I Watched This Game: Canucks at Edmonton Oilers, March 30, 2013

This game must have been a massive relief to Canucks fans who were tired of the low-scoring, defensive snoozefests that the Canucks have been known for recently. For once, the Canucks didn’t sit on a one-goal lead and bore fans to tears. This game was wide open right from puck drop, with goals galore. Heck, even one of Wayne Gretzky’s seemingly unbreakable records was broken, tonight! What more could you ask for?

Wait, you wanted the Canucks to score? You didn’t want more goals in general, only more goals for the Canucks? Oh.

Well, crud. That sure didn’t happen. I watched this game.

Canucks 0 – 4 Oilers

  • The Canucks were pretty much atrocious from top to bottom. It wasn’t just a couple players or one defence pairing — everyone was awful, as the Oilers soundly outplayed the Canucks in every zone, winning every battle and beating them to every loose puck. The loss was a true team effort: all but three players finished minus-1, with only Tom Sestito, Jordan Schroeder, and Jannik Hansen finishing even. The were terrible as a team and they lost as a team. They were Justice League Detroit, in other words.
  • Things fell apart on the first shift of the game. As Dan Hamhuis pinched slightly down the boards, Henrik Sedin did a terrible job covering for him at the point, allowing Taylor Hall to break back the other way all alone and snipe a shot shortside on Schneider. It was the first shot of the game.
  • The Canucks actually came remarkably close to replying immediately, as Alex Burrows intentionally iced the puck, banking it to Daniel Sedin, who pulled off a pretty spin-o-rama but couldn’t put the puck past Devan Dubnyk. For a moment, I was excited, thinking that the best thing that could have happened to the Canucks is going down by one goal 16 seconds into the game, as it would force them to get creative and pull out of their defensive shell. Nope.
  • After an extended shift in the Canucks’ zone, Steve Pinizzotto made a bad read, overplaying Jeff Petry at the point to cover for Chris Higgins, allowing Ladislav Smid to unleash a slapshot that beat a screened Schneider. Andrew Ebbett, unfortunately, was the one providing the screen. It was the second shot of the game.
  • After allowing 2 goals on 2 shots, albeit on opportunities created by terrible defensive play in front of him, Schneider was given the hook. It was extremely unusual for Alain Vigneault to pull his goaltender so soon, but to be fair, he did have a group of pirates behind him in the stands chanting Hook, hook, give us the hook.
  • It didn’t help. After a complete clustercuss in the neutral zone, Hall somehow ended up all alone and easily converted a cross-ice pass from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins past Roberto Luongo for his second goal. It was the third shot of the game.
  • The 3 goals in the first 2 minutes and 43 seconds of the game were the fastest three goals in Oilers history and they came on not just their first three shots of the game, but the first three shots of the game period. By either team. Before the Canucks could even get a shot on goal, they were down 3-0. On the plus side, the Oilers’ first three goals came in one second too long to be a perfect pop song.
  • Honestly, there was next to nothing to like about this game. The Canucks’ put in a putrid effort, only managing 23 shots on goal in their bid for a comeback. They may as well have just stayed home. Dubnyk was forced to make a couple nice saves, particularly on Chris Higgins in the first period, but for the most part the Canucks didn’t challenge him at all.
  • The only bright spot for the Canucks was that after allowing two quick goals, Luongo shut the door the rest of the way, making numerous unreal saves. He brilliantly snagged a deflection from Lennart Petrell in the second period and late in the third made a fantastic kick save on Jordan Eberle. It was nice to see at least one Canuck still trying with the game out of reach.
  • His best save, however, and in the argument for save of the season, prevented Hall from having a four-goal game. Luongo was down and out after Edler ran into him, but he somehow managed to scramble across, getting his blocker up, backwards, to bat Hall’s shot away. The effort propelled Luongo completely into the net. It was the only time in this game that a Canuck’s effort propelled anything into the net.
  • People sometimes come to PITB looking for a little optimism to counterbalance the general negativity and cynicism that surrounds the Canucks, but there was nothing to be optimistic about in this game. The Canucks have lost a lot of games this season when they’ve outplayed their opponents. In those cases, we’ve praised the process. They’ve also won a number of games they didn’t deserve to, in which case we’ve praised the results while pointing out the flaws in the process. This time around, the process stunk and the team fully deserved the result.
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40 comments

  1. Naturalmystic
    March 31, 2013

    Sweet game. I enjoyed watching the Casucks get rolled. If any Casucks fans think this team will survive a seven game series against a gritty, hard hitting team like Chicago or Boston, they are deluded. Vigneault will be out coached again. Mary Kate and Ashley will disappear again. There will be no takers for Luongo and Vigneault will have have to flip a coin to decide which goaltender chokes in the net for the Casucks.

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    • Awful Effort
      March 31, 2013

      Embarrassing effort by the Canucks, need more Steve Ott/Shane Doan/Chris Neil kinds of players (also Naturalmistake should be banned from commenting on this site…)

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    • Mack
      March 31, 2013

      ” gritty, hard hitting team like Chicago”

      Do you watch hockey at all? Chicago’s a skill team that is often criticized by their own fans for not being gritty enough. Get a clue.

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      Rating: +33 (from 37 votes)
    • Msmith
      March 31, 2013

      Uhh what im confused so we kill the batman right ?

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    • Angry Canadian
      March 31, 2013

      I know I shouldn’t get annoyed by a troll, but my name sort of precludes that. Casucks, sisters, etc – you must have this blog mistaken for Facebook or something.

      Also, I understand the whole thing about “free speech” and all that crap, but seriously, can you give us an insight to your pysche and tell us why you only post during a Canucks loss? One of the definitions of mystic is inspiring mystery and wonder, so it’s a mystery and wonder to, I’m sure, most of us, why you would bother. Of course, another definition is relating to occult practices and rites. If that’s your go, well, no further explanation is necessary.

      However, since I’d suggest that you didn’t foretell a Stanley Cup for an outfit that managed to squeak into the playoffs by the barest of margins and then destroy better teams last year, then I’m going to suggest you have no clue about what’s going to happen at the start in four weeks. I’m not suggesting that a Cup will happen to the Canucks – after 37 years of following the blue, my outlook remains hopeful, not optimistic, sadly – but really, who the hell knows what’s going to happen against a team like Chicago or Boston. Especially on the basis of one poor game out of 48.

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      • Lucky
        March 31, 2013

        I don’t always read the comments but I do usually, I do normally see trolls on here so did this particular person go out looking for Canucks articles or what?! ugh. “casucks” SO CLEVER!

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    • whisky jack
      March 31, 2013

      The negative, one should eschew,
      Like heaping scorn on Bobby Lu,
      Or speaking ill of David Booth
      And his own version of the truth.

      As no one knows what’s going on,
      At least until they’re dead and gone,
      You should shut-up and see the game
      For win or lose it’s all the same.

      Just put your ego on the shelf,
      Until you’ve time to find yourself.
      Meanwhile fix focus on the now
      For every goal’s the cat’s meow,

      No matter which team scored, because
      The beauty’s in the way it was.

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  2. God Awful
    March 31, 2013

    Probably need more Chris Neil/Steve Ott/Shane Doan kinds of players on the team, behind Luongo (a fair long ways back) at least Bieksa least showed a bit of fight, Burrows was trying… not sure how most of the team faces their family after a performance like that, they should be down right embarrassed about that effort (as should the coaches)…

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  3. Carlo
    March 31, 2013

    Hands down the most depressing game of the season.

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    • Nick
      March 31, 2013

      I was half expecting the title of the blog to be changed to “I watched this period”

      I almost always watch games to the bitter end, but I bailed after the 1st period last night.

      From what I saw, the defense looked like amateurs against a young, fast, and highly skilled group of Oilers.

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  4. jenny wren
    March 31, 2013

    In Edmonton on Saturday
    ‘Tis simply one that gets away

    The Oilers score an early two
    And AV goes with Bobby Lou
    Seconds later and down by three
    Sure not the start I thought I’d see

    Still in the first it’s five on four
    And once again the Oilers score
    But I remain to watch this game
    Though after two the score’s the same

    The playoffs now a month away
    An early summer some will say
    The Wild again are back in first
    And our PP must be the worst

    Neither fact’s a valid reason
    To dismiss the second season
    Which when it comes I still suggest
    Canucks will prove to be the best

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    • the olde coot
      March 31, 2013

      if they can find their zen again
      you may be right sweet jenny wren

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  5. Zach Morris
    March 31, 2013

    Quote of the game:
    “Tom Sestito steps on the puck and falls down.”

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    • rsen9
      April 1, 2013

      The brightside to this was that I read the entire article with the Bulk&Skull’s theme song still playing and I had a huge laughing fit reading this quote.

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  6. Chinook
    March 31, 2013

    If pride comes before a fall, what happens after being humbled?

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  7. Cathylu
    March 31, 2013

    After the Oilers scored their third goal I just started laughing. I mean, really, what else could I do? It was like watching a train wreck; I knew it wasn’t going to get any better. I really hope our boys can put this game behind them (way, way, way behind them) and put in a solid effort tomorrow night. I’ll be in the Tank cheering them on.

