Sunday, October 22, 2006

Canucks 4 Predators 3 (OT)

On Billy Ray Cyrus night at the Gaylord Entertainment Center, the Vancouver Canucks gave the Nashville Predators an achy-breaky heart.

For the second game in a row, the Canucks overcame a late third period deficit and won the game in overtime. They won by a score of 4-3.

The Canucks scored four goals, none of them from a Sedin or a Naslund (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province).
The results of splitting up the so-called Pickup Line of Markus Naslund and the Sedin twins were immediate and electric. Faster than Billy Ray Cyrus's singing career, the Canucks had the scoring by committee they claim they have longed for.

The first beneficiary was the publicly beaten up Bulis. He has held from the start of training camp that he could morph into an offensive threat if he ever had a chance to play with one of the Canucks playmaking Swedish forwards.

He made good on his promise on the first chance he got this season, whipping a wrister past Tomas Vokoun off a sweet cross-ice feed from Naslund on their first shift together this season.

The second beneficiary was Taylor Pyatt, who dug out a puck from the side boards and then found out how easy it is playing give-and-go with Daniel Sedin, who was placed perfectly behind the net. Sedin hit Pyatt, who flipped in a wrist shot as he was skating into the slot.
As is becoming the theme for the season, Roberto Luongo kept the Canucks in the game before their work ethic took over and they made the most of a couple of late opportunities (Ed Willes, Vancouver Province).
OK, if they don't win a game where they get goals from Jan Bulis, Taylor Pyatt and Lucas Krajicek, they might not win another game this season. But the point is, the Canucks are putting themselves in a position to win, then finding ways to execute.

For the Canucks of Marc Crawford's last two seasons, that task was more difficult than finding Jimmy Hoffa's body. For these Canucks, it's becoming part of who they are.

"We know [Luongo] is going to keep us in the game," said Henrik Sedin. "As long as we're down just one goal we can find a way to score. It's a good feeling."
It sure is.

My 3 Stars of the Game

  1. Roberto Luongo (VAN): Kept the Canucks in the game until Morrison scored late in the third period and Krajicek scored in overtime.
  2. Kimmo Timonen (NAS): Was absolutely huge on the Nashville defense. Led all Nashville skaters with 27:43 minutes of ice-time - 9:09 on the penalty-kill - and five blocked shots.
  3. Paul Kariya (NAS): His speed gave the Canucks fits all game long and he was dangerous in more than 20 minutes of ice-time. He had one assist and six shots on goal; his linemates Jason Arnott and Martin Erat added seven SOG. Honorable mention to Tomas Vokoun for making 42 saves.

Other Things on my Notepad

  • The penalty-kill came up huge and killed off all six Predators powerplays, including a near-minute long two-man advantage in the second period.
  • Willie Mitchell left the game in the third period after being checked from behind and into the boards. The good news is that, publicly anyway, Alain Vigneault expects him back on Monday.
  • Lukas Krajicek and Kevin Bieksa had good games again last night. Krajicek, of course scored the winning goal in OT, but he is also developing a nice all-around game. He seems to be more conscious of his defensive responsibilities and is learning when to pinch in on the play. Similarly, Kevin Bieksa is just turning out to be a nice all-purpose defenseman.
  • Three of the Canucks' five wins this season have come in overtime - they lead the league in this category.
About the game around the blogosphere

Fun With Numbers

The Canucks continue their road trip in Dallas on Monday night.

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, 9:13 AM


At October 22, 2006 11:55 AM, Anonymous Isabella said...

You know, the day that the Canucks traded for Luongo, my friend MC sat me down and listed off every virtue that Luongo had. So when he arrived in Vancouver, I had high, high hopes.

And then we got this.

I'm used to being a pessimist when it comes to goaltending, so that whenever something good happens, it's a pleasant surprise. But the way that Luongo was being hyped up gave me hopes, and now he's dashing them whenever he lets in the first shot, or a soft one.

I'm reserving my judgment until 1/4 of the way through, but as of right now, I don't think that he's played his best for the whole 60 minutes, which bugs me.

