Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Canucks stumble again in New York

The Big Apple road trip is beginning to become a trip to forget for the Canucks. For the second night in a row they found themselves losing by a goal to a team from New York. Last night the Islanders battled back and beat the Canucks 5-4 in OT. Former Canucks featured prominently throughout the game, with Adrian Aucoin putting the winner behind Johan Hedberg in the Overtime period.

For the Canucks it's a particularly hard loss to accept, they dominated the Islanders for 55 minutes of this game. Crashing them in the end boards, sweeping them aside in their own end and rushing up the ice at will. The game featured some highlight reel type goals from both the Sedins and goals from Wade Brookbank and Martin Grenier, players noted more for their physical play than a scoring touch.

Johan Hedberg made some excellent saves on the rare occasion that the Islanders made it into the Canuck end of the rink. For the first 17 minutes of the game Hedberg was the Maytag repairman, as the Islanders did not register a shot on goal. The Islanders benefited from a four minute double minor late in the game to Trevor Linden, for high sticking. Aucoin took advantage of the extra room at the 36 second mark of OT.

The Canucks took a point tonight for the OT, loss and now sit at 2 and 2 on this current road trip, which wraps up Thursday night in New Jersey. One of the positives that they can take into the Meadowlands is an increased confidence level of the Sedins, who are starting to reward Crawford and Burke's faith in them with more solid and dependable play. The thing they can worry about is the mental mistakes, a poorly played puck, a badly timed penalty, last minute miscues and missed opportunities. Both games in the city should have been in the win column for the Canucks, both slipped away. While it's not time to panic, it is time to start to eliminate the costly errors.

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