Canucks Still Undefeated In Preseason, But Just Barely

Nucks IceManCorrespondent ISeptember 22, 2009

VANCOUVER, CANADA - MARCH 30:  Daniel Sedin #22 of the Vancouver Canucks is seen in position against  goalie Miikka Kiprusoff #34 of the Calgary Flames during the game at General Motors Place on March 30, 2008, in Vancouver, Canada.   (Photo by Kim Stallknecht/Getty Images)

Interesting line combinations last night for the game against the Flames.  The Twins with Burrows, Wellwood between Parrish and Raymond, Hodgson, Bernier, Garbner, and Rypien centering Glass and Labrie. As coach Vigneault said, "All the prospects would get an opportunity to play some of the five games in the next seven nights," as the clock ticks down to crunch time.

It is unfortunate for the few who have picked up injuries (Shirokov, knee—out till Fri and Petrovicky, knee also) as the time for cuts will probably happen by the time Shirokov gets back—which means he would start in Manitoba. This guy was leading the group to occupy that elusive spot, but now Hansen, Hodgson, Grabner, Scatchard, and Parrish are left to battle it out. Things sure change in a hurry, and we will know for sure by Friday, after the 17 cuts are made.

The one change that has yet to occur for the Canucks is that they are still unbeaten, although they were .2 of a second away from that taking place.

The game started out well for the 'Nucks, who looked like they would run away with it, as they built up a 3-0 lead on goals from Wellwood (penalty shot), Daniel Sedin, and Mason Raymond by 2:25 of the second period.

Calgary must have changed into another uniform because half way through the second, they went on to score the next four goals to take the lead by 12:51 of the third.

This was no ordinary preseason game; these two rivals played more like it was a regular season game with lots of intensity, great plays, and solid hits. The 'Nucks were even able to apply pressure to tie it up.

On the Flames penalty at 15:07, the Canuck power play kept the puck in the offensive zone for the whole two minutes, with Grabner having the best chance but shooting over the net. Never mind that Grabner has not scored in preseason, this guy is having trouble hitting the net and looks destined to play in Manitoba this year.

It looked like the game was going to be tied when Raymond poked in the goal, but to no avail because it was disallowed. Sure do like how Raymond is going to the net this year, which is how he scored the third goal—by utilizing that blazing speed.

With the Canuck goalie pulled, Daniel Sedin with his second of the night, patiently out-waited a sliding Cory Sarich in front and deposited the puck between McElhinney’s legs, to tie it up and send it to OT.

Nothing got solved in overtime, although Henrik Sedin clanked one off the post during a Flames' penalty.  The power play yielded no scores, but sure looked good in the process. Kyle Wellwood continues his stellar play and was one of the better players on the ice last night. As I’ve said many times, this guy has “magic hands.”

The shootout saw Hodgson and Flames Dawes score and set the table for the eventual winner by Daniel Sedin (first star), with a wrist shot over the glove hand of McElhinney.

Cory Schneider did not have good game, and right now, it’s looking like Raycroft’s backup role to lose. Four goals on 17 shots is not going to impress the coach.

Can you feel it?

I’m talking about the anticipation, the buzz, and the excitement that is building with anticipation in this city! Whoa Nelly, that sure did not feel like a preseason game nor sound like it in GM Place!

Let’s get this season going already!