Friday, November 18, 2005
2004 Bremerton grad Marvin Williams had one of those nights you can chalk up to being an NBA rookie. He started and played 20 minutes. He was scoreless, missing on four shots from the field. He grabbed five rebounds (one offensive) and recorded an assist and a block. However, he also turned the ball over three times and was called for five fouls. The five fouls more than likely contributed to the limited minutes.
The Hawks host the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.
I have to admit, the shot chart really doesn't jive with the boxscore unless Marvin missed four layups or something, which I doubt.
The Hawks travel to Oklahoma City to face the Hornets tonight.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
[posted in full Fri ~2:21p]
How would the Canucks do on the tail end of a back-to-back on the road against the high-scoring Los Angeles Kings and their great front line? Los Angeles center Craig Conroy took all those faceoffs for the Calgary Flames in their big run the last time playoffs were held, so that's somewhat of an idea about how it went in the faceoff circle tonight. Before we get into this, I'll spill and point out that he was 19-for-24 in the faceoff circle. Either that's nuts, or the Canucks were terrible.
Wade Brookbank reacted to a George Parros hit on Mattias Ohlund by challenging Parros. He got hit with an instigator penalty as well, however, and coupled with an interference call 44 seconds later against Ohlund, it left the Canucks trying to kill off a 5-on-3 against a very high-scoring team in the early NHL season. Lubomir Visnovsky unloaded from the high slot, shooting through Sami Salo and Michael Cammalleri in front, and beating Dan Cloutier stick side, inside the far post with 21 seconds left to go in the Brookbank instigator penalty. The Canucks still had 65 seconds' worth of Ohlund's penalty to kill.
»» 1, LOS ANGELES, powerplay, Lubomir Visnovsky 7 (Pavol Demitra, Michael Cammalleri) 9:39
»» KINGS 1, CANUCKS 0
The Slovak did it again. Pavol Demitra passed through the crease and Visnovsky barreled toward the net on Cloutier's glove side and snapped it through.
»» 2, LOS ANGELES, powerplay, Visnovsky 8 (Alexander Frolov, Demitra) 10:32
»» KINGS 2, CANUCKS 0
On the postgame show, host Dan Russell later said the Canucks "did absolutely nothing in the first period." The Kings badly outshot Vancouver 14-8. Los Angeles was 2-for-4 on the power play while Vancouver was 0-for-1.
After Bryan Allen got whistled for a hook just 43 seconds into the period, Cammalleri got a pass in the high slot, juked past Richard Park, moved closer to the net, and wristed a shot past Cloutier, glove side.
»» 3, LOS ANGELES, powerplay, Cammalleri 6 (Demitra, Frolov) 1:38
»» KINGS 3, CANUCKS 0
The Canucks finally dented the scoreboard. With a power play just expiring, Henrik Sedin from the left circle passed to brother Daniel Sedin coming toward the net on goalie Mathieu Garon's glove side. Daniel tucked it past.
»» 4, VANCOUVER, Daniel Sedin 5 (Henrik Sedin, Anson Carter) 16:12
»» KINGS 3, CANUCKS 1
Vancouver had finally picked it up a bit, outshooting the Kings 14-10 in the period. The Kings were 1-for-2 on the power play in the frame while the Canucks were unsuccessful on three power plays.
Then the hole was dug deeper in quick fashion. Sean Avery dumped the puck from his own blue line into the right-wing corner, then Eric Belanger got to the puck on the boards and passed nicely to Jeff Cowan bearing down on the net. Cowan didn't have to do too much, putting it in past Cloutier stick side.
»» 5, LOS ANGELES, Jeff Cowan 3 (Eric Belanger, Sean Avery) 3:04
»» KINGS 4, CANUCKS 1
The Kings' public address announcer wasn't even done announcing the Cowan goal. Alexander Frolov passed from the left point into the slot, where Craig Conroy wristed it past Cloutier, who had slid to his left trying to stop the shot. Cloutier was pulled, and into the game came Alex Auld.
»» 6, LOS ANGELES, Craig Conroy 11 (Frolov, Tim Gleason) 3:20
»» KINGS 5, CANUCKS 1
With Aaron Miller in the box serving a hooking penalty, the Canucks were able to capitalize. Salo shot from the blue line and Todd Bertuzzi was in front, deflecting it through Garon.
»» 7, VANCOUVER, powerplay, Todd Bertuzzi 8 (Sami Salo, Markus Naslund) 7:30
»» KINGS 5, CANUCKS 2
Markus Naslund took the puck from the right-wing boards, weaved his way through two and maybe three defenders, got to the low slot, deked, and put it past Garon, who had sprawled in the wrong direction. He was deked, after all.
