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  1. CANUCKS 0 @ BLUE JACKETS 0 PREGAME Nationwide Arena is the place to be tonight as the Vancouver Canucks are in Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets. It hasn't been roses for either team as of late, both have lost three of their last four games. Someone's slump has to end tonight and should Vancouver bring their A-game to Columbus, they'll certainly come out on top. That is much, much easier said than done, especially with Pavol Demitra, Sami Salo, Darcy Hordichuk and Rick Rypien all out of Vancouver's line-up. Kyle Wellwood and Jason Krog will both dress to fill those voids, Wellwood is rumored to be skating with Mason Raymond and Taylor Pyatt on the second line, while Krog should be on the fourth line. The Blue Jackets are also hurting, starting netminder Pascal Leclaire sat out last game with a right hand injury and his status for tonight is unknown and former Canuck Michael Peca is serving the last game of his five-game suspension so he won't factor into the game. The key to Vancouver winning tonight, yes there's only one in my mind, is the play of Vancouver's top line. Daniel and Henrik Sedin and Steve Bernier haven't played the last few games with the fire they started the season with and the twins ate up Columbus last season to the tune of six combined points in four games. If they score, the Canucks will win, they struggle again and Vancouver could fall below .500 for the first time this season. That would put the Canucks on a three-game losing streak, they haven't suffered one of those in the month of October since 2001-02. Hopefully they can keep that streak alive. Sit tight, it's Vancouver vs. Columbus and it's next!
  2. CANUCKS 2 @ BLACKHAWKS 4 PREGAME The end is near for the Vancouver Canucks. Sunday's game against the Chicago Blackhawks (1-2-2) is Vancouver's (3-2-0) second last on their six-game road trip and in order to get back into the swing of things away from GM Place, they'll need a good effort against the Hawks. After starting the season with back-to-back wins against Calgary, Vancouver has lost two of three, most recently to the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night. The good news for the Canucks is that it's easy to figure why they haven't found success on the road of late, their special teams play has been far from brilliant. That could all change today with the expected return of defenceman Kevin Bieksa, who would bolster both the power play and penalty kill. Bieksa hasn't played since Oct 11 against the Flames, in that contest he injured his knee but after an MRI came back negative, the rugged D-man was cleared to play and Vigneault said he should be back for the Canucks tonight. Shutting down Chicago's young guns is obviously the key to taking down the Blackhawks, Patrick Kane has been hot to start the season and Jonathan Toews is never far behind. Roberto Luongo, who is expected to be back in net for Vancouver, has struggled in his last three starts, so an improved effort from him is also crucial for Vancouver. Special teams, as mentioned, is important anytime, but to snap out of their funk the Canucks need all hands on deck both while up and down a man. Tonight is Joel Quenneville's coaching debut in the Windy City, a second straight loss is all he'll have to look forward to if the Canucks can come together and accomplish these three things. FIRST PERIOD 20:00 - What's up everybody, it's good to have you along. I'm Derek and no, I'm not in Chicago, I wish. I'm watching the game on Canucks PPV though, so I'll do my best to bring those of you who can't watch the game all the inside action. 20:00 - Some line-up changes for the Canucks: Rick Rypien is ill, he has returned to Vancouver and won't be playing and Lawrence Nycholat is a healthy scratch. Also, Roberto Luongo is back in net for the Canucks after taking a seat to Curtis Sanford against the Sabres. 18:10 - The Canucks just had their best scoring chance of the game as their second line almost opened the scoring on the rush. Pavol Demitra to Mason Raymond back to Demitra who hammered it from 40 feet away on netminder Cristobal Huet. 16:55 - Jonathan Toews with a head of steam and a nice move around Shane O'Brien, he lost control but got the puck back and got it back to Patrick Kane, his shot is hard and on target, but Luongo made the save. 16:11 - Good opening couple of minutes for Vancouver, they've already recorded five shots on net to Chicago's two. None have been too dangerous though, at least they've come out strong. 15:44 - Mike Brown is in the line-up for the Canucks and he's making an impact already. A bit of a scrum in the Chicago zone, initiated by Brown, led to O'Brien taking on Adam Burish after no one would challenge Brown. O'Brien connected with three tough shots to the chin of Burish, who couldn't handle the heat. Darcy Hordichuk wasn't involved in the scrum, but he suffered an injury somewhere on the play, he just headed to the Vancouver dressing room. 15:00 - How did Toews not put that in? He had a glorious chance to put the Hawks up 1-0. Luongo stopped Toews initial backhand shot, but the the puck trickled around the goal line, Dustin Byfuglien fanned on it so Toews took a swipe but Luongo swung his arm back to make the save. 12:45 - Good idea jonogunn, let's make Kane cry. Or just hold him off the scoresheet, whatever works. 9:32 - 1 - 0 CANUCKS - Ryan Kesler to Raymond to Demitra, tick-tac-toe, and just like that the Canucks are up 1-0. Vancouver is 3-0-0 when they score the first goal of the game. That goal was set up by a huge Pyatt hit, he took out Kris Versteeg behind the Chicago net, that left Demitra wide open at the right side of the net and Raymond found him wit a swift, crisp pass. 8:29 - 1 - 1 TIE - Brent Seabrook's first goal of the season has this game tied. He rifled a shot from the line that beat Luongo on the short side. The Hawks tie this game up just 63 seconds after Vancouver opens the scoring. Toews and Kane earned assists on that goal, so much for shutting down Kane, that's his sixth point of the season. 6:32 - Canucks are headed to the power play for the second time on the night as Martin Havlet is in the box. Not sure if that's good or bad, Vancouver has the 28th ranked power play in the NHL and they're already 0-for-1 tonight. Yikes. 6:32 - Shots are 10-4 in favor of Vancouver. 6:05 - Taylor Pyatt just took a trip to the box ending Vancouver's PP chance. The teams will play 4-on-4 for a while. 5:23 - Luongo just gave up another near goal short side, Louie can thank his right post for stopping Brent Sopel's blast. 4:29 - 2 - 1 CHICAGO - Demitra turned the puck over Chicago's zone, Duncan Keith brought it into Vancouver's end and got it to Patrick Sharp who took it deep into the zone on the left side. Sharp tried to fire the puck across the crease to an open teammate, but the biscuit found it's way in the net off the stick of Mattias Ohlund. 3:39 - Sami Salo just left the Canucks bench for the dressing room, no word on what's bugging him. 2:28 - Big shift in Chicago's favor over the last four minutes, they are now tied with Vancouver in shots at 10. They've turned on the burners and are out skating the Canucks badly. 00:50 - First sign of Vancouver's third line as Kesler just went a backhand pass towards the net that Jannik Hansen almost tipped home. 00:00 - That's it for the opening period. It started with some promise with the Canucks opening the scoring, but the Blackhawks' young guns, who Vancouver knew would be trouble, helped put their team in front to end the period. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane have an assist each so far, they have proven they can perform on the ice, yet they have trouble simply speaking off the ice. SECOND PERIOD 19:20 - Henrik Sedin just lost a draw in the Chicago zone, Vancouver is really struggling in the face off circle today. They're now 5-for-11. 17:00 - Mike Brown and Ben Eager just tussled, nice little scrap. Eager shot the puck at Luongo after the whistle on the last play, that might have started this one. Brown was swinging with some might on that one but he didn't land anything real punishing. 16:04 - Hansen and Alex Burrows just had a great chance to even this game up. Burrows brought the puck in on the left hand side with great speed, he blasted the puck at Huet with authority and the Chi-town netminder was just able to get his blocker on it to send the puck wide. 15:59 - Canucks are on the power play once again, they're 2-for-27 on the year while up a man. Did I mention the Blackhawks have the sixth ranked penalty kill in the league this season? 14:00 - A good penalty kill there for the Hawks as the Canucks were swarming late. Vancouver's top line almost connected, Daniel fed Steve Bernier who was alone in front on the left side, but Sharp just got a stick on the puck to prevent a sure goal. 13:32 - Shots are 14-12 for Vancouver right now and although it hasn't been an overly physical affair, the Canucks lead in hits 9-8. 