Vancouver - Dec. 7, 2011 - It might have taken two periods, but in the end the Vancouver Canucks reminded the Colorado Avalanche that they suck as they got shellacked 6-0 at Rogers Arena. The win for the Canucks came at a price though as David Booth was lost to a knee injury mid way through the first period when 4th string/part time fry cook Kevin Porter took the opportunity to take Booth out at the knee with his leg as Booth crossed the net on a scoring play. Sheriff Shanny hopefully will make an example out of this type of penalty and come down hard on Porter for his malicious attack.
Besides Porter joining the long list of public enemies, the other reason the Colorado Avalanche stunk up Rogers Arena so bad is because, A: they can’t finish a scoring opportunity to save their lives, and B: Semyon Varlamov is a bad (I mean really bad) goalie, and the Canucks may have taken their time to prove it, but eventually they were able to exploit his game and chase him from the net and hang the loss around his neck.
The Avalanche by all accounts should have at least been able to make a game out of their appearance tonight as they totally dominated the Canucks for the first two periods, out shooting the home team by a margin of 24-11. That’s right, as bad as the Av’s are, they were able to get 24 shots through the D and onto the net, one of which caught Roberto Luongo up high either under the face mask or in the neck area with five minutes left in the second period. He was able to skate off the ice on his own, so we knew the damage couldn’t be too bad. But the more pressing issue was the Avalanche were pressing, and a cold Ginger Jesus was being forced into the game. Worries? Not at all as Schneider picked up where Luongo left off, which was unbeatable!
Daniel Sedin opened the scoring the first period by having Varlamov actually score on himself. As Semyon tried act like a big-shot goalie and come out and challenge the shooter, he quickly realized who he was challenging and paid dearly for his mistake, as Daniel Sedin shot the puck into a retreating Varlamov who quickly deflected the puck into his own net. Brilliant shooting by Daniel indeed! That made the score 1-0 for the Canucks, and it would be Daniel’s first of three tonight as he also led the charge in the third period opening up the scoring flood gates against Varlamov.
Jannik Hansen would score on a pretty give and go passing play from Kevin Bieksa and Cody Hodgson to give the Canucks a precarious 2-0 lead. With the majority of scoring opportunities coming from the Avalanche, the Canucks were definitely the more opportunistic team as the few chances they had to score, they made sure they capitalized on them.
With Booth gone for the game, and Luongo sitting on the bench flexing his neck, Schneider and the Canucks took to the ice in the third and at the 5:15 mark the Avalanche’s world came crashing in on them as Daniel Sedin started the onslaught of goals against the Varlamov. In a mere blink of an eye, Daniel, Jannik, Daniel again, and Alexander Edler all scored for the Canucks, increasing the 2-0 lead to a whopping 6-0 lead. In 4:25, the Canucks asserted their authority over their Divisional rivals in a way that it will not only leave a mark, but also serve as a notice for any other team who may or may not be on a hot streak that coming into Rogers Arena will be a humbling experience for them. And that’s as it should be!
With Schneider coming in in relief of Luongo, and even though he played lights out goaltending, Roberto is still the goalie of record so he gets the win tonight, which is fairly irrelevant in the big scheme of things. Luongo went 13-13, and Ginger Jesus 20-20, for a combined shutout, but the important thing to note is that Luongo played well in his second game back after watching Schneider ply his trade for five straight. And the way Schneider played in relief was unbelievable! Again, it looks as though Vancouver will have another excellent goaltending tandem to carry them into the playoffs this year.
All we can do is hope that the knee injury Booth suffered is not serious and requiring him to be out of the lineup for too long, because he was just starting to find his stride on the Ryan Kesler line. Let’s hope he’ll be able to get back with the team sometime on the upcoming road trip.