Alex Ovechkin and Alex Edler each tallied twice for their respective teams as the home team Canucks scored three unanswered goals in the third period in prime time to earn a 7 – 4 win over the Great8. Ovechkin is getting used to lower ice time on a retooled Caps roster. His two goals on a very average, for Alex, five shots in prime time on Hockey Night in Canada was his third two point game in his past four, but not enough to conquer the slumping Canucks. Edler’s pair, plus an assist in 21:41 minutes was a sign of a return to form for the Swedish blue liner expected to pick up the slack for the departed Christian Ehrhoff. Edler looked to still be suffering from a hand injury sustained in last year’s playoff run, mishandling pucks in pressure situations, but it’s clear his stick skills are returning to the level his physical play has always been at.
Sticking with the defense it was awesome to see Kevin Bieksa play on the edge, heck, even over it if he has to, to get in Ovi’s kitchen tonight. It was a much better showing Saturday against the Caps for Bieksa and top pairing partner Dan Hamhuis who each notched two assists and a plus-2 rating. To play to the level of his pay Kevin Bieksa has to be emotionally involved in the game. Say what you want about dummying the Patrick Marleau’s of the world, this guy took no prisoners when he first hit the scene and he hasn’t been the same player since until last year’s Cup run. I would love to see him let off the leash more often. Amazingly Bieksa logged just 0:12 on the power play while Hamhuis played over 3:00 minutes in five odd man opportunities. This was encouraging too as Hamhuis was once a near 40 point NHL defenseman and should be given more opportunity offensively.
There’s been a lot of buzz about Lou’s big glove save. His numbers still weren’t great but hopefully he’s getting in the groove. A win tonight should keep him in the crease for the next game on the road in Calgary November 2nd.