On Thursday, the Canucks snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, scoring the game-tying goal in the final minute and winning the game in extra time. On Sunday, Dallas turned the tables on the Canucks, as if the tables were stacked on top of an over-sized Lazy Susan that was resting atop of another, even larger table.
Since it’s the Canucks, there had to be a healthy dose of controversy, as the Stars’ last-minute, game-tying goal came after a blown icing call brought the faceoff all the way down into the Canucks end of the ice. I guess there has to be something to complain about when you get to game 63 of the schedule. I watched this game.
During the first period, John Shorthouse got so bored that he turned to pop-culture references, suggesting that Stars coach Glen Gulutzan looks like Conan O’Brien. Shorty is very good at play-by-play. He’s not very good at pop-culture references. Gulutzan looks nothing like CoCo. At best, he looks like Aaron Eckhart with a significantly weaker chin.
After a dearth of physical affection in the first period thanks to hitting the post on his best chance, Chris “Kiss Huggins” Higgins was in the mood for hugs. After missing the net on a 2-on-1 later on, he must have decided that hugs weren’t going to come his way unless someone else put the puck in the net. Just a few seconds later, he got his chance, setting up Ryan Kesler on a 3-on-2. Kesler’s wristshot handcuffed Kari Lehtonen, then left a hacksaw in arm’s reach.
Dale Weise left the game after blocking a shot with his left wrist. He returned briefly to sit on the bench, but was gone by the third period and his fourth line shifts were taken over by Daniel Sedin. It seemed appropriate, as Daniel would also have lost if he got into a fight.
Look out, world, Mason Raymond is on a hot streak — if two ugly goals in two straight games can be considered a hot streak. He extended the Canucks’ lead to two with a goal under Lehtonen’s armpit that was stinkier than Gary Busey’s fastball. With that, Higgins got his second assist – and second hug – of the game. Look out, world, Chris Higgins is on a hug streak.
I love hearing Radek Dvorak’s name, if only because it makes me think of nerdy keyboards.
When it comes to one-timers on odd-man rushes, Michael Ryder is better at them than Manny Malhotra. At least, that’s what I got out of the sequence late in the second when Malhotra missed the net on a shorthanded 2-on-1, allowing the Stars to break back 3-on-2. Ryder fired his one-timer under Luongo’s blocker arm as he slid across. Of course, this goal was inevitable, as the two-goal lead is the worst lead in hockey.
A one-goal lead, on the other hand, is a bit safer: the Canucks managed to hold the lead through the vast majority of the third period, and had cleared the puck down the ice with a minute remaining. That’s when Stephane Robidas took a long, looping path towards the puck, allowing it to just inch over the Stars goal line for icing. Normally in those situations icing is waved off. In this instance, it wasn’t. And, with 53 seconds left, Mike Ribeiro tipped in the tying goal off the won faceoff that ensued from the icing.
I wanted to make a joke about the linesman not understanding what icing is because the game was in Texas, where no one understands icing, but I can’t bring myself to say such mean things about the Stars’ fanbase. They’re just not mean enough.
It was evident that Loui Eriksson really, really wanted to score in this game: he hit a post in the third period that would have tied the game, then missed the net on a golden opportunity in close during overtime. It seemed like the Canucks noticed how badly he wanted it and took pity on him, as they left him more open than a Quik-E Mart to score the overtime winner.
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