Tuesday night would have been the seventh game of the Canucks’s 2012-13 season, and already their fifth on the road and their fourth road game in six nights. It would have been the second night of a back-to-back after a tilt versus the Detroit Red Wings on Monday. It would have been against a Pittsburgh Penguins team represented by both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin for the first time since November 17, 2010, an offensive powerhouse that the roadworn and weary Canucks would have had to face without Jason Garrison, Alex Edler or Ryan Kesler, who are all still injured. That’s one third of their defence and their best defensive centre out of the lineup for a matchup with Crosby and Malkin.
In short, the Canucks probably would have lost. But, because of the lockout, they didn’t lose, because there was no game. Thanks for looking out for us, lockout! Because of you, I didn’t watch this game.
Canucks 0 – 0 Penguins
No highlights, obviously, so instead you get the pinnacle of comedy, which is Tig Notaro pushing a stool.
I didn’t really look too much at the Canucks’ schedule until now, but seriously, what a terrible day to face the Pittsburgh Penguins. If it weren’t for the fact that we see Sidney Crosby and company so rarely, I’d say this is the first game Vancouver fans should be glad did not take place. We might have missed the first blowout of the year, which, now that I’ve written it, sounds like a sale at United Furniture Warehouse.
On the flipside, I’m a little disappointed I’m writing about a game that didn’t happen, rather than the first blowout of what would probably have been the Cory Schneider era. Supposing Roberto Luongo had been traded by now, either this is Schneider’s start, and fans have to process the notion that even he is capable of being blown out, or it’s Lack’s start, and fans begin to question Lack’s NHL readiness. I guarantee you at least a few people even question whether we should have traded Roberto Luongo at all when he would have been a better backup than Lack. That’s right, someone out there would have been defending the idea of a $5 million backup Tuesday night, and we missed it. Dammit, dammit, dammit.
As much as I don’t miss irrational fan freakouts in the first month of the season, I guess it turns out I sort of do. I miss you, blanched and panic-stricken masses. I define myself in opposition to your cries. It’s like existential sonar, and in the silence of this lockout, I can no longer remember who I am.
Unlike the Canucks, who have only lost Dale Weise to the allure of the Dutch league, the Penguins have sent Evgeni Malkin, Derek Engelland, and Dustin Jeffrey to Europe. Jeffrey’s an interesting case. He’s currently in Croatia, playing for Medvescak Zagreb of the Austrian hockey league. But here’s where it gets interesting: Jeffrey originally agreed to sign with… the Destil Trappers, Dale Weise’s current haunt. The club even giddily announced the signing, knowing the acquisition of an actual NHLer would garner them local and national media attention. (Best part of that Google translated document: it describes Jeffrey as a “a big, strong two-way cake”.) Unfortunately, Jeffrey changed his mind before boarding the plane when two friends convinced him to head to Zagreb, leaving the Trappers an NHLer short of their marketing plan and forcing them to disappoint the fans they had promised an NHLer. ”I was in disbelief,” the Trappers’ manager said, before adding that finding “a replacement player” as soon as possible was priority number one. It didn’t take long. Later that day, they announced the signing of Dale Weise.
Tuesday also would have been the first of many times this season we’d have heard the term “potential Stanley Cup matchup” (unless some idiot really overrates the Carolina Hurricanes). Guarantee you someone would have said it in setting this one up.
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