Canucks 4 – 1 Islanders

Aaron Rome.

I watched this game.

  • After a controversial major penalty on Aaron Rome cost the Canucks the game against the Anaheim Ducks, discipline was clearly the gameplan against the Islanders. But before you make too much of the Canucks going a full game without a penalty for the first time since February 15, 2009, keep in mind that the Islanders have drawn the fewest penalties of any team in the NHL, with only 45 powerplay opportunities in 14 games. They just aren’t good at drawing penalties; I have it on good authority that they’re terrible at drawing horses as well, but I don’t blame them. Those legs are hard to figure out.
  • Let’s face it: the biggest impact of Rome’s major penalty and game misconduct against the Ducks wasn’t the two powerplay goals the Ducks scored, it was Rome missing the rest of the game. Rome is on an absolute tear, scoring a career-high 3 points tonight against the Islanders, giving him 5 points in 4 games to start the year. If he had stayed in the game against the Ducks, he clearly would have scored a hattrick.
  • Rome opened the scoring with his third goal in as many [complete] games. The goal came just under two minutes in after a great zone entry by Cody Hodgson followed by a strong move around the net by David Booth. Booth wipes out on the wraparound, but the puck deflects right into the slot for Rome, who backhands it into the open net. Question is, what was Aaron “Platonic Form of the Safe, Stay-at-Home, Bank-it-Off-the-Glass Defenceman” Rome doing in the slot? Must be the moustache. It takes a confident man to sport such a stupendous ‘stache and this increased confidence is paying off in offensive acumen.
  • I don’t think that nickname will stick.
  • Also also, Rome now has more goals this season than Ryan Kesler. Yeah.
  • Also also also, Alain Vigneault’s long-standing love for Aaron Rome is now making AV look like a genius.
  • The new-look third line of Booth, Hodgson, and Maxim Lapierre was superb all night, spending the vast majority of their shifts in the offensive zone. The line combined for 7 shots on net and had another 7 blocked and all three finished with a plus-2 rating. Hodgson was justly named the first star of the game for his 2 points and consistent effort, while Booth had 2 points of his own. Lapierre, for his part, led the team in faceoff percentage, winning 5 of 7. With the second line struggling to put up points at times, putting together a productive third line is essential.
  • The Canucks didn’t get a goal on their first powerplay of the game, though it wasn’t from lack of effort. Sami Salo and the Sedins spent the entire 2 minutes on the ice, as the Islanders were only able to get the puck past their blue line twice and never got it across centre. The Canucks had 5 shots on the powerplay and seemed to be a constant threat to score, but unlike unlike Bryan Mills, they did not follow through on their threat.
  • The Canucks’ second powerplay wasn’t as dominant as their first, but it did grant one golden opportunity to Henrik Sedin, as a blind, between-the-legs pass from Ryan Kesler found Henrik all alone with a wide open net. Unfortunately, he shot it directly back into Nabokov. The overhead camera showed that the shot wasn’t even on net, which makes sense: it worked for Henrik last time.
  • Much of the buzz prior to this game centred around the return of Michael Grabner to Vancouver for the first time since his trade to the Florida Panthers last offseason. The young Austrian did not disappoint, putting a team-high 3 shots on goal and making an outstanding play to assist on the Islanders’ only goal, driving wide on Alex Edler and managing to swing a pass in front to John Tavares after Edler knocked him to the ice. After the initial shot went off the crossbar, Matt Moulson batted the puck out of mid-air past Luongo.
  • On that goal, my initial reaction was frustration with how Daniel Sedin played Tavares and Moulson in front of the net. Then I thought, why in the world is Daniel covering two Islanders in front? Answer: Sami Salo, seeing Grabner going wide on Edler, moves to cut him off from the net. Instead, of stopping and cutting back to cover one of Tavares or Moulson once he sees that Grabner is on the ice, he takes a casual turn behind the net. While Salo is certainly known for his casual chic fashion sense, he’s not normally that casual in the defensive zone.
  • Speaking of Salo’s fashion sense, it’s time for a GIF break courtesy of Chloe Ezra.
  • Aaron Rome got in on the scoring again on the Canucks’ third goal. His shot from the point deflected off Grabner’s stick wide of the net. Fortunately, Cody “Silent G” Hodgson was standing wide of the net and he deftly tipped the bouncing puck past Nabokov. The silent “G” stands for “Good at hockey.”
  • Even though the Canucks were not called for any penalties, don’t think this wasn’t a physical game. The two teams combined for 43 hits, with the Canucks tallying 22 of them. The best hit of the game goes to Aaron “Ratburger” Volpatti, who blew up Blake Comeau late in the third period. Volpatti notched 4 hits, but was done one better by his fourth-line compatriot, Dale Weise. While a lot of credit for the improved fourth line has gone to Maxim Lapierre, Volpatti and Weise have been physical forces and have consistently applied their mass times acceleration to the opposition.
  • David Booth picked up his second goal of the year into an empty net, with the primary assist going to – who else? – Aaron Rome. Meanwhile, Rome’s emergence as an offensive juggernaut is sending his anti-fantasy owners into a deep depression.
  • Finally, a couple weeks ago Don Cherry commented on Coach’s Corner that the solution to the Canucks’ early-season struggles was, among other less-flattering things, to start “paying the price” by blocking more shots. The Canucks shrugged off his criticisms, but seemed to take that last one to heart, blocking 21 of the Islanders’ shots, led by Keith Ballard with 5 blocks. I’m sure Don will take the credit.
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25 comments

  1. TubaNat
    November 14, 2011

    Best Introduction paragraph ever.

