I Watched This Game: Canucks at Dallas Stars, February 21, 2013

The last time the Canucks saw the Dallas Stars was seven days ago, on the night Henrik Sedin passed Markus Naslund to become the Canucks’ all-time leading scorer. The Stars ruined everything that night, however, storming back from down 3-1 to ensure that Henrik’s big moment came in a big, embarrassing loss.

Safe to say the Canucks didn’t forget. They had revenge on the mind, and they weren’t satisfied simply to stick Dallas with a loss. They were staging a full on do-over. Thus, they gave the Stars an early goal to ensure the victory would come from behind. Then, after they were safely in the lead, they gave Dallas a late one to ensure the game finished 4-3, just as last time (but this time around, in their favour). This game was an elaborate revenge plot. I watched this game.

Canucks 4 – 3 Stars

  • Alain Vigneault and his coaching staff made waves prior to the game, juggling the defence pairings for a number of reasons. While all the moves raised eyebrows, the one that nobody disagreed with was reuniting the HamJuice (or hot ham-water) pairing of Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Bieksa. Then the opening shift of this game happened, and the Stars jumped out to an early lead thanks to a fire drill in the Canucks’ end. Not just any fire drill, either — an elementary school fire drill. Jamie Benn beat Cory Schneider while the Canucks were lining up, single-file, and waiting for their teacher do to a head count.
  • The Canucks would get it back eleven minutes later on the powerplay. After some quality puck movement led to a brilliant chance in front for Daniel Sedin, only to have him hit the crossbar, Alex Edler threw the puck on goal, hoping for a deflection. He got one from Burrows, who tipped the puck like it just served him his breakfast. It must not have been spectacular service though, because that wasn’t much of a tip. I’d say 10%. Either Burrows is stingy, or the puck was slow on the coffee refills.
  • Zack Kassian started this game on a line with Chris Higgins and Ryan Kesler. His first shift resulted in the Stars’ first goal, and he only got one more shift before he was back on the fourth line. While he was probably the scrambliest of the three forwards on Benn’s tally  – he had a chance to get the puck out and a chance to knock Benn off of it — 87 seconds (or just under “three Harlem shakes) of second-line time before a demotion is going to upset the “AV doesn’t know how to handle young players” crowd. I don’t mind it. Kesler and Burrows had to work their way up from the fourth line too.
  • Aaron Rome had an eventful game, as his play directly led to the first Stars goal and the last Vancouver goal. But frankly, my favourite Rome shift was the one where he fired a puck into the Canucks bench. If you slow the play down enough, you can catch Rome affixing a mash note to the puck before aiming right for Alain Vigneault’s breast pocket. (s/t to Crux.) Instead, it nearly hit Maxim Lapierre in the face. Luckily, it missed. Shakespeare once wrote that love’s keen arrows make “wounds invisible”, but that one would have left a mark.
  • I thought David Booth had a nice game tonight in just 12:09 of ice-time. He was playing physical, with 5 hits, and he could have had two or three goals. Unfortunately, he’s still adjusting to shooting something that isn’t running away, which is why he kept shooting to where he thought the net was going to be.
  • Kevin Bieksa may be struggling defensively, but he’s on fire at the other end, with 5 goals in 8 games. These days, he’s less “Juice” and more “Flaming Moe”. The reinstatement of his partnership with Hamhuis may not have paid off immediately, but the two teamed up for the Canucks’ second goal, with Hamhuis hitting a streaking Bieksa with a pass in the neutral zone, and Flaming Moe burning around Philip Larsen before putting a little extra Krusty’s Non-Narkotik Kough Syrup into his backhand shot for the score.
  • Zack Kassian might want to send a thank-you card to Antoine Roussel, who acted as an agent of redemption for the Canucks’ tough guy in this game. First, Roussel fought him in the second period, which was enough to earn Kassian a promotion back to Ryan Kesler’s line in the third. Then, Kassian’s first shift back on line two saw a Vancouver goal, again thanks to Roussel, who took a shot to the knee from Jason Garrison, which left him hobbled and out of the shooting lane when Garrison fired a second shot into the back of the Stars’ goal. If Nicholas Sparks had written this game, Kassian would have gone to the Stars’ locker room to thank Roussel, only to spot the Stars’ forward in a team photo from 1956 and realize he was a benevolent ghost all along.
  • The best part of the scoring play on Henrik Sedin’s game-winning goal: when Henrik fakes shot and Alex Goligoski immediately reaches out to stop the pass. Yeah, you’re not fooling anyone, Henrik. Thankfully, even though Goligoski guessed right, Henrik is still able to thread the pass through to Burrows. But then Burrows surprises everyone, giving the puck right back, just as he did on Henrik’s first of the year the other night, and a surprised Henrik taps it home like Gene Kelly on roller skates.
  • Another great part of that play: in the group hug after the goal, the camera picks up Bieksa telling Burrows, “Wow. Oh wow. Where’d you steal that from?”
  • You had to feel for Aaron Rome on that play, as the puck jumped over his stick to start the Canucks’ two-on-one. Or did it jump over his stick? This may have been another romantic overture to Alain Vigneault. If the Canucks hadn’t scored here, he’d have been outside Vigneault’s window tonight with a boombox.
  • Speaking of Vigneault, he appears to be giving Jordan Schroeder a legitimate chance to earn his spot as a third-line centre. Schroeder had 5 defensive zone faceoffs tonight. He won four of them, three against the Stars’ top line. That’s almost enough to get Vigneault outside of your window with a boombox.
  • Now I’m imagining Aaron Rome coming to the Canucks’ hotel with a boombox and blaring the Peter Gabriel outside Vigneault’s window, only to eventually look over and realize Vigneault’s standing twenty feet across the parking lot, boomboxing Schroeder. Heart-breaking.
  • I recognize winning 4-3 was the plan all along, but Ryan Kesler’s giveaway to allow Brendan Morrow the Stars’ third goal was too early in the third. It was also brutal. As Kesler attempted to skate the puck out from the front of the goal, he simply left it behind. Even Kevin McAllister’s mom thought that was negligent.
  • Derek Roy took a hooking penalty at 17:59 of the third period, meaning all the Canucks had to do to nurse home a 4-3 win was avoid giving up the puck on the powerplay. When told the plan was to pass it around for two minutes and not shoot, Henrik shouted, “It must be my birthday!” Then Daniel, remembering he was born on the same day, shouted, “Then it must be my birthday too!”
Tags: , , ,

