I Watched This Game: Canucks vs Colorado Avalanche, February 15, 2012

It’s been a month since the Canucks lost a game in regulation but, going into Wednesday night, it had also been 3 weeks since the Canucks won a game in regulation at home. The Canucks had gone to overtime in 4 straight home games, seemingly intent on giving their home fans more than their money’s worth.

Not in this game. Against the Avalanche, the Canucks stiffed their home crowd by only giving a 60-minute effort. Even worse, one of those minutes came after the Canucks extended their lead to two with an empty net goal, meaning Canucks fans only got to watch 59 minutes of meaningful hockey. Really, we should complain.

I watched this game.

Canucks 3 – 1 Avalanche

  • In reality, this game was far more entertaining than the stifling atmosphere of Monday’s match-up versus the Phoenix Coyotes. As proof, Alex Edler had more shots in just 10 seconds than the entire Canucks team had in the third period against Phoenix.
  • Like versus Phoenix, David Booth opened the scoring. Unlike versus Phoenix, he didn’t wait until halfway through the second period, scoring just 13 seconds into the game instead. It was a shocking goal, not because of how quickly it was scored, but because Mason Raymond actually cut into the middle of the ice with the puck, where Booth picked it up and backhanded it past J.S. Giguere. Raymond normally stays on the outside more than Ponyboy.
  • This was Booth’s third straight game with a goal and fourth straight with a point. He’s on streak almost as hot as, well, himself.
  • Byron “Byronic Hero” Bitz had himself a good old-fashioned rematch with Avalanche enforcer Cody McLeod. His second fight of the season was also his second fight against McLeod and, like the Omnidroid, Bitz adapted and easily defeated his opponent.
  • If anyone was concerned about the frenemy status of Shane O’Brien and Alex Burrows after their fracas in Colorado and Vancouver’s last meeting, Dan Murphy eased those worries with a brief post-commercial feature in the first period, assuring everyone that O’Brien and Burrows remained buddies. I immediately went to work taping O’Brien’s eyes back into all my pictures of the pair of them. Fortunately, I kept them when I cut them out. Foresight, people. You have to think ahead.
  • During the first intermission, we caught another glimpse into the twisted mind of Evil Raymond. During his interview with Joey Kenward, he was asked about Colorado’s injury troubles. Raymond responded, “Any time they got less guys, I guess you want to run them and…not run them, pardon me, but run a guy to make their life as miserable as you can.” It was like half way through he realized that he was actually advocating going after their injured guys who were no longer in the game and knew he was revealing too much.
  • Like the most recent X-Men movie, Roberto Luongo was first-class in this game. He robbed Kevin Porter with 3 seconds left in the first period and stoned a wide open Paul Stastny like he was Stephen to keep the Canucks up by one in the final two minutes, but what I found most impressive were his many glove saves. Last season, Luongo seemed to have issues catching the puck, so that every glove save turned into a punch save instead, but those issues seem to be completely gone of late.
  • Luongo seemed unbeatable in this game, but a confusion in coverage between Sami Salo and Alex Edler led to a game-tying goal by Erik Johnson. Edler shadowed Johnson as he rushed into the zone, but peeled off to cover the front of the net. Salo was covering David Jones, but instead of leaving Jones to Edler when he went to the front of the net, he went to tie up his stick, leaving Johnson all alone and Jones double-teamed.
  • The play-by-play highlight of the game came after a scrum started off by Gabriel Landeskog running into Roberto Luongo. Referee Paul Devorski pointed at Landeskog and said “One #$%&ing penalty” clear as day on the Sportsnet telecast. “One penalty, says Paul Devorski,” was John Garrett’s diplomatic response.
  • The top line has struggled recently, but put in one of their best efforts of the season in this game with, unfortunately, nothing to show for it. Daniel and Burrows had 5 shots each, while Henrik had 3 shots of his own. It seemed like they just couldn’t get any bounces. On the Canucks’ lone powerplay, Daniel had a wide open net after an Edler slap shot bounced off the boards, but the puck kept bouncing right over Daniel’s stick. That puck had secretly been moulded from flubber instead of rubber.
  • Gabriel Landeskog had a great game for the Avalanche, but he almost didn’t survive the game. Halfway through the third period, he was nailed by a Sami Salo slap shot and covered the puck up with his body in desperation so he could get a whistle and make his way to the bench. The camera showed him with his mouth agape as if in shock: How can someone so fragile shoot so hard?
  • With Chris Higgins back in the lineup, Cody Hodgson started the game on the fourth line while Maxim Lapierre centred a checking line with Higgins and Jannik Hansen. Lapierre took the assignment to heart, throwing a game-high 7 bodychecks. He had more checks than the Phoenix Coyotes.
  • Explanation of the previous joke: checks and Czechs sound the same. The Coyotes have several players from the Czech Republic. It was a pun.
  • By the third period, however, Hodgson was moved up to play with Higgins and Hansen in order to create more offense. It paid off, as a fortunate bounce off the linesman on an Avalanche clearing attempt allowed Hodgson to set up Hansen for a one-timer to re-gain the lead. It was the best set-up since “A horse walks into a bar.”
  • It’s clear that Chris Higgins is a fast-moving zombie, as he didn’t skip a beat in his first game back after “recovering” from a recent zombie bite. While he had just over 12 minutes in ice time, he showed good speed, particularly on Burrows’ empty net goal, as he poked the puck past Ryan O’Reilly, then skated alongside Burrows towards the empty net, ensuring that none of the Avalanche back-checkers could get to the puck.
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32 comments

