Canucks 2 – 1 Senators

Like my current moustache and mohawk combo, this game was ugly, but ultimately a win. The critics will say that the Canucks didn’t deserve to win this game, but last I checked, Cory Schneider was a Canuck and he definitely deserved to win this game. According to the Canucks’ advertising campaign of the last 5 years, we are all Canucks, and I think we all deserved to win this game. Well, maybe not me, now that I’m an unbiased member of the media. I got all that I deserved: I watched this game.

  • There were a few dashes of red in the crowd, as Senators fans braved the not-so-hostile confines of Rogers Arena, but they seemed to be outnumbered by the fans in orange. Clearly, some Vancouverites double-dipped their metaphorical sports chip and got to see a dominating performance from Travis Lulay and the BC Lions in the CFL Western Final and a significantly less dominating performance from the Vancouver Canucks. Both featured star performances from redheads, however.
  •  That first period was so boring. How boring was it? By the time the horn sounded, the game was being played in China!
  • I am so, so sorry for that joke.
  • The first period was deathly boring, however. It was so boring that whether or not Alex Burrows unlatched a door became a major controversy. Maxim Lapierre hit Jesse Winchester into the boards halfway through the period. The only problem is that he actually hit Winchester into the boards. The Canucks’ bench door opened and Winchester fell into it, which can be a very dangerous situation. Burrows’ hand can clearly be seen on the door at the time of the hit, which was all the evidence needed for Senators fans to declare him guilty.
  • Look, Burrows is an annoying guy with some incredibly aggravating tendencies. But to claim he opened the bench door deliberately is an incredible charge, as that crosses the line from being a pest to deliberately attempting to injure a person. As Burrows himself pointed out, he and Jesse Winchester are friends and the door was simply not fully latched at the time of the hit. You may call it blind homerism to defend Burrows, but I call it refusing to condemn someone without evidence. It’s impossible to tell whether Burrows was unlatching the door, attempting to latch it at the time of the hit, or whether he was even touching the latch. But, because it’s Burrows, he doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt.
  • Incidentally, it’s usually the backup goaltender’s job to open and close that bench door, but it was Matt Climie’s first regular season game as the Canucks’ backup, so we should cut him some slack. But you only get one freebie, Climie: if there’s one more bench door incident, Canucks fans will be on your case like your name was Roberto Luongo.
  • Back to, y’know, hockey.  This was a very physical game, with a total of 45 hits split between the two teams. The best hit came at the hands (and the rest of the body) of Dan “Community Man” Hamhuis, who stopped Milan Michalek cold as he tried to leave the Ottawa zone. After the game, he stopped literal cold by handing out blankets at a local homeless shelter.
  • Like electricity to the neckbolts of a stitched-together corpse, Henrik Sedin brought this game to life with a powerplay goal a couple minutes into the second period. Thing is, the goal came with just 13 seconds left in the powerplay and was the first shot the Canucks had on that powerplay. The Canucks managed only 4 shots on goal during 4 powerplay opportunities. Quite frankly, this shouldn’t have even been a goal, as it took a friendly deflection off of Jesse Winchester’s stick and fooled Alex Auld. Also, hi Alex Auld! I have fond memories of his time in Vancouver, mostly because he wasn’t end-of-his-career-era Dan Cloutier.
  • With that goal, Henrik Sedin was briefly the Canucks’ leading goalscorer. That either means he’s developed a better shot (nope) or Daniel Sedin needs to start scoring more goals (yep).
  • It was very interesting watching Jason Spezza during this game, as he’s developing a potent two-way game. The Senators’ star seemed to be everywhere on the ice: he led the team with 5 shots on goal and made a beautiful pass on Ottawa’s lone goal. While Aaron Rome definitely should have tied up Colin Greening’s stick in front, there was no way he could anticipate that pass. Not even Shorty anticipated that pass, and he’s usually so far ahead of the play that it seems like he’s predicting the future. Wait…maybe that’s how he won the 50/50 draw.
  • Spezza was dynamite on faceoffs to start the game, going 13-for-16, including winning all 7 of the faceoffs he took against Ryan Kesler. He looked intent on proving that he was a Kesler type of guy. Unfortunately, that fell apart in the third period and overtime, as he went 3-for-8 through the rest of the game, all of them against Kesler. The Senators were dominating the faceoff battle to start the game, but it ended up an even 50-50 split.
  • Andrew Alberts should expect a call from Sheriff Shanahan after his ugly boarding penalty on Kaspars Daugavins. Alberts could see his numbers the entire way in and it was a little surprising that it was only a 2-minute minor. There’s simply no defending that hit, though John Garrett tried his best: Daugavins looks around, now is he looking for a pass or is he looking to see who’s coming? And he stops and uh…uh…gets pinned against the boards. Nice try, Garrett. Nice try. Stick to talking about food.
  • The goaltenders were absolutely fantastic in this game, notwithstanding Henrik’s rather weak goal. While Auld and Schneider made only 29 and 27 saves respectively, there were a lot of high quality scoring chances, particularly on the part of the Senators. Auld’s best save was a shorthanded gem on Kesler, whose 2-on-1 with Burrows ended up snared in Auld’s glove.
  • Schneider, meanwhile, was absolutely the reason the Canucks won this game, making two particularly larcenous saves after the game was tied. Milan Michalek got in behind the usually dependable Sami Salo and Dan Hamhuis for a powerplay breakaway, but Schneider turned aside his Burrows-esque backhand with the glove. Later, in overtime, Schneider bailed out Kevin Bieksa with a stupendous stop on Erik Condra after Juice got caught out of position trying to help a stickless Alex Edler.
  • David Booth got benched early in the third period after accomplishing only two things through the first 40 minutes: jack and squat. Similarly, Andrew Alberts played only 2:47 of the third period, having done little more than take two bad penalties. Alex Edler picked up the bulk of Alberts’ minutes, playing a team-high 27:32, with only 47 seconds of his ice time coming in the extra frame.
  • Edler didn’t have the game-high in ice time, however. Erik Karlsson played over 30 minutes for the Senators and led Ottawa with 8 attempted shots. He also leads the Senators in awesome hair. He has some sick flow. Combine it with his sparse, yet somehow greasy, moustache and you have a classic hockey player look. or trailer park look. Either/or.
  • Like an off-brand messiah, Chris Higgins redeemed this game by tipping in a Dan Hamhuis point shot to win the game in overtime. In so doing, he tied Henrik Sedin for the team lead in goals. That’s right, Chris Higgins and Henrik Sedin are currently leading the Canucks in goalscoring. After he scored, Kiss Huggins immediately skated over and hugged the glass in an attempt to include all of Rogers Arena in the victory embrace.
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32 comments

