I Watched This Game: Canucks vs Calgary Flames, April 6, 2013

There are two ways for Canuck fans to look at this game: on the one hand, you could be upset with the way the Canucks played, which would be fair since they didn’t play well. They were sloppy from top to bottom, making lazy, easily intercepted outlet passes, surrendering prime scoring chances, and forcing Cory Schneider into a virtuoso performance to preserve the victory.

On the other hand, they still won, and handily. Why? Because, as bad as they were, they still weren’t worse than the Calgary Flames on a good night. It’s tougher to be upset with Vancouver when Calgary exists to remind you that it could be much, much worse. With that thought hanging in the back of my mind, I was extremely content when I watched this game.

Canucks 5 – 2 Flames

  • Dan “Community Man” Hamhuis is all about making young people’s dreams come true, and 30 seconds into this one, that’s exactly what he did, scoring on an Alex Burrows feed after the pair were sprung on a 2-on-1. It was the first NHL shift of Flames rookie Max Reinhart, who grew up in Vancouver and often dreamed of making the NHL and being on the ice for a Canuck goal. Now, thanks to the considerate actions of the Community Man, he has been. Someone get Reinhart that puck.
  • Daniel Sedin got the second assist on that goal, and it was richly deserved. He starts the entire play, recognizing that Mark Giordano is pinching down the boards to hold the puck in and trapping him behind the play with a nonchalant chip to start the odd-man rush the other way. It was the best chip since Thunder Crunch Jalapeno.
  • Zack Kassian dropped the gloves with Tim Jackman midway through the first, which is notable only in that it was when I noticed Kassian had shaved his beard. Now he looks like Jack Nicholson’s character in The Shining. I spent the next five minutes hoping he’d axe his way out of the penalty box.
  • Shortly after this, Tom Sestito fought with Brian McGrattan, which was ideal because it took both of them off the ice for five minutes.
  • Dale Weise made it 2-0 for the Canucks, tipping a Jason Garrison shot up and over Miikka Kiprusoff. I loved Maxim Lapierre’s pass on this goal, a crazy accurate saucer pass that, as Elliotte Friedman pointed out at the intermission, went right to Garrison’s back foot, where he’s said he wants it. If you’re wondering what woke the Sedins up in the second period, I’d suggest it was the moment Lapierre made what was at that point the game’s best saucer pass.
  • Thing you might have missed on that goal: Mason Raymond trips over Matt Stajan’s stick in the middle of the zone and falls down, because of course he does.
  • That goal was part of a long stretch of the second period where the Sedins looked absolutely ridiculous, and I mean ridiculous. They were nigh unstoppable, yes, but they also looked completely disinterested in scoring, making spinning no-look back-passes when, say, on a shot on goal might have been more effective. They were like Cirque du Soleil acrobats, serving up a feast for the eyes with stunning control, jaw-dropping twists and twirls, and no net.
  • How disengaged was the Canucks’ defence? Somehow, Kevin Bieksa managed to tweet during the game. (Okay, it was probably some sort of evidence his account has been compromised. The funny thing is that the tweet violated the NHL’s social media policy, which enforces a social media blackout from two hours before the game to when the players’ media obligations are finished. It would be hilarious if he got fined.)
  • The Canucks had a few very short powerplays in this game. On one, Daniel Sedin ended the man advantage in six seconds in when he took a hooking minor at the blueline. That was bad. But on another, they scored in just four seconds after winning the faceoff and setting up the one-timer for Alex “Bomberman” Edler. That was good, especially since Edler’s bomb uncovered the boxing glove.
  • Henrik Sedin has taken a lot more defensive zone faceoffs this season than he usually does, but Alain Vigneault was able to get him down to just three in this game. Andrew Ebbett, Derek Roy, and Maxim Lapierre had 5, 6, and 7, respectively. Roy struggled the most, winning just 2 of his 6 and 5-of-17 overall. But he was good defensively otherwise, maneuvering through traffic and getting into lanes like a motorcycle amongst cars, which, considering his size, he sort of is.
  • Don Cherry had some strong words for the Canucks’ handling of Roberto Luongo at the first intermission. “They are letting him rot,” he said, in a rare complete sentence. But lest Canuck fans worry too much about Cherry’s opinion, I remind you that a moment earlier, he balked when Ron Maclean expressed the distance between Calgary and Vancouver in kilometres, because he thinks the metric system is “commie stuff”.
  • You’d be hard-pressed to claim the Hockey Night in Canada telecasts are art, although with all the men shouting over one another, both the aforementioned Coach’s Corner and Hotstove segments do occasionally border on noisecore. But Henrik Sedin’s 5-2 goal featured a very artful moment. As the puck drifted towards the empty net, the screen briefly went all-black in a Sopranos-esque flourish. What was this? Was Henrik killed as he entered the restaurant or not? You’d have thought the telecast was being directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski, although he might have faded to blue. In any case, it was appropriate and poetic, since the puck’s slow drift towards the unattended goal truly did signal the moment it was time to fade to black.
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42 comments

  1. Gimmic
    April 7, 2013

    Great stuff! But it’s ‘Tim’ Jackman.

