Canucks 1 – 5 Blackhawks

This one started out promisingly, like that movie Vanilla Sky, as Chicago and Vancouver came out flying in a high-paced, nearly even first period. It began to come off the rails a little in the middle portion, like that movie Vanilla Sky, as the Canucks took the lead, then immediately surrendered two powerplay goals to finish the frame down by one. And then, like that movie Vanilla Sky, everything went to crap in the end, and the final twenty minutes was so freaking bad you doubted whether any of it was ever any good, even the stuff you initially liked. Vanilla Sky sucks, and I was reminded of it when I watched this game:

  • I can assure you that any frustration you feel pales in comparison to that of Ryan Kesler, who put in one of the most spirited performances of his career tonight, registering a game-high five hits and directing nine pucks at the net. Unfortunately, only two of those pucks reached Corey Crawford — four were blocked, three missed wide, and none went in. In fact, despite his efforts, Kesler finished the night a minus-2, on the ice for two goals against and in the penalty box for another. By the end of the evening, he looked about ready to kick a puppy.
  • One example of Kesler’s obscene effort level tonight: on one second period rush, he tried to go around his man at full speed, instead catching the side of the Chicago net and flying, shoulder-first, into the end boards. Of course, he was back in the third period, no doubt after punching his shoulder back into place and then punching it again until it stopped hurting.
  • There are people out there who are going to compare tonight’s 5-1 rout to last year’s 7-1 Voldemort game, which came in mid-November and acted as the inspiration for the Canucks’ big turnaround going forward, but let’s be clear on something: while there are chronological similarities, the games were very different. Despite the lopsided score, this one wasn’t the rout it appeared to be. The Canucks actually outshot the Blackhawks 29 to 27, and if you look at shots directed, it’s 68 to 43. Territorially, they held the advantage.
  • Really, this one only came unglued once they were pressing to tie things up late in the third and stopped playing defense. Between Kesler’s efforts and their failed comeback attempt, clearly the lesson is: never try.
  • Check out John Garrett’s disgusted groan on the Jonathan Toews goal. Dude sighs like they put olives on his pizza and he specifically requested they hold the olives.
  • Keith Ballard left the game midway through the first period with a back injury after a seemingly innocuous collision with Dan Carcillo. Ironically, this was the only impact Carcillo had on tonight’s game, and it was by accident.
  • Somehow, although the Blackhawks had six healthy D-men and the Canucks didn’t, Duncan Keith played an absurd game-high of 29:51 tonight. He would have played more, too, if this game had been close in the third period. When you play that much, I think it makes more sense to count your bench time.
  • It’s interesting to note the differences between Jannik Hansen and Alex Burrows on the top line. One major difference: Hansen can fly. Not literally, of course. Granted he does look a little like Peter Pan. Hmm.
  • Anyway. What I actually mean is that Hansen has speed that Burrows doesn’t. It was especially evident on a third period breakaway chance, when Hansen picked off a Duncan Keith pass and put two full strides between he and one of the league’s smoothest skaters by the time he crossed the Chicago blueline. Unfortunately, what Burrows lack in footspeed, he makes up for in breakaway skill. Hansen, on the other hand, has about as much finish as the song that doesn’t end.
  • That said, his finish wasn’t so bad on the lone Canucks goal. After Daniel Sedin chips the puck into the neutral zone, setting up a two-on-one for Henrik and Hansen, Hansen darts to the net at full speed, and Henrik hits him with a perfect saucer pass for the tap-in.
  • David “Bluth” Booth was a real Milford man tonight, neither seen nor heard. Ideally he is more noticeable on the ice, especially since he’s so noticeable off the ice, amirite ladies?
  • It only delayed the inevitable, but did anybody catch Dan “Community Man” Hamhuis’s casual, but obviously intentional net dislodging during the Canucks’ first penalty kill? And that wasn’t all he dislodged. After the game, Hamhuis stuck around to perform the Heimlich on the referees, who had been choking on their whistles the entire game.
  • Marian Hossa was incredible tonight. He had three assists, and each one of them was downright fantastic. His drop pass to Steve Montador for Chicago’s fifth goal was nuts.
  • And finally, Roberto Luongo looked pretty good tonight, don’t you think?
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41 comments

  1. lucicandchong
    November 17, 2011

    this is stockholm syndrome in every way possible

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  2. Kim
    November 17, 2011

    You are an oyster, sir, for your ability to make pearls out of dirt.

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    • madwag
      November 17, 2011

      !

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  3. Schneider's Teeth
    November 17, 2011

    “That said, his finish wasn’t so bad on the lone Canucks goal. After Daniel Sedin chips the puck into the neutral zone, setting up a two-on-one for Henrik and Hansen, Hansen darts to the net at full speed, and Daniel hits him with a perfect saucer pass for the tap-in.”

    There may be an error here. I will neither confirm nor deny this.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      November 17, 2011

      Silly Harrison. Fixed!

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      • J21
        November 17, 2011

        Good correction by Henrik Wagner.

