Crisis Averted, Canucks Finally Win
What a difference a single game can make! The mood is much happier and the outlook much brighter in the City of Vancouver as the Canucks finally registered their first win of the season with a 7-1 win over the Canadiens. But, just as you should not get too low in a slump, it is still just one win. Now the Canucks will have to find a way to harness and keep that momentum in an eight day stretch where they play just one game. That's right, in an Olympic year where the schedule in general is more condensed, the host city manages a long breather.
The hockey world got a glimpse at what they were expecting from the Vancouver Canucks this season. Maybe not the seven goals part but they were expecting a strong team with solid defence and goaltending. Despite letting in a soft goal, Luongo was definitely on par with expectations making a few key saves throughout the contest. Unfortunately for his counterpart Carey Price, it was not the home coming he was hoping for as he allowed 7 goals on 32 shots. Price, however, should not take the full brunt of the responsibility as all Canucks goals would have been near impossible for even Martin Brodeur to stop.
The game started a bit sluggish with not a lot of action in the early portions of the first period. Few shots and a lot of the puck just moving back and forth. However, with 6 minutes to go in the first the game would break out when Alex Edler sprung Ryan Kesler on a partial break and Kesler finished it off with an in close deke to the forehand for the icebreaker. From there the Canucks in rapid fire potted two more. One from Mason Raymond as he barged his way to the front of the net and another by Steve Bernier after some nifty passing from the Sedins.
The second started off with the Canadiens grabbing all the momentum. The Canucks did not manage a single shot until after the midway point of the frame. Andrei Kostitsyn brought the Canadiens within two as he scored with a wrist shot off the right wing, a shot Luongo probably should have saved. However, like in the first, the Canucks answered in rapid succession as Henrik Sedin scored two goals in just under four minutes, one on the power play and the other on a 2-on-0 break.
The third started off pretty neutral with both teams going back and forth. But once again, like in the first and second period, the Canucks used some quick strike offense scoring two more goals just 19 seconds apart. This time the goals were scored by Mikael Samuelsson and Alex Burrows. That was it for Price. Interesting enough, Price who was benched when Montreal visited Vancouver last season until there was 7 minutes left in the third, was pulled with about 7 minutes left in the game. So Price did manage to almost play a full 60 minutes in Montreal's two visits to G.M. Place.
The Canucks managed to take advantage of a team playing the second of back-to-back while also missing their number on defenceman. So now the Canucks have three days off until their next game when the Dallas Stars come to town. Again, the Canucks are not out of the woods just yet. They're still just 1-3-0 while the Flames, who are expected to battle the Canucks for the Northwest, are a perfect 3-0-0 and are in good position to go 4-0-0 as they face their Albertan rivals tonight.
The Canucks will be holding their fourth annnual Open Practice this weekend.
1. Henrik Sedin (2G, 2A)
2. Daniel Sedin (0G, 3A)
3. Roberto Luongo (1 GA, 0.964 SV%)
Canucks next game: Sunday vs. Dallas Stars
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