Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Canucks remedy some issues but create new ones in loss to Columbus

It's one thing to say that the Canucks are bound to lose a few games after a long undefeated streak, but this is a game they should have won. The 2 goals they scored were on the power play, which remedied that issue, mentioned earlier. But for 3 guys to try take the puck off Nash, who then slid the puck to the Kristian "The Weasel" Huselius for the winning goal, was a complete blunder. The breakaway miss by Daniel Sedin became costly.
All of the hype surrounding rookie Cory Schneider may now have come to a halt. He looked pretty good most of the time, but fell off balance for the tying goal by Andrew Murray. The other 2 goals he could not be faulted on. I thought he seemed a little bit "off" though. There were times where he came far out of his net to make a save and then looked completely out of position. At times I thought he looked slow moving left to right in his butterfly stance. He let out a lot of crazy rebounds as well. His teammates may be having a hard time reading where those rebounds are coming out.
Kyle Wellwood improved as the game went on. He turned the puck over twice earlier in the game and the Jackets had great scoring chances as a result. But then Woody scored the Canucks' first goal and created more chances after that. At least he is making good on his promise to win one for Schneider. Unfortunately, most of the other guys are not helping.
32 shots to 29 in favor of Vancouver. That was a remedied problem as well...getting more shots. Unfortunately, the Jackets are coached by Hitchcock and limited most of those shots to the outside. Other than that, Steve Mason looked pretty great in goal for Columbus...especially robbing Wellwood with seconds left.

Opinion 1: I know Taylor Pyatt is improving his all-round game, but was it necessary to put him on the top line? That was a hunch by Vigneault that did not pay off.
Opinion 2: I thought the Raymond-Jaffray-Brown line played terrific, and deserved more icetime than the 9:44 - 5:50 - 5:18 icetime that they received respectfully.

Curtis Sanford left the game with back spasms after stopping 11 of 11 shots. He was looking pretty solid up to that point wasn't he? Bummer. Hopefully he'll heal up over the next 3 days. The schedule doesn't get easy from there: Detroit on Thursday and Minnesota on Friday. Yikes. Suddenly these losses don't seem kosher. Remember the ideal plan: play at least 500 hockey in Luongo's absence.....

BOXSCORE

HIGHLIGHTS

Photo from ESPN

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4 Comments:

At December 2, 2008 at 12:15 PM , Anonymous rsm said...

Sean,

Do you have a take on Vancouver taking too many penalites in general and O'Brien's play in particular?

I'm just wondering since when I was listening to the 1040 webcast of the Columbus game it was the topic of the day, but Kenworth mangled the broadcast badly so it was hard to get an accurate sense of things beyond 1. Vancouver is taking too many penalties (2nd most in NHL iirc.) 2. O'Brien is a bad offender in this regards.

Thanks,

rsm

 
At December 2, 2008 at 1:16 PM , Blogger Sean Zandberg said...

I think O'Brien has taken too many penalties over the past couple of games, however if you look at his stats game-by-game you can see that a lot of his penalties are from fighting majors, and those add up quickly. I wouldn't say O'Brien takes more minor penalties than anyone else, it's just that he leads the team in PIM's and is an easy target. That is unjustified.
For the record, I have been impressed with O'Brien for most of the season. I think he continually evolves in his role on this team, and his sheer size and toughness is needed back there.

 
At December 2, 2008 at 1:23 PM , Blogger Sean Zandberg said...

I think most of the team is guilty of taking stupid penalties at times, minus Wellwood and Demitra.
How many obstruction penalties do the Twins take? Lots. The defence as a whole takes too many penalties. There were times at the tail end of their winning streak that they smartened up... but that was short-lived.
Where did you get the stats that Van is the 2nd most penalized team in the NHL?

 
At December 2, 2008 at 5:10 PM , Anonymous rsm said...

Thanks Sean, since I don't get to watch any games it's hard for me to get a good sense of players who don't have the puck much. As I only get to listen to the games on the radio, and usually I'm working at the same time.

As to the comment on Van being the second most penalized was off the 1040 radio brodacast for the Columbus game. And I just double checked with nhl.com (http://tinyurl.com/5n3eus) and Van is 29/30 with 18.3 pim/g, only beaten by Anaheim with 19.0 pim/g. For comparison the median 14.7 (BOS) and Det/Car are 11.3/11.4 pim/g.

Interesting to note that Van may be good at 5v5... but that doesn't do much if you're playing shorthanded that much.

 

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Waiting For Stanley was created in June 2006.