The Goods: Nashville downing
What goes up, must come down.
The Vancouver Canucks, riding an NHL-best 9-0-3 record over their last 12 games, came into Nashville the team to beat and the Predators did just that defeating the Canucks 3-1 in front of a rabid sellout crowd at Bridgestone Arena Tuesday night.
Since a 4-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on January 15th, the Canucks had consistently found a way to either win or at least steal a single point, deserved or not. Ironically they deserved a better fate in a game they controlled 5-on-5.
Special teams are special for a reason, when you don’t perform on them, it’s a game changer.
The Predators opened the scoring on the power play early in the second and made it 2-0 with a shorthanded goal midway through the frame. Dale Weise replied for the Canucks, who swarmed Nashville netminder Pekka Rinne for
stretches throughout the game.
The Rinne who had been pulled in two of three starts against Vancouver was not in net Tuesday. Rinne stopped 32 shots, 24 through 40 minutes, to give Nashville enough breathing room before the Predators added an insurance goal late in the third.
“It was a great hockey game where we gave up one power play goal and one shorthanded goal and you usually don’t win games when you give up that,” said Henrik Sedin.
“Five-on-five we played well, I thought our power play was good at times too, we just couldn’t score and they scored one on their power play.”
Heads weren’t hanging in the Canucks dressing room post-game, and for good reason, this was just their second regulation loss of 2012.
It was a bit of a shock to the system, though, admitted quite a few players.
“I think anytime you lose it’s frustrating, and when you play so well like that it’s a little more frustrating,” said Dale Weise, Vancouver’s lone goal scorer. “Back at it Thursday and tomorrow’s another day and we’ll get right back to work.
“I thought we played well, we had enough chances to win, their goalie stood on his head and when we win so many games in a row like we did, we’re bound to run into a game where you’re not going to get the bounces and not going to score. Full credit to their team.”
The loss snaps a five game-winning streak the Canucks had put together in Nashville dating back to last year’s Western Conference Semi-Final, but it didn’t hurt Vancouver
much in the standings with the Western Conference leading Detroit Red Wings losing 2-1 to the Chicago Blackhawks.
This was Game 60 for the Canucks, so scoreboard watching is now a nightly activity as teams jockey for position heading into the post-season.
Should Vancouver and Nashville meet again this season, it’ll be in the playoffs and that series would be interesting to say the least.
Speaking of great hockey, the Canucks practice Wednesday in preparation for their Thursday game in Detroit against the Red Wings in the first of back-to-back games for Vancouver.
This time of year Vancouver vs. Detroit doesn’t get any bigger.
WEISE HAPPY TO CONTRIBUTE
Perhaps Dale Weise should take a seat in the press box more often.
The Canucks forward, playing in his second straight game after sitting three out injured and two as a healthy scratch, scored his fourth goal of the season with 3:08 to play in the second period to breath life into Vancouver.
The goal gives Weise points in two straight games for his second point streak of the season; he credited time spent watching the Canucks from high above with helping him figure a few things out.
“I think it was good to sit in the stands and kind of evaluate the game from the view of the experts like you guys, it looks a little easier up there than it does down here,” said Weise. “When you get a view from up there you can see where you can make some plays and be a little more patient with the puck.”
Weise didn’t record any points in 10 career games with the New York Rangers, so he continues to set a new career-high with each point recorded. He now has four goals and four assists in 55 games.
“I’m happy to contribute offensively,” added the fourth-line grinder.
BURROWS HITS 500
Why Warner Brothers hasn’t called for the Alex Burrows story, I’ll never understand.
The undrafted Canucks forward, who scrapped his was way from limited ice time in the East Coast Hockey League to playing between the most dynamic players in the National Hockey League, celebrated yet another improbable milestone when Vancouver played Nashville Tuesday.
Burrows joined the 500 games club, he’s halfway to 1,000 and a long long way from contemplating quitting the hockey all together.
“Third year going into the ECHL, I remember telling myself that at Christmas if I was still there I’d have to go back to school and try to make a living at another career,” said Burrows, following Vancouver’s game day skate Tuesday.
“Fortunately enough I was able to get the call from Manitoba and never looked back after that.”
The 30-year-old has picked up 133 goals and 125 assists in 500 career games and he likely remembers almost every goal and assist. Burrows has never taken his spot on the Canucks for granted because of what he went through to earn it.
No chance, the Tootoo whistles take me back to when he played for the Brandon Wheat Kings. Classic.
Green Man copycats, indeed. I guess it makes sense: blue + yellow = green.
WATCH GRETSKY’S OFFICE. Does that Gretsky know the real Gretzky?
Again, why?!? Interesting to see what hits the ice in Detroit, fish or octopus.