At October 22, 2006 1:39 PM, Anonymous grey wall said...

i agree sorta with isabella but i think luongo just hasn't changed tune from playing behind a porous panthers D. they developed the mentatlity that luongo would come up big for them and pressured him into performing. he could handle it.

so far what i've noticed is that he doesn't let in the untimely goal. when the team's down one-goal, luongo has come up big. its weird. its like he's the anti-cloutier.

At October 22, 2006 5:35 PM, Blogger McLea said...

"And then we got this."

And people say the "goalie graveyard" reputation in Vancouver isn't deserved.

At October 22, 2006 7:02 PM, Anonymous Isabella said...

The "goalie graveyard" reputation in Vancouver is deserved because of the media and the way our coaching staff chooses to use a goaltender with potential.

I highly doubt that the reservations of one fan is going to make a difference, in the end :)

At October 22, 2006 9:00 PM, Anonymous zanstorm said...

I like grey wall's point of view. This could make a great post.
It really is the difference of playing in front of a Panthers' D and a Canucks' D. Maybe the Nucks should play run and gun hockey again and let him face 42 shots per game again.
Ok, maybe not. But perhaps Luongo dozes off with little or no action. Kind of like Cojo used to. It's a thought.

At October 22, 2006 9:18 PM, Blogger Jes GÅ‘lbez said...

On Billy Ray Cyrus night at the Gaylord Entertainment Center, the Vancouver Canucks gave the Nashville Predators an achy-breaky heart.
Billy Ray Cyrus Night? No wonder they don't draw fans...they are all scared away

At October 23, 2006 9:40 AM, Blogger John Bollwitt said...

Plus the whole "I like, I love it, I want some more of it" piece of crap country song they play when every goal is scored by the Preds. That makes me thankful for what we have at GM.

By the way, is this where Larschied got that from? Another reason he deserves to be slapped.

At October 23, 2006 10:00 AM, Blogger hoopsjunky said...

^ Larscheid, the country bumpkin. Whaddaya know? :p

Re: Luongo

Without Luongo, the Canucks would easily be 1-7-1 instead of 5-3-1. Sure he's let in the odd softie, but who doesn't? The fact is, and I think greywall hit it bang on, he hasn't let in an untimely goal. Not one that you could say was his fault anyway.

From what I've seen this season, most of the goals that have been scored against him were the result of turnovers, 2-on-1's, breakaways, bad screens by his own defensemen, etc. Even then, and especially in the first five games or so, when the Canucks gave up a lot of those types of chances, Luongo has stopped most of them.

Personally, I feel he's been as good as advertised. If the Canucks could get a bit more offense, maybe their only loss would have been the home opener against the Sharks. Luongo has been that good.

At October 23, 2006 1:39 PM, Blogger myles said...

I went to the game on Saturday night, it was pretty awesome. Apparently I made it onto HNIC on a few occasions too including during the anthem and while exiting the stadium. I wear a white vintage Luongo jersey.

I agree about how solid Luongo has been. He is not leaky. The goals he gave up in Nashville, two of which were on the rush and really defensive miscues more so that led to goals. It's hard to stop these as quick as the Predators are, Luongo has to choose a side and play it.

It was good to see Krajicek score the OT winner, because he knows he gave up one of those 2 on 1's earlier in the game. The Mitchell hit was pretty brutal tho', it was just to my left on the far boards and he could barely get up back to the bench.

I'm glad Pyatt started with the Sedins and the other main line was producing, off the first shift even. I think that alignment is the best for us if we want balance. Of course they all have to produce, but at least we know we have the right personnel. AV put the swedish line back together in the 3rd when we were down 1, that's fair too.

Two scoring lines + Energy Line + Checking line. Works for me. Defense needs more experience and we're fine in goal. Sabourin is a good developing #2.

Defensive depth is where it's at. I think the system we're playing now will absorb some of this, but can you only begin to imagine how good this team could be by Xmas? A very strong two way hockey team that will make opponents work for every scoring chance and make you pay when you screw up. A good basis for a west coast team.


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