The Canucks closed out their two-game scrimmage series Thursday night at Rogers Arena, and once again, we were unable to be there. On Wednesday night, we turned things over to award-winning Vancouver Sun columnist Cam Cole, who shared his scattered but kind of awesome notes with us on this very blog. Smartly, however, he turned down a repeat appearance. After all, blog once, and you’re a highly-respect journalist doing the underlings a favour. Blog twice and you’re a blogger. There is no greater shame.
Fortunately, reader and longtime Bulie Dan Donkers volunteered to fill in for him. Granted, Donkers hasn’t won two George Gross awards, but the self-described “freckled hurricane” still managed to meet our stringent criteria: not asking for money. Thus, we turn things over to Mr. Donkers for a few notes on last night’s game, which saw Mason Raymond lead Team Grey to a 3-0 win.
BY DAN DONKERS
Hello, my name is Dan Donkers. I’m a Masters’ student, Canuck fan, and lifelong Bulie (since the blog’s creation, anyway). Today I signed up to go to the Canucks scrimmage, and happened to mention to PITB that I could take some notes and they said yes. I watched this scrimmage. And here are some notes.
- The game was general admission, which means we were able to get seats about 5 rows up from the glass behind the Team Blue goal. Lower bowl! I felt so important. I wanted to pull out my phone and miss the entire first period making a business call. Then I remembered I have no business.
- Slightly different setup this time: 12 minute first period, 13 minute second, 15 minute third. Still a shootout no matter what. Penalties were still 1 minute.
- After their double loss last night, the grays came out charging like it was Gettysburg. And, unlike Gettysburg, they managed to overwhelm the Blues early on. Also unlike Gettysburg: no one was fighting for their right to keep owning slaves.
- Mason Raymond was hit hard early by Andrew Alberts, a collision clearly awoke evil Mason Raymond. He immediately started an unstoppable rampage, scoring every goal in the game. Yes, you read that right. Mason Raymond scored every goal in the game. Unfortunately, he scored them all on Luongo, which does nothing to help Luongo’s trade value, so way to screw up as usual, Raymond.
- Raymond was teamed up with Bill Sweat and Jordan Schroeder (although later Zack Kassian replaced Sweatt), and the Blue team defense clearly couldn’t handle their speed. All three goals came on beautiful passing on the rush. Raymond appeared to have a little chemistry with Schroeder, which might give Alain Vigneault something to think about.
- On Raymond’s second goal, Alex Edler took a page right out of my own ball hockey playbook: Never block a shot. It’s how you keep your shins intact for other important things, such as disco dancing.
- There was Sedinery, to be sure, but it hasn’t reached the level of “wizardous“ quite yet. It’ll get there. It was interesting having two lefties in Garrison and Edler on the point for the twins. Harrison and Daniel have written about Edler’s right side, so I don’t need to elaborate, but if I were to judge from this game, I would say “offense good, defense bad.”
- While Raymond might have stolen the show, Cory Schneider was excellent, stopping 33 shots. There was one point in the third where the Sedins and Burrows were pressing. They had two or three good chances, but Schneider shut them down.
- The shootout was all Gray as well. After Lapierre scored Gray’s third goal in a row on Luongo, a fan in front of me turned to me and said, “That’s why he’s our backup.” Vancouver fan, thy name is Fickle.
- Zack Kassian is so big! And his hands are so soft! He needs a nickname. Did we ever decide on a nickname for him? How about Softy Bighands? … I’ll show myself out.
- The line of Lapierre, Higgins, and Hansen looked great too. They had some speed, and some slick passing. Of course, I have to keep reminding myself that this is a scrimmage. But judging from yesterday’s notes, I think the boys were playing a little harder today.
- Frank Corrado stood out by not standing out. He played sound defense. Though he’s not staying with the team this year, but he certainly seems to be a bright young star.
- Dan “Community Man” Hamhuis was his usual generous self. He had last shot against Luongo in the shootout. He graciously shot the puck right at Lu, then took about 5 more shots right at his pads. By doing so, he let Luongo save as many shootout shots as Schneider! What a guy. Way better than that jerk Raymond.