Sunday Morning Coffee- Win the game, lose on style points...

 

Stop me if you've heard this one: it wasn't pretty, but the Canucks found a way to win.  I always love to read fan reactions after a day like this, where people bemoan the fact that we had to come from behind.  I am not discounting the poor play, but sometimes you just have to live by the Al Davis creed "Just win, baby".  This team has some issues, there's no denying that.  But on this record-setting road trip, does it really matter how we win?  More after the jump...

The Canucks definitely put themselves in a bad spot by repeating a theme we have seen far too often lately, an early penalty that leads to an early goal.  Before the end of the first, they were down two and struggling to get any kind of sustained pressure.  Roberto Luongo shook off the shorthanded markers and shut the door the rest of the way, doing exactly what he was brought to Vancouver to do, lock it down and give the team a chance to win.  The line of Ryan Kesler, Mason Raymond and Pavol Demitra really stepped up and led as the Bruins, like the Sens and Habs before them did a great job of neutralizing the Sedins and Alex Burrows.  Darcy Hordichuk had a spirited tilt with Bruins' tough guy Sean Thornton, that accomplished what they were looking for, a little spark to build on.  After Mason Raymond's  goal halfway through the 2nd, the Canucks began to press, and in the 3rd took it to the Bruins, firing 18 shots in the final frame at Tukka Rask.  A Sami Salo shot attempt from the point dribbled past a Bruins player when Salo's stick exploded, but Tanner Glass made amends for his penalty on the opening shift as he fired a shot on goal, Pavol Demitra getting a piece of it and getting it through Rask to tie the game at 2.  The Bruins pressed hard in overtime, mustering 8 shots at Luongo, but he stood tall.  Demitra finished his best game since his return to the lineup after recovering from shoulder surgery as he scored the only goal in the shootout.

Ugly?  Yes.  But until they start judging hockey like figure skating (and believe me, anything is possible in Gary Bettman's world) a win is a win is a win.  2 points, and move along.  The Canucks had played at an extremely high level for a long period of time, doing an incredible job of stockpiling points at home in preparation for this trip.  Now back to .500 for the first half of the first portion of the trip, they head to Florida for games against the Lightning and Panthers, looking to continue their domination of the Southeast Division.

More coffee please...

As if the 10 am start time for yesterday's game wasn't bad enough, this 9 am puck drop for the Pens/Caps game is ridiculous when you consider it's solely to accommodate NBC's golf coverage, which no one will even be watching until Tiger checks out of sex rehab and gets back to the links to start winning tournaments in preparation of his alimony settlement.  The deal with the league and NBC is a joke, and hockey will not grow in the US until they get the game off NBC and Versus and back on ESPN. 

If there's anyone out there surprised by the outcome of the Leafs/Senators game last night, please contact me at once, I have an outstanding investment proposal from Nigeria I need to discuss with you.  You know they were going to do whatever it took to win for the boss, and the Sens were due (shame we didn't capitalize on that the other night).  Much respect for Matt Carkner for taking a hellacious beating from Colton Orr and shaking it off.  Those two have had some jaw-dropping battles this year.  I want to see Rypien take on Carkner when the Sens come to Vancouver in the first game back from this road trip.  He couldn't do worse against him than Tanner Glass did...

The Flames earned a loser point in Tampa last night, but they still look inconsistent, still not scoring much and relying on Kiprusoff to save them from their shoddy defensive play.  You have to wonder what Ales Kotalik was thinking getting into a scrap last night.  Not only did he risk injury, he was ejected for not having his jersey tied down...

Funny how there's so much talk about the struggles of Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo, yet we don't hear much about how Team USA goalie Ryan Miller is struggling lately.  The Sabres are 2-7-1 in their last 10, the same as the Edmonton Oilers.  Miller has definitely cooled off, and without solid goaltending the US will not be as dangerous a threat, especially with the D not being as solid as some countries...

I know they're 10 points out of a playoff spot, but the Carolina Hurricanes are playing some damn good hockey right now, and look like they haven't shut it down yet, which will definitely affect what happens with them as the trade deadline approaches.  Atlanta had a big win last night as they began the Post- Kovalchuk era, with a 4-2 victory over Florida to move within a point of the 8th place Philadelphia Flyers.  They aren't done by a long shot and I won't be surprised if they manage to get into the post season...

I know they're injured, but every loss by the Detroit Red Wings just baffles the hell outta me.  How does a team go from two straight cup appearances to being out of the dance if the playoffs were to start today.  Chris Osgood has been nowhere near as good as we have seen in the past...

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