The Goods: Canucks tame Preds
Roberto Luongo’s new mask worked wonders.
Or maybe it was the goal support he got from the guys in front of him?
Either way, the Vancouver Canucks stomped the Nashville Predators 5-1 Thursday night at Rogers Arena, backed by a 25 save performance by Luongo, playing in the 100th October game of his career.
Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Dale Weise and Chris Higgins scored in a first period dominated by the Canucks and that was essentially all she wrote. The Predators answered back with a first period strike, but Ryan Kesler found the back of the net for the first time this season in the third to ice Vancouver’s first win on home ice and third victory of the year.
For the second consecutive game the Canucks put up 40 shots, the only difference on this night was that Vancouver got the bounce needed to open the scoring for the second time in seven games and the Canucks thrived with the lead.
“We were more simple, had more of a commitment to not making so many plays through the neutral zone and just
getting it into their end and letting our work ethic and then our skill take over,” assessed Higgins. “Once we’ve got the puck in the offensive end, we’ve got plenty of skill to make opportunities happen.”
Points on Vancouver’s five goals were spread between eight players, with the Sedins combining for two goals and three assists, Higgins, Kesler and Weise scored, Alex Edler had
a pair of helpers and Sami Salo and Maxim Lapierre added singles.
So it wasn’t all Luongo’s shinny new lid?
“You can write about that I guess too,” laughed Higgins.
This was a much better showing defensively for the Canucks, according to the man behind said mask.
“We didn’t give up much defensively," said Luongo. "I was seeing the puck well tonight and I was able to make some saves and when we play good defence, we can generate some offence off of that.”
NIGHT OF FIRSTS FOR WEISE
Before suiting up to face the Predators, Dale Weise sat on the Canucks bench listening to music and visualizing success.
He more than achieved it.
Weise re-directed an Alex Edler shot top-shelf midway through the first period for his first goal of the season, first with the Canucks and first of his NHL career.
Is that how he was envisioning scoring his first ever goal?
“You know what, it was top shelf, so I’ll take it,” joked Weise, who also earned his first 3 Star Selection. “If anyone asks, I’ll say it was top shelf, I’m happy with that.”
Weise said the puck, which was wrapped in hockey tape with the appropriate details recorded in blue marker in his stall, will remain in his locker until he gives it to his parents when they visit in a few weeks.
Even without scoring this was Weise’s best game with the Canucks, according to coach Alain Vigneault.
Weise paired his goal with three shots and three hits in 11:41 of ice time; he was a big part of a grand effort from the fourth line, one that generated offence, was sound defensively and dropped the gloves. Both Maxim Lapierre and Aaron Volpatti bruised the Predators in more ways than one.
-Only Aaron Volpatti saw less than 10 minutes of ice time for the Canucks. He was just a hair under at 09:39.
-Keith Ballard will be counting his bruises after blocking a game-high seven shots, nearly half of Vancouver's 18.
-Daniel and Henrik Sedin both have three goals apiece, but Daniel holds a 10-9 lead in points with seven assists to Henrik's six.
-Alex Edler is tied for seventh in the NHL with seven takeaways.
-Alex Burrows is third in the NHL in shots with 28. He has two goals.
-The Canucks are first in the NHL in power play opportunities with 39. They've produced seven power play goals on 45 shots.
-Vancouver's next game is Saturday against the Minnesota Wild and it's a 1 p.m. start. Yes, a 1 p.m. start. It's one of two matinee games this year.
- @LynseyStepan, being funny.
Canucks warm-up. Ultimate d-man Keith Ballard disposed of it humanely.
Vancouver’s performance lived up to the title.
November 14, 2002 is when the streak started and it’ll likely never end.