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    • Canuckfaninsf
      April 1, 2013

      Hey! I’m watching too!!! :)

      I’m going to be the pregnant lady with a Canucks scarf.

      My sweater no longer fits me :(

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  8. Believe in Blue
    March 31, 2013

    Well that sucked! The only thing worse than the game were the bozzos calling the game & the HNIC panel. Go Canucks!

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  9. Chris the Curmudgeon
    March 31, 2013

    I Watche This Game…like the Canucks I’m going to just forget about “D”. Though not scoring any goals (or even looking that close to doing so) was similarly disappointing. I do often look to you guys for some optimism (even though I am a curmudgeon) but appreciate that sometimes there’s really none to be had.

    It’s amazing to have to say that a goalie who let in 2 of the first 3 shots he faced was probably our best player. Amazing to think that there’s a chance that could be the last time we see Bobby Lu in a Canuck uniform. Right after one of his best (may have been the blocker against Hall), the Canucks rushed back up the ice and Hansen put a shot squarely into Dubnyk’s chest. I turned to my buddy (we were sitting in a San Francisco bar full of people watching other games but occasionally looking over to see what these two weirdos were so upset about on the best TV in the place that we’d convinced them to switch to the Canucks) and said “that back and forth sequence is a symbol of what’s wrong with the team”. I like Jannik Hansen just fine, but as a third liner. Same with all of our team that isn’t the Sedins, Burrows and Kesler. I was starting to hope they’d get even more ventilated, because Gillis needs to get the message that this team is not good enough, period, and it’s his job to improve it. That message should’ve been clear since last year’s playoff exit (I for one am a broken record on the subject), but Gillis seems to have a massively thick skull. We know that they can play defence most games, so as ugly as that was, at least there’s some demonstrated ability there. Not so much for scoring.

    I have to say, one of the worst players on the ice last night was Steve Pinnizotto. Still waiting to see why you guys are so high on him. Edler’s play is also as bad as ever, I particularly loved that drop pass where he was steps from the blue line and then dropped it to a guy at center ice, who, predictably couldn’t really advance the puck with all of the Oiler PK guys converging on him. Newell Brown must have some compromising photos, because I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Canuck PP this inept, and I watched a fair number of games in the Messier era.

    I fired on Bulk and Skull while reading and writing this whole thing, and I have to say it does seem perfectly appropriate. The Benny Hill theme also comes to mind.

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    • Amor de Cosmos
      March 31, 2013

      Ugh!

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      • Amor de Cosmos
        March 31, 2013

        I seriously worry about Edler. This season he seems to have regressed about two years in his development. Does he need a Salo-type to lean on or what?

        If there are changes to be made post-season — and who believes there shouldn’t be? Then Edler would be top of my list. He’s still carries the “potential” label so you’d expect he’d be a desirable option for someone, but not this club. Too bad he just signed a new contract.

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        • Nick
          March 31, 2013

          I second that. Edler’s been careless and not playing a smart game since at least mid-season last year. And his vaunted shot seems to be losing accuracy.

          Is he just not that good, is potentially good but isn’t responding to the coaching he’s getting? Or is he just as good as ever, and I’m about to be attacked by folks here for even suggesting Alex is regressing to the point of hurting the team?

          I hope he figures it out.

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    • Nick
      March 31, 2013

      Steve P was not good on Thursday against the Avs either. I had high hopes for him after his impressive first couple of games. I wonder what his illness was, and whether it’s still affecting him?

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      • Hails from the east
        March 31, 2013

        Pinizzotto’s illness was “dehydration and exhaustion.” After waiting 28 years to play in the NHL, he played 4 games and missed the next 4 because he got dehydrated.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      March 31, 2013

      Pinizzotto was definitely bad last night. Didn’t like his game at all. That said, he’s played better in some previous games. I think he’s not well-suited for the third line and I prefer him as a fourth-line grinder.

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  10. Claudia
    March 31, 2013

    I was at the game last night. No amount of Rexall beer could help how depressing my night was.

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  11. Alex Levy
    March 31, 2013

    I’m kind of glad that this game wasn’t played at home because the arena would have been empty after the first.
    It’s kind of sad that at games recently, when the Canucks are winning with three minutes to go, everyone is piling out of the arena. Makes my blood boil every time.

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  12. JS Topher
    March 31, 2013

    Big ups on the Bulk and Skull… CLASSIC!

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  13. .
    March 31, 2013

    This game was so bad it almost made me think that MG needs to trade for Derek Roy.

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  14. D'Arcy Mackenzie
    March 31, 2013

    This felt a taste of things to come from the Oilers who with all those first round picks are starting to really play well, which will be bad news for the Canucks and a lot of other teams in the league. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Oilers make the playoffs and potentially pull off an upset in the first round.