12:15 - Still no sign of Salo; Raymond just drew a penalty with his speed, Havlat couldn't keep up so he lazily hooked the youngster. Canucks power play, uh oh. 10:11 - Power play is over, no real threat to score by Vancouver. They're fairly lifeless right now, as is the message board. No comments since JuicyJustice gave two cents...not liking our chances of a comeback? 8:31 - As the Canucks try to kill off a Willie Mitchell tripping penalty, I can tell you that there's still no sign of Hordicuk, Vancouver could use his physical game right now. 7:11 - Just as Mitchell stepped out of the box to even things up, Alex Edler heads in for hooking to put the Canucks down a man once again. The Hawks are 1-for-3 on the power play so far. 6:03 - Vancouver should take notes on how Chicago dominates on the power play. They just set up in the Canucks' zone with ease, moving the puck from point to point to down low on both sides so easily. The Blackhawks are making it look easy. 4:33 - Raymond is so fast he almost jumped out his skates on that last rush. He lost his footing at the Chicago line but held possession of the puck and fired a tough shot at Huet who had to make a skillful save. 2:58 - Daniel Sedin and Bernier just had a nice scoring opportunity. Going against Sopel on a two-on-one, Daniel drew the defender before trying to shuffle the pass to Bernier, Sopel was up for the task though and he blocked the pass. 00:24 - Daniel just found Bernier as he snuck behind the defence, in all alone on Huet Bernier went to the backhand, but he couldn't find a hole on the goaltender. 00:00 - The score is the same through two as it was after one with the Canucks still down a goal. Steve Bernier and the Sedins have certainly picked up their play in this game, they don't have any points but they've combined for seven shots. That, and the Sedins can act, which is more than I can say for Toews and Kane if you watched the video after the first. THIRD PERIOD 20:00 - The Canucks are going to have to come-from-behind if they hope to win this game, good news is they've already done it twice this season. Really, if they can do it against the defending Stanley Cup champs, surely they can pull the rug out from under the young Hawks... 19:29 - Shots are 19-16 for the Canucks right now, Huet has been decent in net for Chicago but Vancouver hasn't really tested him yet in this one. 17:56 - Kane stripped Bieksa of the puck at centre ice, he brought the puck into the Vancouver zone before feeding Toews who was striding down the right wing, the Winnipeg-native sent a knuckler in on Luongo, he gloved it easily. 17:36 - TSN turning point perhaps? Eager just interfered with Burrows and he's headed to the box. Vancouver's PP hasn't done a thing this game but maybe this will be the one. 17:23 - Just found out Demitra is not on the Canucks bench to start this period; they're dropping like flies in the Windy City. 15:21 - The Canucks were an inch from tying this game on the power play. Ohlund released a torpedo towards the net, it had eyes for the mesh but rang off the post. Close, but no cigar. 13:52 - Vancouver is showing a lot more life right now than earlier in this game. They're delivering checks every chance they get and are getting shots on net from every angle. If they keep this up, they'll tie the game in the next few minutes. Yes, you can quote me. 13:29 - With Pyatt in the box for hooking, it's the Canucks who get a solid chance to score. Mitchell sent an outlet pass to Hansen who went in with Kesler on a two-on-one, Hansen teed it up and sent it wide. 13:02 - 3 - 1 CHICAGO - POWER PLAY GOAL - Sharp ripped it from the point, Louie made the save but Dustin Byfuglien battled to keep the puck in the crease, Kane found it and put it into the empty net from the right side. Luongo swiped at the puck while it was sitting in crease, he missed it though and it got to Kane. That's the eighth power play goal the Canucks have given up in their last five games. 9:47 - The Hawks are all over the Canucks again, this resembles the middle of the first period when Chicago took the lead. 6:45 - 4 - 1 CHICAGO - Sharp has been just that tonight. One a three-on-three rush, Kane took it down the left side then fed Sharp who was coming down the middle, he put it past Luongo, just barely. It was loose in Louie's equipment and the Canucks captain put the puck in off his skate. 4:52 - 4 - 2 CHICAGO - Too little, too late? We'll find out. Bernier stole the puck in Vancouver'z zone, sent it to Henrik who went into the Chicago end on the left wing before putting a soft shot on net. It hit the Blackhawks' defenceman and went in past Huet. We're alive thanks to Hank's second of the year. 4:23 - I like your optimism canuckfan1621. Canucks are headed to the power play as well, if they can get another goal here we're in for a wacky wild finish. 2:15 - Kane must be brothers with Michael Phelps. He was hit by Ohlund in Vancouver's end and Kane dove to the ice like he'd been shot. That was hilarious! 1:03 - Raymond had a glorious chance to score there. He got the puck alone in front of Huet, went to his backhand but Huet made a great save to keep the Canucks at bay. 00:00 - Just when Vancouver decided to show up, the score clock ran out of time. The Canucks looked good in the final few minutes while playing some desperate hockey, it was far from enough to steal this game though as the Blackhawks were just too much. Final shots 30-26 for Vancity. FINAL SCORE: CHICAGO 4 - VANCOUVER 2
  3. CANUCKS 2 @ SABRES 5 PREGAME The road weary Vancouver Canucks continue their six-game, 11-day road trip tonight at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo as they try to spear the red-hot Sabres. The Canucks (3-1-0) are coming off another impassioned win as they came from behind to upend the Detroit Red Wings last night, 4-3 in overtime, while the Sabres (3-0-0) have yet to allow their opposition to score more than once in a game and are undefeated early on. Buffalo is looking a lot like the 2006-07 edition of themselves, that year the team won Presidents' Trophy with a league-best 113 points. Last season the Sabres, just like the Canucks, were on the outside looking in when it came time for the playoffs. All eyes will be on Vancouver's third line of Alex Burrows, Ryan Kesler and Jannik Hansen tonight as they combined to shoot down the Wings last night, but it's a former Buffalo player who could step up for the Canucks. Steve Bernier, who was acquired from the Sabres in the summer, will play in Buffalo for the first time since being dealt, he has one goal and one assist in four games so far this season. Vancouver's keys to success tonight are fairly simple, they need to score early and often as Buffalo's defence has been ruthlessly stingy this season so the Canucks need to capitalize on every opportunity they have. The visitors also have to step it up on special teams, the Sabres have yet to allow a power play goal this season (15-for-15), while Vancouver's penalty kill started strong but has fizzled out these past two games. Special teams will most likely decide the winner of this game. Lastly, Vancouver's defencemen need to continue chipping in offensively, last night four Canucks d-men recorded points. Vancouver holds a slight advantage in the all-times series against Buffalo, leading the Sabres 44-42-20. We'll see if they can increase that win count to 45 tonight. A few line-up notes for the Canucks: Curtis Sanford gets his first start of the season tonight; defenceman Kevin Bieksa will sit out tonight's game but he skated this morning which is a positive step and as reported earlier today on, forward Kyle Wellwood has been placed on waivers. FIRST PERIOD 20:00 - Happy Friday everyone, Derek along with you tonight. We're in for a good game this evening, a short rest for the Canucks either means they suffer a letdown or they're able to carry their momentum from last night's 4-3 overtime win over the Wings into this game against the Sabres. I see the latter happening, as long as the Canucks can hit the scoreboard for at least three goals. Predictions anyone? 19:33 - Jannik Hansen just tested Buffalo netminder Ryan Miller with Vancouver's first shot, he steered it aside with his blocker. 18:44 - 1-0 BUFFALO - POWER PLAY GOAL - That was quick. Just six seconds into Buffalo's first power play of the game, (Willie Mitchell was in the box for shooting the puck over the boards) Jaroslav Spacek ripped a one-timer from the point past Sanford. That was the Sabres' first shot of the game. 17:08 - Darcy Hordichuk and Buffalo forward Andrew Peters just went at it in a spirited fight. Both players landed some nice shots, they both started the fight with their helmets on and ended up without, they swung the rights, then the lefts, then headed to the box. The teams are now 4-on-4 for five minutes. Hopefully that will spark the Nucks. 15:11 - The Sabres are headed back on the power play as they just drew a penalty off a nice rush. Taylor Pyatt sits down for hooking, the Canucks were lucky Buffalo didn't double their lead on that play as Sanford made his first nice save of the game. 13:59 - Great save there by Sanford through a screen. Buffalo is applying the pressure while up four men to three. 