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Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago

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Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago

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31Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago on Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:27 pm

shabbs


Hall of Famer
Hall of Famer
davetherave wrote:
shabbs wrote:Canucks in 7! This one will go the distance.

Shabbs, my friend, are you a Nucks fan now? Just checking... Wink
For this round... yes...

32Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago on Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:29 pm

davetherave


All-Star
All-Star
shabbs wrote:
davetherave wrote:
shabbs wrote:Canucks in 7! This one will go the distance.

Shabbs, my friend, are you a Nucks fan now? Just checking... Wink
For this round... yes...

Heh heh...do you have a Nucks jersey? Wink

33Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago on Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:33 pm

Cap'n Clutch


Co-Founder
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I personally cheer for the Canadian team when the Sens are out excluding of course the Habs and Leafs because I just can't do it.

I understand the Canadian player content argument but I still feel that urge to cheer for the team based out of a Canadian City.

34Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago on Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:35 pm

Guest


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Cap'n Clutch wrote:I personally cheer for the Canadian team when the Sens are out excluding of course the Habs and Leafs because I just can't do it.

I understand the Canadian player content argument but I still feel that urge to cheer for the team based out of a Canadian City.

Yes me too clutch, the canadian franchises first ... keep the cup in Canada !

I mean, we dun wan much in life, just the stanley cup ;-p

35Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago on Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:39 pm

PTFlea

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Co-Founder
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Two great stories this year. I like both teams. I think it's gonna come down to depth at forward and Luongo.

The Canucks D is nowhere near as good as the Hawks IMO, but Luongo can make up for all that.

Dynamite!

I'll say...Canucks in 7. But it will be close!

36Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago on Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:47 pm

davetherave

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Cap'n Clutch wrote:I personally cheer for the Canadian team when the Sens are out excluding of course the Habs and Leafs because I just can't do it.

I understand the Canadian player content argument but I still feel that urge to cheer for the team based out of a Canadian City.

Yes, we understand that your urges can sometimes be too much to control LOL...

Do you have a Nucks jersey, or at least a ticket for the Nuckwagon?

And have you already forgiven Nucks fans for dissing the Sens?

37Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago on Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:30 pm

Cap'n Clutch

Cap'n Clutch
Co-Founder
Co-Founder
davetherave wrote:
Cap'n Clutch wrote:I personally cheer for the Canadian team when the Sens are out excluding of course the Habs and Leafs because I just can't do it.

I understand the Canadian player content argument but I still feel that urge to cheer for the team based out of a Canadian City.

Yes, we understand that your urges can sometimes be too much to control LOL...

Do you have a Nucks jersey, or at least a ticket for the Nuckwagon?

And have you already forgiven Nucks fans for dissing the Sens?

No Nucks jersey and the Nuckwagon tickets have been ordered and I'll pick them up at will call if they make it to the finals :D: .

I don't have any hate for the Nucks, Oilers, or Flames so any of them are cheer worthy as my Canadian team to root for.

Leafs? I have built up a healthy hate for them for many reasons starting with past playoffs down to players like Tucker, Domi, Nolan, and former Coach and GM Quinn. I was finding it hard to hate the Leafs with those guys all gone and no Leaf playoff games since before the lockout. Then along came Burke, who I hate and think is over-rated, and I'm sure he'll make them a team to hate.

Montreal? I never used to have a problem with them but I have built up a hate for them over the past few years which I'm sure will grow quite large if we ever meet in the playoffs.



Last edited by Cap'n Clutch on Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:36 pm; edited 1 time in total


_________________
"A child with Autism is not ignoring you, they are waiting for you to enter their world."

- Unknown Author

38Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago on Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:33 pm

PKC

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I think this series is going to go to 4OT of game 7, that's how evenly matched I think these two squads are.

Coin flip...complete coin flip.

39Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago on Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:16 pm

davetherave

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All-Star
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Folks, I'm going to be absolutely and tell you that, objectively...the Blackhawks are MOST DEFINITELY the underdogs here.

(Not as much as the Canes, but, there you are, eh.)

I LOVE it.

The best part about the playoffs is, you ONLY HAVE TO WIN ONE MORE GAME than the other team.

No points. No 'play for the tie, then the shootout'. No gold stars for good performances or E's for effort. No 'well, we didn't get the bounces'. No 'the calls went against us'. No 'injuries did us in'.

It doesn't matter who wins at home, on the road, by a squeaker or by a blowout.

Win pretty, win ugly, win whatever.

Just win, baby.

