Archive for: vancouver canucks

Halak Makes 45 Saves, Habs Beat Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks rolled into Montreal on a seven-game winning streak but couldn’t keep up the winning play against the Habs last night as Les Boys took two points in a 3-2 regulation win.

Jaroslav Halak, starting following a loss for the first time this season, made 45 saves to lead the Canadiens to their first win in four games, propelling them back into a playoff spot and ending the ‘Nucks winning streak. With Mike Camallerri out, Sergei Kostitsyn and Maxim Lapierre stepped up to notch their first goals in a long while and Tomas Plekanec added the game winner in the third period.

The Habs will now move on to face the Bruins in Boston on Thursday before playing a pair of afternoon home games over the weekend versus the Penguins and the Bruins.

The playoffs are still within reach!

Game 4: Canucks 7 – Canadiens 1

Eff you, CanucksThere are two important points to make here before I even begin discussing the particulars of the game: the ‘Nucks had previously gone 0-3 and the Habs played two games in two nights, both at late hours due in light of the current west coast road swing.

The Habs, Carey Price in particular, got positively pounded by Vancouver last night. In Price’s first ever game in his home province he allowed seven goals on 31 shots and the rest of the team managed to float for a full 60 minutes. Price is hardly to blame; besides a good effort for half of the second period that saw the Habs outshoot the Canucks 13-0, Price faced a pair of Sedins who the Canadiens defence had forgotten about and everything from 3-on-1 to 2-on-0 breakouts by the home team.

Awesome

Roberto Luongo, one of the few non-Canadiens that I give my attention to, was in much better form and came through the few times he was called upon. Awesome might be a stretch but compared to his first three games…

Awful

The Montreal Canadiens. The whole team sucked. The defense was awful, the PK was worse (three goals on five Vancouver powerplays), the penalties were often needless and the goaltending wasn’t where it needs to be.

We can only hope that this 7-1 blowout embarrasses the boys enough to get a few key things together moving into Saturday’s game in Edmonton and the home opener next Thursday. Bad penalties taken, an ineffective PP and a useless PK are all points that need some work if we want to avoid a string of beatings like this.

I’ll say also that the entire team should take turns buying Price dinner each night for the rest of the season. Playing in B.C. was a big deal for him and they absolutely left him on his own in there. Price was solid but I think this is a game we can safely ignore in future judgments. Let’s see how he fares in Edmonton if he gets the start and, more importantly, at home against the Avalanche on Thursday.

Tanguay, Schneider Find New Homes

Alex TanguayAlex Tanguay will complete a new French connection with the Tampa Bay Lightning as he skates alongside Vinny Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis this coming season and Mathieu Schneider will be playing for the only team he wanted to join as he heads to Vancouver. Both Montreal UFAs spent a long summer without a deal before coming to agreements this past week.

While I’m a bit bummed by the fact that we traded two draft picks, including a first rounder, to nab Tanguay in the first place only to have him miss half of last season and produce only 16 goals before signing for half the money in Tampa, I didn’t want him back. So good luck to Tanguay in Tampa, I look forward to seeing what this new French connection can cook up!

Schneider is a solid defenseman but better, in my opinion, to fill out our open defense spots with some of the young up-and-comers in the system. He’ll do well in Vancouver – and he’s one of the few UFAs to leave us this season without going to a close rival, so that’s a bonus.

Wake me up when it’s October!

Game 61: Canadiens 3 – Canucks 0

Halak it, Halak it alot!We won two in a row, we won two in a row! All praise to Jaroslav Halak who made 34 saves en route to his first shutout of the season and fourth of his career. Halak did everything right through several breakaways, odd-man rushes, 5-on-5, 5-on-4, and 5-on-3 situations, tracking the puck perfectly on every shot. His performance last night and in his past few starts has earned him the confidence of Carbo and company and it sounds like the Habs will be riding the hot goalie for now.

Otherwise the Habs played well but were again outshot badly 34-17, garnering the fewest number of shots so far this season (we had only 19 against the Pens earlier this season). The powerplay is hot, nabbing a goal and showing all of the confidence of last year and Tomas Plekanec is on fire, scoring the first goal of the game on an incredible pass from Saku Koivu to send him on a breakaway out of the box.

So what does this mean for Carey Price? I think he’s going to ride the pine for a while but, assuming he looks decent in his next couple of starts, I don’t think this will have an effect on his position as the franchise goalie in the long term. Halak has more then earned this chance and Price simply hasn’t been cutting it since his return from injury. Go Jaro go!

Game 57: Canucks 4 – Canadiens 2

Canucks 4 - Habs 2I’m coming in a wee bit late with this update so I’ve leave out the details as I’m sure everyone has been over and over them. Halak was decent, the Habs looked bad, Canucks won 4-2 – that’s all she wrote. Big changes to come I think!

Mats Sundin Sucks

Mats SundinApparently $5 million USD isn’t enough to buy the Vancouver Canucks a win these days. With the all too apparent sucking of Mats Sundin, the Canucks are now in a financial hole and with 8 straight losses to show for it. The playoffs are starting to look like a vague hope and Vancouver has already begun looking like a group of suckers who fell for Sundin’s hype.

The Vancouver Sun has a great article on all that is wrong with the Canucks at the moment, namely Sundin. Click here for the story!

LaBarbera Wins Canucks Debut

jason-labarbera-150With all-star goaltender Roberto Luongo out with an injury the Vancouver Canucks have been doing all they can to pick up wins when possible. Backup Curtis Sanford has been hot – right up until he suffered a groin injury earlier this week, leaving the ‘Nucks without a netminder.

Enter the sloppy management of the Los Angeles Kings. The Canucks apparently offer the Kings a 7th round pick in 2009 for their backup, B.C. boy Jason LaBarbera and, believe it or not, the Kings accept.

Now, LaBarbera is no all-star but he is a solid young goaltender and his hot start against Nashville last night is a testament to that. Leading the Canucks to a 2-1 victory with 35 saves, LaBarbera’s place in the organization could lead to some interesting developments.

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