Monday, March 12, 2007

Canucks 2 Ducks 4

Playing their third game in four nights and fourth in six nights, the Canucks looked like a tired team. The Ducks knew this and their game plan was obvious from the opening faceoff: bully the Canucks and tire a tired team out of the Honda Center. Credit the Ducks for playing their game plan en route to a 4-2 win, but also credit the Canucks for not backing down from the physical play.

Despite the loss, I like what I saw with the Canucks. They're not going to win every game, but it was good to see the fight in them. Kevin Bieksa stood up for Tommi Santala after Dustin Penner ran him from behind and got away with it. Jeff Cowan didn't score but dropped the gloves, not once but twice. Even Markus Naslund, Mattias Ohlund and the Sedins mixed it up.

In fact, the only difference in this game were the play of the specialty teams. Maybe it was a symptom of being a tired team, but the Canucks powerplay was outscored by the Ducks powerplay 2-0 and that was the difference in the game. The Canucks have now allowed a powerplay goal in nine of their last ten games, and with a playoff spot all but wrapped up, I hope they take the next 13 games to get the penalty-killing unit back to top form. Their PK% is still tops in the league but it needs to start shutting the door like they did in early January.

Now if I had any complaints about last night's game, it was the inconsistent officiating, which was downright infuriating:

Referee-bashing is a national pastime in Canada, mostly because the officials provide so much fuel. The credibility of the complaints, however, are often undermined by the fact they always come from the losing team.

But Meier, of whom the best that can be hoped is that his nightly mistakes don't affect the outcome, and Dwyer were especially bewildering on Sunday.

"I don't even know who's who out there," Bieksa said. "They're both ... I don't know who they are but they shouldn't be paired together. I don't know how to explain some of those calls."

Bieksa fought Dustin Penner after the Duck ran, without penalty, Canuck Tommi Santala head-first into the boards. Bieksa was nailed for instigating and a 10-minute misconduct.

A few shifts later, Anaheim heavyweight Shawn Thornton instigated a fight with Jeff Cowan after the Canuck ran Duck Kent Huskins. Thornton, like Cowan, received only five minutes for fighting.

As the second period ended, Penner knocked Bieksa to the ice at the end of a scramble in front of the Vancouver goal. Each player got another 10 minutes for that collision.

"I don't know how I get tackled and get a 10-minute penalty," Bieksa said. "I don't know how to explain that one. I don't know how I get an instigator and then Shawn Thornton goes out and does the same thing. [Penner] asked me if I wanted to go and dropped his gloves."
Regardless, it was a good effort from the boys, even if it wasn't a perfect one. They showed that when push comes to shove that they'll shove back. I like that. I really do.

More from the Mainstream

My 3 Stars of the Game

  1. Teemu Selanne (ANA): Scored two goals and added an assist.
  2. Andy McDonald (ANA): Also scored two goals and an assist.
  3. Daniel Sedin (VAN): Only recorded an assist but also showed that he didn't mind a bit of the rough stuff.

Official Statistics

Next Game

Big Northwest Division showdown against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night.

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, 6:39 AM


At March 12, 2007 1:21 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

lets hope they play better against minnesota :D

At March 12, 2007 10:57 PM, Blogger hoopsjunky said...

A win would sure be nice.

At March 13, 2007 1:20 AM, Blogger Zanstorm said...

Now they HAVE to beat Minnesota, no doubt about it.


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