Game 2 of the Canucks match-up against the Nashville Predators bore a superficial resemblance to game 1, in that the Canucks got a 1-goal lead and held it. It would seem that the only difference between the two games was that Nashville managed to tie up the game in the dying minutes and win it in overtime. Watching the game, however, painted a different picture. While the Canucks were dominant in game 1, controlling the play and imposing their will on what appeared to be a significantly weaker opponent, the Predators controlled game 2, out-hitting and out-shooting the Canucks and winning puck battles and faceoffs throughout the night. Still, it took an unlucky bounce for the Predators to tie the game and some unreal goaltending from Pekka Rinne to earn the Predators the win. I noticed these differences for one simple reason: I watched this game.

  • Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows are a joy to watch on the penalty kill, often because they spend most of the time in the offensive zone. Burrows’ shorthanded goal (seen above) is created first because of a great read by Burrows in the defensive end that enables him to turn the puck up ice, then by an aggressive play in the neutral zone by Kesler and Burrows together that creates a turnover. Kesler barges towards the net, but takes the time to tie up Shea Weber’s stick as well, preventing him from pokechecking Burrows. The goal also shows what it takes to beat Pekka Rinne, as Burrows centering pass deflects off Weber’s skate directly back to Burrows: large quantities of luck. Recommended gameplan for beating Rinne: tossing coins into fountains, hanging horseshoes above the locker room door, carrying rabbit’s feet, and seeking out four-leaf clovers.
  • As per usual, Kesler was the best forward on the ice. He played like Kyle Wellwood (ie. a man possessed). He recorded 5 takeaways, added 3 hits, and was the only Canuck over 50% on faceoffs. Most impressively, Kesler had 11 attempted shots, with 6 of them on net, as he searches for his first goal of the playoffs. Kesler is so hungry for a goal, he’s willing to give up his Klondike Bar. And you don’t want to know what he did for that Klondike Bar. Kesler hasn’t looked this good since he was professionally lit and airbrushed.
  • After going up by one goal, the Canucks fell back into a defensive stance, clogging up the neutral zone like Dynamic Edition. The defense were stepping up in the neutral zone like crazy. At one point, Alex Edler stepped up and started breakdancing in the center faceoff circle. He’s expected to have a cameo role in the upcoming Step Up 4.
  • While the Canucks’ defense was solid in their own end, they couldn’t do much offensively, mainly because the Predators blocked all of their shots. They only got 3 shots on net but had an additional 10 shots blocked. One of the keys through the next couple games will be getting shots through from the point, preferably with significant traffic in front to tip the puck past Rinne’s greedy glove.
  • Roberto Luongo was sensational last night, making 44 saves. Most of those saves came in regulation as he attempted to make the 1-0 lead stand up for the second game in a row. It wasn’t to be, as Ryan Suter scored a bizarre goal from behind the goal line, banking it off Luongo’s stick and skate. The goal was so bizarre, New Zealand band OMC wrote a song about it and traveled backwards in time to make it a hit. Some of our long-time readers wanted to call this a snack goal, but the Snack Goal Principle does not actually apply here. A snack goal is a goal that is given up near the end of the third period when the Canucks have a 2 or 3-goal lead. It’s a small snack in lieu of an actual loss, thereby preventing the Canucks from getting too complacent. It’s not a goal that is given up to tie a game.
  • While the Sedins were not impressive during regulation time, often getting trapped in the defensive end as the Predators pushed for the tying goal, they were much better in overtime. Daniel matched Kesler’s 11 attempted shots, with 6 on net, but could not beat Rinne, who added Hrudey-esque desperation sprawling on the ice to his usual repertoire of glove hand absorbency. Rinne’s best save came on a Kevin Bieksa backdoor one-timer after a beautiful feed from Daniel Sedin.
  • Ballard finally showed us all why Alain Vigneault doesn’t give him ice time. He was somehow only credited with one giveaway (this one, that led to a Jordin Tootoo breakaway), but it seemed like there were a half-dozen more. Add in his fanned shot on a 3-on-1 with Kesler and Burrows, both who were dying for the puck, and being unfortunate enough to be on the ice for Nashville’s gamewinning goal in double overtime, and you have a frustrating night for Keith Ballard.
  • Speaking of the gamewinning goal, I am absolutely baffled at Aaron Rome’s actions. After a lost faceoff, Rome inexplicably steps up into the neutral zone to pokecheck Ryan Suter. There is absolutely no reason to do this, as Alex Burrows is already covering Suter and there are three Predators waiting to jump over the blueline. With Rome stepping up, Kesler and Ballard are left all alone to cover an unexpected 3-on-2. An odd-man rush should never develop from a faceoff in the neutral zone. As bad as Ballard was in this game, Rome was worse.
  • Kevin Bieksa and Dan Hamhuis were very impressive: Bieksa led the Canucks in icetime, with Hamhuis not far behind. Bieksa threw a game-high 7 hits. Dan “Community Man” Hamhuis also played well, but ended up being inexplicably called “The 2 Train” by Jim Hughson. Note: Hamhuis is not “The 2 Train.” Neither is he a head-hunting hypocrite. Fortunately for Hughson and O’Connor, Hamhuis is too nice a guy to complain. Besides, he’s too busy buying gaming consoles for BC Children’s Hospital via Child’s Play.
  • In round one, the Green Men showed up with a cardboard cutout of Vince Vaughn wearing a Canucks sweater: funny. In this game, they did the same with Carrie Underwood: not funny. While Vaughn is a vocal and visible supporter of the Blackhawks, Carrie Underwood is simply the wife of one of the Predators. It’s not the same and she shouldn’t get the same treatment. It was in poor taste. You know what was funny? Glenn Healy inexplicably whining about the Green Men during the intermission. He genuinely seems to hate them and assumes that everyone else in the league feels the same way. His most bizarre complaint: Their daddy owns the seats. What?
  • The most shocking moment of the CBC broadcast, however, was not Healy’s irrational freakout, but the intermission leading into the second overtime: Don Cherry was still awake! I am almost certain that is the latest Cherry has stayed awake in his entire career at HNIC.
  • Finally, a note on reffing: the refs clearly decided to let everything go, which unfortunately meant that they refrained from calling copious amounts of interference, holding, and crosschecking. It was absurd that only 3 penalties were called in regulation. Of course, because the refs refused to call legitimate penalties, the only penalties that got called in overtime were on the Canucks, one for too many men (for which CBC cut off the replay, making it impossible to judge) and the unfortunate delay of game penalty for clearing the puck over the glass. The game began to take on the complexion of a pre-lockout game, given all the holding, hooking, and interference. Unsurprisingly, the score echoed a pre-lockout game as well. As much as I appreciate the refs trying to let the players decide, there’s a reason the NHL tried to take all of the obstruction out of the game.