39 comments

  1. Doop
    February 21, 2013

    God this one is amazing. Well done Mooney.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +42 (from 42 votes)
    • best behaviour
      February 22, 2013

      Hear, hear! Vintage PITB – you’ve still got it.

      As for AV not liking young players – Tanev on over 18 min of ice time? Nice! They’ve just got to earn it like any guy.

      BTW, link is broken on “y on Henrik Sedin’s game-winning goal:”

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  2. Darin
    February 21, 2013

    Beauty.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +7 (from 7 votes)
  3. Zach Morris
    February 21, 2013

    Robidas has a career in used-car dealing once he retires. He sold the second Burrows hit harder than Lyle Lanley sold Springfield a monorail.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +17 (from 17 votes)
    • Steven Ray Orr
      February 21, 2013

      Mono… D’oh?

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  4. Nee
    February 21, 2013

    Tres bien, Mooney.

    The “Say Anything” thought stream was particularly amusing. Although the mental image of AV fan-girling on a 22 year old is a bit creepy, hehe.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
  5. gumby
    February 21, 2013

    “It must be my birthday!” “Then it must be my birthday too!”

    Hilarious.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +47 (from 47 votes)
  6. Britt
    February 21, 2013

    Oh the references. Well done sir, well done.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  7. TamaraB
    February 21, 2013

    So. Much. Win!

