Tag: power play woes

New York Rangers v Washington Capitals - Game Three

Washington would very much like to get their power play going

Special teams in the playoffs is always a big deal. Scoring on the power play or getting scored on can make the difference in the game (or a series, just ask the Penguins). For the Washington Capitals, they know they have to be better especially on the power play.

CSNWashington.com’s Chuck Gormley talks to Caps defenseman Dennis Wideman about what it will take to help turn his team’s fortunes on the power play.

“They’re the best shot-blocking team in the league,” Wideman said. “Their forwards do a great job of getting in that [shooting] lane and timing it well. You might think you have a lane and all of a sudden they slide in front at the perfect time. We’ve got to get around that by faking shots, get them down and move it to the open guy.”

Figuring out a way to get shots through the Rangers defense has been near impossible for anyone to do, be it Washington or Ottawa in the playoffs or anyone else during the regular season. There are many reasons why the Rangers were the best in the East, but their dedication to blocking shots is near the top of the list.

If the Caps can figure out a way to make the Rangers pay for their shot blocking ways, they’ll be the first ones to pull it off this year.

Vancouver gets their opportunities on Boston, but Game 5 stays tied 0-0 after two periods

Boston Bruins v Vancouver Canucks - Game Five

Through two periods of Game 5 the game remains scoreless but things got a bit better for Vancouver. The Canucks continued to pressure the Bruins and this time around they got the edge in shots that period outshooting them 12-9. Boston holds the two period shot advantage 21-18 though.

One difference in the second period is that we finally saw the Canucks power play hit the ice as they had two man-advantage opportunities against Boston but came up empty two more times.

The game’s best opportunity for a goal came courtesy of the Canucks fourth line when a puck came right to Tanner Glass at the far post and with Tim Thomas out of position Glass fanned on the shot as Vancouver couldn’t muster a solid opportunity on the play. With how this game is playing out, one goal could be the one that changes the whole thing.

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Vancouver will have to keep up the pace in the third and keep generating opportunities. They’ll need to play a little smoother in their own end though as the Bruins played great when they were able to gain and sustain pressure in their zone. Boston is again getting great play out of Tim Thomas as the Canucks have scored just one goal in their last eight periods of play. One thing is for sure though, this has been the best game of the series, now let’s hope the third period gives us the kind of finish fitting for how it’s played out.

Canucks get aggressive, stop Bruins power play end first period 0-0 in Game 5

Boston Bruins v Vancouver Canucks - Game Five

The Canucks were looking to get a change of pace going in Game 5 and so far they’ve got that even in spite of there being no score after one period of play. Vancouver has come out and started throwing the body around in a big way outhitting the Bruins 23-13 after one period. Vancouver has picked up their aggression and they’re playing better hockey in many ways that they didn’t during Games 3 and 4 in Boston.

One way they’re not doing so well is in the discipline department. The Canucks gave up three power plays to the Bruins and while they’ve stopped all three of them, they’re keeping Roberto Luongo awfully busy outshooting the Canucks 12-6 after one period. After all the criticism that’s been heaped upon Luongo after his miserable play in Boston, he’s looked especially sharp so far in this one.

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We’ve also had some of the dramatic as Maxim Lapierre was trying to ham up a stick jab from Zdeno Chara to draw a call, something that drew the attention of Dennis Seidenberg. During a late face off, Alex Burrows was attempting to jockey for position with Milan Lucic, stepping over Lucic’s stick in the process. Lucic then tried to move his stick out of the way tripping up Burrows in the process putting him on the ice. Both players were put in the box, Burrows being called for diving. For all the good we’ve seen in the first period, we’ve got a healthy amount of nonsense. Here’s to hoping the latter gets cut out entirely in the second.

Vancouver’s undoing in Game 3: Miserable power play and turnovers

Vancouver Canucks v Boston Bruins - Game Three

There were more than a few things wrong with what happened with the Vancouver Canucks in last night’s Game 3. When you get beaten 8-1 there’s generally a laundry list of things to check off to correct. A couple of things that went especially wrong for Vancouver reminded us of things that went wrong for Boston in Games 1 and 2.

Vancouver’s woes with the puck in Game 3 started with their power play and special teams in general. After the Canucks killed off Aaron Rome’s major penalty in the first period things went downhill for them. They went 0-8 on the power play and gave up a power play goal to Mark Recchi in the second period and then two shorthanded goals, one to Brad Marchand in the second and another to Dan Paille in the third.

All around it was not a banner night for Vancouver’s special teams but Canucks captain Henrik Sedin says they have to do better.

