Canuck Nation for the Vancouver perspective
Looks like the Vancouver Canucks didn't need Robert Luongo after all.
In a game where the Penguins and Canucks developed what we can only hope turns into a inter-conference rivalry, both teams combined for 98 minutes in penalties; 48 of which came within the first 25 seconds of the game. Dunman will no doubt have a full report on the melee.
I think I speak for the majority when I say none of us actually advocate the injury of other players. Heck, we have our own injuries to deal with and experience would show it's never a fun trek with an injured netminder. But when Roberto Luongo went down with an injury early in the first, it looked like the Penguins' chances for victory would improve tenfold. But as the final 3-1 score proves, that was not the case.
Once again the power play struggled. When any team goes 0-for-4 in a game against the Canucks, you know it's going to be a struggle to pull off a win. Top that off with a miserable display of shots on net (7-3-8) and you have the formula for a loss.
The Canucks' goals were the result of hard work. They weren't pretty but they got the job done. I blame the Pens' D for not forcing those guys out from around the cage. The second goal by Daniel Sedin could've been prevented if only a defenseman was willing to throw his body around and force the man out of the crease. But that was not the case. D. Sedin walked in on Sabourin and poked the puck in on a play that would have otherwise been a frozen puck. Ultimately this proved to be the game winner. The Canucks tagged the empty netter with 12 seconds left to open the final to a two-goal differential.
Hey, we had to lose a regulation game at some point, right? I guess if anything this stings because the odds turned in Pittsburgh's favor when Luongo went down. Again, not ragging on the injury bug, but the opportunity was there to capitalize. Michel Therrien said during an in-game interview that the Pens would not change their game, but if you ask me it seemed like they took the opportunity for granted.
The good: The Pens help Vancouver to only two shots in the third. Too bad it didn't matter.
The bad: Matt Cooke kicked from the game 25 seconds in. Not warranted, but that's the rule - third man in. Vancouver's Hansen received the same treatment.
The ugly: The defense. Gotta limit those second shots and it just wasn't happening in this game.
The bonus: Michael Zigomanis spared the shutout 22 seconds into the third.
Next game: Wednesday against the Islanders