Monday, October 10, 2005


Canucks 4, Red Wings 2
Reuters photo -- Rebecca Cook

[posted in full Tue 3:47p]
[***NOTE -- There's no way in hell they'll always be this detailed. I went a little nuts with the notes and put everything on there instead of filtering through some of it and boiling it down. Oh well.]

They didn't play at the top of their game on Saturday night, but the Canucks let the win get away in Edmonton, getting beat late (tie in regulation, winner in shootout) by the birthday boy Raffi Torres. The Canucks scored all three of their goals on the power play in that game. Similarly, the Detroit Red Wings came off a game on Sunday night where they torched the Calgary Flames for six goals, five of them coming on the power play. How would this tilt at the Joe turn out? Well, I'll just tell you that the power play trend took a total 180.

1st period
Robert Lang of the Red Wings was whistled just 24 seconds into the game for a high stick. The Canucks failed to get any really good chances on the power play, the best being Daniel Sedin putting a rebound into the side of the net. Alex Auld made a pad save on Chris Chelios shortly after the power play expired. Unfortunately, Auld wasn't so sharp when Mikael Samuelsson put an easy one past him; Auld picked the wrong skater moving the puck from behind the net. He covered the skater to his right, and Samuelsson was on his left with a wide-open net on the short side. That's a bad goal.
»» 1, DETROIT, Mikael Samuelsson 4 (Mathieu Schneider) 3:50
Jason Williams of Detroit nearly put a puck into an open net not long after. Manny Legace got away with playing the puck outside the trapezoid area behind the net. Andreas Lilja and Kris Draper were called for hooking just 21 seconds after, giving the Canucks a 5-on-3 advantage for a span of 1:39. Unfortunately, they barely got any good chances. Markus Naslund couldn't get a hold of a centering pass, and later Lee Goren put a rebound wide as the penalties were to end. The Canucks got the benefit of three early Detroit penalties, but that evened out in a hurry as Vancouver was called for four penalties in the final 10:42 of the period, including a 5-on-3 span of 27 seconds for Detroit in the final minutes. Auld made nice stops on Jamie Rivers and Mike Mowers in the latter half of the period, and despite usually being a man down, Vancouver had a couple of chances as well. Anson Carter stole a puck and nearly put one through the short side after a Red Wing skater fell down. Richard Park stripped a puck on a Detroit power play and went the other way for a chance. Shots were 10 apiece after the first period.

2nd period
Bryan Allen started a good Vancouver period by thumping Tomas Holmstrom. Markus Naslund tried a wraparound, but couldn't finish. Auld stopped a one-timer off the stick of Johan Franzen on a 2-on-1. After icing a puck, Matt Cooke pokechecked the puck away at the Vancouver blueline and broke loose, deking to the backhand and beating Legace to tie it up.
»» 2, VANCOUVER, Matt Cooke 1 (unassisted) 7:04
Ed Jovanovski plowed Dan Cleary shortly after. Lilja couldn't get a shot off on a centering pass. Henrik Zetterberg had a great chance for the Wings, but Brendan Morrison lifted his stick from behind. Henrik Sedin was called for a trip, but Cooke's antics were about to make the Canucks walk the tightrope; Cooke went knee-on-knee with Williams just 26 seconds after Henrik went to the box. Amazingly, Vancouver was able to kill off the 94 seconds of Detroit's two-man advantage, though they had to withstand Brendan Shanahan putting the puck over the net on a decent shot. Park displayed some speed but couldn't quite get the puck past Legace. Auld left a rebound for Franzen, who missed high. Todd Bertuzzi drew a penalty (delayed call), and Auld was pulled for an extra skater. Mattias Ohlund took a cross-ice pass from Sami Salo, then put the puck down low to Henrik, and Legace didn't have a chance.
»» 3, VANCOUVER, Henrik Sedin 1 (Mattias Ohlund, Sami Salo) 18:04
The period ended with the Canucks on the power play after Mathieu Schneider hauled down Daniel Sedin. Detroit outshot Vancouver 7-5 in the period and led 17-15 in that department through two periods.