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  4. metoo
    November 17, 2011

    Daniel,
    I enjoy reading your interpretation of games, but please look at replays of Kesler’s scring chanc e at the end of period 2. Keith brought his leg around and tripped Kesler and sent him crashing into the boards. Dirty play, no penalty Hurt Kes.Please check it out

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    • Daniel Wagner
      November 17, 2011

      I didn’t write this IWTG.

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    • Cam
      November 17, 2011

      Kesler tripped over Crawford’s pad. Even the Canucks’ announcers admitted as much after watching the replay, and you know how hard that must’ve been for them.

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  5. swizzler
    November 17, 2011

    it was frustrating to watch. how about when kesler decked leddy just because he felt like it? the dude was not in a good mood.

    curious how in their last meeting, the canucks put on a powerplay clinic and embarrassed the hawks. In the very next game between them, the team that draws the most penalties in the league, the canucks, don’t get a single powerplay opportunity (while chicago had 3).

    something doesn’t add up. hell, it was eerily similar to when the refs swallowed their whistles in the finals.

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    • Tom
      November 17, 2011

      Maybe that “relying on the power plays” strategy is a double edged sword? Perhaps they get confident in their power play making the difference for them that they don’t give the same attention to making 5 on 5 work? Perhaps that could lead to frustration in situations like tonight.

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  6. mark
    November 17, 2011

    this guy watched a different game than I did…

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  7. CanuckFanInSF
    November 17, 2011

    I find it hard to believe that there was not a single penalty drawn up against the Hawks. This is the Chicago Blackhawks. They hate our guts as much as we hate theirs. And don’t give me “They played smart hockey” crap. Refs had a hand in this loss. But the team had a bigger hand in it.

    The inconsistency is killing me. They didn’t play 60 minutes out there. They played 25 at best and no amount of Ryan Kesler death stares will light up the lamp. Grr. Juice had a good game, I’ll give him that. I wonder of this game will signal the end of the AV euro line/Twins-Ninja experiment. And why put Cody Fisher…err Silent G down a line? Kid has been playing great. Schneids let bad ones in last night so how come I don’t see a burning effigy of a Conan O’Brien goalie lookalike in twitter? Still want to replace Luo? They cannot keep playing like a .500 team. They are sooooo much better than this and they know it.

    I chanted “Ref you suck” over and over again like a lullaby to help me sleep last night.

    Oh and can I comment on the Rogers Arena crowd? Shame on you – the road fans do a much better job of cheering the team on!

    I demand a refund, NHL GameCenter Live. Not that I missed anything in the 5 minutes of “we are expecting technical difficulties” screensaver but it’s the principle. I should at least get a $1 back.

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    • The Bookie
      November 17, 2011

      It’s not even a matter of drawing them. In the first period alone I counted two instances of too-many-men, and I’m definitely one to generally cry about uneven reffing. This was just weird though.

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      • The Bookie
        November 17, 2011

        hehe … I’m definitely NOT one ….

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        • CanuckFanInSF
          November 17, 2011

          Is it time to revive the “NHL Hates the Canucks” campaign? lol.

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    • Dane
      November 17, 2011

      I watched in GameCenter Live too, seemed to get booted off at every commercial break and every time Hansen had the puck near the net. Odd.

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    • Cam
      November 17, 2011

      Didn’t the Canucks just play a game earlier in the week when they weren’t called for a penalty? Is that part of the conspiracy too?

      Chicago only got three PP’s in the game. Maybe if it was a 8-0 advantage you’d have a point.

      Please Canucks fans, quit with the constant blaming of the officials. It’s making you look bad to other hockey fans.

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      • CanuckFanInSF
        November 18, 2011

        My post was mostly self deprecating. Did say that the team lost the game, didn’t I?

        Wait, did you actually think that I was chanting “ref you suck” to sleep last night?

        ?

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  8. Zach Morris
    November 17, 2011

    Where was the passion of the other infamous Vancouver/Chicago tilts?

    This seemed like a game against….Minnesota.

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  9. SteveB
    November 17, 2011

    “Of course, he was back in the third period, no doubt after punching his shoulder back into place and then punching it again until it stopped hurting.”

    I can actually see Ryan Kesler doing that last night.
    I feel sorry for any puppies crossing his path after the game.

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  10. J21
    November 17, 2011

    How can this blog even consider that a person whop did not get results put in a good effort? On the Internet, results and effort share a 1:1 relationship, don’t you know? If Kesler didn’t score, it means he must not have been trying. Any time the team loses a game, it’s because they weren’t trying or they didn’t care! If only the team always put in an effort, they would never lose a game again. Damn that Vigneault for not motivating them enough.

    And if ever both teams put in an effort, the resulting paradox would end the universe. Thankfully it’s never happened in the era since ties were abolished.

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  11. DanD
    November 17, 2011

    The reffing was definitely tricky last night. I love how John Garrett’s groans are a pretty good indication of a penalty drawn for the Canucks, and he had at least two of those last night. There was definitely a blatant hook that went uncalled, but I can’t remember when it was or who it was on.

    With that being said, I think Tom has a point about the “double edged sword.” I don’t think the Canucks are mailing it in 5 on 5 (They had some pretty dominant shifts last night), but they definitely need to be able to score 5 on 5. Especially when the Community Man can’t help the refs dislodge those whistles until after the game.