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  2. Dave
    November 14, 2011

    I loved this game.

    Something about such an underdog as Aaron Rome catching fire and all his teammates cheering him on makes me happy.

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  3. Dave
    November 14, 2011

    PS: and who is the Compuware first star on NHL.com this morning?

    Aaron Rome.

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  4. MP
    November 14, 2011

    what a pass by bulis on that cowen goal!!!

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  5. Steeeve
    November 14, 2011

    Did John Garrett smoke a silly cig out back before the game? The guy was on fire.

    After Hank’s goal, “Evgeni Nabakov, one of the the top 60 glove hands in the NHL.”

    He seemed particularly fond of ripping the Isles. I loved it.

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  6. Courtney
    November 14, 2011

    “Meanwhile, Rome’s emergence as an offensive juggernaut is sending his anti-fantasy owners into a deep depression.”

    ….He’s on my anti-fantasy team.
    Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

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    • Brosef Stalin
      November 14, 2011

      I know that feel :(

      In other news, I’ve been sending in Aaron Rome ballots to the NHL all star game all friggin morning. HE BETTER BE THERE!

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  7. SteveB
    November 14, 2011

    “While Henrik Sedin somehow avoided this list of the NHL’s worst shots,”

    Why hasn’t AV taped a photo of Daniel at the back of the net yet?
    Henrick would score a minimum of 5 goals a shift and someone would finally win Safeway’s Score and Win prize.
    Get on it, AV!

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  8. John Andress
    November 14, 2011

    Anyone remember way back when many thought that Cody Hodgson was a bust and proof positive that Mike Gillis is a failure at the draft table? Wait…that was only three weeks ago. The kid is a keeper and his skill and hockey smarts will make him a great NHL pro. I hope it is in Vancouver because the more he makes us want to keep him, it makes other teams want to get him.

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  9. Zach Morris
    November 14, 2011

    Kevin Bieksa: “We’re fighting over who gets on the ice with him, who changes for his partner so you get a couple seconds out there with him just in case (he scores). Everything he touches is turning to gold.”

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  10. Johnny b Gooode
    November 14, 2011

    This blog is now called Pass it to Rome, so long as the point streak lasts.

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  11. Gabrielle
    November 14, 2011

    Aaron Rome now has more goals than Ryan Kesler and Sidney Crosby COMBINED.

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    • J21
      November 14, 2011

      Gretzky too!

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  12. jenny wren
    November 14, 2011

    The game went as I thought it should
    At least the way I hoped it would
    Rome had a goal and two assists
    He was first star Olde Coot insists
    While the whole team was very good

    Now what happens Wednesday night
    Chicago wants to set things right
    I really am most keen to see
    Just how adept the Nucks will be
    This game could be a true delight

    Jenny Wren

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  13. C.K.
    November 14, 2011

    Loved the Cowan reference!

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  14. CanuckFanInSF
    November 14, 2011

    I said it once, I’ll say it again.

    Aaron Rome’s ‘stache needs an agent.

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  15. C.J
    November 14, 2011

    It’s odd that the Isles aren’t great at drawing penalties consideringn how lauded their speedsters are.

    Great IWTG!

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  16. DanD
    November 14, 2011

    “The Platonic Form of the safe . . .” = brilliant! And true!

    Rome’s transformation is making me question my perception of reality. Can we really trust the Forms at all? My paradigm!!!

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    • Daniel Wagner
      November 14, 2011

      Aaron Rome is the reason I’m an existentialist.

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  17. bill in baudette
    November 14, 2011

    the term is absolute terror not tear…..good journalizm

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    • Daniel Wagner
      November 14, 2011

      You are incorrect. The idiom is “on a tear.” I have no idea what “on a terror” would possibly mean.

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      • madwag
        November 14, 2011

        Danielson is correct!

        http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=141165

        “It means he’s really onto something, he’s going great guns, he’s really accomplishing something or getting somewhere, almost in a wildly adventurous manner.”

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      • Maplemusketeer
        November 15, 2011

        Perhaps “on a terror” is a reference to the terror bird? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terror_bird Pixar’s “Up” made them seem quite jovial but I wouldn’t want to run into one in a South American Miocene jungle..

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  18. Joy (aka alasmylove22)
    November 14, 2011

    Crap, Rome is in my anti-fantasy league. Between him and Gaborik, I think I might be screwed. Haha.

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  19. warren
    November 14, 2011

    gotta love the writing – well done again – generates fun comments too

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