  1. DubiousRhino
    November 21, 2011

    Fantastic article as always. Although I would like to point out that in your 14th point, you say “Auld and Cloutier” rather than “Auld and Schneider”.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      November 21, 2011

      Yeah, not sure how that happened. I think I had Cloutier on the brain. Fixed.

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  2. Becanucks
    November 21, 2011

    Once again, a good read. I was at that game with hubby, and the fact that it was so slow allowed me to explain the offside AND delayed offside rule. I cannot complaint…

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  3. Schneider's Teeth
    November 21, 2011

    Karlsson sure looks like Johnny Depp in that picture.
    http://moviecelebs.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/johnny_depp.jpg

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  4. The Bookie
    November 21, 2011

    Man, the China/boring joke might have set a new personal PITB record for time taken to Get It, but when I did, I was rofling.

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    • peanutflower
      November 21, 2011

      I still don’t get it…

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      • Jannik Handsome
        November 21, 2011

        The game was so powerfully boring it managed to tunnel the diameter of the earth by the time the final goal horn sounded! Strangely enough, it took me until reading your ‘I don’t get it’ comment to actually get it. Terrible jokes like this sustain me.

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  5. Zen Wu
    November 21, 2011

    Glad you are getting what you deserve!

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  6. PJ
    November 21, 2011

    Spezza was a stud. Too bad his team stinks.

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  7. Matt
    November 21, 2011

    John Garrett seems like a very nice guy, but he’s a bit of an embarrassment. It’s little wonder that he and Shorty were rated among the worst broadcast teams (mainly for being shameless homers) in the NHL, according to some article for which I can’t be bothered to find the link…

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    • J21
      November 21, 2011

      Every set of commentators are supportive of the home team. But homerism doesn’t mean being happy that the guys who essentially pay your salary are doing well; it means calling the game in an incorrect manner so as to pander — and the Canucks’ guys are nowhere near the worst. Shorthouse himself is quite impartial — he doesn’t defend bad calls in the Canucks’ favor, and honestly he often seems to get more excited about the home team scoring (whoever it is in the game) than the Canucks per se.

