Thursday, October 26, 2006

Canucks 5 Blackhawks 0

It wasn't the Canucks' prettiest game - it was sometimes sloppy, actually (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province - but playing a Chicago Blackhawks team without its no. 1 goaltender, three of its top forwards and one of its top defenseman, it was enough for a 5-0 victory. It was the Canucks' first shutout in more than two and a half years.

"You look at this on paper and you'll go 'Whoa, they must have dominated,'" said Brendan Morrison, who scored his third of the season. "To be honest, the only guy happy on our team is [Roberto Luongo]. He played well. And the Sedins played well. But we just gave up way too much to that team in the second and third periods. I don't know if we were playing the score or what but we got away from working hard."
They did slack a bit, but for those two periods, Luongo bailed them out. He stopped all 32 Blackhawks shots, 18 of them in the second period, and a lot of them coming in bunches. He was his best stopping Tony Salmelainen in two opportunities after Salmelainen got around the Canucks defense.

Both Sedins scored three points each, inclduing Henrik's first two goals of the season. But the better news for the twins may be that with each game, Taylor Pyatt is looking more and more like a great fit on their line (Brad Ziemer, Vancouver Sun).

The role of Anson Carter is now being played by Taylor Pyatt. Quite nicely, thank you.

All summer and into the fall, the question on the lips of Canuck fans has been, "Who is going to score those 33 goals that Carter provided last year while skating with Daniel and Henrik Sedin?"

The answer appears to be a 25-year-old former first-round draft pick who has never scored more than 14 goals in a NHL season.

Pyatt now has five in 11 games with the Canucks and is beginning to look like a great fit with the Sedins.

Pyatt scored Vancouver's fourth goal and assisted on its fifth in a 5-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on Wednesday night. He and the twins were all plus three on the night.

"Those two guys are a lot of fun to play with," he said. "They're tremendous passers, so smart with the puck and for me it's just a matter of trying to find some open areas on the ice and I know I'll be able to score a few goals."
Henrik adds (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province):

"I love playing with him," Henrik said. "He's big and strong and he holds on to the puck. He fits really well on our line. I think he's played great [with us] from his first shift a couple games back. He's finally getting a chance to show he's a really good player."
My 3 Stars of the Game

  1. Roberto Luongo (VAN): Recorded 32 saves and the beneficiary of one quick Mick McGeough whistle for his first shutout as a Canuck.
  2. Henrik Sedin (VAN): Scored his first two goals this season and added an assist. Also had five shots on goal.
  3. Daniel Sedin (VAN): Sniper turned playmaker had three assists.
Other Things on my Notepad

  • Loved seeing Ray Ferraro do some analyst work for the pay-per-view telecast. IMHO, he's one of the best in the biz.
  • My vote for "player most likely to drive Vigneault nuts" is Jan Bulis. Frustrating how he'd follow up a great shift with a lousy, lazy one. He took a lazy penalty late in the second period and never played again after that.
  • For the most part, the Canucks played a disciplined game. They only gave up five powerplay opportunities to the Blackhawks and killed all of them. Going back to the home opener against the San Jose Sharks, the Canucks have killed 44 of 47 powerplays (94%).
  • Again, Luc Bourdon was hardly noticeable in the back end. Except for one bad pinch, I thought he picked his spots and played a solid game. He finished with 12:59 minutes of ice-time and a +1 rating.
  • Matt Cooke scored his first goal of the season thanks to some hard work around the net. His line with Kesler and Josh Green not only played a gritty game, they also combined for seven shots on goal.
  • With their three points, Henrik and Daniel now have 14 points each and are tied for second in league scoring.
About the game around the blogosphere

  • Waiting For Stanley tried to liveblog the game, but found it challenging with Blogger and Blogspot down most of yesterday (stupid, stupid Blogger).
  • More on the game from The Chief Canuck.
  • Isabella from Stick In Rink picked up some good lines from frustrated Blackhawks fans (frustrated may be an understatement).
Fun With Numbers

Next up, the Canucks host Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals on Friday 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, 6:35 AM


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