Friday, November 10, 2006

Ducks 6 Canucks 0

For most of the early season, we've talked about the Canucks new character and work ethic. We've talked about how they've seemed to become a team that never gives up and seen them come back and steal points where they were down late in games.

It wasn't that Canucks team that showed up at GM Place last night.

For starters, injuries forced them to dress a rookie-laden defense. Patrick Coulombe and Nathan McIver made their NHL debuts to mixed reviews; Alexander Edler and his two games NHL experience before last night's was fourth most on the Canucks' back end.

Against the hottest team in the league, it showed. The Ducks controlled the game from start to finish. They scored an early goal - albeit a fluky one off Matt Cooke's skate - and never looked back; the Canucks, for their part, didn't look like they were interested in much of a comeback.

Staggering badly from a string of injuries, the Canucks needed to dig deep, they needed Roberto Luongo to have one of his best games of the year and they needed their struggling Swedish trio of forwards to wake up from a five-game stretch that has looked too much like an Ornskoldsvik sleepover.

They didn't come close to getting any of it in an embarrassingly woeful 6-0 loss to the Ducks that was all horror show. It left head coach Alain Vigneault exasperated, blistering his veterans and questioning his team's heart and soul.

"I'm very, very disappointed in our veteran players," Vigneault said. "We needed those guys to step up. They seemed like they played with the built-in excuse of the kids.

"It was very, very disappointing to see ... It was a blowout, obviously (but the Ducks) had four shots after 14, 15 minutes and our top two lines hadn't pissed a drop.

"I got to think, if those guys had tried a little bit we could have had some momentum. But our top guys just didn't play."
However, remember that this is only one game. It's hard to believe that the Canucks could become as God-awful as they were last night after being great on Monday. Vigneault certainly won't allow the team to play many nights without emotion like they did last night and hopes last night's effort was just an aberration:

"A game is not always going to start your way, or go your way, but you have to show character and you have to show commitment and I'm hoping this was just a little curve in the season and not the character of some of these individuals."
What is far more disturbing to me is the lack of offense and the difficulty it is having to put the puck in the net. The offense was shut out for the first time this season and has now failed to score more than two goals in a game in six consecutive games. And looking at some players' stats, it's not pretty: the Sedins have combined for one goal, two assists and a -8 rating in five games; Markus Naslund has two goals in nine games; Brendan Morrison is pointless in four games; the entire bottom half of the roster have a combined three goals for the season.

My 3 Stars of the Game

  1. Shane O'Brien (ANA): Rookie defenseman doubled his season totals in one game. One goal, two assists and a +3 rating.
  2. Ryan Getzlaf (ANA): Scored a couple of goals to extend his point-streak to five games. Getzlaf was dangerous all game long.
  3. Chris Pronger (ANA): Lauren's wife was solid in 25:18 minutes of ice-time. Recorded an assist and a +4 rating and was impossible to knock off the puck. Ask Jan Bulis.
About the game around the blogosphere

  • The Chief Canuck has the good, the bad and the ugly for the game, though he admits he almost skipped the good part.
  • VCOE doesn't waste words to describe the effort.
  • Dear Earl, we're not jumping off Lions Gate Bridge yet.
  • Christy Finn from Girl With A Puck posted till the 3-0 mark of the game. Roughly about the same time I wanted to leave GM Place as well. (Don't worry, I stayed to the very bitter, very frustrating end. Ask my Crazy Canucks co-hosts.)
Official Statistics

Next up, hopefully a better effort against the Calgary Flames tomorrow night. It's the first Hockey Night In Canada game at GM Place this season.

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, 6:21 AM


At November 10, 2006 2:34 PM, Blogger John Bollwitt said...

I got your txt message last night. Yeah, I pretty much felt the same way.

You could feel the air go out of the balloon after that first goal off Cooke's skate. You did call him out, after all. :p

I said I liked Luongo on the last podcast. Maybe I should start hating him so he has a better start next time. I'll work on that...

At November 10, 2006 5:38 PM, Blogger hoopsjunky said...

I called Cooke out hoping that he would break out somehow and score a goal. Just didn't think it would be on his own net.



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