Sunday, December 17, 2006

Wild 1 Canucks 2

Last night's 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild wasn't without controversy. With the score 1-1, Pascal Dupuis appeared to score the Wild's go-ahead goal but it was called back by the video replay guys in Toronto.

Dupuis had basic physics on his side. Even though Luongo was covering the goal line, and the puck was in the air, his mask was clearly in the net when the puck hit him.

But despite more circumstantial evidence than the OJ prosecution team -- and the fact CBC later blew up a video still to leave nearly no doubt -- the officials in Toronto threw up their hands and said they couldn't prove what they knew to be true.

"We thought the puck was in but we couldn't find a picture that showed the puck across the goal line conclusively and that's our job," said Mike Murphy, the NHL's senior vice president.

"The referee didn't make a ruling and we didn't see it clearly because there was a puck on a dark uniform. Our job is to find the whole puck across the goal line."
It was perhaps a lucky call for the Canucks, who extended their win streak to three games. Or maybe it was karma paying back the Canucks for allowing Todd White's kicked-in goal in the teams' last meeting.

It wasn't a pretty game, but I say this after watching Thursday's emotion-filled game against Calgary. I thought the Wild outplayed the Canucks in huge stretches, but the Canucks were at least good enough when they had to be.

Roberto Luongo was huge again and kept his team in the game despite being outshot 29-18. He stopped 28 of the 29 Minnesota shots, and in his last three games, has stopped 77 of 81 total shots for a 95.1 save percentage

Both special teams were also good. The Canucks killed all six Wild powerplays and have now killed 17 consecutive chances. On the other end, they scored both of their goals on the powerplay, against a Minnesota penalty-killing unit that was ranked third-best in the league.

The win improved the Canucks' Northwest Division record to 4-8-1 and moved them back into eighth place in the Western Conference.

More from the Mainstream
  • Ed Willes (Vancouver Province) was frustrated about the officiating. Can't say I blame him. Much like Thursday's game, the officiating was horribly inconsistent - and Ed goes through some of the "noteworthy" calls in his piece. For what it's worth, the same referees last night worked Thursday's game as well. Hmmm...
  • Taylor Pyatt returned to the lineup but Sami Salo is still out. Salo suffered a setback on Friday, but as Jason Botchford (Vancouver Province) reports, will travel with the team on their upcoming road trip.
  • After watching paint dry last night's game, Tony Gallagher (Vancouver Province) longs for more run-and-gun games against the East.

My 3 Stars of the Game

  1. Roberto Luongo (VAN): 28 saves gave his team an opportunity to win in the third period.
  2. Henrik/Daniel Sedin (VAN): Two assists each for Daniel and Henrik. Henrik is now tied for 5th in the league in assists.
  3. Mikko Koivu (MIN): Saku's younger brother didn't show up on the scoresheet but was a constant threat on the ice. Played more than 22 minutes and won 13 of 22 faceoffs.

Official Statistics

Next Game

They play the same Wild on Tuesday night in Minnesota

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, 9:50 AM


At December 17, 2006 1:10 PM, Anonymous The Chief Canuck said...

Great picks on the 3 stars.

What was the CBC thinking in picking Demitra above Luongo??

At December 17, 2006 2:21 PM, Blogger Zanstorm said...

Luongo gets no love on tv for the 3 stars. Maybe it's because he makes it look so easy...
JJ, I agree, it WAS karma that Dupuis' goal didn't count. The Canucks deserve some breaks now!

At December 17, 2006 3:40 PM, Blogger hoopsjunky said...

Glad you guys mentioned Luongo. I was wondering if I was just going crazy thinking he should be one, whereas the TV people keep leaving him out. Where's the love?

At December 17, 2006 3:55 PM, Blogger Justin said...

Karma indeed. This is hockey, not soccer. Luongo let in a softie with Demitra's goal, but redeemed himself in droves last night. Not as entertaining as the Calgary game, but a win nonetheless.


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