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Canucks shut down, shut out Avalanche

Wellity, wellity, wellity. What have we here? A Mr. Andrew Raycroft has recorded a shutout for the Vancouver Canucks? Can this be true?

Yep, you heard me right boys and girls. Andrew "Facepalm" Raycroft stopped all 18 shots he faced for his first goose-egg as a Canuck, defying the expectations of pessimistic Canucks fans and cynical Maple Leafs fans in the process. It was a solid team effort, as the boys contained the Avalanche's offence and took advantage of limited offensive opportunities to secure the victory. Here's a rundown:

The Good

  • As mentioned, a great team effort. Raycroft gets the ‘W' but the 18 guys in front of him helped him out by limiting the Avs chances and taking advantage of a few Avalanche mistakes to put three goals behind a red hot Craig Anderson.
  • The Canucks had a huge penalty kill of a Colorado 2-man advantage in the first period. Clinging to a 1-0 lead (and we all know the Canucks haven't been so good at clinging lately), the PK provided a huge boost by killing off a 1:24 minute 2-man advantage. An Avs goal there would have completely changed the course of the game. If you're looking for a TSN Turning Point, this would be it.
  • Michael Grabner, clearly trying to fit in with the rest of the team, missed the game due to injury. Fortunately Kyle Wellwood returned to the line-up, and turned in a strong performance.
  • Nice to see Tanner Glass get his first Canucks goal. It was a big night for the Canucks newbies!
  • John Shorthouse and John  Garrett made this point, but it was great to see the Canucks keep the pedal to the metal with the lead rather than retreating into a defensive shell. They continued to attack the Avs while maintaining a defensively responsible style of play
  • Finally, in a nice gesture that is being implemented throughout the North American sporting world, tonight was Armed Forces night at GM Place. A couple hundred soldiers were given tickets donated by Canucks' season ticket holders, which I'm sure was a nice break for them. With Rememberance Day coming up, and 3000 or so Canadian soldiers fighting in Afghanistan, it was a nice reminder of, and tribute to, the men and women putting their lives on the line on a daily basis.

The Bad

  • Sami "Insert Injury Here" Salo limped off the ice during the third period. Seriously, how does one man sustain so many injuries? He had a key assist on a booming slap-shot from the point on Kesler's goal, so here's hoping he is okay. 
  • While Raycroft was solid, he got lucky with a couple posts to secure the shutout and the win. But hey, like they say, you gotta be good to be luck. Right?

The Ugly

  • Actually, unlike Friday, not much. Not a pretty effort, but not an ugly one either. No major miscues and we got the 2 points. No complaints here!

Did you know?

  • Andrew Raycroft is just the second Calder Trophy winner to suit up for the Canucks. The first, of course, was the incomparable Pavel Bure.

Random, unrelated fact of the night

Did you know that Canada is one of 52 countries to recognize Kosovo as an independent country? Other countries include the USA, Turkey, Peru and Afghanistan. Hold-outs include China, Russia, Mexico and South Africa.

Others who have recognized: Marshall Islands, Nauru, San Marino and Comoros. Other non-recognizers: Lesotho, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Mongolia.

Do you care? Probably not. But this is a serious international relations issue here folks! Read more here