Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Auld Standard

Vancouver already has a quarterback controversy with its CFL team, the debate rages on day after day with the tandem of Dave Dickenson and Casey Printers finding equal amount of support in the city. Could it be that the Canucks are about to have a similar controversy on their hands?

Alex Auld held down the fort on Wednesday night as his Vancouver Canucks held on for a narrow 2-1 victory over the visiting Minnesota Wild. Auld has been given the starting assignments while Dan Cloutier recovers from the collision with fellow team mate Nolan Baumgartner on Monday night. It's not sure when Cloutier who is suffering from a concussion, will return but it's not expected to be a lengthy amount of down time.

But even if it is, the Canucks don't seem to have too many worries about their own net, Auld performed impressively against the Wild, keeping their scorers at bay time and time again. While the game started out slow, not quite the explosions we've become used to of late, things did begin to change as the third period arrived.

The Canucks managed to get themselves into some serious penalty troubles as the third period hit the fifteen minute mark, a bad penalty by Todd Bertuzzi began a parade to the penalty box for the boys in Blue. While killing off that penalty Ryan Kessler of the Canucks took a delay of game penalty which left them two men short as time was winding down, then Sami Salo missed on a clearing attempt resulting in another delay of game penalty. Just to add to the excitement the Wild then pulled their goaltender for a 6 on 3 for the final minute of play.

Through it all, Auld held his ground making save after save and gaining a bit of luck from a goal post or crossbar or two. The Canucks survived the mad scramble at the end, Auld facing 31 shots turning back 30 of them on the way to the Canuck's 9th win of the year.

Auld's performance will serve as grist for the goaltender's mill in BC, over the last twenty years the Goaltender job has been the most discussed position on the team. Year after year the debate rages, do the Canucks have what it takes between the pipes to go the distance. Many Canuck fans have been worried about the potential for Cloutier to take the team all the way, now with Auld showing some promise they may have some ammunition for their argument. The only answer to that will come with a Stanley Cup parade down Robson Street.

Auld may have made a case for his seat in the parade, should the day ever come!

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