I Watched This Game: Canucks vs Dallas Stars, February 15, 2013

If it was a Hollywood movie, this game would have gone very differently. First of all, Henrik’s franchise record-setting point would have come in the dying seconds of overtime, with his record-tying point tying the game with 0.1 seconds left in regulation. Also, the Sedins would look like the guy who played the Winklevoss twins in The Social Network. The Canucks would have won this game against all odds and an important lesson about perseverance would have been learned. Henrik would have been carried off the ice on the shoulders of his teammates, while he was simultaneously carrying the Stanley Cup, because it would have been game seven of the Finals.

Alas, Hollywood doesn’t make movies about freakishly consistent Swedish twins who break franchise records for Canadian hockey teams, particularly ones that are not underdogs. No marketability. Since I couldn’t watch a movie with a tear-jerking, inspirational ending, I watched this game.

Canucks 3 – 4 Stars

  • If anyone was worried about Kesler getting back up to game speed, his first shift immediately allayed all concerns. Picking up a pass from Chris Higgins in the neutral zone, he skated straight at the two defencemen in front of them, attempting to go inside-outside on rookie Brenden Dillon, forcing him to take an interference penalty. It was vintage Kesler; Trevor Linden immediately showed up on the video board in Rogers’ Arena to announce that he was into Kesler before it was cool.
  • Though the Canucks’ powerplay went 0-for-3, it looked far more dangerous with Kesler, who made several nice passes and called for one-timers with confidence. On the second powerplay of the game, he rang a shot off the post, then another off Kari Lehtonen’s mask. His line with Higgins and Zack “Clear the Track” Kassian were strong along the boards and kept the puck largely in the offensive zone. Kesler finished with a team-high 7 shot attempts, was credited with 4 hits, blocked 3 shots, and finished 9-for-12 in the faceoff circle. It was the greatest return to action since Superman was put on the cover of Action Comics #7.
  • The only other Canuck to finish above 50% in the faceoff circle was Jordan Schroeder, who went 7-for-11. His finest moment came when he managed to knock Lehtonen’s stick out of his hand with the force of his wristshot. Somehow, Lehtonen was injured on the play and left the game, forcing Richard Bachman to replace him. Regrettably, Bachman is an actual goalie and not a pseudonym for Stephen King, because I have a feeling the Canucks could have scored a lot more goals on the 65-year-old author.
  • I thought Schroeder’s line with Mason Raymond and Jannik Hansen played very well and they got robbed of a goal late in the first period, when Raymond was ruled to have made incidental contact with Bachman, preventing him from making the save. It was a terrible call, as the puck was already heading into the net before Raymond touched the goaltender, but that call cannot be overturned by video review. It’s too bad, as Schroeder made a beautiful play in the neutral zone to turn the puck over and Hansen’s pass to Raymond was superb, but the play was erased…from existence! Great Scott!
  • The non-goal became even more painful when Reilly Smith made it 1-0 for the Stars just 11 seconds later, scoring an ugly goal short side on Schneider from the wing. It was the Biff Tannen Museum of goals.
  • How can I say this without sounding controversial? Cory Schneider…needed to be better. While he made a number of fantastic saves, including a superb toe save on Brendan Morrow in the third period that put me on the IR with a lower-body injury just looking at it, the first two goals he gave up were absolute stinkers, with the second coming when he couldn’t hang on to a fluttering wrist shot from the point. Schneider owned up to it post-game, saying, “I pretty much gave them those first two goals. You’re not going to win many games…when you spot the other team two goals.”
