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The Goods: Blues down Canucks

Thursday, 27.10.2011 / 1:50 AM / Features
By Derek Jory
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The Goods: Blues down Canucks
ST. LOUIS BLUES
3
Scoring summary
  1 2 3 OT SO
STL
VAN
0
0
1
0
2
0
-
0
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-
0
VANCOUVER CANUCKS
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The sign left behind in section 105 at Rogers Arena following a 3-0 Vancouver Canucks loss to the St. Louis Blues made sense going into the game.

The 99% want Schneider, the sign read, clearly crafted by a Schneider fan.

Forget the goalie debate, it’s no longer about if Roberto Luongo or Cory Schneider give the Canucks a better chance to win, the focus has shifted to Vancouver’s struggling offence that was shutout for the third time in seven outings by St. Louis.

“It’s never been about the goaltender, it’s been about the whole team,” assessed Danel Sedin. “Tonight again, we gave up the first goal and it’s up hill. In this league it’s too tough to get back.”

The Canucks hit Blues netminder Brian Elliott with 32 shots Wednesday night, but not one crossed the goal line as the highest scoring team from a season ago continues to stumble offensively. Vancouver has 24 goals through 10 games, which actually ranks the team 11th in the NHL, yet the Canucks are 16th in goals per game at 2.40.

It doesn’t matter whose in net right now because the Canucks aren’t giving them the goal support the team needs.

“We’ve got to start scoring goals here, get some dirty ones,” said Henrik Sedin, who had two shots in 18 minutes of ice time. “We’re getting enough shots to score some goals, we’re putting our goalies in a bad spot when they need to make every save in the game to keep us in it. It’s up to us in here to get a little grittier in front of their net and get some dirty ones.”

The Canucks tested Elliott with seven shots in the first period and eight in the second, but scoring chances were few and far between. When the Blues goaltender was down and out a few times in the third, it was the Vancouver shooting itself in the foot.

Coach Alain Vigneault said the fact that Vancouver was twice taken off the power play because of careless penalties against sums up where his team is right now.

The Canucks have now lost two straight games falling to 4-5-1 overall, but perspective will be offered up: Vancouver was 5-3-2 after 10 games last season. That’s only three
more points for and they had only three more goals for than this year.

It’s early. The panic button remains enclosed in tinted bullet/vampire proof glass.

FIRST TO THE SCOREBOARD

Keith Ballard laughed post-game when asked why the Canucks always play so well when trailing.

“Maybe we should start every game down 1-0,” he said.

In eight of 10 games so far Vancouver has.

The Canucks are 2-5-1 when giving up the game’s first goal, compared to 2-0-0 when beating the opposition to the back of the net.

Last season Vancouver ranked first in the NHL by opening the scoring in 41 games, they finished with a record of 41-2-6 when playing with a lead. When on the comeback trail, the Canucks were 13-17-3.

Vancouver is second in the league in shots for with 333. Daniel Sedin believes the Canucks need to do more than just shoot.

“Those chances are not enough, if you’re not willing right now to go to those areas, we’re not going to score any goals. We might be lucky to get one or two, but if we’re going to get back to the way we were scoring last year, it’s going to come back to working for each other. I’ve got to do my job and go to the net and that’s going to open up chances for Burr and Hank and the same goes for any other line.”

HOCKEY FIGHTS CANCER

There’s something odd and refreshing about seeing a Pepsi logo in lavender instead of red and blue. Ditto for Dairy Queen, Mastercard, Boston Pizza, Budweiser and Rona.

All the Canucks rink board supporters traded in their trademark colours for Wednesday’s game in support of Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night at Rogers Arena.

This is the first time the Hockey Fights Cancer campaign, a joint charitable initiative founded in December 1998 by the National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players’ Association, has made an appearance on the boards and it generated a lot of buzz, similar to the decals on the back of the player’s helmets and special ties worn by Canucks management, coaching staff and team broadcasters on this night.

With the support of Hockey Fights Cancer, the Canucks will be making a $5,000 donation to the Hannah’s Heroes Foundation, which raises awareness and funds for pediatric brain cancer research.

For more information on the League-wide Hockey Fights Cancer program, please go to www.nhl.com; log-on to www.hannahsheroes.com for more about a foundation near and dear to the Canucks.

TOP 3 PRESS BOX DESSERTS
1. Cheesecake 2. Brownies 3. Tarts (Note: Churros were served for the first time Wednesday, the jury is still out on where they rank)
Tweet of the night - “Whenever I hear or see the name Weise I always think, 'rhymes with geese'."
- @ilovedeluscious, repeating the rhyme I started. I'll be proud if that's my legacy as a writer.
Take a seat - There were quite a few happy rumps on press row Wednesday as media members were treated to
new chairs. Blue, cushy and all-round awesome, but it’s a good thing they don’t recline. #zzzzzz
It's a sign, right? -  During the first intermission a piece of green confetti from when the Canucks won the Western
Conference last year fell from the ceiling and landed beside me. Pessimists say it’s late, I say it’s early.
Well played - Props to DJ Dave, who makes his second straight appearance in the Jewels, for his timely playing of
Young Americans by David Bowie during the first shift for Booth, Kesler and Higgins.