I Watched This Game: Canucks at Anaheim Ducks, January 25, 2013

The Ducks spoiled the Canucks’ home opener and Schneider’s first start as the Canucks’ new number one goaltender, thumping them 7-3. It caused endless bellyaching in Vancouver and reignited the goalie controversy, so it was only fair that the Canucks return the favour, spoiling the Ducks’ home opener.

I pointed out earlier today that it would be foolish to panic this early in the season, particularly because the Canucks had the possibility of moving up to first in the Northwest Division with a win and a Minnesota Wild loss. 10 hours later, the Canucks are first in the Northwest Division and Cory Schneider has a shutout to his credit. Panic over. Goalie controversy over.

At least until Sunday, when the Canucks could conceivably drop to fourth in the division, Schneider could give up a soft goal or two, and we’ll be back where we started. Sigh. I watched this game.

Canucks 5 – 0 Ducks

  • The Ducks absolutely dominated the Canucks in the first period, forcing Cory Schneider to make a number of tough saves. In fact, the Ducks were the better team at even-strength all game, creating quality chances throughout. Fortunately, Schneider was unreal for the shutout, making like the Phantom of the Opera and pulling out all the stops.
  • The Canucks were out-shot and out-chanced at even-strength, so it’s good that only about 45 minutes of the game were played that way. The Ducks fans in the building were a tad upset with the officiating that gave 9 powerplays to the Canucks and just 2 to the Ducks. Unlike Taco Bell, they had legitimate beef, as there were a couple weak calls against the Ducks, but beyond those, the Ducks were just completely undisciplined.
  • The least-disciplined of them all was Corey Perry, who took a borderline, un-penalized hit from Alex Edler and turned it into a game-long temper tantrum. First he left his feet on a retributive hit on Edler, earning a charging minor. He then started shoving Edler around like he was trying to goad the sleepy Swede into a fight, earning a roughing minor. Later, he went after Jannik Hansen, then put Keith Ballard in a headlock before dropping the gloves and punching Ballard repeatedly before he even knew he was in a fight. With Perry’s complete lack of discipline, I worry that his kids will become spoiled brats.
  • The best part about the sequence is that the Ducks fans in attendance started booing Edler whenever he touched the puck. Of all the players I thought might get booed in an opponents arena, Edler was the least likely one. I find it almost impossible to believe that anyone could ever dislike the guy. He’s the most gentle-natured player in the league. I mean, he had a game-high 5 hits, but he was really polite and congenial when he was destroying people.
  • Aaron “Rat Burger” Volpatti played a pretty eventful 8 minutes in this game, starting with rudely interrupting John Shorthouse as he was congratulating the absent Manny Malhotra on the birth of his third child with a fight against Matt “Bela Lugosi” Beleskey. The two squared off in an old-school bout as neither made much effort to either avoid or block any punches. Volpatti appeared to get the better of Beleskey, dropping him to his knees, but both got in some good shots, mainly because neither avoided or blocked punches. The two were like British highwaymen, just standing and delivering.
  • Volpatti followed up his fight by scoring the Canucks’ third goal of the game after some great work by Jannik Hansen and Andrew Ebbett. Volpatti did his part by showing good patience and not shooting immediately; instead, he cut left into the slot, forcing Hiller to move side-to-side, and fired a wrist shot five-hole. It was only his third NHL goal, but for once he actually looked like an NHL player. He managed to convince Vigneault as well, as he got some powerplay time at the end to try to get him a Gordie Howe Hattrick.
  • Mason Raymond had a fantastic game from start to finish. During a first period powerplay, he went hard to the net and got involved in a scrum in the crease, drawing a penalty as Ryan Getzlaf cross-checked him in the face. After the Canucks scored on the ensuing 5-on-3, Raymond scored the Canucks’ second goal after a Bryan Allen interference penalty, batting in his own rebound from a great feed from Alex Burrows. The goal was a carbon copy of Nail Yakupov’s game-tying goal on Thursday, but Raymond regrettably didn’t emulate his knee-slide celebration.
