Canucks 2 – 3 Oilers

Tonight was a tale of two games. In the one game, which took place in the first period, the back half of the second period, and the entirety of the third period, the Canucks defeated the Oilers by a score of 2-0. In the other game, which took place in the first ten minutes of the second period, the Oilers defeated the Canucks by a score of 3-0. Unfortunately for Vancouver, there was also a third, larger game, which was decided by combining scores of the other two games. Hence, the Oilers won this game as well. I watched this game.

  • After the Oilers’ outburst in the second, which included three goals in the span of six minutes, Alain Vigneault gave Roberto Luongo a quick hook, swapping him for Cory Schneider for the second time this season already. Hey, remember when the Canucks traded for David Booth and, for three sweet days, nobody talked about Roberto Luongo? Yeah, those days are over. Now, when I think of them, I hear the theme from The Wonder Years.
  • On his way to the bench, Luongo swung his stick in frustration. Incredibly, it stayed in his hands. Who is this man?
  • We defended Luongo when New York lit him up for four goals, but tonight, he deserved to get pulled. I’m willing to give him a pass on the Oilers’ first goal, a shot most goalies aren’t going to stop. The second and third goals, however, don’t go in if he makes a better play. On the second, Shawn Horcoff’s goal, Luongo gets his signals crossed with Dan Hamhuis while playing the puck behind the net. Then, rather than throwing it up the wall or leaving it where it is, he tries to scoop it behind him with his glove. Maybe that works in jai alai — here, it’s a curious choice. It fooled even Hamhuis, led to a turnover, and forced Luongo to lose sight of the puck while scrambling back into his goal. The next time he saw it, he was fishing it out of the net.
  • On the third goal, Luongo gets absolutely frozen by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and when Nugent-Hopkins opts to pass rather than shoot, Luongo isn’t set and fails to glide across. Instead he shuffles like a member of the E Street Band, and the puck is past him before he gets there.
  • Cody Hodgson was back at centre tonight and he looked much better. He even scored a goal, a nice shot that ramped off Ryan Jones’s stick and past Nikolai Khabibulin. Frankly, I thought Malhotra looked just as uncomfortable on the wing as Hodgson did, but I’m much happier with the Canucks stunting Malhotra’s limited offensive upside than I am Hodgson’s.
  • In case you were wondering, yes, Ben Eager is still a dummy. Each time he comes over the boards, I’m shocked he’s not wearing high-waisted red pants.
  • The Sedins gave us this season’s first moment of wizardous Sedinerie, setting up Alex Burrows for a ridiculous third period goal to cut the deficit to one. It was nuts, especially since it was a set play. There are two elements: the first is Daniel cutting down the right side, curling, and making the feed to the trailing defenseman (Salo) for the one-timer. The second is Burrows and Henrik overloading the left side together (watch Burrows walk the entire blue line to cut behind Henrik and go wide), hoping for a rebound chance off the blocker. They get it, but rather than shoot, Henrik leads Khabibulin right out of the blue paint, then makes a crazy drop for Burrows, who has a wide open next to shoot at. So good.
  • Frustrated with the play of his defense, Alain Vigneault gave up on the Hamhuis/Edler pairing and return the Community Man to his usual spot alongside Kevin Bieksa. Edler, meanwhile, was returned to Sami Salo’s left side. Does Vigneault keep these pairs together? I’m of the mind that Hamhuis and Bieksa will stay, but the Canucks clearly don’t want Edler and Salo playing together long-term — it’s too much icetime for Salo. Problem is, he’s far and away the best fit. This should be interesting.
  • Say, who’s that with only 12:52 of icetime, lowest among defensemen? Why, it’s our old friend, Keith Ballard! Don’t feel too bad for him, though. It’s a new season, so I’m sure the sheets in the doghouse are freshly laundered.
  • Maxim Lapierre had one of the best moments of the night, knocking Andy Sutton to his derriere in front of the Oilers’ goal in the second. Have you noticed yet that the guy is involved in every scuffle? If you’re wondering why the calls don’t go his way, this is why. Regardless of what the eyes see, it’s hard to believe Lapierre is ever the one being picked on. He just irritates. He’s like a wool sweater skating around the ice.
  • David Booth was only okay in his first game with the Canucks, but don’t fret: it’s going to take him awhile to adjust. He didn’t always seem to know where to go, and he didn’t always seem to know where his teammates were either. On a handful of occasions, he made passes to nobody. Eventually, he’ll figure out where things are. And on the plus side, he had three shots, so he seems to know where the net is.
  • I made this observation versus the Rangers, but it stands to be made again. If you’re wondering why one team’s goaltender looked good and the other’s looked bad, take a look at the defensive help. The Oilers blocked 31 shots, only four less than Khabibulin stopped. Edmonton had more blocks than Tetris.
  • Cory Schneider’s been defending Roberto Luongo all season, but he certainly didn’t do Luongo any favours when he made this save on Jordan Eberle. That’s just obscene. To rob Eberle any worse, he’d need a grappling hook, spray that makes motion sensor lasers visible, a decoy diamond, and a zipline for the escape.
  • And finally, the only Canuck without a shot tonight: Henrik Sedin. You know who shoots the puck a lot? Vincent Lecavalier. Someone call The Province.
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42 comments

