Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Canucks 4 Leafs 3

In what might have seemed like a road game with all the Toronto fans in attendance, the Vancouver Canucks beat the visiting Maple Leafs 4-3 at GM Place. Everyone get back on the bandwagon, the Canucks are now on a three-game win streak.

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

  • If there was one team I wanted the Canucks to beat this season, it's the Leafs. (I'm sure my profile note gave that away.)
  • The game had pretty much everything you need in a hockey game - it was fast, it was physical and there was a lot of intensity. It really is too bad the Leafs won't be back in town until the 2008/2009 season.
  • The Canucks have long needed Alex Auld to steal a game for them and this was it. The team trailed 2-1 at the first intermission, then were outshot 30-9 over the second and third periods. The Canucks, of course, scored the next three goals to win the game. The difference? Alex Auld. He kept them in the game until the offense started to put the puck in the net.
  • Speaking of Auld, scary moment in the second period when a Toronto player caught him in an awkward position and stayed down for a couple of minutes. I saw visions of Maxime Ouellete, Jamie Hendricks and Chris Levesque tending goal for the remainder of one of the biggest games of the season. I wonder if Dave Nonis saw the same and began to feel a sense of urgency to acquire another goaltender that can actually play a few games.
  • The energy guys - Kesler, Cooke, Ruutu and Burrows especially - continued their good play of late. They were all over the ice and in the Leafs' faces all night. They even contributed nicely on the score sheet and combined for three goals, three assists and six points.
  • I was surprised to see that Burrows only logged 7:06 minutes of ice-time. He seemed like he was on the ice more than that and certainly made the most of his minutes - 13 shifts, one goal, one assist, two hits, one minor penalty and +2 rating. His goal was the first of his NHL career.
  • I think I mentioned this after the Flames game, but Kevin Bieksa is starting to look comfortable playing with the big boys. With the Canucks only dressing five defensemen (Wade Brookbank was the sixth but does his six shifts really count?), Crawford played Bieksa in all situations and he finished with 19:11 minutes of ice-time and a +2 rating.
  • Steve McCarthy was a healthy scratch and I wonder, when Jovanovski comes back and if Bieksa continues his solid play, will McCarthy draw back into the lineup?
  • The big line looked out of synch and the Sedin line scored the game-winner. Sound familiar?
Next up: New Jersey on Friday.

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, 12:12 AM


At January 11, 2006 11:55 AM, Blogger Terry said...

Good review JJ.

Perhaps you give Auld a smidgen more credit than he earned. Just perhaps. He certainly did earn the right to be the first star.

I also noted that Bieksa is playing better and better. I’m pretty sure McCarthy was given the opportunity to observe the game from the press box based on how Iggy skated around him like a fish around a barrel (to mix a Howie Meeker metaphor) late in the third on Saturday. When Jovo returns I also wonder how much ice time McCarthy is going to see. To be scratched in favour of Brookbank and then have Brookbank come out of the game a +1 must sting.

At January 11, 2006 1:07 PM, Blogger ninja said...

Kesler should've been ejected for his hit on Carlo. Period. That shit was bush league.

In fact the officiating was terribly one-sided. I know, a Leaf fan complaining about the calls, but even my girlfriend who is new to the game noticed.

And Bert was gooning folks behind the play. Good win? Not exactly.

At January 11, 2006 2:48 PM, Blogger Temujin said...

Oh please, the Kesler hit was not nearly as bad as you panic-stricken, mountain-out-of-molehill Leaf fans think it was.

Sadly, I'm still not impressed with this Canuck team. I shudder to think what the score would have been had McCabe been in the lineup. But a win is a win is a win, and I'll take it. We're going to need a bigger effort against Elias and Brodeur.

At January 11, 2006 3:18 PM, Anonymous Kel said...

I agree Auld played well last night and controlled his rebound much better than in most of the games he played. However, it appears to be no secret that the way to beat Auld is by going high, even if it's a shot that Auld can see clearly. I cannot count how many goals were scored against Auld by a player slapping a shot from the wing (a lot of them bad angle too) with no screen. The Leafs players were unable to shoot high with any accurately last night.


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