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CANUCKS HOCKEY BLOG

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Hurricanes 3 Canucks 4 (OT)

With his team's confidence waning and the bandwagon emptying, Dave Nonis gave his team a pep talk before last night's game against the Carolina Hurricanes:

The man giving the speech was Dave Nonis, but darn if he didn't sound a little like Stuart Smalley, the cardigan-wearing Saturday Night Live character whose daily affirmation parodied the self-help set.

In a surprise pre-skate meeting with Vancouver Canuck players Friday morning, general manager Nonis told players to forget about the suffocating negativity, to ignore the people -- let's call them everybody -- who keep telling them they're not good enough, can't score, can't win.

He told players to remember October, when they were 7-4-1, to get back to enjoying hockey, to relax, to believe in themselves and that they are good enough.

In other words, to quote Smalley: "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and, doggone it, people like me."
It worked.

There was a lot to like about the team's performance last night. I don't want to say they played with more passion as they have in recent games because I think, for most games this season, the Canucks have played with passion; however, they did play with some sense of urgency and the game was exciting because of it. They moved the puck quicker and parked their bodies in front of the net. They finished their checks, created a few turnovers and turned them into quality scoring chances. The game was more exciting for it and you can sense that excitement around GM Place. (Well, maybe having two drunk chicks sitting behind me helped. Anyway...)

Long-term doghouse residents Jan Bulis and Marc Chouinard scored - Bulis his first goal in 14 games and Chouinard his first of the season - and Brendan Morrison added three assists as the Canucks built a 3-0 lead before hanging on for a 4-3 win in overtime. Yannick Tremblay, playing his first game in the NHL since before the lockout, replaced the injured Sami Salo and injected some life on the revamped powerplay.

In fact, except for giving the 'Canes a point, the Canucks executed their game plan nearly perfectly. Let's hope that carries over tonight.

About the game around the blogosphere

My 3 Stars of the Game

  1. Brendan Morrison (VAN): Had three points - all assists - and won 68% of his faceoffs
  2. Erik Cole (CAR): One goal and two assists - all in the third period - for the power forward
  3. Yannick Tremblay (VAN): Scored a goal and had two assists - all on the powerplay - in his Canucks debut

Official Statistics

Next Game

A big divisional game against the Calgary Flames tonight.

______________
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, 7:43 AM

1 Comments:

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