Friday, March 24, 2006

Canucks 4 Oilers 3 (SO)

The Vancouver Canucks sure like to make things hard for themselves, eh? They came out strong, built a two-goal lead, blew it and fell behind going into the third period, before coming back to beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in the shootout. All three Canucks shooters - Naslund, Ruutu and Bertuzzi - scored in the shootout.

The win gave the Canucks a two-point lead over the Oilers, though the Oilers still hold a game in hand. It also inched them to a sixth-place tie with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the Western Conference, only one point back of the Colorado Avalanche; the Ducks hold three games in hand over the Canucks.

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

  • The Canucks got off to another good start. They played with a lot of energy and controlled a lot of the play. They were great defending the neutral zone and gave the Oilers a hard time getting into their zone.
  • The second half of the game was a different story. Except for a few spurts, the Oilers pretty much controlled the last 30-something minutes of the game, including the overtime. The Canucks defense really seemed to tire as the game wore on, and the Oilers won most of the puck battles.
  • Alex Auld made some key saves, especially when the Oilers poured it on in the second period (they outshot the Canucks 15-5 in the period). The only goal he can be faulted on was Torres' from the point.
  • Fortunately for the Canucks, Dwayne Roloson wasn't quite as solid. I thought he looked out of position a lot and he went down often and early. For Saturday's game, I hope the Canucks remember to shoot high on Roloson's glove side.
  • Ryan Kesler was selected as the game's first star and deservedly so. Kesler logged 18:03 minutes of ice-time and was all over the ice. He started the game with Bertuzzi and Cooke, and assisted on Big Bert's goal to give the Canucks a 1-0 lead halfway into the first period; he finished the game centering Bertuzzi and Naslund, and assisted on Naslund's goal to tie the game with eight minutes left in the third period.
  • For the second game in a row, Naslund and Bertuzzi played like it was 2002-2003. They started the game on separate lines before reuniting midway in the third period. Bertuzzi's goal was his 22nd of the season; Naslund's was his 30th, the fifth season in a row he has scored at least 30 goals.
  • Brendan Morrison is really struggling to find his offensive touch. Tonight, he had a couple of chances from in close, but just couldn't finish. He's doing everything else well, but...
  • I'm surprised goaltenders don't have the scouting report on Jarkko Ruutu's backhand deke move yet.
Next up: Edmonton (one more time) on Saturday.

[update: 03/24/06, 6:38 am]

Vancouver Canucks Op Ed and James Mirtle have more on the game; The Battle of Alberta and Covered In Oil talk about the Edmonton side of things.

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, 6:38 AM


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