Monday, April 13, 2009

Vancouver Canucks 1 at Colorado Avalanche 0 (OT) - April 11, 2009

Two games on hand today, the Canucks look to clinch the Northwest Division as they visit the last-place Avalanche at 1pm, while the Rockies and Phillies continue their 3-game set in the evening.

Beers at Brauns

The first step was to return the rental car. The place I had rented from was closed from Saturday noon until Monday morning, and with an early Monday flight, it was better to get rid of the car early rather than risk a problem just before the flight. I was sad as the trip was nearing an end, but Tai was once again there to help, picking me up at the rental agency and chauffeuring me downtown. It was still early, so we stopped in at Braun's for an early lunch. We were the first customers there, so early that the kitchen had yet to open. Fortunately the bar had no such restrictions, so we were able to enjoy some beers while waiting for the kitchen to come online. When it did, I had the ravioli, which was not bad and likely the healthiest thing I had eaten on the trip. As the game grew nearer, the crowd picked up, mostly Avalanche fans but I did notice a couple of Canucks supporters among them.

Brauns from the Pepsi Center

Finally it was time to say goodbye to Tai and meet up with Meg and her friend Ann to watch the first of two games on the day.

Boring Game

I hadn't seen the Canucks since their last game of 2007, when they lost to Anaheim in double overtime. They had made a number of changes since then, and I was looking forward to seeing how they performed. I was sadly disappointed. The Canucks needed just a point to clinch their division, so a defensive battle was to be expected. But neither team put much effort into the game, although Vancouver clearly outclassed Colorado in the first 10 minutes, peppering Peter Budaj with shot after shot. But he held strong and the Avalanche responded with a few chances of their own against Roberto Luongo, who answered with his usual solid netminding.

The first two periods were scoreless, and in the 3rd neither team made much noise. When the siren ended, the score was still 0-0 but Vancouver was happy as they had clinched first place in the Northwest.

The overtime was quick as Henrik Sedin threw a pass in front that bounced off Scott Hannan's skate and through Budaj's legs to give the Canucks the win with just 40 seconds gone. Luongo had the shutout and the Canucks celebrated their division title at center ice, while the fans exited quietly.

The game was so dull that I forgot to take pictures. The shots below were taken during the warmup.

All in all, a disappointing start to the doubleheader. We made our way over to Coors Field, and that post follows this one.



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