It wasn’t the best of seasons for Maxim Lapierre. The third line centreman’s job was his to lose from the moment the club shut down Manny Malhotra, and while he never formally lost it, he did little to show the Canucks he should have it. He just seemed a little off all season, and he wound up bouncing back and forth between lines three and four without ever really cementing a role.
Still, he scored four goals. (and a half, reminds Jason Brough, since his shootout winner versus Columbus was the closest thing we got to a goal on that night.)
Lapierre may be gone, now a member of the St. Louis Blues, but he’s not forgotten. He can’t be, because we have yet to do his entry in the Every Goal series. So let’s get to that.
Lapierre bulked up like crazy during the long offseason, and his increased strength shows itself here, as he battles past Greg Zanon at the red line, then fights his way into the Colorado zone on a partial odd-man rush, keeps and scores. It’s a nice individual effort from Lapierre, although, honestly, what the heck, Zanon and Giguere? Lapierre shouldn’t even have this puck, and that’s a stoppable shot. Way to blow it.
If he seems excited, check the date. It’s been awhile. But it’s not just that — Lapierre had just finished serving a penalty, and with the Canucks holding onto that dreaded two-goal lead, you know he was in there hoping his indiscretion didn’t see the Predators cut the lead in half. It didn’t, and more than that, he gets sprung on a breakaway the moment he gets out of the box. To add to the moment: the goal chases Pekka Rinne for the third straight visit to Vancouver. The only people who are worse when they come to town: anarchists.
Some nice play by the Canucks’ fourth line plus some lackadaisical play from the Flames’ defenders leads to this goal. Lapierre dumps the puck in and then goes after it, and when the Flames try to move it down the boards, Andrew Ebbett jumps in to steal the puck behind the goal. He throws it out front, where Lapierre has already gone, and Lapierre finds the puck in traffic before Miikka Kiprusoff does.
Speaking of lackadaisical defence, what in the what is Ryan O’Reilly doing here. He has control of the puck, and rather than doing anything sensible with it, he just swivels and throws it to nowhere. Unfortunately for him, Alex Edler is camped out in nowhere, and he turns this play into a 3-on-2 rush the other way with a one-touch to Ryan Kesler. Kesler gains the blue line right away, and the Avs aren’t set. Their defencemen are both on the near side, O’Reilly’s going the wrong way, and when Kesler feeds Lapierre, he has room on the far side to wire one past Giguere and tie the game.Tags: Every Goal, Every Goal 2012-13, Maxim Lapierre