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  8. chinook
    February 21, 2013

    Yep, good write-up. Except you forgot the Canucks head to Nashville tonight, so in order for Aaron Rome to serenade AV he would have to slip onto the Canucks plane first. A few of his prank-loving ex-team mates might facilitate that.
    For me, your best line was Burrows 10% breakfast tip (haha). Two points I would add: Kesler needs to be able to hit the net and Raymond and Schroeder continue to show some great chemistry.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  9. Steven Ray Orr
    February 21, 2013

    “It must be my birthday!”

    Stay gold, ponyboy. Stay gold.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)
  10. Lucky
    February 21, 2013

    awesome read as always. Never though Nicholas SParks would come up in a game review haha

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  11. Abby
    February 21, 2013

    Oh gosh.

    Perfect review to match perfect game.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  12. rvtBC
    February 21, 2013

    Canuck fans must be happy that on the rush by Henrik and Burrows that by the time Burrows’ excellent pass reached Hernrik, Henrik was nearly past the net. Otherwise Hank probably would have tried to pass again rather than take a shot, even a shot with a yawning cave.

    And was it just my imagination or did Romerminly make a half-hearted attempt to stop Henrik’s shot on the back check? Maybe just let that one go for old times sake (and as the passing play was so darn pretty). Still a Canuck at heart.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  13. Philip
    February 21, 2013

    This post made my morning, thank you sir! Not sure which line made me giggle the most but I think I’ll go with the Booth one, maybe he needs to spend some more time on the shooting range?

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +8 (from 8 votes)
    • J21 (@Jyrki21)
      February 22, 2013

      The line “not used to shooting things that aren’t running away” made me laugh out loud on a bus.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  14. jer
    February 21, 2013

    I Missed This Game.

    But I really want to see that powerplay everyone’s raving about. Someone’s got to put that on youtube. Right? Please?

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
    • The Bookie
      February 22, 2013

      Whole game’s highlights – http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2GoqOzotmVs

      The whole 2:00 min. PP is there starting at about 9:00. Sooo funny, at one point Henrik just kind of skates around slowly in the corner with the puck and the crowd starts howling in frustration.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)
      • jer
        February 22, 2013

        Beauty. Thanks!

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  15. steviewire
    February 22, 2013

    Outstanding blog tonight. I did not get to see the game however and was hoping for a bit more info on the defensive pairings controversy. Glad Hamjuice is back but what of the other four guys? Has Tanev cracked the top 4? Would this mean Garrison takes Ballards place as trade bait?

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  16. jenny wren
    February 22, 2013

    Vancouver fans could cease to fret
    When Edler’s shot went in the net
    Deflected there by our fourteen
    While setting up a perfect screen
    Nullifying an early lead
    Just one of four that we would need

    And then a goal for number three
    As Bieksa split the Dallas “D”
    To make the game a two-two tie
    ‘Til Garrison on his second try
    Finally gained the Nucks the lead
    The third of four that we would need

    A lovely play saw Henrik score
    The Stars got three Vancouver more

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +4 (from 12 votes)
  17. Josh D.
    February 22, 2013

    “You’d think Rome would know better!”

    I know it bounced over his stick, but I still got a kick out of that.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  18. obituary mambo
    February 22, 2013

    Fantastic recap. I absolutely loved the bit about AV and Rome serenading windows Say Anything style. While it made me sad for Rome it also had me giggling uncontrollably.

    Once again I was forced to watch the other team’s feed, but at least the Dallas guys (apart from their insistence that the Hansen/Hossa incident was dirty beyond the telling of it) are an entertaining pair. At one point they made a comment about Kassian looking like “a disheveled mountain man” that I found particularly amusing — not to mention accurate. Also, I think I’ve now seen more Marty Turco screen-time than I ever thought imaginable. He was everywhere. I guess *insert player’s name here* Night is what they do when they want to honor someone without retiring their number? I have to admit (and, yes, I’m aware this is a little evil — perhaps I was being possed by the spirit of MayRay), I was hoping the Canucks would spoil his special night the way Henrik had his ruined by the Stars. Retribution feels nice. ~__^

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
    • Nee
      February 22, 2013

      Is it just me, or does Kassian look like Jack Nicholson right now, circa The Shining? His hair is a dead ringer for Jack’s.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
      • obituary mambo
        February 22, 2013

        Good call — he does look a bit like that version of Nicholson. Hee! And now I’m giggling again.

