Vancouver - Nov. 24, 2011 - Tonight’s Canucks looked a lot like last year’s President’s Trophy Winning Canucks on a few fronts. Firstly, puck possession. The Canucks owned the puck, and if you can control the puck like the Canucks did last night, then it forces the other team to become chasers, and that is exactly what the Avalanche were forced to do all night, chase.
The Boys are starting to figure it out, and it showed last night as Burrows is back with the Sedins on the first line and looking comfortable as ever. Ryan Kesler, who scored an empty netter in the third is starting to get that “p**sed-off” look about him like he’s had enough of his mediocre performances of late and is ready to bust it open. David Booth, in my opinion had his best game of the season so far as he is really starting to fit into the Canucks game plan, as is Cody Hodgson. Yes, it is starting to come together!
With the Canucks controlling the puck on both offense and defense, it was up to Schneider to keep the garbage out of the net, which he did very well to earn his first shutout of the season. Midway through the third period with the Avs pressing, Ginger Jesus made an absolutely spectacular goal line save diving across the open net to keep the score 2-0. Absolutely stellar performance by Schneids!
Manny Malhotra opened the scoring in the first with his first goal of the season taking a rocket pass from Hodgson in the corner to blast it past the Avs goaltender who looked as though he didn’t even see the play it happened that fast. Wiley Alexandre Burrows increased the lead to 2-0 in the second as he used the “SOB Attack” to score his 6th of the season by having the where-with-all to realize that if he waited long enough, Avalanche defender Shane O’Brien would help him score a goal, and in true SOB fashion, he did. While trying to defend, O’Brien skillfully and deftly slid into Varlamov allowing Burrows to blast a high one into the net to go up 2-0. Thanks Shane, you SOB!
Kesler’s Empty netter late in the third sealed if for the Canucks who have now managed to string to back to back wins together, and hopefully will be the start of a winning trend. The Canucks outshot the Avs 29-24, and Schneider was spectacular in the pipes tonight and was definitely the catalyst for the team to get back on the winning track. Big question now is, who will start on Friday against the Coyotes? Luongo is ready to go, but Schneider has earned the start. Personally, I would like to see Schneids get the start on Friday, and Luongo goes Saturday against the Sharks.
It was an excellent, entertaining “Canucks Style” game tonight, and hopefully will be the one that starts the engine of the Canuck bus to start rolling again.