Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Oilers 1 Canucks 2

Cam Cole (Vancouver Sun) called it a "credibility game":

There isn't a lot in it, yet. You hear that, and you tell yourself that the season is young, but when you watch a hockey game, whether it's in October or December or March, you still want to leap to conclusions based on what looks good enough, and what doesn't.

So take this for what it's worth: the Edmonton Oilers don't get outworked very often, and the Vancouver Canucks -- the Canucks! -- outworked them Monday night, in a 2-1 victory that flattered the losers.
After Friday night's debacle, last night's game was a treat to watch. The Canucks outhustled and outchanced the Oilers by a wide margin.

Sedin, Sedin and Naslund were dominant as usual - Alain Vigneault already said he won't mess with that line (Ben Kuzma, Vancouver Province) - but this time the Canucks offense didn't just come from the three Swedes (Brad Ziemer, Vancouver Sun). This time, they got help from the rest of the lineup.

Alain Vigneault moved Ryan Kesler to a line with Brendan Morrison and Jan Bulis, and the line produced some good results (Gordon McIntyre, Vancouver Province).

The newest version of the second line, with Ryan Kesler joining Brendan Morrison and Jan Bulis, was again held pointless. But not for lack of creating chances, not for lack of hustle and not for lack of backchecking.

Coach Alain Vigneault was so impressed, he had the three out to kill the final 40 seconds of the 2-1 game with the faceoff at the Canucks blueline and the Edmonton net empty.
Sami Salo came back from a groin injury and was one of the best Canucks on the ice. He simply did it all (Ben Kuzma, Vancouver Province):

On a night when the club hoped the blueliner could contribute, Salo did much more than that in a 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers at GM Place.

After sitting out one game to rehab a groin strain, Salo was solid defensively and opportunistic offensively. He not only scored the winning goal, he drew two penalties and helped limit the Oilers' top line to just two shots and one scoring chance in the third period.
And everyone else was just as effective: quiet Taylor Pyatt (Tracy has now started to call him "my baby" - should I be worried?) chipped in with his second goal of the season; Matt Cooke and Alex Burrows were rambunctious on every shift; Mattias Ohlund played as good as I've seen him play all season; Kevin Bieksa built on his career game from last Friday; and on and on and on.

Hopefully they can do it all again tonight.

My 3 Stars of the Game

  1. Sami Salo (VAN): After missing the Canucks home opener, Sami came back and made a big difference. He logged 23:11 minutes of ice-time, helped slow down Joffrey Lupul's and Ryan Smyth's line, and scored the game-winning goal.
  2. Dwayne Roloson (EDM): Stopped 35 of 37 Canucks shots, many of them good quality ones.
  3. Ryan Kesler (VAN): Didn't score a point but did a lot of the dirty work on a line with Brendan Morrison and Jan Bulis. He battled hard in the corners and in front of the net, and threw four quality shots on Roloson.
Other Things on my Notepad
  • The Canucks penalty-killing has come around since the start of the season and has now killed 12 consecutive man-advantages.
  • Because of his penchant for dangling the puck and not shooting, we have our own version of the Oilers' Ales Hemsky. His name is Jan Bulis. Shoot the puck, Jan!
  • About the only guy I was a bit disappointed in was Trevor Linden. Hard to criticize Trev but he looked out of synch out there tonight.
About the game around the blogosphere
  • VCOE was impressed at the 'Nucks' effort.
  • The Chief Canuck decided to go to the game on a whim and gives us his good, bad and ugly.
  • Loxy, the Vancouver-based Oilers fan, was hoping for that the Oilers would kick the Canucks' collective asses. Alas, it didn't happen.
Fun With Numbers
The Canucks are back on the ice against the same Edmonton Oilers tonight. Dany Sabourin is expected to get his first start as a Canuck. Puck drop is at 6 PM. TV broadcast is on Sportsnet Pacific; radio play-by-play on Team 1040.

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, 6:46 AM


At October 17, 2006 8:44 AM, Blogger Loxy said...

Instead of posting on Hot-Oil, where my tongue doesn't leave the inside of my cheek... Here's a few quick comments.

Roloson kept the game from getting out of hand. The Oilers put in a lackadaisical effort and the Canucks did what they had to, to win. After what happened in each of their games to San Jose, this was a pretty expected result.

Last season, that game would've been 5-4 and the Oilers would've changed goalies twice.

Both teams have brought out different types of teams this year and I think we see games like this that favour Vancouver but if the offense gets flying, it favours Edmonton.

Tonight, I expect Edmonton to win. There isn't going to be the 7 game losing streak to start the season like last year. I just don't think Vancouver has enough to dominate the matchup all season long. Or even all week long.

At October 17, 2006 12:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

re: tracy

you should be worried...

At October 17, 2006 4:51 PM, Anonymous alanah said...

You know, I think Pyatt was good, but what the hell was that with him getting the first star of the game? I thought I misunderstood for a sec when they announced it.

I fully agree with your 3 star selection. Salo was robbed. Just sayin'


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