Game of the Night

Vancouver's Shane O'Brien drops the gloves with Anaheim's Kyle Chipchura

Anaheim Ducks vs. Vancouver Canucks @ GM Place
3-2 Final

Canucks try to end their losing-streak against the Ducks and continue their home win-streak to 4-0.

Anaheim is the Western Conference's worse team with 33 points in 33 games (prior to tonight).

We pick the game up from 11:47 into the opening period.  Prior to that moment in time, Anaheim was dominating the game!  So this was bound to happen.  Bobby Ryan netted in the first of the game and his 15th of the season to give his team the extra edge in the early stages of this 60 minute game.

Vancouver only had one thing to say to that: 'Nuh-uh!'  Scott Niedermayer failed to pick the pass from Sami Salo thus allowing it to bounce past his stick right onto Daniel Sedin's.  Dany, once more, connected with his twin Henrik and with the cross-ice feed, Hank got his quick shot in the shelf with the Nutella.  Other than the obvious, this goal is also thanks to Alex Burrows who allowed Jonas Hiller to see absolutely nothing of Hank and the puck!  Too bad no points are awarded for screens.

By the end of 20 minutes, Canucks were badly outshot 13-2 for the Ducks.  2!!  That wasn't a typo; it was just two.  One goal and another shot.

For those looking for a really heated fight, please turn your heads towards Anaheim's Corey Perry and Vancouver's Frick-&-Frack Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows.  Chirpers that have always been after each other.  Even in the pre-season!  Kesler and Perry went after each other in the pre-season!

What are Vancouver's Willie Mitchell's thoughts on the Duck?  "It's kind of like playing against Ryan Kesler in practice; we all know how that went."  (Referring to a practice where Kesler and Mitchell were going at each other (later on, everything cooled down (like everything else with this team))).

If it wasn't for Roberto Luongo, Canucks would be down many goals instead of being all tied up at 1.  And to show just how great he was tonight, with 10:55 gone by, Luongo made two great saves.  The first was on Corey Perry with a fire shot.  The other was a bit lucky for the Ducks.  Kyle Calder tied up Luongo a smidge and forced him to sprawl to make the save on the Ryan Getzlaf shot.  Unfortunately, Roberto is only human and couldn't get up fast enough to make the save on the rebounded shot by Getzlaf and gets his 7th of the year and Anaheim the lead again.

Not only was Luongo pissed, but so was the Vancouver bench and the fans from the lower bowl all the way to executive boxes.  To show you how so, right off of the ensuing faceoff, Shane O'Brien dropped the mitts with Kyle Chipchura (depicted above).  I'm not all for Shane dropping the gloves a whole lot, but this was a very good move by him.  All the good swings, swung at Chipchura was in revenge for that goal that shouldn't have been!  Shane really showed the Ducks bench that the home bench was pissed, our captain was pissed, and everyone in the city that cares about this team is pissed.  Not only that, but it woke the team up!

And like black and white dominos, another fight rolls out after a big hit was laid.  Darcy Hordichuk laid a large hit on George Parros along the sideboards and rolled out a new fight.  Unlike a lot of their previous fights, this one was quick.  Parros had the quick take-down and the linesmen quickly broke them apart.

Canada Watch (i): Ryan Getzlaf is a highly touted young player.  Only at 24, his chances of making the team are quite bright.  But tonight wasn't a great display of his talents.  Even though he had that one goal, he had taken three bad penalties and put his team short-handed thrice!  Not exactly something that you should be doing if you want to make Team Canada.

Canada Watch (ii): Tonight was a good performance by Luongo.  Even if two goals got past him, he had made some pretty spectacular saves and was very good in between the posts.  Hardly ever was he caught out of position and he saw everything (except the two goals).  As much as the game comes down to the goaltender, we should not be letting Louie stand on his head to keep our team in the game.

Bright side of the period, we were even for shots (11-11) and we played a much better game in the final 10 of the second than the first 30 minutes!

Final period rolled around and it didn't take long for Vancouver to come back into the game.  I don't know what Coach Alain Vigneault said to his team in the changing room, but it worked!  Just 2:03 into the final period, Steve Bernier levelled the ice up for the home team!  Tanner Glass brought the puck to the front of the net and Bernie just dug it under Jonas Hiller for his 9th of the season. 

Now if you tuned in late, you would've been into this game.  If you stuck through the whole thing, you would be saying, "Where the hell was this team earlier?"  That was exactly what I was saying/yelling.  Physical, hard, productive, and Luongo playing great, this was the team I was used to seeing night after night.

15:07 gone in the final push for a win, Kevin Bieksa got penalized for tripping.  Knowing how essential this PK was, Alex Burrows played his role very well.  (About) 40 seconds of it was spent in the Ducks zone, alone, and produced a couple of SH-chances!  That is how you kill off a penalty.  But when Burrs headed off and was replaced, Kyle Calder made the soft feed to Saku Koivu across the blue paint and the Finn just squeaked it in for the GWG.

Suiss watch: Jonas Hiller wasn't all that busy for the first two periods of the game, but in the third, he was one busy man.  Hiller pulled out his biggest saves for the final period and stopped the Canucks from tying up the game for OT.

I think we needed this loss.  No, I'm not happy we lost, but it was good discipline.  It taught us to show some consistency through a game and to not just cruise through.  Nothing comes easy and we know it.  Tough and strong play should be played from the moment that puck leaves the referee's hand and until the final buzzer ends.

3 stars:
(1) Roberto Luongo (see Gayatri!  The losing team can end up with the first star!)
(2) Bobby Ryan
(3) Jonas Hiller

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