I Watched This Game: Canucks at Nashville Predators, February 21, 2012

This game was meant to be all about Alex Burrows, as it was the 500th game of his career. For someone who started his professional career scoring just 32 points in 66 games in the ECHL, it’s a tremendous achievement. He worked his way into the Canucks lineup by being an agitating checker, but has become a sparkplug, top-line forward alongside the Sedins.

The Predators ruined everything, however, by not letting Burrows score 5 goals so someone could win Safeway’s Million Dollar Score and Win. So Burrows instead celebrated by getting under an All-Star’s skin, just like old times, taking Shea Weber off the ice with a coincidental roughing minor when the Canucks were down by one. It was a savvy move, but his teammates couldn’t take advantage. His 500th game was ruined, but I still watched it. I watched this game.

Canucks 1 – 3 Predators

  • I forgot how much I hated the Tootoo train whistles during the playoffs. Thanks for reminding me, Nashville fans, that was very thoughtful of you.
  • Nashville apparently has their own version of the Green Men, one dressed in blue and the other in gold. They were wearing shorts and didn’t have cardboard cutouts of Pamela Anderson in a Predators jersey. Amateurs.
  • Out of nowhere, Shorty and Garrett started talking about Lent, the period of the Christian liturgical calendar from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday usually marked by fasting and self-denial. Apparently Garrett is giving up red meat for Lent, which will be a big sacrifice for him because…well, I’ll let him explain. Garrett: I’m a burger, you know… Shorty: You’re a burger? Garrett: I am a burger a-fischi-on-doh.
  • Really, Garrett was on fire, later saying The seamless glass has seams. Yeah.
  • The Predators demonstrated exactly why they have the second best powerplay in the league with some impressive rotation with the man advantage, completely discombobulating the Canucks’ penalty kill so that Mike Fisher was wide open at the side of the net to open the scoring.
  • Pekka Rinne has struggled against the Canucks this season, but hasn’t struggled against the rest of the league, so it wasn’t too surprising to see him back to his usual glove-like-a-black-hole, puck-swallowing self. He destroyed Aaron Rome’s hopes and dreams with a diving stop early in the second to keep the score tied, then made Daniel Sedin feel like a shlemiel with a kick save that eventually led to the Predators’ second goal.
  • Sami Salo had a rough game: he was the one who lost Fisher on the opening goal and then he got caught flat-footed between pinching and backing up into the neutral zone while on the powerplay, allowing Fisher to go in with Sergei Kostitsyn on a short-handed 2-on-1. Edler played it reasonably well, but Fisher’s backhanded saucer pass was the kind of perfect usually reserved for awesome DDR players.
  • With the Sedin line shut down by the smothering Predators defensive play, the second line stepped up offensively, particularly David Booth. He was superb, tying Fisher with a game-high 6 shots on net, hitting a post, and going hard to the net, including into the net head first at the hands of Shea Weber. It might have been interference, but the refs didn’t see it that way. That’s okay, I’m used to others not seeing things my way; I’m basically Lieutenant Worf without the bat’leth.
  • Hey, remember Byron Bitz? Dale Weise wants you to forget about him. Weise’s neuralyzer was the only Canucks goal, as he pounced on a loose puck after some strong work by Manny Malhotra on the forecheck. When the 4th line gets your only goal, that’s a problem. That’s like buying a cable package that only has the DuMont Television Network.
  • At one point, the Nashville arena played “Hammer Time.” What. I just. I don’t even. What. MC Hammer is pretty much the exact opposite of the Predators: fiscally irresponsible, overtly flashy, and with only short-lived success.
  • Roberto Luongo kept the Canucks in this game, making 30 saves, including an absolutely incredible save on Shea Weber that was vintage Luongo. He challenged Weber on the breakaway, expecting the shot, but once he was beat by the deke, he didn’t give up, reaching back and getting just enough of the puck with his glove to send it wide of the post. The save was so vintage that every hipster in BC immediately declared that they were into that save before it went all mainstream.
  • Chris Tanev has been good in return to the Canucks’ lineup, but he still seems tentative at times. His most frustrating moment came late in the third when Mason Raymond set him up at the point with acres of room to take a shot and David Booth screen in front; he instead chose to attempt a pass to, well, no one. When down by one, that puck has to be directed towards the net.
  • Though the shot totals were close in the third period, the Predators dominated in terms of quality scoring chances and finally capitalized on one with 3 minutes to. With all five Canucks on the ice overloading the side with the puck, David Legwand was more alone than Alex Pruitt, and blasted a slap shot top corner.
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24 comments

  1. Josh
    February 22, 2012

    Unrelated to the game: Why is it that a player scoring five goals only gives someone a *chance* at winning a million dollars? My uncle and I discuss this when it’s mentioned on each broadcast, I mean, do you know how many Canucks have ever scored five goals in a single game? None of them have! Not Linden, not Nazzy, not Daniel, none of them, ever!

