Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Canucks 1 Wild 2 (SO)

With last night's 2-1 shootout loss to the Minnesota Wild, the Vancouver Canucks gained points in three of their first four games and are going home with five of a possible eight points. Overall, it hasn't been a bad start to the season.

There were many positives last night. The Canucks finally got some secondary offense - their lone goal was Taylor Pyatt's first as a Canuck and 16 skaters recorded shots on goal. And unlike Sunday's game, the Canucks only gave the Wild two powerplay opportunities for the night (Tony Gallagher, Vancouver Province):

If there is one thing becoming clear with the Canucks it's the fact their players seem to be quick learners.

Having digested over the last couple of games that their swashbuckling approach to penalties was resulting in their demise, they quickly amended their ways and could have turned Tuesday's game tape over to the league officials as an instructional video on the way to play the game cleanly.

Until the third period when young officials Justin St. Pierre and Dean Warren felt duty bound to give the home team Wild at least a couple of power-play opportunities after Vancouver had enjoyed four, the Canucks positioned themselves so well defensively they wouldn't have been out of place at a tea party.
The Wild's lone goal came on a fluky goal on the powerplay following a bad clearing attempt.

Now the bad news (Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun):

Kesler and Salo were injured about eight minutes apart in the second period and did not play again. They're expected to be re-evaluated today in Vancouver.

Kesler appeared to suffer a concussion when he lost his balance in the corner while being checked by Minnesota defenceman Kurtis Foster. It wasn't immediately clear how Salo was hurt, but the defenceman suffered pectoral and shoulder injuries at the Olympics last February and missed the rest of the NHL season.
Salo's injury may be his groin (Ben Kuzma, Vancouver Province).

Salo suffered what was being called a lower-body injury midway through the second period, and he also didn't return.

"For last couple of days his groin has been bothering him and it acted up a bit," Vigneault said.
Depending on how long Salo is out for, it may open the door for Luc Bourdon, who finally played his first regular season game (Ben Kuzma, Vancouver Province).

My 3 Stars of the Game

  1. Roberto Luongo (VAN): 35 saves on 36 Minnesota shots. Yawn.
  2. Brian Rolston (MIN): Tied the game in the third period with a fluky goal, but was very good all night. He logged almost 20 minutes, playing in every situation and threw five shots at Roberto Luongo.
  3. Manny Fernandez (MIN): Kept the Wild close in the second period when the Canucks controlled the play. Finished with 30 saves.
Other Things on my Notepad

  • After giving up an average of seven+ powerplay opportunities per game, the Canucks were only shorthanded twice last night. The Wild's first powerplay came in the third period.
  • I know I mentioned Lukas Krajicek after last game, but I thought I'd mention him again. Loo-kash stepped up again (well, except for the goal off his skate thing), this time with Sami Salo having to leave midway through the game. He finished with 23:53 minutes of ice-time, more than Mattias Ohlund and second only to Willie Mitchell.
  • Luc Bourdon recorded one hit and three blocked shots in 7:57 minutes of ice-time. Interesting is that he played more before Salo's injury with Vigneault not wanting him out on the ice to protect a 1-0 third period lead.
  • I thought that after being benched for parts of last game, Bulis bounced back nicely. He skated well and created some space for himself in the offensive zone. He needs to shoot more (he only has five shots through four games), though with 0 goals through four games, his confidence may be a bit lacking.
About the game around the blogosphere

Fun With Numbers

The Canucks' next game is their home opener on Friday night against the San Jose Sharks. Puck drop is at 7 PM.

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, 6:04 AM


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