Saturday, February 04, 2006
Oilers 3, Canucks 1
[posted in full 5 Jul]
The Vancouver Canucks had somehow righted the ship after starting a seven-game road trip 0-3, then winning the next three. The sixth game of the road trip was arguably the Canucks' biggest win of the season, coming against division-leading Calgary. But this was the final game of the road trip, and it was the night right after the Calgary win. Vancouver came in winless in four tries against Edmonton this season. Could that streak be snapped?
Chris Pronger unleashed a one-timer from the right point that was deflected through Alex Auld by Ryan Smyth out in front.
»» 1, EDMONTON, powerplay, Ryan Smyth 23 (Chris Pronger, Marc-Andre Bergeron) 11:21
»» OILERS 1, CANUCKS 0
The Canucks were outshot 13-7 in the period and were 0-for-1 on the power play while the Oilers were 1-for-3.
Just under five minutes into the period, Auld stopped a Pronger slapshot from the blue line that was tipped out in front. With 10:35 to go, Daniel Sedin and Anson Carter got loose on a 2-on-1 and Carter got past the only man back, who was Igor Ulanov, after which Carter put a shot to the goal that was gloved by Mike Morrison. Later in the period, Jarret Stoll camped out on the left wing and sort of wristed a puck to the net that should have never gotten through, but the sharp-angle shot got through the legs of Auld.
»» 2, EDMONTON, Jarret Stoll 15 (Ales Hemsky, Jaroslav Spacek) 13:03
»» OILERS 2, CANUCKS 0
Against the run of play, Henrik Sedin from the back of the right circle nicely fed Daniel Sedin down low, who deflected the puck off his tape and through. At this point, the D Sedin/H Sedin/Carter line had outscored the Naslund/Morrison/Bertuzzi line by 20 points since the first of December. Henrik's 200th career point occurred on the play as well as the first NHL point for Tomas Mojzis.
»» 3, VANCOUVER, Daniel Sedin 14 (Henrik Sedin, Tomas Mojzis) 16:52
»» OILERS 2, CANUCKS 1
The Canucks were again outshot, this time by a 13-9 margin (26-16 total). Vancouver was 0-for-1 on the power play (0-for-2 total) while Edmonton was 1-for-2 (2-for-4).
Auld stopped a small flurry of shots on an Edmonton power play just under four minutes in as one was a Pronger shot and another close one after the rebound. Later, Raffi Torres iced the game from the high slot by shooting through a screen of Todd Harvey and Kevin Bieksa in front of Auld, who wasn't too enthused and argued he was interfered with.
»» 4, EDMONTON, powerplay, Raffi Torres 18 (Shawn Horcoff, Spacek) 8:17
»» OILERS 3, CANUCKS 1
Auld proved worthy one last time by making a nice post-to-post stop on a Stoll blast from the left faceoff dot. Vancouver was badly outshot 14-1 (40-17 total) and was 0-for-2 (0-for-4) on the power play. Edmonton was 1-for-4 (2-for-9). Auld stopped 37 shots.
Three stars -- (1) Edmonton's Jarret Stoll, (2) Edmonton's Chris Pronger, (3) Auld
D Sedin 1-0-1
H Sedin 0-1-1
The Canucks couldn't get enough pucks to the net, but worse yet, they couldn't get enough pucks to the net on Mike Morrison. Not Ty Conklin, not Jussi Markkanen. Mike Morrison.
In the faceoff circle, the Canucks were terrible, losing on 42 of 58 tries. Brendan Morrison was a brutal 4-for-18 (22%), Trevor Linden was 0-for-4, Ryan Kesler was 4-for-15 (26%), Henrik Sedin was 4-for-11 (36%), Josh Green was 3-for-7 (42%), and Todd Bertuzzi was 1-for-3. Daniel Sedin led the team in shots with four, Bertuzzi had three, and Anson Carter had two. Other Canucks had scattered singles when it came to shots. Kesler, Kevin Bieksa, Steve McCarthy, and Bertuzzi all dished out a pair of hits apiece. In the same game where he registered his first NHL point, Tomas Mojzis notched three takeaways. On the bad side of the ledger, Henrik Sedin gave away the puck three times, and Markus Naslund gave it away twice. Mattias Ohlund blocked four shots.