      When you’ve heard guys like Mike Haynes (former Colorado) or the Tampa Bay guy (I think radio rather than TV), the idea that Shorthouse/Garrett are homers by comparison is not really realistic.

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    • peanutflower
      November 21, 2011

      I don’t know about that — Shorty is an excellent play by play guy and I wouldn’t call him a homer at all. And in between his food discussions Garrett always gives good comments on the goalie performance. They rarely make opinionated calls in the Canucks’ favour and say truthfully what should be said. I’ve listened to plenty of play by play guys in 41 years and Shorty is among the top in my opinion, next to my Uncle Jim of course.

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    • JDM
      November 21, 2011

      John Garrett is a homer, but is an unabashed homer. He doesn’t even try to hide it, former Canuck, picks them to win the cup every year, it’s pretty blatant. Meanwhile, the two do call the game relatively fairly for a home broadcast crew. They obviously talk more about the Canucks than the opposition and get more excited on Canuck plays, but that’s playing to the audience. And even on that, they’re pretty good in discussing the opposition, and if you’ve ever heard a local US announcer on an opposition goal it’s like “oh they scored, whatever”. They tend to be pretty evenhanded on penalty calls, i.e. Condra’s high stick which was immediately called out as a bad call by both.

      I mean compare these guys to Jack Edwards, openly ranting about the opposition players being gutless divers on the air. Not even close.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      November 21, 2011

      I recall the article: it was written by an unabashed Oilers fan who hates the Canucks and gave the highest rating to the Nashville Predators announcers who are are excruciatingly boring. I put no stock in that guy’s opinion.

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  8. Jim
    November 21, 2011

    I live in Ottawa, so I had to watch the Sens feed of this game. Be glad that BC wasn’t subject to it, because it was brutal – Denis Potvin is an incredible homer. He brought up Recchi’s comments, saying that Recchi has won a cup, so we should listen to him. He also was very quick to suggest that Burrows opened the door, and called was thoroughly disgusted by the high sticking call that resulted on the whiff of a shoot-in attempt.

    As well – I’m not sure what you guys saw for the 3 stars, but they put it as Auld, Higgins, Schneider. I know the stars don’t really mean anything, but come on – Schneider had more saves, more amazing saves, and also got the win.

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  9. J21
    November 21, 2011

    The best hit came at the hands (and the rest of the body) of Dan “Community Man” Hamhuis, who stopped Milan Michalek cold as he tried to leave the Ottawa zone.

    Best hit was definitely Arland Bruce’s power block on Lulay’s 61-yard run.

    Like Jim, I live in Ottawa, and was all excited to watch a Canucks’ game on local TV (I didn’t find the Sens’ broadcast team that bad, BTW — nothing about the Senators is really all that offensive), but this one was definitely a snoozer, Schneider and Auld’s heroics aside. Tough to get into it after the excitement of the Lions’ game.

    Will be there at the Dec. 10 game in Ottawa, though.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      November 21, 2011

      That was an incredible block by Arland Bruce. Absolutely outstanding.

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  10. peanutflower
    November 21, 2011

    Two things, jack and squat. I’m definitely adding that to my critical repertoire. Still laughing.

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    • JDM
      November 21, 2011

      When you do, make sure to credit Ash. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeLUi_20Nrg

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      • The Bookie
        November 21, 2011

        awwww yeah Ash – “Jack Left Town”

        how could I forget where that was from!?

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  11. chicken chick
    November 21, 2011

    Overheard at the Nest

    “Ottawa is ten nine and one:
    This game could be a lot of fun.”
    “Vancouver has but one less win:
    Be passing me the bathtub gin.”

    “The pride of BC won today:
    Now for the Grey Cup they will play.”
    “Lulay scored one and passed for three:
    He’s very good it seems to me.”

    “The 49ers won once more:
    Twenty-three seven was the score!”
    “Cowboys Packers and Seahawks too:
    A Green Bay win is nothing new.”

