Sunday, November 13, 2005
[initial post ~7:11p, posted in full Wed ~4:22p]
The Canucks had to bounce back from a three-game losing streak, and the staff at GM Place made sure Mark Donnelly was in the building to sing the national anthems. In addition, Dan Cloutier was back in the net for the Canucks for the first time since suffering the concussion against Colorado. Of course, the tall order of business was snapping the three-game skid against the Detroit Red Wings, who were a perfect 7-0 on the road coming into the game and had the best overall record of any team in the NHL. Of course, the Canucks had gone into Detroit earlier this year and beaten them, so maybe there was a chance... Dan Cloutier was active in this game, his first since suffering a concussion against Colorado last month.
Dan Cloutier made two big pad saves on an early Detroit power play. Not long after, Pavel Datsyuk took a puck to the net and it looked like Cloutier stopped the backhand attempt, but it leaked through. Vancouver had now given up goals in seven of their last eight games.
»» 1, DETROIT, powerplay, Pavel Datsyuk 8 (Tomas Holmstrom, Henrik Zetterberg) 5:35
»» RED WINGS 1, CANUCKS 0
Jason Williams coughed up the puck behind his own net, and Markus Naslund stole it and came off the end boards, putting up a shot from in front of the crease. Manny Legace stopped it with his right pad, but Todd Bertuzzi bore down on the net and backhanded in over a sprawling Legace, stick side. Naslund had recorded his 350th career assist as well as a goal in three straight games for Bertuzzi.
»» 2, VANCOUVER, Todd Bertuzzi 5 (Markus Naslund) 10:46
»» RED WINGS 1, CANUCKS 1
A weird thing happened when Vancouver iced the puck while they were on a change. Lineup cards were inspected before play resumed. Cloutier showed some boisterousness, getting whistled for a penalty after knocking off Tomas Holmstrom's helmet. Nolan Baumgartner dished a long lead pass from the far boards in his own end to Bertuzzi just entering the attacking zone. With Jiri Fischer draped onto him as he moved through the crease, Bertuzzi nonetheless took the puck all the way to the net and deked to the forehand, putting it over Legace's stick side as the latter had fallen backward.
»» 3, VANCOUVER, powerplay, Bertuzzi 6 (Nolan Baumgartner) 15:26
»» CANUCKS 2, RED WINGS 1
Vancouver was outshot 13-11 in the first period. Both teams were 1-for-3 on the power play.
Daniel Sedin came from behind the net with the puck and flung a centering pass from the right faceoff dot that went off Anson Carter's skate in front and into the net.
»» 4, VANCOUVER, Anson Carter 4 (Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin) 4:45
»» CANUCKS 3, RED WINGS 1
It wasn't quite as long of a pass this time as Mattias Ohlund sent a pass to Bertuzzi that went from blue line to blue line. Bertuzzi took the pass in the attacking zone and went straight for the net, where he went in untouched and lasered a backhander over Legace for his fourth career hat trick and his first since March 17th of 2003 when he pulled out the hat in Dallas.
»» 5, VANCOUVER, Bertuzzi 7 (Mattias Ohlund, Baumgartner) 15:01
»» CANUCKS 4, RED WINGS 1
Vancouver outshot Detroit 14-8 in the period and were ahead 25-21 in shots after 40 minutes. Detroit was 0-for-1 on the power play. Vancouver was 0-for-2.
So, the Canucks decided to merely protect their three-goal lead, and Cloutier was kept quite sharp, stopping all 14 shots in the period and 34 overall. Vancouver, content to sit back on the lead, was outshot 14-1. Detroit outshot Vancouver 35-26 for the game. Detroit was 0-for-2 on the power play in the final period while Vancouver was 0-for-3. Detroit finished 1-for-6 on the man-advantage while Vancouver was 1-for-8.
Three stars -- (1) Bertuzzi, (2) Baumgartner, (3) Cloutier
D Sedin 0-1-1
H Sedin 0-1-1
If this marked the moment that Todd Bertuzzi woke up for the Canucks, then things can only be looking up for Vancouver. In the last handful or so of games, the blue line scoring that had buoyed them to a 10-2-2 start has eluded them, and the production from the Sedins/Carter line had decreased as well. In addition, little to no offense has come from the third (they miss Matt Cooke) and fourth lines. If Bertuzzi warms up and the front line warms up, it can only mean good things for the latter three lines.
Also, it's weird to think that the Red Wings had lost only three games in regulation this season, and two of them have come against Vancouver. Consider how sketchy the Canucks had played over the last couple weeks, it's weird to have Vancouver bounce back so well against such a good team. As I'd alluded already, it was een more weird to have Bertuzzi warm up against this calibre of team.
The Canucks snapped their three-game losing streak, making them 11-5-2, good for 24 points in the standings and making it a two-point lead over the Calgary Flames in the Northwest Division. What happened to the big lead? How I miss it so.