Canucks lose Game #1 against Ducks

April 26, 2007


Well, it didn’t surprise me. The Canucks were playing without four regulars, and two of their top defensemen. Matt Cooke and Ryan Kelser remained out, and Kevin Bieksa and Sami Salo (two of the Canucks top D-men) were out as well. Those left some huge holes.

The Vancouver defense looked awful without them. Willie Mitchell did his best to make up for it, but just couldn’t make up for the huge loss. With Edler and Fitzpatrick out there, the Canucks seemed to lack confidence, and just the overall defensive ability to shut down the Ducks.

My first thought was… wow this game is much more wide open, I think the Canucks have a legitimate shot. They could have had three goals in the first five minutes. Giguere is good, but he is no Turco. He CAN be beat. He is solid angle-wise, but he isn’t very quick, and a good quick shot will beat him. Only problem was… the Canucks couldn’t hit the damn net! I swear they missed the net on six easy scoring opportunities. Also, what was Henrik Sedin doing passing across the crease when he had a completely wide open net?

I’m not that upset, as I really didn’t think they would win this game. They seemed to play like they knew they would lose, as soon as Anaheim scored that first goal. They seemed to lack any energy or effort once they got behind. It’s like they were thinking “Ok, we don’t have two of our top d-men, we’re tired after a long series, let’s just get to game #2”.

Some other notes from the game…

– Alex Burrows did a great job agitating Teemu Selanne. I hope he keeps it up. Selanne can be a snap show, and if Burrows gets under his skin enough, he will draw penalties, or at least, get co-incidentals, and take Selanne off the ice with him.

– Markus Naslund continues to be completely ineffective. It’s almost coming to the point – and this is really quite sad – that he is actually hurting us on the ice. He loses the puck or gets easily checked on almost every Power Play and the other team dumps the puck out of the zone. He had a perfect chance to score in the first minute of the game, and he basically walked into the net and F’d up. We were discussing last night, that next to Jose Theodore, Naslund is probably the most overpaid player in the league. At this point, he’s a third-liner at best. Pretty sad for $6 Million a year.

– I am glad they took Luongo out when the Ducks scored their 4th goal. Not because Luongo was bad in any way, but because the game was out of reach, and there was no sense risking Luongo getting hurt. It also gave Dany Sabourin a chance to play. The poor guy sits on the bench 99% of the time, and it was good to give him his first playoff ice time.

– The Ducks are incredible on the Power Play. Vancouver has to do whatever possible to avoid stupid penalties. And… on the topic of stupid penalties… wow, was the reffing absolutely horrid last night. There were so many brutal calls on both teams.

I think we’ll see a completely different Canucks team come out to play on Friday. They can beat the Ducks. They play a style that Vancouver can handle better than the style Dallas played. Provided Bieksa and Salo return, I still think the Canucks can take this series. Game 2 is a huge one.

Game #2 in Anaheim starts at 7:00pm on Friday.


  1. Game 2 is huge. We should have both Salo and Bieksa back and the mindset of Vancouver will be much different. Fitzpatrick and his 3 penatlies will be in the press box and Krajicek wont be exploited as a weak link quite as often, logging probably just over 10 minutes on friday.

    There is no question that Anahiem is the better team here but Luongo is the great equalizer. With our shutdown line back helping him out it will be different.

    I thought Naslund was helpful for Vancouver during games 1-4 against Dallas. He hit his checks and made mostly smart plays, always got the puck out of danger, but he is really starting to frustrate me. Its as if he has forgotten how to play this game. Forget all the nonsense that without Bertuzzi pulling guys away from him he is a better player. Morisson has regained his game enough that Markus should be lifting his. Naslund looks lost out there. On the powerplay he made some smart decisions and he is at least trying for his wrist shot from the right circle. He is a shell of his former self who can either go two ways, the way of Selanne (who had horrible knee troubles that needed surgery) who went from two dismall seasons to being a force, or the way of Tony Amonte who just forgot how it was he used to be effective. He seems to be on a downward slide and if he doesn’t remember how he got here the Canucks are gone in 5.

  2. I too think that Vancouver can still take the series and I think they will.

    It is bizarre to me how much step Naslund has lost. Here is one of the guys who used to be able to dominate a game and now he seems like a third or fourth line guy who has suddenly been put up on one of the scoring lines and he’s nervous as a cat!

  3. The Canucks looked flat in game 1, but looked a lot better in game 2.

    This series could easily go the distance.

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