Monday, October 24, 2005

Game Report: Canucks 6 - Avalanche 4

(This one is a day late, but here it is anyway)

The Vancouver Canucks defeated the Colorado Avalanche 6-4 in a game that failed to live up to the media hype. But that wasn't surprising to anyone paying attention. It had been over a year and a half since the two teams played each other and with so much turnover in Colorado there was no spark in this traditional rivalry. In fact this was probably one of the tamest contests between the two since they met in the playoffs.

For the most part, Colorado was the better team during 5-on-5 play, however Dan Cloutier kept the Canucks in the game. Unfortunately for the Avalanche they lost the special teams battle. Vancouver went 2 for 9 on the power-play, while Colorado was 0 for 5 before a late power-play goal in the third period.

Speaking of the third period, Vancouver learned a valuable lesson. Leading 5-1 with less than five minutes left, Vancouver stopped playing. They now know you cannot afford to do that as Colorado scored three straight goals to draw within one before Linden scored an empty net goal to finish off the game.

Canucks Report Card

The Forwards: C+

While the Canucks scored six goals, most of them were as a result of power-play opportunities. During 5-on-5 the Avalanche were usually the better team, as evidenced by the final shot totals 32-23. Brendan Morrison had a good game, scoring once and adding two assists. The Sedins were also good, contributing two goals, Henrik was also 8 for 11 in the faceoff circle. Matt Cooke led all players in hits with six. Overall it was a decent effort by the forward group, however they shut it down far too early in the third. They need to finish stronger than that.

The Defense: B-

The defense once again contributed on the scoreboard. Bryan Allen picked up his first goal of the season and Ed Jovanovski had a goal and an assist. On the defensive side of things, Dan Cloutier was forced to make too many good saves as Colorado forwards enjoyed several great scoring opportunities. Overall the defense was adequate, but they can be much better.

Goaltending: A

Quite simply Dan Cloutier was the difference in the game. Cloutier stopped 13 first period shots which included a couple great saves against Joe Sakic. Unfortunately for Cloutier his team hung him out to dry in the final minutes and Colorado added 3 goals to his goals against total.

Special Teams: A

The Canucks power play continues to roll as they scored two goals in nine opportunities. They also had a couple goals which came shortly after the penalized player returned to the ice. The penalty kill was also very good, the only blemish a late goal to Alex Tanguay.

Overall: B

Special teams and goaltending won them this one. They need to play better 5-on-5 and they cannot quit early, even with a 4 goal lead.

The Canuck Fan's Three Stars

  1. Dan Cloutier - Ya ya, he gave up 4 goals, but before his teammates decided to quit early Cloutier was the runaway first star of the game.
  2. Ed Jovanovski - Jovo had another two points in nearly 27 minutes of ice-time. Another strong effort from Jovo.
  3. Daniel Sedin - Daniel had two goals, including the game winner. He also generated several other scoring opportunities.

Next up: Vancouver in Minnesota, Tuesday (PPV).

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