VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- An apology may be in order from Vancouver head coach Alain Vigneault.
He could not have been more mistaken in his assertion the Blackhawks were trying to “rub it in” by running up the score during the third period of the Chicago Blackhawks’ 7-1 win over the Canucks on Saturday night.
“We basically embarrassed ourselves tonight in front of our fans, and they did everything they could tonight to rub it in our face. [Leading] 6-0 and they throw their No. 1 power-play unit when it's 5-on-3,” Vigneault said after the game. “They have every right to do that. They did it. They were pushing it, and they did."
If Nick Boynton is part of the No. 1 power-play unit, that’s probably news to the Blackhawks. Boynton was on the ice for the 5-on-3 with his regular partner, Duncan Keith, while the forwards consisted of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Viktor Stalberg -- also a regular trio of linemates. Like Boynton, Stalberg does not play on the No. 1 unit either.
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was so taken aback by Vigneault’s remarks, he was actually confused when asked his response. But the essence of his answer made sense: “It's tough to comment. I don’t know. [I] was rolling four lines.”
That’s exactly what Quenneville did: Rolled through his lines with no personnel adjustments for the man or two-man advantages.
During the preceding 5-on-4, Jake Dowell, Jack Skille, and Troy Brouwer were on the ice and before them, Dave Bolland, Bryan Bickell, and Fernandi Pisano took a shift. In fact, regular No. 1 power-play unit forwards Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa never saw the ice during either the 5-on-4 or 5-on-3.
It’s pretty simple. Vigneault saw Kane, Toews, and Keith and assumed the No. 1 unit was on the ice.
It was just their turn for a shift.