Game of the Night

(Jonas Hiller looks up at the jumbotron after Canucks score a goal)

Vancouver Canucks vs. Anaheim Ducks @ Honda Center
2-7 Final

Vancouver playing twice in 24 hours.  Anaheim coming off of a 4-day resting period.  A win would sum up the Canucks' California road-trip quite nicely.

Just 66 clicks of the clock in and we got our first goal of the game!  Willie Mitchell with puck up at the blue, snaps it on net and with incredible hand-eye coordination, Steve Bernier tips the puck down and pass Jonas Hiller.

Then at 4:30 into the first period, it's Vancouver again!  Mason Raymond uses incredibly patience I didn't know he had to get the Swiss goaltender to bite.  And bite he did.  Hiller would try to save it by making a yoga-esque save but fail as the puck jumped up and hovered over then in behind the goal line.  Ryan Whitney would try to clear it but he was just a step too late as the puck had already crossed the line.  The ref had to go to video review to see whose goal it was (because Ryan Kesler had banked it in after Whitney "cleared").  A quick little review and it would rule a good goal for Raymond to pick up the PPG. 

3:30 left in the clock, Corey Perry makes it a 1-goal game!  Joffrey Lupul had the good control of the puck but coughed it up to empty ice.  Perry picked up the loose puck and quickly shot over Andrew Raycroft.  Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf have now increased their point-streak to four games.

In the second period, Anaheim bank in a SHG!  Ryan Carter with the good heads-up play to Mike Brown and Brown just tips his shot through Raycroft's pads to give the home team their first lead of the night.

Entering the third, Andrew Raycroft is replaced by another of our call-ups, Cory Schneider, after letting 4 goals in.

Play of the night!!  Ryan Getzlaf made the ultimate pass to Bobby Ryan.  Ryan with the quick release and he let's it rip pass Schneider who had no chance of stopping that.  If he had, I'm sure it would've made the play-of-night easily on most highlight reels.

The GWG was a funky one.  And I mean 'funky' in a bad way.  Joffrey Lupul from behind his own blue, banks it along the glass hard to get deep into the zone.  A funny bounce later, it was in our net.  A crazy fluke goal that is sure going to eat at every Canuckian tonight.

I don't know what to say about this game.  Okay, I do.  Canucks got the start they wanted - what we wanted!  Sure, it died down a bit through the first 20, but it wasn't like how we collapsed in LA.  But as the game wore on, so did our game.  The longer the game went, the more we fell apart and started to fold into ourselves.

The good points: the physical aspect of our game, offensive pressure, and skating.  The physicallity of our game died as the game wore on, but when it was strong, it was good.  We weren't making big hits or starting scraps but when we needed to be sturdy and big, we were.  Last night in LA, we were just in our zone more than we were anywhere else.  This period though, we got off on the right skate.  We were in and out of our zone quickly and transitions were made smoothly.  Skating was much of a problem for a good part of our game.

The bad points (and there were many): defence, defence and finish.  Defence was just poor starting around the top of the second.  We let some of them get pass us and sometimes we were too focused on the puck that we forgot about the wide-open, unchecked skater to the right of you.  Now the finishing touch.  Michael Grabner is a prime example tonight!  Grabs had many good chances but the finish was just not there!  It was Hiller that was making the finish disappear, it was Michael himself!  His shots were either poorly slotted, poorly shot, or (and this wasn't his fault) stopped.

In a nutshell, tonight was just one of those nights where nothing could go right.  The bounces were not going our way, nor was the ice.

3 stars:
(1) Corey Perry
(2) James Wisniewski
(3) Bobby Ryan
All three of them had a multi-point night.  Each of them are leaving tonight's game with three points a-piece.

(I like Ryan Carter's face in this shot)

And this summed up the day for me.  Not just the game, the day.

Images thanks to DayLife

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