Friday, March 03, 2006

Two that got away.

Canucks 1 at Predators 3 – 2-Mar-06

Coming off a win in Calgary the Vancouver Canucks continued their three game road trip with a stop in Nashville, Tennessee tonight. If it was fishing – they hooked it, they played it, then had it up to the net but they could get it in the boat before it wiggled away. The Nucks’ out shot Nashville 42 – 20 and won two of three periods but came out on the losing end of a 3 – 1 score. Nashville who were coming off a loss in Chicago the previous night didn’t look good for 40 minutes. But as we saw in Calgary sometimes you only need to look good for eight seconds to land a win.

Nolan Baumgartner returned to the line up after a lengthy absence. He played a little over 16 minutes. Unfortuantely he gaft on the game winning goal but then again he hasn't played in a month so let's give him a pass this time.

Auld let in two on five shots in the third period. He was also the victim of some lucky puck bounces on the Sillinger insurance marker. Auld would have liked to have the Johnson short handed goal back. But I’d tend to pin a short hander on the power play unit more than the goalie.

And oh that Canucks power play! Technically OH for Round II. They were 0 for 8 in Calgary and 1 for 11 in Nashville with Naslund (28) scoring during a second period five on three. Nashville pulled even with a power play marker of their own by Perreault. The Canucks ended the second period with a good chance. You were left with the thought they’d get it done when the power play resumed in the third. That was 180 degs off the Nashville plan and eventual result. With the fresh, ice 45 seconds in, Mike Johnsson was in alone on the right wing and popped the puck in high on Auld.

With the ridiculously tight Northwest Division, wins by Calgary and Colorado dumped the Canucks from First to Third or from Third to Sixth in the Conference. The good news is that Edmonton remains five points back. LA won. Dallas lost bad to Phoenix - go figure. With one point between the Nucks’ and Av’s expect that they, including Calgary, will flip flop positions now for a few weeks. The Av’s represent the Canucks’ last game of the regular season. Somehow I think that night will come to matter.

The Vancouver Canucks are third in the Northwest and sixth in the West with 71 points in 61 games played. If the playoff were to start today the opponent would be Calgary and Vancouver would open on the road.

Next up the Chicago Blackhawks Friday night on SportsNet Pacific.


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