12:45 - Pyatt is back on the ice and he almost evened the score as he stepped out of the box. He went in with Henrik Sedin on a two-on-one, but his shot was weak and it bounced wide of Miller. 11:30 - 2-0 BUFFALO - POWER PLAY GOAL - The Canucks can't stay out of the box and it just cost them again. With Shane O'Brien serving a four minute roughing penalty, Clarke MacArthur took control of a pass from Craig Rivet in Sanford's crease and he slipped it past the netminder. Willie Mitchell couldn't tie him up and the Sabres are now up two goals early. 11:30 - Bad news is that Buffalo is up by a pair, worse news is that the Sabres are still on the power play because O'Brien was serving a double minor. 8:58 - Shots are now 10-3 for Buffalo as they've taken control of this game. It's not as bad as in Washington on Monday, but the Canucks aren't playing their best hockey. 6:50 - 3-0 BUFFALO - Ales Kotalik just added insult to injury with another goal on Sanford. He blasted a shot from the point, it looked as if Sanford was able to handle it alright, but the puck squeaked through his pads somehow and when he shifted to his right is dribbled through his legs and over the line. Buffalo has three goals on only 12 shots in this opening period. 3:48 - There hasn't been much to cheer about for Canucks fans this period, but the third line almost potted a goal on their last rush. Hansen sent a tough shot from a weird angle towards Miller on the right side but he was more than ready for it. That was only Vancouver's fourth shot of the game as they're once again having trouble generating offence. 00:42 - Vancouver's top line finally got their feet moving and they're rewarded with a power play opportunity, Derek Roy will serve two minutes for hooking Daniel Sedin. No one has managed to score a power play goal on Buffalo yet this season, maybe the Canucks can be the first. 00:00 - Down 3-0 after one, things aren't looking good for Vancouver. Terrible is a good way to describe Vancouver so far in this one, but I'm an optimist and the Canucks already have two come-from-behind wins this season, so counting them out would be foolish. Shots are 14-6 for the Sabres heading into the second period. SECOND PERIOD 19:47 - The Canucks are on the power play for another minute to start the middle frame. 18:05 - 3-1 BUFFALO - Ryan Kesler has the Canucks on the board. Kesler took a long pass from Alex Burrows and streaked into the Buffalo zone down the right side, he launched a shot that went off Buffalo defenceman Henrik Tallinder's stick and over Miller's shoulder. The comeback is on thanks to Kesler's third goal of the season. 16:32 - What a save by Sanford! Thomas Vanek just bolted in on a breakaway but Sanford out waited him and was able to keep the puck out. That should add to the momentum the Canucks were already building. 14:25 - Pavol Demitra just headed to Vancouver's bench in pain, he took a high stick to the face from a Sabre. 13:56 - The Canucks have a chance to pull within a goal as they head to the power play with Adam Mair having just stuck his knee out to take down Burrows. 11:30 - Easy penalty kill for Buffalo there, Vancouver couldn't even get set up in the Sabres' zone. They didn't record a shot on net, I don't know what's wrong but the power play unit doesn't look overly confident in this game. The Canucks are now 0-for-2 while up a man. 10:20 - Raymond and Demitra just had a great chance to score on a two-on-one rush. Demitra sailed down the right wing, fed the puck to Raymond who was skating down the middle, unfortunately Raymond misfired. 9:30 - 4-1 BUFFALO - Jaroslav Spacek's original shot was saved by Sanford, but he left a juicy rebound in the crease for Vanek who showed some finesse in roofing his sixth goal of the season. Some bad defensive coverage led to that goal as Mitchell didn't clear out Vanek when he had the chance. 6:22 - Kesler just stripped Vanek of the puck as he was trying to skate out of the Buffalo zone, he shot a knuckler at Miller but it went high and wide. 4:54 - Toni Lydman is off for hooking as the Canucks have a chance to once again make this a two-goal game. Their power play has struggled thus far, some good passing and getting pucks at the net will help them bulge the twine on Miller again. 4:00 - They're going to have to go t the replay to check that one. Raymond shot the puck from the blueline, Miller made the save but Demitra put the rebound high and seemingly in. It bounced out and the ref waived it off saying it hit the crossbar. Demitra and Kesler both threw their hands up in celebration. 2:54 - No goal, Demitra rang his shot off the post so the on-ice call was the right one. The Canucks are now a cloudy 2-for-25 on the power play this season. 00:15 - Vancouver just isn't getting the bounces tonight. A late rush almost gave Hansen his second goal of the season, heading down main street he got a nice pass from Burrows but just shot it wide. 00:00 - 4-1 Buffalo after forty minutes of play. Shots are 23-17 for the Sabres, the Canucks out shot them 11-9 in the second. As the intensity of this game picked up in the late stages of that period, Buffalo really got to the body and they are now ahead in hits with 18 to Vancouver's 12. THIRD PERIOD 20:00 - Still no comments on the board tonight, everyone must be out living it up on this Friday night. Except me that is, I've got the pleasure of bringing you Vancouver's thrilling third period come back...hey, there's nothing wrong with being optimistic! 20:00 - Good to hear from you Qris, I'm running out of ways to describe Vancouver's play though. There are only so many ways to say not great. 20:00 - CanuckTillIDie, welcome to the conversation. 18:55 - Daniel Sedin just rifled a shot from the left hand boards, Miller saw it all the way and gloved it easily. That's only the second shot on net for Vancouver's top line this game, Danny has the other shot as well. 16:23 - The line juggling has begun by Alain Vigneault. The Sedins have been split up with Raymond replacing Daniel on the top-line. 14:54 - 4-2 BUFFALO - Mair went to hit Raymond on the left boards, he slipped past him, got the puck to Henrik behind the net, he fed Bernier in front and he scored Vancouver's second goal of the game and his first against his former team. A little life for the Canucks perhaps? 13:21 - Thanks for the suggestions CanuckTillIDie, but we're going to turn this game around, remember? haha And no worries iRock., I'm here for you. 12:12 - Sami Salo just about gave the puck away to Maxim Afinogenov at the Buffalo blueline, but he kept pace with the speedster and was able to drill him into the boards to knock him off the puck. The ref went to the ice as he was sandwiched between Afinogenov and the boards, does Salo get credited with two hits there? 11:14 - The teams are at four-on-four with Patrick Kaleta and Ryan Johnson both in the box, interference for Johnson, diving for Kaleta. 11:00 - Four-on-three Buffalo power play now as Burrows just took a seat beside Johnson for holding. He was also assessed a 10-minute misconduct for slamming the penalty box door. 9:01 - Raymond served the two minute minor Burrows, he's now back on the ice and the teams are at even strength. 7:59 - Some great pressre here from the Vancouver, they're playing desperate hockey trying to cut into Buffalo's lead. They had at least two good chances to score in that last flurry in the Sabres zone. 5:51 - 5-2 BUFFALO - The Canucks were pinching trying to get a goal and it cost them. Vanek got into a foot race for the puck with O'Brien along the left hand boards in the Vancouver zone, Vanek easily won that battle so O'Brien hooked him. With a penalty, and maybe penalty shot, about to be called, Vanek kept the puck and threw it out to Kotalik who fired it past Sanford for his fourth goal of the season. Puke. 3:10 - All that's left to ponder in this game is whether or not the Canucks will crack 25 shots, they have 24 right now so odds are good. Sorry, I'm just trying to keep this interesting. 1:31 - O'Brien just drilled a shot into Miller's chest. That's 25 shots for Vancouver. I lose. 00:28 - I like the idea of that support group Qris, count me in. There were certainly more positives in this game than Monday night against Washington, but a loss is a loss is a loss. 00:00 - That's all she wrote in Buffalo. I don't want to talk about it. FINAL SCORE: 5-2 BUFFALO