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: 0 (from 2 votes)
  19. Bolderevolution
    February 22, 2013

    Thanks for pointing out Goligoski’s reaction to Henrik’s fake shot – that’s the type of tidbit I love from the recaps! Their no-name goalie had the same reaction – he started playing the pass right away, too. This might have had something to do with the fact he was sliding helplessly away towards the left corner when Henrik tucked the puck into the open right side of the net.

    Was this a new type of Sedinery? Henrik setting up his shot with a fake shot?

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
  20. Amor de Cosmos
    February 22, 2013

    The final 2+ minutes must surely represent some kind of league record for puck possession/consecutive passes. I really expected someone on the Stars to knock one of the Nux ass over teakettle out of pure frustration. I mean why not? At 5 on 3 they’d just carry on tapping it between them anyway.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
    • Bolderevolution
      February 22, 2013

      It DOES represent the record for the most chill I have ever been watching the Canucks defend a one goal lead for the last two minutes. Good thing it wasn’t called a penalty shot instead – Booth nailing the back-boards would not have been quite so chill.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  21. Rob
    February 22, 2013

    This is why I love PITB. I sit down at my desk with my coffee, watch the highlights on NHL.com then read IWTG and it makes my morning much more bearable.

    “Unfortunately, he’s still adjusting to shooting something that isn’t running away, which is why he kept shooting to where he thought the net was going to be.” – Classic

    On a side note, those were some aweful goals Vancouver gave up. Its almost as if the whole team has succumb to the dark side and is purposely trying to sabotage itself. I’m glad they won, but they sure aren’t making life easy for themselves.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  22. Don
    February 22, 2013

    Shakespeare once wrote that love’s keen arrows make “wounds invisible”, but that one would have left a mark.

    That’s it. I’m done. You win. Best hockey blog anywhere. OF ALL TIME!

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +10 (from 10 votes)
    • Harrison Mooney
      February 22, 2013

      Haha. English major for the win.

      VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
      • Brent
        February 22, 2013

        So having an English Major is actually useful?! Cool.

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
        • Skaught
          February 22, 2013

          This marks the first time that statement has been true. An historic moment.

          VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
          Rating: +11 (from 11 votes)
  23. Lenny
    February 22, 2013

    “Cory Schneider’s best save was actually made by Alex Edler.”

    See how good he is once back on the left side.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
  24. Chris the Curmudgeon
    February 22, 2013

    This might be the best IWTG of your career Mooney. Very nicely done. Though in my opinion you’re a little too easy on Kassian, perhaps I’m not surprising anyone by saying that. Still, a satisfying game to get the sour taste out of my mouth from some other recent game that shall go unnamed.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  25. The Real Anime Man
    February 22, 2013

    One little easter egg from this match was when Kassian was about to go in on a break away but was offside. As he skated back to the bench, on the SN feed you can very clearly hear him drop the f-bomb as he went by the Stars bench,

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  26. Calvin
    February 22, 2013

    I have never commented on this blog but I just had to for this piece. Absolutely brilliant! Good read even if you didn’t want the results of the game. This was entertaining!

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  27. Nick
    February 22, 2013

    Garrison and Ballard have playing time together in Florida. I was worried about this pairing before the game, but Keith played well (again), and Jason looked comfortable for maybe the first time as a Canuck. Could AV have finally got this D pairs figured out?

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  28. Jason
    February 22, 2013

    “Then it must be my birthday too!” – Actually made me laugh out loud

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