  1. hockeyispretty
    February 16, 2012

    Fantastic writeup, PITB! If anyone has a link to footage of that Sportsnet coverage of the Landeskog goalie interference scrum, please post. I was stuck with Avalanche coverage. One of their announcers first ridiculed Luongo for taking a dive, then ridiculed Luongo for only selling the dive halfway when he calmly got up instead of embellishing. Adding insult to injury, he not only failed to clarify that it hadn’t been a dive, but also commended Landeskog for his active, spirited play when the overhead camera revealed that he actually knocked Luongo over. AND I missed the swearing official. Lame.

    But it was almost worth it to hear how dejected yet frustrated they were with every, “and ANOTHER great save by Luongo,” struggling to not let too much admiration into their voices, wondering why their voodoo dolls weren’t working maybe. And one very funny bit when Luongo played the puck behind the net: the colour commentator mentioned one of their players, and the play-by-play guy interrupted with “Slapped around by Luongo.” I was like, wow, when? I didn’t know Lui was such a badass.

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  2. Tom
    February 16, 2012

    Good one guys.

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  3. Josh
    February 16, 2012

    I’m glad you caught the “one F’n penalty” bit.

    I also liked when Shorty referred to Edler as the “Good looking Edler” at one point when he was hanging out with the puck behind the Canucks net.

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    • peanutflower
      February 16, 2012

      it’s hilarious when they do that. So now, did he mean that Eddy is in fact good looking, or that he was looking good as in playing well? One can only wonder.

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  4. Niall
    February 16, 2012

    As I live abroad and can’t watch many games, I love the analysis of IWTC. Any chance of a video of Garret’s diplomatic response to Devorski’s potty-mouth?

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  5. bergberg
    February 16, 2012

    David Booth is looking good!!

    His game has improved of late, also.

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  6. Nee
    February 16, 2012

    “I immediately went to work taping O’Brien’s eyes back into all my pictures of the pair of them. Fortunately, I kept them when I cut them out. Foresight, people, you have to think ahead.”

    Ahahaahahahaha.

    I have nothing to add. You guys are hilarious.

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    • The Bookie
      February 16, 2012

      Indeed, that series of sentences was hypnotically hilarious.

