9 mill
      leaving 5.3 million for in season adjustments (cap ceiling rumored to be 62.2 million) or ufa – ?Konopka/Laich?

      Camm 6 – Pleks 5 – AK46 (off-wing) 3.25
      MaxPac (2.5) – Gomez 7.357/ Desharnais (0.850) – Gio 5
      Darche (0.8) – Eller 1.27 – White (0.9)
      Moen 1.5 – Engqvist 0.900 – Weber (righty) (1) (and on PP a la Streit)
      Pyatt (0.6)

      First call up – Palushaj

      Markov (lefty) (5) – Gorges (lefty) (3)
      Gill (lefty) 2.25 – Subban (righty) 0.875
      Yemelin (lefty) 0.984 – Spacek (lefty) 3.833
      Diaz (righty) 0.9

      first call up – Nash (lefty)

      Price 2.75
      Auld (1)

      -0.5 Laraque buyout
      (would be better if could move Gomez and/or Spacek)

      Gomez for captain of the Hamilton Bulldogs?

      • May I ask why you don’t want the Habs to re-sign Halpern, or don’t think that they will? Other than that, I like the look of that lineup. It’s just that for not much more than Enqvist’s cap hit, they could probably keep Halpern around.

        • cheezboie says:

          I’d be good with Halpern in place of Engqvist but if you look at Engqvist he fills a similar role, is younger & bigger. Darche just resigned for 0.700!!! Great signing!

  13. Whoa, 24 Cups, busy morning for ya, eh? Great links!

    Personally, I think the less amount of time off, the better. The Canucks can’t dwell on the beat down they took in Beantown. Just get back Rogers Arena in front of the home crowd and play hockey. The Canucks have a lot of talent, they’ve just gotta relax and let the talent shine. They can’t be bullied and suckered into playing a stupid, punk-ass style of play that is inherent to the Bruins. The Canucks have to be smarter and calmer, and if they can be that tonight, their superior skill and speed will give them a solid chance at picking up the very important W.

  14. 24 Cups says:

    A Cup Final grab bag. (I’m too lazy to sift through them)

    • twocents says:

      What? If you’re going to do a Bryan act, you gotta do the work.

      No sifty, no postie, Steve.
      Come on, man!


      • 24 Cups says:

        I’ve got to hit the links by 8AM, Eric. As we all know, golf is more important than hockey at this time of year.

        Besides, I’m not like Mike Boone. I don’t have some hot university chick working a summer job as his assistant at the Gazette and doing all the leg work for him:-)

  15. 24 Cups says:

    The grunt level of this series has certainly taken some of the shine off of the Stanley Cup.–hockey-players-behaving-badly-emotions-run-high-maturity-runs-low

  16. 24 Cups says:

    Here’s a great preview from Jeff Angus at DobberHockey.

    “The Bruins will win if

    •They continue to turn the series into a physical, chippy, dirty, post-whistle affair.
    •Tim Thomas sees the puck as well as he has over the past two games (thanks in large part to strong defensive clears on rebounds)
    •Vancouver’s defense continues to keep a Red Sea-like gap on defense (they need to step up much faster on the Boston forwards and force them into making plays)
    •They win the special teams battle.

    The Canucks will win if:

    •They get their once lethal PP back on track, and actually punish the Bruins for taking physical/undisciplined penalties
    •Roberto Luongo rises to the occasion as he has done multiple times this spring
    •They ignore the post-whistle stuff, the hacks and whacks that Boston is employing so effectively.
    •They get traffic in front of Thomas and make him move. Pucks to the net won’t do the trick, in fact it may do the opposite and get Thomas comfortable.
    •Their defensemen HIT THE NET with point shots.
    •Someone steps up on the back end. Kevin Bieksa doesn’t look like himself without Hamhuis. Edler and Ehrhoff have both been struggling.
    •Someone other than Sedin/Kesler get invovled. Sedins have been shut down, but they are going against a Vezina and Norris finalist on each and every shift.”

  17. 24 Cups says:

    Here’s a thought that I mentioned to MB after Boston tied up the series. For the first 41 games of the year, Sidney Crosby was the best player in the NHL. Since Crosby’s injury, I think it’s fair to say that Tim Thomas has been the best player in the league, bar none.

    Now all of the heat is on Roberto Luongo. He may miss Dan Hamhuis more than the Bruins miss Nathan Horton. Luongo’s gold medal Olympic performance may well be forgotten if he blows one more tire during the Cup final.

    The HI/O faithful may not like to hear it, but Thomas ( 1.26 goals-against average/ .966 save percentage in this series) smells blood and may well be on his way to winning the Cup for the Bruins. Shades of Johnny Bower for those who are old enough to remember.

    As we all know on this site, Thomas is such a lucky stiff:-)

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