I said in the game preview: Should be an automatic win, right? Nope. That depends on how lightly the Canucks take these guys. They have to go out there and pretend those guys are wearing Devils jerseys.
A so-so first..outshooting the Canes 14-6 but not capitalizing on 2 power play chances, and bagging one past Manny Legace (Jannik Hansen).
An atrocious 2nd period..getting outshot 13-6, coughing the puck up, hanging Andrew Raycroft out to dry (which Alain Vigneault alluded to after the game), and surrendering 3 goals. Yeah, the refs should have blown the play dead on that Mitchell-Raycroft fiasco, but really, the score could have been 6-1 at that point anyways.
The 3rd period was all Canucks,
as they put the heat on Carolina, who have had a terrible time in 3rd periods this year. It almost worked. The Canucks almost erased a 4-1 deficit and pulled within a goal, but Erik Cole, who, thanks to us, has awoken from his slumber and bagged his hat trick goal into the open net to seal it.
Final shots: Canucks 36 Canes 27.
8 points combined for Erik Cole, Eric Staal and Ryan Whitney.
Can you believe that Christian Ehrhoff finished a +3?
I thought Kyle Wellwood looked alright out there today. He was rewarded with over 15:00 of ice time. His line kickstarted the Canucks in the 3rd, and I thought dominated that period.
You almost can't fault Andrew Raycroft on any of those goals. But then...as myself and others have said many times before: he goes down into the butterfly position so quickly all the time. The Canes picked corners on him. Maybe a tremendous save or 2 were in order. I think it's fair to say that. None came.
BOXSCORE (bring barf bag)
My 3 Stars:
1. Erik Cole. (Rise from your grave)
2. Ray Whitney (1 goal and 2 assists)
3. Manny Legace (Yeah, yeah, 3 goals against but I'm going to throw him a bone for giving his team a chance to win it especially in the first)