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  7. Brentals
    February 16, 2012

    Also, the Coyotes lack cheques to pay people with, due to their financial troubles.

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    • Daniel W.
      February 16, 2012

      yeah, that was the joke I thought they were going for at first!

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      • Daniel Wagner
        February 16, 2012

        We are far more obtuse than you might expect.

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        • madwag
          February 16, 2012

          or “more acute” from another angle

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  8. jenny wren
    February 16, 2012

    First faceoff’s won and what is more
    The Canucks very quickly score,
    As D. Booth beat J-S Giguere -
    Man’s on a roll they do declare!
    It seemed that we’d been here before
    When Colorado tied the score.

    As time went on I thought I knew
    I’d troll a post of deja vu:
    “It really came as no surprise
    When given all the recent ties,
    And of the three the Nucks got two -
    The Shootout won by Bobby Lu!”

    But just like you I too did see:
    The Great Dane from the Silent G!
    And then although not better yet,
    Burrows into the empty net.
    Avalanche one, Vancouver three -
    A worthy win we can agree!

    Jenny Wren

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  9. peanutflower
    February 16, 2012

    Yes, video of that F***ing penalty, please. I had it PVRd, missed that bit, and the not know at all how exciting that particular muck up was going to be I deleted it. :( . I thought the Canucks played a pretty good game and had possession for the greater part of the game. That was nice “feed” by Raymond, but in the end I don’t think he intended to do that and it would have been another one of his end to end fruitless rushes. I’m not a fan of the Mayray. Sorry. Bobby Lu! He’s playing great, ain’t he? And getting pretty cocky in the net there too, huh? Yup. Still, while the Canucks play well, the Avalanche are hardly a high level oppoponent, are they, if one were to judge by the standings alone.

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  10. Chris
    February 16, 2012

    That O’Brien hit on Lapierre was easily as late as Rome on Horton in the finals last year. Shall I sit here waiting for the indignant Chicago and Toronto media to form an angry lynch mob to come to drag Shane from his bed in the middle of the night?

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    • Harrison Mooney
      February 16, 2012

      No, but if the hitter and the hittee had been reversed, it’d be all over the place today.

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    • hockeyispretty
      February 16, 2012

      And even the Avalanche commentators weren’t very comfortable with the too-early hit on Kesler that followed, until they remembered interference qualifies as spirited and energetic play. :)

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  11. sarah
    February 16, 2012

    Were the on-ice mics really turned up this game? Not only was the “one f’n penalty” clearly caught, but it seemed as if the sounds of the game were more noticeable. I liked it.

    I’ve been pushing the Hodgson, Hansen, Higgins line for some time, mainly because I like all the Hs. I want to call them the Triple H line, but my dad suggested 3H club. I can’t decide which I prefer.

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    • Chris
      February 16, 2012

      I think your idea’s better. Because they’re all about the Game.

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      • sarah
        February 16, 2012

        I did not even know that was a reference until I googled it just now. I just liked the way it sounded.

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  12. SteveB
    February 16, 2012

    “Really, we should complain.”

    I was almost worked up enough to flip the pool, but it’s all full of mushy leaves and brackish water. Kind of yucky, plus it’s raining out on the deck.

    I am also out of SierraSil® Joint Formula14™ and don’t want to risk hurting my back, so I decided to have another bowl of Shreddies® and put sugar on them.

    I feel better now.

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    • peanutflower
      February 16, 2012

      See, the advertising works! You actually looked it up. Seriously, though, that is just so distracting and totally unnecessary, that end glass stuff.

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  13. Phileo99
    February 16, 2012

    Landeskog: 0pts, -2, 23min. TOI. CoHo: +1pt, +1, 10min. TOI. Won 5 of 7 on the faceoff as added bonus. Cody “ReleaseMe” Hodgson keeps getting lumps of coal from coach AV: stuck playing with 4th liners, limited ice time, and yet Hodgson keeps pumping out gems: 2nd in goals amongst rookies, and +31pts this season now, good for 4th in the Calder Cup race. He’s like an avalanche of potential ready to erupt, when will coach AV let him do his thing?