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  15. steveB
    March 31, 2013

    It was like a game directed by M.Night Shyamalan and the twist was the Canucks were dead all along.

    Gah, such a horrid game, only made worse by the yowling of trolls who feed on set-backs and failure.

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  16. Tom 1040
    March 31, 2013

    I didn’t/couldn’t watch the game…lucky, apparently.

    Everyone is up-in-arms but the most concerning aspect is not a new phenomenon: The Canucks can’t score.

    I question AV’s decision to pull Schneider. How many times was Luongo given rope to recover from a bad start?

    Schneider was the biggest reason for the 6 game streak. He has worked himself up to top 5 in stats (svpct, gaa).

    Was AV saving Schneider from his own team? Or, did he hope to wake the team up?

    Did he call a time out? No.

    Anyone hear the post-game and hear the reason/s?

    This, on the surface, with the limited information I have, was yet another questionable move by AV.

    In fact, it seems a little insulting.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      March 31, 2013

      2 goals on 2 shots. That’ll get any goaltender pulled on any team in the NHL.

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      • Tom 1040
        April 1, 2013

        Are you saying that Schneider was to fault on those goals? Did he look ‘off’?

        So, if Stamkos scores twice on 2 breakaways early in a period, would the goalie get pulled.

        (Wait a minute! Is this soft relativism?)

        My ultimate point is: if Schneider wasn’t at fault, he shouldn’t have been yanked when you consider the entire context.

        If AV’s reasoning was to save him because there wasn’t a team in front him and, in essence, rest him for next game…okay. I can understand that, which is why I asked about post-game comments.

        If not…

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        • Daniel Wagner
          April 1, 2013

          It’s a combination of things. The Canucks looked incredibly flat to start the game (though Daniel Sedin nearly scored a beauty on a spin-o-rama in between the first and second goals), so it could be that AV saw the writing on the wall and wanted to spare his “number one” from getting shelled.

          On the other hand, the Canucks had a 6-game win streak on the back of Schneider making some impressive stops. Both goals came on breakdowns, but during the win streak, Schneider made big saves on similar breakdowns. On the first goal, Hall’s shot was beautiful, but he beat Schneider short side. Ask any goalie in the NHL and they’ll tell you that the last place they want to get beat is on the short side. On the second goal, you could argue that Schneider needed to battle more to get into a good position to stop the slap shot.

          I wouldn’t characterize either goal as being Schneider’s fault at all, but he also didn’t step up to make a big save. Neither did Luongo on the next two goals, but AV wasn’t likely to go back to Schneider after pulling him, so they were stuck with Luongo. On the plus side, he did step up throughout the rest of the game to make those types of saves.

          So, it’s a combination of it being 2 goals on 2 shots, which generally gets a goaltender pulled no matter what, and protecting a goaltender from getting shelled and embarrassed.

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          • Tom 1040
            April 1, 2013

            Well stated and thank you.

            Any AV comments post-game or was he curmudgeonly?

            As I have been nominated for coach by several others, if I were coach, I would have left Schneider in.

            This guy is a battler.

            Cheers,
            T.

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    • Chris the Curmudgeon
      March 31, 2013

      A goalie gives up 2 goals on 2 shots in 2 minutes and he usually gets pulled. This wasn’t a coaching blunder or an insult, you’re just looking to blame Vigneault because you don’t like him. It wasn’t an effective wake up call but it was a very standard move.

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      • Tom 1040
        April 1, 2013

        Blame rhymes with lame. Blame AV for what?

        Were they bad goals? Partial breakaway and a seeing-eye screen shot. I think not.

        Standard move? As I mentioned, it would have been a standard move to yank Luongp umpteen times in the past, but AV let him play through it.

        It seems standard that you would call a time-out and tear a strip off your team, including the goalie if necessary whether it’s 2 goals on 2 shots or 2 goal on 4 shots.

        I say again, they weren’t even bad goals by Schneider.

        Way to show your number 1 goalie some support, a goalie that has saved the team’s collective bacon.

        Standard move, yes. Standard context, no.

        Questionable move, clearly.

        Weak response, Chris.

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        • akiddd
          April 1, 2013

          i know what you’re saying, tom but i think it was more a case of saving schneider for the next start and letting lou do some backup dirty work. schneider is number one. AV was just making quick trades down on the floor, being ruthless and efficient:)

          there’s a lot more to worry about than who pulled who. that was a scary game.

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          • Tom 1040
            April 1, 2013

            Hello akiddd,

            Fair enough. I wondered the reason beyond the 2 in 2.

            Makes sense if that was the case.

            You, clearly, know how to respond to people – with politeness and reason.

            Cheers,
            T.

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