Glen Andresen's Five Takeaways at Vancouver
In the battle of the top two teams in the Northwest Division, the Vancouver Canucks shut down the Minnesota Wild, 4-0. Yes, the Canucks made it look pretty easy, and considering their 11-2-1 record in the last 13 games, they appear to be for real again.
But let’s not kid ourselves. The Wild won’t be making any excuses, but this is not the same team that will face the Canucks next time, or the two final matches. The Wild had the needed intensity tonight. They had the work ethic. They had the fight.
They didn’t have the scorers, despite getting Pierre-Marc Bouchard back in the lineup after he missed the last two games with a facial injury. They also didn’t have an answer for the Sedin twins and the vaunted Vancouver power play.
“Of course [the Canucks] have some skill,” said Head Coach Mike Yeo. “We talked about that. You got to make sure you’re disciplined against this team and they capitalize when you make mistakes. We made a few tonight and they seemed to capitalize on every one of them.”
If there’s a silver lining to getting shut out by Roberto Luongo, it’s that you hope that means he’ll get the net again when these two teams meet at Xcel Energy Center. A 33-save performance is nothing to sneeze at, but there weren’t a ton of golden scoring chances that he had to come up big on.
Typically, the Canucks have gone with Cory Schneider in recent meetings due to Luongo’s ineffectiveness against Minnesota, particularly at Xcel Energy Center. But the Canucks couldn’t live like that forever. What happens if these two teams meet in the playoffs? You can’t exactly bench your number one keeper for a seven-game series. So it made sense to give him tonight’ start at home against a depleted Wild lineup.
There’s no doubt that the Canucks have some very talented players, but when you peruse their roster, you can’t help but think that if you can stifle the Sedin twins, you’ve got yourself a win. It sounds so simple.
Tonight, the Sedins showed that chemistry that us single birth babies just can’t produce. Look no further than their first goal when Henrik backhanded a soft pass all the way across the Wild zone to Daniel, who quickly fired one all the way back for Henrik’s tap in. They made a play that doesn’t get made in the NHL look simple.
It was that power play goal that seemed to turn things around after the Wild played a very solid first period. The Sedins took that goal and just made it the first of two more pretty goals they had a hand in. Like Yeo said, they have some skill.
Because there’s not much else to say about this one, I thought I’d throw this random nugget out there that I found interesting. While I despise the Canucks, I am a college hockey fan, so I found it pretty cool that their current roster features 12 former college players from 11 schools.
They even have a guy – Steve Pinizzoto – who played at the Rochester Institute of Technology, although he’s been injured all year and has yet to play a game.
The Wild is no slouch in the former college area either. Right now there are 10 players on the roster that have played college hockey.