  • Henrik’s record-tying point was due to some hard work behind the net against two Stars’ defenders. Unfortunately for the Stars, having two defenders on Henrik meant they had none on Daniel, and Henrik managed to work the puck to his brother, who banked it off the scrambling Bachman to tie the game.
  • Two different Canucks got their first point of the season on the go-ahead goal by Chris Higgins: Kesler and Dale Weise. The only difference is that Kesler was playing his first game of the season and Weise was playing his thirteenth. Weise actually made a very nice play on the goal, delaying long enough to draw the defenders towards him, giving Higgins plenty of room to cut across and shoot, catching a fortunate deflection off Stephan Robidas’ stick. It was especially nice for Weise, whose parents flew in from Winnipeg to attend the game. They were likely the only two people in the stands who gave Weise, rather than Henrik, a standing ovation.
  • Speaking of that standing ovation, the assist that broke Naslund’s franchise record was appropriately excellent, as Henrik threaded a pass cross-ice to Alex Burrows with four Stars players in close vicinity. Burrows made no mistake, but Bachman did, initially playing the pass as if it was going to Daniel Sedin in the middle of the ice, giving him no chance to recover and stop Burrows. The pass itself was sublime, but the decision by Daniel to let it pass under his stick was almost as impressive. That’s right, the Sedins are so wizardous that some of their best plays are when they don’t touch the puck.
  • The standing ovation from the Rogers’ Arena crowd: awesome. The decision by Rogers Sportsnet to cut to commercial in the middle of said ovation: soul-crushing. It totally killed the vibe, unlike Soul Coughing, who were all about keeping the vibe grooving.
  • This game was already set to be an unforgettable one, when the Canucks and Stars evidently decided that they didn’t like each other all that much. Three separate fights occurred on three consecutive faceoffs, with Aaron “Rat Burger” Volpatti kicking things off by taking apart Ryan Garbutt. That fight could have been conceivably in response to Garbutt’s massive hit on Burrows, but there was no similar explanation for why Maxim Lapierre dropped the gloves with Vernon Fiddler on the subsequent faceoff and Dale Weise did the same with Eric Nystrom immediately after. That meant the entire 4th line for both teams got a head start on the second intermission, so they could get back to their game of Canasta.
  • Unfortunately, Weise was evidently a little slow getting his fight started, allowing 2 seconds to tick off the clock. Otherwise, the gamesheet would have shown three fights in three seconds, with each fight appearing to last about as long as Batman’s fight with Guy Gardner.
  • John Shorthouse: Here’s our handsome friend, Murph. Dan Murphy: Oh ho ho, John. Adorable.
  • I was initially glad to see Antoine Roussel, who was one of my favourite invitees at the Canucks’ 2011 training camp. I was less glad to see him score the tying goal for the Stars, banging in a bouncing puck in the crease. Roussel was poorly played by Higgins, who left him in front of the net to check Cody Eakin as Alex Edler scrambled to recover from a defensive miscue in the neutral zone.
  • The gamewinner was scored by Surrey native Brenden Dillon in his first game in Vancouver, so that’s nice. Unfortunately, Dillon plays for the Stars, which isn’t so nice. Also not nice? Kassian’s defensive play on that goal, as he completely lost sight of Dillon, allowing the defenceman to step up from the blueline and score. I guarantee that Kassian was sitting on the bench for the final three minutes of the game, desperately willing Henrik to complete the storybook ending by scoring the game-tying goal, but it was not to be.
  • Aaron Rome was completely invisible, which is the highest compliment I can possibly pay him.
Tags: , , , , , ,

