Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Flood Gates Open Vs Calgary

For the first time since last December, the Canucks scored more than five goals in a single game on home ice. The line of Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows, and Jannik Hansen was a collective +9 and ten different players hit the score sheet in a huge 6-1 thumping of the Flames Wednesday night at GM Place.

Those players that stood out for me for various reasons included:

Mason Raymond (1g,+2): Absolutley flying on this night. Should have deserved a whole lot more than just one goal as he led all Canucks forwards in shots (5). His goal was a hi-lite reel effort on a backhand that beat Mikka Kiprusoff high on the short-side. Became 15th player on the Canucks pre-season roster to hit the goal-scorer's column in the first five games of the exhibition campaign. Showed great chemistry with linemates Pavol Demitra (1g,2a) and Taylor Pyatt (1a).

The line of Burrows (2a), Kesler (3a), and Hansen (2g): The most offensive line of the game for Vancouver, despite averaging less than 12 minutes of ice time in the game. All players went to the net to either create or attempt scoring chances. Caused a lot of fits for the Calgary defence low in their zone which resulted in close-range opportunites around Kiprusoff.

Roberto Luongo (35 saves): Eventhough this was a 5-goal difference in favour of the home team, we're not even discussing the end result if it wasn't for the captain. Was very strong in periods 1 and 3. A huge cross-crease pad save on David Moss in the first period on a Calgary power play was a big factor in keeping the Canucks in the lead going into the locker room after 20 minutes.

Alexander Edler (1g): Was the Canucks best blue-liner, leading all players in ice time (24:19). Scored on the opening shot of the game 21 seconds in, one of his five shots in the contest. With the likes of Ohlund, Bieksa, Mitchell, and Salo not in the line-up, he stepped into a bigger leadership role than what's normally expected of him.

Lawrence Nycolet (1g,1a,+3): Quietly had another responsible performance in both ends of the rink. Jumped at the opportunity to get into the slot to score a back-breaking goal in the eyes of the Flames late in the 2nd period. In three games this pre-season, he has 1g,1a and is a +5. Although likely destined to start the year in Winnipeg, he's become a valuable member of the Canucks depth on the blue-line.

Now 5-0, the Canucks have out-scored the opposition 21-12 in the pre-season. Even more satisfying to fans that wondered where the scoring was going to come from....26 players have collected either goals or assists in the first five games.

Next up, the San Jose Sharks invade GM Place Thursday night. And they're bringing their near full roster to Vancouver as the likes of Evgeni Nabokov, Rob Blake, Milan Michalek, Patrick Marleau, Jonathan Cheechoo, Devin Setoguchi, and Joe Thorton are all scheduled to dress against the Canucks.

No comments: