1 canucks openerThe Vancouver Canucks ran up a 3-0 lead and coasted home with a 5-1 victory ending the Canadiens attempt to to become the third team in NHL history to win a season’s first ten games.

Rookie Jarred McCann scored two of the three goals in the first period, with assists going to former Canadiens Brandon Prust. Also scoring for Vancouver were Luca Sbisa, Radim Vrbata and Derek Dorsett. Torrey Mitchell scored early in the third period to narrow the score to 3-1 but the Canucks quickly added two more to close the game out. Shots on goal 28-26 in favour of Vancouver. The RDS three stars were McCann, Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller and Prust.

Adding It Up –

Faint Praise – You could see a game like this coming. The Canadiens weren’t very good Friday night in Buffalo but scored seven goals against the porous Sabres defense. They had a really bad night against Toronto Saturday but still made it 9 wins in row. In Vancouver, the Canadiens had a first period that looked very much like the first period against the Sabres. The difference was, the Canucks somehow made the Canadiens for their sloppiness.

1 CANUCSK PRICENot To Be Carey Price wasn’t great, but a little help from the hockey gods might have helped. On the Canucks first goal, the puck went up off Price and dropped behind him for an easy tap in for 19 year old Jarred McCann. Nathan Beaulieu deflected the second goal into his own net off Luca Sbisa shot from the point. The Canadiens defense hung Carey out to day on 3-0. With the score 3-1 and the Canadiens showing some life in the third period, Price himself caused a too many men on the ice penalty when he cleared the puck right into his own bench area during a line change. On that power play Vrbata’s shot flipped off Brian Flynn‘s stick up over Price’s shoulder. And to cap it, the fifth goal bounced off a backchecking Alexander Semin. A game for everyone to forget and simply move on from.

Garbage Time – The Canadiens looked like the team that won the first seven games of the season in the early stages of the third period with Torrey Mitchell getting the goal to make it 3-1 but Price caused the too-many-men penalty and Vrbata scored on the power play at 7:50.

Through the final twelve minutes the Canadiens managed just one shot on Ryan Miller.

The Positives – The Canadiens felt short of the 10 win record to start the season but as a consolation they did establish a club record for wins to start the season and they also have the record for most consecutive wins in regulation time.   ……One has to dig deep in a game like this to ferret out the good in this game. All three members of the Desharnais line had a pretty good night especially Desharnais who had two excellent scoring chances. Desharnais and Weise recorded three shots each and Fleischmann on the left wing continues to go about things in a very businesslike fashion.  ……

1 CANUCKS GALCHENYUKOn the Other Hand – Not much seen of the Plekanec/Pacioretty/Gallagher line but considering the way they’ve been playing, especially over the previous five games, they get a pass. Not so sure that I feel the same way about the Galchenyuk line. The tendency is lay it all on Semin, and admittedly he’s not contributing much offense, but he’s not the only problem. We may have to be patient with Galchenyuk’s move back to centre. There hasn’t been a lot of offensive creativity yet. We might look for a change or two in Calgary Thursday.

Also Worth Mentioning

…. Jeff Petry logged four minutes more ice time than Subban and Alexei Emelin 2 ½ more than Andrei Markov. Petry led all skaters in the game with 23:24; Subban 18:19. Petry also led the Canadiens with three hits. ……...Desharnais and Brian Flynn led the Canadiens with 4 shots on goal each. ……Only Plekanec was on the plus side in the faceoff circle, winning 9 of 16.

Moving On – The Canadiens will play in Edmonton and Calgary back to back Thursday and Friday before returning home to face Winnipeg.