  4. CANUCKS 4 @ RED WINGS 3 (OT) PREGAME The Vancouver Canucks opened the 2008-09 regular season with two consecutive wins, but their third game of the season, a 5-1 loss to the Washington Capitals last Monday night, quickly erased the memory of those opening wins. The Canucks (2-1-0) look to bounce back tonight as they visit Joe Louis Arena to play the defending Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings. The Wings (2-1-0) are coming off two straight road wins after starting the season with a 3-2 loss to the Maple Leafs, they'll be looking for some redemption in front of their home crowd tonight, and the Canucks who want to prove their worth on the road. This is Vancouver's third game on a six-game road trip, and their keys to victory tonight are getting more shots on net (Washington outshot them 35-10), Roberto Luongo needs to stand his ground (he's allowed nine goals in his last two outings) and shutting down Detroit's big offensive weapons (if that's possible). The Canucks may be without Taylor Pyatt tonight as he bruised his foot against Washington, he's to be a game-time decision. Kevin Bieksa is feeling better but he won't likely be back for Vancouver until later on this road trip, and Lawrence Nycholat is still hurt with a bad back, but coach Vigneault said he could see time on this road trip as well. According to the Red Wings' website, Henrik Zetterberg has a strained groin so 21-year-old Darren Helm has been called up for tonight's game. Veteran Darren McCarty and senior citizen Chris Chelios are both also currently in the infirmary so they won't hit the ice. It's the Canucks and the Red Wings, and it's next! FIRST PERIOD 20:00 - What's up everybody, Derek on the keyboard once again bringing you everything you need to know throughout tonight's game. I don't know about you, but I think the Nucks are going to be up for this game. Playing the defending champs should bring the best out of almost all the Canucks, more goals will hopefully be the result. Predictions anyone? 19:37 - Vancouver is looking to get the early jump on Detroit, they've already flown offside twice to start this one. 17:30 - The second line of Pavol Demitra, Mason Raymond and Taylor Pyatt hasn't been too explosive through three games, but they're showing some life already against the Red Wings. They cycled the puck nicely in the Detroit's zone but didn't get any shots on net. 14:52 - 1-0 VANCOUVER - You can thank the live boards in Detroit for that goal. Alex Burrows shot the puck on net, it went wide left, but bounced to the right of the goal and Jannik Hansen tucked it in. That's Hansen's first NHL goal; Vancouver has now scored on their first shot on net in two straight games. 13:35 - A fluster of activity in front of the Canucks' net forced Roberto Luongo to make his first big save of the game before falling to his back. Detroit retained possession and were able to draw a penalty, they'll put their power play to work for the next two or less. Alex Edler is in the box for interference. 13:03 - 1-1 TIE - POWER PLAY GOAL - Pavel Datsyuk's got some kind of shot, he just demolished the puck from just over the left side of the Vancouver blueline. It looked like it went off the left post and out, but upon review it was tipped by Tomas Holmstrom and went off the back post in the middle of the net and out, so it's a goal. That's Holmstrom's fourth goal of the season. 13:03 - Play continued when it was thought that Datsyuk hit the post and Rafalski took an interference penalty, so despite scoring on the play, he's now serving an interference penalty. Power play Canucks. 9:23 - 2-1 VANCOUVER - The Canucks couldn't do anything while up a man, but they kept the pressure on and it led to another goal. The third line of Hansen, Burrows and Kesler worked the puck in deep before sending it around to Shane O'Brien at Detroit's blueline, he shot from the point and Kesler was able to get a stick on it to re-direct it past a confused Chris Osgood. That's Kess' second goal of the year and O'Brien's first point as a Canuck; Sami Salo also drew an assist on the play, he now has three this season. 7:11 - With the Canucks on the power play for the second time, Steve Bernier had a great chance to increase his team's lead to two goals. He got the puck alone in front but couldn't beat Osgood from the doorstep. 5:15 - One shot for Vancouver on that PP, they now have five this period to Detroit's six and are 0-for-2 with Detroit in the penalty box. 4:04 - Willie Mitchell and Johan Franzen are getting to know each other as they take part in a heated conversation. Both players take a seat in the box, but not, they didn't stop beaking each other. 3:01 - Marian Hossa just teed one up and it almost eluded Luongo. Louie made the save, but just barely. 1:30 - Vancouver's third line has been its best so far tonight and Kes, Burr and Hansen were just snooping around in Detroit's zone once again. No real scoring chances came of it, they've got some kind of energy tonight though. 00:00 - That's it for the opening period, it was a quick one. The Canucks played a near perfect road period, they played well defensively but also took some chances in the Red Wings' zone and it led to two goals. Shots are 11-8 in favor of Detroit, nothing else really jumps off the scoresheet except Vancouver was 10-for-16 in the face-off circle (63%). SECOND PERIOD 19:12 - Daniel and Henrik Sedin just had a promising two-on-one but it was broken up deep by Nicklas Lidstrom before the Sedins could get a shot. 17:44 - Superb chance there for Raymond to net his first of the season. Demitra hit Raymond as he slashed through two defencemen but was unable to get a good shot on net before running into Osgood. Somehow the puck stayed out of the net. 16:52 - Detroit caught Vancouver on a bad change, it led to a partial breakaway for Kirk Maltby down the right side. His shot was easily smothered by captain Louie. 16:18 - 2-2 TIE - POWER PLAY GOAL - Another bad bounce leads to a goal. Lidstrom torched the puck wide of Luongo, but once again a weird bounce got the biscuit to the side of the net where Brian Rafalski was waiting to roof his first goal of the season from the right side. The Red Wings are now 2-for-2 on the power play. 13:58 - Vancouver's third line is at it again (we need a nickname for that line...), they just hemmed the Wings in deep and got two great scoring chances out of it. First Hansen danced his way around before setting up Kesler for a nice one-timer, then Burrows almost put it home after the puck deflected off the boards and stayed in Detroit's zone. 11:28 - The pace of this game is picking up by the minute, these teams are playing like it's overtime. Vancouver's speed is too much for Detroit as the Canucks eventually draw a penalty from Dan Cleary who tripped up Raymond. Vancouver is 0-for-3 on the power play. 10:01 - The Canucks can't even get set up on this power play, Detroit's had more chances to score than Vancouver has. No shots for the road team yet while up a man, the Wings have three. 8:53 - 3-2 DETROIT - That was ugly. Just as the time expired on the Cleary penalty, Demitra fired the puck around the boards trying to get it to his teammates at the point, Datsyuk caught hold of it and sent it to Cleary who had just stepped out of the box. He went in all alone on Luongo and tucked it in. Louie made the first save but couldn't hold the rebound as Cleary scored his first of the season; Datsyuk picked up his second assist of the night on the goal. 7:45 - Save of Osgood's life there, he just took away a goal from Hansen with his glove. I hate to admit it, that was as pretty as saves get. 5:00 - O'Brien's in the sin bin for roughing as this game gets physical, but the Canucks are keeping the Wings at bay on the power play. 4:03 - Some momentum for Vancouver as they kill off the penalty. A strong finish to the second period will go a long way in helping them get back into this game in the third. 1:40 - Both teams look like they're content heading into the second intermission with things the way they are, there's a lot of dump and chase going on. The shots are now 25-20 for Detroit, Burrows, Hansen and Kesler have combined for nine Canucks shots so far. 00:00 - Detroit leads by one goal through two periods, the Wings were simply more lively in the middle frame and it allowed them to take the lead. The good news is that Vancouver was still getting pucks at the net, despite being outplayed, they tested Osgood 12 times. The Sedins haven't done much good or bad this game, look for them to play a part in the third period come-back for the Canucks, should there be one. Vancouver is 150-49-20 when the twins both record at least a point, so a contribution from them in the final 20 minutes would be huge. THIRD PERIOD 18:40 - Luongo just had to come up with a nice save at the right side of his net as Hossa was streaking down and he snapped a quick shot on net. Louie made the save, his 24th of the game. 17:38 - 3-3 TIE - Demitra and Pyatt went in on defenceman Andreas Lilja on a two-on-one, Demitra swung it back to Willie Mitchell the trailer who was stopped by Osgood, but the rebound was flung out to Raymond who streaked in and put it into an empty net. Nice goal to tie things up, that's Raymond's first of the season. 16:21 - Point blank save there by Osgood. The Sedins and Bernier got something going deep in Detroit's zone, Daniel fed Bernier who was alone in front again, he couldn't one-time it in. That's Bernier's third miss in front, he must be getting frustrated. 13:26 - The Canucks aren't mailing this one in, they've had the Wings on their heels on a few consecutive rushes now. They've outshot Detroit 5-3 this period and they look hungry right now. It's anyone's guess which way this game goes at this point. 