I Watched This Game: Canucks vs Los Angeles Kings, March 2, 2013

The moment I knew Henrik Sedin was going to have a great night came just 10 seconds into the game. Anze Kopitar was ahead of him in the offensive zone, looking to create a scoring chance, and Henrik reached out with his stick, got it in Kopitar’s hands, and gave a little tug. With that, Henrik was off to the penalty box for hooking and also off to a great start to the game.

Captain Hook is back, I thought to myself, and sure enough, Henrik dominated the rest of the game, stickhandling around opponents with impunity and creating numerous scoring chances for his linemates. It was like the two minutes in the box spent just observing the game were exactly what he needed, as he discerned the pattern of the game and decoded it. Similarly, I did exactly what I needed to do when I watched this game.

Canucks 5 – 2 Kings

  • Right after Henrik got out of the box for his early hooking penalty, he combined with his linemates for a superb shift, culminating in the opening goal. Dan “Community Man” Hamhuis started and finished the play, picking up a loose puck before the Kings could clear it, then making a nice pass down to Henrik, who held the puck just long enough for all the Kings to get really worried about what he was going to do with it. He found Burrows at the side of the goal, who made an incredible pass to Hamhuis, who was waiting at the back door. Normally when he waits at the back door he’s picking up food donations from grocery stores to deliver to soup kitchens; this time, he one-timed the puck into the net.
  • Don Cherry was in the building for this game, wearing a relatively sensible suit and a completely ludicrous hat with a giant stuffed orca whale on it. He was happy that his “favourite player in the National Hockey League” was back in the Canucks lineup, namely Kevin Bieska. Also back was Kevin Bieksa, who returned from his recent injury to finish second in ice time on the Canucks, just short of 23 minutes. Regrettably, he didn’t play with a giant stuffed orca attached to his helmet.
  • I didn’t think it was possible for the Burger King King to get any creepier. The Green Men proved me wrong.
  • The 6’5″ Tom Sestito made his debut for the Canucks, playing alongside the 5’8″ Jordan Schroeder on the fourth line. I really want them to start a magic act, now.
  • Sestito did what he does, hitting and punching people, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that he wasn’t a liability on the ice. I also appreciated that he didn’t start a fight just for the sake of getting into one in his first game as a Canuck, but sparked it with a solid open-ice hit, then answered the bell when Jordan Nolan challenged him. It was the best opening weekend for a goon since Goon.
  • During last week’s game against Detroit, Zack Kassian got inexplicably called for goaltender interference when he didn’t even touch the goalie. What was missed was that he high-sticked the defenceman at the same time. He deserved a penalty, just not the one he received. It happened again in this game, as Kevin Bieksa dumped Anze Kopitar dangerously into the boards. He could have easily been given a boarding minor, but instead, he ended up with an interference penalty, even though Kopitar was touching the puck as he was hit. Do some refs have a bizarre form of dyslexia, where they see a penalty and somehow transpose the wrong call?
  • At least five times during this game Chris Tanev did something deceptively simple on the ice that made me say, “Ugh, Tanev, you’re so good,” out loud. He didn’t have a single point, shot on goal, or hit, but I thought he had a fantastic game. My favourite moment from him came when Kevin Bieksa poked Colin Fraser with his stick from the bench and Tanev ended up being the guy holding Fraser back from going after him while Bieksa laughed. That made me think that Tanev would be a really good friend.
  • The Kings began taking over the game early in the second, tying things up with a Justin Williams one-timer on the powerplay, and generally dominating possession. Then, completely against the flow of play, Mason Raymond burned rubber through the neutral zone, took a nice pass from Jannik Hansen, and sniped a wicked wrist shot over Quick’s glove hand. I haven’t seen a shot that sick since my son got immunized for measles, mumps, and rubella.
  • One of the weaknesses in Cory Schneider’s game is his puckhandling. Sometimes his errors behind the net lead to ridiculous saves, while other times they lead to easy goals. This game was the other times, generally referred to as the worst of times. Fortunately, the rest of the game was the best of times, as Schneider shut the door after two goals with some beautiful saves and avoided a fifth straight game of giving up three or more goals.
  • The Third Law of Sedinery is that they will always make one more pass than is absolutely necessary. Well, rules are meant to be broken, and the Sedins bamboozled the Kings by making a grand total of one pass on a 2-on-1. After a heads-up outlet pass from Alex Burrows, Henrik fed the puck across to Daniel, who, instead of sending a spinning, blind, backhand saucer pass back to his brother, loaded up the slap shot and drove the puck blocker side on Quick.  It’s hard to blame Quick: who actually expects a Sedin to shoot from there?
  • Raymond filled in for the injured Ryan Kesler at center and, apart from going an atrocious 1-for-9 in the faceoff circle, did pretty well. On Hansen’s 4-2 goal, Raymond gained the zone, then battled with Slava Voynov, allowing Hansen to swoop in, pick up the loose puck, and whip it past Quick. Meanwhile, three Kings players hovered around Hansen like green shells, ensuring that nothing could hit him.
  • At one point, Jim Hughson called Maxim Lapierre “The Artful Dodger,” so I assume that Hughson found out about Lapierre’s gang of children that roam the bowels of Rogers Arena, pickpocketing the Canucks’ opponents. Sorry, Max, the jig is up.
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33 comments