27 comments

  1. Shade of Blue
    February 16, 2013

    *Raymond was robbed! Different game if that goal had (correctly) stood.
    *Kesler’s back! Nothing to make you appreciate how important he is to the team like watching him play tonight. The power play didn’t click but it will, and often, with him back in the lineup.
    *Props to Ballard for a solid game. Not often that he’s our best defenseman, but he probably was tonight.
    *i stood up in my living room and clapped when Henrik moved ahead of Nazzy on the team’s all time scoring list. It has been a treat to watch him and his brother play for the Canucks.
    *Tonight’s game was so much more entertaining than the last one against Minnesota. How do they get away with charging the same price for all of the games?
    *The outcome wasn’t what we were hoping for, but the team looked good with Kes back. I’m more optimistic about their chances going forward, despite the loss.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +24 (from 28 votes)
    • Angry Canadian
      February 16, 2013

      Interesting thinking around your comment about the admission prices. Perhaps the Canucks should consider making it free to get in…but charge patrons to get out. Lose to Calgary…half price of normal tickets…beat the crap out of Chicago…charge 2 or 3x. Just a thought.

      I didn’t stand up and clap like you did when Henrik got his point(s)…but it just made me angry ( (as usual) that trolls would still call H & D “sisters”. Tougher and more talented than most on their teams, that’s fer damn sure. Makes me very grateful that they play for the Canucks. I reckon that if a S****** C** (maybe the mention of it is like a shutout, that is, talk about it and it doesn’t happen, who knows) is in the cards, they’re guaranteed HOFs.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +1 (from 13 votes)
      • the olde coot
        February 16, 2013

        To quote the poet Thomas Gray
        “They came to mock … but stayed to pray”

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: 0 (from 4 votes)
        • the olde coote
          February 16, 2013

          Which was a response to a nasty comment since removed.

          VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
          Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
          • Brent
            February 16, 2013

            they are censoring comments? Really!?

            VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
            Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
            • Daniel Wagner
              February 17, 2013

              We occasionally remove some comments that are offensive and ban commenters that continually do so.

              VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
              Rating: +4 (from 14 votes)
              • shoes
                February 17, 2013

                And good for you Daniel….this is one of the better sites and only gets invaded by brain dead mullet headed fans of other teams on occasion. :)

                VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
                Rating: 0 (from 12 votes)
              • shoes
                February 17, 2013

                The twins have to be watched continuously to be truly appreciated, consistency and all.

                I will never forgive Mike (child-beatin’) Milbury for his campaign against them in the Boston series. There is no doubt in my mind it worked with at least some of the officials. See Dan O’hallaran for further info.

                As far as fans calling them “sisters”…..that is mainly because the guy typing the insult is a very tough, very cool very secluded in his moms basement keyboard cowboy who types more than he watches, when it comes to hockey. Usually he has a mullet and calls Alberta, Illinois, or Mass, home.

                VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
                Rating: +2 (from 10 votes)
              • Brent
                February 17, 2013

                Well, I am not a big fan of censorship. I can understand it if there is no contribution to the discussion and the comments are simply unfounded negative diatribe. But I assume that just disagreeing with the general Bulisnation pro-Canuks players and management would not be enough get comments deleted? I know there are some regular commenters on the CBC site that I have selected “hidden comments” because they are completely negative and not based on reality.

                VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
                Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
              • Daniel Wagner
                February 17, 2013

                Disagreement is fine. Insults and incessant trolling are not. Disagreement leads to discussion. Insults and trolling lead to aggravation. I make no apologies for ensuring that PITB’s comment section doesn’t devolve into a post-apocalyptic wasteland like you might see elsewhere.

                You’ll see plenty of comments on PITB that disagree with us. We don’t delete those. Some comments get deleted simply because they’re from commenters that have already been banned coming back under different names, stopping a problem before it starts.

                VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
                Rating: +6 (from 8 votes)
              • Harrison Mooney
                February 17, 2013

                Like Daniel said. We’d never,ever remove a comment just because someone disagreed with us. No issue with that whatsoever. We’re not always right.

                General dickery just to be a jerk, on the other hand? That’ll get you banned. And even then, only after you’ve been doing it awhile and you start in with offensive personal attacks.

                VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
                Rating: +4 (from 6 votes)
              • Brent
                February 18, 2013

                Thanks for the clarification. This sounds fine to me. Sorry if the original e-mail sounded somewhat accusatory. I like the comments here, like you said, this site is much more enjoyable that others. And yes, I remember many commenters not liking the Cody trade and your support of it, there was no deletion there.

                VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
                Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  2. akidd
    February 16, 2013

    it was one of those jinxed games. that’s the only way to splain it.

    credit to the stars for not giving up but voodoo gets first star this game.

    and on the plus side for kassian, that pass to kesler in the slot was a beaut. kes was so surprised at the quality service he did a stutter-step/double-clutch and a goal was not to be. kesler will adjust. it’s not like he wasn’t trying….