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  2. Daniel Cohen
    April 7, 2013

    Great as always. The Kassian bit was spot on!
    \

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  3. Dan R
    April 7, 2013

    Kieslowski. Wow. I tweeted my reply, but since it’s past midnight and everyone will miss it, I’ll repeat it here: “#welldone.”

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  4. Mike
    April 7, 2013

    Today I learned – Henrik Sedin has 5 short handed goals (1 tonight) and Daniel Sedin has none.

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    • Dan
      April 7, 2013

      It’s interesting about the short handed goals, considering people always lament the twins not PK-ing, although they did under Mark Crawford, For Henrik’s 5-2 short handed goal tonight he was on the PK killing a 6 on 4. I’d be interested to know just how much more of these defensive positions he’s been put in throughout this whole lock-out shortened year. How different is it from previous AV-years? Does PITB or Bulies know of anywhere to get that info?

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      • Brent
        April 7, 2013

        I saw him out on the power play a couple of times, not sure it was against Edmonton or the game before. I am used to seeing him out in the last 10-15 seconds when AV want a quick transition into offence after, but this was much early. I actually wondered if AV had been taken over by an alien parasite.

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  5. Tom 1040
    April 7, 2013

    Weak team (good game from the Sedin line), great goalie.

    Canucks D looked its typical disorganized self again tonight. Calgary was the better team except Kip…looked like Luongo in Boston.

    I need to see another replay but Weise made a huge play, albeit of questionable integrity, injuring McGratton with that massive hit.

    Calgary lost a lot of their bite after he left.

    Again, I need to see another replay, but I think I saw him (Weise) delay his hit until McGratton put himself in a vulnerable position (i.e. in the actual act of extending and thereby exposing himself while clearing the puck out of the zone) before he absolutely stapled him to the boards.

    Look for payback April 10 if McGratton isn’t still injured though I think he will be out for a while.

    That hit was a playoff style hit that can change the momentum of a series, which makes Weise valuable.

    Once again, Schneider was/has been/is awesome. Imagine what he could fetch on/in/from the market.

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    • Andre
      April 7, 2013

      Despite your aversion (aversion is a bit weak, but loathing is too strong) to the Canucks, I’m afraid you see things to which fans are willingly blind. The Canucks defense was largely disorganized, couldn’t break the Calgary jam or make outlet passes if their lives depended on it.

      We have ten games left to get our shit together and we damn well better improve, else we’ll make a prompt exit from the first series, Schneider notwithstanding.

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      • Tom 1040
        April 7, 2013

        Thanks, Andre.

        As mentioned to another ‘poster’, the Canucks are the only team I have ‘rooted for’ for many years. I have no other favourite team.

        It is my honest opinion that is presented including when I state that I am trying to be objective.

        Having said that, there are ‘elements’ of this ‘team’ that I indeed loathe starting with the GM – but that’s a whole other discussion.

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  6. Josh D.
    April 7, 2013

    I was at this game! I can never complain when I can partake in a good rout of the Flames. Here are my thoughts:

    Crowd energy was really good tonight! I’m fairly sure we spent half the third period sustaining the wave, but that number might be clouded by the beer.

    Roy and Higgins continue to play well together, with Roy’s compete level being through the roof, he was causing turnovers all night and making five Flames chase as he zoomed through the offensive zone, really good to see. I do feel that Jannik was pretty invisible this game, and he seemed to be forcing things a lot when he was getting touches, so I hope that passes quickly.

    Garrison is quietly rounding into form as our best all around d-man, which is important when you happen to be the avatar of Johnny Canuck.

    Edler really needs to use that slapper of his more often.

    Holiday is still my favorite goal tune.

    Good game, Good IWTG!

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    • cathylu
      April 7, 2013

      I know what you mean about our goal song. I’m still getting used to it. But my mind tells me I have to like it because when I hear it it means we put the puck in the net. I’d love to have a list of our songs though the years (since I’m “new” I only go back to Holiday). I assume way back in the day there was no song at all, just a horn?

