Thursday, March 27, 2008
Six minutes that could sink a season!
The Vancouver Canucks, who had their playoff ambitions hanging by a thread as they entered Wednesday nights game with Colorado, watched that thread fray just a little bit more by the time their night with the Avalanche was done on Wednesday night.
Off to another one of their fast starts, the Canucks once again found that their momentum could not sustain itself, as a second period horror show proved to be their undoing on Wednesday night.
A horrendous to watch (if you're a Canuck fan) six and a half minute collapse kick started the Avalanche attack, which responded with four goals, grabbing a 5-2 lead on the Canucks and chasing Roberto Luongo from the game.
Luongo had a couple of un-Luongo like moments in the six minutes, with a couple of odorous goals making their way by him, though he could hardly be held totally responsible. Once again, his defence for the second night in a row, seemed to appear befuddled in their own end, with sloppy clearing attempts, casual attempts at checking and an terrible inability to work in their defensive zone made the Colorado attack that much more easier to implement.
Luongo was pulled from action midway through the second period, perhaps to rest up for an all important match on Friday with Minnesota. But maybe also as a sign to his fellow Canucks, that the time has come for them to make a difference and not to count on their hard done by goaltender all the time.
Wednesday they didn't exactly answer that call, and while Curtis Sanford stemmed the bleeding, the Canucks never really appeared to be on the verge of mounting a comeback.
The win gave Colorado a leg up in the Western Division, as they jumped over the Canucks for seventh spot and set their sights a little higher with four games to go. They were particularly aided by the resurgence of Peter Forsberg, who has been an off and on participant of late to the Avalanche line up. Wednesday, he was definitely on, as he provided three assists on the way to the Avs eventual 6-3 victory.
Vancouver, which has now lost its third straight game in a row, are one rung above golfing, as they hold a tentative grip on the final playoff spot, with Nashville still in the hunt and gaining ground.
Vancouver's slide has not gone un-noticed by the sports fans of the city, who were quick to the phones on Wednesday night to vent out their concern at their local team's lack of success of late and the worrisome aspects of their game that seem to be getting worse instead of better.
Setting the stage for a week of angst in Vancouver, as a season that came with a few high hopes, slides further and further away from the destination of choice mentioned at the start of the year.
Globe and Mail--Canucks continue to slide
National Post--Canucks on verge of missing playoffs
Reuters--Forsberg helps Avalanche close in on West playoff spot
Vancouver Sun--Mile High Meltdown
Vancouver Province--Luongo needs help and fast
24 Hours Vancouver--Floundering Canucks buried by Avalanche
Denver Post--Avs find a fine line
Rockey Mountain News--Quenneville's switch produces power line
Photo from the National post website