The Goods: Capital statement
They couldn’t complete the trick, but the treat came in the form of a big win.
The early goal was easy for the Canucks: score the early goal and open the scoring. Lapierre did that 3:31 into the first period and Vancouver was off to the races scoring three times in the frame, twice on the power play, to chase goaltender Tomas Vokoun from the Capitals net.
Then, just like that, Washington had the game tied at 3-3 a mere 5:07 into the second period. Hocus pocus is right. Breaking this spell against the fourth highest scoring team in the league, which came into the night with only one loss, was going to take a little magic.
The teams traded goals to make it a 4-4 game through 40 minutes and when push came to shove in third period, the Canucks played their best 20 minutes of the season bullying the Capitals for three goals and two big points.
There haven’t been a lot of overwhelming positives to take from the majority of Vancouver’s game thus far, but on
this night the Canucks did nearly everything right. The power play went 2-for-5, the kill was 3-for-4, hits favoured Vancouver 25-11, the Canucks won 60 per cent of the draws
and outshot the Capitals 43-32.
“This was a good start for us,” assessed Henrik Sedin, who had a goal and an assist. “It took a while for us last year to get that same feeling and I thought tonight was a game
we can build on.”
Roberto Luongo was cheered in the first period after making nine saves, jeered in the second for allowing three goals on 12 shots and cheered again in the third for 10 saves, including a masterful glove save on a point-blank shot from Alex Ovechkin.
It was a game changer as the Canucks took a commanding 6-4 lead moments after the save; the confidence Luongo displayed post-save is something to get excited about heading into November.
“It was nice to be able to make a big save in that situation and get rewarded right after by the big goal by Lappy,” said Luongo. “It was a point shot, I think it was deflected right before it got to me and I made the save and just kind of reacted there.”
SPREADING THE WEALTH
How many times last season, heck since they’ve been in Vancouver, have the Canucks scored three goals in the first period without a single point going to either Daniel or Henrik Sedin?
Checking might involve going to the library or something archaic, but we can agree it isn’t often.
The Canucks beat Tomas Vokoun three times on 17 shots with nine different players picking up a point in the first period Saturday night; in staking claim to a two-goal lead without so much as a peep from the top line, Vancouver put itself in a favourable position to say the least.
The Sedins were eventually heard from in the second and third periods to round out Vancouver’s most balanced offensive performance of the year, one that saw the Canucks top two lines score just one goal.
“It’s so important for a team to get scoring by committee because that’s how you win on a consistent basis,” said coach Alain Vigneault. “For our team tonight to have both Max’s line and Manny’s line come up and score big goals at key times, it was really important and we’re going to hope that it continues moving forward here.”
BRING ON MOVEMBER
The Canucks round out the month of October with a 5-5-1 record, good for 11 points and share of the eighth seed in the Western Conference, although the standings mean diddly squat right now.
Was it that bad of a month for the Canucks?
“It had mostly downs, but it’s been okay,” said Henrik Sedin.
“We’ve had long stretches where we’ve played good hockey, but tonight was the first game where I thought we played for 60 minutes and we have to get to a point where we know nine out of 10 games we know we’re going to be where we are today and that hasn’t been the case so far.”
Historically Vancouver has won five or more games 19 times in October, including seven of the last eight years. The franchise high for points in the scariest month of the year is 19 from 1991-92 (9-3-1), with the low being 1-10-0 from 1984-85.
Thank goodness Twitter wasn’t around in 1984. #tradeeveryone
Vancouver now hits the road for six games, beginning in Calgary Tuesday night.
Calgary airport?" - @carmsicles, in the Calgary airport, torn and feeling out of place.
have in common? They’re all Canucks fans that took in Saturday’s game.
Titanic took home Best Picture at the 70th Academy Awards.
If he played in the Southeast Division, he might just win the Rocket Richard.