January 12, 2011

Isles, Canucks Bring The Offense

Tanner Glass wins fight over Matt Martin. Photo by Chris Hessel
For anyone who enjoys a very high energy, up-tempo game, then the Canucks visit to Long Island was something we hope you saw. Unfortunately for the Islanders, the best team in the NHL was a little to much for them to handle - but not by much.

After 65 minutes of play, the game went into a shootout where the Canucks won 2-1, giving them the game at 4-3 overall. While there were only a total of six real goals scored in this one, the amount of chances each team had was unbelievable. The Canucks enjoyed a 51-41 shot advantage for the game. It's even more astounding when you think back to how many blocked shots each team had.

Obviously, there were a number of defensive gaffes on both ends by pretty much everyone on both teams on the blueline. For every player I think of, I can think of a good and bad play they made. But it made for some good entertainment.

Kevin Poulin made some nice saves, and let up a couple of big rebounds that Vancouver was unable to convert on. A couple of the goals, however were not his fault. The Canucks passed the puck multiple times from the corner towards the front of the net, and that resulted in two goals for them. Both times, the defensemen on the ice were unable to get the job done. It is worth nothing that both times, Milan Jurcina was one of those defensemen but aside from that he had a pretty good game and laid some big hits.

The shootout did Poulin in unfortunately, as he was beaten by a spin-o-rama by Mason Raymond and a nice deke move from Ryan Kesler. He did make 48 saves, and play as well as he had to to get the job done but in the end the Canucks would walk away with the two points - which puts then 29 points ahead of the Isles, for those of you who are counting.

Blake Comeau has continued his hot play, scoring a goal and registering an assist. Lately he has been scoring by using his slap shot which has been powerful and pretty accurate. I have been getting upset with him lately when he was on a rush and trying to pass the puck off to Jon Sim. It's good to see him taking the initiative now.

John Tavares also kept up his hot streak, scoring a goal on a one-timer after a nice pass from Rob Schremp. He now has 15 goals for the year.

The Islanders should be happy they at least picked up a point in this game. More importantly, they were able to run all game with a team that is very talented and very fast. The Canucks didn't play at the top of their game, but they did have more nice chances than the Isles did and either squandered them or ran into the hot Poulin. All in all, it was a good performance.

The Islanders take on the struggling Senators on Thursday. The Sens are coming off of a 6-0 loss to the Boston Bruins. It was the sixth time this season they have lost by a shut-out. Needless to say, they will be coming into this one pretty annoyed.

Rakhshani after being concussed. Photo by Chris Hessel
 Rakhshani Injured: Rhett Rakhshani was injured during this game as he suffered a concussion after a big hit. It didn't seem malicious or with an intent to injure, although many fans who didn't remember the hit wondered if it was given the fact the refs really let a lot slide in this one.

We don't know the status of Rakhshani yet, but I'm sure we'll hear some updates in the coming days.

Okposo Practices: Kyle Okposo practiced with the team on Wednesday, wearing an orange practice jersey along with Frans Nielsen. Okposo still seems like he's still a ways from returning to the line-up, but it's a great sign if he can start practicing with the team more often than not in the coming weeks.

Speaking of injuries, Garth Snow expects Rick DiPietro to return either Thursday or Saturday.



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