Gutsy Effort As Crippled Canucks Contain Colorado

Luongo SaveHosea’s Take on the Game:

On Thursday, Vancouver hit rock bottom. Two days later, they begin their uphill climb.

The Canucks were defeated 3-0 by Nashville two days ago and worst of all, they lost two top defencemen to long injuries in Kevin Bieksa and Sami Salo. Fans were losing hope and heads were about to roll.

But Saturday night, the same team rebounded in a big way.

They out-grinded, out-played, and held on to a 4-3 victory to give the Avalanche their first home loss of the season. This win, on paper, showcased with a Vancouver backend that looked about as weak as Saku Koivu’s ability to speak french.

But oh how they stepped up.

The Canucks still had Ohlund and Mitchell playing the big minutes, but the real stars on the defensive corp was Alex Edler and Mike Weaver. Edler shone all night long and was rewarded for it with big minutes in big situations. He got ice time defending against Joe Sakic, and the 21-year-old looked tremendously confident in both ends of the ice.

Alex EdlerAs for Weaver, big plays made this free agent addition stand out tonight. He was a big part of Vancouver’s penalty kill as he made crucial stick plays and checks throughout the match. The biggest highlight of his night came in the last few minutes when he produced a goaltender-like glove save to prevent a sure snipe from Colorado and to preserve the win for the Canucks.

Another defencemen of note was Luc Bourdon. Although he didn’t make a major difference, he also didn’t look out of place. This can only be good news for the coaches.

Vancouver’s stars stole the show. The Sedins returned to their scoring ways as Daniel tallied two goals and an assist while Henrik had three helpers. Luongo played with intensity all game long as he made aggressive saves and challenged Avs forwards, making scoring that much harder for the home team.

The lineup was solid for the majority of the game. Everyone contributed one way or another, on and off the score sheet. I hate to use a cliche but this was definitely a “team victory”.

This squad needs to stick together and win through hard work. More hits need to be dished out as there was a noticeable lack of bodychecks tonight from Vancouver. But whatever the case, this ‘W’ is a good foundation in terms of starting up a winning streak.

The Canucks are 4-0 this season against division teams, which is good news as the next seven games are against the Northwest.

Depleted but not down. Maybe that should be Vancouver’s slogan heading into the next few weeks.

Cam’s Take on the Game:

The Vancouver Canucks delivered their gutsiest win of the season on Saturday night against the Colorado Avalanche.

The Canucks defeated the Avalanche 4-3 and put an end to Colorado’s six game winning streak on home ice and looked good doing it.

After the Canucks were embarrassed by the Nashville Predators, who were 0-5 on the road and had been outscored in that stretch 21-3, the only direction Alain Vigneault’s team could go was up. This win against Colorado on Hockey Night in Canada is a good start if the Canucks want to get back to the playoffs.

What was most promising about this win, other than the win itself, was the courage every member of this team displayed tonight.

SedinDaniel and Henrik Sedin had their best game in a while, as Daniel scored twice – including the game winner on a five-on-three advantage in the third period – and added one assist while brother Henrik added three assists. The twins was successful tonight because they kept it simple. In the last few games, the Sedins have been guilty of trying to be too fancy instead of working the cycle and creating open ice and scoring chances.

Markus Naslund had a better game, adding two assists to a winning cause, while Ryan Kesler continued to be the Canucks best player, as he was out on the ice for key faceoffs, penalty kills, power plays, competing hard every time he was on the ice.

Roberto Luongo looked back to form, as he faced a relentless Colorado attack and made some incredible saves on the explosive Avalanche offence in the third period.

Courage was what won the Canucks this game. They hit rock bottom on Thursday night against Nashville and two of the teams top defensemen were injured in that game, adding injury to insult. Kevin Bieksa was injured when a Nashville skate dug into the back of his leg and cut open his calf muscle, while Sami Salo – who had just returned from injury – took a Alex Edler shoot-in off the nose.

Bieksa is out a minimum of six-to-eight weeks, while Salo is out indefinitely with a broken nose.

In the face of true adversity, the Canucks have to rally around each other and not worry about what has happened in this young season. Fourteen games into the season, the Canucks are 6-8-0 and haven’t played nearly as well as they’re capable of. But they have to come together as a team and play with passion and courage, something they did tonight, and the win was a step in the right direction to getting back into the Northwest Division standings.

It’s too early in the season for anyone on that team to be feeling sorry for themselves. They got pride and tonight they displayed how good a team they are when they play hockey the way it is meant to be played.

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6 Responses

  1. 😀

    Still not out of the gutter. But doesn’t hurt to have the win!

  2. Exactly. Still a long way to go, but it doesn’t matter what kind of a win it is either. Two points is two points either way, and if they can string together some good efforts and get some ugly wins, then they should climb back. Consistency is the key though.

  3. I’m hoping this division winning streak continues, because like I said in the article, it’s seven straight against the NW. And it seems like the boys always show up to play against division rivals. Plus these points will probably mean the most, even though its early in the season.

    Does 4-points games sound familiar? Haha.

    Hosea C

  4. […] night over the Colorado Avalanche was likely the high point of this week. While the Sports Corner is quite optimistic about the team’s future, I’ll add my apparently chronic negative note. It is entirely […]

  5. […] night over the Colorado Avalanche was likely the high point of this week. While the Sports Corner is quite optimistic about the team’s future, I’ll add my apparently chronic negative note. It is entirely […]

  6. very interesting, but I don’t agree with you
    Idetrorce

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