  1. nazzyfan19
    October 26, 2011

    As always, I enjoy your take on the game. Just wanted to point out you got your Sedin’s mixed up on the Wizardous Sedinerie play description though…

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    • Harrison Mooney
      October 26, 2011

      Thanks, fixed.

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    • Jo Macdonald
      October 26, 2011

      I watched this game too,oiler fan here,and there is 2 things i noticed about when these
      2 teams play each other,not to mention watching the SC final last year,when you hit the Sedines they are not too keen to play the puck much anymore,and the refs let them get away with way too much.Just because they are who they are.Wish they would do the same with taylor hall.But all in all,it will be a great season series and I cant wait till the next game…GO OIL!!!

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      • Daniel Wagner
        October 26, 2011

        Wait, the refs let the Sedins get away with too much?

        I don’t even know how to respond to that. This is the first time I have ever heard this accusation made of the Sedins. Wow.

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  2. invisibleairwaves
    October 26, 2011

    I gotta say, I’m getting pretty sick of the Sedins’ downright careless defensive play. We all know they’re capable of winning battles along the boards and making tape-to-tape passes to the members of the correct team, so why do they only manage to do so on one end of the ice? I had hoped that they were going to improve that aspect of their game in the offseason given how bad it was in the playoffs, but that doesn’t seem to have been the case.

    The third line had their share of troubles too, and I think the addition of Hodgson, while improving their offence, made them more erratic defensively. That can’t happen if the third line is going to do the defensive-zone work required to let the Sedins outscore their aforementioned defensive liabilities. I wouldn’t be surprised if Higgins and Hodgson ended up trading lines.

    Sorry for the ranting, I kinda had to get that off my chest tonight. Really liked the addition of Booth though. I thought his forechecking was great. And the fourth line was solid again.

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  3. TubaNat
    October 26, 2011

    I tuned into the final few minutes of this game and was momentarily relieved that schneider was playing (just want funny bob to get through october asap), but then quickly discovered why. He’s going to need to catch a puck with his teeth in the next game if he wants to regain some love from the sadly fickle fans. Well I still love the crazy bastard…

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  4. Nlee
    October 26, 2011

    Lu needs to get a few solid games in, and he’ll be fine. And if one of those solid games comes against the Capitals on Saturday, that will really help his cause against the doubters.

    Booth is as fast as advertised….I’m liking his effort so far. Hopefully he can settle in with Kesler and Higgins/Hodgson.

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  5. Zach Morris
    October 26, 2011

    Oh jeez.
    I was really happy during the first period, because Luongo was playing well, and he looked sharp.
    I was thinking, this is the kind of game he needs to silence his critics.
    And then he got the fast hook.
    ~sigh.
    Now I have to stay away from Team 1040, CDC, TSN, ESPN NHL and The Province until Luongo wins a game.