Plus-skating Canucks included Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Mojzis, and Carter. Minus-skating Canucks included Ohlund, Kesler, Bieksa, and Jarkko Ruutu. All other Canuck skaters were even.
The loss left the Canucks at 31-19-5 (2-3 shootout, two overtime losses). It's the kind of loss that the Canucks will be kicking themselves about if they get crappy playoff positioning or something. Five losses in five tries against Edmonton? That's just horrendous.
Friday, February 03, 2006
Canucks 3, Flames 1
[posted in full 4 Jun ~3:19a]
The Canucks had bounced back from an 0-3 start to their season-long seven-game road trip by winning the next two games. A win in Calgary against the tough Flames could make the Canucks a .500 team on what started as a brutal road trip, and could even give the Canucks a chance at an over-.500 road trip, nearly unfathomable after the way it started. They'd still have to beat Calgary, though.
About three and a half minutes into the game, Anson Carter made a cross-ice pass from the left-wing boards to Kevin Bieksa, who got the pass at the right faceoff dot and fired to the net, but Miikka Kiprusoff got across to his glove side quickly enough to stop what could have been Bieksa's first NHL goal. Inside the final minute, Dion Phaneuf passed from the goal line at Alex Auld's left side out to Kristian Huselius at the back of the left circle. Huselius one-timed it to the net, where Auld stopped it, but Jarome Iginla was right there at Auld's stick side to jab the rebound through.
»» 1, CALGARY, powerplay, Jarome Iginla 25 (Kristian Huselius, Dion Phaneuf) 19:51
»» FLAMES 1, CANUCKS 0
Vancouver was outshot 9-5 in the period and was 0-for-1 on the power play while Calgary was 1-for-2.
Just inside three minutes elapsed, Alexandre Burrows was unsuccessful on a penalty shot. With three and a half minutes gone in the period, Ryan Kesler chased a dump-in in the Calgary zone and was driven into the boards by Andrew Ference. About eight minutes into the period, Mike LeClerc skated laterally in front of Auld and tried to wait him out, but Auld stayed with it and made the stop, lying prone on the ice as a result. On a power play with just under 4:30 left in the period, the Canucks slowly made their way across the blueline. Daniel Sedin took the puck across and had it poked away, but Calgary's defenders couldn't clear it away. Carter spotted the loose puck and skated down the slot, then wristed it past Kiprusoff.
»» 2, VANCOUVER, powerplay, Anson Carter 20 (Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin) 15:36
»» FLAMES 1, CANUCKS 1
Inside the final minute, Daniel Sedin took the puck into the Calgary zone and stayed back, preparing to go off for a change. He passed to Ryan Kesler mid-slot, who used a screen of Jarkko Ruutu and Robyn Regehr to wrist the puck past Kiprusoff.
»» 3, VANCOUVER, Ryan Kesler 6 (D Sedin, Sami Salo) 19:14
»» CANUCKS 2, FLAMES 1
Vancouver was again outshot, this time by a 10-9 margin in the period (19-14 overall). The Canucks were 1-for-3 on the power play (1-for-4) while Calgary was 0-for-2 (1-for-4).
In the first minute, LeClerc got behind the Canuck defense on a bad change and rifled a slapshot from the left hash which was gloved and kept by Auld. Later, Anson Carter rushed across the blueline into the high slot and dished off to Daniel Sedin near the left dot, who passed to Henrik Sedin at the back of the left circle. Henrik one-timed the soft pass over Kiprusoff's right shoulder.
»» 4, VANCOUVER, H Sedin 14 (D Sedin, Carter) 12:22
»» CANUCKS 3, FLAMES 1
Vancouver was outshot 10-8 this time (29-22 total) and was 0-for-2 (1-for-6) on the power play while Calgary was 0-for-1 (1-for-5). Auld stopped 28 shots.
Three stars -- (1) Kesler, (2) D Sedin, (3) Calgary's Matthew Lombardi
D Sedin 0-3-3
H Sedin 1-1-2
The biggest win of the year, and they needed it badly. Not really a statement game, since they didn't come in with room over Calgary and they aren't on a tear, but more like a small reminder that there's something left. Whether it will be enough is anyone's guess.
