Friday, February 22, 2008

Canucks 3 Predators 2 (SO)

For the first time in four months, the Vancouver Canucks finally had their top-four defensemen in the lineup. How'd they do? Well, they allowed 51 Nashville shots on Roberto Luongo.

The good thing is, Luongo was the best Canuck last night. He stopped 49 of those 51 shots plus another 3 in the shootout. As we've gotten used to by now, he won a game the Canucks simply had no business winning. In the team's current three-game winning streak, he hasn't allowed more than two goals per game.

In what was probably his best game as a Canuck, Mason Raymond scored a beauty of a goal, added an assist and scored the shootout winner. His line with the other little engines that could, Ryan Shannon and Matt Cooke, combined for 5 points (1G-4A) and 5 shots on goal. To be honest, I cringed when Vigneault put this line together a few games ago. I was worried that opposing teams would just bowl them over. So far, they've been able to utilize their speed to elude them and use their skill to keep the puck away from them.

But the story of the night was Kevin Bieksa's return (Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun; Gordon McIntyre, Vancouver Province; Gordon McIntyre, Vancouver Province). He, of course, missed 47 games and played the night before with the Manitoba Moose. He played a modest 15 minutes, but you can tell he needs to get used to playing the guys again. He had a miscue with Louie early in the game and left his man open on the Predators' second goal. But overall, Bieksa was okay. He definitely adds a different dimension to the defense. Case in point was him going after Jordin Tootoo, who took a bit of a run at Henrik Sedin. Bieksa probably would have beat him had Tootoo not lay down and play dead.

The win moved the Canucks up to seventh place in the Western Conference standings, four points up on the ninth place Phoenix Coyotes. They're starting to heat up as well. They've won four of their last five games and only has one regulation time loss in their last nine games (5-1-3). Just in time too.

About the game around the blogosphere:

Other Canucks news in the MSM:

Next game:

Saturday night against the Detroit Red Wings.

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, 5:49 AM


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