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Vancouver Canucks

Canucks – 24 Hours from High to Low

What a difference a day makes. The Canucks left Motown late Thursday night with a come from behind 4 to 3 overtime win against the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings. On Friday night after only thirteen minutes of the first period they were down 3 to 0 to Buffalo in a game that the Sabres easily won 5 to 2. With two games left to play on the current six game road trip, the Canucks are 2 and 2. If they split games in Chicago and Columbus before returning home to play Edmonton next Thursday the fan base will be satisfied. But questions are already being asked about the team’s inconsistent play, lack of power play scoring, 28th in the league, and poor penalty killing which at 77.8 % is in the bottom third of NHL rankings.

The win in Detroit was the second time in 3 games that the Canucks came from behind to eventually win in overtime. Last year it was February before the team pulled off a come from behind win when trailing after two periods. The Red Wings went ahead 3 to 2 midway through the second period when Dan Cleary came out of the penalty box to pick up a pass from Pavel Datsyuk and score on a break away goal. Cleary a native of Newfoundland was the first non-European to score for the wings this year. This writer was expecting the Canucks to fold at this point like they did so many times last year. Instead they showed the same toughness and determination that surprised the Calgary Flames in the first two games of the season. Whereas last year if the first line didn’t score nobody did, this game featured three goals from the team’s checking line of Alex Burrows, Ryan Kessler and Jannik Hansen. The winning tally from Burrows came just 27 seconds into overtime on a rush the length of the ice that saw him shoot, miss the net but then smack in a rebound from the end boards.

This year the Canucks are bigger and more aggressive than last year’s team, but Friday night’s game underscored the need for the team to play with more discipline and head smarts as well. Only eight minutes into the game the team had 3 penalties called against them and the Sabres had scored on two of them. Early penalties to Willie Mitchell for an unlucky delay of game call and Taylor Pyatt for a lazy hook were followed by a double minor to defenseman Shane O’Brien. Look for Coach Alain Vigneault to give O’Brien a chance to observe Sunday’s game from the bench or the press box.

The Canuck win in Detroit spoiled a night that honoured Alex Develchio, who at the time of his retirement in 1974 ranked second in nearly every significant offensive category in Red Wings history behind only Gordie Howe. He has since been passed in most of those categories by Steve Yzerman but still ranks second all-time in games played as a Red Wing. Growing up in the Detroit area, I remember when Delvechio joined the Wings for the 1952 season and took over for Sid Able as the centre on the famed Production Line of that era. My family were Montreal Canadiens fans in those days, so while I can look back at the Red Wings and Delvechio with admiration, we had absolutely no love for the great Red Wing teams of the nineteen fifities and sixties. But that story is for another day.

The Old Timer – October 18, 2008

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Discussion

One comment for “Canucks – 24 Hours from High to Low”

  1. I hope the Sharks have a better 24-hour turn around than your beloved Canucks. I was very pleased to hear your boys beat the Red Wings but I did see that they lost on the second of back-to-back nights. The Sharks were HORRIBLE last night against the Ducks (chalking up their first loss of the season) but I’m hoping tonight’s game is a better outing against the Flyers (I’ll be there and I HATE losing when I’m in the building!)

    Posted by sharksfanNo Gravatar | October 18, 2008, 3:56 pm

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