Canucks Get The Job Done in Columbus

Cam Davie
October 11 2011 09:41AM


Our little Hodgson had another great game, while Mr. Vermette dominated in the faceoff dot.
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The Vancouver Canucks picked up their first win of the season, as they came from behind twice to beat the Blue Jackets in Columbus... ON COLUMBUS DAY! To quote your favourite departed Team1040 afternoon host, "How good is THAT?!" Seriously, do Americans even celebrate Columbus Day? Well, more importantly for us Canadians, it was Thanksgiving Monday, and Canucks fans were giving thanks for the year's first win.

I'll show myself out.

1st period

The Canucks were forced to kill two early Columbus power plays. Good early play from Cory Schneider and the PK units kept the canucks level in the game despite being horribly outshot and outplayed.

CBJ 1-0 VAN
Cam Atkinson scored the first goal of his career. Of course he does. It's times like these that I wish I knew someone at the Elias Sports Bureau, because I am convinced that no other NHL team gives up more first goal career goals than the Canucks. Absolutely terrible defensive play by both Malhotra and Higgins. Both struggled badly to clear the puck out of their own zone, despise several chances to do so. Atkinson, wide open in front, took a quick pass from Derek Mackenzie and slotted home past Schneider. The Canucks seemed totally immediately rattled after that first goal.

VAN 1-1 CBJ
Holy hell. Now THAT's how you atone for that first goal. Malhotra and Higgins, who looked BRUTAL on that 1st CBJ goal, get the Canucks tied with a nice tip-in goal, completely against the run of play. How "against the run of play" was it? CBJ outshot VAN 11-2 in the first period. The Canucks tying goal was the second shot.

2nd period

Marc Methot hit Henrik Sedin from behind into the boards. It will certainly be reviewed by Brendan Shanahan, and Methot will very likely receive a short suspension. It was a poorly-timed hot from behind when the offender had time to let up. It wasn't malicious, so Methot will probably only get a phone hearing and a 1-2 day game suspension. Henrik played a short shift then left to the dressing rooms for several shifts. He did evenutally return but looked a little slower for the rest of the game.

CBJ 2-1 VAN
Hamhuis and Bieksa both took out Nash behind the net, leaving Vinny Prospal alone behind the net. Prospal wrapped the puck around on an ill-prepared Schneider. Another game, another bad goal on a Canucks goalie.

3rd Period

Columbus should have been up 3-1, as when Chris Tanev gloved the puck into his own net. Instead, a penalty shot was awarded, and Schneider made a nice save on BJ's rookie Maksim Mayorov.

VAN 2-2 CBJ
Cody Hodgson scored his first of the season with a great tip. The Canucks won a quick draw off on the faceoff, Hamhuis corraled the puck along the boards and made a great pass from the corner and a sharp, forceful tip from Hodgson past Mason. Very heads-up play from Hodgson who continues to impress.

VAN 3-2 CBJ
Alex Burrows scored the game-winning goal on the powerplay. Burrows took the pass from the corner from Daniel and made a great whip-around of a shot then buried his own rebound. He was then immediately dog-piled, because dog-piles are fun.

Goats and Stars:

Blue Jackets

Star - Vinny Prospal. He seemed to be everywhere on the ice, and scored the Blue Jackets' second goal

Goat - Rick Nash. Yeah I know he got an assist. But that was literally the only time I noticed him on the ice. And I only noticed him because he got double-crushed by Bieksa and Hamhuis. He was the most invisible big man on the ice Monday.

Canucks

Star - Cory Schneider. Despite the bad goal, Schneider was excellent on the penalty kill and throughout the game.

Goat - Kevin Bieksa. He took a terrible penalty in the first period, and left his check (Prospal) to take out Nash on the BJ's second goal. Bieksa had started the season with a couple of rough outings. He will no doubt improve, but it's a bit surprising because fans assumed Bieksa was one player about whom you wouldn't have to worry.

Notes:

After being outshot 11-2 in the first period, the Canucks ended up tied in shots at 25. The Canucks outshot the Blue Jackets 23-14 in the final two periods.

Keith Ballard had another solid game, and contributed a huge hip check and a solid blast up the ice. It was a great read from Ballard to pick up on the situation. It was the second period, so both teams had longer changes to make. As Columbus makes their change, Ballard realizes that they are slightly short-handed as the remaining players on-ice begin retreating to their own zone. Ballard goes straight up-ice, untouched by the Blue Jackets defenders, shoots at Mason and continues through looking for his own rebound. Incredibly smart play from Ballard.

Chris Higgins and Jannik Hansen were on the ice for both Columbus goals. Neither player had a good game, and Higgins really struggled on the first goal against.

The Canucks have struggled with their discipline and Monday was no different. They played nearly 9 minutes short-handed (8:48) and gave up a penalty shot (which SHOULD have been a goal).

It was a quick game, lasting only 2 hours, 32 minutes. The number of faceoffs was also a huge indicator of the speed of the game. Only 67 faceoffs, an average of 22 per period. The best faceoff man for each team was Antoine Vermette (12-for-17) and Maxim Lapierre (8-for-13).

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Cam was born in Greater Vancouver, raised in Greater Vancouver, and lives in Greater Vancouver. So, yes, he's from Vancouver. He attended his first Vancouver Canucks game on Dec 26th, 1980 and has bled orange/black/red/blue+green ever since. You can reach him on Twitter @tinfoiltuque or on e-mail at tinfoiltuque(at)gmail(dot)com.
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