It is a worrisome sign for the Vancouver Canucks, the lack of offensive production and the decline of their defensive play. The Canucks should have been able to steal two points in Detroit tonight, the Red Wings suffering more than a few injuries and using Manny Legace in the nets. But it wasn't meant to be. Legace had a spectacular game, holding the Canucks off the score sheet until fifteen minutes of the third period. Legace has become the unsung hero in Detroit, as he has a goals against average of 1.80, filling in for the injured Curtis Joseph.
Nicklas Lidstrom did his bit for the cause, picking up three points in the Red Wings 3-1 win, with one goal and two assists. The Canucks got away fro their traditional game plan of crashing in the opposition end and clogging the front of the net. Not playing with much intensity, or interest for that matter for most of the night. Not one Canuck player really had a stellar game, though Winnipeg Moose call up Sean Pronger played with a bit of zeal, coming close a couple of times to scoring a goal or two.
With the loss, the Canucks can probably forget any plans about winning first place overall in the Western Conference, Detroit seemingly in control of that situation even with injuries. The Canucks can still concentrate on winning their Division in the battle with Colorado, but there was bad news on that front. As the Avalanche finally found the net tonight, with a 5-1 win over the Sharks. The Canucks next play Saturday night in Columbus and then return home for an all important game against the Avalanche at GM place on Monday. If they have plans on taking the division title from the Avs, and improving their playoff prospects, a much better effort will be required both Saturday and Monday nights.