Canucks 6 – 2 Blackhawks

For the first time this season, the Canucks’ defence looked calm, composed, and organized in their own end. Is it a coincidence that this was also Aaron Rome’s first game in the lineup? Of course not. Like a book under a wonky table leg, Rome is a steadying influence. Rome did it all tonight, seeing icetime in all situations, and scoring the first powerplay goal of his career. With that goal, Rome is on pace for 67 goals this season. Is it too early to start the Rome for Norris talk? If anything, it’s too late. Norris buzz needs to start in the pre-season. I watched this game.

  • Okay, so Aaron Rome didn’t suddenly develop into Nicklas Lidstrom, but he was very good in his first game this season after breaking his hand in the preseason. He recorded two hits, both on Dan Carcillo. Later in the game, Carcillo tried a wrap-around on Luongo, then jammed at the puck as it lay loose near the goal. Rome proceeded to tackle him and punch him repeatedly in the face. The Canucks somehow ended up with a powerplay. Everything was coming up Milhouse for Aaron Rome.
  • Seriously, when Aaron Rome scores a goal, you know it’s going to be a beatdown. When he scores a powerplay goal, then you know everything’s gone Pete Tong. To his credit, he absolutely wired his slapshot top shelf where mom and dad hide the Christmas presents. His ensuing smile is both gleeful and incredulous, and understandably so. It took him 101 games to score his first goal in a Canucks uniform. It took just one game to score his first goal of the 2011-12 season.
  • Rome even managed to get some time on the first-unit of the powerplay when Dan Hamhuis took a high stick and couldn’t come out right away. Rome just needs to learn some German from Alex Sulzer and his transformation into Christian Ehrhoff will be complete.
  • Okay, enough about Rome. What this game was really all about was the powerplay, as the Canucks went 5-for-6 with the man advantage. They were insanely effective with the extra man and it was the main reason for the victory. In retrospect, the Blackhawks probably should not have left all those 1-up mushrooms around the ice.
  • David Booth kicked off the powerplay party, notching his first goal of the season off a gorgeous pass by Cody Hodgson, who also had an assist on Rome’s goal. Sean O’Donnell kindly lifted his stick just slightly at exactly the wrong time and Hodgson took advantage, slipping it under to the waiting Booth. Corey Crawford made the first save along the ice, then Booth tucked the puck just under the bar on the rebound. The massive and joyous embrace that followed from Chris “Kiss Huggins” Higgins was inevitable and fantastic.
  • After his ill-advised fight with Scott Nichol on Friday, Booth was sporting a shiner that made him look a bit like Barf the mog. According to Twitter, he’ll apparently be taking dancing lessons with Kevin Bieksa in the near future. That said, fighting seems to bring out the best in him. Booth had a 4-point night after his first NHL fight back on March 3, 2010. His second led to 2 points tonight. Someone should punch him in the tunnel before every game.
  • During a TV timeout, Roberto Luongo accidentally tripped over one of the ice cleaners. Amusing, but I was more amused by the Blackhawks fan by the glass who mocked Luongo by forming his thumb and pointer finger into an “L” and holding it up to his forehead. If it wasn’t for his daughter grabbing his arm in embarrassment, I could have sworn the guy was 12. Seriously, someone needs to make an animated gif out of this immediately.
  • Luongo was superb in net, making 38 saves. Unfortunately, there were 40 shots, and one of his non-saves was absolutely horrific. Michael Frolik flung a weak wrist shot towards the net after crossing the blue line that somehow fooled Luongo. He likely also gets fooled by terrible magic tricks. As much as I frequently defend Luongo, that goal was completely inexcusable.
  • That goal led to loud and obnoxious Lu-booing from the Chicago faithful. Up until that point, the Blackhawks fans had reserved their jeers for Kevin Bieksa, who is vilified for his supposed predatory fight with Viktor Stalberg, and Alex Edler, who is disliked for running over Patrick Kane. The United Center filled with boos every time either one touched the puck; if Alex Burrows had been in the lineup everyone in the arena would have passed out from lack of oxygen.