  • Daniel Sedin opened the scoring on the 5-on-3, finishing off a beautiful pass from Henrik Sedin. Henrik slid the puck under Francois Beauchemin’s leg and through the crease to Daniel on the other side, who made no mistake. By their standards, however, this wasn’t really Wizardous Sedinerie. At best, you could call it Hedge Wizardous Sedinerie.
  • When Bryan Allen nailed Jannik Hansen with a blindside hit, Alex Burrows went to his defence, earning a roughing call. It was all a ploy, however, to get a breakaway out of the box, as Higgins set him up nicely, forcing Luca Sbisa to hook him and concede the penalty shot. Burrows went to his go-to move, but bobbled the puck on the way in, ending up too close to Hiller to pull it off. Perhaps his move should be re-named to the Crane Kick: “if do right, no can defense.” Burrows did not do right.
  • Zack “Frequently Asked Questions” Kassian had a solid game, finishing with 3 hits and 2 shots. He even got some time on the powerplay, though, to be fair, literally everyone except Roberto Luongo got some powerplay time in this game. During one of those powerplays, Kassian finished off some legitimate Wizardous Sedinerie for the Canucks’ fourth goal of the game. Henrik’s blind, backhand pass through his own legs was nice enough, but Daniel’s heel-to-toe pass around Toni Lydman might have been even better. It wasn’t just a tap-in for Kassian, however, as from a tough angle he tucked the puck right under the bar like it was a trusty shotgun.
  • Mason Raymond scored his second goal of the game late in the third period. More importantly, it was Jordan Schroeder’s first NHL point. Like in overtime against the Oilers, the two speedsters were put together 4-on-4 and it paid off. After Teemu Selanne hit the post at one end, Schroeder sped up the wing and sent a pretty cross-ice saucer pass to Raymond, who fired the puck under Hiller’s left arm, which John Garret called the 14-hole. Is that a thing? I’m pretty sure you’re thinking of golf, John.
  • Schroeder once again had a solid game and drastically improved on his poor faceoff numbers against the Oilers. He finished 11-for-19, taking the second most faceoffs behind Henrik Sedin. Vigneault showed the trust he had in the rookie, sending him out for 8 defensive zone faceoffs, highest on the team, and Schroeder managed to win 5 of them. This, more than the assist, is what will help Schroeder stick with the Canucks all season.
  • Andrew Ebbett had a solid night in the faceoff circle as well, which is appropriate, as he was drawing in for the newly-babied Malhotra. He went 6-for-9, including 3-for-5 in the defensive zone. Oddly enough, he had the most trouble against Teemu Selanne, who he used to skate on a line with back when he was with the Anaheim Ducks. I suspect it’s because he had an existential crisis every time he saw Selanne. Wait, he was on the verge of retirement when I was a rookie. Why does he look 20 years old and I look 50?
  • Once the game was out of reach, Vigneault sent out a rag-tag bunch of misfits on the powerplay. The only regular was Raymond, who was aiming for a hattrick. With him came Volpatti and Maxim Lapierre, with Chris Tanev and Keith Ballard on the points. Hilariously, the closest they got to scoring was off a Chris Tanev one-timer, a phrase that has never before been typed in the history of man.
Tags: , , , , , ,

25 comments

  1. Doop
    January 26, 2013

    Corey Perry really was a wiener tonight.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +26 (from 28 votes)
  2. peanutflower
    January 26, 2013

    He was a wiener times two. Times three. A really big wiener. But seriously, when did “hattrick” become one word? I don’t even know how to say that. That’s a Russell Peters word.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +13 (from 13 votes)
    • The Bookie
      January 26, 2013

      You have to pronounce it as though you’re sneezing.

      Hattrick!
      Gezundheit!

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +13 (from 15 votes)
  3. sarah
    January 26, 2013

    I was so certain Tanev was going to get his first goal there towards the end. Hope that happens for him soon. Kid played a solid game.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +26 (from 26 votes)
  4. TestingTesting
    January 26, 2013

    This game was hilar, due in large part to the man with ‘shrunken head syndrome’. The lockout has done many things to man, but forgetting about deadly Sedin wizardry on the PP was the biggest one. This games to you Perry, lest we never forget that you ran away from Kassian like a scared school boy.

