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The Official Site of the Vancouver Canucks

Press Round-Up Apr.26.2007

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks
Courtesy of Daniel Fung


Canucks simply outmatched in Game 1

There was simply no contest. Aside from an early Jeff Cowan goal which gave the Canucks the early momentum, the Ducks simply skated circles around the Canucks all night long en route to a 5-1 victory, a score which may have even flattered the Canucks had it not been the play of Roberto Luongo.

"Roberto Luongo's biggest problem was not so much exposure to red light as wind burn from forwards whizzing past him headed for the Bonneville Salt Flats," writes Tony Gallagher. "There was more entertainment than the entire Dallas-Vancouver series packed into the first period, but with Vancouver's lack of team speed in general, combined with the injuries on defence and the absence of their two speediest forwards, Ryan Kesler and Matt Cooke, this was a race between an F-16 and some characters in an ox cart."

The Canucks, while fully aware of the speed the Ducks bring to the table, know they also can't afford helping them out by providing them with power plays to work with all game long.

"It was definitely a different style out there, but we took too many penalties," said captain Markus Naslund. "Speed is one thing they do have going and we've got to skate with these guys with our sticks on the ice and stay out of the penalty box. It will be a short series unless we start doing better on the special teams, too."

Lack of success should motivate Luongo

He hasn't beaten the Ducks all season and he's been hooked twice, but it certainly hasn't meant Roberto Luongo hasn't played well against Anaheim this year, just that he hasn't been getting the results. And the lack of results should be a motivating factor for Luongo, writes Tony Gallagher, but it's one that he has yet to take advantage of.

"It's not a problem as far as I'm concerned," said Luongo about the hold the Ducks have on his magic. "As far as I'm concerned nothing that happened in the regular season means anything. Tonight was probably the worst traffic I've seen all year. They had two guys in front and a third guy coming for the rebounds all the time and it's tough. We have to stop taking so many penalties."

As for the decision to take Luongo out of the game after Anaheim's fourth goal, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said it had nothing to do with Luongo's performance in the game but rather a chance to give him a breather heading into Game 2.

"When we got down 4-1, I thought we're not a team that scores a lot of goals and I didn't want to take the chance of injury at that point," said Vigneault of the decision.


Tough to contain Ducks in full flight

The Vancouver Canucks might be finished with the Stars from Dallas, but the Ducks definitely had them seeing stars after scoring a convincing Game 1 victory over the Canucks. The Ducks are nothing like Vancouver's first round opponents. They are bigger, faster, stronger, tougher and better, writes Iain MacIntyre. And while the Canucks might have had an excuse missing two of their top defencemen with injury, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault wasn't using that as a crutch after the game.

"I don't think that was an issue tonight," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault insisted after saying he didn't know if the pair will be available for Game 2 on Friday. "The guys we have now, some of them have an opportunity to step up and have a bigger role. And the forwards, when you're missing two key [defencemen], you better do more and do it better."

The Canucks captain also wasn't making excuses, suggesting his team was unable to adjust to the style of play the Ducks brought to the table, which MacIntyre likens to a bar fight versus the disagreement over afternoon tea etiquette that the Stars were in comparison.

"Hopefully, this is a wakeup call," Canuck captain Markus Naslund said after being badly outplayed by the Ducks' best forwards. "Definitely a different style of game. We didn't take advantage of that. We've only got ourselves to blame for this one."

Injury update

Sami Salo missed Wednesday's Game 1 after claiming to have the flu in the morning, reports Iain MacIntyre. In the press box in Anaheim, he was listed as "torso injury". Salo did skate in the morning however, which is more than Kevin Bieksa was able to do on the morning of Game 1. Both are hopeful they can return by Game 2.

Rory roarin' to go

Drawing back into the lineup for the first time since Game 1 of the Western Conference quarter-final, when he replaced an injured Brent Sopel in the infamous cracker incident, Rory Fitzpatrick feels his experience combined with the tighter checking in the playoffs makes him more suited as a playoff performer, reports Iain MacIntyre.

"I knew what my role would be, so I'm not surprised," Fitzpatrick said. "I'm not a flashy player. Players like that often do well in the playoffs. The last couple of games, I've been ready to go. I act like I'm playing and want to be ready."


Rest over rust

So much for coming out sluggish. Despite not having played a game in five days, the Anaheim Ducks showed no signs of rust as they scored early an often in a 5-1 romp over the Canucks in Game 1, writes Eric Stephens.

"We wanted to get going right off the bat and make sure that break didn't hurt us," said [Ducks] center Ryan Getzlaf, who also scored.

The five goals against were the most the Canucks have given up in a single game all playoffs. The Ducks admitted their game plan was just to get the puck to the net.

"Right now, we're just trying to put pucks on the net and try to get things to go in," said [Ducks forward Chris] Kunitz, who had three assists. "The last series, obviously, we didn't get some bounces. This time, we were shooting and they were going in."

Ex-King omen

With the California rivalry existing between the Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings, it's not too surprising to find at least one cheap shot directed towards the Kings in the LA Times.

As Lonnie White and Helene Elliott point out, the Canucks at least one edge in the series in the ex-King factor, as it appears to them that former Kings players tend to thrive once they are no longer Kings.

In that case, the Canucks have an edge on the Ducks with Vancouver boasting three former Kings (Bryan Smolinski, Brent Sopel, and Jeff Cowan) to Anaheim's two (George Parros and Sean O'Donnell).

"That's a good thing, I guess," Smolinski said, laughing.


My bad, says Selanne

After a fierce battle in Game 1 between Alex Burrows and Teemu Selanne, leaving Selanne peeved at one point after receiving an undetected high stick from Alex Burrows, Selanne admits he crossed the line when he rammed Burrows into the boards from behind late in the game.

"[Burrows] was punching me three, four times after the whistle and no calls," Selanne said. "I lost my cool, and I shouldn't have done that."

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