Daily Herald
Vancouver now tied with Hawks for 4th in West
By Tim Sassone | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 3/29/2009 9:00 PM | Updated: 3/29/2009 11:24 PM

If the Blackhawks do wind up playing the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the playoffs, maybe they learned a few things Sunday night.

• They've got to work harder offensively to beat goalie Roberto Luongo.

The Hawks allowed Luongo to see virtually everything in a 4-0 loss to the Canucks at the United Center.

• And they've got to pay better attention to and be more physical with the Sedin twins.

Daniel Sedin had 2 goals and an assist while brother Henrik dished out 3 assists in the victory that pulled Vancouver even with the Hawks with 91 points in the battle for fourth place in the Western Conference.

• And next time they might not want to wait until they are down by 3 goals with 14 minutes to play to get up in the faces of the Canucks.

All in all, it was a forgettable performance for the Hawks, who looked nothing like the team that beat New Jersey last Friday.

"We're a good team, but not good enough to go out and give a half effort," captain Jonathan Toews said.

The game was out of reach when the teams brawled at 5:50 of the third period, a melee started by a goaltender interference penalty against Dustin Byfuglien and fueled by Adam Burish earning six minutes in penalties for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct.

Before it was over, Ben Eager and Duncan Keith were involved in scraps, with Keith getting his hair pulled by Alex Burrows.

"It was just sticking together," Brent Seabrook said. "We're a tight team and a tight group. Whatever happens we'll stick up for each other."

The first period decided things in a lot of ways.

After Vancouver took an early 1-0 lead on Daniel Sedin's first goal at 3:22, the Hawks had a 5-on-3 power play for 48 seconds and generated nothing.

In the final minute of the period, Martin Havlat got in alone on Luongo but missed the net trying for the upper corner.

Burrows made it 2-0 at 8:43 of the second period when he got behind Brian Campbell to beat Nikolai Khabibulin.

Daniel Sedin's second goal at 3:53 of the third period preceded the brawl that erupted two minutes later.

The Hawks' best chance since Havlat's miss came with 5:41 to play when Patrick Sharp fanned on a penalty shot attempt.

Luongo finished with 26 saves for the shutout, but it was mostly an easy night for the all-star.

"I don't know if we had a lot of traffic," Seabrook said. "He's one of the best goalies in the league for a reason and if we're not getting that traffic and quality shots, it's pretty tough to beat him."

Hawks coach Joel Quenneville admitted his team had a tough time getting anything going.

"They got the lead and then it was check, check, check," Quenneville said. "We didn't do enough to fight through them. It was probably one of our lowest chance games of the year."

Making the night even more of a loss was an apparent lower body injury to Troy Brouwer in the first period. The Hawks, as is becoming their custom, made no announcement about Brouwer's injury the rest of the game.

Quenneville said later that Brouwer's injury didn't appear to be serious.