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  6. peanutflower
    October 26, 2011

    I’m hoping that was the Voldemort game… It’s too bad a yanked goalie has to sit on the bench and watch the rest of the game. That must be the hardest thing of all. That, and hearing the jeers from the Edmonton crowd. It’s a good thing Luongo makes lots of dough — don’t those sticks cost 300 bucks or something? You are right, that was two completely different games. I thought Luongo looked pretty solid and I was thinking hey, they’re going to show these young upstarts who’s boss! And they did. Except for those 10 minutes. Mostly.

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  7. C.K.
    October 26, 2011

    Your description of Cory’s rob of Eberle was death-defying. Thanks for making my morning.

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  8. Nth of the 49th
    October 26, 2011

    It’s really starting to look like the rest of the players have given up on Luongo. Either given up or they expect him to constantly make up for their mistakes.
    Maybe the soft goal a game pisses them off, I dunno, but it’s become pretty obvious that they play better with Schneider in goal.

    Given that Lou isn’t blameless either, he really needs to step up his game to the level of his paycheck. People are so upset because they watch other goalies who are superstars steal games and I can’t really remember the last time Lou stole a game. Well not since he decided to play ref instead of goalie a few years ago anyhow.

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    • Nth of the 49th
      October 26, 2011

      should be “not since the year he decided”

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    • J21
      October 26, 2011

      I think this is a bit of a structural fallacy, since the only way to “steal” a game, by definition, is for the team not to deserve the victory. Goalies that “steal games” are usually playing behind relatively inept teams, or at least teams having a poor night. Because the Canucks are good, this occasion seldom rises. It’s not really a surprise that 2006-07 Luongo tended to “steal” games more than recently.

      Also, if the Canucks really have “given up” on Luongo, they’re no better than dumb fans. So hopefully this isn’t the case.

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  9. JDM
    October 26, 2011

    So hold on, your math suggests that the final score was 4-2. I believe that first number should be 2-0.

    This one didn’t really bother me on the basis that the Canucks didn’t play that well, the Oil played a very solid game and they still would’ve lost miserably if not for a 5-10 minute vacation in the second. The PP wasn’t great, that’s an issue.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      October 26, 2011

      Ha. That’s what happens when you write an IWTG at two in the morning. Or maybe I just suck at math.

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  10. the oldecoot
    October 26, 2011

    Capitals still are undefeated!
    What the expletive deleted
    Is going on? I’d like to know.
    (Alain Vigneault for Bruce Boudreau!)

    Thursday night they play the Oilers.
    Doubtful they will be the spoilers,
    But Saturday on CBC!
    (Cory Schneider for St Louis!)

    On Tuesday night the game I saw
    Has left a sticking in my craw
    I never thought that I would say
    (Luongo for Lecavalier!)

    Four shots three goals I must confess
    I switched to watch NCIS

    The Olde Coot

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  11. JDM
    October 26, 2011

    Okay, so first, I wasn’t too upset watching this game. The Oil played a solid game top to bottom and their top line was dangerous. And yet, if not for a brief timeout in the second period wherein the Canucks were apparently playing backgammon on the bench rather than paying attention to the hockey game, I have little doubt they would have won handily. Essentially, it was a standard 50 minute October effort from the visiting side, which by now should not shock anyone.

    I would say Booth was better than okay, but perhaps I’m adjusting for his lack of adjustment so soon after the trade. On numerous occasions he was in on the forecheck and had a couple of take-aways in the offensive zone that could easily have produced goals. Dude is not only as fast as advertised, he has hustle. I will say that Higgins looked a bit out of place on that line and I would prefer, I think, leaving CoHo where he was, but am more than willing to give the status quo time to settle in and get comfortable to see if it meshes. Kesler looked absolutely possessed, almost to Nashville-series levels, at times after the Oil got the lead, but the bounces didn’t go his way. All concerns about him taking a while to get up to speed should probably be set aside.

