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May 3, 2010

Mondays With Murph: Week 4

VANCOUVER, CANADA - NOVEMBER 26: Vancouver Canucks pay-per-view broadcast host Dan Murphy sits at the anchor desk during the game between Vancouver Canucks and the Los Angeles Kings at General Motors Place on November 26, 2009 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Dan Murphy
Every Monday at 9:00am during the playoffs we are going to ask Dan “Murph” Murphy , Host of the Canucks, a couple of questions recapping the past week of Canuck action and to take a look into the next week. If you have a question you want us to ask, comment on this post or follow him here on Twitter. Here are this Monday’s questions:

Cactus Club: Game one was hyped up to be a very nasty physical game by two teams who hate eachother, however there really wasn’t much animosity at all through the game. Why do you think that was?

Murph: I’m not really sure why there wasn’t more emotion in game one of this series. I fully expected to amped up, angry teams to hit the ice from the get go. Make no mistake here, the dislike between the two sides is not manufactured at all. The Canucks and Blackhawks genuinely don’t get along and I thought that would shine through from the opening puck drop. One thing that was likely a factor in the lack of physical play and post whistle scrums is that the Canucks felt that last year they got caught up in trying to act tough in the second round. They were trying to play the role of a gritty playoff team and got away from what makes them successful. They are intent on not making that mistake again this time around. Although if Ben Eager and Adam Burish get back into the line-up soon, that make the Hawks a lot tougher team to bite your tongue against.

Cactus Club: If Chicago chooses to dress a tougher line up in game 2, do you think Vigneault will make any changes to his line up or stick to his fourth line that is full of speed and was very successful?

Murph: As mentioned above, the Hawks have the option of playing Eager and Burish (who were both pretty good versus the Canucks last year) and if they do then Alain Vigneault can make adjustments if he wants. Remember though, as the road team, the Canucks have to hand in their line-up first so they don’t have the luxury of knowing if either of those guys will dress unless Joel Quennville announces a line-up change in the morning. Eager took the warm up skate prior to game one (and was yapping pretty good with Kesler), but I’m guessing as soon as Quennville saw the make up of Vancouver’s roster he decided to keep Eager in the press box. If Eager and or Burish dress, the Hawks won’t be giving up too much in speed to the Canucks as both of those guys can scoot pretty good.

Cactus Club: Luongo seemed to be very in control in game 1 and has seemingly improved each game of the playoffs. Do you see him appear to be more confident in his game right now?

3. Ever since the playoff started, and really even a week before they commenced, Luongo has been telling anyone who will listen how great he has felt lately. Now I wasn’t necessarily buying what he was selling after game three of the first round – but I do believe that he is on top of his game now. Beginning with the second period of game four versus the Kings Luongo has improved with each period and I thought he looked totally focused and confident against the Hawks in game one. For me the true test will be to see how he responds after giving up a so so goal in a tight game. This season we’ve seen Luongo dwell on bad goals and before you know it another one is by him. If Luongo is great like he was in game one the Canucks are going to be very tough to beat — but even if he’s just pretty good the Canucks can win because of their offense. And I think Luongo is starting to realize and accept that.

I always love to hear and answer your questions. If you have a question you’d like asked/answered for next week, you can email blog[at]cactusclubcafe[dot]com or just comment below. To get an idea of what types of questions get answered, take a peek at Week 1 , Week 2’s or Week 3’s questions.


Dan Murphy – A.K.A “Murph”