Ray of Light

In an early CBC HNIC edition, the Vancouver Canucks iced a 3-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at General Motors Place Saturday, October 24, 2009.

Special teams factored largely into in the game, which featured a number of early momentum swings as the clubs swapped odd man advantages.

The Canucks capitalized early with the man advantage, as Mason Raymond and Ryan Kesler both posted powerplay tallies.  Raymond’s goal would be reviewed, as the Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson felt Michael Grabner knocked the puck down with a high stick, but it stood.

Mason Raymond, Canucks 2nd pick, 51st overall, 2005 (photo courtesy of TSN)

6'0, 182 lb Cochrane, Alberta native Mason Raymond (2nd round, 51st OV 2005) [photo source: TSN]

Only 2:42 later, Ryan Kesler walked in off the blue line and ripped a wrister over the glovehand side of a partially screened Joey Macdonald.  The latter was  a large reason the Leafs were able to keep the game close and fairly winable.  He was named the games 3rd star, with Mason Raymond earning 2nd star for his 2 goal performance.

Joey Joey Macdonald builds his .916 save percentage on a save off Ryan Johnson
Joey Joey Macdonald builds his .916 save percentage on a save off Ryan Johnson

Niklas Hagman would respond with a powerplay goal of his own for the Leafs at 16:46 of the second period.  The game slowed a little at that point, with both clubs apprehensive to make a mistake and turn the puck over unforced.   Apparently the cautious approach worked for Vancouver, as they avoided any future trips to the penalty box in the 3rd period.

Roberto Luongo (CBC’s 1st star) made some good early saves in the win, positioning well with a strong late push from the Leafs a dozen minutes into the third.  Leafs winger Lee Stempniak partially fanned on a wrist shot after breaking through the Canucks defense with the Leafs within a goal.   But that was close as they would get, despite a couple of mad scrambles with the Canucks collapsed in front of Luongo. Rickard Wallin just failed to get the handle on a spin around attempt during the screened action with a partially open net.

Roberto Luongo stops Ian White in one of 35 saves Saturday versus the Maple Leafs - photo courtesy of Yahoo! Sports

Roberto Luongo stops Ian White in one of 35 saves Saturday versus the Maple Leafs - photo courtesy of Yahoo! Sports

The Maple Leafs set a franchaise record for their worst start with the loss, opening the season 0-7-1.  “We did everything we had to do except bury the scoring chances we had,” lamented Leafs coach Ron Wilson.

The Canucks have now won 5 of their last 7, after a shaky start to the season.  The Edmonton Oilers (6-2-1, 2nd in Northwest) are in Vancouver tomorrow (Sunday).  The Oilers are coming off a 5-2 loss to the Calgary Flames in the second half of the CBC Hockey Night in Canada double-header.

Want more from The Canuck Way?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.
  • CB

    Finally Canucks are starting to play better hockey!
    Now hopefully these wins would pump them up for the next big game.