Canucks 3 – 2 Wild

One day removed from Mark Spector (not to be confused with Marc Spector, Moon Knight) implying that “Danes and Swedes” are the source of Vancouver’s issues, the Canucks defeated the Minnesota Wild, getting goals from a Dane, a Swede, and a Finn. Minnesota’s two goals from good ol’ Canadian boys weren’t enough to defeat the European onslaught.

Of course, then Mike Gillis traded a Swede and a German for an American and a Canadian, so maybe Spector was right. Or maybe we should judge players on how they actually play instead of their nationality. Crazy idea, I know, but it just might work. I watched this game.

  • Here’s the craziest thing about the big trade for David Booth: both players sent to Florida were healthy scratches in this game. That’s right: a power forward winger to skate alongside Ryan Kesler for two players the Canucks didn’t need in the lineup. Kudos, Mr. Gillis, kudos.
  • The Canucks seemed particularly affected by the early afternoon start, taking three penalties in the first period, which made it tough for the team to find their legs. The Sedins didn’t seem to hit their stride until 5 minutes into the second period, a little just after 2:00 pm. Which is otherwise known as the time the Sedins would normally be waking up from their pre-game nap. Wait, did anyone check if the Sedins were sleep-skating in the first period?
  • The Wild were quick to remind the Canucks that they made some changes in the off-season, as former Sharks Devin Setoguchi and Dany Heatley combined to open the scoring on a pretty little give-and-go. Technically the goal wasn’t on the powerplay, but it still came on the man advantage as Andrew Alberts hadn’t made it back into the play. It appeared that Sami Salo expected Maxim Lapierre to follow Setoguchi to the net and vice versa. That was the first time this season that Salo has been on the ice for a goal against at even strength.
  • During the first intermission, Dan Murphy, Iain MacIntyre, and Tony Gallagher touched on Mike Gillis’s comments on the Team 1040 regarding the terrible, terrible editorial that appeared in The Province. Unsurprisingly, Gallagher, the Province employee, wasn’t too critical of his employers. More surprisingly, he wasn’t all that supportive either, saying that he’ll defend their right to write about sports, but “that’s about as far as I’ll go.” In other words, please leave the sports coverage to people who know the sport.
  • Daniel Sedin evened the score as the Canucks carried the play in the second period. While on the powerplay, it appeared that Daniel attempted to bank the puck off Backstrom’s pads so Kesler could get the rebound. Instead, the punk bounced off Nick Schultz and in. Of course, knowing Daniel, he instantaneously calculated the angle and velocity necessary to bank it off of Backstrom and Schultz and in like he was Amadeus Cho. So he’s also a math wizard.
  • Part way through the second period, Alain Vigneault began sending out Jannik Hansen in place of Cody Hodgson on the second line. Vigneault clearly didn’t like what he was seeing from Silent G early in the game, as Hodgson only saw three shifts in the second period and just two in the third period. Hodgson averaged a little over a minute per shift, far more than any other player in the game, which might indicate that he was trying to do too much on the ice or getting caught and unable to change, either of which would be a reason to get benched. Also, Vigneault might have had in mind Hodgson’s poor defending on Ryan McDonagh against the Rangers and didn’t fully trust him in such a tight game.
  • Keith Ballard once again had a strong game, finishing with 5 hits and 7 attempted shots. He set up Ryan Kesler with an open net late in the second, but Kesler missed the pass. Unfortunately, shortly after the Wild went the other way and scored, as Kevin Bieksa wasn’t able to tie up Kyle Brodziak’s stick in front of the net. Since Ballard was defending the right side of the ice, he wasn’t able to wipe out his man with a patented hip check and lost position on him behind the net.
  • There’s a lot to like about the Canucks’ second goal, Jannik Hansen’s first of the season. It’s a perfectly executed rush up the ice: Malhotra neatly kicks the puck up to his stick then gains the line. As soon as he does so, he pulls up, creating some distance between himself and the defender. With Kevin Bieksa jumping up, turning it into a four-man rush, and Andrew Ebbett sneaking in the back door, the Wild don’t seem sure who to take, which leaves Hansen plenty of room to tip the puck off Malhotra’s point shot. That was the most well-executed rush I’ve seen since Stephen Harper beheaded Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart in 2007. He’s pretty skilful with an axe.
  • My wife: Wait, would Stephen Harper do the beheading or would the Governor General do it?
  • The Canucks absolutely dominated the Wild on faceoffs, winning 63% of the draws. Henrik, Kesler, and Malhotra did the heavy lifting, each of them winning 60+%. With Kesler back in the lineup, Lapierre is relieved from defensive zone duty: Kesler and Malhotra combined for 17 defensive zone faceoffs, while Lapierre had just one. No word of whether when Kesler relieved him of duty he also judged him to be disabled and mentally incapacitated.
  • The Canucks dominated the overtime frame, outshooting the Wild 6 to 0. Kesler deked out in front but had the puck poked off his stick. The Sedins gave the Wild fits after they iced the puck, but were unable to finish. It wasn’t until Dany Heatley took an awful penalty in the offensive zone (as Senators and Sharks fans nod in recognition), taking a pointless two-handed hack at Kesler’s stick, snapping it clean in half. And…the Sharks won the Heatley/Havlat trade.
  • There was a long awkward pause between the slash and the referee lifting his arm for the penalty, as if the ref honestly couldn’t believe what he had just seen and felt that he could not longer trust his senses.  He immediately became a Cartesian sceptic: Suppose…that some malignant demon, who is at once exceedingly potent and deceitful, has employed all his artifice to deceive me
  • So the Canucks had a 4-on-3 with Henrik, Daniel, Kesler, and Salo on the ice. That’s about as close as you can get to a sure thing in the NHL. Salo shot so hard from the point it created a tornado behind the puck and blew the clothes off of Backstrom. Also, it popped the water bottle off the back of the net a good 2 feet in the air. And Chloe Ezra went wild.
  • The game-winning goal tied Salo with Mathias Ohlund for the franchise record in game-winning goals from a defenceman. He did it in his 700th career game, and, as per usual, Alex Burrows is the one who snagged the puck for Salo, explaining “we love him so much.”
  • *sniff*
  • What? No, I’m not crying. I just…I just have something in my eye…shut up, you guys…
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14 comments

