Thursday, November 17, 2005

Game Report: Vancouver 3 - San Jose 1

The Vancouver Canucks defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-1 last night, in what was one of the more boring games of the season. And of course I payed $11 to see it.

The first period was very tight, but Richard Park managed to put the Canucks on the board with a nice shorthanded goal. The Sharks were the better team in the second and managed to tie the game after a poor play by Wade Brookbank and Todd Bertuzzi at the Shark blueline. But in the third, Vancouver was the better team and managed to draw some penalties from the usually disciplined Shark squad. The Canucks capitalized on the opportunities and that was the difference in the game.

Game Notes

  • The Canuck defense was very good, especially Mattias Ohlund, Sami Salo and Bryan Allen. They were punishing Shark forwards at every opportunity.
  • Vancouver's third and fourth lines really set the tone in the third with back-to-back strong forechecking shifts early in the period. Forechecking from the bottom two lines has been something that has been missing from the Canucks for most of the season.
  • One line that has consistently forechecked well is of course the Sedin line. They were at it again last night, controlling the play in the San Jose zone. Even when they are not scoring they are still controlling possesion, something that shouldn't be overlooked.
  • You could tell right away that Bertuzzi was not going to be a factor. His fancy drop passes and little deflection passes are usually a sign that he's going to take the night off. The attempted third period pass through several players was something he simply cannot do. There's no reason to attempt that pass, especially when you are protecting the lead in the third period. Bertuzzi needs to take that puck deep into the offensive zone instead of turning it over in the neutral zone. Boneheaded play.
  • Dan Cloutier had another very solid game. Sure he had some luck, but he was still very good when he had to be.
  • Nolan Baumgartner has really picked up his game this month and Crawford has taken notice. Baumgartner played nearly 18 minutes and even saw a little PK time. Obviously some of the ice-time has to do with Brookbank being in the lineup, but Baumgartner has earned the extra minutes.
  • Josh Green needs to stay up with the club. Despite his travel fiasco, he was once again one of the better Canuck forwards.
  • Special teams were the difference in this one, and as I mentioned yesterday, the Sharks would have to win that battle if they hoped to win the game. They didn't.

The Canucks are in LA tonight to face the Kings (7:30 SNET). I'll see if I can get a preview up later...

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