Thursday, December 29, 2005

Canucks 4 Predators 3

The Vancouver Canucks are breathing a lot easier after beating the Nashville Predators 4-3 last night. Perhaps motivated by calls for change from the Canucks faithful or by Crawford's new line combinations or simply by playing someone outside their division, the team put together a scrappy effort against a scrappy Nashville team that now sits second in the Western Conference. With the win, the Canucks regained first place in the Northwest Division and third place in the West.

Game Recaps: canucks.com . Vancouver Province . ESPN
Statistics: Score Sheet . Stat Sheet
My notes from the game:
  • The Canucks actually got off to a horrible start. Alex Auld let in Darcy Hordichuk's shot from just past the blue line only 38 seconds into the game. Nashville then took a 2-0 lead on Marek Zidlicky's powerplay goal at the nine minute mark of the first period.
  • I thought Alex Auld looked shaky for the first 40 minutes of the game and stellar for the last 20 minutes. He faced constant pressure and 18 Nashville shots in the third period and stopped every one of them.
  • The Cooke-Morrison-Park line played a scrappy game all night. Cooke, especially, was in the Predators' face every shift. Park, of course, scored the game-winning goal. But while the line was successful last night, it begs the question - what is the $3.2 million center doing on the third line?
  • On the other hand, I wasn't a big fan of Bertuzzi being on center. Nazzy and Bert had a goal and an assist each, but Bert also missed some defensive assignments that led to Nashville scoring chances.
  • The Canucks' top-four defensemen all logged 20+ minutes of ice-time again; however, unlike in previous games, McCarthy and Bieksa played fairly solid games. Bieksa, epsecially, looked more comfortable on the ice after five games under his belt.
Next up: Minnesota on New Year's Eve.
posted by J.J. Guerrero, 7:13 AM


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