  1. The Olde Coot
    October 22, 2011

    The Admirals versus the Heat
    My Saturday night hockey treat
    The play was truly somewhat slow
    ‘Twas not the NHL I trow

    Many kids needing seen and heard
    ‘Twas truly borderline absurd
    Much more less than compelling
    What with all the children yelling

    The brat beside screamed one whole frame
    And never once looked at the game
    Perhaps it’s those who can’t be quiet
    Are the ones who’ll later riot

    Milwaukee did the Heat defeat
    Thanks be the Wild the Nucks did beat

    The Olde Coot

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  2. Jenny Wren
    October 22, 2011

    Although they early fell behind
    They tied it twice so never mind
    The twins scored on a power play
    I love to watch they way they play
    Behind again they didn’t panic
    And Manny bounced one in off Jannik
    From then on neither team could score
    So thus they had to play some more

    He stopped two short of twenty-three
    So Schneider seemed okay to me
    Backstrom too looked somewhat fine
    As he was blocking twenty-nine
    But Salo’s goal in overtime
    Just left me thrilled without a rhyme

    Jenny Wren

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  3. peanutflower
    October 22, 2011

    The ref took so long to call the slash because he was trying to come up with some reason that he could ignore it, just like he ignored the other three penalties Kesler should have drawn. Sigh. Sami!! I’ll bet he drags the Canucks back to the finals this year all by himself.

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    • Kevin
      October 22, 2011

      As long as it doesn’t give him a sports hernia

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  4. invisibleairwaves
    October 22, 2011

    “That was the most well-executed rush I’ve seen since Stephen Harper beheaded Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart in 2007.”

    Impossible; gods cannot be slain by mortal men. Unless Stephen Harper is actually Kratos, in which case: oh crap.

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  5. Kitty
    October 22, 2011

    It’s funny: when Salo scores, I no longer think, “Yay! We won!” or “Go Sami!” but “Chloe must be SO STOKED!”

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  6. BeCanucks
    October 22, 2011

    1pm start is a killer. And <3 on Alex for retrieving Sami's puck!

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  7. finefinfan
    October 22, 2011

    I am so glad you filled Canucks fans in on Burrows role in puck saving. I also have something in my eye. Sniff.

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  8. canucks1stline
    October 22, 2011

    Hey PITB! Did you guys catch the TSN interview of “Henrik Sedin” from today’s game, though I’m pretty sure it’s Daniel trolling the media…gotta help a brother out haha. Thoughts? :
    http://28.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lthusz1f091qmuc2ro1_500.jpg

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    • JS Topher
      October 23, 2011

      Looks like Dan to me

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  9. canucks1stline
    October 22, 2011

    Actually maybe it wasn’t from today’s game but wtvr haha or was it pregame? ehhh

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  10. DanD
    October 23, 2011

    Listening to the radio play by play in overtime was hilarious and ridiculous. “Daniel, passes it to Henrik, back to Daniel. To Henrik now behind the net, back to Daniel, Daniel sends it across to Henrik,” and so on.

    I feel like I could fall asleep to a recording of that, it’s so comforting. Like a Swedish Lullaby.

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    • peanutflower
      October 23, 2011

      I love it! how many freaking times have we all heard that — but you missed the best part — and they score!! One ot them does, anyway. Or Sami. Love it. Our own Swedish lullaby

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  11. Nth of the 49th
    October 23, 2011

    Hey Dan, next time you see Kesler, tell him to stop snorting into the mics when he talks to the media. He sounds like a hog.

    umble mumble SNORRRT
    mumble mumble mumble SNOOORRRT
    mumble mumble mumble SSSNNNOOOORRRT

    Oh and tell him the “I’m always ANGRY” act is wearing thin.

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