Singing the Blues: Canucks lose 3-2.
They were sluggish, slow footed and the second best team at Rogers Arena Sunday night, and the Canucks fell to the St. Louis Blues by a score of 3-2. Vancouver seemingly had all the advantages coming in; St Louis was dreadful on the road, were coming into tonight on a five game losing streak, Andy McDonald was injured, along with David Perron and TJ Oshie, and Jaroslav Halak had fallen back to earth after a phenomenal start. Instead of jumping all over the Blues, the Canucks couldn't keep up with them.
Granted, the Canucks were missing Mason Raymond due to the flu, but still, the Blues didn't have more skill than the Canucks tonight, they simply outworked the Canucks, something that probably doesn't sit well with head coach Alain Vigneault or Mike Gillis.
The fourth line looked better, although you would have to think Joel Perreault will become expendable soon with the return of Alex Bolduc. Tanner Glass skated well in his limited time, but it was Jannik Hansen who was the most impressive of the grinders. He was moved up to the second line in place of the ailing Raymond, and he responded by scoring a first period goal. It was a hard work shift for Hansen, who clawed his way to the front of the net; Keith Ballard let a shot go, Halak stopped it, but couldn't stop Hansen who whacked the puck out of mid air and into the back of the net.
After the Blues made it 2-1, Kevin Bieksa ripped a shot past Halak, who was being screened by Ryan Kesler. However, instead of sparking the Canucks, they looked flat as ever out there, and had no bite whatsoever when the Alex Steen scored his second of the night to make it 3-2.
Steen was no doubt the first star of the game as he had two goals, including the game winner, and an assist. The Canucks couldn't contain Steen, as he was a threat mostly every time he was on the ice.
Roberto Luongo played solid, and couldn't be blamed for the loss; however, he still let in three goals.
The Forwards couldn't generate anything besides Jannik Hansen and Ryan Kesler. Kesler was the hardest working Canuck on the ice, making plays out of nothing, shooting from everywhere and best of all, getting back up after taking a hard hit from Barret Jackman, and then laying a hit of his own. Alex Burrows looked good too, but he's still missing that essence that makes him Alex Burrows.
The defense played badly tonight. They had more holes than swiss cheese, and Blues players were constantly allowed to walk around them.
Simply put, the Blues wanted this win more, and the Canucks let a very winnable game slip through their fingers. Hopefully they, and Mason Raymond, will recover in time for Wednesdays tilt with the Ducks.
Three Stars Selection:
1) Alex Steen: 2 goals, 1 assists, 3 points. Constant offensive threat
2) Jannik Hansen: 1 goal, most effective Canuck on the ice
3) Eric Brewer. 1 assist, strong defensively all game.
Dan Hamhuis played in his 500th career NHL game.. The Canucks lost a 4 game win streak, while the Blues stopped a 5 game losing streak.. Manny Malhotra was 17-22 on faceoffs, a ridiculous 77%.