Saturday, October 29, 2005


Avalanche 4, Canucks 3 (OT)
AP photo -- David Zalubowski

[posted in full Mon ~7:21p]

The last time the Canucks got their rears handed to them, they beat Minnesota to avenge a 6-0 loss. How would the Canucks play after a 6-2 beating two nights earlier?

1st period
It started out pretty fast. Richard Park had a wrister go off the end of Aebischer's stick. On another play, Park centered, and Mattias Ohlund jabbed away at a loose puck in front, but Aebischer stopped it with a stick and covered it. It didn't take long for Lee Goren and Brad May to square off after a faceoff, dropping the gloves. May had the upper hand early with some rights, but Goren evened it out a bit with some lefts before it eventually turned into a wrestling match. Ed Jovanovski landed a hit on Antti Laaksonen. Matt Cooke was called for an early trip (2:55 in), but the Canucks were able to kill it off. Todd Bertuzzi apparently was skating well in the early going. Cooke was hooked by Marek Svatos while trying to get a shot on the net. After weathering a shorthanded chance, Vancouver got chances from Markus Naslund on a backhand (crashing into the goalie), and a couple of missed chances -- Ohlund slap-passed to Henrik Sedin, but the puck was tipped over the glass, and Anson Carter had a one-timer go off the heel of his stick. Svatos came rushing out of the box and put a shot on Cloutier, who luckily made a great save. Cloutier made a couple of stops on Rob Blake, but was horribly unfortunate on the first Colorado goal. Andrew Brunette deked Cloutier out of his equipment, and he scored easily. Brunette bumped into the net, but Canuck defenseman Nolan Baumgartner had backed into Cloutier, bumping him backward. Cloutier's head hit the post, then hit the ice. He took a while to get back up on his skates, and he left the game. Alex Auld took over in the Vancouver net.
»» 1, COLORADO, Andrew Brunette 2 (Marek Svatos, Pierre Turgeon) 10:42
The Canucks responded nearly immediately. Bertuzzi got onto a rush, going through the entire team of Avalanche and putting the puck out front for Ryan Kesler, who fanned on it, but Matt Cooke put in the rebound.
»» 2, VANCOUVER, Matt Cooke 3 (Todd Bertuzzi) 11:17
Auld stopped a Joe Sakic wrister with the right pad. Svatos was stopped on a backhand in front. Trevor Linden stole a puck and fanned on a wrist shot, then Goren whiffed on the wide-open net. Auld held out Alex Tanguay with the left pad. Auld gloved a long slap shot from Brett Clark. Sakic broke away with a big cushion on any of the Vancouver skaters, and hit the post high on Auld's stuck side. In a fast first period, Colorado outshot Vancouver 10-6.

2nd period
This one would be full of whistles. Auld stopped Svatos on an early one-timer. Cooke was all alone on a breakaway, but Blake poked the puck away in Blake-like fashion. The first Vancouver penalty of the period came 2:10 into the period on Ohlund for a hook. Auld made a stop on Sakic, and the defense didn't break. With Vancouver a bit slow in transition, Steve Konowalchuk was able to get a shot off on Auld, who went to his knees to make a stick save. Goren centered for Cooke, who was stopped on a sharp-angle shot. Brendan Morrison passed to Park from the left-wing corner, but the puck went off of Turgeon's stick, into the air and into the net. Vancouver had the lead.
»» 3, VANCOUVER, Brendan Morrison 3 (Markus Naslund, Richard Park) 7:09
Then started the parade to the penalty box. Sami Salo went to the box at 8:36 for high-sticking Ian Laperriere. Thirty seconds later, Ohlund drew a double-minor for high-sticking John-Michael Liles and drawing blood. Yes, the Canucks were going to have to withstand 90 seconds of being two men down. Amazingly, they did. Auld robbed Milan Hejduk and stopped Pierre Turgeon and Sakic twice. Salo left the penalty box, and Vancouver still had to kill off 2:30 of power play time, but now at least they wree only down one skater. That was the case until Kesler tried to clear a puck off the glass, but it went over the glass. Thus, it was another 1:39 of two-man advantage that Vancouver had to kill away. That's tough. Blake unleashed a rocket shot that beat Auld stick side, top corner. Somehow, it was only Blake's first goal of the season. He also had the worst plus-minus on the team, which also seems wrong, but hey, slow start for Colorado until this doubleheader.
»» 4, COLORADO, powerplay, Rob Blake 1 (Joe Sakic, John-Michael Liles) 11:48
Colorado was still a man up after the goal. Morrison had a shorthanded chance, getting stopped on a left-wing slap shot. Blake put a shot off of Auld's left arm. Just 57 seconds after the Kesler penalty had expired, Ohlund went to the box again, this time for hooking. Not long after, Auld was slow to get up after Svatos had dove into him headfirst. He was called for interference. Colorado had been called for their first penalty of the period against six Vancouver penalties. Daniel Sedin put a wrister on goal which Henrik Sedin and Ohlund tried to jab into the net, but it was covered. Naslund was stopped on a high wrist shot. Bertuzzi was stopped on a wrister as well, and Morrison was foiled on a backhand. Naslund was called for hooking right after the Vancouver power play expired. Vancouver somehow outshot Colorado 13-11 in the period, though they still trailed 21-19 after 40 minutes.