11:01 - Henrik Sedin is headed to the box for interference. What a weak call. Someone is stuffing dolla dolla billz into the refs pocket to make that call. 9:01 - Hank is back on the ice, that two minutes didn't do anything but pad Luongo's stats. A few nice saves for Booby Lu while on the penalty kill. 8:10 - Detroit is really pressing here, Luongo is holding his ground though. Hossa just handled the puck low on the left side, he looked to pass but instead snuck out in front and almost tucked it past Vancouver's MVP goaltender. Louie was up for the test. 7:26 - The Canucks just responded with some pressure of their own, Pyatt, Raymond and Demitra circled the puck around a few times looking for the right angle. With Pyatt running a screen on Osgood Demitra nearly put Vancouver ahead. 6:20 - Great chance there for the Canucks on a three-on-two. Pyatt, Raymond and Demitra again, they were quick into the Detroit zone in transition, Raymond hit Demitra with a nice cross ice pass but his shot was easily handled by Osgood. These three are making things happen out there right now. 5:36 - Henrik's in the box again, this time for hooking. 4:54 - Hossa just took a holding penalty as he couldn't keep pace with Burrows. It's four-on-four for roughly a 1:30. 3:26 - Short power play now for the Canucks...the Sedins and Kesler are on the ice along with Salo and Edler. 2:07 - Hossa's penalty is over, the teams are back at full strength. 1:04 - Big save by Luongo, Cleary just set up Draper who ripped a nice one-timer right at Louie. He shrugged it off with a nice shoulder save. 00:00 - We're headed to overtime. Shots are 35-28 for Detroit as we head into the final five where a golden goal will win it. This is Vancouver's second OT game of the season, Demitra was the hero last Saturday night in a comeback win over the Flames in Calgary. The Wings have yet to play extra time this year. OVERTIME 4:33 - 4-3 VANCOUVER - Alex Burrows with an individual effort for the ages, he wins it for Vancouver. He gained the blueline by himself, fired a shot wide to the left, then grabbed it off the boards and put it under Osgood's right arm. CANUCKS WIN! CANUCKS WIN! CANUCKS WIN! FINAL SCORE: VANCOUVER 4 - DETROIT 3 (OT)
  5. CANUCKS 1 @ CAPITALS 5 PREGAME The upstart Vancouver Canucks (2-0-0) are looking for their third consecutive win to begin the 2008-09 season as they visit the Verizon Center to play the Washington Capitals (1-1-0). The Canucks are gunning for their first 3-0 start in nine years, the 1999-2000 season was the last time Vancouver got off to such an impressive start. They're in deep today against the reigning league MVP in Alex Ovechkin and the defending Southeast Division Champion Capitals though. Good thing the Canucks are coming together in all phases of their game right now, Roberto Luongo has looked good in net, the defence is playing tough and gritty and the offence has 11 goals in two games, but will it be enough to take down the Caps? Stay tuned to find out. A few line-up notes for tonight, defenceman Kevin Bieksa is out, he's been placed on the injured reserve although Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said after Vancouver's skate this morning that he's hopefully the rugged blueliner will be back before the end of the week. Newcomer Rob Davison will take Bieksa's place. Vigneault also said that forward Kyle Wellwood may see the ice tonight against Washington, although he couldn't confirm that. FIRST PERIOD 20:00 - Hi everyone, Derek here with you once again on this holiday Monday, Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you got to enjoy some turkey with all the fixings, or a tofurkey if you don't eat the gobblers. Whatever suits your fancy, I hope you've had a great day, it only promises to get better with the Canucks against the Caps, the only time this season Vancouver gets to strut their stuff against Ovechkin and company. 20:00 - This just in: Darcy Hordichuk and Mike Brown are healthy scratches for the Canucks, John Erskine and Eric Fehr for the Capitals. Also of note, Washington forward Sergei Fedorov is on defence for tonight. No jokes. Captain Louie is in net for Vancouver, as expected, while Brent Johnson is in for the Caps, a surprise move there as the Caps put Jose Theodore on the bench. 18:04 - The Canucks just had their first good scoring chance of the game, Pavol Demitra fed it to Taylor Pyatt who tipped it to Mason Raymond in front of the net, Raymond just tipped it wide of the goal on the rush. 17:06 - 1-0 WASHINGTON - Michael Nylander came out from the right side of the net in the Canucks zone, lost control of the puck but Alexander Semin found it and put it over a sprawling Roberto Luongo. 15:58 - 1-1 TIE - POWER PLAY GOAL - Alex Edler just came up the middle and ripped that one home, that's his first goal of the season and what a beauty is was. A fluster of offence as this game knotted at 1-1. Henrik Sedin and Sami Salo draw assists on the goal. Washington's Shaone Morrisonn was in the box for interference on the play. 13:53 - Alex Ovechkin was just all over the Canucks in their zone. Man is he fast. He took a run at Mattias Ohlund but the Canuck got the best of that hit. 11:31 - Semin is showing his speed at the moment, after stealing the puck from Raymond with a vicious bump, he twisted and turned until he got a solid shot on Luongo through traffic. Shots are now 5-1 in favour of Washington. 9:56 - Hits are 8-5 for the Caps as they are roughing up the Canucks a bit right now. Look for Vancouver to respond by stepping up their physical presence to end this opening period. 9:24 - Shane O'Brien is in the box for interference. This is Washington's first power play of the game, Vancouver has yet to give up a goal on the PP yet this season. Ovechkin has 59 power play goals so far in his career so the Canucks will have to pay extra, extra, extra close attention to him. 7:20 - Chris Clark just bumped into Luongo and he's going off for goaltender interference. The Canucks are now 14-for-14 on the penalty kill with a power play of their own upcoming. 6:15 - Vancouver has been moving the puck well so far while up a man but they can't get any shots through on Johnson. They still only have one shot on net this game. 4:49 - The Capitals killed off that penalty with ease and managed to draw a penalty as soon as Clark stepped back onto the ice. Washington had some great chances to score on the delayed penalty call, including a Nicklas Backstrom snap shot 10 feet in front of the net, but Louie was there to smother it. Demitra is now off for hooking. 3:49 - 2-1 WASHINGTON - POWER PLAY GOAL - Mike Green just scored his third goal of the season off some great passing on the power play. Nylander was the workhorse on that play, he carefully worked the puck out front from the left side of Luongo and Green had no trouble putting it home. 2:12 - Raymond just drew a penalty using his speed. Streaking behind the Washington net he was hauled down by Milan Jurcina, who will sit down for two minutes or less. 00:52 - The Sedins worked the puck around well before finding Demitra alone in the slot, but the puck jumped over his stick. That led to a shorthanded chance for Semin, Luongo smothered it easily, but looked behind himself just to make sure. 00:00 - As the horn sounds to end the first period, the Canucks head to the lockerroom with their heads down. They didn't play terribly, but they only recorded two shots on net which just isn't going to get the job done. They'll certainly need a better effort in the remaining two periods against this explosive Washington team; the Alex's have both been dangerous for the Caps, Semin and Ovechkin. Hits are eight apiece after 20 minutes, the Canucks have blocked 11 of the Capitals shots so far, Washington doesn't have any, then again they haven't had anything to block. SECOND PERIOD 20:00 - That was easily Vancouver's worst period of this young season, they're lucky to only be down a goal as we start the second period of play. 18:40 - The Canucks are being outworked to start the second frame, Ovechkin and Backstrom look a half step faster than anyone else on the ice. 17:05 - Boy is it ever weird to see Fedorov playing back on defence, he's easiest the fastest defenceman in the league. I'm still not sure why he's back there though... 16:33 - Shots are now 12-2 for Washington, Vancouver has yet to record a shot this period. Johnson might as well go sit on the bench with Theodore. 15:43 - 3-1 WASHINGTON - Washington won the face off in Vancouver's zone, Clark dished the puck to Jurcina who snapped it in from the blueline. O'Brien was screening Luongo on the play, Louie had no chance. 14:37 - 4-1 WASHINGTON - This is getting ugly. The Capitals are toying with the Canucks. First Semin hit the right post, then Fedorov flipped the puck through the crease back to Semin who was now back on the right side of Luongo. The Russian roofed it for his second of the game. Nylander was also awarded an assist on the goal, his second helper of the game. 14:00 - Canuckie2 might be right, Vancouver is ssssllllloooowww tonight, not sure what's up, they may have actually had too much turkey before the game. 13:36 - Shots are now 17-3 for Washington, Alex Burrows is the only Vancouver forward that has a shot on net. Yikes. 