Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Naslund finds the mark

The Canucks are on a roll, notching their sixth consecutive win in a rink they normally have some trouble in. Markus Naslund led the way as the Vancouver Canucks put away an injury depleted Minnesota Wild squad 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Naslund scored the winner early in the second period as he converted a breakaway pass from Todd Bertuzzi into a goal to put the Canucks in the lead for good. Other goal scorers for the Canucks were Jarkko Rutuu in the first and Henrik Sedin with the insurance policy in the third.

Minnesota were missing three key ingredients to their line up as Marian Gaborik and Pascal Dupuis and defenceman Filip Kuba all sat out the game with various ailments. With the missing fire power the Wild could only sit back and watch the Canucks come at them. The night marked a milestone for Canuck defenseman Ed Jovanovski, who checked off game number 400 in his career thus far.

The Canucks improved their record to 8-1-1 which matches the best start to a season in their history. The only loss on the year so far was in Minnesota, when the Wild punished them 6-0, the Canucks have faced the Wild three times in the last ten games as the NHL unbalanced schedule tries to build up regional rivalries. While it may be a good marketing tool for the playoff drives, here in the early season it's just a goofy idea. With thirty teams in the league, one would think you wouldn't have to play one third of your games against the same team. A bit of fine tuning to the plan by the schedule maker, should be a must for next year.

The Canucks continue on with familiar faces next when the play the Colorado Avalanche in Denver on Thursday night, a team they played on Saturday in Vancouver. Vancouver stays in Denver on Friday, as they take on those same Avalanche on Saturday night, making for three games in seven nights against the same team! If nothing else the Canucks are about to prove the truth to an old saying; familiarity truly does breed contempt!

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