»» 8, VANCOUVER, Naslund 11 (Nolan Baumgartner, Mattias Ohlund) 11:18
»» KINGS 5, CANUCKS 3
Bertuzzi got Naslund with a nice pass from the left-wing boards. Naslund took the pass and wristed it from the low slot through the glove side on Garon.
»» 9, VANCOUVER, Naslund 12 (Bertuzzi, Brendan Morrison) 17:13
»» KINGS 5, CANUCKS 4
But they couldn't come all the way back. Shots were 14 apiece in the third period, and the Canucks were outshot 38-36 total. The Canucks finished 1-for-5 on the power play but surrendered a 3-for-7 night to the Kings. Cloutier stopped 27 of 32 shots, and Auld filled in and stopped all 11 shots he faced.
Three stars -- (1) Los Angeles' Alexander Frolov, (2) Los Angeles' Lubomir Visnovsky, (3) Naslund
D Sedin 1-0-1
H Sedin 0-1-1
Basically, you should play 60 minutes of good hockey. Thirty or forty might do it against teams like the Blackhawks or the Blue Jackets, but not what is now an offensive semi-juggernaut in the form of the Los Angeles Kings.
As I said earlier, Craig Conroy had his way in the faceoff circle for the Kings. The Canucks were 27-for-67 (40%) on faceoffs for the night. Brendan Morrison was 8-for-18, Trevor Linden was 6-for-15, Ryan Kesler was 4-for-8, and Henrik Sedin was 6-for-16.
Markus Naslund led the team with six shots. Daniel Sedin had five shots. Bryan Allen led the team in hits with five. Plus skaters (all plus-1) included Brendan Morrison, Markus Naslund, Daniel Sedin, Wade Brookbank, Henrik Sedin, Todd Bertuzzi, Ed Jovanovski, and Anson Carter. Minus skaters (all minus-1) were Lee Goren, Josh Green, and Jarkko Ruutu. All others were even.
The Canucks are 12-6-2, good for 26 points in the standings, but they remain deadlocked with the incredibly hot Calgary Flames for first place in the Northwest Division, though with a game in hand. Vancouver is now only one point ahead of third-place Edmonton. I'd have to say that what everyone's saying about the Northwest Division being the toughest in hockey would have to be true.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
[posted in full Fri ~2:59p]
Could the Canucks take some momentum from their home win against the Red Wings and take it onto the road with them? Could they end their four-game road losing streak? Could they take advantage of San Jose's not-so-stellar power play? How would they fare knowing that they had to play the next night in Los Angeles?
With Daniel Sedin in the box for hooking, the Canucks got a shorthanded 2-on-1 with Brendan Morrison and Richard Park. Park moved down the left side with the puck, faked a shot from mid-slot, then moved a few feet to his right and wristed the puck through.
»» 1, VANCOUVER, shorthanded, Richard Park 5 (Mattias Ohlund) 8:54
»» CANUCKS 1, SHARKS 0
Additionally, Wade Brookbank pounded on Scott Thornton in a scrap. The Canucks outshot the Sharks 8-7 in the period. They were 0-for-1 on the power play while San Jose was 0-for-2. In addition, the Canucks came away with the shorthanded goal.
Wade Brookbank was checked on a bad pinch (Todd Bertuzzi didn't leave him in a very good position) and had the puck taken away from him at the Sharks' blue line. Play quickly went the other way as the Sharks had a 2-on-1 with Marcel Goc carrying the puck and Milan Michalek skating along with the play. Goc kept the puck and wristed it from the right circle past Dan Cloutier stick side.
»» 2, SAN JOSE, Marcel Goc 5 (Josh Langfeld) 5:14
»» SHARKS 1, CANUCKS 1
Ryan Kesler was hit in the face with a puck, but returned to the game. Shots were seven apiece in the period. Once again, the Canucks were 0-for-1 and the Sharks were 0-for-2 on the power play.
Then the Canucks fired up the power play. Brendan Morrison flipped the puck from the right-wing corner in front of the goal, where Todd Bertuzzi and Ed Jovanovski were creating some havoc. Jovanovski was able to tip it through.
»» 3, VANCOUVER, powerplay, Ed Jovanovski 5 (Brendan Morrison, Markus Naslund) 10:15
»» CANUCKS 2, SHARKS 1
Daniel Sedin shot from the back of the right circle, and Evgeni Nabokov made the initial save, but Anson Carter was right there in front of Nabokov waiting for the rebound, and he tucked it into the net just as Kyle McLaren threw him down.
»» 4, VANCOUVER, powerplay, Anson Carter 5 (Daniel Sedin, Jovanovski) 13:53
»» CANUCKS 3, SHARKS 1
The Sharks outshot the Canucks 12-9 in the perod and were outshot 26-24 overall. The Canucks held the Sharks scoreless on four power plays, but more importantly were 2-for-3 on their own. Cloutier stopped 25 of 26.