The Blackhawks need four wins. Any way they can get them.

And I think these young fellas know that.

And I think they can do it.

If only because no one expects them to.

But also because the Blackhawks have done something the Canucks have never done.

These young men can look at the young men who came before them, and whose chances were deemed no better than theirs...

Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago - Page 3 17_4_610

It was forty eight years ago, almost to the day...

And who knows how far the Blackhawks go this year...but they know--to a man--that it CAN be done.

Because those Black Hawks who came before them...got it done.

Inspiration is a powerful force.

Can't wait for Thursday night.

:D:

40Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago on Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:30 pm

SensGirl11

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Mod
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I'm going with Vancouver in 7 as well. The difference being Luongo. But, that being said, it really could go either way, the Bulin Wall is playing his heart out right now.

41Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago on Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:36 pm

davetherave

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All-Star
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SensGirl11 wrote:I'm going with Vancouver in 7 as well. The difference being Luongo. But, that being said, it really could go either way, the Bulin Wall is playing his heart out right now.

SensGirl...Nik is crushed that you've passed him over for The Italian Stallion. How could you? LOL

42Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago on Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:13 pm

SensGirl11

SensGirl11
Mod
Mod
davetherave wrote:
SensGirl11 wrote:I'm going with Vancouver in 7 as well. The difference being Luongo. But, that being said, it really could go either way, the Bulin Wall is playing his heart out right now.

SensGirl...Nik is crushed that you've passed him over for The Italian Stallion. How could you? LOL

I'll say that it has to do with age and rest and all around awesomeness. Luongo has all going in his favor right now, besides the awesomeness factor, they both have that right now. I don't know how long Khabby can keep it up. Is that wrong?

43Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago on Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:49 pm

davetherave

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All-Star
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SensGirl11 wrote:
davetherave wrote:
SensGirl11 wrote:I'm going with Vancouver in 7 as well. The difference being Luongo. But, that being said, it really could go either way, the Bulin Wall is playing his heart out right now.

SensGirl...Nik is crushed that you've passed him over for The Italian Stallion. How could you? LOL

I'll say that it has to do with age and rest and all around awesomeness. Luongo has all going in his favor right now, besides the awesomeness factor, they both have that right now. I don't know how long Khabby can keep it up. Is that wrong?

SensGirl, I just don't know if Nik will get over having his heart broken by you...knowing that you love Roberto more.

Crying

But a professional is a professional...and the game must go on.

Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago - Page 3 Khabby12

44Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago on Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:15 am

davetherave

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Second-round preview: Canucks-Hawks
By Scott Burnside, ESPN.com

Until a late-season collapse by Calgary, this series looked destined to be a first-round matchup. But the Flames slipped from the Northwest Division crown to the fifth seed and drew Chicago in the first round, while the Canucks won the division and took on St. Louis.

Against an injury-riddled Calgary team, the youthful, inexperienced Blackhawks proved they aren't intimidated by physical play, or the playoffs as a whole. The Canucks, used to playoff disappointments, proved against a good St. Louis team they can play it close and tight and never get rattled (Vancouver won four straight against the Blues in a series closer than the final result would suggest).

The Canucks will hit this series as overwhelming favorites due in large part to the fact
Roberto Luongo is playing like a man possessed (1.15 GAA and .962 save percentage). The Canucks will also be healthy with Willie Mitchell and Sami Salo both taking advantage of Vancouver's week-and-a-half break to get back to playing form.

It's still unknown whether
Mats Sundin will play in Game 1 after he sat out the last two games of the St. Louis series with a lower-body injury believed to be hip-related. Coach Alain Vigneault told reporters in Vancouver he thought Sundin would play, although Sundin has been largely ineffective with just one goal in the two games he played.

The Blackhawks, meanwhile, will try to keep their magical season going after they won a playoff round for the first time since 1996. A lot of that will have to do with the continued strong play of
Nikolai Khabibulin, who was terrific, especially in the last two games of the series, stopping 62 of 64 shots.

FIVE POINTS TO THE SERIES

1. Are your teams special? The Vancouver Canucks limited St. Louis to one measly power-play goal in four games; in many respects, that was the difference in a closely fought series. The Blackhawks showed they've got something "special" in their special teams, ringing up seven power-play goals in six first-round games, and that was a major factor in their series victory. Those power-play goals were provided by seven different scorers, which is a nice bonus for the Hawks, whose offensive depth may be the one area in which they hold a distinct advantage over Vancouver. Chicago also limited the Flames to two power-play goals, while the Canucks had four power-play goals in 18 chances. If Chicago can win the special-teams battle, it will go a long way in keeping the magic alive for the Blackhawks.