In the faceoff circle, Brendan Morrison was 7-for-12, Trevor Linden was 5-for-11, Ryan Kesler was 5-for-13, Henrik Sedin was 2-for-9 (ouch!), and Josh Green was 3-for-8. Kesler, Henrik Sedin, and Anson Carter led the team with three shots apiece. Bryan Allen dished out four hits and Tyler Bouck inflicted three. Morrison and Kesler had two takeaways. Mattias Ohlund blocked six shots.
Plus-skating Canucks included Kesler, Henrik Sedin, and Jarkko Ruutu at plus-1 and Allen, Sami Salo, and Daniel Sedin at plus-2. All other Canuck skaters were even.
The Canucks find themselves atop the Northwest Division thanks to their biggest win of the year. It was Ryan Kesler's best game of the season as well as coach Marc Crawford's 400th career win as a head coach. Crawford became the 17th head coach in NHL history to get to 400 wins. It was also a very good night for the consistent D Sedin/H Sedin/Carter line. Vancouver's 31-18-5 record (2-3 shootout, two overtime losses) is good for 67 points, and though Calgary has the same number of points, Vancouver has one more win, putting them in first place (whatever tiebreaker head-to-head is, it's definitely not first). It's the first time Vancouver has been in first place since December 3rd. The Canucks lead by three points over the third-place Colorado Avalanche and lead by four over the fourth-place Edmonton Oilers. Detroit leads the conference with a one-point cushion on Dallas and an eight-point lead on Vancouver (five on Nashville, who is second in the Central Division).
Need I say more?
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Canucks 7, Coyotes 4
[posted in full 3 Jun ~5:36p]
The NHL was two weeks from the Olympic break, and the Canucks were 8-6 in January coming into this game. Of course, they also hoped to stay close with the division-leading Calgary Flames. Still, this team wasn't living up to expectations or even its success earlier in the season.
Anson Carter came from center and turned on the jets down the left wing and went to the net, where his shot was stopped by Curtis Joseph. Henrik Sedin shot the rebound off the post, then Daniel Sedin cashed in.
»» 1, VANCOUVER, Daniel Sedin 13 (Henrik Sedin, Anson Carter) 12:29
»» CANUCKS 1, COYOTES 0
Josh Green put a hard shot on the net from just past the hash marks on the left side, and the shot beat Joseph over the right shoulder. Joseph should have had that one.
»» 2, VANCOUVER, Josh Green 3 (Trevor Linden, Ryan Kesler) 13:06
»» CANUCKS 2, COYOTES 0
Shane Doan leveled a hit in the corner on Alexandre Burrows during a battle for the puck. He came out with it near the blueline and shot to the net, where Alex Auld stopped it, but Dave Scatchard came up with the rebound and put it through.
»» 3, PHOENIX, Dave Scatchard 10 (Mike LeClerc, Shane Doan) 19:21
»» CANUCKS 2, COYOTES 1
Just after the goal, Auld was tested on a deflection in front on a Paul Mara shot from the left point. The Canucks outshot the Coyotes 13-12 in the period. They were 0-for-2 on the power play while Phoenix was 0-for-1.
A dogpile sequence saw Steve McCarthy and Tyson Nash get into it, and they went off for roughing, but Sami Salo went off for a trip as well. Later, an ill-advised Todd Bertuzzi penalty took the Canucks off a power play, surely not the first time he's done that. Off a draw in the Phoenix zone, Henrik Sedin took the faceoff and put it toward brother Daniel going to the net, and the puck went in. Originally ruled a Henrik-to-Daniel goal, it was later changed to an unassisted goal for Henrik, with the puck going off Coyote skater Denis Gauthier in front.
»» 4, VANCOUVER, H Sedin 13 (unassisted) 5:57
»» CANUCKS 3, COYOTES 1
Tyler Bouck, in his first game back after recovering from a torn groin, got loose on a breakaway and deked to the forehand to beat Joseph. His momentum carried him into the net, where he ate a crossbar sandwich before knocking the goal off its pegs.
»» 5, VANCOUVER, Tyler Bouck 1 (Linden, Kevin Bieksa) 8:02
»» CANUCKS 4, COYOTES 1
Bertuzzi was nailed once again for holding the stick, and Mattias Ohlund chipped the puck over the glass just six seconds later, giving the Coyotes 1:54 worth of two-man advantage time. They took advantage, taking control off a draw as Shane Doan passed toward the slot, but it deflected off the stick of Bryan Allen and past Alex Auld to bring Phoenix within two.