12:30 - Last year's NHL MVP just made Kyle Wellwood part of the boards. What a hit by Ovechkin, Wellwood will be feeling that one for a while. Hits are now 10-10. 8:37 - Both teams are controlling the puck well now when they have possession, there have been some good end-to-end rushes but the Canucks still can't hit the net. 7:21 - Henrik Sedin is in the box for hooking, a goal here for the Capitals would all but end this game, a kill by the Canucks would give them a little something to build on. 6:12 - Shots are now 20-3 in this game for Washington; Vancouver's lowest shot total ever was a lowly 8 they put up against the New Jersey Devils on December 18, 1996. 4:40 - Things are going sideways for the Canucks, Edler is now in the box for hooking. Vancouver's frustrations are becoming more and more evident, just as they were successful on holding the Caps at bay with Henrik in the box, Edler takes a penalty. 3:29 - Ohlund shot Rick Rypien's loose stick at a Washington player on the penalty kill and Washington is being given a penalty shot. This makes no sense. The refs are now double checking their call, they're on the phone with the league to check their ruling. Semin is at centre ice waiting to take the shot. 3:29 - The ruling stands, Nylander will take the shot because he's the one that Ohlund shot the stick at. 3:29 - 5-1 WASHINGTON - POWER PLAY GOAL - Nylander put the fans to sleep with his sloth-like speed in alone on Luongo, didn't matter though, he deeked to the left and put it past Luongo, who was on his butt trying to make the save. That was brutal and to make matters worse, Edler is still in the penalty box. 1:23 - Vigneault is now juggling the lines trying to get something going, Bernier is between Pyatt and Raymond. 00:00 - I'm not usually someone who struggles for words, but I'm speechless right now. This game is all Capitals, the lead 5-1 on the scoreboard and 23-3 in shots, it's men against boys out there tonight. THIRD PERIOD 20:00 - An exciting comeback was in the cards for the Canucks two nights ago against the Flames, tonight will probably be a different story. I'm usually an optimist so I'd like to think Vancouver can fight back and respond with a stronger third period, the Capitals have just been all over them though, out scoring them, out shooting them, out hitting them, out everything them. 20:00 - Luongo is out, Curtis Sanford is in. Captain Louie stopped 20 of 25 shots. This is Sanford's first action of the season. 19:07 - More interesting line combos for the Canucks, Raymond and Pyatt are now with Wellwood. 17:21 - Big save there by Sanford, he stood his ground with Green streaking into the zone, Semin almost got his mitts on the rebound. He's looking for the hat-trick. 14:56 - Dump and chase, dump and chase, both teams are playing some dull hockey to start the third. 14:11 - Burrows just got another shot on net, that brings Vancouver's total to four! Oh baby! 12:23 - Sanford just made two nice saves, first he stopped Ovechkin on a quick snap shot, then Matt Bradley on the rebound. 11:54 - For those of you keeping track, the Canucks now have five shots on net, there's still a chance they'll get to eight and avoid setting a net brutal record for fewest shots in a game. 10:00 - Ovechkin is a beast. The Caps just sent the pucks down the ice but instead of letting the Canucks touch it for an easy icing, AO hustled down to Vancouver's zone with blistering speed and contested Mitchell for the icing. Vancouver got it, but that's the effort you like to see this late in a game with his team up 5-1. 9:34 - Shots now 30-6 for Washington. 7:25 - It's just a matter of time now, the Canucks will succumb to the Capitals for their first loss of this young season. Right now there aren't many positives to build on, hopefully Vancouver can make something, anything, happen in these final minutes. 5:36 - Jurcina's in the box for tripping. The Canucks are 1-for-3 on the power play, maybe a late goal while up a man will ease the pain of this loss? 4:59 - Vancouver just hit the net for the seventh time, they just need one more to avoid setting a bad, bad record. 4:09 - Well said Matti96, I never thought of that! 3:40 - Just as the penalty came to an end the Canucks recorded two shots on net, they now have nine so they're safe from the record books. 2:00 - The fans are all over Vancouver now. Smiles all around the Verizon Center, it makes me want to puke. 1:01 - Wellwood just stole the puck and had a good chance to score, but he shot the puck wide. Big surprise with the way things have gone for the Canucks tonight. It just hasn't been their night. 00:00 - That's the ball game. Back to the drawing board for Vancouver, that was a total team effort and not in a good way. No one Canuck sticks out as the worst player tonight, they were all turkeys. FINAL SCORE: WASHINGTON 5 - VANCOUVER 1
  6. CANUCKS 5 @ FLAMES 4 (OT) PREGAME The Vancouver Canucks (1-0-0) can string together their first winning streak of the season tonight as they face the Calgary Flames (0-1-0) in the back end of a home-and-home series. It won't be easy though, despite skating circles around the Flames two nights ago in an embarrassing 6-0 win in their home opener, the Canucks are up against a very talented Flames team, one that is looking for a little redemption. A good start to this game is a must for both teams, as is setting a physical presence early. Roberto Luongo looked great in the season opener as he turned aside all 25 shots thrown his way for his 39th career shutout, so did Vancouver's top line of Henrik and Daniel Sedin and Steve Bernier. The trio combined for six points and another inspired offensive output like that will surely help the Canucks put out the Flames once again. A few notes on Calgary's line-up: Robyn Regehr will be back for the Flames, he didn't play on Thursday because his wife was giving birth to the couples first child, a healthy baby boy, Brandon Prust will take the place of Dustin Boyd on offence and on defence Adam Pardy is in. No word on Vancouver's scratches yet, I'll let you know what I know as soon as I know it. It's the Canucks versus the Flames and it's next! FIRST PERIOD 20:00 - Derek here with you again today, thanks for tuning in. This is going to some game, the Pengrowth Saddledome is booming as the zamboni does a few final laps of the ice. These Calgary fans want a win and they want it bad. 20:00 - As expected Roberto Luongo and Miikka Kiprusoff are between the pipes for their respected teams, Kipper's gotta be feeling the pressure in this one. There's nothing quite like giving up six goals on 23 shots to start the season on a high note. He'll surely play better tonight so Captain Luongo will have to be on his game as well, which is nothing to be concerned about, Louie's always on his game. 20:00 - I just saw the new Hockey Night in Canada opening for the first time, not too shabby, nice to see Trevor Linden factor into it. It's just weird not hearing the same old song though, am I right? 18:37 - Calgary has come out hitting, Daymond Langkow just line-up Sami Salo and Jarome Iginla hammered Darcy Hordichuk near the Flames' bench. 17:48 - 1 - 0 VANCOUVER - Steve Bernier stole the puck at the Calgary blueline from Robyn Regehr, Henrik Sedin worked it down low to Daniel Sedin to the right of the net, he flew out in front of the net with authority and snuck it under Kipper's right arm. That was Vancouver's first shot of the game and what a shot it was. 17:13 - 1 - 1 TIE - Calgary just reignited the crowd with a goal of their own. A scramble in front of the Canucks net sees the puck end up on the stick of tough guy Andre Roy who ripped it past Luongo. 15:48 - Craig Conroy knocked down Luongo behind the Vancouver net and was thought to be called for goaltender interference, instead Louie is assessed a diving penalty. I don't know about that call, then again I'm not a blind ref. Mason Raymond is serving the penalty. 15:48 - Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa just went to the Vancouver bench favoring his right leg. 13:25 - Bieksa is back on the ice, during the commercial break he did a few short laps in the Vancouver zone. He appears to be alright and hopefully he can stay in the game. Bieksa only played 34 games last year because of injury so it's good to see him back on the ice in Calgary. 11:55 - Pavol Demitra is showing some crafty stick work behind the Calgary net, he worked the puck out to Taylor Pyatt who was stopped by Kipper. The line of Demitra, Pyatt and Raymond has been fun to watch in this first period. 10:34 - 2 - 1 CALGARY - Langkow lost his stick on the left hand boards in the Vancouver zone but managed to kick it back to the point, Mark Giordano fired the shot from the point and got it past Luongo. Todd Bertuzzi was running a screen in front and may have tipped the puck. (The goal was awarded to Bertuzzi, it's his first as a Flame) 9:57 - 3 - 1 CALGARY - Flames won the draw in the Vancouver zone, they got another solid shot from the point, Louie made the first save but Mike Cammalleri scooped it up on the left side of the net, he passed it over to Rene Bourque who scored his first of the season. Two Calgary goals in 37 seconds and Vancouver trails 3-1. 