LAST WEEEK the Vancouver Canucks defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-2 (in overtime) in a game that as good as they come in the regular season. The Sharks returned the favour last night by the same score, though it was far from a classic.
In fact, if you were lucky you did not realize the game started at 5pm and spared yourself from watching a game that was, at least in the 2nd period, as ugly as Terrace city streets after that New Year’s Day snowstorm.
Okay, maybe it was not that bad. But the Canucks’ effort was lacklustre at best. Perhaps it was because it was their fifth game in 8 days. Perhaps it was because it was the first game back from a road trip. Perhaps it was because the power play has suddenly dried up.
The Canucks better put forth a more concentrated effort the rest of this week. They have a first place showdown with the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday. Then they make their much anticipated return to Boston on Saturday for an afternoon affair with the Bruins.
Here’s this week’s slap shots:
Nice to see Cody Hodgson get a vote of confidence from coach Alain Vigneault last hight. He was bumped up to the second line in the third period, and responded with the game tying goal. He also assisted on Jannik Hansen’s first period goal, as well. He is also now 4th league wide in rookie scoring, despite averaging just 12 and a half minutes a game this season.
Roberto Luongo continues his strong play. Without him there is no way the Canucks take 3 of 4 points from San Jose in the past week.
Maybe it was just the audio on the television broadcast, but it seemed to me that Rogers Arena was quieter than the Skeena Mall in January.
Speaking of quiet, Andrew Alberts has quietly had a solid season. He’s hitting with enthusiasm and is a mainstay on the penalty kill.
Joe Thornton continues to frustrate. Last week he was awesome for San Jose, using his size and skill to perfection. Last night he was indifferent and down right awful. I do not think I could watch him night in and night out and still have any hair left.
Apparently Joe Thornton is a certified referee. All he had to do was raise his arm and referee Tim Peel, in no position to make the call himself, believed Thornton that Roberto Luongo played the puck outside of the trapezoid. Someone must have forgotten to tell Peel that Thornton does not play for Boston anymore.
Speaking of Boston, do not forget the start time for this Saturday’s Stanley Cup rematch – 10am PST. What an awful time for a west coast team to have to play a hockey game. I guess the NHL wants to ensure another Boston victory.
Do not forget the World Junior championships come to a conclusion this week as well. The semi-finals are set and playing on Tuesday night. In one semi-final Canada will play their eternal nemesis the Russians. The Russians downed the Czech Republic in a classic match to advance. Sweden plays their Scandinavian arch rivals from Finland in the other semi-final. The gold medal game is Thursday at 5pm (PST). All the World Junior games are on TSN/TSN2.
Another successful Winter Classic was held by the NHL on Monday, this time from Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia. This is a made-for-NBC television event so they will have no interest in having a Canadian city host the event, but you have to think the Canucks would love to host a game at the newly minted BC Place. Heck, with the Canucks selling out every game for years now, maybe they should just move into BC Place full time.
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