Vancouver Canucks vs. Colorado Avalanche @ Pepsi Center
The score says pretty much everything. The Pepsi Center was transformed into a slaughter house tonight. But it weren't orcas getting chopped tonight; it was snow.
Colorado, in their third jerseys, let in three goals in the opening period. The first goal came just under two minutes off of the opening face-off. Our new top line of Mason Raymond, Ryan Kesler, and Henrik Sedin rushed to the net after coming from our zone. Hank got a somewhat easy goal as Craig Anderson left a gap between his skate and the post. Mason Raymond used his speed to bring the puck into the Avs' zone and made the pass up for an on-coming Kesler. Kesler, with his own speed, rung it off of the crossbar, but Hank slipped it in by the post!
Then at 7:09, Henrik got his second of the night! This one was an ugly goal. Mason Raymond came out of the penalty box as Willie Mitchell sent it up the ice to just kill the remaining seconds of his penalty. Anderson went back to retrieve but little did he know that speedy Mason Raymond was rushing for that puck and did a little back-pass up the ice to a speedy Henrik Sedin! Hank popped the puck onto a Anderson who just got in position in time, but the puck jumped on his stick and over behind him with Henrik crashing the net to make sure it got in.
Then 4 minutes later, the Dane, Jannik Hansen, gets up on the board! Some nice fourth line action. Tanner Glass made the intial two shots but both were blocked by Anderson. The second shot was answered with a redirect that went horribly wrong. Anderson's redirect went straight to Jannik on the other side and BAM! GOAL!
The second period would calm everything down a little. After that shower of goals in the first, Vancouver added just one more goal in this middle period. Mathieu Schneider powered the puck into the net with Alex Burrows providing the great screen!
Third period would get a little interesting. Peter Budaj comes into the game after Craig Anderson let in 4 goals in 40 minutes after 22 shots.
Colorado finally ends Roberto Luongo's shut-out with a snapper from Marek Svatos. Wojtek Wolski used incredible patience up at the blueline, played it for Kyle Quincey who slapped it on goal. Svatos banged at the rebound and finally connects with the mesh.
The Avs cut the Vancouver lead in halves when Matt Hendricks banks in a goal for the home team.
But Vancouver is quick to answer! 20 seconds after the Hendricks goal, Steve Bernier answers for Vancouver! Steve Bernier, completely unmarked, just smashes the puck into the net! That was a pure muck-up by the Avs. I'm happy for the goal and all but Bernier should not have been all on his own. Where was the fifth skater for Colorado to mark him?
Tonight's cause of celebration: Henrik Sedin's 1st NHL career hat-trick! It started with a good heads-up pass from Alex Edler. Eddie and Hank play a little Swedish give-&-go and Hank one-times it for the 6-2 goal!
If that wasn't enough, Bernier got his second of the night! Right after the PP ended, Matt Pettinger and Steve Bernier headed strongly to the net. Nice pass from Pettinger from wing-to-wing and Bernie popped the puck right under the crossbar!
You may think this is over, but it ain't! 2 minutes left on the clock and Rick Rypien and Cody McLeod drop the gloves! A couple of good punches were thrown but McLeod's take-down on Ripper was great! I give this one to McLeod (sorry, Rick).
And to justify the scoreline, Tanner Glass scores the GWG with 15 seconds left on the clock! Pure fire power from the young Canuck.
The Canucks coaching staff needs to keep tonight's game in the video vaults. From the top to the bottom, this was a prime example of how we should be playing every night (with exception to a few moments).
Our defence played very well by blocking shots, making hits, and clearing the zones. And when they got pass our D, Luongo was there to flash the leather, drop the paddle, or close the pads! Luongo completely robbed a couple of Avs of amazing scoring chances! I couldn't believe what I was seeing! Amazing stuff from our captain with the 'C'.
It was a great way to end a 5-game road trip and a scoring drought (preivous two games, we only scored a total of 2 goals).
I have to give it up for Colorado though. They didn't stop and kept trying for goals and chances no matter what the scoreline was. And the goaltenders trying to keep them in contention. But in the end, it wasn't enough as Colorado bring their losing-streak to 3 games.
Craig Anderson is still a story of a goalie despite tonight's poor performance. He is still a story for the NHL and his skill set is pretty loaded. I'm expecting a blazing performance their next game from not only Anderson, but the rest of the team too.
(1) Henrik Sedin
(2) Roberto Luongo
(3) Jannik Hansen
Image credits to DayLife, Canucks.com, and the Province.