The Calgary Flames have pushed the Vancouver Canucks to elimination brink in 3-1 series and tonight they have the opportunity to close out this round in style. They haven’t made it past the first round of the playoffs since 2003-04. They were the team that was supposed to be the easiest opponent in the Western Conference, the Flames have beena huge surprise in the West, proving very difficult to play against for the sliding Canucks. Calgary goaltender understands the significance of tonight’s game and what it means for the second round, but he told media pre-game, I dont know, I dont think that far ahead, said goalie Jonas Hiller. Weve still got to win one game and, normally, the fourth one is the toughest one to win. We definitely want to do this as quick as possible. Well worry about winning the next one, then look ahead after that.
In Game 4, Calgary consistently kept the Sedin twins to the outside of the offensive zone except for a final flurry, with Miller on the bench for a sixth attacker, Calgary kept the quality scoring chances down. Flames defenceman, Dennis Wideman, who set up both the power-play goals for Calgary told media post-game, I think weve just got to come back and play exactly how we did tonight. We played a good solid game. Our power play got the goals and our PK was great and then when we got the lead, I thought we did a good job of limiting their chances.
Vancouver is clearly the team that has more issues than Calgary right now, which doesnt bode well for the Canucks if they want to come back against the Flames and overcome this deficit. The tough spot the Canucks are in right now have to do with losing Alex Burrows to a reported broken rib in game #4. During the game goaltender Eddie Lack was pulled in favor of Ryan Miller, and right now is not the time for a goaltender controversy for Vancouver. Miller started most of the year until he suffered a knee injury in February. Then Lack got the call and was able to carry the Canucks into the playoffs while Miller sat out and healed. Lack stopped just four of seven Flames shots on goal, while Miller was a perfect 15-for-15. Lack has not been great in these playoffs as he has a whopping 3.03 goals against average and only a .886 save percentage.
Miller told media that he felt bad for Lack: Im disappointed I had to go in, in that situation, Miller said. I felt Eddie has been playing really well. For me, I was just trying to settle back into the intensity and the game. (Quickness) is something Ive been working on every day to make sure Im improving on the off-chance they needed me as an option. You feel for Eddie. I just tried to do the best I could there.
The Canucks did erase a 3-1 playoff deficit to the Flames in 1994, but can they do it again? It’s highly unlilely as Calgary is on fire.
Our Pick: Flames close out series with a win over the Canucks