Saturday, October 07, 2006


Reuters photo -- Matt Sullivan

The schedulemakers were incredibly warm and kind to the Canucks, giving them nine of the first 11 games of the 2006-2007 season on the road. The stretch also freatures three back-to-back sets, and this was the tail end of a back-to-back to start the season. Coming off a great win on opening night in Detroit, the Canucks hoped to pull another one out in Columbus against the Blue Jackets. Columbus had the Sedins' great linemate from last year, Anson Carter. They also have the great Rick Nash. Of importance to hockey fans in Vancouver, the Blue Jackets have former Vancouver Giant Gilbert Brule, who helped captivate a hockey-starved city of Vancouver when the NHL sat out the 2004-2005 season. How would these new-look Canucks look on night two?

1st period
A Duvie Westcott blast from the right point was deflected over Roberto Luongo and into the net by Mark Hartigan. Alexandre Burrows was a bit tardy getting to Westcott on the play, who was wide open for the slapshot.
»» 1, COLUMBUS, powerplay, Mark Hartigan 1 (Duvie Westcott, Ron Hainsey) 1:46
Shots were ten apiece in the period. The Canucks were 0-for-1 on the power play and Columbus was 1-for-2.

2nd period
David Vyborny had the puck on the goal line to Luongo's left, and he centered the puck off of Willie Mitchell and into the net behind Luongo.
»» 2, COLUMBUS, powerplay, David Vyborny 1 (Hartigan, Rick Nash) 17:13
Vancouver badly outshot Columbus 16-6 in the period (26-16 overall). They again were 0-for-1 (0-for-2) on the power play while Columbus was 1-for-3 (2-for-5).

3rd period
Brendan Morrison passed from the right faceoff dot to Alexandre Burrows along the boards on the right side. Burrows then passed to Sami Salo at the right point, who flung a wrister toward the net that deflected off of Morrison in front and got past Pascale LeClaire.
»» 3, VANCOUVER, powerplay, Brendan Morrison 1 (Sami Salo, Alexandre Burrows) 11:48
Markus Naslund worked hard behind the net to wrestle the puck away from Ron Hainsey. Naslund moved out from behind the net to LeClaire's left, where he centered the puck on a backhanded pass and found Daniel Sedin camped out in front. Daniel put the puck through on LeClaire's wide-open stick side.
»» 4, VANCOUVER, Daniel Sedin 1 (Markus Naslund, Henrik Sedin) 17:49
Vancouver again badly outshot the Blue Jackets, this time by a 15-4 margin (41-20 overall). Vancouver was 1-for-2 on the power play while Columbus didn't have a power play in the period.

Off a faceoff, Daniel Sedin tipped the puck along the left-wing boards and along the end boards, where Henrik Sedin worked for the puck and went behind the net, then came out to try a wraparound attempt. The shot was stopped, but Daniel was right there to pound the rebound through on the stick side.
»» 5, VANCOUVER, D Sedin 2 (H Sedin) 0:31
Vancouver outshot Columbus 3-0 in the period (44-20 total). Neither team had a power play, so Vancouver finished 1-for-4 and Columbus was 2-for-5. Luongo stopped 18 shots for the game.

Three stars -- (1) D Sedin, (2) Columbus' Pascale Leclaire, (3) Columbus' Mark Hartigan

skater, goals-assists-points
D Sedin 2-0-2
H Sedin 0-2-2
Morrison 1-0-1
Burrows 0-1-1
Naslund 0-1-1
Salo 0-1-1

The Canucks didn't have it going in the first period. They did for most of the second period up until they started taking penalties in the final minutes of the second period. They worked and worked until they finally got one through on Pascale LeClaire, and that was the start of some good things.

In the faceoff circle, the Canucks won 28 of 61 draws (46%). Brendan Morrison won seven of 13, Ryan Kesler won five of 14, Tommi Santala won five of seven, Henrik Sedin won ten of 20, and Jan Bulis won one of four. Daniel Sedin and Matt Cooke led the Canucks with five shots apiece while Mattias Ohlund and Markus Naslund had four each. Ohlund, Cooke, Josh Green, and Santala delivered a pair of hits apiece. Willie Mitchell and Naslund blocked a pair of shots each.

No Canuck came away with a minus rating for the game. Plus-1 skaters were Ohlund, Lukas Krajicek, Sami Salo, Mitchell, and Naslund. Plus-2 skaters were Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin. All other Canuck skaters were even.

The Canucks play nine of their first 11 games on the road. Through two road games to start the season, the Canucks are 2-0. Next comes a date in Denver with the Avalanche on Sunday night.

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