Three stars -- (1) Ohlund, (2) Jovanovski, (3) San Jose's Marcel Goc
D Sedin 0-1-1
It was a good win. The Canucks took advantage of two power play chances in the third period and not only got a go-ahead goal, but got some insurance as well. Also, it seems wins are that much more important in the Northwest Division, which is turning out to be incredibly tough, though that was somewhat expected.
Vancouver was 27-for-60 (45%) in the faceoff circle. Brendan Morrison was 7-for-17, Trevor Linden was 8-for-13, Ryan Kesler was 7-for-14, and Henrik Sedin was 4-for-12 (ouch). Plus-skaters (all plus-1) included Bryan Allen and Richard Park. Minus skaters (all minus-1) included Markus Naslund, Wade Brookbank, and Todd Bertuzzi. Mattias Ohlund and Josh Green led the team with three shots apiece. Ohlund, and Sami Salo each delivered three hits apiece.
Part of the radio postgame show centered around the fact that Bertuzzi followed up his hat trick with a not-good game, and in this year in which more eyes are focused on attendance numbers and whether the NHL can bounce back, play-by-play man John Shorthouse noted that the Shark Tank was as dead as he'd seen it in years.
The Canucks are now 12-5-2, good for 26 points in the standings, keeping pace with Colorado and Calgary, who both won on this night. The Canucks are tied for first with and has two games in hand over Calgary (though Calgary has beaten Vancouver twice), and Vancouver is four points ahead of the Avalanche.
Last night in San Antonio, the Atlanta Hawks shot 41% and continued their winless ways in a 103-79 defeat at the hands of the defending champion Spurs. The sad thing is that the Hawks led by 13 after the first quarter and were tied at half before the roof fell in. They scored 27 points in the second half and surrendered 51. That'll do it.
Bremerton 2004 graduate Marvin Williams scored four points, missing his two attempts from the field and shooting 4-for-6 from the line. He also grabbed four rebounds (two offensive) and recorded an assist, blocked shot, and foul in 25 minutes off the bench.
The Hawks travel to Dallas for a Thursday night game.
Monday, November 14, 2005
Lofa Tatupu is a stud, folks.
2 GAMES VS. THE RAMS IN 2005
Oct. 9 at STL: 10 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception
Nov. 13 vs STL: 10 tackles, 1 sack
Right now, you can make a great case for Tatupu as the NFL's Defensive Rookie Of The Year. He has 62 tackles, 3 sacks, and an interception in 9 games this season. The Seahawks defense is vastly improved because of Tatupu's presence.
There's a reason why we trusted Seahawks president Tim Ruskell during the offseason.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Man, does this feel great. It feels great to root for a team that just takes care of business. They just seem like such a balanced team, a team that gets the plays when they need them, a team that just gets the job done.
If you go through the game thread, I'm pretty much reacting in knee-jerk fashion on every blown third down, every offensive running play that goes nowhere, every opposing play that goes for more than ten yards. Even still, the Seahawks just seem to get that one key run or that one key stop.
I haven't seen something like this out of the Seahawks team since, well, 1999. In 2003, they started out 5-1 and 6-2, but they were never 7-2. That 1999 team with Jon Kitna at the helm roared out of the gate at 8-2 despite a receiving corps that dropped a whole lot of passes. Lest we forget, that team ran into the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the next week, and they went 1-5 for the rest of the season, backed into the playoffs, and got beaten by Miami in Dan Marino's second-to-last career game (the Dolphins got squashed in Marino's last career game the next week at Jacksonville by a score of 62-7). Thanks to a friend's mom, I was able to attend the final Raiders/Seahawks game in the Kingdome that year. My goodness, was it loud in there.
I don't know what my point really is. There's room to improve, sure. This team definitely isn't perfect, and they definitely aren't fully healthy.
But there's something about this team. I can't put a finger on exactly what it is, and you can't really sum it up in one all-encompassing word that sounds all scholarly and stuff.
It just seems like they have it.
Cherish this, Seahawk fans. Have a great night and a great week.
[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.
Saint Louis RAMS at Seattle SEAHAWKS, 1:15p
Man, if the Seahawks could bury this team today, I would be absolutely elated. How great would it be? They'd virtually have the division sewn up. I just hope the Seahawks take care of business today. I know it's never that simple when it's against the Rams, but I just need the win.
Think about it. They'd be 7-2 with a three-game division lead. There's no question they can do it. I just hope they follow through.
...and it looks like the weather might be crappy at the Q for only the second time in history...