They tried to give it away in the second period, but eventually the Vancouver Canucks dismissed the Phoenix Coyotes with check in the loss column. The Canucks hot off a big win Saturday night over Colorado, the Canucks put away the Desert Dogs 7-4.
Vancouver jumped out to a quick 4-1 lead, but as seems to be the case of late could not keep that cushion alive through the next fourty minutes. Second period penalties allowed the Coyotes to get back into the game, as they closed the gap to one goal before the Canucks finally got their game back in gear.
Alex Auld kept the Canucks alive in the second period as he faced 21 shots in twenty minutes, finishing the game with 42 saves surrendering 4 goals many of which came about due to sloppy play in the Vancouver end.
Vancouver found goal scoring success once again from Henrik and Daniel Sedin, a duo who seem to have finally found their game on a consistent basis. As well Canuck markers included Markus Naslund, Josh Green, Tyler Bouck, Mattias Ohlund and an empty net goal from Todd Bertuzzi.
Bertuzzi once again seemed to float in and out of the play on the night, taking untimely penalties at times and being victimized by the refs on calls at others. Regardless, it was still not the power forward display of old that Bertuzzi put on, a concern not only to the Canuck management but to the guy across the bench tonight Wayne Gretzky, who must be wondering like others when Bertuzzi will get back to the game he once played so well.
The other story of the night in Phoenix was the crowd, or lack of it. The game was televised in Canada on Sportsnet Pacific. Frequent scans of the crowd showed row upon row of empty seats, many of them in the prime seating areas around the boards and behind the benches. The published attendance number was stated at 14,599, but appearances dictate that number is a highly optimistic count. As CKNW sports announcer JP McConnel might say, they must have counted legs instead of bums.
The Coyotes are playing in a brand new rink, supposedly state of the art and fan friendly. Too bad it seems that not many folks in Phoenix wish to make its acquaintance!