 

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13 comments

  1. little little
    May 1, 2011

    the keys through the NECT couple games

    TYPO

    other than that….
    YAY GOOD POST

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    • Harrison Mooney
      May 1, 2011

      Got it, thanks.

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  2. A. Noid
    May 1, 2011

    Written in response to this little gem by C. Rriously found on an earlier blog:
    birds and poetry?
    kind of a shitty gimmick
    maybe knock it off
    I offer for your consideration a:
    shitty definition
    shit·ty (shĭtˈē)
    adjective shittier shit·ti·er, shittiest shit·ti·est
    Vulgar Slang
    Of very poor quality; highly inferior.
    Contemptible; despicable.
    Unfortunate; unpleasant.
    Being in a state of discomfort or unhappiness; miserable.
    Incompetent; inept.
    Trivial; insignificant

    And now wish to take issue with C. Rriously’s (sic: why the two r’s) comment on “birds and poetry.”

    The ‘flock poetry’, while occasionally awful, is for the most part not “of very poor quality, highly inferior, contemptible, despicable, unfortunate, unpleasant, incompetent, or inept.” While it may be “trivial and insignificant”, so is much of what passes as important in a world plagued with wars, ecological disasters, overpopulation, the price of gas, and the rudeness exemplified by one C. Rriously (sic).

    I suppose one could find the occasional poetic production of Chicken Hawk “unpleasant”, especially if one is a rabid Canuck fanatic and not open to suggestions the team is not as good as one might wish it to be, but to find them “contemptible” and “despicable” is surely a bit much. And while there are the odd lines that don’t truly scan, the majority of the presentations are sonnets of a reasonable quality employing a pleasant iambic quadrameter to convey the thoughts of the writers. They are surely not “shitty.”

    I could go on but I’ve a row of peas to plant. I’ve just taken this time to object to C. Rriously’s comment which I may have really misread. Perhaps it isn’t the poetry he finds “shitty” but rather the fact he finds it a “gimmick”. Yes, I think that is so.

    The Free Online Dictionary defines “gimmick” as .

    1.a. A device employed to cheat, deceive, or trick, especially a mechanism for the secret and dishonest control of gambling apparatus.
    b. An innovative or unusual mechanical contrivance; a gadget.
    2.a. An innovative stratagem or scheme employed especially to promote a project.
    b. A significant feature that is obscured, misrepresented, or not readily evident; a catch.
    3. A small object whose name does not come readily to mind.

    I suspect Mr./Ms Rriously is using “gimmick” in the sense of definition 2a. Thus the question becomes, “Is this ‘flock poetry’ a ‘stratagem or scheme’ designed to ‘promote a project’, in this case the at once perceptive and riotous blog, Pass It To Bulis, affectionately known as PITB.?” Maybe it is, though I prefer to see it as it presents itself, a harmless, perhaps pleasant, bunch of birds trolling the blog making comments irritating, insightful and amusing in poems that are sometimes awful but mostly well written.

