The Goods: Canucks fall in St. Paul
If not for Cory Schneider, well, let’s not even go there.
The Vancouver Canucks were escorted from the Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota Thursday night, losing a 5-1 game to the Wild in the second meeting of the season between Northwest Division rivals.
Schneider, starting his fifth game of the year, stopped 40 shots and was masterful in the first period and early in the second, but the Canucks could muster just a Dan Hamhuis score in front of him and eventually something had to give.
The Wild potted back-to-back goals 21 seconds apart around the five minute mark of the second period and that was essentially it for the Canucks. Vancouver didn’t record a shot until the midway point of the second and hit Minnesota’s Josh Harding with just 17 the rest of the way in a lopsided Wild win.
“We lost 5-1 and our best player by far was our goaltender, so that about sums it up right there,” said coach Alain VIgneualt post-game. “Our execution was non-existent and they were the much better team tonight.”
Schneider was indeed Vancouver’s best player producing plenty of glorious saves, including seven on Dany Heatley, but he could only do so much against a ferocious Wild
attack that tallied as many goals on this night as it had in Minnesota’s last three games combined.
The offensive support simply hasn’t been there with Schneider between the pipes this season as he drops to 2-3-0 with just one goal by the Canucks in his three loses.
Schneider’s two wins this year have been 3-2 finals.
Coach Vigneault said that he isn’t surprised at how his team performed following two consecutive impressive wins. Surprised would be an understatement.
“We’re looking to build a little momentum here and everybody saw the game as I did, some of the mistakes we made with the puck tonight are uncharacteristic of some of these players and we didn’t just make one or two, we made quite a few.
"We must have given that team, I don’t even want to speculate how many Grade-A scoring chances tonight, but it’s a good thing Schneider was real good and it’s a good thing we’re playing tomorrow night and we’re going to try and rebound.”
Ten Canucks entered the night on point streaks of at least two games, led by Alex Edler’s six points (3-3-6), but Alex Burrows and Daniel Sedin were the only two to keep theirs alive. They both had helpers on Hamhuis’ first goal of the season.
The Canucks lose for the first time this year when opening the scoring and are now 3-2-0 within the Northwest Division.
Kevin Bieksa said his play in Thursday’s 5-1 loss was his worst ever in a Canucks uniform.
For the veteran blueliner of 361 games to make that bold of a statement, you know he had a rough night.
Bieksa finished in the minus column for the eighth time in 13 games at minus-2; he was on the ice for the first two goals of the game, one for each team, and the final two goals by the Wild in the third period that officially put the game out of reach.
Why is Bieksa, he of three assists, no goals and a minus-7 rating, struggling to start the year?
Coach Vigneault isn’t sure.
“I couldn’t answer that right now,” said Vigneault. “Kevin’s a character individual who knows that we need him and obviously he can play better and quite a few guys can play better.”
Sami Salo (+6), Alex Edler (+1) and Alex Sulzer (0) are the only Canucks blueliners in the positive for plus/minus.
THE BROTHERS SEDIN
Trying to find a category where Daniel and Henrik Sedin aren’t in exclusive company is a tall task.
You can add games played to the list.
Daniel Sedin played his 800th game Thursday in Minnesota moving the Sedins into elite company for NHL games played by brothers. The Sedins join Maurice and Henri Richard and Bobby and Dennis Hull as siblings with at least 800 games played for the same team.
Unlike the Richards, who played together with the Montreal Canadiens for just five seasons from 1955 to 1960, or the Hulls, a pair of Chicago Blackhawks for six years from 1966-1972, the Sedins have played all but 23 games together for the same team.
Despite the gap in games between the Sedins, Daniel is closing in on Henrik for the points lead between brothers with 666 (254-412-666) to Henrik’s 680 (161-519-680).
Since the NHL began in 1917, 47 pairs of brothers have played together for the same team, with ten having gone on to capture the Stanley Cup together.
- @CanucksClown, living up to his name after a crazy nice pad save by Cory Schneider.
by linesman Darren Gibbs when Clutterbuck accidently popped him with a left hand to the face.
so far this season; Henrik has at least one in five games and an outing with three minors.
World Record for the largest gathering of moustaches after their game on Nov. 26.