“If we score early on the power play or when it’s 2-0 and we get a chance, that’s a chance for us to get in the game. Instead we let them score the other way. That’s a killer. It hurts the guys on the ice and if you’re sitting on the bench and you see their PK score a goal… That hurts,” Sedin says.

It wasn’t just the special teams that did the Canucks in, it was their lack of puck control that hurt them as well. The Bruins capitalized on turnovers much in the way the Canucks did in the first two games of the series. The turnover issue is one that wasn’t missed by Henrik.

“They’re a team like us and they feed on turnovers. We turned the puck over on our power play and our five-on-five and that’s why you see the chances they get. We’re going to have to keep this tight. We can’t open it up just to get things going. We have to rely on our system and go from there.”

Seeing the tables turned the way they were in such a lopsided way still has us a bit stunned. After all, you don’t see teams score eight goals in a game often and certainly not in the Stanley Cup finals. For Vancouver, they stressed that they too were also able to get the Bruins to turn the puck over as well and that they just couldn’t capitalize on things thanks to Tim Thomas’ work in goal.

Canucks assistant captain Ryan Kesler described what he saw out there.

“I thought they turned the puck over a lot. We had a couple of grade-A scoring chances and we didn’t bury it,” he said. “We had a couple of turnovers and they had their chances and they buried it and we didn’t. That was the difference in the game.”

Hockey can be a simple game but if it’s as simple as Kesler and Sedin make it out to be, the corrections for Vancouver in Game 4 on Wednesday will be simple to make. If it runs a little deeper than that then we might very well have ourselves a series.

Five Thoughts on Boston’s 8-1 pounding of Vancouver in Game 3

Vancouver Canucks v Boston Bruins - Game Three

For a blowout game with not much to worry about competition wise, we’re left with a lot to digest. Here’s the five thoughts we’re stuck with after a ridiculous and incredible Game 3.

1. Aaron Rome’s hit on Nathan Horton is one of the more awful and memorable scenes in the game and while justice is very likely to come for Rome later today Boston’s chances to win the Stanley Cup take a distinctive hit if Horton is out long term. We can only assume that Horton will be out for the rest of the series and losing one of  your top three forwards makes the hill to climb to win the series so much harder.

Horton’s been a huge factor in the playoffs for Boston and losing his presence and production hurts a lot. The Bruins did well tonight to step up in his absence thanks to Rich Peverley filling in on the top line but they’ll need to find a way to replace his production. It likely means that Tyler Seguin gets back into the lineup but where he’ll figure into the mix with the rest of the players will make Claude Julien’s job a lot rougher.

2. Speaking of Julien, give him a lot of credit. While the taunting stuff was a bit out of hand from Boston thanks to Mark Recchi and Milan Lucic giving it back to Vancouver, Julien read those guys the riot act for their taunts. Both Recchi and Lucic said after the game that Julien sternly took them to task acting up the way they did. Julien tore up Vancouver’s Maxim Lapierre for taunting Patrice Bergeron the way he did in Game 2. Julien doing what he did tonight to dress down both Recchi and Lucic was good for business for the Bruins but also for Julien himself. Taking a stand and sticking to it is admirable in this case.

3. With the silly talk that Tim Thomas needed to change his aggressive style up after losing the first two games he certainly did his part to shut everyone up in Game 3. While the game was a blowout in Boston’s favor, Vancouver still outshot them and Thomas stood tall stopping 40 shots and just missing out on a shutout. We’d made it clear here that Thomas didn’t need to change anything up at all and he showed exactly why that was the case in Game 3.

4. After the game, Henrik Sedin was asked about a quote he’d said in the past about how getting blown out is an easier way to lose than losing a heart breaker late or in overtime. He thought about it for a second and said that he might have to re-think that after tonight’s loss. With all the shenanigans going on in the last two periods of tonight’s game and with how the wheels came off for Vancouver, it would seem like the sort of game that Vancouver could forget about easily. The fear of Boston perhaps finding a point to rally behind now, especially with Horton out, is there. Letting sleeping dogs lie where they’re at would’ve worked out great for Vancouver here.

5. 25 years ago yesterday the Canucks traded prospect Cam Neely to Boston and a first round pick for Denis Pederson. It also worked out nicely that yesterday was also his birthday. Upon seeing Neely after the game was over I asked him if the way the Canucks played made him enjoy “Bruins hockey” all the more. His answer was short and telling: “You’d better believe it.” Turning 46 years-old had to feel pretty good for Neely after Game 3.