There was a centenarian in the crowd Sunday night, and before you picture a Roman or a man with a horse for a butt, I remind you that a centenarian is someone that’s been alive for a century. Yes, 101-year-old Herb Dawe was in attendance at Rogers Arena, taking in his first ever Canucks game.
At first this made me smile. But I kept thinking about it as the game continued. I thought about it as the Canucks jumped out to an early lead, squandered it on two separate occasions, pressed beautifully in the third then gave up a goal against the run of the play, wasted two powerplay opportunities, scored the game-tying goal, then lost the game in a shootout. It was all very stressful and in the end, disappointing.
Dawe has lived a Canuck-free life for a century, and after a game like this one, I hypothesize that this is probably why Dawe has lived for a century. I’m pretty sure I lost years off my life when I watched this game.
Canucks 3 – 4 Blues (SO)
Early in the first period, Ryan Kesler was hit in the ankle with a puck. He left the ice in visible pain. For a moment, I thought maybe the Canucks had been dealt the worst luck imaginable. Could Kesler really miss more time with another injury after only one game back in the lineup? But then I remembered that it’s Ryan Kesler, who once played an entire Stanley Cup Final series even though his lower-body had become detached from his upper-body like a Ken doll in the hands of a brat. No way he was going out again. I guarantee you, if there was a camera fixed on him as he waited for his next shift, it would have caught him barking “NO. YOU SHUT UP.” at his throbbing ankle.
Good thing he stayed, too, because Kesler scored the game’s first goal. It came on the powerplay, which has looked excellent since he joined it, and certainly looked excellent on this goal. Henrik Sedin began the scoring play, making a perfect dish to Daniel Sedin in the slot. Daniel somehow improved on perfect, feeding Kesler with a quick back-pass so fair and lovely, Kesler got down on one knee to propose to it. (While he was down there, he one-timed it past Jake Allen.)
Considering he had a 12-game head start, it had to be embarrassing for Henrik Sedin when Ryan Kesler score a goal before he did. Thankfully, the Canucks’ captain used his shame as motivation to put the Canucks ahead late in the opening period. Alex Burrows was the facilitator, working a perfect give-and-go with Henrik to finagle the puck past Allen and Barrett Jackman, the last two lines of defence. With the point, Henrik became the leading scorer in franchise history, breaking the record set Friday by past-Henrik.
That’s right: every point Henrik scores from here on out sets a record, which creates time paradoxes as he continually surpasses himself. At some point, he’ll have to go back through history and kill all his past selves just to sort out the timeline. But he’ll have to be careful that he doesn’t inadvertently kill a Daniel, or he’ll erase his twin brother from the future, probably undo a lot of his future record-setting points, and cross over into the dark timeline where his goatee is as black as his heart.
Speaking of evil other selves, Evil Chris Tanev, who made his first appearance on January 30 versus Colorado, showed up briefly in this game. After Vladimir Tarasenko and Keith Ballard got into it at the side of the Canucks’ net, evil Tanev came to his partner’s defence, attacking Tarasenko with a high crosscheck. That’s pretty evil, even for Evil Tanev. I’m wondering if he died a few days back and Ballard buried him in Pet Sematery. They always come back evil when you do that, people. Stop doing that.
That clip is one of my favourite moments in movie history, by the way. Son, how dare you lie about your dog being dead. He’s right here, and he’s not unmistakably evil or anything.
Midway through the second period, David Backes bowled over Roberto Luongo, who was deep in his crease. It’s the sort of thing that usually earns a penalty, but no penalty was called. See, what happened was, the official came over to Backes, and said, “Say, aren’t you David Backes? You can’t do that.” But the crafty Backes lied, “No sir, I’m the puck.” The referee seemed skeptical, but it made a lot of sense. “My mistake, puck,” He said. “All is forgiven,” said the puck, “and call me David.” The two exchanged smiles. “What a nice puck,” the official said, skating away.
Vladimir Sobotka put the Blues ahead eight minutes into the third period, carrying the puck down around the net, then coming out the other side and suddenly, swivelling and wiring one over Roberto Luongo’s shoulder. It was the most unexpected thing I’ve seen a Sobotka do since Ziggy brought that duck to the bar (NSFW).
Thankfully, the Canucks were able to get it back. Late in the third period, on a powerplay, Mason Raymond managed to pounce on a loose puck at the side of the goal and beat Jake Allen to send the game to overtime. Raymond’s really doing a great job of changing his reputation this year. Most Canucks fans know him as the guy that falls down, but not anymore! Actually, wait… yeah, he still fell down on the play.
At 22:49, Ryan Kesler played more minutes than all forwards except Alex Burrows. And that was with AV managing his icetime! If he hadn’t, Kesler would have played sixty-six minutes tonight.
Speaking of Alain Vigneault coaching decisions, Zack Kassian was bumped down to the fourth line tonight, which is the sort of thing that happens when you don’t play very well. I look forward to fans being upset with AV for not ignoring this fact and giving Kassian all the icetime, because they like him now.
Overtime solved nothing, which meant that we went to that coin toss we like to call the shootout. Unfortunately for Roberto Luongo, he already won a coin toss to get the start, so his odds of the coin toss going his way the second time were lesser, because that’s totally how probability works.
At some point, John Shorthouse spilled his water. Embarrassing. Of course, we wouldn’t have known if he hadn’t told us while trying to mitigate the embarrassment by owning the blunder, because WE CAN’T SEE YOU, SHORTY.
After a win over the Detroit Red Wings, the Canucks are sitting in second in the Pacific and boast the division's best goal differential. That said, a big part of that goal differential comes from the Canucks' league-leading 10 empty net goals. […]