Game File 9: Canucks 4 Predators 3 (OT)

The Good

Finally putting together two top lines as I had prescribed in the offseason.  I see that Vigneault is finally reading my blog.

Despite the fact that the local media had Bulis pegged to play with the Sedins.  That was never going to happen as I wrote when he signed here. 

But it sure looks like Pyatt is a great fit and he is primed for a breakout season as I also wrote about.  He is now on track for over 40 goals this season and that is with pretty limited action with the Sedins. 

I think we can officially say we have our two first lines.

Sedin Sedin Pyatt
Naslund Morrison Bulis

I definitely feel good about getting this resolved.

Roberto Luongo made some magnificent saves in the third period to keep the Canucks in the game, eventually leading to a goal by Brendan Morrison to tie the game with less than two minutes left in the game.  Morrison from Bulis. 

The Bad

What is with all the 2 on 1’s?  Luongo hasn’t looked great on these plays, but I’m surprised at the number of odd man chances for a supposed defensive team.

The Ugly

John Garrett said it best, it should be the safety of the player first.  Yet when Willie Mitchell was smoked by Arnott in the third period, the linesman let the play continue on despite the fact that Mitchell was clearly in a lot of trouble trying to recover and get back to the bench. 

Only a true warrior like Mitchell would even have attempted getting back to bench after feeling as woozy as he had.   And the linesman showed him no respect and let him skate himself back to the bench, in clearly a very precarious position.

You have to feel for a guy anytime a puck catches a guy in the face or even the eye.  As far as Green goes, it looks like it only caught him in the face, catching a break for a guy that plays without a visor.

Other Notes

As exciting and fun as it is to come from behind in games to get any points with only minutes left in a game.  It also has to be a bit alarming to be in that position in the first place. 

The Canucks are starting to show a really bad trend of getting down early.  But we are still only at game nine, and I really like the fact that they are finding ways to win and get out of those situations.

Cooke got his first point of the season (a second assist) in the Canucks 9th game.  That puts him on pace for 9 points this season.  And he had the media here in Vancouver convinced he was the second coming of Bertuzzi before the season started.  I said it before and I’ll repeat it for you again.  He failed on the first line when he replace Bertuzzi in 2004 and is no better than a quality 3rd line winger.  Here’s an extert from a previous posting I made that clearly outlines the issues here.

I’ve heard nothing from the team coaches or GM’s about giving this a shot.  In fact, the coaches elected to ship Matt Cooke along with the restof the rookies to Calgary for their first preseason game, seperating him from all the players expected on the top offensive lines.  It seems to simply be propaganda pushed out by the media, Matt Cooke, Brendan Morrison, & Markus Naslund. 

Do you see an issue with this?  Naslund and Morrison are trying to influence Vigneault’s decision on who plays on their wing.  It’s ridiculous.  Reminds me of Steve Shields coming onto the radio in Vancouver to say he’d like to backup Roberto Luongo again.  Good luck Steve, Nonis has a better hockey mind that to fall prey to your lobbying for a job in the media.  Same to you Matt Cooke.

You weren’t good enough in 2004 to play on the top line, and nothing has changed since then.

He wasn’t good enough despite what people say about his ability to mesh on the top line with Naslund and Morrison.  Think about it, after losing to Calgary in 2004 the general feeling was that the Canucks would have won that round with Bertuzzi in the line-up.  Cooke filled in for him and the Canucks didn’t make it.

Krajicek scored his first goal as a Canuck tonight, but what I really like is that Vigneault has continued to allow him to jump into the play.  I know I talked about the number of odd man rushes above, and Krajicek is a culprit of creating these, but that extra guy on the attack can often be the difference between winning and losing. 

And tonight it was all about winning.

The Chief Canuck

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