    Also, AV trusting Schroeder out there is probably the biggest surprise for me. If you will all remember, Hodgson got Manny and/or Lappy on his wing for the first 15+ games in his rookie yr w/ Nucks. They took most his faceoffs and helped him defensively. AV gave him a heavy dose of sheltered minutes and o-zone starts. Where as Schroeder took his own faceoffs – in the defensive zone of all places – and played against some tough competition. What’s even funnier, is that he did it so well. Normally, young centres get killed in the face off circle and are highly sheltered. Nice to see young Schroeder succeed. Him and Raymond have some sick chemistry.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +33 (from 33 votes)
    • peanutflower
      January 26, 2013

      it’s all about the dad, right?

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
    • Andre
      January 26, 2013

      I totally agree with you. It is uncharacteristic of AV to play both Kassian and Shroeder as much as they do, since they’re both “unproven players” in his eyes.

      Maybe he’s just taking his team to the salon for a rejuvenating facelift?

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
      • Daniel Wagner
        January 26, 2013

        I think it’s because both have shown an ability to play in the defensive zone. AV has very little patience for any player who is weak in their own end, but both Kassian and Schroeder have been good in that area of their game.

        VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: +19 (from 19 votes)
  5. The Bookie
    January 26, 2013

    Zack “Frequently Asked Questions” Kassian

    Best.Nickname.Ever.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +7 (from 7 votes)
  6. best behaviour
    January 26, 2013

    How about a shout out for Luongo, who scavenged the game puck as a souvenir of the shutout for Schneider?

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +48 (from 48 votes)
  7. Jacob
    January 26, 2013

    I think this game clearly proves that the Canucks’ biggest problem somehow is Manny Malhotra. I don’t want to hear anything about “one game is not an adequate sample size”. I won’t rest until he’s drummed out of town on the first escape goat East.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: -4 (from 36 votes)
    • Daniel Wagner
      January 26, 2013

      Trade him! Buy him out! Send him to the Wolves!

      VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +9 (from 11 votes)
    • Brent
      January 27, 2013

      Malhotra misses game because of the birth of his son. Headline reads:

      Malhotra doesn’t care about the Canucks! Misses game because of some lame family commitment. Trade him.

      I mean with that new rule change he won’t win as many faceoffs because he can’t pull the puck back with his hand. Gotta trade him now before the other owners realize it.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  8. akidd
    January 26, 2013

    fun game! the ducks sure are more fun to watch since boudreau took over. i’m officially moving them from my “mildly entertaining” list to my “quite entertaining indeed” list. there’s some skill and speed on that team and its nice to see boudreau set it free. thanks, washington. your loss, eastern conference.

    of course with all that new space plus the longtime,ingrained typical-duck discsipline problems equals 5-0 canucks. nice. hiller would probably like two back but still…a very nice game by the canucks and ducks. hockey is purty.

    the second line is certainly fun to watch. go raymond. and edler did get away with one there imho. more importantly he played a very improved all-around game.

    cheers to schneider’s first shutout as a starter. it was a nice moment (and would make a helluva photo)when lou gave him the puck at the end. he put it right in his glove with genuine affection it seemed. that they’re such good friends is pretty neat.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +33 (from 33 votes)
    • TeeJay
      January 26, 2013

      I wo’nt be suprised if Schneider would call Luongo his difference maker(mentor) as it is Grant Fuhr for Luongo.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +8 (from 8 votes)
  9. jenny wren
    January 26, 2013

    I

    Volpatti holds back his right,
    A dandy fight on Friday night.
    Out shot early seven-two,
    Canucks’ shots not getting through.
    From Henrik on a power play
    Daniel makes the ducklings pay.
    Re these three things you might agree:
    Peppermint’s class was nice to see,
    Our team seemed weaker on the “D”,
    And you must score when five on three.

