Saturday, October 14, 2006

Sharks 6 Canucks 4

Markus Naslund summed up the Vancouver Canucks' 6-4 loss to the San Jose Sharks last night (Elliott Pap, Vancouver Sun):

"I think it was probably our worst effort of the season," remarked the captain. "I thought we got out-competed and that can't happen. We didn't play the way we were supposed to. We didn't backcheck as hard as we should and we didn't make the right plays at the bluelines."
He was bang on.

On opening night at the Garage, the Sharks played bigger, skated faster and made the most of their opportunities. And for the first time this season, Luongo was average.

On his Vancouver Sun blog, Brad Ziemer concurs:

So this is what happens when Roberto Luongo doesn’t stand on his head. Canuck fans had better hope it doesn’t happen often. Luongo was ordinary and so were many of his teammates in what was a shaky home opener. Joe Thornton and Jonathan Cheechoo were held in check, but it didn’t matter. Too many turnovers and Luongo, for a change, wasn’t there to bail them out.
To Luongo's credit, he didn't point fingers at anyone else:

"It was not a great night, not at all," Luongo muttered. "I'm obviously disappointed with my performance and I'm disappointed for the fans, it being the first home game. I didn't play very well."
Neither did a lot of others. Besides Kevin Bieksa, the Sedins and Markus Naslund, no one else contributed anything significant.

Matt Cooke tried to get the team going by uncharacteristically dropping the gloves against big man, Ryane Clowe, but to no avail.

Linemates Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows, for all their hard work in the corners, never threatened to put a puck on Vesa Toskala.

Brendan Morrison and Jan Bulis, well, did you even notice them on the ice?

And don't get me started on Luc Bourdon, who looked absolutely lost on the ice.

It wasn't pretty - certainly not as pretty as the new "energy bar" Orca Bay unveiled last night - but despite this, Cam Cole (Vancouver Sun) doesn't want Canucks fans to panic just yet.

Put it down to opening-night jitters. The cast members forgot their lines. Missed their cues. Tripped over the furniture.

Or maybe ... you know, stuff happens on Friday the 13th. It does. Triskadekaphobia -- could be that's what got them.

Whatever you put it down to, remember it's the 13th of October, not April. There are six long months ahead in which to work up a good panic. Don't peak too soon.
77 more games to build up a panic or for the Canucks to get back on track. Geez, I sure hope it's the latter.

My 3 Stars of the Game

  1. Milan Michalek (SJ): Was dangerous all night on a line with Patrick Marleau and chipped in with assists on the first two Sharks goals.
  2. Christian Ehrhoff (SJ): On a deep Sharks team, stood out and played some solid shutdown "d". Wasn't on the ice for any of the Canucks goals, scored one of his own and finished with a +3 rating.
  3. Kevin Bieksa (VAN): Stepped up to the plate in Sami Salo's absence and logged more than 24 minutes of ice-time and chipped in a goal (his first in the NHL) and two assists.
Other Things on my Notepad

  • Looking for positives here... After allowing six powerplay goals in 24 chances on the road, the Canucks killed all six Sharks powerplays. Prior to last night's game, the Sharks had converted on 30% (9 out of 30) of their man-advantages.
  • A couple of milestones... Markus Naslund's goal was his 300th as a Canucks and he is now tied with Trevor Linden for the franchise lead. Kevin Bieksa's goal was his 1st ever NHL goal. And he only waited 44 games and a few posts and crossbars to get it.
  • Lukas Krajicek looked slick again last night. He kinda reminds me of Jyrki Lumme. If he can be a bit more conscious of his defensive positioning, he could play a significant role on this team's defense.
  • Marc Chouinard made his Canucks debut in forgettable fashion. In only 7:36 minutes of ice-time, he recorded a -2 rating and lost 4 of 7 faceoffs.
  • Get well soon, Sami. Seriously.
  • To the guy sitting behind us, dropping "F-bombs" all night, thanks for the lovely experience.

About the game around the blogosphere

  • The Chief Canuck has the good, the bad, and the ugly from the game. (Welcome to the blogroll, buddy.)
  • Waiting For Stanley grades the game and points out that the Canucks actually shut down the Thornton/Cheechoo train. Too bad every other line scored.
  • If you thought you were a diehard fan, meet Jess Knaster from Sharks Hockey Odyssey, who is on a mission to watch all 82 Sharks games this season. He gives his game recap and thoughts on Vancouver here.
Fun With Numbers
The Canucks' next game is on Monday night against the visiting Edmonton Oilers.

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, 12:02 PM


At October 14, 2006 1:11 PM, Blogger McLea said...

"Brendan Morrison and Jan Bulis, well, did you even notice them on the ice"

I actually think Bulis had a pretty good game. At least he was able to get the puck into good scoring positions a couple of occasions, which is more than you can say for anyone not named Sedin or Naslund.

At October 14, 2006 2:46 PM, Blogger Justin said...

Re: Chouinard. We shoulda gone for Yanic Perreault instead. He's just as good on the faceoffs and he can get you 20+ goals a year.

Re: Bulis. Meh...the jury is still out on him. He reminds me of a former teammate of mine: can skate like the wind but can't stickhandle or score worth a damn.

Re: F-bombs....don't be such a cheap-ass and upgrade to club seats instead. Hell, you can even get in grati.....err...never mind.

At October 14, 2006 9:31 PM, Blogger hoopsjunky said...

Morrison and Bulis need something good to happen to both of them. Yes, they're getting the puck deep into the zone. They even manage to control the puck and cycle a bit behind the net. But after that, nothing. They're squeezing their sticks so hard it's like watching Paris Hilton on Rick Solomon.

I don't really know where Chouinard fits in on this team yet. He's big but he's not overly fast and doesn't seem to be the player that fits into Vigneault's system. Still trying to figure out how he scored a 2-year deal.

LOL about my seats... well, one game in the club seats is about three games where I am right now. Yes, I am a cheap ass.


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