»» 6, PHOENIX, powerplay, Doan 17 (LeClerc, Mike Johnson) 14:24
»» CANUCKS 4, COYOTES 2
Not long after, Mike LeClerc hit the post cleaning up after a rebound. Salo had a clearing attempt hit a Phoenix skate. Auld stopped a shot with his left pad, but Mike Comrie, who had won the faceoff, pounded it through.
»» 7, PHOENIX, Mike Comrie 18 (Boyd Devereaux, Dennis Seidenberg) 16:23
»» CANUCKS 4, COYOTES 3
Ohlund moved in from the left point and let one fly, beating Joseph top corner glove side through a possible Daniel Sedin screen.
»» 8, VANCOUVER, powerplay, Mattias Ohlund 8 (Nolan Baumgartner, H Sedin) 18:29
»» CANUCKS 5, COYOTES 3
The Canucks were badly outshot 23-6 in the period (35-19 overall). They were 1-for-4 on the power play (1-for-6) while Phoenix was 1-for-6 (1-for-7).
Joseph was pulled and Brian Boucher was put into the Phoenix net to start the period. Naslund took a pass to the stick side of Boucher and looked like he just walked it right on through him.
»» 9, VANCOUVER, Markus Naslund 24 (Jarkko Ruutu, Kesler) 4:52
»» CANUCKS 6, COYOTES 3
Mike Ricci took a centering pass from Boyd Devereaux and put it through Auld, top corner stick side.
»» 10, PHOENIX, powerplay, Mike Ricci 6 (Devereaux, Sean O'Donnell) 9:42
»» CANUCKS 6, COYOTES 4
Bertuzzi put the game away, putting the puck into an empty net from the right-wing boards with the goalie pulled.
»» 11, VANCOUVER, emptynet, Todd Bertuzzi 18 (D Sedin, H Sedin) 18:33
»» CANUCKS 7, COYOTES 4
Vancouver was outshot 11-7 in the period (46-26 total) and was 0-for-1 on the power play (1-for-7). Phoenix was 1-for-2 on the power play in the period (2-for-9). Alex Auld stopped a mind-numbing 42 shots.
Three stars -- (1) Auld, (2) H Sedin, (3) Phoenix's Mike LeClerc
H Sedin 1-3-4
D Sedin 1-1-2
The Canucks once again failed to play sixty good minutes of hockey, but their scoring prowess made up for it. Phoenix scored the two quick goals toward the latter end of the second period, but the Mattias Ohlund goal with 1:31 left helped bail them out a bit.
In the faceoff circle, Brendan Morrison was 11-for-18, Trevor Linden was 6-for-8, Ryan Kesler was 11-for-23, Henrik Sedin was 7-for-18, Josh Green was 3-for-9, and Todd Bertuzzi was 1-for-4. Bertuzzi led the team in shots with five, and Markus Naslund had four. Bryan Allen and Kevin Bieksa dished out a pair of hits apiece. Sami Salo and Green managed a pair of takeaways each. Nolan Baumgartner blocked three shots.
Plus-skating Canucks included Ohlund, Baumgartner, Allen, Salo, Linden, Tyler Bouck, Jarkko Ruutu, and Anson Carter at plus-1, Green and Bertuzzi at plus-2, and Daniel Sedin, Bieksa, and Henrik Sedin at plus-3. Morrison and Burrows were the only minus-skating Canucks, each at minus-1. All others (Naslund, Kesler, Steve McCarthy) were even.
The win puts Vancouver at 30-18-5 (2-3 shootout, two overtime losses), good for 65 points and second place in the Northwest Division. They are one point behind the division-leading Calgary Flames, who have a game in hand. The Colorado Avalanche lurk two points behind, and the Edmonton Oilers are three back. Vancouver is eight back of the West-leading Detroit Red Wings and seven back of the Dallas Stars, who are second in the conference.
Monday, January 30, 2006
I'll have two Seahawks-themed columns in Thursday's paper as well. I'll link them when they are published online, which is usually sometime in the afternoon.