2. Pressure, what pressure? Neither of these teams has had much in the way of playoff success in recent years. The Canucks have not advanced beyond the second round of the playoffs since their famous assault on the Stanley Cup in 1994, when they were defeated in seven games in the Stanley Cup finals by
Mark Messier and the New York Rangers. The Blackhawks, of course, haven't won a Cup since 1962, the longest drought in the NHL, and haven't been in a conference final since 1995. So, does that mean there's no pressure on either team, or a lot on both? The Canucks will certainly have the pressure of being the favorite and opening at home. The Blackhawks will have to overcome the tendency to be satisfied with having achieved some success without having the benefit of much experience. They'll also have the benefit of playing at United Center, once again one of the toughest buildings in the NHL.

3. The goaltenders. Both Luongo and Khabibulin have much to prove in this series. Luongo has won just two playoff rounds in his career and one of them was last week. He has never advanced beyond the second round. He was the catalyst to a dramatic second-half turnaround that saw the Canucks erase a huge Calgary lead to take the Northwest Division crown. It's not an overstatement to suggest that, as Luongo goes, so go the Canucks. As for Khabibulin, the win over the Flames marked his first playoff series victory since he led Tampa Bay to the Stanley Cup in 2004. He is going to be an unrestricted free agent in July, and with every postseason victory, his market value rises sharply. If he can help Chicago upset the Canucks, he will be back where he was after the Bolts won the Cup, at the top of the marketplace for free-agent netminders.


4. The helpers. The Canucks rely heavily on their top unit of
Alexandre Burrows and the Sedin twins, Daniel and Henrik. The Blackhawks have an edge in offensive depth given the top six forwards coach Joel Quenneville will roll out -- Martin Havlat, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, rookie of the year candidate Kris Versteeg, Dave Bolland and Patrick Sharp. The Blackhawks received goals from 12 different skaters in the opening round, which is a good thing if you're Chicago. Havlat was especially impressive, following up on a strong second half with three goals and three assists against Calgary. He also added an overtime game winner for the Hawks.

That puts additional pressure on
Pavol Demitra, who did not score in the opening series; gifted center Kyle Wellwood, who had a goal and an assist but has been all over the map this season; and one-time San Jose prospect Steve Bernier, who had one goal in the opening round.

5. The shut-down guys. Along with Luongo, one of the key factors in Vancouver's favor -- at least on paper -- is its grit and ability to shut down the opposing team. Forward
Ryan Kesler, who was named a Selke Trophy finalist this week, will be asked to try to keep a lid on an explosive Chicago offense that finished tied for fourth during the regular season in goals per game. Kesler can also bring the offense; he had 26 goals during the regular season.

His counterpart in Chicago is former
Anaheim Ducks shut-down specialist Samuel Pahlsson, acquired by the Blackhawks at the March 4 trade deadline. Pahlsson, along with Travis Moen and Rob Niedermayer, was one of the catalysts to the Ducks' run to the Cup in 2007 and brings invaluable experience to a dressing room that was basically void of playoff experience before the tournament began two weeks ago. Pahlsson, the runner-up to Carolina's Rod Brind'Amour for the 2007 Selke, picked up points in two of the last three games during the first round.

KEY MATCHUPS
Canucks' top line versus Hawks' top defensive pairing. Henrik and Daniel Sedin and Burrows provided six of the 11 goals Vancouver scored in the first round. You can expect that unit to spend a lot of time on the ice against the Blackhawks' top defensive pairing of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. The duo was effective in restricting the Calgary Flames' top unit, including Olli Jokinen and Jarome Iginla, to five goals in six games.

HOT AND NOT
Vancouver: Burrows had just one goal in his first 11 playoff games two seasons ago, but netted three in the first round against St. Louis. Kesler had 26 goals in the regular season, but did not manage to score in the first round.

Chicago: Defenseman
Cam Barker had three goals in the first round in his first playoff series. Brian Campbell's deflection goal in Game 6 was his first in 51 games.

PREDICTIONS
A lot has to go right for Chicago to move on, but with its scoring depth and the ability to generate offense from the back end, it will do just that. Blackhawks in seven.

Scott Burnside covers the NHL for ESPN.com.

45Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago on Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:26 am

shabbs

shabbs
Hall of Famer
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GO CANUCKS GO!!!

46Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago on Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:20 am

davetherave

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Here's the view from Chris Kuc at The Chicago Tribune...proof that Chicago hockey writers ARE objective.

cool)

---

Who has the edge? Blackhawks vs. Canucks


By Chris Kuc, Tribune reporter
April 30, 2009

Game 1: 8 p.m. Thursday

TV/radio: Versus, WGN-AM 720

Offense

Vancouver's top line of Henrik and Daniel Sedin and Alex Burrows scored six of the Canucks' 11 goals in their four-game quarterfinals sweep of the St. Louis Blues.

The health of Mats Sundin (lower body) comes into play as the center missed Games 3 and 4 of that series. Without the veteran anchoring the second line with Pavol Demitra and Ryan Kesler, replacement Jannik Hansen stepped in and the No. 2 line managed just one goal and four points in the opening round. Sundin is expected to be ready to play, however.

The Blackhawks are clicking offensively as they scored at least three goals in all but one game of their first-round defeat of the Calgary Flames. Calder Trophy candidate Kris Versteeg had two goals and five assists to top the Hawks in scoring in the quarterfinals while Martin Havlat, Patrick Sharp, Brent Seabrook, Cam Barker and Jonathan Toews each had six points.

Edge: Blackhawks.


Defense

The Hawks had the decided advantage over the banged-up Flames but won't have that luxury in Round 2. The Canucks are talented and tough along the blue line with Sami Salo, Kevin Bieksa, Willie Mitchell, Mattias Ohlund, Shane O'Brien and Alexander Elder.

There might not be a better defensive pair going right now than the Hawks' Seabrook and Duncan Keith. The duo shut down Jarome Iginla and the top scoring line for the Flames and will look to work their magic against Vancouver's main unit. Cam Barker and Brian Campbell are playing well defensively and adding punch to the offense from the back end.

Edge: Even.


Goaltending

Nikolai Khabibulin is playing as well as he has all season and nearly single-handedly won Game 6 against the Flames with a stellar effort. The Russian was 4-2 with a 2.52 goals-against average and .914 save percentage in the series.

Normally Khabibulin's play would be enough to give the Hawks the edge, but on the other end of the ice sits Vancouver star goalie Roberto Luongo, who has been nearly unbeatable. Luongo posted a 1.15 goals-against and .962 save percentage in the four games against the Blues. Luongo usually steps up his game in the postseason where he's 9-7 with a 1.63 goals-against and .946 save percentage in 16 career contests.

Edge: Canucks.


Special teams

The Hawks struggled down the stretch of the regular season on the power play, but the unit has come alive in the postseason with seven goals in 24 opportunities, including at least one goal with the man advantage in each of the final five games against the Flames. Hawks penalty killers allowed Calgary just two goals throughout the series.

The Canucks' power play showed some life against St. Louis in Game 3 with three goals, but it managed one tally in the other three games combined. Vancouver allowed just one goal in 24 times being short-handed.

Edge: Even.


Coaching

Hawks coach Joel Quenneville pulled all the right strings against the Flames and kept the league's youngest team grounded in the franchise's first postseason series since 2002. With the Canucks having home-ice advantage, Quenneville won't have the edge of the last line change if the series goes the distance.

Alain Vigneault has complied an 88-59-17 regular-season record in his two seasons behind the Vancouver bench and won the Jack Adams Award given to the NHL's top coach in 2007.

Edge: Even.


Chris Kuc's prediction: Canucks in seven.


Statistical faceoff (Blackhawks, Canucks)

Regular-season record 46-24-12, 104 points; 45-27-10, 100 points Season series 2-2; 2-2 Postseason record 4-2; 4-0 Postseason statistics

Goals for 3.50; 2.75

Goals against 2.67; 1.25

Penalty minutes per game 13.5; 20.2

Power play 29.2; 22.2

Penalty killing 88.9; 95.8

Plus/minus Even; +3

Leading after 1st 2-0; 2-0

Leading after 2nd 3-0; 2-0

Trailing after 1st 2-0; 1-0

Trailing after 2nd 0-1;0-0

Scoring first 2-2; 3-0

Trail first 2-0; 1-0

Overtime 1-0; 1-0

Hits 177; 91

Blocks 71; 55

Face-off pct. 51.6; 52.5 Projected lines:

Hawks

Forwards

Havlat, Toews, Kane

Sharp, Bolland, Versteeg

Ladd, Pahlsson, Byfuglien

Eager, Burish, Brouwer

Defense

Keith, Seabrook

Hjalmarsson, Campbell

Walker, Barker

Goaltender

Khabibulin

Canucks

Forwards

D. Sedin, H. Sedin, Burrows

Kesler, Sundin, Demitra

Bernier, Wellwood, Raymond

Hordichuk, Johnson, Rypien

Defense

Ohlund, Elder

Mitchell, Salo

O'Brien, Bieksa

Goaltender

Luongo


Copyright 2009, Chicago Tribune

47Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago on Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:30 am

SensFan71


All-Star
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Maggie's pick is Vancouver, mind you, she had a horrible first round record, which I am thinking it's that her heart isn't in it anymore, this is her last wheel spinning year.

48Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round 2 - Vancouver Vs. Chicago on Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:08 am

davetherave

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Will Scotty be secret weapon?
Legendary coach may give Hawks intangible edge

Tony Gallagher
The Vancouver Province
Thursday, April 30, 2009


If you were ever to find a player who would argue that coaching isn't important in an NHL playoff series, he would be a rare duck indeed.

So when you look at the matchup between the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks, it's a little difficult not to worry about this one, no matter how much faith you have in Alain Vigneault and his staff and the outstanding year they've had with this team.

For on the other side you're looking at Joel Quenneville and a horde of assistant coaches, the former having raised a Cup while an assistant under Marc Crawford in Colorado in '96 with many more appearances since then with both St. Louis and Colorado as a head coach.

But most discomfiting of all is the man in the stands for this series, one Scott Bowman, who just happens to be the greatest coach in NHL history, a man who has lost nothing despite ranging into his 70s.

Not surprisingly, Bowman was playing down his contribution Wednesday, not wishing to appear interfering in the least, while Quenneville was saying he seeks Scotty's opinion on all sorts of things -- the truth probably lying somewhere in between.

"I talk to him all the time about all kinds of things," said Quenneville, their most recent discussion being on travel, how they should handle this series and when they should come to Vancouver. "When you have a guy like that, why wouldn't you ask him, especially now that he's going to be with the team the whole time? He knows pretty much everything."

Bowman definitely underplays his role although he did admit to going to a particular star player with some advice recently with something as minute as to how to make sure a referee sees an infraction if one should occur, this player being a particular target, although Bowman asked that the player remain anonymous.

"The way I try to leave it is the way Toe Blake was with me," said Bowman, who of course immediately began providing an example:

"When we were in the final in '73, my first Cup, Toe had been out [of coaching] about five years and we were leading Chicago 3-1 coming back to Montreal to win the Cup. We played the game and it was 8-7, we lost. Toe came down to talk to [Ken] Dryden and there were so many reporters around him he couldn't get near him. But he listened. Then about 1 a.m. I get a call from Toe and he says, 'You're going to have a problem with Dryden when that stuff hits the papers.'

"Sure enough, in the morning it comes out way worse than Dryden expected. He's talking about the defence and saying, 'What do you expect a goalie to do in a situation like that?' and his defence were guys like [Serge] Savard, [Guy] Lapointe and [Larry] Robinson. They had some pride as well.

"At the time Dryden had the reputation of being quite frugal and Toe suggested he take these guys to lunch. Well, I suggested it to Dryden and he did when we got to Chicago and we ended up winning the Cup. I'll always remember that advice."

No matter how much Bowman and Quenneville communicate, just having the legend in the stands is an incredible resource based on how the players react.

"It's awesome, really," said one young Hawk who asked not to be identified, presumably for fear of appearing to suck up a little too much.

"I can tell you it totally stops all second guessing in the room with a guy like that around," said Patrick Sharp. "Any time you have Joel and his guys and Scotty behind them, it gives us assurance the right decisions are being made. I think that's important with a young team."

Willie Mitchell of the Canucks admitted it's a plus for Chicago, making certain to point out how happy the Canucks are with their staff.

"He's a brilliant mind, for sure," said Mitchell of Bowman. "I know because I've been coached and learned a lot from guys who were coached by him, Jacques [Lemaire, Mitchell's coach in Minnesota] certainly among those people. I'm sure he's seen a lot over the years but I'm sure our guys are up to the task."

The Canucks staff are, curiously enough, not yet quaking in their boots. Ryan Walter was hardly panicked, although he did admit coaching and adjustments made during a series are vitally important.

"Alain and Bones (Rick Bowness) have seen it all over there years and I've been to the Cup final twice as a player, and that counts for something, I would think," said Walter. "I'm sure they're happy to have him, but we're confident we can react appropriately to anything that happens." tgallagher@theprovince.com

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