9:36 - Willie Mitchell and Jarome Iginla just threw down, both players got some solid shots in, Mitchell landed the first good round of punches but Iggy held his own with a crushing last punch right to the face. The two are broken up when Iginla fell to the ice. This game feels more like a playoff game, it's heated and is making for some great hockey. 6:44 - Just heard Bieksa went back to the Vancouver dressing room, it's still not clear where he's hurting. I'll be surprised if he returns in this game, he looked to be in a fair amount of pain when he headed off the ice. 4:43 - There is no love loss between Bertuzzi and the Canucks. The big brute just carried the puck into Vancouver's zone and flicked a shot at Luongo, he saw it all the way and nabbed it easily. O'Brien was right in Bertuzzi's face following the shot as the pair exchanged recipes. 3:41 - Mattias Ohlund is off to the box for interference after taking out Calgary's David Moss in front of the Calgary bench. The Flames are 0-for-1 on the power play. 3:22 - Bertuzzi just evened things out as he interfered with Salo at the Canucks blueline and is also in the box. Some good four-on-four hockey is now on the menu. 2:15 - Henrik Sedin takes a seat for holding, the Flames will be on the power play for almost the rest of the period. 00:07 - Calgary poured it on with the man advantage, they had three good chances to increase their lead but Luongo wouldn't allow it. 00:00 - The Canucks head to the dressing room down 3-1 having been outshot 11-7. Vancouver started the period off well, but fell apart down the stretch. Some regrouping will do them good right now. Face-offs are even at 12 wins each, the Canucks finished 0-for-2 on the PP, the Flames were 0-for-4. SECOND PERIOD 20:00 - Bieksa will apparently not return to the game tonight, his right knee seems to be the problem. 18:37 - The Canucks have come out strong this period, first the Sedin, Sedin, Bernier line had two good chances to score, not Demitra, Pyatt and Raymond are cycling the puck well in the Flames' zone. 17:15 - Hordichuk and Roy decided to scrap but nothing came of the short skirmish. The pair exchanged about six punches each before Roy lost his footing and tumbled to the ice. 17:13 - Rick Rypien and Brandon Prust, perhaps inspired by Hordichuk and Roy's quick tussle, dropped the gloves right after the ensuing face-off. Prust got worked over by Rypien, who fed him more lefts than anyone should get in a fight, he was swinging for the fences and he wins this one in a landslide. That should spark the Canucks a bit. 14:45 - Luongo didn't look overly sharp in the opening period, but he just made up for is with a great diving save on Bourque. The Calgary forward had an open cage on the left side of the net but he couldn't pull the trigger fast enough and Bobby Lu robbed him. 13:45 - Ohlund is in the box for holding, Langkow's in for tripping, it's four-on-four for two or less. 12:19 - There were some nice end to end rushes by both teams yet no real scoring chances, the teams are back at even strength. 11:19 - 3 - 2 CALGARY - Rypien won the face off in the Calgary zone, he got the puck to Ryan Johnson who held onto it long enough for Rypien to sneak to the left side of the net. Johnson fired the puck across and Rypien one-timed it in for his second goal in two games. 10:17 - 3 - 3 TIE - Vancouver tied it up thanks to the speed of their third line, Ryan Kesler just flew into the Calgary zone and made his way past Giordano with ease. He dished it to Jannik Hansen who got off a hard shot that was saved by Kipper, but the rebound came out to Kes who somehow got it into the net. That might have gone in off a Flames player. 6:33 - These teams have turned up the tempo in this game, they're blazing end to end playing like a trip to the Cup finals is on the line. Great energy from both teams. 5:42 - 4 - 3 CALGARY - Bourque is to blame for Calgary regaining the lead, he skated into the Vancouver zone, threw a tough shot at Luongo who turned it aside, but some poor rebound control put the puck onto the stick of Cammalleri who easily swatted it in. A heads up play from Dion Phaneuf got the puck to Bourque which allowed him to march into the zone, Phaneuf saw that the Canucks were changing and he banked the puck off the boards up to Bourque who did his thing. 2:10 - Vancouver just squandered a chance to even things up again with Craig Conroy in the sin bin for hooking. They are now 0-for-5 on the power play. 00:00 - A more competitive second period saw the Canucks outscore the Flames 2-1 and outshoot them 17-9. If they can carry the momentum they had throughout the middle frame into the final 20, they should be able to come back in this one to at least force overtime. The Sedins and Bernier have been the best line for Vancouver tonight and they'll be leaned on again for some offence in the third period. THIRD PERIOD 20:00 - Vancouver was 2-29-2 when trailing after two periods last season... 17:50 - Pyatt just knocked down Kipprusoff in the Calgary net, he'll sit for two. Good thing Vancouver has been great on the penalty kill so far this game, they've held Calgary at bay in each of their five chances. 15:42 - The Canucks killed off the penalty nicely. On their final dump in they almost evened the game up at 4-4, Alex Burrows beat the Flames down the ice and got the puck behind the Calgary net, he hit Rypien with a nice pass but it went off the heel of his stick and went wide. 13:50 - 4 - 4 TIE - Vancouver's top line just connected again, some good work down low by Bernier got the puck to Henrik behind the net, he threw it out front to Daniel who snapped a quick shot past Kipper. The Sedins and Bernier have now combined for two goals and three assists with seven shots on goal, all courtesy of D. Sedin. 12:20 - Captain Louie is keeping the Canucks in this one, Iginla just blasted a laser at him, but he handled it nicely. Calgary is swarming a bit right now. They now have three shots in the period. 9:18 - This game is getting physical again, Edler just took a shot at Conroy, both teams will have to be careful to avoid taking a penalty here in the late stages of the game. 8:16 - Phaneuf just dangled into the Vancouver zone nicely, he got a good shot off that sailed just wide of the net, but he drew a penalty on the play. Edler is in the box for hooking, great chance here for Calgary. 6:15 - Vancouver killed off the penalty, Calgary didn't record any shots and is now 0-for-7 when up a man. 4:50 - Raymond just had a great chance. Going one on one with James Vandermeer, Raymond used his speed to get a hard shot off but he just missed the net. It's a play like that that's going to win this game for the Canucks. 3:00 - There team's aren't playing for overtime, they're just as aggressive now as they were to start the game. 2:29 - The fans wanted a penalty there, Salo, just trying to clear the puck out of Vancouver's zone, kicked it up and over the glass. The can't shoot it out of play, but you can kick it. 1:26 - Bertuzzi just ran Johnson into the boards from behind, not a smart play at all my friend, you're headed to the box. Vancouver will be a man up for the rest of the period and :34 seconds of overtime, should the Canucks not score. 1:26 - Tuzzi is arguing this call, as is Mike Keenan, who is calling for a diving penalty. Johnson did sell that call, there's no argument there. 00:56 - No shots yet on the power play, the Sedins had something brewing before the puck deflected out of play. 00:00 - The Canucks got some great shots off but couldn't beat Kipper, we're headed to overtime, oh baby! OVERTIME 5:00 - Bertuzzi remains in the sin bin for another :34 seconds so Vancouver will be up four players to three. 4:16 - Penalty over, no real good chances for the Canucks to start overtime. 3:46 - Ohlund is shaking his head on the Vancouver bench, he just had the game on his stick. Alone in the slot he shot the puck wide, if that hits the net the Canucks end this game. 1:53 - No real chances in the last couple minutes as the teams buckle down on defence. 1:06 - 5 - 4 VANCOUVER - Cammalleri turned the puck over in the Vancouver zone, that led to a 2-on-1 for Burrows and Demitra. Burrows faked the shot before taking the puck into the crease and passing it to Demitra who shot it in on the right side. CANUCKS WIN! CANUCKS WIN! CANUCKS WIN! FINAL SCORE: VANCOUVER 5 - CALGARY 4 (OT)
