Roberto Luongo got the start against the Calgary Flames after a poor goaltending performance against the Nashville Predators from both himself and Cory Schneider. Flames’ back up Henrik Karlsson also commenced in goal.
Sunday night also embarked the long awaited return of Mason Raymond. Thankfully there were no paperwork errors this time. Mason Raymond received a cheer from the crowd when he first stepped on the ice. I was a bit surprised; I was expecting a bigger and loader standing ovation. He had to watch his team get shutout in game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals and he could not do anything about it. To top that off, he spent the Summer recovering from his fractured vertebrae. Must have been rough – thankfully he made a full recovery.
At the end of the first period Alex Tanguay banked the puck in off Roberto Luongo (who wasn’t up against his post) to make it 1-0.
Early in the second period Kevin Bieksa scored from the point off the post and in to tie the game at 1-1. Kevin Bieksa is currently on a 5 game point streak. I’ve said this a million times though I have to say it again: Who needs Christian Ehrhoff?
In the final minute of the second period Chris Higgins gave the Canucks a 2-1 lead while Ryan Kesler caused a ruckus in front of the net. Higgins’ goal from David Booth and Cody Hodgson. 20 seconds into the third David Booth made it 3-1 on a wrap around; from Ryan Kesler and Chris Higgins. Just 1:14 after, Jannik Hansen made it 4-1 when his shot deflected of Jay Bouwmeester and went to the back of the net. Assists to Mason Raymond (first point of the season) and Keith Ballard.
Daniel Sedin made it 5-1 when he roofed the puck over Henrik Karlsson. Assists from Ryan Kesler and Henrik Sedin.
Henrik Karlsson was shook up shortly after Daniel Sedin’s goal after he was hit accidentally by teammate Tom Kostopolous. He left the game with what looked like a leg injury and was replaced by starting goaltender Mikka Kiprusoff. Kiprusoff does not have a very good record in Vancouver due to a record of over 3.00 GAA. Almost instantly David Booth ran into Kiprusoff starting a scrum, surprisingly the only penalty went to David Booth.
No surprise to see a fight during a Canucks and Flames game. Not the biggest rivalry around but it is still a rivalry with a lot of history. Matt Stajan against Maxim Lapierre, not a lot of punches thrown but till noteworthy. They both received game misconducts.
It wasn’t all good news in Vancouver. Aaron Volpatti will be out for the season with a shoulder injury, unfortunate since he was starting to play great on the fourth line with Maxim Lapierre and Dale Wiese. He even got his first goal of the season last game. Last season, on the sky train home from a Canuck game on Boxing Day, I was involved in a conversation with a guy who alleged that his cousin was Aaron Volpatti. I know what you’re thinking, “Yeah right, he was probably lying.” But if this guy secretly was a nut job do you really think he would choose Aaron Volpatti of all players to be his “cousin?” Anyway, he explained to me how often, long, and hard Volpatti practises, how long he has waited to be in the NHL, and how much he loves the game. It must be painful for him to have to miss the rest of the season. Best wishes to Aaron Volpatti during his recovery.
Could the injury to Aaron Volpatti mean the return of Victor Oreskovich? This season he has been playing for the Chicago Wolves (Canucks AHL affiliate) because the Canucks signed Dale Weise as a replacement. He has 1 goal and 5 points in 11 games with the Wolves this season. With losing Volpatti, the Canucks are losing a hitter and not gaining one from Mason Raymond. Victor Oreskovich brings hits, speed, and force to the game. Will the Canucks bring him back up this season for a second chance?
Roberto Luongo can take a sigh of relief for helping his team get the 5-1 win over the Calgary Flames. Considering how well Cory Schneider has been playing (apart from last game) Luongo really needed to have a good game. He wasn’t the busiest goaltender tonight but he stopped the shots when he needed to and that’s what matters. He made 21 stops in his first start in three weeks. He should also get the start Tuesday against Colorado.
In Mason Raymond’s return he had 1 assist, 1 shot and 14:35 time on ice. Pretty good for not playing for 6 months. During a post game interview Raymond announced that he felt great on the ice and he had no problems. Great news for Canuck fans.
-100 career assists tonight for Chris Higgins.
-Vancouver has won 10 of the last 12 against the Flames. The two loses being in overtime. Flames outscored 51-23 during that span. Can you say domination?
-David Booth has 3 goals in his last five games. 3 points tonight. A nice change after his slow start in Vancouver after he was acquired from Florida.
-Ryan Kesler won 14 of 18 faceoffs.
-Sami Salo returned after a minor injury caused a few games ago
First Star: David Booth
Second Star: Chris Higgins
Third Star: Ryan Kesler