  1. Zach Morris
    March 3, 2013

    I dunno if Mason Raymond learned that from shooting womp rats back on the farm in Cochrane, but man.
    What a shot.

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  2. garden supplies
    March 3, 2013

    I just watched the Kings-Canucks game and they said the Kings were trying to bring the Winter Classic to L.A…? They said Ducks vs Kings in LA hopefully in a few years. But that wouldn’t work.. There is no snow in LA. Its not even the right environment for it to happen. haha.

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  3. Cathylu
    March 3, 2013

    I’m so glad we came up from the sunny south to go to this game! I thought we finally looked like a formidable team. (I choose to forgive Cory for his puck handling problem). I heard someone sitting behind us say that a few of the Kings might have been suffering from the Roxy flu but I don’t know if that’s true. My husband and I were going to try and drive to Calgary today for tonight’s game but the weather has thwarted out plans, so we’ll be enjoying the game on TV.

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    • Nick
      March 3, 2013

      I can look past Cory’s gaffe too … in part, because Alberts didn’t help matters.

      Looked like it was partly a communication problem, and Alberts was playing in only his 2nd game … with Hamhuis or Tanev receiving the puck on that play, it probably doesn’t get coughed up.

      Cory is only going to get better and better … and I’m optimistic that his puckhandling decisions will get better too.

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  4. Dougster
    March 3, 2013

    What a great game from MayRay! Burrows really does deserve “third twin” status for his pass on the first goal–beautiful! My only wish was that this was the first game of last years’ playoffs. But if you are right about the sequencing (blowout loss to central division team/loss to Phoenix) then maybe we really have something to look forward to this year! :)

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  5. chicken chick
    March 3, 2013

    I didn’t get to watch this game
    But wrote a comment all the same
    Vancouver up against LA
    ‘Twas hockey night on Saturday

    Went to a school reunion dance
    To see this game I had no chance
    Saw some old friends I didn’t know
    And made responses apropos

    Some brewskis had me going strong
    To “wang dang doodle all night long”
    And while I frolicked on the floor
    The Kings got two Canucks three more

    In short I missed HNIC
    But I still read PITB

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    • JRC
      March 3, 2013

      I think we just found the Canucks’ new skate-out song: I can see them now, circling and warming up, Howlin’ Wolf blaring through Rogers Arena.

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  6. John Andress
    March 3, 2013

    Two Dickens references in one game recap? Impressive.

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    • Brent
      March 3, 2013

      Luckily it didn’t have a Hans Christian Anderson ending.

