Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Canucks 2 Flames 1

With four out of their top five defensemen out of the lineup, not a lot of people gave the Vancouver Canucks much of a chance against the division-leading Calgary Flames. Surprise, surprise, they went into Calgary, won 2-1 and moved into a first place tie in the Northwest Division with the Flames. Good thing too. The Colorado Avalanche also won tonight and is only a single point back of both teams.

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

  • The Canucks played a very simple game tonight. They got down and dirty and chipped the puck out every chance they got. They allowed 31 shots on Alex Auld but cleared up most of the rebounds.
  • For the second straight meeting between these two teams, Alex Auld outduelled Mikka Kiprusoff. In stopping 30 Calgary shots, Auld was very good. Again.
  • 25 year old Bryan Allen was the most experienced of the Canucks' six defensemen who played tonight. His 196 career games played led Steve McCarthy (181), Sven Butenschon (135), Wade Brookbank (57), Kevin Bieksa (26) and Tomas Mozjis (5). Allen didn't disappoint - he recorded one assist, one shot, three hits and +1 rating in 25:53 minutes of ice-time.
  • Despite their lack of experience on the back end, the Canucks did a good job of limiting Calgary's chances. As soon as the puck went into their zone, the Canucks were quick to chip it back out. Especially when the Flames were trying to claw back into the game in the third period, the Canucks limited the Flames to seven shots on goal.
  • I noticed prior to the Olympic break that Steve McCarthy was looking more comfortable within the Canucks' system, and tonight, I thought he played his best game as a Vancouver Canuck. In a season-high 20:58 minutes of ice-time, McCarthy was positionally-solid and logged four blocked shots. He was also more agressive with the puck and rarely turned it over. His heads-up pass to Morrison started the sequence that led to Naslund's goal.
  • Tomas Mozjis also played a good game. In his first few games with the team, he looked slow and lost in his own zone, but he looked a bit better tonight. He recorded a shot, a hit and a couple of blocked shots in 15:23 minutes of ice-time.
  • I thought Markus Naslund played one of his most motivated games of the season. The two-week break seemed to re-energize Markus and he was able to create a few scoring chances for himself. The most positive part is that he was creating them by coming in with speed through the neutral zone. Hopefully, this means that his sore groin is no longer bothering him.
  • The Sedins' timeline today: fly in from Stockholm this morning; touch down in Calgary at 3 pm; puck drop at 6 pm; set-up the game-winning goal at 7:45 pm. It's been a good couple of days for the Sedins.
  • It sure didn't take long for Jarkko Ruutu to piss off the Flames players, eh?
Next up: Nashville on Thursday.

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 PM


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