The story going into game one between the Vancouver Canucks and the San Jose Sharks was the starting goalie for the Canucks. Wait what? Goalie controversy in Vancouver? Apparently Cory Schneider is still not 100% to start in goal for game one.
Both teams came out of the gates flying and hitting hard, which is not a shock seeing as it’s the first game of the playoffs, oh and these two teams don’t really like each other anyways. Roberto Luongo looked sharped from the get go, and it had to be good for his confidence to kill the first penalty, which seemed to go on forever. It’s always said that your goalie has to be the strongest penalty killer, Luongo had been just that for the Canucks in the first period.
Even though Luongo shut down the Sharks in the first period, San Jose still looked very dominant. During both their power plays they were in the offensive zone for the majority of the two minutes and putting on a power play clinic (Buffalo Sabres take note of the movement without the puck). I also have to add that I really like seeing Brent Burns playing forward, he brings a ton of energy and obviously plays a great two way game.
The second period brought more action, on the ice and on the scoreboard as well, the bodies continued to crash into each other and at twelve minutes into the second period the Canucks pushed their way into the net. Kevin Bieksa tallied his first goal of this years playoffs and put the Canucks up by one. Vancouver had really began to put the pressure on with a heavy forecheck which eventually resulted in the Canucks first goal. The green men also made their first appearance in the playoffs during the second period after a scrum ensued after the first goal between Kevin Bieksa and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
With the end of the second period closing in, Logan Couture tied it up on the power play with a snipe from the high slot. The Sharks had fantastic movement during the power play and it pays off with just over three minutes left in the second period.
The Sharks continued their solid play into the third period as Dan Boyle adds another tally to the scoreboard midway through the third. A big scramble in front of the net resulted in Boyle putting in an easy goal as the Sharks took the lead 2-1. Patrick Marleau scored the third goal for the Sharks, with just over five minutes to go in the game. The Sharks turn it around on the Canucks with a great forecheck, and had three unanswered goals.
That would be enough for the Sharks to take a 1-0 lead in the series (first away team victory in the playoffs) over the Canucks. The scoreboard may not show it but the Sharks won a tough first game with a 3-1 victory. Roberto Luongo wasn’t beat in the first period, but the story was different in the second and third period for Luongo and the Canucks. If you are a Canucks fan I would start praying for Cory Schneider to get healthy and return to the line up.
If you are a Sharks fan hopefully you really liked what you saw in game one. The veterans on the team played well, especially newly acquired Raffi Torres who haunted his former team.
I must say, I really enjoyed watching teams from the western conference, especially during the playoffs. It may be because I don’t see much of them during the regular season, which certainly was the case during this shortened season. Now that it’s the playoffs though I am happy to watch the western conference, and I would love to watch three more games just like that and see the Sharks move past the Canucks to the next round.