After 4 days off the Canucks returned to action and dismantled a sad looking Flames squad 7-2. Despite a pretty sloppy effort overall - culminating in a brutal 5:00 min power play to end the second - Vancouver exploded in the third with 4 goals, much to the delight of the Canuck fans on hand at the Saddledome. The Canucks were simply too fast for Calgary and by the end of the third even Miika Kiprusoff had given up on his team. Game notes...
- While the final score and most of the stats were impressive, the Canucks didn't really play that great of a game. There were way too many turnovers, especially in the first, and the Canucks were failing to clear their zone far too often.
- Jeff Tambellini had another great game. He now has 2 goals, 2 assists and 9 shots on goal in three games since being re-called from Manitoba. If he keeps playing like this he won't be going back.
- Mason Raymond had a break out night with his second career hat trick. That's the Raymond we saw last year, he was flying and getting quality shots on goal. That short handed goal was impressive.
- The second power play unit was terrible. I'm not even sure they managed to setup in the offensive zone at all. They got on the board late in the third after the Flames had given up, but when the game was still on the line they did not get it done. The number one unit is still producing at a league leading rate, but at some point Kesler might need to move to the 2nd unit.
- Kevin Bieksa showed why he frustrates fans so much. There were two instances last night where Bieksa moved the puck up the boards directly to the opposition. Terrible decision making and way to casual. Kevin was credited with 3 giveaways on the night.
- After a good night against San Jose the 4th line returned to form. With Bolduc heading down for a conditioning stint with the Moose (who play Friday and Saturday) Joel Perrault's days are numbered. He's got Friday and and Sunday to show he is capable of helping this team. A -1 and 2 for 7 in the faceoff circle VS Calgary did not help his cause.
- Roberto Luongo was not busy, but still managed to look shaky. Luongo gave up a patented Beached Whale Goal to Alex Tanguay, but didn't have to do much after that.
- Keith Ballard looks to be getting a little more comfortable as a Canuck which isn't easy when you are paired with Andrew Alberts. Look for Ballard to start carrying the puck up ice more often.
Finally for those fortunate to be going to next Saturday's game against Tampa Bay, the start time has been moved back to 7:30 and the doors will be open at 5:00. The Canucks are recommending that fans should be in their seats by 6:00pm. I guess they're going to raise Naslund's number really slowly.