Coming off of two solid home wins against Ottawa and Calgary, expectations were high against a team ranked 13th in the Eastern Conference in the New York Islanders. I like most everyone else assumed this was one of those games that would be no problem considering the Canucks record against the East but as John Garrett likes to say, “Now that’s one of those…” that just seemed to go wrong right from the start.
I’ve mentioned before that I can’t stand commenting on officiating, but it seems more and more you have to break that rule and talk about how much it sucked. I don’t have a problem with any of the calls against the Canucks as they were definately penalties. The refs seemed to miss many of the Islanders miscues though and it was just a matter of consistency that was missing. When people get mad and yell at their TV’s because of officiating, it’s because the standard is so inconsistent from game to game or even period to period. Anyway, Kyle Wellwood drew a late call with under 2:00 mins remaining and the crowd (who had been boo-ing relentlessly on the missed calls) jeered the refs for calling that because really at that point in the game it made no sense.
I won’t pick apart the loss too badly this time as I think it was just a matter of time before it happened. I thought Luongo looked a bit off, the defense looked slow and maybe this is just a matter of being too tired. The offense seemed aggresive and wasn’t a problem but the passes weren’t as crisp as usual and the zone entry was lacking. I did want to single out Kyle Wellwood for playing a very solid game. Wellwood has the tendency to disappear for stretches and today I noticed him every shift as he was strong on the puck, involved on the backcheck and quick to make plays. It was nice to see him rewarded with a goal that bumped him into double digits with 10 on the season.
The Sharks are next on the agenda and the top team in the conference is usually a tough test (at least in the regular season right?). San Jose lost pretty badly against Dallas tonight, allowing 8 goals in total. Unlike against the NYI we will assume that was a one time occurance and won’t happen again.
San Jose Sharks @ Vancouver Canucks – March 18, 2010; 7:oo PM PST – TSN (HD)
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Written by Luke Mirza