    But what if it isn’t? What if it is truly an effort on someone’s part to increase interest in a blog that has already attracted a lot of attention? What if some people only download the blog to see what Chicken Chick or Jenny Wren has to say? What if some people even harbor secret sexual fantasies concerning these two trolls? Who cares? Aside from C. Rriously? I mean seriously, does it matter if this ‘flock poetry’ really is a gimmick? Anything that brings people to a blog that is not only entertaining but also edifying is surely acceptable and the furthest thing from “shitty”.

    Whatever the case: whether C. Rriously finds the poetry or the gimmick “shitty”, he/she is in the untenable position of being wrong.

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    • Chicken Chicken
      May 1, 2011

      Wow! Thank you for coming to our defence.

      And now if I may
      A little poem for the day:

      The Olde Coot still drives his Mercedes Benz
      Though he claims to have played with Howie Morenz
      There’s really no knowing how old that he is
      He wears an ancient Cup ring but it’s not really his

      He once had the puck from Kane’s Cup winning goal
      Which he gave to a cabby who twenty cents stole
      He’s certain that hockey has changed for the worse
      Deeming composite sticks and helmets perverse

      He loves to tell stories of back in the day
      Of Rocket Richard and Ivan Cournoyer
      And so many others he says than he knew
      Like Duff Ted and Red just to mention a few

      Once a gadfly he now softly sits back
      Sharing a gin with his friend Whisky Jack
      And he hopes you’ll drop by any some day
      To discuss the Canucks and how well that they play

      He judges the Predators not really a threat
      And made with young C. Gull a five dollar bet
      At ten to one odds the Nucks take it in six
      Which is just the reverse of what C. Gull predicts

      I’ll tell you right now Olde Coot is quite wealthy
      And for an old bird astoundingly healthy
      He made his first million hawking rare hockey cards
      That he purchased from folks holding sales in their yards

      He has a rookie Wayne Gretzky O-Pee-Chee
      I know this is true ’cause he showed it to me
      He has a whole bunch of “The Flower” Guy Lafleur
      As well as two paintings by “King” Richard Brodeur

      Now being annoyed with the shots that went in
      Thus their losing this game he knew that they’d win,
      Olde Coot once again rants of “Back in the day,
      “No one ever tied us with a minute to play!”

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    • C. Riously
      May 1, 2011

      too long; didn’t read

      two mins for logorrhea

      superfluous r

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  3. Harrison Mooney
    May 1, 2011

    As the progenitor of the term “snack goal”, I balk at Daniel’s attempt to redefine it. Ideally, a snack goal comes when the lead is safe (a 2 or 3 goal lead, for instance), but I don’t think it has to. A snack goal is simply the Luongo’s way of ensuring the other team isn’t too hungry next game, situational awareness be damned.

    I say that was a classic snack goal.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      May 2, 2011

      I think you completely ruin the idea of a snack goal if you include goals that tie up games. But, to each his own.

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      • Harrison Mooney
        May 2, 2011

        Well, it’s a pretty stupid idea to begin with, so I’m not overly concerned with preserving its sanctity.

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        • Daniel Wagner
          May 2, 2011

          Stupidity is sacred.

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  4. Jenny Wren
    May 1, 2011

    The Predators won in the second OT,
    But where were the Nucks periods one two and three?
    The players must know if wanting the Cup
    They must do much more than merely show up

    Against Pekka Rinne you know you’re in tough
    A chaste sixteen shots is hardly enough
    Come Tuesday night they better be back
    With a concerned and concerted attack

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  5. Nat
    May 1, 2011

    Good to see the Sedin’s pick up their game in OT….hopefully it carries over to the next game. We need contributions from them. Samuelsson seems like he’s hurting a bit, seems to shy away from physicality.
    Hopefully the 2 day rest helps. Glen Healy was Mr. Cranky Pants last night….someone get that guy a puppy, stat!

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  6. JS Topher
    May 1, 2011

    I’m glad someone else noticed how dumb Rome was on that play. It was frustrating that people all around me wanted to blame Ballard for his dive or Luongo for not saving it (surely bitter from his “weak” snack goal) Clearly Rome wasn’t playing his old “safe” role. I wish we could find a way to bench him… Even if we could move him to the fourth line or something and get Sammuelson a rest… it hurts to watch him play.

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  7. peanutflower
    May 1, 2011

    I’m not sure how I feel about that game. I was really surprised that the stats were so one-sided as it didn’t really feel like that. Maybe it was all of the odd man rushes by the Canucks that lulled me into a false sense of well-being. Samuelsson seems to really be labouring. The Sedins are very tentative. Luongo is playing lights out — that was the suckiest goal ever. Kesler, Burrows and the Lapierre/Torres/Hansen line are the only ones really playing right now. And Luongo. Can’t forget him.

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