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Press Round-Up: DEC.06.07

Thursday, 06.12.2007 / 2:26 PM / News
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Press Round-Up: DEC.06.07
THE PROVINCE
Playing like a broken record
Ben Kuzma said Markus Naslund, Mattias Ohlund, and Brendan Morrison broke records last game scoring some goals and gaining a few assists.

“On a night when Naslund drew an assist to set a new franchise points standard at 725 -- and Ohlund's opening goal equalled Jyrki Lumme for most goals by a Vancouver Canucks defenceman at 83 -- it was Morrison who snapped a third-period draw in a 3-2 decision.”

“That's right. Morrison the set-up man shot the puck and, as he predicted a day earlier, a good thing happened,” said Kuzma.

“Playing on a new line with Byron Ritchie and Taylor Pyatt, Morrison's slapshot struck the stick of defenceman Andrei Zyuzin, deflected down and fooled goalie Nikolai Khabibulin at 3:11.”

"You've got to let it go," chuckled Morrison. "I was just trying to shoot through a screen and got a bounce off a shaft and it changed directions."

“It was Morrison's second goal in his last 12 games and his second game winner against the Blackhawks in 11 days,” Kuzma said. “It allowed the Canucks to climb back into the Northwest Division lead. It also made it an impressive 14 wins in the last 16 meetings with the Blackhawks -- including five straight and seven of the last eight at the United Center.”

"And we need to find a way for Brendan to give us some offence. He felt excited about having the opportunity to go with Byron. That line got two goals and hopefully it's a step in the right direction."

“Naslund stepped into the franchise record book with a neat setup for Ohlund's opening goal. When Blackhawks defenceman Brent Seabrook lost his stick trying to corral the captain along the sideboards, he slipped a pass into the slot where a pinching Ohlund whipped a backhand home,” said Kuzma.

"It [record] is something to reflect on when you're done," said Naslund. "It was fun, but no big deal."
THE PROVINCE
Weird, ugly yet another win
Ben Kuzma said even when Roberto Luongo is off his game, he is still able to be the goalie the Canucks need in order to get a win.

“Luongo has been so good for so long in establishing new franchise standards with three straight shutouts last week -- and a run of 212:02 without allowing a goal -- any little abnormal blip in his performance sticks out like a big sore thumb,” said Kuzma.

"It was a weird night," said Luongo. "I didn't feel my sharpness that I've had over the last few weeks. Sometimes you're going to feel like that. You can't always feel great.

"The thing is you've got to battle through these situations and make sure that even though you're not feeling great, you're sound technically and make the right moves."

“With a day off in Chicago on Monday, Luongo was out of his practice rhythm and out of sync at times against the Blackhawks. It was almost as if he needed to sneak out of the team hotel and find a pick-up game at Johnny's Ice Haus -- a few blocks away from the United Center,” Kuzma said.

"I actually took the whole day off," chuckled Luongo. "I heard there was no ice available. I almost skated at the outdoor rink."

"It was one of those games," shrugged Luongo of this 25-save outing. "It was an ugly win, but at the same time a good road win.”
CANWEST NEWS SERVICE
Crawford directed Moore hit: report
CanWest News Service said that Todd Bertuzzi’s hit to Steve Moore may have simply been a hockey player taking orders from his coach.

“In court documents obtained by CBC, it's alleged that Crawford told his players "[Moore] must pay the price" after pointing to Moore's name and number on a board in the dressing room. The documents indicate that both Bertuzzi and Canucks current general manager Dave Nonis confirmed Crawford made the threat. Nonis was the director of hockey operations at the time of the incident,” said CanWest.

“Bertuzzi went after Moore on March 8, 2004, jumping him from behind and driving his head hard onto the ice. Moore suffered a severe concussion and three broken vertebrae in his neck. He has not played in the NHL since.”

The attack was considered retribution after Moore hit Vancouver Canucks winger Markus Naslund in the head on Feb. 16, 2004, knocking the Canucks captain unconscious. Crawford was critical of Moore's hit on Naslund, telling reporters after the Feb. 16 game it was "a cheap shot by a young kid on a captain, a leading scorer in the league, and we get no call? That is ridiculous."

“The former Canucks coach was accused of smirking after Bertuzzi attacked Moore a month later, but wasn't punished by the NHL,” CanWest said.

“Bertuzzi was suspended for the remainder of the 2003-04 season and was reinstated by the league at the beginning of the 2005-06 season.”