    Speaking of CoHo, you let him off the hook a bit. I am a big supporter and want him to stay playing with the team – see above where I put him back on the 2nd line. At times, though, and especially in his own end, he does not look NHL ready. He’s just timid on some plays, and the first goal rests more or less entirely on his shoulders. That was one of the weakest attempts to tie up a player (who happened to be Taylor Hall) I’ve seen this year. As a result, Hall has no difficulty making the pass to Eberle.

    I also think you’re being too hard on Luo. The second goal is his fault, no doubt (yet another example of why he should never play the puck except to stop it behind the net). But the third? When Hall gets a pass at the side of the net, there’s been a defensive breakdown, and the coverage on that play folded like a proverbial lawn chair. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing that Roberto got angry after that, since his emotional side can produce wildly varying results, but we’ll see. I assume he’ll start tonight against the Blues.

    How about Dale Weise driving wide to the net? I liked Oreo but never saw much of that from him. New Canuck fan obsession now that we have a winger for the second line: finding someone to play with Lapierre and Weise.

    Final random thought: Edler has been noticeably physical early in the season. Seems to me it usually takes a playoff game to bring the Kronwall out in him. Paajarvi did not enjoy himself in the first at all.

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    • JS Topher
      October 26, 2011

      Maybe you need to start your own blog?

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      • JDM
        October 26, 2011

        No patience, and the comments section is just so convenient.

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  12. madwag
    October 26, 2011

    Reminder: Danielson’s recent post on Backhand Shelf is quite amusing as it presents an NBA blogger’s supposedly naive analysis of the game of hockey. Well worth the read!

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    • the olde coot
      October 26, 2011

      Wholly holy holy cow!
      What is there to dislike now?
      Madwag is only telling you
      Of a post that’s worth a view.

      Doggone and dagnabit!
      Me thinks you “dislike” out of habit,
      A virtual Pavlovian dog
      Disliking as you troll a blog.

      Put some meat upon the bone
      Of your discontent. Make it known
      What it is that bothers you,
      Or is that you’ve not a clue?

      Yea! That’s it! I think forsooth
      That I have struck upon the truth!

      The Olde Coot

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  13. chicken hawk
    October 26, 2011

    The most recent hockey views
    Has Vancouver losing to the Blues.
    It’s not that the Nucks are bad,
    Just they’re a team that can be had.

    They play hard but they don’t score,
    Ergo back-checking they ignore.
    And when Lui lets one in,
    You know right then that they’ll not win.

    This David Booth’s like all the rest
    He’ll play hard but then he’ll rest
    And once he’s given up the puck
    Lui becomes a sitting duck

    It’s just that they’re not going right
    So they’ll likely lose tonight

    Chicken Hawk

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    • JS Topher
      October 26, 2011

      Rhyming “rest” with “rest”? That’s poor form. That’s like Beyonce poetry. Losing your touch Chicken Hawk.

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      • Chicken Hawk
        October 26, 2011

        Exquisitely sloppy! How about:

        This David Booth’s not met the test
        He’s play hard but then he’d rest

        ? Thank you Mr. (Ms) JS Topher!

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        • Chicken Hawk
          October 26, 2011

          Damnation. The joys of creation!

          That’s “He’d play hard but …..”

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  14. Geoff
    October 26, 2011

    I was kind of suprised to see Luo get the hook, I thought that on two of the goals the Canucks defensive coverage had broken down for at 15 seconds before anything went in. The whole team plays a defensive system, and that includes Luo, so while it would be nice to see him bail the team out, when his teammates let him down he is not going to be abel to bail them out every time.

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  15. Hanky Doodle Dandy
    October 26, 2011

    Canucks Lose Again
    A Luongo October
    You Shouldn’t Care Yet

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  16. bergberg
    October 26, 2011

    Thank heavens for IWTG.

    Honestly though, I live in western Quebec – and being a couple of Canucks fans my boyfriend and I subscribe the largest sports package our cable provider offers, with hopes of getting at least MOST of the games. So far this year we’ve hardly been able to get any!! They aren’t on CBC (unless it’s HNIC), TSN, TSN2 or ESPN. They only seem to be on sportsnet pacific (which is the only station apparently not broadcasting in Quebec). But its not like the other channels are broadcasting any other games, just shows of their “personalities” talking about hockey. Can’t we just watch the game for goodness sake??

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    • JDM
      October 26, 2011

      ^Do your research, it’s called NHL Centre Ice… I don’t get TSN, TSN2, ESPN or any sportsnet channels here in Alberta, just Centre Ice, and I get the vast majority of Canucks games at home in HD. Those few I don’t get there (games vs. Oilers and Flames and games broadcast on TSN), I get at the pub across the street. Gotta have a system.

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      • bergberg
        October 26, 2011

        Yah, I know about NHL Centre Ice, but I don’t see why I should have to pay for yet another sports channel to get the games. Especially games between two Canadian teams – shouldn’t those be broadcast for fans across Canada? I guess it’s just another way for the NHL to make some $$.

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        • JDM
          October 26, 2011

          The licensing agreements among the various providers require that they only broadcast games in certain regions. Why on earth would they show the games in Quebec when very few people will watch them there? That’s like insisting that a channel take up prime-time airtime to show 1970′s battlestar galactica reruns because there is a small but dedicated fan group that will watch them in earnest. What games are shown where depends on what will garner the most viewership – i.e., what will be worth the provider’s while. In order to make it worth their while to show you those games in your area, you need to pay the 200 bucks for centre ice. And you should, because it’s money well spent; it’s less than 5 bucks a game (i.e. less than what I’d spend on my first period beer watching it at the pub across the street).

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          • bergberg
            October 27, 2011

            Okay. I’m not really looking to get into a debate here. But I can say that based on my experience, there are a lot of people who end up working in Ottawa (that’s where I am, although I actually live across the bridge in Quebec) from all across Canada. And I am definitely not the only one disappointed with the coverage of my respective team.

            I went to the Sens-Canucks game last season, and there were a huge number of Canucks fans there (although having the majority of the fans cheering for the opposition is not against the norm in Ottawa). The support for them during the playoffs here was amazing. I’m just saying, I don’t think it is as small and isolated of a market as you insinuate.

            I checked sportsnet pacific last night and the message said “Due to NHL broadcast restrictions, regional blackouts in are effect”. It seems to me that they are also pointing the finger at the NHL.

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            • bergberg
              October 27, 2011

              From the Sportsnet FAQ:

              Due to regional broadcast regulations set forth by the NHL, Sportsnet game telecasts must be blacked out in certain areas of Canada. The broadcast boundaries for Sportsnet’s regional NHL games have been set by the NHL since the network’s inception in 1998 and Sportsnet is contractually obligated to follow them.

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  17. CanuckFanInSF
    October 26, 2011

    I painstakingly watched this game.

    If I took a tequila shot every time Ryan Kesler’s ass (literally) was on ice, I would have been one sloppy drunk hurling curses at the TV like a pirate… well.. not that I needed any alcohol to fuel my rage last night much to my husband’s disbelief.

    At times, he seemed like a man on a mission, but overall he was doing too much. With Booth’s arrival in the lineup, he should’ve held the guy’s hand a bit. I know they played hockey together back in the juniors, but a lot of time has passed and both their games has changed a lot since. The line was working at times, but it still needs to find it’s legs. Kes needs to stop whining to the refs. His “beast” cred is taking a beating.

    So, um are we refusing to discuss the absence of Kevin Bieksa in this game? I understand that his TOI was at 24:43, but seriously it made no difference. AT ALL. He made horrible decisions last night. I was hoping against hope that he wasn’t living up to the “Mr. Contract Year” monicker.. but it’s getting harder and harder to defend against it. Hamhuis did a better job, but he cannot defend on his own and Bieksa needs to pull his weight.

