I Watched This Game: Canucks at Dallas Stars, February 26, 2012

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.

Canucks 2 – 3 Stars (OT)

  • 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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21 comments

  1. CanuckFanInSF
    February 26, 2012

    Welps. We’re going to see more of the Stars in the coming weeks. I see more Fiddler/Juice run-ins. However, after today’s loss I don’t know if AV will be as giggly.

    Btw, is it just me or was Ribeiro looking more gaunt than usual? Odd.

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    • peanutflower
      February 26, 2012

      I was thinking the same thing. He looks like a darker Sami Salo. Speaking of which, did I miss the Salo is our Palo t-shirt results?

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      • Harrison Mooney
        February 26, 2012

        No you didn’t. I suck.

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        • stathead
          February 27, 2012

          I think the guy who keeps remembering should win the Salo is your pal-o contest, if he submitted a design and it bears any relation to Salo.

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        • Zach Morris
          February 27, 2012

          I already made a t-shirt out of one of the designs.

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  2. invisibleairwaves
    February 26, 2012

    I want to make a joke about blown calls favouring the Dallas Stars, but I think Sabres fans have suffered enough this season.

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  3. Steveston Mark
    February 26, 2012

    ‘Twas a rough end-of-game for the linesmen. After the blown icing call, it sure looked like the play at the blueline which lead to the winning goal was offside.

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  4. Nick
    February 27, 2012

    I’m still steamed about that blown icing call … that was a real head shaker.

    The Stars can thank the referees if they just barely make the playoffs, because it’s not likely they’d have gotten 2 points otherwise.

    I hope the league noticed and gives this officiating crew an earful.

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  5. akidd
    February 27, 2012

    it’s kinda ‘comes around goes around’ with the icings. it came around in detroit and it went around again a couple of days later.

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  6. akidd
    February 27, 2012

    the best part of this game for me was that the tv was on mid-day so i surreptitiously moved on from the game to “escape from gilligans’ island.” there was a a big welcoming at honolulu harbour let me tell you. back in civilization the skipper warmly informed a disinterested third party, “we know Ginger from the island.”

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  7. obituary mambo
    February 27, 2012

    “Look out, world, Chris Higgins is on a hug streak.” Where do I get in line? ;)

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  8. chicken chick
    February 27, 2012

    The bottomline is that you need
    To not sit on a two goal lead
    It often is the next goal wins
    When the laying back begins

    If up by two you have to score
    Not play Lui bar the door
    At the risk of being callous
    That is what they did in Dallas

    I can’t accept lacklustre play
    That let’s a point just slip away
    A Canuck fan is what I am
    Who knows to praise and when to damn

    And I’ve faith next Tuesday night
    I’ll have no need to be polite

    Chicken Chick

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  9. madwag
    February 27, 2012

    third observation from the end: “third” period?

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  10. TubaNat
    February 27, 2012

    Funnily enough every time I hear Dvorak’s name I’m thinking it should be pronounced like the composer, so I’m just a music geek getting quietly annoyed the whole time…

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    • obituary mambo
      February 27, 2012

      I live in the Czech Republic, so I can tell you that you are correct. And his is far from the only Czech/Slovak name the commentators get wrong. Having said that, the Czech don’t actually expect us to pronounce their players names correctly. I’ve been asked more than once if people in North America think Jagr’s name is pronounced Jogger (as in one who jogs), which is odd considering that’s one of the few names the talking heads get right.

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      • stathead
        February 27, 2012

        Hey, can you publish a short list of how to pronounce the more common Czec/Slovak names in hockey? I never trust those announcers when I see what they do to even the simplest French names. How do you mess up Lapierre? (At least three ways, apparently.)

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        • obituary mambo
          February 29, 2012

          Well, off the top of my head there’s Boston’s captain. The worst is when they say Chair-a; that makes my skin crawl. Ch is its own letter in Slavic languages, so it doesn’t sound like the ‘ch’ in child. It’s more similar to the sound K, but even that isn’t perfect. It’s pretty much the same sound you hear in l’chaim (to life!) or Ahmed — kind of a phlegm-y k. So Kara would be more accurate, but the K needs to come from the back of the throat.

          Then there’s Marek Židlický. I know that’s not what the back of his sweater says, but the accents change the way the name is pronounced. Ž has the same sound as the S in treasure or the J in bonjour, and C sounds like ‘ts’. Zhidlitsky

          The most difficult sound is ř. This sounds like a rolled r combined with the ž above and is heard in Dvořak (as mentioned above) and the common first name Jiří (which is the Czech equivalent of George). Yirrzhii

          I hope that helps. If you have any questions about a specific name, I’ll try to address it.

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          • stathead
            March 2, 2012

            Thanks! Sounds like a tricky language group. I would need a drink to tackle it further but is good to have the reference. No wonder Chara gave up on his team’s nicknames and just wants to be called “Z”.

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            • obituary mambo
              March 2, 2012

              Yeah, it can be a bit of a pill. Slovaks at least make it easier on themselves by not using ř. When I first got here, I lived in the area of Prague known as Břevnov. When I told the taxi driver where I wanted to go he just looked at me in bewilderment. ;) The good thing about the languages is that they’re phonetic, which means that if you know how the letters are supposed to sound, you should be able to say the words without too much difficulty. Grammar is another subject entirely, though. Talk about nightmarish!

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  11. Adrock
    February 27, 2012

    I was asleep for most of this game (it was a real nail biter), but I seem to remember waking up and seeing Booth get called for icing when he dumped the puck in from about 5 feet over the red line. I think it was late in third, just before the other blown icing call. Real life or did I dream it? :P

    Either way, spotty game for the linesmen, not often they get to effect the outcome of a game. Guess they were feeling a little left out.

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  12. Jeremy
    February 27, 2012

    If you would even consider making a joke about Texas not understanding icing, then you clearly forgot the second game the nucks played in Dallas last year. I drove to that game from about 70 miles north and the roads were frozen over every single inch of the way to downtown.

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