    Also, you guys should get a screen grab of that shot of Kesler on the bench after his super-angry hitty shift. He looked so miserable. Dude was freaking angry last night. Good for him!

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  12. Chinstrap Joe
    November 17, 2011

    I saw a very Zen quote by Schnieder from after the game:

    “It is not my place to talk about that (lack of goal support). They have made me look great in the past with a lot of goal support. It’s time where I steal a game 2-1 or 1-0.”

    Perfect attitude – his game starts and stops with him. No one else. Too bad he is going to have a long and storied career with teams that aren’t named the Canucks.

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    • js topher
      November 17, 2011

      So far, this is the only thing that makes me like him as our #1 over Lu.

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  13. jenny wren
    November 17, 2011

    Though Hansen gave the Nucks the lead
    (The pass from Hank was sweet indeed),
    The two goals on the powerplay
    Put the Hawks ahead to stay.
    A like score we’ve seen before,
    Just back a while a week or more,
    And so the Chicken Hawk was right:
    Vancouver lost on Wednesday night.

    And now a bit of bitterness
    About something that brought distress:
    No calls when someone trips a twin
    When still they had a chance to win.
    I like it when it’s called both ways
    With two sides having power plays.

    Jenny Wren

    Postscript:

    And now I hasten to explain
    It’s not my nature to complain.
    Besides I quite enjoyed the game,
    But non calls are a bleeping shame!

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  14. cambo
    November 17, 2011

    I thought Louser should have played so we could see the goals against balloon to 10 or so. Once again Nucks, outplayed, out skilled, outclassed again. Nucks are the Hawks biotch….

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    • cambo
      November 17, 2011

      Awww, poor Cannot fan and their thin skin… Do you need some Kleenex? How about a tampon from the Sister’s collection?

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    • iceman
      November 17, 2011

      Trolling has definitely taken over as the primary entertainment for those who don’t know what to do with their free time. Enjoy wasting your life!

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      • cambo
        November 17, 2011

        Just like cheering for 0-41 team!!! CHUMP

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        • cam beau
          November 17, 2011

          So why would you, “Click here to see.”
          When there’s not one who won’t agree
          There’s nothing that he has to say
          That does excite in any way

          Now if there were profundity
          Revealing astute acuity
          Well then it is that there would be
          Good reason to, “Click here to see.”

          But as before as time has taught
          All that he writes just comes to naught
          So don’t “dislike” or disagree
          And please do not, “Click here to see.”

          “Dislike” makes him come back for more
          Far better that you should ignore

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          • cambo
            November 18, 2011

            Looks like Harrison has an “alias” as the typical Nuck fan couldn’t spell or understand the majority of the words in his poem!! 0-41 CHUMPS.

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            • Harrison Mooney
              November 18, 2011

              I assure you that I’m not “Cam Beau”. While I could write a poem decrying your trolling, I’d much prefer to just ban you from the comments.

              Knock it off. That’s the next step.

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              • cambo
                November 18, 2011

                Freedom of Speech, Harrison….. it’s not my problem that your teams fan base can’t deal with the truth regarding their team of testosterone limited players! Happy Friday.

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              • Harrison Mooney
                November 18, 2011

                You absolutely have freedom of speech. But I have the freedom to block your IP address.

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              • Daniel Wagner
                November 18, 2011

                That’s a gross misunderstanding of the concept of freedom of speech.

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  15. josh
    November 17, 2011

    @CanuckFanInSF

    Silent G was bumped down a line because near the end of the first he cut in front of his own net, carried the puck up the middle while being chased by one ‘hawk, lost the puck at the blue line, gained it back momentarily.. circled back into the Canucks own end, then lost it again as three ‘Hawks swarmed him.. giving up a scoring opportunity that Schneider made a good save on.

    Coach AV made him think about it.

    But at least it happened in November.

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    • CanuckFanInSF
      November 17, 2011

      Oh yeah.. now I remember… in fact, I heard the collective gasp from the crowd through my TV. How could I have totally forgotten?

      Thanks for the reminder. :(

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  16. Dane
    November 17, 2011

    The most difficult part for me watching this game was Marian Hossa. When they scored of one of his plays I couldn’t tell if I was upset we were scored against or happy I’d just seen a pretty hockey play. The resulting noise that came out of my mouth was not too dissimilar to that of a Donkey. “YEEAA-aaww”.

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    • The Bookie
      November 18, 2011

      As much as it pains me to say it … Hossa was frickin brilliant in that game.

      (there, I said it) ….. slumps away

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  17. Guy @ HockeyBias.com
    November 17, 2011

    So, this is moderately insane… Last year Wild prospect Mikael Granlund turned heads with his Floorball-style (or ‘lacross-style’ for the uninitiated) goal during Finland’s semifinal game against Russia in the World Championships. Mikael’s younger brother Markus (a Flames prospect) notched a similar goal a year ago and another today in SM-Liiga action. Check it out:

    http://www.hockeybias.com/hockey-news-past/2011/November/Markus-Granlund-ilmaveivimaali-Blues-vs-HIFK-17-11-2011-video.html

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