Game File 45: Canucks 6 Leafs 1

Hooray, Canucks in HD on HNIC. 

But only because they were playing the Maple Leafs.  So in good form, the Canucks showed their appreciation for this special event and scored 6 goals on them.

Good riddance.

Most Annoying Bob Cole Moment – Calling our captain, Mats Naslund.  I’ll give good old Bob a pass on the Bieksa (he kept saying Bieska) only because other commentators get it wrong too. 

Significant Numbers – I wrote that this would happen this year and here it is…Daniel scored his 100th goal of his career in this game, and had 4 points in total.  An amazing effort by him and Henrik.

With his next assist, Henrik will have obtained 200 in his career.  And he continues to have a chance of breaking Boudrais 1975 record for single season assists with 62.  The unfortunate part is that Henrik also only has 5 goals on the season.

Markus was skating with a bit more confidence and jump in his step.  While he scored the sixth goal for the Canucks, and it didn’t mean anything to the outcome of the game, he scored it with confidence in a classic backhand move while crossing the goalie.  That’s a good sign for him and the team.

It’s really shows the struggles the team had early on when Linden has been on a scoring tear of late, and still only has 7 on the season.

Don’t expect the Canucks to move too much up the charts with their goals per game average, if they keep their current pace, they’ll likely end up about 20th overall.  But what’s good is that they’ll end the season playing well.  Which is the opposite of what happened last year.

The team is now an incredible 17-2 when scoring 3 or more goals.  And an even more astonishing 8-1 in the last nine games while being out shot. 

Let me explain how this works.  The team is not playing as tight defensively as they were earlier.  Actually, they are now trying to keep guys to the outside, and letting them take shots from there instead of trying to stop the shots altogether.  Vigneault has realized what a true star he has with Luongo and is letting him see and take the shots.

And by doing that, they are accomplishing two things.  First, Luongo has stated publicly that it’s easier for him to ‘stay’ in a game when he’s busy and getting a lot of shots.  Second, the team is able to take more chances offensively now and this has increased their goal scoring as a result.

It’s really that simple.  But that’s what  a good coaching staff does.  They make adjustments.  Vigneault and his assistants did not know these guys coming in.  But their getting to know them now and are making the adjustments needed to win.

On a final note, I noticed that Cowan was out on the ice when the game ended and the team was on a power play.  The game was clearly out of reach, and while we wont’ know the true reasons Vigneault did this, be assured that Don Cherry would have taken notice if Naslund and the Sedins were out there.

Cherry feels that it’s a slap in the face if you kick a guy when he’s down.

While I personally feel that there is a lack of respect on the ice with flying sticks and cheap shots, I think playing hard right until the last whistle blows is what the fans expect and the teams need to deliver.

Let’s put it this way.  It was a classy move (by Cherry standards), but I would have rather seen Daniel get another or Linden, or Naslund get another goal.  And I’m a paying customer.

The Chief Canuck

Explore posts in the same categories: Canuck Game Files, Hockey, NHL, TV Broadcasts, Vancouver, Vancouver Canucks

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