  • Late in the first, while the score was still tied, Maxim Lapierre beat Sami Lepisto to the puck and went in on a breakaway. In desperation, Lepisto blatantly hooked Lapierre with no penalty called. It instantly brought to mind this incredible goal by Mario Lemieux, then instantly brought to mind the fact that the two breakaways are nothing alike. 1) Lepisto only had one hand on his stick and barely touched Lapierre. 2) Lapierre is not Lemieux and he finished off his breakaway with the weakest backhand in the history of the NHL. It’s incredible what players used to get away with and it’s incredible how we now expect penalties for the weakest of stick infractions.
  • The second powerplay unit got the first two goals; after that, it was all Sedins all the time as Henrik had a point on all 4 of the Canucks’ remaining goals. The first featured some casual wizardry, as Henrik fed a Hamhuis rebound directly cross-ice to Daniel who had a net-and-a-half to shoot at. You would think goalies would know by now that Henrik’s not going to shoot from there, but Crawford couldn’t tell which Sedin it was through the Kesler screen.
  • Candidate for worst fight of the season: Aaron Volpatti versus Dan Carcillo. The only reason they received 5 minutes for fighting is because one of the refs has Carcillo on his fantasy team and needs the penalty minutes.
  • As nice as it was to see David Booth break his goal-scoring drought, he still needs some deprogramming from his time in Florida. His defensive coverage led directly to the Chicago’s second goal, giving the Blackhawks some life. Instead of covering the middle of the ice on a 3-on-3, Booth takes himself out of position to lay a hit on Stalberg, who was already being covered by Keith Ballard. This left Marcus “Henchman” Kruger wide open to chip a Jamal Meyers rebound over Luongo.
  • The goal also illuminated a bizarre clock malfunction. At the faceoff prior to the Kruger goal, the timekeeper forgot to restart the clock. It stayed at 5:05 for 26 seconds, then started again when Kruger scored, counting down 12 seconds. This meant that the second period was 14 seconds longer than it should have been. This normally wouldn’t be a big deal, but those 14 seconds were quite eventful, featuring Luongo’s best stop of the game, an incroyable glove save on Nick Leddy, and a fight between Kevin Bieksa and Jamal Mayers. If Luongo hadn’t made that stop or Bieksa had injured himself in the fight, the Canucks would have had a legitimate complaint with the United Center timekeeper.
  • Jannik Hansen’s promotion to the first line finally bore fruit for the Danish Ninja, as the Sedins set him up with a wide open net. Hansen, like a proper ninja, seemed to disappear from the sight of the Blackhawks defenders, who understandably focussed on the Sedins instead of the checking line grinder heading to the net. Big mistake! Henrik’s attempted shot hits Daniel in the midsection and he immediately feeds Hansen waiting at the side of the net. Of course, it only seemed like an attempted shot, when it was clearly a purposeful pass.
  • No it wasn’t.
  • Hamhuis got high-sticked in the face by Stalberg late in the second, leading to the Blackhawks fans in the area to leap to their feet and cheer. You stay classy, Chicago. Between you guys and the 12-year-old father by the Canucks bench, you’re making your city proud. Hamhuis got his revenge on the ensuing powerplay, launching a knucklepuck past the screened Crawford to make it 5-2.
  • The Canucks saved the best for last, as Edler and Henrik teamed up for a sequel to Henrik’s third period winner from game one of the Western Conference Final last season (stick-tap to Thomas Drance). Edler’s slap-pass is perfect, while Henrik’s finish is impeccable. With Kesler battling for position in front of the net with the defender, Henrik has plenty of time to go to the backhand, leaving Crawford flopping like a fish out of water.
  • As John Garrett accurately points out, Kesler didn’t score a single point, but was instrumental on three of the six goals in screening the goaltender and battling in front of the net.  Despite the lack of scoring, it was arguably his best game of the season.
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34 comments