    “The Colts had not a game today:
    They would have lost it anyway.”
    “The Eagles are not looking good:
    The team’s not jelling like it should.”

    “I hope the Nucks will jell tonight:
    In their last loss they looked alright.”
    “I’m told the game will start at six:
    Best grab a jug of bathtub mix.”

    “I read today’s PITB:
    Recchi’s an ass it seems to me.”
    “Well he was once a Boston Bruin.
    I think the puck is dropping soon.”

    “A Sedin’s shift’s a powerplay:
    Who cares what foreign pundits say?”
    “Cor’ Schneider’s playing fine so far:
    He may well prove the game’s first star.”

    “The Captain on a powerplay
    Does finally put a puck away.”
    “That Albert’s lack of discipline
    Could well cost the Nucks a win.”

    “Their goalie Ault’s an ex Canuck:
    Ergo you have to wish him luck.”
    “His stop on the short-handed try
    Had Kessler looking to the sky.”

    “And now we have a one-one tie,
    But Cory’s not the reason why!”
    “I see Chris Higgins getting one
    Sometime before this game is done.”

    “It’s into overtime I think:
    Perhaps I need another drink.”
    “Hodgson came closest in the third:
    I really doubt he is a nerd.”

    “OT and Higgins tips one in,
    And Schneider well deserves the win!”
    This a postscript from Jenny Wren:
    “I think I am in love again!”

    Chicken Chick

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  12. madwag
    November 21, 2011

    Danielson: “Since it was Matt Climie’s first regular season game as the Canucks’ backup, so we should cut him some slack.” “Since” or “so” / Has got to go! Cheers.

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  13. X
    November 21, 2011

    Hey, can you ex[plain the China joke?

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    • Harrison Mooney
      November 21, 2011

      You’d have to “bore” to China because it’s on the other side of the world. Like, with a drill.

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  14. Justin
    November 21, 2011

    Just a quick question, I was out last night so I never caught the game, but why was this Matt Climie guy Schneider’s back-up? I thought AV had called up Eddie Lack from the Wolves?

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  15. Mikey b
    November 21, 2011

    Burrows is a candy assed punk with no balls. Maybe he will stop if all the other teams beat up the ever whiny sedin girls.

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  16. Donna Suico
    November 21, 2011

    “Henrik Sedin was briefly the Canucks’ leading goalscorer. That either means he’s developed a better shot (nope) or Daniel Sedin needs to start scoring more goals (yep)”

    Or is it really Henrik? Maybe the twins are pulling a fast one on us again and they’ve switched their jerseys again??? :)

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  17. JDM
    November 21, 2011

    Also, it should be noted that as of late Henrik has actually been shooting, which was not his modus operandi previously. That is why he is scoring goals. So I would take issue with that part of this IWTG – Daniel needs to score more, perhaps (his point totals are actually looking pretty solid), but it’s not like Hank is doing what he’s always done here.

    It reminds me a lot of that period where Naslund suddenly and inexplicably decided that he was going to take slapshots all the time, baffling all observers. It does have the benefit that no one sees it coming. “Oh, it’s Henrik, this will be a slap pa-DAMMIT BRAD, get your stick out of the way!”

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    • JDM
      November 21, 2011

      I mean Jesse. Wrong Winchester.

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  18. akidd
    November 21, 2011

    nice recap. i was looking for this iwtg last night. it is now my go-to for a second opinion(the first being my own.)

    I liked hodgson with the sedins. i know he’s a centre but he seems to have those elusive hands that have been missing from previous triplets. he’s got the instincts too. burrows is great of course but he’s tapered off since he was mr. hattrick a couple of seasons ago. no harm in giving hodgson a tour of duty and not a bad mentorship either learning a bit firsthand from magic hank.

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  19. nelson95
    November 21, 2011

    is clutch played after every goal now?
    cause that would suck
    shouldn’t lame ass Nickleback play for the fairweather lame ass fans?

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  20. Colin Schmidt
    November 22, 2011

    I was definitely disappointed to see Auld get the start, I had brought a sign specifically for Craig Anderson, and was only able to use it during the warm up. However, it was definitely worth the WTF looks I got from the majority of the Senators players. This is a photoshop, but pretty close to what it actually looked like: http://oi43.tinypic.com/aymy5u.jpg

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