I Watched This Game: Canucks vs San Jose Sharks, January 2, 2012

While the Canucks were outplayed for large portions of this game, you have to keep one thing in mind: 4 days ago, the Canucks were in San Jose defeating the Sharks in a tough overtime game. In between, they had two more games. The Sharks had none. The Sharks were fresher than a perfectly cleaned kitchen where someone is brewing mint tea. The Canucks, on the other hand, just sprayed Febreze everywhere and hoped for the best. I watched this game.

Canucks 2 – 3 Sharks (SO)

  • Roberto Luongo was easily the best player for the Canucks, making 31 saves in regulation to steal a point, then making 2 more in both overtime and the shootout to give the Canucks a chance to win. You have permission to slap any of your friends who claim that this loss was somehow Luongo’s fault. Then find some smarter friends.
  • After getting absolutely dominated in the faceoff circle in their last game against the Sharks, the Canucks turned the tables, winning 38-of-62 draws. Not a single Canuck fell below 50%, with the big winner being Ryan Kesler, who went 14-for-22. The only issue was that half of his losses came in the defensive zone, where he went just 1-for-5. Kesler’s dad was furious.
  • Canucks fans are used to seeing gorgeous passing plays prior to goals. In this game, however, Cody Hodgson and Kevin Bieksa were awarded assists on terrible passes, with no wizardry to be seen. Clearly, they are muggles.
  • On the first goal, for instance, Hodgson’s one-touch return pass to Jannik Hansen on a 3-on-1 was a clever move. Unfortunately, the pass was so far behind Hansen that he had to turn backwards to accept it, leaving him no room to shoot the puck. Fortunately, Hansen’s attempted return pass to Hodgson deflected off the backchecking Jamie McGinn past Antti Niemi. Meanwhile, Daniel Sedin, the third man on the 3-on-1, went and sulked in the corner. Helloooo. Canucks leading goalscorer and defending Art Ross winner here.
  • The only reason the Canucks had a 3-on-1 is because Brent Burns pinched down the boards and none of the forwards covered for him at the point. It’s tough to know whether to blame Burns or the forwards, however. Yes, one of the forwards should have covered for him, but Burns was the one who took a bad angle shot with all three forwards in front of the net. Let’s face it, Burns, like his cousin Major Frank Burns, is terrible.
  • As much as Burns is terrible, he was nice enough to make sure that no one could accuse Henrik Sedin of embellishment by knocking his helmet clean off his head when he high-sticked him in the third period. Henrik’s helmet, on the other hand, was chirped for the rest of the game for taking a dive.
  • The Sharks got lucky on their first goal as well, as Kevin Bieksa took a Logan Couture shot to the side of the knee, causing him to immediately drop to the ice in pain. His check, Benn Ferriero, was consequently left all alone in front and scored on the rebound after Luongo made a nice save on his initial shot. For once the puck went in on Luongo while someone else was ineffectually sprawled on his belly.
  • Luongo can’t be happy, however, with the rebound he gave up on the Sharks’ second goal. The initial shot was going well wide, but Luongo kicked it out directly into the slot, where Patrick Marleau outbattled Keith Ballard to shoot the puck into the open net. Both players clearly blamed themselves, as they each looked skyward simultaneously.
  • The Canucks’ powerplay wasn’t very good in this game, failing to score on a minute-long 5-on-3 and producing very few chances, but the game-tying goal did come on their final opportunity of the game. Bieksa’s pass up to Hodgson was in his feet, but Silent G did well to kick the puck up to his stick and feed Hamhuis to gain the zone. Once he did, he found a soft spot in the Sharks’ penalty kill and one-timed the pass from Hamhuis far-post past Niemi. If there were any justice, they’d give Bieksa’s assist to Chris Higgins, who provided a timely screen.
  • That said, Bieksa extended his point-scoring streak to 7 games with the assist, a career-high, and gave him 23 points on the season, one more than he scored in each of his last two seasons. He’s now on-pace for a career-high 47 points. Christian Ehrhoff has 17 points in 37 games and is minus-11. I bring that up for no reason whatsoever.
  • That notorious rogue Luongo received his second penalty of the season for ostensibly handling the puck outside of the trapezoid. Except he didn’t. Referee Tim Peel made the call from the opposite side of the ice where he clearly could not tell where the puck was. Joe Thornton shot his arm up in the air faster than a kid who sits in the front row in class, which was apparently enough to convince Peel.
  • Thornton was booed every time he touched the puck. This pleased me. I was also pleased that he had a pretty terrible game, with 3 awful giveaways that led to great scoring chances and a terrible shot on a near-empty net that was misinterpreted as an incredible save. That’s the one problem with hockey in HD: it’s far too clear that the puck was going wide.
  • If the third period had been one second longer, the Sharks would have won when Torrey Mitchell roofed the puck on a partial breakaway. Of course, if the third period had been one second longer, Sami Salo wouldn’t have overplayed the puck carrier to allow Mitchell to get a partial breakaway. According to Tumblr, Salo is flawless and wouldn’t make that kind of mistake.
  • The Canucks were foiled by two posts in overtime and the shootout. Actually, it was the same post twice as Dan “Community Man” Hamhuis rang an overtime scoring chance off the post with an open net and Kesler dinged the same post with his shootout attempt. Michal Handzus scored the only goal of the shootout after two good stops by Luongo. I blame the evil, evil post. I hear it was muttering nasty things about orphans all game, which is why Hamhuis shot the puck at it so hard. He’s a nice guy, but he has his limits.
Tags: , , , ,

20 comments

  1. Josh
    January 3, 2012

    I love when Garrett corrects Shorthouse on things like player names. It’s fun to imagine John poking the other John while going “Oh, you!”