    If a Canuck scores five goals in a game someone should just win a million dollars, period.

    (I had to get that off my chest.)

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    • Paul
      February 22, 2012

      Well it’s the same as when someone wins a vacuum or whatever. Everyone who entered the contest has a “chance” of having their name pulled from the box. So if you’re entered you have a chance that your name will be the one pulled.

      Now what would really suck is getting your name pulled and winning a vacuum and the next person gets a cool million. That vacuum would sit there mocking me. I might even destroy it with a sledge hammer.

      That being said, we could use a new vacuum…that’d be pretty sweet!

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      • bluetouque
        February 22, 2012

        In most Canadian contests you have to correctly answer a skill testing question to win the prize. It is usually a math question and you’re not supposed to use a calculator. It is some technicality in the contest rules that requires you to earn the prize.

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        • V
          February 22, 2012

          The theory my friend and I have floated is that it’s a “chance” because, if in some highly improbable way a Canuck scored five goals in two different games, they’d still only give away a million dollars. It’s basically a statistical impossibility, but they’re still just covering for the incredibly minute chance.

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        • James W.
          February 22, 2012

          Yep. It’s because if there isn’t a skill testing question, then it’s considered a lottery, and there are hefty fees/taxes/whatnot associated with that. You actually earn the prize by answering the question; winning the contest just gets you to that (incredibly easy) stage.

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      • Chris
        February 22, 2012

        Winning a vacuum would suck…tee hee

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        • Matt
          February 22, 2012

          I’d take a vacuum over one of those ugly Bulova watches anyday!

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    • SteveB
      February 22, 2012

      My speculation is that Safeway buys you one crack at a slot machine at the River Rock Casino if a Canuck scores five goals in one game. (Know your limit, play within it.)

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  2. the olde coote
    February 22, 2012

    For Jenny Wren Who Missed This Game
    Clay Pigeon’s Soccer Is To Blame

    Nucks played their second game away
    In Music City USA -
    A scoreless draw well into two,
    ‘Til Fisher scored on Bobby Lu
    When on a Nashville powerplay.

    Then Bouillon tripped The Silent G
    Which put the Nucks on the PP,
    But with them playing five on four,
    The Preds short-handed got one more,
    A sad but pretty goal to see.

    To indicate the Nucks weren’t through
    Weise scored at sixteen fifty-two,
    And so two-one into the third.
    “Anyone’s game,” is what I heard;
    “The next goal wins,” is what I knew.

    And so it was that Nashville won -
    When Legwand scored, the game was done.
    ‘Twas not a bad game overall.
    The Nucks were due to take a fall.
    “It’s Motown Thursday, Honeybun.”

    The Olde Coot

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  3. John Andress
    February 22, 2012

    This game was eerily reminiscent of the playoffs last year. The offense and power play dries up in the face of a an organized team defense and a red hot goalie. And, like last year’s playoffs, I have no doubt that the Luongo haters are irrationally blaming it all on him. Fortunately, it was only one game and, in my mind, not representative of the Canucks version 2011-2012. The opportunity to redeem themselves, again much like the playoffs, comes tomorrow in Detroit which also lost last night. I am looking forward to seeing how the Canucks respond.

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  4. peanutflower
    February 22, 2012

    Great Save Luongo!! My, wasn’t he good! FOr me the highlight of the game was “aficiondo.” I’m guessing that Cheech thinks that’s the right way to say that word…

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    • Nick
      February 22, 2012

      My highlight of the night was Burrows pulling guard in his scuffle with Weber. Maybe he’s been hanging around GSP in the off season?

