Canucks not impressive in 5-2 win in Sweden
Powered by a three-point effort from Daniel Sedin, the Canucks kicked off their exhibition season with a 5-2 win against MoDo. MoDo started the game showing little respect for their more well-known opponents, and they were rewarded with a powerplay after former MoDo-hero Markus Näslund was called for a high stick. The Canucks did not have much trouble killing off the penalty and were rewarded with a powerplay of their own after a dubious holding-call on Jan-Axel Alavaara. Vancouver wasted little time on their first powerplay of the game before scoring when Trent Klatt one-timed a shot from close range after a pass from Daniel Sedin. Daniel Sedin was the main story of the first period. Minutes after being called for kneeing, he sent Vadim Sharifijanov on a breakaway after a turnover on the offensive blue-line. Sharifijanov displayed a sniper’s instinct shooting through MoDo goalie Tobias Lundström´s five-hole. After a second Canuck powerplay, the Sedin´s created havoc in their former team´s defensive system and Daniel Sedin put the Canucks up 3-0 heading into the second period. Just like in the first period, MoDo started the period well but it was the Canucks that added to their lead after four minutes. Carrying the puck on a 2-no-1, Todd Bertuzzi made an excellent pass right on the tape of Harold Druken´s stick who put in into the gaping left side of the net.
After that however, the Canucks intensity dropped and MoDo was quick to take the opportunity. With Matt Cooke in the box for roughing, MoDo scored their first goal of the game after Patrik Wallenberg had deflected a Jan-Axel Alavaara slapshot through Felix Potvin´s legs. After been given the little finger, MoDo continued to apply the pressure on the Canucks and scored another powerplay-goal when Magnus Wernblom scored on a rebound from close range. Jason Strudwick, the Canuck who appeared to have the most trouble on the bigger ice-surface, failed to clear the puck moments before it hit Wernblom´s stick. After the second MoDo goal, the Canucks executed a pre-arranged goalie switch and Bob Essensa took place between the pipes but he did not have to come up big in the second half of the period. Vancouver took over again and started to apply pressure and even got the chance to play 5-on-3 for a minute, but failed to generate lethal scoring opportunities. The Canucks last chance of the period was orchestrated by Peter Shaefer, who did well to create a 2-on-1 with a hard mid-ice hit that levelled a MoDo-player who carried the puck with his head down. The third period started with a bang when Jan Öberg´s shot hit the post after only 90 seconds. After that, there was not much action. The teams exchanged powerplays, and created little in the way of scoring-chances. Brendan Morrison scored the only goal in the period when he put the puck in a vacant MoDo-net with 29 seconds left. The Canucks did not impress and appeared to lose focus when they were leading 4-0. Todd Bertuzzi dominated at times in the offensive zone with his tremendous size, and line-mate Brendan Morrison showed glimpses of good playmaking ability. The Sedin-twins and Trent Klatt formed a good line on the night, and they started off with a bang but faded, much like the entire Canuck team, in the second half of the game. Defensively, Mattias Öhlund and Ed Jovanovski did what was expected of them but Adrian Aucoin looked like he was still fighting jet-lag. Hard-working Matt Cooke also deserves to be mentioned. For MoDo, powerforward Magnus Wernblom did what he was expected to do: Lead the team. Easily MoDo´s best player in the game.
Vancouver Canucks – MoDo 5-2 (3-0, 1-2, 1-0)
1-0 (pp) Trent Klatt (Daniel Sedin)
2-0 Vadim Sharifijanov (Daniel Sedin)
3-0 Daniel Sedin (Trent Klatt)
4-0 Harold Druken (Todd Bertuzzi)
4-1 (pp) Patrik Wallenberg (Jan-Axel Alavaara, Tommy Pettersson)
4-2 (pp) Magnus Wernblom (Per Hållberg)
5-2 (en) Brendan Morrison (Todd Bertuzzi)