    Offense needs to step it up. Some reason we are outshooting the opposition but we rarely bury anything in.

    I don’t know if everybody was just skating through the motions last night but it sure did seem like it. Was it because it was the Oilers? Or maybe the refs hate us for all the non-calls.

    And how about Dale Weise? I’m liking that kid’s game. He might just be the sleeper acquisition of the season. Love how he was mouthing off at Ben Eager. Or was that Volpatti? Or was it both?

    That save by Schneider was the filthiest thing I saw last night. Thievery I tell you, thievery. I cannot believe that the linesmen had to confirm that the puck did not cross the line.

    And somewhere in Stanley Park, a marquee goal tender is enjoying a walk by the seawall.

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    • peanutflower
      October 26, 2011

      I was pretty surprised to see how many non-calls for the Canucks there actually were, at least until Edmonton scored those 3 goals. I counted at least 3 offenses right in front of the refs that weren’t called. I saw Kes gesticulating a few times, but dang, there were at least two times that he drew penalties that were not called. After the game was 3-0 that changed a bit. No wonder.

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      • CanuckFanInSF
        October 26, 2011

        The thing is, Kes shouldn’t have to gesticulate (borrowing your word here)…. not anymore. I thought he already took the whining out of his game last season? If he didn’t complain too much, maybe the linesmen will give him the benefit of the doubt and the penalties will be called accordingly.

        I miss Juice and the Beast. I hope they come back soon.

        And I cannot wait for the Booth-Kesler-Higgins line to click. Very promising, those three.

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  18. Canuckled
    October 26, 2011

    Last night’s game looked an awful lot like the Canucks/Oilers games from the 80s. The nuks work but make a few mistakes and lose. I am not saying this edition of the Oil are as good as the 80s edition, rather the similarity in the way Vancouver lost. Consider this to borrow a line from the Moody Blues, The Days of Future Passed. If the Sedins, & Lungo base which Gillis has built the team around fail to deliver a cup this year, then after the season is over, take a page from the Oil play book, and build with youth. I am sure we could get several good young players to reload from trades. If not we should prepare ourselves to eclipse Toronto’s streak of most seasons without a Stanley Cup.

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    • CanuckFanInSF
      October 26, 2011

      “If not we should prepare ourselves to eclipse Toronto’s streak of most seasons without a Stanley Cup.”

      Zing.

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  19. BeCanucks
    October 26, 2011

    Life is hard for Lu.
    But the D is in shamble, and we need a second-line right handed D if we want to be able to limit Salo’s minutes. Edler doesn’t work so well on the right side, Bieksa doesn’t work so well with Ballard which can’t use his famous hipcheck if he’s on the right, aaaaaaaaah, that’s a mess.

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  20. Dane
    October 26, 2011

    Being on the other side of the planet and at work when most of these games are on, I only get to view the Ice Tracker on NHL.com for games. It was so frustrating to ‘watch’ this game as from what I could see, for the most part, the Canucks dominated. The stats seem to support that too. When they gave up those three goals, because they were so quick, I just imagined they must either be the best goals ever for Lou to have given them up, or he just is not playing well. I didn’t realise Schneider was in net until I got home that evening. I just thought Lou had a rough patch, then put up the wall again for the rest of the game. When I viewed the highlights I was very surprised. It seemed to me it wasn’t ONLY Lou doing silly plays, but the defence as well. That second goal… well…what can you say. But I thought someone should have been tracking Horcoff there. Lou, on occasions is more than capable of stealing games, and bailing out the D. However, when he needs someone to bail him out, it just doesn’t seem to be there this season. Yet. Schneider was outstanding, but I hope the D can sort themselves out soon. Once that happens, I reckon Lou will return to form and we can start piling up the wins!

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  21. DanD
    October 26, 2011

    You might say the Canucks lost the “meta-game.”

    Teehee!

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  22. Pablo
    October 27, 2011

    Im surprised the Oilers didn’t win by more. I really am.

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