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      • Nee
        April 7, 2013

        I’m a Black Keys fan, so I personally LOVE “Gold on the Ceiling”. It’s similar to our song from last year (Electric Worry) but a bit less bluegrass-y.

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    • Chinook
      April 7, 2013

      Josh, you are sooo right – Garrison is the avatar of Johnny Canuck!

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  7. gumby
    April 7, 2013

    Man, I have come to hate CBC broadcasts. Hrudey is OK at commentary, but terrible at colour in the booth. Bunch of guys shouting over eachother indeed. Give me Shorty and Garrett (“…yes! We have the Snackwells in our home and enjoy them immensely!”) anyday.

    Dunno what to think about that game. I get frustrated with games when the Canucks play well, yet the bounces don’t go their way and the opposing goalie is standing on is head, which seems, like, all the time. That was the game Calgary had. Viewing it from the opposite perspective … yoy. Not as fun as I would have imagined. What a lot of giveaways!

    The Sedins, man. Crazy possession, resulting in … no real chances on net. Nice to sit back and admire (golly! that sure is technically accomplished!), but you want someone to go in there and take the damn puck away from them and hurl it at the net.

    Anyway, that game was more exciting than it should have been. Roy looks like a great fit so far. The Sedins were there clockwork usual. My mancrush on Tanev continues unabated. Cam Barker looks like Jeff Spiccoli.

    And Boston lost to Montreal. A good night.

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    • Chris the Curmudgeon
      April 7, 2013

      Was going to type exactly that about Hrudey. Nobody shoul let that man anywhere near a microphone while the game is going.

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      • chicken chick
        April 7, 2013

        Remarking on Sestito’s fight
        Hrudey claimed with much delight
        That “both those guys are big and mean”
        A comment borderline obscene

        Praising Bieksa’s knowing in advance
        That it was time to “Take the chance”
        Of throwing an elbow to the head
        More proof Hrudey’s brain is dead

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      • Nee
        April 7, 2013

        Hrudey is pretty good as a panelist/interviewer. I like his calm demeanour and insight.

        But for some reason, he really struggles with colour commentary. Maybe it’s the instantaneous aspect of it? Whatever it is, he sounds constantly uncomfortable. He spends a good portion of his time stumbling over his words and doesn’t manage to give much analysis at all.

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    • anotherrob
      April 7, 2013

      How ’bout Scott Oake making fun of Hanson’s voice, twice. Classy.

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    • akiddd
      April 7, 2013

      with practise i’ve been able to ignore hrudey’s voice for the most part but who is that play-by-play guy? it’s not what he says, it’s how he says it. the tone and inflection make me feel like i’m watching a basketball game. it’s an uncomfortable feeling and one made stronger by the dread that that’s going to be the play-by-play crew for the playoffs. hughson(the only guy i can take on hnic) will surely do the leaf games. we are scr*wed.

      it’s almost as deflating as being repeatedly told, “you are posting comments too quickly. slow down.”

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      • John in Marpole
        April 7, 2013

        The HNIC play by play guy on Saturday was Rick Ball from TEAM 1040, he does the radio play by play when Shorty is on TV, and he is the radio voice of the BC Lions on 1040.

        Ball & Hrudy have been teamed up on HNIC since the season started.

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    • akidddddd
      April 7, 2013

      with practise i’ve been able to ignore hrudey’s voice for the most part but who is that play-by-play guy? it’s not what he says, it’s how he says it. the tone and inflection make me feel like i’m watching a basketball game. it’s an uncomfortable feeling and one made stronger by the dread that that’s going to be the play-by-play crew for the playoffs. hughson(the only guy i can take on hnic) will surely do the leaf games. we are scr*wed.

      it’s almost as deflating as being repeatedly told, “you are posting comments too quickly. slow down.”

      or,

      “You don’t have permission to access /wp-content/w3tc/pgcache//2013/04/07/i-watched-this-game-canucks-vs-calgary-flames-april-6-2013//_index.html_gzip on this server.

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      • Harrison Mooney
        April 7, 2013

        We’re trying desperately to fix whatever’s going on with that. Problem is, that means reaching out to our server people, and they don’t care.

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  8. gumby
    April 7, 2013

    And CBC should be eviscerated for the blackout while the puck headed to the empty net. WTF? And no acknowledgement or apology.

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    • J21
      April 8, 2013

      If there was a Sedin goal to miss, though, that one was it.

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  9. benjo
    April 7, 2013

    I was expecting a comment about showing a new emotion tonight, pain.