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  7. chinook
    March 3, 2013

    Sure got a chuckle from CBC game commentators tsk tsking about how long Tanev played without a stick, how it was gonna cost the Canucks. Instead, play goes the other way, Raymond scores a beauty, thereby getting a whistle so Tanev can get a new stick. Brilliant!

    I’m not sure how to deal with all this HNIC love for the Canucks – “Bieska” is Don’s favourite (umm, does he rate ahead of Doug Gilmour?) and he’s not even from Kingston. Though a “good Ontario boy!” And Ron continues to promote Hamhuis and Bieksa for the Olympic team. Do you think I ought to accept that HNIC has seen the light, and truly appreciates our team? But I do (as you Daniel) draw the line at the ridiculous hat).

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    • alison
      March 3, 2013

      If HNIC has seen the light PJ Stock didn’t get the memo.

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      • Nick
        March 3, 2013

        PJ said that “somehow the Canucks found a way to win”

        to which Healey replied in surprise “they didn’t find a way to win … they were clearly the better team”

        PJ seems typical of the eastern commentators who have all but written off the Canucks (and Luongo) as having a chance to win it all … and almost entirely because of 3 games in Boston in the playoffs 2 years ago (when the half the team was hobbled, and when the refs were far more intimidated than usual by the crowd)

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      • chinook
        March 3, 2013

        I missed PJ Stock’s comments because he is so inept I can’t bear to listen. From the first time Stock was on the tube (couple of years ago) I was incredulous he got the gig; I’m absolutely convinced he married the daughter of a top CBC exec. I’m glad to hear from Nick that Healey had a good retort to PJ (a rare opportunity to find favour in Healey) and continue Kelly Hrudey’s role in the HNIC soap.

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        • chinook
          March 3, 2013

          By Kelly Hrudey’s role, I mean poking fun at PJ.

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      • JRC
        March 3, 2013

        He got the memo. No one was with him in his cave to read it to him.

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        • Mel
          March 3, 2013

          The only thing better than hating on PJ Stock, is group-hating on PJ Stock! Thanks, gang.

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  8. Alison
    March 3, 2013

    Great game. Only downside was that it telecast on HNIC. PJ Stock has to go. His end of game comments were ridiculous. You’d think we had lost the game. Can we please move on from the Marchand punching Sedin references. Seriously CBC get rid of him.

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    • Nee
      March 3, 2013

      I have absolutely no problem with PJ being critical, but he’s no Elliote Friedman. Friedman is thoughtful with his comments…he’ll give an opinion, and back it up. PJ just throws comments out there without supporting his opinions with any sort of evidence. He’s in over his head as an analyst on CBC.

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  9. Brent
    March 3, 2013

    I watched this game, and enjoyed it….a lot! But still somewhat worried about the defensive miscues. If LA had been a little more on they could have capitalized on some of these chances, and it could have been a different game. Agree that the Sedin’s had one of their best games, they just totally dominated. Lets hope that they continue to play well and we see some improvement in some of the more invisible players.

    So this has nothing to do with Kesler being out of the lineup does it? There seems to be a correlation.

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  10. Amor de Cosmos
    March 3, 2013

    Having a few days practice time makes a massive difference. This season must be hell for coaches, there’s just no time to work on problems between games. Yet some of them will still carry the can at seasons end if their team misses the play-offs.

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  11. warren
    March 3, 2013

    That was a great mario kart reference, and it described the situation very well. It was almost like seeing three outfielders all let a ball drop on the ground.

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  12. The Bookie
    March 3, 2013

    *puts on large-stuffed-Kevin-Weeks hat*

    That was LITERALLY a heads up outlet pass from Burrows!

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  13. best behaviour
    March 3, 2013

    Anyone catch After Hours with Henrik asked to comment on Sedinery? He said, “Does it mean turnovers?” :D

    The team depth chart still shows Volpatti on the fourth line. I accept that they don’t have time to update it, but this is kind of silly!

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    • Nee
      March 3, 2013

      Loved that comment. You rule, Hank.