  1. TubaNat
    November 6, 2011

    Today we spell redemption R-O-M… (awkward pause)…E

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  2. BeCanucks
    November 7, 2011

    Revenge seems so out of character for our favorite Dan I-am-a-community-man Hamhuis. I hoped to find an explanation here, but you dissapoint me on this…
    Just kiddin’
    Thank you! For this IWTG.

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  3. The Bookie
    November 7, 2011

    Nice. You made my life easier by linking to that Bieksa-Stalberg fight. I was just thinking of finding it on youtube and sending it to my friend who says KB can’t fight.

    And the commentators on that particular clip are hilarious: “Boy, Bieksa says I don’t care if you’re wearing a shield, I’m still gonna hit this face!”

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    • Whisky Jack
      November 7, 2011

      The best thing about Bieksa’s fight
      Like what amused me even more
      Was Kesler’s critiquing Moneyball
      With Chicago’s Montador

      Whisky Jack

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  4. invisibleairwaves
    November 7, 2011

    Blackhawks fans would probably disagree about the clock thing. I wouldn’t blame them for thinking the second period was actually 20 minutes too long.

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  5. April
    November 7, 2011

    I laughed so hard at Luongo tripping hahaha. So funny <3

    I'm so happy with this game it's not even funny. Go 'Nucks Go!

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  6. peanutflower
    November 7, 2011

    Finally! A good win in a place where it was important to win. A few things: Love Rome’s “awkward dad” impersonation. Hansen’s helmet is at least two sizes too big. The little skirmishes aside the Canucks did a good job of playing between the whistle in a clearly hostile environment — man, why do people say the Canuck fans are the worst anyway — and that gave them the win. Too bad Volpatti fell down. I was hoping Carcillo would get backhand slapped all over the place. I still don’t know though how Carcillo ended up with 14 minutes in penalties later in the game. That is all.

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  7. Zach Morris
    November 7, 2011

    I’m always nervous when Luongo has early season starts.
    Not because I’m afraid he’ll mess up and let in a softie or four, but because I’m afraid of the reaction from fans and media if he does…

    Thank you, Luongo, for being awesome in last night’s game.

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  8. Zach Morris
    November 7, 2011

    I felt bad for Carcillo, though, he spent most of the evening looking for Glass and Torres.

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  9. jenny wren
    November 7, 2011

    The Lions started O and five
    And now they’re very much alive
    ‘Twas once we wrote them off as done
    And now they finish number one

    And after all the nasty knocks
    The Canucks up and beat the Hawks
    They’d five goals on the power play
    And D. Booth got his first today

    As well the first for Aaron Rome
    A big rebound which he drove home
    And seven points the Sedins got
    The Nucks were hot the Hawks were not

    And so it was a good weekend
    As well good things it does portend

    Jenny Wren

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  10. madwag
    November 7, 2011

    IWTG’s are always a much happier read when the Canucks win. They ooze a carefree confidence. The bad things don’t matter and the good things are great!

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    • peanutflower
      November 7, 2011

      but it’s still a really good place to go when they lose.

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  11. Sandlak
    November 7, 2011

    “After Luongo coughed up a Garfield-sized furball on a Michael Frolik wrist shot, he took out his frustration on a poor United Center ice worker, in what several eyewitnesses described as a blantantly intentional slew-foot, one of the most dastardly attempts at goalie-on-arena worker violence in recent memory”. From I Don’t Actually Watch this Game, by Barry Rozner.

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  12. John Andress
    November 7, 2011

    I must confess that this was an extremely satisfying win. Partly because we saw the Canucks begin to approach the quality of hockey that we know they are capable of but more because of whom it came against. We have had Boston and Chicago fans shoving their thuggery over skill philosophy down our throats too often (and, sadly, too successfully) so I couldn’t help but feel an element of vindication ftom the Canucks performance last night. There is a photo in one of the Chicago papers of Dave Bolland chopping the stick out of Henrik’s hands during the game. Good job Dave, Henrik only scored a goal and three assists. Your contribution will go down in Blackhawk history, nay in the annals of hockey itself, when Henrik is a mere footnote. Of course, he’ll possibly be in the Hall of Fame and you wont but what the hell, you proved your manhood and superiority once again. The only caveat here is a post-game comment by Jonathan Toews who said that he couldn’t figure out why the Blackhawks took the Canucks so lightly prior to last night’s game. Be warned that if the Canucks don’t come prepared for a massive Blackhawk pushback when they visit Vancouver next week, the story might be different. One game at a time lads. Focus on the LA Kings and be ready to give your best when next the Blackhawks appear in your sights.

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  13. G
    November 7, 2011

    “as Edler and Henrik teamed up for a sequel to Henrik’s overtime winner from game one of the Western Conference last season” That goal was not in OT.

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  14. Donna Suico
    November 7, 2011

    As always, IWTG is part of my morning commute reading list, enjoyable with a loss, satisfying with a win.
    I may need to point out though that Henrik’s 3-2 goal during Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals vs. the Sharks was not in overtime. I should know…I was at that game. :)
    Keep up the great job, guys! I always look forward to every tweet and article you and Mooney write up!

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  15. J21
    November 7, 2011

    The cheers for the high-stick just brings it back to the surface: I don’t get how the Canucks are vilified and the Blackhawks turned into noble peacekeepers in the media’s imagination (and the world of Internet message boards) when that seems to be the precise opposite of what goes on. It’s always the Hawks chirping and whining, it’s the Hawk fans and columnists (who are also essentially fans) obsessively ranting, etc.