  7. CANUCKS 6 vs FLAMES 0 PREGAME Who better to kick off the 2008-09 NHL season against than a Northwest Division foe. It's the Vancouver Canucks against the Calgary Flames tonight in Vancouver's home and season opener at GM Place, the Canucks are hoping to kick this season off in style by smothering the Flames. A familiar face will be in the line-up for Calgary tonight as former Canuck Todd Bertuzzi will meet his old mates once again; this game promises to be a physical battle that will surely have the intensity of a playoff game. The big story of this evening is that it's Luc Bourdon night as the Canucks honour a fallen soldier. The team unveiled the Luc Bourdon Wall of Dreams in a ceremony this morning and prior to the game tonight a tribute video will be played, commemorative LB pins will also be handed out to all those in attendance. WARM UP GM Place is electric as the teams take to the ice to stretch things out. The new sound system at GM Place sounds great, the only drawback is the ugly NHL Face-off 2008 decals that are on the ice just over each team's blueline. The ice looks like an over-decaled Nascar. I guess I should introduce myself, I'm Derek Jory, the man in charge of all your Canucks glogging needs this season. My previous writing experience includes creating zingers for the comics in Double Bubble gum and covering the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees of the Central Hockey League for the Coffee News. I'm kidding of course, but that's a taste of the good times you can expect this season. Lucky you! On with the show... FIRST PERIOD 20:00 - Wow what an opening, that was one of the sickest things I've ever seen. The base was booming, the crowd was jacked, the ice was illuminated, it was awesome. 20:00 - They just played the Luc Bourdon tribute video, there isn't a dry eye in the house. You'll be missed Luc. How Vancouver switches gears to play after that I'll never know. 20:00 - Rob Davison, Mike Brown and Kyle Wellwood are all scratches for the Canucks, Eric Nystrom, Robyn Regehr and Brandon Prust for the Flames. 18:37 - Pavol Demitra and Taylor Pyatt just went in on a two-on-one, Demitra fed Pyatt, but the Pieman couldn't get his stick on it quick enough. Great first scoring chance for the Canucks. 16:00 - Things are getting scrappy and guess who's right in the middle of it, oh just Steve Bernier. This guy plays scrappy and I love it. The Flames drew a penalty on the play, Jim Vandermeer is in the box, two minutes for roughing. 15:24 - Pyatt decided it was too easy to score on a power play so he tripped up Mark Giordano. Pyatt's off for interference. 13:21 - The first LOUUUUUUUUUU cheers of the season just rang loud as Roberto Luongo shut the door on Jarome Iginla. Todd Bertuzzi worked the puck out to Iginla on the left side of the net, his snap shot was a joke to Louie who smothered it with ease. 11:27 - Bernier just delivered Vancouver's first big hit of the year as he laid out Dustin Boyd of the Flames deep in the Canucks zone. 9:55 - Ryan Kesler's headed to the box, apparently because the Flames can't stay on their skates. He'll serve two or less for cross-checking. That was a terrible call, hopefully the Canucks don't pay for it. 8:57 - Kesler's got company in the sin bin as Rick Rypien takes a seat beside him. He hooked Iginla in front of the Vancouver goal. It's now a five-on-three for :45 seconds. 7:23 - Count them, one, two, three close calls in Luongo's crease, a save, a miss and a save and the game is still knotted at zeros. 4:03 - Vancouver killed off the penalties but Calgary has all the momentum right now. They now lead in shots 8-4, Bertuzzi recorded the last shot with a floater backwards through his legs. Once again the capitano laughs. 3:35 - 1 - 0 VANCOUVER - Daniel Sedin took the puck in on the left side of the goal, couldn't sneak it past Kiprurusoff thanks to a block from defenceman Cody Sarich but the puck ran down Sarich's stick and Daniel got it back behind the net. He then fed brother Henrik in front for Vancouver's first goal of the season. Kesler also earns an assist on the goal. 00:00 - End of the first period. The Canucks trailed the Flames 9-5 in shots, but they still lead by one. SECOND PERIOD 20:00 - Welcome back, the ice is clean, the teams have switched ends and the crowd is slowly drizzling back in. The Sedins and Bernier take to the ice first for Vancouver. 19:37 - 2 - 0 VANCOUVER - The Sedins and Bernier click for the first time this season. Daniel works the puck to Henrik out of the corner, he awkwardly passes it to Bernier who roofs it so quick Kipper is still looking for the puck. The puck was in and out in the blink of an eye. 18:03 - 3 - 0 VANCOUVER - Kesler drives down the right wing with authority, he rips a hard shot at Kipper who shields himself with his blocker. He inadvertently sends the puck right to Alex Burrows who shoots it into the empty net. 16:21 - KIIIIIIIPPPPPPPPPPEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRR, KIIIIIIIPPPPPPPPPPEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRR, the fans are all over Kiprusoff and for good reason. Nothing like five saves on eight shots... 14:06 - Dion Phaneuf just manhandled Burrows from behind. Burrows had fallen in front of Kipper and as he was getting to his feet Phaneuf gave him a glove to the face from behind. Fight like a man Phaneuf, that was just cowardly. Phaneuf's in the box for roughing, surprise, surprise. 12:49 - Canucks looking good on the power play, they're moving the puck well and getting some great scoring chances. 9:52 - Clifford Smith from White Rock is the ticket holder of the game, just thought you might like to know. (aka there hasn't been anything to write about for a few minutes...) 8:21 - Bertuzzi is in the penalty box and the crowd loves it. Interference is the call. The Canucks are 0-for-3 on the power play so far, maybe they can get something going on this one. They had the best power play in the league during the pre-season. 7:30 - Just realized some people have been commenting, thanks for tuning in and I LOVE that idea aussie_canuck, have one for me. 4:40 - Kesler is getting taken care of on the Canucks bench right now. He came off the ice pretty heated after Dustin Boyd got his stick up and gave Kes a little chin music. Should be a nice battle scar, but there was no call on the play. 2:43 - Mattias Ohlund just knocked Bertuzzi to his butt at the Canucks blueline. Solid hit. 53:1 - The tempers flair to end the second frame, Iginla wants a piece of Jannik Hansen. The third line is doing a great job of getting under the skin of Calgary's top line. And Iginla was assessed a roughing minor on the play, that's just a bonus. 00:00 - 3-0 Canucks through two periods. Flames still lead in shots, they're up 19-12 heading into the final period. THIRD PERIOD 20:00 - 20 minutes separate the Canucks from their first win of the season. Will that come out sluggish and let the Flames back into the game? I don't think so. 19:01 - BIG blast from Alex Edler at the point, Kipper saw it all the way and gloved it. Is it just me or does Edler's shot look better and better every time he lets it rip? 17:12 - 4 - 0 VANCOUVER - Ryan Johnson carried the puck into the Calgary zone, drew a defender once he reached the middle of the ice ten feet in front of Kipper, then zipped the puck over to Burrows who one-timed it home. Second goal of the game for Burr, you can tell he's skating with Luc Bourdon on his shoulders tonight. 13:39 - You don't mess with Luongo and Hansen just proved it. Daymond Langkow took a swipe at Bobby Lu and within milliseconds Hansen was all over Langkow feeding the forward right after right after right. He isn't the biggest body ever but Hansen's got courage like a lion. Hansen got a double-minor while Langkow is only in for two so the Flames are on the power play. 10:51 - Wayne Primeau's in the box for hauling down Edler, can the Canucks get something going with the man advantage this time? 9:33 - 5 - 0 VANCOUVER - POWER PLAY GOAL: Pyatt turned on the burners and coasted down the right side of the ice into the Calgary end, he tried to find the back of the net but Kipper made the save with his right pad. Good thing the rebound sprung out to Ohlund who scored one of the easiest goals of his career. A very early Christmas gift from Kiprusoff. Daniel Sedin picked up his third assist of the game on the goal. 6:13 - Daniel Sedin just dipsy doodled his way into the Flames' zone but was leveled by Phaneuf before he got in too deep. The Canucks have said they'll be a tougher team this season and Bernier proved it once again in this game as he came to Sedin's aid by exchanging blows with Phaneuf. This fight lasted at least a minute and a half with each player scoring a few shots. The sound of the crowd chanting Bernier is something that I could get used to, it was almost deafening during this brawl. 5:18 - 6 - 0 VANCOUVER - SHORTHANDED GOAL: Rick Rypien is fast, real fast. Ohlund was just trying to clear the zone on the penalty kill but Rypien skated past the Calgary defenders with ease before roofing the puck over Kipper's left shoulder. Wow did he ever make that look easy. 2:08 - Not much left too report from this one, it was a done deal in the second period, the Canucks are just adding insult to injury in the third. Is it ever fun to watch though, especially against the dreaded Flames! 1:00 - The only question left is if Luongo will get a shut...don't worry, I didn't say it. 00:00 - There goes the final horn, what a win for the Canucks. That is by far one of the prettiest score sheets I've seen in a while. CANUCKS WIN! CANUCKS WIN! CANUCKS WIN! FINAL SCORE: VANCOUVER 6 - CALGARY 0
  8. do you and Mo know each other??