3rd period
Vancouver looked to get off to a flying start, but Sami Salo put a pass behind Trevor Linden on a 3-on-2. Naslund had a good chance off a turnover, but couldn't convert. On the same play, Cooke had his pocket picked and Morrison couldn't handle his man, enabling Cleary to shoot and Holmstrom to bang home the uncontrolled rebound.
»» 4, DETROIT, Tomas Holmstrom 1 (Dan Cleary, Mark Mowers) 3:25
The Wings were out to get Cooke by this point, as he was clotheslined by Jiri Fischer, crosschecked in front of the net, and Schneider hung a leg on him as well. Lee Goren charged onto the net, but Legace challenged and stopped him. Auld stopped Kris Draper on the stick side on a 2-on-1. Goren just missed on a rebound. Auld hot his left shoulder on a Shanahan slap shot. Carter fought to get his stick free, and when he did, Henrik fed him with a nice pass in traffic, and Carter snapped it in for his first point as a Canuck. Vancouver had the lead with just over eight minutes to play.
»» 5, VANCOUVER, Anson Carter 1 (H Sedin, Daniel Sedin) 11:46
Auld made a couple of timely saves, one off of the draw by Kirk Maltby, then another quick one by Pavel Datsyuk, who made moves and had designs on the net. Detroit didn't help themselves when Schneider was called for a crosscheck. Inside the final minute, Holmstrom nearly tied the game as the puck slid past the post and Auld had trouble seeing it. It leaked through to the other side and was iced after a sequence in which the Canucks had much trouble clearing the puck. Lang won the faceoff with 9.8 seconds to go, but Vancouver got a hold of the puck, and Park finished it off into the empty net for his first point as a Canuck.
»» 6, VANCOUVER, empty net, Richard Park 1 (H Sedin) 19:58
Shots were thirteen apiece in the final period. Detroit outshot Vancouver 30-28.

Three stars -- (1) H Sedin, (2) Carter, (3) Detroit's Mikael Samuelsson in the arena; (1) Salo, (2) H Sedin, (3) Ohlund on Rogers SportsNet Pacific

skater, goals-assists-points
H Sedin 1-2-3
Carter 1-0-1
Cooke 1-0-1
Park 1-0-1
Ohlund 0-1-1
Salo 0-1-1
D Sedin 0-1-1

Detroit was held to 0-for-6 on the power play, a stark contrast to their travails the day before against the Flames. Similarly, the Canucks went 0-for-5 on the man advantage after scoring three goals on the power play on Saturday.

The Canucks bounced back in the faceoff circle from Saturday night, though they were so bad on Saturday that they would have had to just suck less. Henrik Sedin won seven of ten, Brendan Morrison won eight of fourteen, and Ryan Kesler won six of ten.

Henrik Sedin was the man of the night, scoring three points and going plus-3. Plus-2 skaters included Mattias Ohlund, Daniel Sedin, and Anson Carter. Great night for the Sedins/Carter line.

I can't forget Alex Auld, who was mostly sharp despite the first goal and the puck that nearly got through toward the end of the third period. He should be a very solid option to spell Dan Cloutier here and there. Maybe not enough to keep Cloutier from another 30-win season, but enough so that Cloutier's not gassed for the playoffs.

It was nice to see the Canucks bounce back after a loss, sure. But the other assuring thing about the game was that Naslund, Morrison, and Bertuzzi didn't show up on the scoresheet, but the Canucks won nonetheless. Both Sedins are on that list, the new guys Carter and Park, an obligatory Cooke appearance, and some defense assists. Good stuff.

Well, division rivalries were a big part of the schedule in the new NHL. Thus, the Canucks play the Wild twice in Saint Paul, Wednesday and Friday nights. Minnesota is the only place where Todd Bertuzzi could possibly be booed anywhere near as lustily as he will be in Colorado.

The Canucks are 2-0-1, good for five points in the standings.

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