Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Game 1: Ducks 5 Canucks 1

It took the Ducks about 10 minutes to come out of their slumber from an extended lay-off between series. In the first 10 minutes Jeff Cowan scored to put the Canucks up 1-0 while the Ducks coughed the puck up and looked flat. But Vancouver got a good look at how good Anaheim's powerplay was when they took their first penalty- too many men- and Andy McDonald scored his first of 3 goals on the night at 9:24.
It was at that point that the Ducks took over the game. Their speed and skill game caught the Canucks off guard. Suddenly, the Canucks were pinching too deep and getting caught, and not taking their defensive assignments. It resulted in 2 more first period goals: a quick backhander by Selanne, who went through Sopel, and a breakaway goal by McDonald..again.
From the 2nd period on, the Ducks outshot the Canucks 28-18 scored 2 more goals in the 3rd and really shut them down.
The 2 powerplay goals Vancouver scored in Game 7 against the Stars are all but a faded memory. They were 0-for-7 tonight. The Ducks were 2-for-9. Their PP is to be feared. Ours isn't....yet anyways. It will have to come soon for us to have a bloody chance in this series.
I am starting to think that the Canucks are going to have to score at least 3 goals each game to give themselves a chance to win. This isn't Dallas anymore. The Ducks are going to be harder to contain. But Vancouver did shut down Modano and Lehtinen pretty well in Round 1. The same will have to happen against Selanne, McDonald, and Kunitz. And then Perry, Getzlaf, Penner, etc. Christ the Ducks are deep.
Chalk game 1 up as a poor effort. Adjustments will be made. We need to clog up the neutral zone better and skate harder. Turn this into a grudge match. We can't match them speed-for-speed.

It was sobering to see Luongo get pulled. He got hung out to dry tonight.
Markus Naslund is a $6 million 4th-liner.
Why wasn't Jannik Hansen in the lineup?
The losses of Bieksa and Salo hurts. But no damned excuses!
The Burrows/Selanne matchup looks to be heating up already.
Hey Sleek, who was that blonde sitting next to you? Also, I seen you waving 2 towels at the end, you scoundrel!

From Sportsnet:

McDonald's and Kunitz's three points in the first period tied a Ducks' record for points in a frame in the playoffs. Selanne had a goal and two assists in the second period last year against Colorado. Kunitz notched a career best with three assists and set the team playing record by recording them in one period. ... Along with not getting time off since eliminating Dallas, the Canucks came off a series when they played three overtime games -- a total of 92:15 extra minutes.
Note the part in italics. What's the point? May as well throw the towel in then. They aren't going to get any rest against the Ducks. Seriously though, a long 7-game series in the First Round will not be a good excuse to stink it up in Round 2. I hate hearing that lame excuse.
Scoresheet (NHL.com)

Highlights (Sportsnet)

My 3 Stars





















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7 Comments:

At April 25, 2007 at 11:25 PM , Blogger Earl Sleek said...

God, I had an abundant fowl towel supply by the end of the game after Andy Mac's hat trick. So many weak-armed people tried to throw towels instead of hats, and I was a beneficiary.

It might have been four towels I was waving, two in each hand.

 
At April 25, 2007 at 11:32 PM , Blogger Zanstorm said...

Haha! Nice! Hey, you finally got to see Pronger in the box!

 
At April 26, 2007 at 12:21 AM , Blogger Jenny said...

disappointing effort - i suppose they had excuses - i'm not accepting any of them though!

Poor Luongo - i felt bad for him !

Naslund - he's driving me crazy !!!

sad that our only goal came from Cowan, where our leading scorers when you need them!

I hope bieksa and salo come back soon! I think we missed them a little!

 
At April 26, 2007 at 12:47 AM , Blogger Zanstorm said...

Hank had an open net to shoot at with about 6 minutes left and he PASSED it. That would have made it 4-2. WTF was he thinking?

 
At April 26, 2007 at 9:32 AM , Anonymous Matt said...

Anaheim is in a totally different league than Dallas. The only way I see the Canucks challenging in this series is if Luongo stands on his head (probable), and Giguere or Bryzgalov start sucking really badly. The Ducks just seem to score whenever they need to. Also, Selanne on a breakaway is never good for the opposition.

 
At April 26, 2007 at 1:18 PM , Blogger Zanstorm said...

Well there wasn't a lot of point separation between Dallas, Vancouver and Anaheim during the regular season. But Anaheim's dominance and confidence is really showing itself in the playoffs.
I agree with all your 'remedies' Matt.
Game 1 was a glitch I reckon. The Canucks always respond after a poor game, and will respond in game 2. It will be a lot closer then, especially when they clog the neutral zone and play smarter team defence.
One serious issue I'm seeing is the potential disaster for our PK. The Ducks are too damned good on the PP. Any dumb penalties taken by Vancouver in this series is suicide.

Did you see Pronger laying down in front of shots last night? Holy shit.

 
At April 26, 2007 at 2:06 PM , Blogger Earl Sleek said...

Well there wasn't a lot of point separation between Dallas, Vancouver and Anaheim during the regular season.

On pure points, sure, but there is one important distinction to make. Unlike the other two teams (and heck, I'll throw in Minnesota), Anaheim was fairly miserable in shootouts and overtime.

MIN 17-8
VAN 17-7
DAL 15-7

ANA 9-14

It's not a huge deal, but it does suggest that the three top teams got more points out of things like 4-on-4 and 1-on-0 mini-games, things that don't show up in the postseason.

Records like that are nice when trying to qualify for the playoffs, but generally speaking, I'd be more worried about teams that make the playoffs despite their OT/SO record than teams that make the playoffs because of it.

Detroit, btw, was 5-13, and San Jose was 3-5.

So in the standings the points might look the same, but some teams have a bit more point inflation (wins past regulation) than others.

 

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Waiting For Stanley was created in June 2006.