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San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi (31) blocks a shot against the Vancouver Canucks. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Paul Sakuma

Shots, shots, shots, shots, shots.

Or lack thereof.

Pretty astonishing that you can win a playoff game, and get four goals in the process, with just 13 shots on goal.

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That was the case in Game 4, however. The Canucks won 4-2 with just 13 attempts on San Jose Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi, and with just 31 shots directed at net (nine blocked, nine missed the target).

In the last round, defenceman Kevin Bieksa was asked about the key to beating the Nashville Predators, and he responded by quoting a line -- "shots, shots, shots, shots..." -- from a song by LMFAO.

In this case, all the Canucks needed were some well-placed shots by Sami Salo and Ryan Kesler to jump out to a 3-0 lead. They had just 10 shots through two periods, and just four shots during their three-goal second.

Some other observations and impressions on Game 4...

VANCOUVER

Five-on-three

Alain Vigneault will say the Canucks didn't have a lot of two-man advantages during the regular season, and of course some came when Salo was laid up with his heel injury. But given how unstoppable Vancouver looked with Henrik Sedin feeding the right-handed Salo -- as opposed to the left-handed Christian Ehrhoff, who would otherwise had been there if not for his injury -- one has to wonder why the coach didn't make this move earlier?

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Penalty-killing

Hats off to the Canucks forwards, who badgered San Jose's point men, and pressured the Sharks forwards on the side boards. The Sharks opened the series scoring on their first five power plays, but they went 0-for-5 Sunday. Adjustments made. Adjustments working.

SAN JOSE

Defencemen

Dan Boyle had nine shots on goal, or almost as many as the Canucks had through two periods, and just four shy of their game total. He came to play, and so did Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who had an assist and finished plus-two. Alas, outside of those two, and granite block Douglas Murray, San Jose simply doesn't have the back-end personnel to play with Vancouver.

Joe Thornton and Dany Heatley

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Two Canadian Olympians and gold medallists, but their Stanley Cup dreams are on the verge of being shattered again. Thornton was very quiet before leaving the game in the third period after a Raffi Torres hit. Heatley used to score goals, but has just one in his last 10 games. A one-dimensional sniper, when he doesn't score, he looks slow and takes undisciplined penalties. An $8 million sinkhole.

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About the Author
B.C. sports correspondent

Based in Vancouver, Matthew spearheads the Globe's sports coverage in B.C., and spends most of his time with the NHL Canucks and CFL Lions. He has worked for four dailies and TSN since graduating from Carleton University's School of Journalism a decade ago, and has covered the Olympic Games, Super Bowls, Grey Cups, the Stanley Cup playoffs and the NBA Finals. More

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