Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Game 4: Ducks 3 Canucks 2 (OT)

I am almost at a loss for words. Everything was going so well for the Canucks through 2 periods. They had a 2-0 lead, they killed penalties effectively, Luongo was solid, they looked in control. But once the Ducks started pressing harder in the 3rd, the Canucks started scrambling a bit and losing their composure. A screened-shot goal by Pronger 3:58 into the 3rd only added to the pressure. The Ducks kept their momentum and started to get some breaks. Selanne's tying goal at 14:18 was mostly the result of Salo losing his stick at the blueline moments earlier. Teemu put the puck through Salo's legs and past Luongo. A rebound goal.
From that point you had to wonder just when the Ducks would score the winning goal, as the Canucks looked rattled, coughing the puck up in their own zone and not playing like they had earlier in the game. That winning goal came at 2:07 of the 1st OT: an unlucky bounce off a player in front of the net from a Scott Niedermayer point shot, and Travis Moen, of the Ducks' 4th line recieved a gift, burying a shot past an unsuspecting Luongo. Nice changeup by Carlisle playing his 4th line in OT for once. It paid off.
It really didn't have to happen this way. The focus on the Canucks' subpar power play now shifts to their ability to capitalize on their chances period. How many 2-on-1's did the Ducks give them? And how many times did Scott Niedermayer get in the way of those chances?? A solid game by him.

It could have been sweet

-Markus Naslund scored his 3rd goal in 3 games.
-Brendan Morrison stepped up finally and was a force out there.
-Jan Bulis and Jannik Hansen were terrific again, but could not capitalize.
-The power play looked effective, and they generated a lot of chances.

In this game, the Ducks were only shorthanded 3 times to the Canucks' 8. Neither team scored on the power play.

When the Ducks stepped it up a notch in the 3rd, they got their bounces.

In and out of the WFS Doghouse

IN
- The Sedins. I am still not seeing their A-game. They look uninspired and/or frustrated. Hats off to Vigneault for rolling the 4 lines more.

OUT
- Markus Naslund has both feet out of the doghouse now for sure. He had a strong game.
- Brendan Morrison. Hustle, determination, grit. Too bad Mo hasn't played this way all along.
- Roberto Luongo. He bounced back and was solid. Poor Louie didn't have a chance on any of the Ducks' goals.

What now?

For the Ducks being the superior team on paper, it isn't really showing. These game could go either way, and tonight was no exception.
The Canucks will have to sleep this one off and come out with the same game that they brought tonight, and hope that they get the bounces in Game 5. One thing is for sure: we will now see how they play with their backs to the wall. Despite my frustrations, I drool at the possibilities of this series going back to Vancouver for Game 6. It can happen. If we were blown out 5-0 tonight, I wouldn't be so confident.

Game Stats

Shots on goal: Ducks 30 Canucks 26
Face-offs: Ducks 43% Canucks 57%
Selanne dives: lost count
My 3 Stars: 1. Chris Pronger 2. Markus Naslund 3. Travis Moen.

Correct score prediction: Matt Norton, the treacherous Flames fan, who now laughs at out predicament! Boo!






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6 Comments:

At May 2, 2007 at 12:00 PM , Blogger B_Washington said...

That was a heartbreaker, I feel bad for you Vancouver Fans this morning

 
At May 2, 2007 at 1:13 PM , Anonymous Matt said...

Yeah, it looked good for the Canucks. They looked like the better team by far. The Ducks did not look very good and got some good bounces in the 3rd. Odds of being down 3-1 and winning the series are not very good, but the Canucks have shown all year that they are very good in must win games.

 
At May 2, 2007 at 4:34 PM , Anonymous GZ Expat said...

Listening to the game, I just got a sense that the Ducks could turn it on or off when they wanted...but the Canucks have to work for everything...once they stop doing that, they get burned.

Agreed with Naslund...he has indeed stepped up, but it may be too late.

 
At May 2, 2007 at 4:36 PM , Blogger Temujin said...

A swift and solid kick to the nuts would have been vastly more enjoyable than watching the end of that game.

At any rate, the Canucks are playing hockey in May. When was the last time that happened?

The season is a success, in spite of the past week.

 
At May 2, 2007 at 5:47 PM , Blogger Jenny said...

it aint over yet !!!!

 
At May 2, 2007 at 7:17 PM , Blogger Rogene said...

"They snatched defeat from the jaws of victory."

It was a real shame how things turned out for these two home games. Now I know what Dallas fans felt like in round 1.

If the Canucks can show the same desire and pull out a win in Game 5, they can take the two days off to heal, and get up for Game 6 at home, and force Game 7.

Have to agree with you about the Sedins being in the doghouse. They're invisible out there, and the Ducks aren't even playing them that tough. Henrik was -3 last night!! All 3 Duck goals!! Show a little passion please???

 

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Waiting For Stanley was created in June 2006.