    II

    A second goal by Mason Ray,
    This too on a power play.
    So once again a two goal lead -
    Things could go bad you must concede:
    Twice in the very recent past
    It was a lead that did not last.
    But as we see when five on four
    The ugly ducklings cannot score,
    And who just did this very now?
    He’s two-thirds of a Gordie Howe!

    III

    Cory Schneider’s standing tall:
    Twenty shots and stopped them all,
    And if we lose ’twill be a shame
    With everyone to share the blame,
    Which will not be as we’ve one more
    As Mau Mau Kass pots number four.
    The final score is five to none
    In the first game we’ve really won.
    ‘Twas just a nifty Friday night,
    When even Ebbet looked alright!

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +13 (from 19 votes)
  10. obituary mambo
    January 26, 2013

    How did the Canucks know I wanted a Schneider shutout for my birthday? #awesomegift

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +14 (from 14 votes)
  11. Flippin the Pool
    January 26, 2013

    Didn’t get a chance to watch the game last night, but I just finished watching the highlight package and I have to say that was some beautiful passing on 4 of the 5 Canucks goals last night. H. Sedin’s passes to set up Daniel’s goal and Kassian’s goal were particularily dirty. Passing like that – especially on the PP – makes me a very happy Canuck fan.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +12 (from 12 votes)
  12. Zach Morris
    January 26, 2013

    Mason Raymond, mild-mannered citizen, had his back broken by the vile Boston Bruins. He returned with a chip on his shoulder and was hated by the people who had once cheered him on.
    Zack Kassian, the young hero, would always be compared to his predecessor, whose clutchy-yet-sheltered goals were sorely missed when the city fell victim to the rival gang The LA Kings. Kassian was given up by the fans.
    Cory Schneider, long hailed as the next big thing in Vancouver, was not a superhero in his first game. He struggled to balance his personal life with the demands of being a superhero, and was given up on by the city, but a nine-year-old boy told him that the city needed Schneiderman.

    Ramond rises.
    Kassian rumbles.
    Schneider returns.
    Vancouver is…the city of redemption.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +23 (from 23 votes)
  13. Cathylu
    January 26, 2013

    Good win for the Canucks, great IWTG. You are right about the Ducks fans; they were extremely pissed at the refs. It was hard for me to tell if the calls were fair or not since in the arena you don’t always get a replay on the Jumbotron. But I could see that Corey Perry was REALLY mad when he was in the box. It would have been a perfect night if the jerk sitting behind me wouldn’t have spent the whole game explaining to his girlfriend how sucky the Canucks are. (Sorry, I know – bad grammar – and sucky probably isn’t even a real word.)

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +15 (from 15 votes)
    • Mel
      January 26, 2013

      Don’t worry, if she had any sense she was thinking ” You’re an idiot. If they’re so bad, why are they beating us like a drum. Hmm, I wonder if the guy I met at the bar the other night is single.”

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +17 (from 19 votes)
  14. Brian
    January 26, 2013

    Great IWTG as always! Keep up the great work!

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  15. Snepsts
    January 26, 2013

    The only thing this article is missing is the cliche “bodes well”. The game bodes well. All the implications are there for a “new look” Canucks with Ray-Ray back and Kassian sorta being god-like, if you can call a guy who looks exactly like a Little Archie bully “god-like”.

    The one guy I can’t figure out is Higgins. I feel like he wasn’t even there last night. Hansen has his typical bad luck, and Malhotra is clearly ready for the Fin suit, but where is Higgins? Is he playing well? Is he getting minutes? It seems like he isn’t mentioned during PBP action and no one is talking about him. I can’t even remember what number he is.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 5 votes)
    • dougster
      January 27, 2013

      Hey Malhotra wasn’t even playing! At home with his new baby… I was impressed with way Shroeder handled the d-zone faceoffs… we barely missed Manny. But wazzup PITB? Where is the news about today’s game with the Sharks?? We have some making up to do!! :)

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  16. Neil B
    January 28, 2013

    Amazed that you missed this, DW. Playing 18 holes on a 9-hole course, the 14th hole is the 5 hole, all over again.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)