    It takes a special kind of douche to pretend that a quiet, classy guy like Henrik Sedin is “trashing the Hawks” while ‘good Canadian kids’ like Bolland Toews are merely speaking from the heart, etc., when they actually do trash their opposition. I wouldn’t think anti-Swedish sentiment was a real problem in North America, but I’m fast reconsidering it, since I don’t see what the hell else could make people behave so ridiculously.

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    • shoes
      November 7, 2011

      90% or more of all fans are not Canuck fans, including the media, who maintain their personal allegiances through booze sodden evenings with the other teams mouth breathers.

      It annoys all fans that are not Sedin fans, as to how these guys in their quiet way can win back to back scoring titles. Many a mullet has been ripped out, trailer trashed, and pickup doing burnouts in the park, just to let off steam after a Sedinery move. All rather comical.

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  16. C.K.
    November 7, 2011

    “Rome just needs to learn some German from Alex Sulzer and his transformation into Christian Ehrhoff will be complete.”

    Win!!!!

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  17. Anitha
    November 7, 2011

    “Up until that point, the Blackhawks fans had reserved their jeers for Kevin Bieksa, who is vilified for his supposed predatory fight with Viktor Stalberg”

    Predatory fight is the perfect definition of his fights. Since that fight with Stalberg, me and my friend call him Kevin “The Lion” Bieksa.

    Love the IWTG, love PITB. :)

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    • akidd
      November 7, 2011

      patrick marleau just calls him, “sir.”

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  18. CanuckFanInSF
    November 7, 2011

    Aaron Rome’s stache needs its own agent. :)

    I enjoyed Henrik’s foray in the ice-splashing which lead to the eventual late hit by Patrick Kane (Is it just me, or does P. Kane remind you of Alfred E. Neuman?)

    Didn’t Carcillo learn anything from Darcy Hordichuck?

    I loved seeing Toews’ frustration on the ice yesterday. Goal post whacking and all. That being said He still cannot beat Ryan Kesler’s death stare… which was still present despite a Canucks lead in the 3rd period.

    I just love it when the team comes out to play.

    #GoCanucksGo!

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  19. DanD
    November 7, 2011

    Wait, “everythings’s coming up Milhouse” has its own web address?

    Amazing.

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  20. Aderam
    November 7, 2011

    Wait… that “L” was for “loser”? I thought it was for “Lou”!

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    • The Bookie
      November 7, 2011

      ….I was saying Lou-Urns….

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  21. Chris
    November 7, 2011

    Still waiting to see Barry Rozner’s article about this game. Though I imagine he’ll still be in a miserable hungover stupor over this game.

    I’m also curious to see how the Hawks will respond when they’re here next week. Will they learn anything, or will their collective cervix still hurt from laying that big of an egg.

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  22. akidd
    November 7, 2011

    hey daniel,

    good stuff. best recap out there. full of links and goodies. now with the demise of the kurtenblog i guess this is the place to go to find out what actually happened when it’s a sunny Sunday, you only have basic cable and you’ve promised yourself to hold off as long as possible before getting back to scheduling life around hockey games.

    no mention of kesler though. did he get the full stride going yet?

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  23. Rituro
    November 7, 2011

    I have a vague memory of the two Johns saying something about three games in four nights for Chicago. As much as I love a 6-2 victory, should we not get too overexcited and chalk up some of Chicago’s underperformance to fatigue?

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    • shoes
      November 7, 2011

      That excuse might fly,,,,,except the Canucks also played 3 games in 4 nights, on the road.

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  24. shoes
    November 7, 2011

    I don’t think you should poke fun at the mayor of Chicago for making a little L out of his fingers. He was probably one of the many that howled for a penalty everytime someone got near Patti Kane. Sadly it worked a couple of times. Just thought Chicago fans were more savvy to the game.

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    • peanutflower
      November 7, 2011

      that wasn’t, was it? was it?

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  25. jenny wren
    November 8, 2011

    Don’t dislike i say
    Just ignore until she goes away

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  26. Mushmouth
    November 9, 2011

    Er…Unless i’m missing some really subtle sarcasm, the video you kindly provide of Lappy’s breakaway shows pretty damn clearly that Lepisto hooked him with two hands before Lappy got off that weak backhand. Not saying it made any difference to the outcome but the rules don’t specify that hooking calls should only be made when a player is likely to score.

    Which brings to mind a couple of questions…where on earth did you get the idea it was a one-handed hook and why was there no call from the ref standing ten feet away who witnessed the hook with a completely unimpeded view?

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    • Daniel Wagner
      November 9, 2011

      I think you missed what I was saying. It definitely was a hook and should have been called. I was then joking around about everything else.

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