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CANUCKS HOCKEY BLOG

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Canucks 1 Red Wings 2

Three road games, three losses. Tonight, the Vancouver Canucks dropped a 2-1 decision to the Detroit Red Wings. Here's a scary thought: the Canucks are only seven points up from streaking Minnesota (five wins in a row) and San Jose (8-1-1 in their last ten games); San Jose also has four games in hand on Vancouver.

Game Recaps: canucks.com . ESPN
Statistics: Score Sheet . Stat Sheet
My notes from the game:

  • First of all, I have to give full credit to the Wings for playing a great defensive game. They won 64% of the faceoffs and allowed just 15 shots for the game.
  • At least the Canucks didn't lose because of a lack of effort this time. I thought that for the most part, they played a decent game and matched the Wings' intensity. Unfortunately, a string of penalties in the second period gave the Wings some momentum; the Wings have the best powerplay in the NHL and both of their goals came on the powerplay.
  • I just want to echo the sentiments of the Sportsnet team and say that if they had put together an effort like that against St. Louis and Columbus, those games may have ended up more positively for the team.
  • Alex Auld played a heckuva game. He stopped 33 saves on 35 shots, a lot of them from in close. He gave up some big rebounds early on but got a lot better, and maybe a bit lucky, later in the game.
  • A recurring - and very troubling - theme: the Canucks' best line, again, wasn't the Naslund-Morrison-Bertuzzi line. They didn't play horrible, but they didn't play great either. And as cliche as it sounds, for the Canucks to win (well for any team to win), they need their best players to be their best players.
  • Tonight, I thought the Canucks' best line was, again, the Kesler-Burrows-Ruutu line. The line held their own against the Yzerman and Lang lines. Kesler in particular had another strong game. He was in the Wings' faces all nights and recorded one shot, five hits in 16:03 minutes of ice-time. Marc Crawford also put him on the ice and let him take a crucial offensive zone faceoff in the final seconds of the game. (He won the faceoff.)
  • I thought Brendan Morrison had a strong, gritty game. He battled hard with Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby and was the only Canuck to win 50% of his faceoffs.
  • Remember I mentioned the Canucks' urgency on the powerplay after the Columbus game? Is anyone else tired of watching the first powerplay unit reload and cycle the puck back into their own zone for about half of the powerplay?
Next up: Colorado on Saturday.

[Edit 01/26/06, 8:58 pm]: Oops, I jumped the gun on the standings. Looks like Colorado blew a two-goal lead to the Stars. They stay one point back of the 'Nucks.

[Update 01/26/06, 9:39 pm]: Birthday girl, TV star and Behind The Jersey blogger Chrisy Hammond was at the game and shares her thoughts in this post.

[Update 01/27/06, 6:47 am]: Abel To Yzerman has a post on the game as well. The link is here.

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Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 8:10 PM

1 Comments:

At January 27, 2006 7:08 AM, Blogger Christy Hammond said...

Thanks for the link! The Vancouver camera man was sitting right next to me, but in the zamboni pit. After the Wings scored and I cheered to my heart's content, he turned to me and said "You just got on TV...in Vancouver." And I laughed. :)

 

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