Going into this game, the Canucks hadn’t lost in regulation in 8 games and had gone to overtime in 5 of their last 6 games. According to their record over their last 10 games, the Canucks were the hottest team in the NHL. According to anyone who actually watched those games, the Canucks were playing some of their worst hockey of the season.
Hey, I watched those games. Then I watched this game.
Canucks 2 – 3 Flames (SO)
This game was completely different from how the Canucks have been playing recently. The Canucks actually dominated this game after the first period, outshooting the Flames 12-5 in the third, 4-0 in overtime, and 31-18 overall. Unfortunately, like Lord Timothy Dexter, the Flames made the most of their chances and got a little lucky, jumping out to a 2-goal lead, ensuring that the Canucks would once again end up in the shootout.
Mike Cammalleri got the Flames started, banging in his own rebound after a solid save by Luongo. Instead of deking Luongo out of his jock strap, Cammalleri put the puck in off his own.
The Flames went up by 2 early in the second period as Roman Horak took advantage of a fortunate bounce and a misread from both Luongo and Cody Hodgson. Both Luongo and Hodgson expected the puck to come out the far side, giving Horak all the time in the world when the puck came out the near side instead. Turns out the puck isn’t a Gary Larson fan.
Fresh from the high of posting his 300th NHL win, Miikka Kiprusoff commemorated the milestone fittingly: making a series of ridiculous saves to give the Flames a chance to win while the team in front of him, largely composed of AHL-level talent, could barely get the puck out of the defensive zone.
Mike Duco seems intent on staying in the Canucks lineup, throwing 3 hits and getting into a minor dust-up with fellow AHL call-up Lance Bouma. The two threw a lot of punches, but made less contact than Charlie Brown with a football. To recap: to stay up in the lineup, Duco stepped up and got into a dust-up with a call-up. The two got their dukes up, but the result was a toss-up.
Duco continued his strong game by contributing to the Canucks’ first goal. After a prolonged couple shifts in the Flames’ zone, Alex Edler whipped a wrist shot on net from the boards. With Duco wreaking havoc in front, Kiprusoff was unable to cover up and Cody “Silent G” Hodgson was first to the puck, chipping it just inside the far post on the backhand. It was the best chip since Tiger Woods birdied the 16th hole at the 2005 Masters.
While the Canucks put together a more complete effort than we’ve seen from them recently, it’s clear they’re still a little out of sync as they hit each other more than The Three Stooges. It got started in the first period, when Lapierre took out Kesler, who instinctively made an off-colour joke about Lapierre’s fiancé. The biggest collision, however, was in overtime when Dan “Community Man” Hamhuis ran over Luongo from behind. Luongo, of course, had a mosquito on his back, and we all know about Hamhuis’s concerns regarding malaria.
Andrew Alberts shouldn’t expect anyone in Calgary to buy him drinks in the near future. He picked up penalties for boarding, charging, fighting, and twice for roughing. He came close to knocking Roman Horak and Blake Comeau out of the game when they fell awkwardly out of and into his hits, temporarily sent Tim Jackman to the dressing room with a bloody nose after their fight, and did knock Mikael Backlund out of the game when he assumed that Backlund was trying to fight him. You know what happens when you assume things… upper body injuries.
It was funny when Cory Sarich tripped over his own blue line. I laughed. That is all.
David “John Wilkes” Booth tied up the game midway through the third thanks to a fortunate deflection on a Hamhuis point shot. The puck bounced right to Booth, who, like the fine folks at the DreamCatcher Wild Horse & Burro Sanctuary, corralled it and released it into its natural habitat.
The Canucks would have gone up a goal 30 seconds later were it not for the larceny of Kiprusoff. With Jannik Hansen playing the role of Daniel Sedin, the Canucks’ top line combined for some Wizardous Sedinerie on a 3-on-2, unfortunately ending with Henrik’s shot getting snagged by Kiprusoff’s glove.
Though Luongo had less to do than Kiprusoff in this game, he was not to be outdone, pulling off a larcenous glove save of his own on a Jarome Iginla breakaway. There was just no way that Iginla was going to beat Luongo one-on-one in this game.
Before that happened, however, we got a chance to see what 3-on-3 overtime would look like for nearly a full two minutes, as Jay Bouwmeester and Daniel Sedin took offsetting penalties. 3-on-3 overtime has been trumpeted as an alternative to the shootout, but it did nothing for me. Going to 3-on-3 in overtime strikes me as just as gimmicky as the shootout. There’s more white space out there than on Robert Rauschenberg’s “White Paintings” and it just doesn’t feel like proper hockey.
Mason Raymond had a blast, however. With his tendency to circle the outside of the offensive zone, it’s no wonder that he took to 3-on-3 hockey right away: there was a lot more outside to work with.
After a win over the Detroit Red Wings, the Canucks are sitting in second in the Pacific and boast the division's best goal differential. That said, a big part of that goal differential comes from the Canucks' league-leading 10 empty net goals. […]