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +11 (from 11 votes)
  3. The Bookie
    February 16, 2013

    This was our ‘Nashville game’. See Dec. 1st 2011.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
    • Nee
      February 16, 2013

      I was at that game. That was more nuts though. Both goalies on BOTH teams were used, because both starters got pulled. High scoring game. Good times.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  4. John Andress
    February 16, 2013

    I am not blaming them for the loss {the Canucks managed that on their own) but the referees had an abysmal outing. Just saying. Sportsnet really dropped the ball on Henrik Sedin’s record breaking assist too.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +12 (from 16 votes)
    • John Andress
      February 16, 2013

      Excuse my mistake. I now realize that last night’s game was broadcast by Sportsnet. I suppose that I am just so pissed off with TSN’s shoddy treatment of Canuck’s broadcasts that I jumped the gun by criticizing them for something that they weren’t even involved in. That makes my contempt for TSN no less valid but I do apologize for being incorrect on this specific occasion.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: -1 (from 5 votes)
      • John Andress
        February 16, 2013

        God, I am having a bad morning! The above apology was intended as a comment on another site.

        I think I will just go back to bed for a while. Sorry.

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: +6 (from 12 votes)
  5. Andre
    February 16, 2013

    Is no on going to talk about the “not-called penalty” when Hansen was tripped carrying the puck late in the third? Or am I blind?

    That non-call cost us the game, right there.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +11 (from 13 votes)
  6. Not Panicked
    February 16, 2013

    Not worried about the Canucks as the mistakes in the game were fairly fixable things (not to mention the bad luck on some calls they had/line-up changes etc)… everyone knows Wagner has a mancrush on Luongo so his criticism of Schneider does indeed sound controversial, but in this game it is on the mark, he needed to be better, still, too early to be concerned.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +4 (from 8 votes)
  7. jenny wren
    February 16, 2013

    Bieksa gives the puck away
    But Cory Schneider saves the day
    Bieksa then deflects the puck
    Past Cory Schneider curse the luck
    But otherwise the Nucks were great
    (It’s really nice than Kesler’s back
    He looked fine with Chris and Zach
    As did Burrows with the twins
    So much a part of recent wins
    And Schroeder played especially well
    His place is in the NHL)
    I felt I’d only have to wait

    The first from Dank from brother Hank
    Then Chris with Weise and Kess to thank
    When Burr converts a perfect pass
    The knowing fans display their class
    A standing O to hear and see
    (With his assist he points has more
    Than any Nuck from days of yore
    The scoring was just half the story
    The other one our keeper Cory
    Although he let a late one in
    He made the saves we’d need to win)
    In praise of number thirty-three

    Had I not watched I’d still have heard
    Vancouver lost it in the third

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +2 (from 12 votes)
  8. Warpstone
    February 16, 2013

    If Luongo had given up those two goals, you can bet he wouldn’t bet he wouldn’t enjoy the same pass on the night that Schneider is getting.

    The Canucks are not putting teams away under a mountain of PP goals anymore. If our goalies whiff on a couple, that’s the game.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +12 (from 12 votes)
  9. chicken chick
    February 16, 2013

    Oh WTF how can this be
    A post without a simile

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  10. Nee
    February 16, 2013

    Bummed we lost, but I’m finding it hard to be all that unhappy after Henrik broke the record and the crowd’s response.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +5 (from 7 votes)
  11. Zach Morris
    February 16, 2013

    It seems after a game the proponents of the losing side disappear, and the champions of whichever side won have a party.
    For example, after Schneider’s below par game last night, anti-Schneider fans on CDC and TSN saying that Luongo should always have been the starter (Schneider, of course, being only an average goalie this whole time without the Canucks management realising) got all the love.

    Next time Schneider pitches a shutout it will be reversed.
    Looking forward to a bounceback game by both Schneider and the Canucks!

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +2 (from 6 votes)
  12. TeeJay
    February 16, 2013

    Or Maybe it’s the intro song,CHANGE THE S INTRO SONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  13. Brent
    February 16, 2013

    Anyone else notice that the high stick against Ballard was actually Hendrik’s stick. Sure it was driven into him by the Dallas player, but I think he (the Dallas player) had a right to be annoyed about that penalty. There were a bunch of missed calls on both sides.

    The three fights were a little strange. I think even some of the Canucks though so, looked like Lou and Bieksa were questioning what was going on when the camera cut to the bench after the Weise fight.

    Agree Scheider didn’t play up to snuff. I suspect the magic coin will be in Lou’s favour for next game, then we will have to see what the Chicago game brings.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)