    Though it was likely just another gear issue.

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  10. edmontoncoilers
    April 7, 2013

    After reading this IWTG I have a huge craving for ThunderCrunch chips. A chip that I didn’t know I missed until now.

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  11. Kips
    April 7, 2013

    Kevin Bieksa tweeted during the game? I checked his Twitter, and it appears if the tweet has been deleted. What was it about?

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    • Nee
      April 7, 2013

      It was a spam tweet. “Try this random online game!” with a link.

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  12. jenny wren
    April 7, 2013

    ‘Twas Juice from Burr just seconds in
    Ignited hope that we would win!
    Then Garrison off the toe of Weise,
    Who screened the shot by Kipper’s crease,

    Established soon the two goal lead
    Would not be all Vancouver’d need,
    Although unlike some times before
    They added on a couple more,

    When the Sedins controlled the game,
    Assisting in the middle frame
    As Burrows scored Vancouver’s third
    And Edler then their fourth conferred,

    While Cory too was playing great:
    Stopped all but two of thirty-eight!

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  13. steviewire
    April 7, 2013

    There has been some lamination about the Sedins not putting enough pucks on net but yet the line finished the game with a combined 8 points. This was certainly not the right game to take them to task.

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    • Darcy Rota
      April 7, 2013

      So people are finishing counters and tabletops with criticism of the Sedins now? When will it ever end. Unless you mean “lamentation”, in which case that’s a bit over the top, but a little more reasonable.

      But you’ll never convince me there is wailing, covering of one’s self with ashes, rending garments or gnashing of teeth. Except in Iain MacIntyre’s den whenever the Canucks win a close one.

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  14. Cathylu
    April 7, 2013

    I guess I tried to ignore how bad our defense was since we kept a lead the whole game. But I was glad to see the intensity – it seemed almost like a playoff game. And Cory was soooo good.

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  15. steveB
    April 7, 2013

    I missed nearly all this game- I was at a dinner that was supposed to start at 6:00pm, but a number of tardy people kept us there until nearly the end of the second period.

    I tried to catch the remaining play-by-play on TEAM 1040 on the drive back, but was in a car full of loud talkers who aren’t at all interested in hockey.

    The TV was in use by relatives watching some rom-com when I got home, so I watched the third period on some dodgy streaming site, that looked like it was encoded on a Soviet Bloc toaster.

    Thanks for giving this IWTG, it really helped fill in the missing bits for me.

    You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down. :-(

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  16. Chinook
    April 7, 2013

    Don Cherry was talking about somebody named “Lalongo”, and not about Roberto Luongo. (That’s to help Don – for sure he read’s PITB) I managed to mute or bathroom-break pretty much all the rest of HNIC intermission crap. Elliot Friedman is good but the self-important Healey and idiot Stock grate too much to watch/listen.

    Great picture of Kassian as Jack Nicholson! And I got a real chuckle from comparing the Sedins to Cirque du Soleil – working without a net. Spot on, well done Harrison.

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  17. bc
    April 7, 2013

    Raymond actually falls down TWICE before Weise’s goal (see 0:34 in the replay)…..because, really, of course he does…

    Happy to see the Canucks win again!

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  18. Steveston Mark
    April 7, 2013

    Wow, people STILL watch Coach’s Corner?

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    • Chinook
      April 7, 2013

      What would work is a giant sticky note over the TV screen, with just a teensy corner uncovered so as to know when the 2nd is underway, and (of course) the sound muted. Other than that, its a captive audience. though I’m told that with many beers the show is actually quite funny.

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      • Shade of Blue
        April 7, 2013

        Coach’s Corner descended into self-parody years ago. Thanks to the PVR, the intermission flashed by at 4x fast forward, and all I caught was a glimpse of his gaudy suit.

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  19. gumby
    April 7, 2013

    It’s best enjoyed at a meta-level, with ironic detachment.

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  20. Smokey
    April 7, 2013

    I don’t think it’s fair to say the Canucks didn’t play well, I thought they played a really good game, people expected Calgary to just roll over but they made it a tough, hard-fought contest and never backed down. Sometimes you have to give the opponent credit, Calgary played hard, but the Canucks had the answers. The only way you’d say they played poorly is if you were expected a blowout because Calgary is a “bad team” so the Canucks “should” dominate. Well that isn’t the way it works!

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  21. DanD
    April 7, 2013

    I was so excited about that Kieslowski reference, until I realized I had no chance of getting it.

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  22. JC
    April 8, 2013

    The Burrows goal made it 3-1, not 3-0.

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