Dogs Of War
The Vancouver Canucks reflected the defensive dedication of Dave Tippett’s desert dogs and held on to win in a 2-1 shootout victory over the Coyotes Monday at Rogers Arena.
The Canucks were held to less than five shots in both the first and third periods, relying on defensive structure and the solid play of Roberto Luongo to keep the Coyotes under control for the majority of the hockey game.
The Hat Trick
Booth’s Big Moves
After generating only four shots in the first period, the Canucks came back with a far more respectable effort against Phoenix in the second, leading to David Booth’s beautiful power-move around Jason Labarbera to open the scoring.
After dancing around the Phoenix defence for his 10th of the season, Booth was called upon by Head Coach Alain Vigneault again in the shootout to put another puck past Labarbera.
Booth beat the former Canuck with another gorgeous move putting the pressure on Mikkel Boedker in the fifth round of the shootout.
Bitz Breaks Down
Byron Bitz has been a pleasant surprise on Vancouver’s top line alongside the Sedin twins, but had a tough game Monday at Rogers Arena after struggling to generate any scoring with the talented twins.
Bitz turned the puck over in his own zone late during the third period Monday, allowing Keith Yandle to wrist home a long shot from just inside the blue line to tie the game at one.
While the shot surely shouldn’t have found a way past Luongo, it was obvious to Bitz and his teammates that the puck can’t be turned over from such a sensitive spot on the ice.
Kevin Bieksa generated 3 of the Canucks’ 22 shots on Monday but was making the game more entertaining thanks to his interactions between blown whistle and faceoff.
While play was stopped during the second period Bieksa banked the puck off the glass, attempting to catch it behind his back only to have linesmen Mark Wheler give him a “helping hand” in the process.
Once the final horn had blown to end overtime, Bieksa once again found an extracurricular activity to entertain himself and the crowd. Rostislav Klesla and Bieksa almost came to blows when a pre-shootout shoving match escalated in Vancouver’s zone.
The Canucks have struggled to ice a solid sixty minutes over their past several games and continued in those struggles Monday against the Coyotes.
While scoring came at a premium on Monday, Vancouver’s own defensive performance against the Coyotes was equally paralyzing.
“I promise,” Kevin Bieksa was seen shouting to Klesla after referees broke up a potential bout following the end of overtime.
Vancouver 2, Phoenix 1
When: 10:00 PM ET, Monday, February 13, 2012
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Referees: Marc Joannette, Paul Devorski
Linesmen: Brad Lazarowich, Mark Wheler