Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Another Useless Showing

A National Hockey League game consists of three, twenty minute periods. Too bad no one has told that to the Vancouver Canucks. The popular trend of the Canucks this year has been playing well for half of the game, and leaving the other half else where. Tonight's game against the San Jose Sharks was another example of how the Canucks could not pull together a full, well played, sixty minute game.

The Canucks came out flying to begin the game, throwing hits, getting shots, and creating momentum in the early going. The team had numerous powerplays given to them in the first period, and at that point was their game to lose. Unfortunately, the Canucks did not take advantage of this opportunity, and in turn, lost his game 4-2. Midway through the second period with the score being 1-0, Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov made a show stopping save off of Daniel Sedin on yet another Vancouver Powerplay. This, along with the gut wrenching fight between Doug Murray and Rick Rypien (in which Murray tooled Rypien), were the two vital turning points in the game, and from then on, the Canuck team did not look the same.

San Jose took control of the game, and the Canucks never got the chance to steal it back. Shortly after Nabokov's game changing save, the lazy play of Willie Mitchell (penalty for hooking) and Mattais Ohlund (penalty for holding) resulted in the Canucks being shorthanded for a near two minutes playing 5 on 3. The game broke open for the Sharks, after Steve Bernier scored the games tying goal on a nice breakaway feed by Patrick Marleau.

The third period was the Canucks period off, as they allowed three goals on thirteen shots (not Roberto Luongo's fault), and really didn't show up what so ever. However, the game was not all bad. It was relatively a good game for team (at least a great start). Two halves equal a whole. Maybe there is a need of a math tutor for this club, who still cannot put together a full team effort. One player that stood out for the Canucks was the off season acquisition Brad Isbister, skated exceptionally, using his big 6'4" frame to draw three penalties in the game. He also played on the powerplay, and was instrumental in the Taylor Pyatt goal in the first period. (Isbister's shot rang off the post and Pyatt "directed" it in with his skate).

All in all, the Canucks have yet to put in a full game effort this season. Even in the recent 4-1 win verses Edmonton, the Canucks showed at many times a lack of urgency, and as in most games this season, didn't have the killer instinct they really needed to win tonight's game. That being said, if the Canucks can play every game like they did the first period and a half tonight, the team should be up and rolling in no time.

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