Friday, October 28, 2005

Game Report: Colorado 6 - Vancouver 2

For the second time this season the Vancouver Canucks failed to show up in the first game of back-to-backs in the same city. Last time, in Minnesota they we're creamed 6-0, this time in Colorado the result wasn't much different.

Vancouver came out of the gate flat and lifeless. Early penalty troubles and extremely poor defensive coverage compounded problems. The Canucks best players were their worst: Morrison -3, Naslund -3, Bertuzzi -2, Jovanovski -2, Ohlund -2. Considering the attention on this game it's hard to understand how the Canucks could be so lifeless.

The first two periods were terrible, but the Canucks showed some character by coming out strong in the third period, out-shooting Colorado 23-0. It would have been easy for them to phone in the third period, but guys like Ryan Kesler stepped it up and helped gain some momentum heading into Saturday night's rematch.

Canucks Report Card

The Forwards: C-

It was a poor effort all-around and the forward group set the tone for mediocrity. Todd Bertuzzi returned to floating form, Morrison was terrible, Naslund not much better. Once again faceoffs were a problem, Linden was 5 for 10, Sedin 5 for 15 and Morrison, who is having a terrible year in the faceoff circle, was 7 for 16. The only bright spot was Ryan Kesler 8/11.

There were a couple positives on the night, mostly limited to the Sedin twins and Ryan Kesler's strong third period.

Overall a pretty crappy effort by the forward group.

The Defense: D

As bad as the forwards were the defense was even worse. With Bryan Allen out of the lineup others had to step up... they didn't. Nolan Baumgartner was brutal in the first period, his play directly contributing to two Colorado goals. Steve McCarthy took two minor penalties. Ed Jovanovski and Mattias Ohlund were both -2.

The down low coverage was non-existent as Colorado pretty much toyed with the Canucks in the offensive zone. It was a poor night on the blueline.

Wade Brookbank actually got some ice-time and was one of the few Canucks to show that they cared about the game. Although he took a couple penalties someone needed to do something to spark the team. Of course Colorado was well aware of this and they did their best to prevent Brookbank from lighting a spark. Brad May's been around a long time in that role to know that there was no reason to give the Canucks any life. The officials didn't help the Canucks cause, as any sort of physical play resulted in a penalty. Clearly they did not wan't things to "get out of hand."

The Goaltending: D

While the goaltenders didn't get any help, they didn't step up to bail out their teammates.

Dan Cloutier looked very sharp early in the first, but poor coverage resulted in a few Colorado goals. As good as Turgeon's shot was you can't allow goals from there. Cloutier started strong, but failed to keep his team in the game.

Alex Auld was not much better. The goal he allowed against Turgeon was brutal.

Neither goalie got any help, but the one positive from this game is that neither goalie was good enough and at least the Cloutier bashers can't whine and say that Auld would have done a better job.

Special Teams: F

The numbers speak for themselves: Vancouver PP 0/8. Colorado PP 3/8.

Overall: D

It was a terrible game by the entire team. The effort was non-existent and the defensive coverage was terrible. The only positive was that they showed up for the third period and I didn't have to miss watching Alias.

The Canuck Fan's Three Stars

Since there were no Canuck stars I'll just go with the announced stars: 1) Ian Laperriere 2) David Aebischer 3) Pierre Turgeon.

Next up: Colorado Saturday 7:00 CBC

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