Defensively Depleted Canucks fall to Predators
The Vancouver Canucks loss in Nashville proved one thing. They miss their missing defencemen very, very much.
The Canucks fell to the Nashville Predators 3-1 Thursday night in a game that can only be described as plodding. The Canucks are Predators are the NHL's stingiest teams in terms of goals allowed, so that can't be that much of a surprise.
The Canucks were without, stay with me here, Kevin Bieksa (Broken Foot), Keith Ballard (knee strain), Dan Hamhuis (concussion), Alex Edler (back surgery), Andrew Alberts (broken wrist), and Lee Sweatt (broken foot). Because of that, they were forced to ice a lineup that included three rookies with a combined 17 NHL games between them.
Yann Sauve, Chris Tanev, and Evan Oberg played admirably, especially Tanev and Sauve, but the fact remains clear. The Canucks need defencemen back, now.
Christian Ehrhoff had to play nearly 30 minutes this game, which has to be a strain for him; considering the team had opted to go for a defence by committee strategy. Aaron Rome, who did not make the Canucks out of training camp, had the second most ice time for a defenceman, and Sami Salo, who just got off the IR and was supposed to be eased back into the lineup, was third, with just under twenty minutes; far from an ideal situation for the finnish macinnis. Anyways, let's get to the game here!
The Predators opened the scoring fourteen minutes into the second period, as Martin Erat shot the puck, collected his own rebound, and shot it through Canucks Goaltender Roberto Luongo for his tenth goal of the year.
The Canucks, and their vaunted powerplay answered back four minutes later, as Daniel Sedin scored his 30th twine tickler. It was a perfect shot, off the post and in, and it gave the Canucks some much needed life.
For seven seconds, anyway.
Thats when Nick Spalding scored his fifth goal of the year to give the Predators the 2-1 lead. On the play, Aaron Rome seemed to have the puck, until he fell down. That enabled the pred's to have a 2 on 1 break, and thats when Spalding converted a Patrick Hornqvist pass into a goal.
Less than fifty seconds later, it was Mr. Carrie Underwood getting his fifteenth goal, and his first as a predator, as he tipped home a Sulzer shot.
The Canucks D had played a pretty solid game up until that point. Then, one minute, and everything is changed.
The Canucks had a few chances after that, but Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne slammed the door shut on every opportunity.
The Canucks next play Saturday at home against the Dallas Stars, and at this rate, we might as well start calling them the Vancouver Moose.
Notes: Shane O Brien played against his former team, recording no points, no word on how much he likes the Nashville Roxy...Daniel Sedin remains one point behind Steven Stamkos for the NHL lead in points...Roberto Luongo has now lost 2 straight games in regulation.