Friday, February 01, 2008

As the Dinosaurs roam at home, the Canucks find defensemen becoming extinct as well

GM Place is hosting a giant show about the dinosaurs this week, and one can only imagine the thoughts running through the minds of sports journalists and radio talk show hosts at that bit of symbolism as the Canucks begin the run for a playoff spot this season.

The Vancouver Canucks began their latest road trip in a less than inspiring fashion, losing to the Tamp Bay Lightning 4-3, despite the return of a well rested and possibly tanned Roberto Luongo.

The Canucks goaltender stayed in Florida during the all star break to visit with his pregnant wife and was excused for the Canucks first home game after the break, waiting for his team to join him on the Western coast of Florida for Thursday’s game.

For the Canucks it was another night of making the best of a bad situation on defence, as yet another Canuck blue liner was forced to sit out a game due to injury. Sami Salo, once again was not able to take to the ice, suffering from a problem with his groin.

He finds himself sharing company on the injured list with Lukas Krajicek, Willie Mitchell and Kevin Bieksa who are also sidelined. Tuesday the word came down that Mitchell’s injuries are worse than originally thought, with his length of time off the ice expected to be much longer than previously expected.

Thursday night, the Canucks gained the first goal of the night, but found problems gaining the Tampa Bay zone for a good portion of the night after that. Vincent Lecavalier gave Tampa Bay their first lead of the night at 3-2 with just a few minutes left in the second, from then on they didn’t look back, though the Canucks would pull close but be unable to pull even or ahead by games end.

It was hard fought game, with the Canucks playing a more physical game, which resulted in eight fighting majors as the Lightning took offense to the strong arm tactics of the night.

While they pondered their loss, Alex Burrows could find a silver lining in the night’s disappointment, having felt that they were close and played well he noted that, "It's a fine line between a win and a loss.”

Which is true enough, be if they suffer too many losses at this stage of the season it will be a fine line between a playoff spot and an early start to the golf season.

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