Sunday, January 14, 2007

Canucks 6 Leafs 1

As you can probably imagine, today is a happy day. Not only did the Canucks beat the Maple Leafs last night, they did so by a very convincing 6-1 score; they did so in Toronto, in front of all of Leafs Nation; and they did so on national TV on Hockey Day In Canada. It almost made up for the fact that Toronto homers, Cole and Neale, kept calling Kevin Bieksa, "Bieska" and Markus Naslund, "Mats Naslund".

Despite what the score indicates, the Canucks actually didn't come out flying. In fact, they took four first period penalties and even gave the Leafs a brief two-man advantage. They were also outshot 14-3 in the first period, 8-0 at one point.

That the score was tied at 1-1 after the first 20 minutes was due to one many and one man only: Roberto Luongo (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province):

On hockey's biggest stage, Roberto Luongo showed Saturday just what great goaltending can do.

Luongo was at his gamestealing best in Canada's socalled Centre of the Universe, keeping the Vancouver Canucks in the contest against the Toronto Maple Leafs virtually singlehandily for the first 20 minutes.

With confidence and poise, Luongo did his job and seemed to suck the life out of a frustrated Leafs team. And after a while the rest of the Canucks did theirs to beat the Leafs 61 in a game in which they were mostly outplayed.
Good thing too. Though it helped that Andrew Raycroft wasn't that good on the other end (Pierre Lebrun, CP):

Goaltending and special teams were the difference in this game, Vancouver going 5-for-10 with the man advantage while Toronto was 0-for-8.

Bates Battaglia had the lone reply for the Leafs (20-20-6), who heard the boos from the 19,608 fans at Air Canada Centre. Most of the ire was directed at Andrew Raycroft, the Leafs goalie really getting it from the crowd late in the game. The crowd chanted his name in mockery and gave him the Bronx cheer when he stopped the puck.

"It's heartbreaking," said Leafs captain Mats Sundin, who was so disappointed in the fan's reaction to Raycroft he was driven to use expletives. "For a guy that's played his heart out, and in my opinion, had a pretty . . . solid first half of the season . . . They had five of their goals on the power play, a 5-on-3 goal, and our specialty teams, our power play, was terrible. To me, that was the big difference."
Now, if only the league would change their scheduling format so we can do this again next year.

More from the Mainstream
About the game around the blogosphere
  • Zanstrom of Waiting For Stanley is both a Canucks fan and a Leafs fan (talk about sitting on the fence). Last night was probably tough on his allegiances, but by the end of the game, he knew where it was at.
  • Canucks Fangirl shares her top ten reasons why the Canucks won.
  • budblog wonders about things from the Toronto side of things.

My 3 Stars of the Game

  1. Roberto Luongo (VAN): Made 35 saves, including 13 (of 14 shots) in the first period when the Canucks didn't have much of their game going
  2. Daniel Sedin (VAN): Three point performance (1G-2A) leaves him one point behind Henrik for team scoring lead
  3. Henrik Sedin (VAN): Two more assists and now 40 for the season. He only needs 23 assists to break Andre Boudrias' franchise record of 62 assists in a single season.

Official Statistics

Next Game

Tuesday night against the suddenly struggling Montreal Canadiens.

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, 11:51 AM


At January 15, 2007 1:01 AM, Blogger Zanstorm said...

Luongo > Raycroft
Canucks defence > Leafs' D

I know I'm a fence-rider when it comes to those 2 teams! I can't help it! Purist Canucks fans will never understand, alas, I'll never change! :)

At January 15, 2007 7:07 AM, Blogger The Acid Queen said...

Even north of 49, Louie > Chairman Mo


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