In an entertaining game that featured an early fight, some hits (and elbows), pretty goals, and fine goal-tending, it all came crashing down on what amounted to an overtime own goal by the visiting Avalanche. Colorado defender Jonos Holos made the lowest hockey IQ move, carrying the puck in front of his own net after a defensive zone face-off win, only to have it poke checked into his own net by the perpetually hustling Mason Raymond.
In the end, Roberto Luongo finally got a home ice start, and did not disappoint carrying his team in the later parts of the game as the Avalanche were the better squad in the final two periods.
The Canucks tattered defense was put to the test, but surprisingly it was only the top defensive pairing of Christian Ehrhoff and Alex Edler that came apart at the seams. Despite picking up 3 assists between them, they were on the ice for all three Avalanche goals and Ehrhoff, in particular, seemed to be in a zone of his own most of the night. Perhaps the neutral zone. The often maligned Andrew Alberts and Kevin Bieksa were notable for not being noted. And Aaron Rome brought a much needed physical presence.
Up front, Peter Schaefer proved that he can still shoot the puck when provided with lots of time and space while Jeff Tambellini seems to be settling in with the twins just in time for an Alex Burrows return.
The 2 points for the Canucks, in a game where they just as easily could have had one, is a nice payback, for Luongo in particular, after last week’s tough loss to the Hawks. And will put the boys in the right frame of mind as they settle into what amounts to a mini off-season.
Despite the long layoff until the next game (the New Jersey Devils bring their Mickey Mouse show to Rogers Arena next Monday), we’ll aim to keeps things interesting around here.