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +8 (from 10 votes)
  2. the olde coot
    January 3, 2012

    Too old to care how well they play:
    Why let them spoil or make my day?
    The chill is gone I’m glad to say,
    But I still watch them anyway.

    Tonight your Nucks played San Jose
    Much better than they played LA.
    I watched this game at Clyde’s Cafe
    With Whisky Jack and Steller’s Jay.

    We’d Fish and Chips and Fruit Parfait,
    And guessed the score to see who’d pay.
    Sharks three to two to Jack’s dismay:
    The bill was forty-eight fifty eh!

    The Olde Coot

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +8 (from 10 votes)
  3. Sleepy Lewis
    January 3, 2012

    A MASH reference! My world is complete.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 2 votes)
  4. Nee
    January 3, 2012

    Ha. I love the joke about Hank’s helmet getting chirped for a dive.

    How are people feeling about da Bruins game this Saturday? It’s at a weird time of day (10am PST) but I have a good feeling.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +3 (from 5 votes)
  5. Matt
    January 3, 2012

    “For once the puck went in on Luongo while someone else was ineffectually sprawled on his belly.” That’s gold, Jerry. Gold!

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +8 (from 8 votes)
  6. Zach Morris
    January 3, 2012

    The sharks are jerks :(

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +5 (from 7 votes)
    • J21
      January 3, 2012

      “Shark” even kind of sounds like “Jerks”.

      San Jose plays in Winnipeg on January 12. I hope the Jets stick it to the Sharks against the backdrop of a dashing West Side Story musical score.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +15 (from 17 votes)
    • Zach Morris
      January 3, 2012

      Thornton played for the Bruins, then was traded to the Sharks
      clearly he has experience playing with jerks

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
      • Zach Morris
        January 3, 2012

        this is why I don’t write rhyming comments

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  7. jenny wren
    January 3, 2012

    A Canuck Double Zen Quid Pro Quo
    As Luongo twice robbed Captain Joe

    Jenny Wren

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +3 (from 5 votes)
  8. Smokey
    January 3, 2012

    Bieksa: “I used to be checking Ben Ferreiro, but then I took a puck to the knee.”

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +12 (from 12 votes)
  9. Sarah
    January 3, 2012

    That was kind of a frustrating game to watch. For much of the game, the Canucks didn’t look like the team I’ve so selfishly become accustomed to watching. The passes weren’t as crisp, the extended pressure [with the cycling of the puck] wasn’t there. And there was a time in [I believe] the 2nd where Danny kept shooting and missing – that was just odd. Fortunately, the 3rd looked better and they managed to get the one point and I guess I can credit a lot of the frustrating aspects to the respective tiredness levels of the teams.

    Ps. Am I the only one already nervous/pumped for this Saturday Boston game?

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +7 (from 9 votes)
  10. DanD
    January 3, 2012

    I learned alot about Brent Johnson’s family history in that game. Oh Shorty and Garrett. I’d rather listen to them talk about someone’s grandfather than Mark Lee and Kevin Weekes announcing actual games any day.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +13 (from 13 votes)
  11. Reece
    January 3, 2012

    How about that ridiculous PK we had with two broken sticks! I’ve been thinking that penalty killers should switch to wooden sticks even just for the 2 minutes to avoid 5 on 3.5s. During a PK you don’t really need the offensive upside a composite stick provides anyway.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 3 votes)
  12. Reece
    January 3, 2012

    How about that ridiculous PK we had with two broken sticks! I’ve been thinking that penalty killers should switch to wooden sticks even just for the 2 minutes to avoid 5 on “3.5s”. During a PK you don’t really need the offensive upside a composite stick provides anyway.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 3 votes)
  13. akidd
    January 3, 2012

    i’d like to talk about blocked shots. the sharks had 24(7 by murray and 5 by clowe and 10 attempts blocked by the hard-shooting salo and edler) and the canucks had 7. now don cherry would say that that meant the sharks had more heart. i don’t think so. gillis figures out every angle and staying healthy is key to a team’s success. i ‘d like to present the idea that ‘sacrificing the body’ is a detriment and not an asset. call it the ‘ryan johnson principle.’–if you block shots you can get hurt; if you block a lot of shots you will get hurt.

    the canucks have the 3rd fewest blocked shots in the league and i believe it is intentional. they’re using their sticks instead. just from memory, so far this season, it seems like it is most always the opposition who is limping off after blocking a shot. sure rome has caught a couple of pucks but otherwise i believe the canucks are injury -free from blocked shots.

    it looks like another example of gillis and av redefining the game.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
    • akidd
      January 3, 2012

      the Wild lead the league in blocked shots(648) and that was a team with 6 regulars out of the lineup last time i looked. i don’t know how those players were injured as i’m just taking a look at this on the surface. but it does seem like a correlation. and as a side-bar if you’re a free-agent who’d like a healthy career who’s system would you rather play? yeo’s or AV’s.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
      • akidd
        January 3, 2012

        “whose” system. sorry.

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  14. Don
    January 3, 2012

    Wah, I’m tired. Wah, my stick broke. Wah, I lost the Cup. Get over it. You have a team of egomaniacs who surround the Sedins and Salo who are trying to push as a team. You will never have a Cup with Kesler and Luongo. Not because they’re bad players, but they are “me” first players. Your team will have another great year and another Cupless year. Lol

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: -19 (from 19 votes)
    • Gabrielle
      January 3, 2012

      If you’re not a Canucks fan, why are you reading/commenting on a Canucks blog? You really care enough about us to post rude things? Aww, thanks, that’s so sweet!

      Besides, if you don’t even know a person, having never spoken to them or even met them, how could you possibly make a judgement on them?

      Trolls flatter me. After all, hate is just love that has missed its way. :)

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +7 (from 7 votes)