Canucks beat Islanders, again

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by Hossa, Jan 11, 2004.

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  1. Hossa

    Hossa Registered User

    Feb 27, 2002
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    Call it what you want, amazing defensive play, fantastic coaching or just dump luck, but the bottom line is the Vancouver Canucks are winning against all odds.

    It's amazing really. About a week ago, the Canucks pulled off possibly their biggest victory since General Manager Sean Keogh came in with his plan to rebuild what was at the time the league's oldest team. The victory was a 3-1 win over a previously unbeaten New York Islanders squad that clearly is the best in the league so far this season. Not only did they win, but they won in New York, and were only outshot 28-26.

    In that game, Robert Esche left with a minor groin injury, and it was super-rookie Ilya Bryzgalov who stopped all 17 shots he faced to take the victory.

    Going into last night's game, the Canucks were still two games over 500 and in place for a playoff berth. It was expected that last night, they would be brought back down to earth at the hands of the Islanders. Angered with their performance in the first clash between the two teams, with superstar winger Keith Tkachuk even guaranteeing a victory.

    Well, Tkachuk is eating crow today, as his Islanders lost to the Canucks again. The Islanders have played 17 games, with only two losses in that span, both to the Canucks. If the 3-1 victory was the best win this team has had under the Keogh regime, last night's 1-0 win is not far back.

    Less than 6 minutes into the game, the Canucks already had a lead, and neither team could pot one the rest of the way. Karel Pilar's point shot beat Cechmanek high and through heavy traffic, and goalie Robert Esche stopped all 25 shots he faced in the game. Amazingly, in the third period, where the Islanders were expected to come out and put on heavy pressure, it was the canucks who stepped up their game. With 16 shots in the third period to New York's six, Mike Keenan's boys controlled the play all the way to the bank.

    "The turning point was the 5 minute powerplay we killed off," said Keenan. In the second period, Steve McCarthy got 5 minutes for head-butting Matt Cooke. Although the Islanders have struggled to a 9.6% powerplay rating this year, their inability to score on that five minute major turned the tables for good.

    "They were fantastic throughout the game. Mike has them playing a complete team game and their goaltending is incredibly underrated," said Islanders coach Peter Laviolette. "After the first game, we still didn't take them seriously. Now we do, and so should everybody else."

    Schastlivy's stay could be short

    After acquiring Russian winger Petr Schastlivy this past week for defenceman Bruno St. Jacques and a future draft pick, there were rumblings that Schastlivy has been told not to unpack, because he could be on the move again very soon. Rumours out of Vancouver have the Canucks on the verge of as many as three deals, and despite the team's success, no player is considered safe.

    Stan Smyl
    Vancouver Province
  2. Well written.

    I want to laught at Hasnain myself but since he is my next opponent I don't want to give his guys anything to post on the dressing room wall.
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