David and I didn't get credentials this week for Super Bowl XL. Then again, we didn't try to. But if I did have a credential, I would hit the Media Day spectacle. Let's be honest, it has become a spectacle. You have your usual NFL reporters and then you have some hack from Nick Games And Sports asking a question. It's ridiculous.
Well, here are the questions that you should NOT ask any of the Seahawks players at this year's Super Bowl Media Day:
Matt Hasselbeck: "If your team wins the opening coin toss Sunday, do you want the ball and do you want to score?"
Shaun Alexander: "If you were stabbed in the back, then do you think you're the Paul Pierce of your sport?"
Mack Strong: "Are you really as strong as a mack truck?"
Walter Jones: "Say, how's Cheney? Dressler Hall is quite comfortable, eh?"
Steve Hutchinson: "Dot the I for me, Steve. You can do it."
Robbie Tobeck: "Explain to me how Chad Eaton has all of a sudden turned into Sting, circa 1985?"
Chris Gray: "Auburn couldn't have defeated USC in 2004. No way, no how."
Sean Locklear: "How does it feel to know that you're not the most famous Locklear out there?"
Joe Jurevicius: "Is Jim Fassel a true riverboat gambler?"
Darrell Jackson: "How's Koren doing?"
Bobby Engram: "Where's the Sprinkler? Detroit could use the precipitation."
Jerramy Stevens: "Do you think critics still consider you a bust?"
Grant Wistrom: "You dressed up as Mr. T at one time. Who do you think you are, C. Thomas Howell?"
Rocky Bernard: "The 12th Man at Texas A&M or in Seattle? Which one is better?"
Lofa Tatupu: "You're too short, you're too slow. You can't play in this league. Why, you're a reach!"
Marcus Trufant: "Wilson High, Washington State, Seahawks. Who's next? The West Sound Orcas, I mean Saints?"
Ken Hamlin: "Houston Nutt: Is he an SEC-caliber coach?"
Michael Boulware: "What's Peter up to?"
Jordan Babineaux: "You were a Southern Arkansas Mulerider. A mulerider! You mean to tell me that you couldn't have been an Arkansas State Indian?"
Andre Dyson: "On Sunday, you could be the one that denies a Steeler from reaching the end zone. So, in that sense, unlike your brother Kevin, who was one yard short, the Steeler player would be one yard short...because of you. Irony is fun, isn't it?"
Josh Brown: "Have you worked on your helmet tossing lately?"
Tom Rouen: "Ten years ago, your wife Amy won Olympic Gold. Ten years later, you may win your third Super Bowl ring. Would this win make you King Of The Silver Mountain?"
J.P. Darche: "Jerome Bettis is from Detroit. What people don't know is that you're from Canada. Tell me, how's Windsor? It's gotta be better than Detroit, right?"
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
Remember, these are questions NOT to ask on Super Bowl Media Day.
We've heard about Jerome Bettis for the last week or so now. Now Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick wants to honor Bettis by making this week "Jerome Bettis Week".
Hey, the state of Michigan should counter by making this week "Steve Hutchinson Week". At least Hutchinson played his college ball in-state. Bettis didn't.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
Usually I'm accustomed to doing lost posts here at Sports and B's, but unfortunately I've been busy lately and/or drained when I get back from work.
That doesn't mean I've lost the will to say at least something about the game that's coming in a mere seven days that actually involves one of our teams.
It's more than fun to walk around Redskin country wearing Seahawk garb, it really is.
My only fear is that even if the Seahawks win, it's going to be a loooooooooong year until next September.
The Sonics will have to really go nuts to get anywhere in the playoffs (I won't say the possibility of making the playoffs is kaput -- their division is horrid). I can't convince myself the Mariners will get into contention next season. I just can't. I'm hoping for some meaningful baseball in September though. The Canucks aren't from Seattle, though I'd really like it if they went crazy and won a Cup or something. They've got kinks to work out though.
So that leaves the Seahawks, who will be a different team after next Sunday (you can't keep all the players) and might be a radically different team depending on what certain MVPs decide to do.
To all the fans out there, soak this one up. Enjoy this next week and enjoy the game. We hope the Seahawks go to more Super Bowls in the future, sure, but there's only one first time. Make it a good one.