3rd period
Early on, Carter got deep into the zone and passed to Daniel, who passed to his brother, who faked Aebischer and put the puck through.
»» 5, VANCOUVER, Henrik Sedin 4 (Daniel Sedin) 1:56
Ohlund had a slap shot stopped, and Park was stopped on the rebound. Laperriere was stopped short side by Auld on a rush. Auld made a nice save in traffic on a shot from Blake. Cooke laid a hit on May. Ruutu deflected a Jovanovski shot barely wide. Jovanovski blocked a centering pass on a Colorado 2-on-1. Liles hit park in the side of the head in the neutral zone for no call. Carter and Henrik had a 2-on-1, and Henrik shot a bit too high to the stick side, though it was a nice chance. Hejduk hit the post under Auld's glove. Vancouver had trouble clearing the puck out of their own zone. Brunette grabbed Henrik's stick and went to the penalty box. Bertuzzi centered for Goren, who shot off the side of the goal. Vancouver couldn't take advantage of the power play. Brunette raced out of the box and centered for Tanguay, who found the back of the net.
»» 6, COLORADO, Alex Tanguay 3 (Brunette) 15:25
Cooke was tripped, and there was no call. Turnabout was fair play, and Svatos was pulled down for no call. Daniel centered for Salo, who put a shot off the crossbar for the Canucks' last best chance in regulation. Colorado outshot Vancouver 7-6 in the period and 28-25 in regulation.

Sakic had a wrist shot right away that met Auld's blocker. Brett Clark had a wrister stopped, and the loose puck in front was tipped over the glass. The four Canuck skaters on the ice fought for the puck on the boards in front of the penalty box, and when it came loose, Laperriere skated untouched to the net, where he went five-hole on Auld to end the game. Colorado outshot Vancouver 4-0 in overtime and 31-25 overall.
»» 7, COLORADO, Ian Laperriere 4 (Patrice Brisebois) 1:55

Three stars -- (1) Colorado's Ian Laperriere, (2) Colorado's Andrew Brunette, (3) Colorado's Alex Tanguay

skater, goals-assists-points
Cooke 1-0-1
Morrison 1-0-1
H Sedin 1-0-1
Bertuzzi 0-1-1
Naslund 0-1-1
Park 0-1-1
D Sedin 0-1-1

Well, the Canucks could have swept the doubleheader and had a 12-point lead on Colorado in the standings. Instead, Colorado comes out with a net gain of three points. Not good. They played a lot better on Saturday night than they did on Thursday night, but still, it was a bit upsetting. Also, the Canucks are missing Bryan Allen, who's been an unhealthy scratch the last couple games. They're that much thinner on defense. Hell, they're thinner now in goal since Dan Cloutier had his bell rung and probably will be out a couple games. Let the Rob McVicar fan club rejoice. One-way contracts all but preclude the notion of a Wade Flaherty or a Brent Johnson coming up from Manitoba to be the backup for Auld on the big club.

Plus skaters were Brendan Morrison, Richard Park, Wade Brookbank, Ed Jovanovski, and Anson Carter, who all registered at plus-1. Minus skaters were Nolan Baumgartner, Sami Salo, Lee Goren, and Todd Bertuzzi, who were all minus-1. All other skaters were even.

In the faceoff circle, the Canucks were 51% (32-for-63). Brendan Morrison was 13-for-22 (good), Trevor Linden was 3-for-7, Ryan Kesler was 7-for-14, and Henrik Sedin was 8-for-14.

In the superstats bonanza, Morrison led the team in shots with five, Bertuzzi had four, and Naslund had three. Matt Cooke recorded five hits.

What's next? Minnesota again, though in Vancouver on Wednesday. The Canucks also host Columbus on Friday before traveling to Calgary for Hockey Night on Saturday.

The Canucks are now 8-2-2 (one shootout loss in the third column) and have 18 points in the standings.

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