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  5. Phileo99
    February 22, 2012

    With the way the Preds move the puck on their PP, I think we should sue Trotz for infringing on the Canucks patented PP.
    Yeah, this might be a wild hunch, but I don’t think Salo should be matched up against Fisher. Fisher has the energy of Carrie Underwood in his skates, and needs the hammer of the (quicker) Bieksa to break that spirit.
    In all seriousness, I don’t think I would look forward to a Preds-Canucks playoff series (if they happen to meet up). It would be like playing an alternate reality version of the Canucks. Make no mistake, Preds have improved this year, perhaps moreso than the Canucks, and Trotz has taken plenty of notes on the Canucks style of play, and how to neutralize it. Everyone is ragging on the Hal Gill trade acquisition, but at the same time, we all know that if Hamhuis, Erhoff, and Edler weren’t injured, we would have a much better shot at winning the SCF. That might be the reason the Preds loaded up the D. Having won a Cup, I see Gill as closer to a Chara than a John Scott.

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    • Chris
      February 22, 2012

      I didn’t know people were ragging on the Hal Gill trade? The guy’s got his name on the Cup, and has played in 2 Finals, and the following year helped the underdog Habs all the way to the ECF. I think he was an excellent pickup for that team. Sure he’s a little slow, but he’s the kind of battle tested player that Stanley Cup teams always seem to have. Like you said, a poor man’s Chara.

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  6. Doug
    February 22, 2012

    Full credit to the Preds on this one – I don’t mind a loss once in a while when our goaltending maintains poise and composure – Lu has stolen a lot of games in the last two months but eventually it had to happen. Your analysis of the game is as always a perfect read – glad I wasn’t the only one who noticed the Tanev quasi-slap pass to 7 feet right of the net to absolutely no-one! That being said I’ll cut the kid a break his development is crucial in terms of cap management in years to come.

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    • Nick
      February 22, 2012

      Agree. Full credit to Nashville on this one. It seemed like the Canucks played well but, on this night, were beaten by a slightly better version of themselves.

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  7. SteveB
    February 22, 2012

    “Garrett: I’m a burger, you know… Shorty: You’re a burger? Garrett: I am a burger a-fischi-on-doh.”

    I see that Chloe Ezra has worked her magic on John Garret’s imagery:

    http://29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lzs8qv6QLk1qercxjo1_500.gif

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  8. Shade of Blue
    February 22, 2012

    - Gill and Kesler chase the puck in the Pred’s zone. Kes ignores the puck, slams into the man-mountain Gill and comes away with the puck. Awesome start to a battle that went on all night.

    - How many beers will Luongo’s teammates have to buy him for all those times he bailed them out last night? Pity to waste such a sparkling performance.

    - Canucks lose the puck in the Pred’s zone, Raymond chases the puck carrier into the neutral zone where he steals the puck, cuts a wide arc, and leads the rush right back into the Pred’s zone. I watched this play develop just as PITB told me it would in the recent article on why Raymond was a better fit on the 2nd line than Hodgson. Impressive…most impressive.

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    • Michael
      February 22, 2012

      On that Raymond lose-it-get-back-play I was thinking the same thing.

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  9. jay
    February 22, 2012

    John Garret is frackin awesome!! Stop hating!

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  10. PeeSeeGee
    February 22, 2012

    I am going to be the first to start the backlash against that save. That save was soooo last night. I preferred Luongo’s earlier stuff.

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  11. tj
    February 22, 2012

    You know it’s a miserable game when the bulk of the comments on IWTG have to do with Safeway scratch’n'win!

    “The save was so vintage that every hipster in BC immediately declared that they were into that save before it went all mainstream.” Ha! (Titter-titter) It’s also kind of funny to me how so many hipsters in Vancouver live on Main Street.

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  12. akidd
    February 22, 2012

    a pretty intense game. those preds are dangerous and even more so now with gill(pushing over dainty-legs kesler.)

    ya, tanev has had a couple of miscues, but he’s had a ton of ‘cues’ too. guy knows how to outlet puck and makes the smart pass time after time even if it means holding onto it beyond most other guys’ comfort zones. and by ‘most other guys’ i mean every other canuck d-man. stone-cold. and my hockey-crush on him grows in leaps and bounds every game. check out some of the sequences he was involved in in the first. slick. he made up for his one defensive gaffe(that i recall) with a fearless shot-block. i like.

    i sure hope some other team has to deal with the preds this playoff year. that team is a shick-brithouse.

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  13. yesiamapredsfan
    February 22, 2012

    Burrows did not agitate Weber, Weber used him like a personal raggedy ann doll. Not a smart move on Burrows part, it was not even close…

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