Bobby Lou, How do you do? Canucks blank 'Hawks 3-0.
Three Stars Selection:
1) Roberto Luongo. 32 saves, Shutout preformance.
2) Daniel Sedin. 2 assists, including an assist on the third, "put away" goal.
3) Christian Ehrhoff. 1 goal (PP), 23 minutes of Ice time.
He was mesmerizing, showstopping, unbelievable. Six days after being pulled against the Blackhawks after letting in four goals, Roberto Luongo was nothing short of miraculous. He made save after save, making the unbelievable, well, believable, and the Canucks shut out the Blackhawks 3 to 0. It was a welcome turnaround for Bobby Lou, as he has had well documented struggles against the 'Hawks potent offence. Two years in a row in the playoffs, Luongo had looked confused, ineffective, a player that had lost his confidence and swagger.
Luongo was without question the first star of the game after his sparkling 32 save performance for his second shutout of the year.
Luongo saved his best saves for his old nemesis, Jonathan Toews. Twice he got his blocker on shots that seemed destined for the back of the net.
He also made an amazing, sliding, stack-the-pads save on Patrick Kane, a man who had routinely scored on Luongo in the post season. (Do I need to remind everyone of Game six?)
However, perhaps his most sterling save of the net came off the stick of Tomas Kopecky. Kopecky was alone at the side of the net with Luongo down on his stomach. He took his time, aiming to get a backhand shot near the top of the net. At the last second, Luongo lifted his right pad off the ice just enough to catch the puck and send it aside.
It was a statement game. He looked calm and collected under pressure, paying no attention to the traffic in front of his crease. He didn't complain when he was bumped by Jonathan Toews, and he didn't flop around like a lubed up squid. Instead, he looked like the Roberto Luongo of 2006/07, the goaltender who stole games every night for a Canucks team that leaned heavily on him. The Canucks collectively weren't that impressive, and were outshot 32-18 overall. Luongo was under siege most of the night, most noticibly in the first period when the visitors were outshot 14 to 8.
The Canucks didn't get many chances throughout the night, but they cashed in when presented with them. Tanner Glass opened the scoring at 11:18 of the second period with his third of the year, flipping a rebound past Turco after a huge pileup in front of the net. There were four Blackhawk defenders in Marty Turco's crease, yet Glass was the one to find and deposit the rebound in the back of the net.
In the third, after killing off a short two man advantage, the Canucks got their own powerplay. The number one rated Powerplay in the league didn't disappoint, as Christian Ehrhoff fired a wrister that beat a screened Turco over the shoulder. It was Ehrhoff's fourth goal of the year.
Ten minutes later, Daniel Sedin skated in alone on Marty Turco. He tried a deke, but Turco stayed with him and stopped the shot. Unfortunatley, Patrick Sharp decided to let Henrik Sedin literally skate right past him and shoot the rebound past Turco, who was caught way out of position. It was like Sharp had simply given up on the play. It was Henrik Sedin's third goal of the year, and his first since Nov. 4th against Colorado, a span of 11 games. I should mention, however, that Henrik does lead the NHL in assists, with 27.
It was an uplifting win for the Canucks. It was so inspirational, I expected Luongo to grab a microphone and shout, "Yo Adrian! I did it!"
The Canucks are now riding a four game win streak, and will put it to the test Sunday at home against the St. Louis Blues.
Since I'm in a good mood, heres a special feature on Roberto Luongo. Goaltender, cyclist.. poet?
Glass (3) 11:18 (hansen, hamhuis)
Ehrhoff (4) PP. (Edler, D. Sedin)
H. Sedin (3) (D. Sedin, A.Burrows)
Notes: The Canucks are now 9-0-1 with Jeff Tambellini in the lineup... Dan Hamhuis is currently on a three game point streak.. Roberto Luongo now has 53 career shutouts.