Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Lightning 1 Canucks 5

Last night's game between the Canucks and the Tampa Bay Lightning was a much-anticipated meeting between one of the best defensive teams in the league versus one its highest-scoring ones. It didn't exactly happen. The Canucks' suffocating defense limited the high-powerd Lightning offense to 17 shots on goal - and even less scoring chances - and delivered a convincing 5-1 victory to go undefeated in their three-game homestand (Jason Botchford, Vancouver Province).

It wasn't exactly a night off for Roberto Luongo but it came close.

So often this season, Luongo has carried the Canucks and the hopes of their fans on his formidable shoulders.

Turnabout is fair play.

The Canucks D-men shut down Tampa Bay's top line like a high school kegger after the cops arrive. It helped Luongo to his 38th win of the season, tying Kirk McLean's mark set in 1991-92.
This wasn't the only story of the night as, much like in many others this season, the Canucks put together a clinic in team play.

Daniel Sedin scored 21 seconds in the third period to give the Canucks a two-goal cushion; the goal was his 30th of the season, the first time in his career he's reached that plateau. Henrik added two assists. Bryan Smolinski scored his first goal as a Canuck. Lukas Krajicek played his best game in recent memory. And of course, Jeff Cowan - yes that waiver wire pickup Jeff Cowan - chipped in with two goals. He now has five goals, a fight and a bra thrown at him in three games (Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun).

In the rest of the world, lightning never strikes twice. In Vancouver, it never strikes once, except when it hits five times in three games for Jeff Cowan.

The Tampa Bay Lightning, who entered the National Hockey League in 1992, remained 0-for-ever in Vancouver as the Canucks got a pair of goals from their grinder-turned-sniper Tuesday and beat the 2004 Stanley Cup champions 5-1.

As the saying goes, the Canucks left it all on the ice. And after Cowan's second goal capped a rollicking third period, so did one female fan. At least we assume it was a she who tossed a bra on to the ice, creating a standoff between Canuck defenceman Willie Mitchell, who speared the unmentionable with his stick, and referee Dave Jackson, who was hesitant to transfer it to the penalty box.

Three games ago, Cowan may as well have been John Doe. Now, he's Tom Jones.
Jeff, I take back everything I said when the 'Nucks first plucked you from the waiver wire.

More from the Mainstream

About the game around the blogosphere

My 3 Stars of the Game

  1. Daniel Sedin (VAN): Scored his 30th goal of the season.
  2. Jeff Cowan (VAN): Two more goals and a long standing ovation from the crowd.
  3. Kevin Bieksa (VAN): Led all Canucks in ice-time and scored the game-winning goal.

Official Statistics

Next Game

Away from the Vancouver rain and on to Phoenix on Thursday 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, 8:27 AM


At March 07, 2007 9:20 AM, Blogger Justin said...

People forget that even the toughest of tough guys are usually scorers in junior hockey (well maybe except for Boogaard). In his final year with the Barrie Colts (OHL), Cowan scored 38 goals in 66 games. Jan Bulis also played on that team and only scored 29 goals in 59 games.

So remember: even the biggest douchebag on the ice was once a scorer in junior hockey.

Speaking of Bulis, he actually played a decent game (with the exception of one stupid penalty).

At March 07, 2007 9:56 AM, Blogger hoopsjunky said...

Very good point, Justin. These guys don't get to the NHL on their fists alone.

As for Bulis, he played a good game but was too cute at times, I thought. And that one stupid penalty, I don't think was even his fault (from my view from the upper bowl anyway). I thought the Lightning player totally sold it. Nevertheless, I wish Bulis would play more games like that.

At March 07, 2007 11:17 AM, Blogger Mike said...

If Bulis could gel with Naslund, that's a hell of a third line. That'd be nice timing with the playoffs inching closer and closer.

At March 07, 2007 11:31 AM, Blogger Kel said...

Anyone noticed that most of the convincing wins (by three or more goals) the Canucks have this seasons are against Eastern Conference teams? (The rest are against Edmonton and Phoenix, but that's it I think).

At March 07, 2007 12:09 PM, Blogger hoopsjunky said...

No kidding.

All we need to do now is get to the Cup finals! :D


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