    On another note, based on their curent pace (and last years pace) I am projecting the canucks to finish this season with around 110pts. Canucks are 8-0-3 in their past 11 games which means they’re averaging 1.73 points per game, which is way ahead of last year’s 1.43 pts/game pace. Applying last year’s pace to their remaining 25 games nets us 113pts for this season, but I think they might lose some more games than expected against western conference opponents, so I think they will wind up with 110pts.

    If the Canucks can’t catch Detroit, and wind up 2nd seed, who might they face in the playoffs? Current candidates include BlackHawks, LA Kings, Coyotes, or the Flames.
    You just know that the BlackHawks will definitely come out of their current funk if we play them, so I wouldn’t want to expend all of our energy try to slay the dragon in the 1st round. LA Kings is a bit of a risk too, esp. if they wind up landing Rick Nash.

    So it would come down to Phoenix or Calgary. I’d prefer facing the Flames in the 1st round because of less travel, and a more exciting style of play. Go Calgary Go!

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    • Kyle
      February 16, 2012

      It’s so bizarre how, no matter how well Hodgson does, it’s “in spite of ” Vigneault, and never “because of”. His stats line seems to show he’s been used effectively.

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  14. Chciky
    February 16, 2012

    Oh my, an Incredibles reference… ok, who’s been watching Disney? I thought I was alone in watching and rewatching and rewatching that movie. I have a kid obsessed with that robot.

    Awesome as always!

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  15. Jannik Hansen
    February 16, 2012

    …Bartender says: “Why the long face?”

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  16. cathylu
    February 16, 2012

    Did Burr and SOB actually fight? Our NHL Center Ice feed cut out just as it looked like they were going to. Stupid technology…why can’t you work perfectly all the time?!

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  17. cathylu
    February 16, 2012

    On a totally different subject the classic rock station I listen to at work just played “Ballroom Blitz” LOL

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    • Chris
      February 16, 2012

      Byron “Ballroom” Bitz loves to dance.

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  18. madwag
    February 16, 2012

    just in case you haven’t:

    Horse walks into a bar, orders a beer, sits down at one of the tables, and starts reading his paper.
    The bartender is a bit shocked by all this, but pours the beer, and brings it over to the horse, who proffers a ten dollar bill for it.
    Now the barman figures the horse isn’t that bright, so he decides to pull the old ‘short-change’ trick on him. He duly goes back to the horse with 1 dollar. The horse doesn’t say a word.
    The horse eventually finishes his beer and goes up to the bar to order another. The bartender says to him, “Y’know, we don’t get many horses in here.”
    To which the horse replies, “At nine dollars a beer, I’m not surprised!”

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  19. madwag
    February 16, 2012

    or

    :A piece of string walks into a bar and asks for a drink.
    The barman refuses to serve him saying rudely, ‘Sorry but we don’t serve the likes of you. Get out!’

    The piece of string leaves the bar feeling glum, he walks down the road and then he sees two girls who he asks for help.
    ‘Please,’ he says to one of the girls, would you tie a knot in me?’ This she does.
    ‘Please,’ the piece of string says to the other girl,’would you mind taking your comb and fluffing out the ends of my string?’ so the girl obliges.

    ‘Thank you’ says the string and he turns around, goes back into the bar and immediately orders a drink again.

    The barman looks at him quizzically and says ‘aren’t you the piece of string that was in here a moment ago?’

    ‘No’ came the answer, ‘I’m a frayed knot.’

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  20. HumanCannonball
    February 16, 2012

    “Stoned a wide open Paul Stastny like he was Stephen”

    Before clicking the link, I thought you were referring to Stoner Steve, the “Dude, you’re getting a Dell!” guy.

    http://youtu.be/L7wfHStzm24

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