1. Schneids Again…
What a week for Cory Schneider. Sunday, he out-dueled Alex Auld to beat the Senators. Midweek, he shutout the Avalanche and Coyotes. Last night, his shutout streak was broken at 155 minutes, but Schneider stole yet another one.
The Canucks were outshot 35-16 in the final two periods. The kid was hot last night and his stellar week has raised a lot of questions between the pipes. It will be interesting to see how Roberto Luongo responds to some internal competition.
2. Manny Manny Manny
Manny Malhotra followed his first of the year Friday with a heads-up play on Saturday to pick up his second.
Alertly recognizing that Antti Niemi had lost his goalstick, Malhotra threw it on the net hoping for some puck luck. He got exactly that when it bounced, perhaps arrogantly, off the lover of all things Canuck Douglas Murray.
It was the most fortunate Canuck bounce against the Sharks since the stanchion assisted on Kevin Bieksa‘s Western Conference-clinching OT goal .
3. Fight Night
And man was it good. The boys were throwing them in a spirited bout that saw Volpatti knock down Winchester only for Winchester to pop right back up and serve Volpatti some more punches.
Lets document Kevin Bieksa in the final minutes of this game.
First, he ices the puck with 90 seconds left. The Sharks would control the draw, eventually get the puck to Thornton behind the net, and he would find Marleau to make things interesting. Bieksa is planted in front of the net during this sequence, trying but failing to intercept the pass.
At worst, he deflects the puck and helps it in. At best, he partially screens Schneider.
The Sharks press in the final minute before Bieksa picks up a loose puck at his own blueline with 10 seconds left and tries for the open net. He misses, and again it’s icing.
Thornton wins the all-important draw and gets it back to Brent Burns who throws it at the net only for Bieksa to corral it and once again send it all the way down the ice to preserve the victory.
You’re killing me Kevin.
It looked as though Alex Burrows had hit some injury trouble when he took a nasty slash from Joe Thornton but the feisty winger was soon fine and back in action.
The Canucks other Alex didn’t fare so well. Edler took a hit from Jamie McGinn in the second period and did not return. The speculation is that it could be a shoulder injury. Considering his recent run of luck with broken sticks, it’s only natural to assume that being paired with Sami Salo is akin to some sort of gypsy curse.
Finally, the Sharks got away with some blatent slashes and tackles in the stretch drive of this game as the refs refused to kill the momenteum the home-town Sharks were enjoying. The Sharks picked up one call all game, a second period slashing all on Joe Thornton.
It wasn’t as actively bad as the refs in the Habs-Pens game last night, but not calling penalties as to not influence the outcome is still passively influencing the outcome. C’mon refs, all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Be the change!
The Canucks will take today off and enjoy the Grey Cup before what will surely be a media circus on Monday in preparation for the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday.