Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Canucks 2 Avalanche 3

The Vancouver Canucks lost their first game of the season on Sunday night, falling 3-2 to the Colorado Avalanche. It was simply a case of a lot of Roberto Luongo, a lot of Sedin, Sedin and Naslund, and not a lot of anyone else (Ben Kuzma, Vancouver Province).

Stop us if this sound familiar just three games into the season.

Roberto Luongo makes a series of saves to keep the Vancouver Canucks from being run out of the Pepsi Center on Sunday. Markus Naslund and Daniel Sedin score again and there's the appearance of another scripted victory.

Not this time.

Too many lazy penalties, too many blown assignments and poor down-low coverage against the Colorado Avalanche contributed greatly to a 3-2 loss to drop the Canucks to 2-1 on this four-game, season-opening odyssey.

After taking eight minors and giving the Avalanche eight powerplay opportunities - the Avs scored on three of them - the Canucks have the dubious honor of "leading" the league in the number of times shorthanded in the early season. The five powerplay goals they've surrendered is second most in the league and their penalty-kill rate (77.3%) ranks them 23rd among all 30 teams.
Sunday's game was the first game this season where I thought the Canucks were outplayed by the opposition. After Daniel Sedin scored to give his team a 1-0 lead only 5:57 in the first period, Colorado, aided by six straight powerplays, took over. The shots on goal favored the Avalanche 23-14 in the first two periods and the powerplay scored twice in that span.

For the game, the Canucks were outshot 35-28. Sedin, Sedin and Naslund combined for 13 shots and the rest of the forwards combined for only five. (The defense had the other 10 shots.)

While the Canucks try to find someone other than the top line to score, Luongo is at least keeping them in games (Tony Gallagher, Vancouver Province). And the good news is, even after this loss, the Canucks are guaranteed at least a .500 record on their season-opening road trip.

My 3 Stars of the Game

  1. Marek Svatos (COL): Svatos took advantage of the Canucks sloppy defensive coverage and scored two powerplay goals, including the game-winner late in the third period.
  2. Joe Sakic (COL): Burnaby Joe was a handful all night. He won 65% of his faceoffs, had five shots on goal, and assisted on both of Svatos' goals. He also logged a whopping 22:11 minutes of ice-time.
  3. Markus Naslund (VAN): Markus tried to lead by example and was noticeable on every shift. He led all Canucks shooters with five shots on goal, recorded a goal and an assist, and finished with a +2 rating.
Other Things on my Notepad

  • I thought Lukas Krajicek had his best game in a Canucks uniform. He looked comfortable in a pairing with Willie Mitchell and often rushed the puck and jumped in the play. He logged a season-high 20:14 minutes of ice-time and recorded three shots on goal and a +2 rating.
  • After taking a lazy hooking penalty late in the second period, Jan Bulis played all of one shift in the third period.
  • Like Bulis, Brendan Morrison also didn't see a lot of ice in the third period.
  • Lots of turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy makes me sleepy and isn't good for writing game recaps.
About the game around the blogosphere

  • If you want to relive the emotions of the game, Waiting For Stanley has the excruciating details.
  • Jerseys and Hockey Love is relieved and went out to celebrate with beer and pizza after the game. I had beer too - lots of it - but only to console myself after the loss.
Fun With Numbers

Next game is tonight at 6 PM against another divisional rival, the Minnesota Wild.

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, 6:29 AM


At October 10, 2006 9:51 AM, Blogger myles said...

what's your take on rory? I saw him go into the boards, defensive chase, and worry more about getting hit than playing the puck... not sure that's the kind of defenceman I want on the team... ???

At October 10, 2006 5:20 PM, Blogger hoopsjunky said...

Rory's pretty much come as advertised. Solid in spurts only and a bit inconsistent.

He wasn't noticeable in the first two games - good considering his role as a bottom pair defenseman - but horrible in the game against Colorado.

It sounds like Luc will dress tonight and will give AV and crew an extra option on defense.


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