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  14. jenny wren
    March 3, 2013

    Dear Skeeter Dan,

    “It was the best opening weekend for a goon since Goon.”

    A lovely line I must admit,
    But let’s not judge our Tom too soon!
    By all that’s just and holy writ,
    There’s no man needs be called a goon
    ‘Til he provides much proof of it.

    Yours for fairness,
    Jenny Wren

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    • akidd
      March 3, 2013

      true enough, jenny. yesterday, i watched part of an old 24/7 with the flyers and rangers. there was a clip of sesito challenging the whole rangers’ bench, yelling something to the effect of, “i’ll knock every last one of you f*****s out!” and giving the impression that he really could.

      but ‘goon’ is not a nice word. how about ‘enforcer’? if that is the role, he certainly appears tough. not sure what the really effect was and i’m not condoning that kind of arms race but the kings coincidentally didn’t seem to be quite as chippy as they usually are. having a 4th-liner who will fight is one thing. having a 4th-liner who will fight and win is quite another…perhaps.

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      • Daniel Wagner
        March 3, 2013

        You may have missed Brad Richards amazing comeback to Sestito yelling at the Flyers’ bench: “One day in the NHL for you. Fantasy camp for you.”

        Now that is killer trash talk.

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  15. cris
    March 3, 2013

    great read!

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  16. akidd
    March 3, 2013

    you know who wouldn’t make a good friend? ron maclean. because when you’d mispronounce the name of your ‘favourite player’ five times in 20 seconds on national tv he’d not correct you and just stare uncomfortably into the camera(“it’s him, not me” he wills ), not having the strength to be socially awkward for a moment.)

    yes, i wonder too, chinook, about this new ‘hnic love’. is it genuine? or is it the result of a memo? it feels kind of creepy, like secretly they are waiting for the ides of march(or a crucial playoff game) to really show what good friends they are. oh well, at least the refs aren’t faking it. at least i know it’s their real feelings when they whistle the obligatory diving call against the canucks and ignore the more obvious dive from the opposing team. i would’ve had more to say on this subject but yes i suppose that bieska hit was boarding, now that you mention it. and maybe that alberts call was charging.(“charging, roughing; boarding, interference…let’s call the whole thing off.”)

    and brent, i too wonder about the kesler connection. could this helicopter line curse extend to lines that kesler is not even skating with?

    but raymond. nice one. nice game. it probably helped that he didn’t have booth on his line to kill off the play almost every time he touched the puck. i know i sound like a broken record regarding booth but i was watching him, and he really has very little idea of what to do with the puck nor the skill to execute whatever ideas do manage to flicker through. it looks like he spent his rehab time doing curls until his arms turned to cement. (sorry to be a negative nelly. i should be more encouraging. nice assist, david!)

    but overall, what refreshing result! a solid 55-minute effort. that’s what i get for thinking the kings were going to whomp the canucks on national tv, solid defending, goaltending, and overall smart decision-making and skilled execution. helped along by average goaltending from the opposition. and all it took was an imaginary bet AGAINST the canucks.

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    • chinook
      March 3, 2013

      Well, I don’t quite agree with all you write but I would still give 2 thumbs up if I could. I do like Booth despite his being somewhat ineffective (clumsy?) so far this season; looks like he would hunt flies with a club.

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  17. TubaNat
    March 3, 2013

    Stayed up to 6am to watch this game, very Glad I did! Great to finally see the team I love play the way I love: well!

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  18. will
    March 3, 2013

    Henrik must have been sporting 3 red shells with another trio in reserve when he paralyzed Kopitar in the right wing corner then Scuderi in the left.

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  19. tj
    March 3, 2013

    I loved that Tanev move. “Hug it out, Fraser, hug it out.” The other bit that was hilarious, was when Bieksa was trash-talking on the bench, and Luo was laughing his ass off, offering encouragements (try this:…) And then Bieksa just starts laughing. I wanted a live mic for that one. Good times.

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