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Vancouver Canucks: Three quick notes from the Blackhawks game

Written on March 22, 2012 at 04:32, by HTTN

Switch is flipped. Canucks play exciting hockey once again.

What a game. Sure, the Canucks lost 2-1, but they played like they wanted to win and the overtime result could’ve gone either way.

Anyone who’s been worried “switch flipping” is not possible should feel much better. All it took was a worthy opponent, and Vancouver was an entirely different team than we’ve seen for a while.

What happened in the game? Here are our 3 quick notes.

1. Duncan Keith’s brutal hit

It’s unfortunate to lead with this, but it was the most memorable moment in the game. If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s Duncan Keith’s elbow to Daniel Sedin’s head.

Alain Vigneault’s comments on the hit (from TSN):

“Deliberate. Principle point of contact. Everything we’re trying to take out of the game.”

What might make it worse for Brendan Shanahan as he decides Keith’s suspension is the hit appears to have been premeditated.

Earlier in the first period, Daniel laid a rough hit on Keith and his shoulder made heavy contact with Keith’s chin. If that wasn’t enough, afterwards, Dan Murphy tweeted:

Henrik says Keith said something to the effect of “I’m going to get you” to Daniel after his 1st period hit on Keith

Nothing worse than a premeditated hit in the eyes of the NHL. Remember the Brad Marchand clipping suspension? Of course you do.

2. Raymond played well, NOT because he was scratched

Raymond

Mason Raymond was the best skater on the ice for the Canucks. He looked confident and dangerous and wanted the puck on his stick all night, leading the way for his team with 5 shots.

The simple explanation is it’s a direct response to his being scratched against the Wild, but that’s wrong.

I wrote in my 3 quick notes after the game prior — against the Blue Jackets — that Raymond’s confidence was finally returning:

As Saturday’s game wore on, you could see Raymond’s confidence building. He was carrying the puck through the neutral zone and making good passes in the offensive zone…

The Canucks’ persistence with him is paying off. When he regains his confidence, he’ll be a difference maker.

Those who think they were right in scratching him against the Wild, recall how Vancouver played. They were flat, slow, and devoid of emotion — all qualities Raymond would’ve brought to the table considering he has something to prove right now.

They lost 2-0. Not only was it not a good move, it was a horribly wrong move.

3. Luongo always responds

Going into Chicago and playing the Canucks biggest rivals — that’s pressure. Roberto Luongo responded in a massive way and really, could’ve had a shutout. The Hawks’ one regulation goal was impossible for any goalie to stop.

His stats from the game:

LuongoStats

Playing well in pressure situations — that’s what Luongo does.