I Watched This (Pre-season) Game: Canucks vs Edmonton Oilers, September 18, 2013

I hate to say it, you guys, but it’s over. It’s done.

I’m not talking about Wednesday night’s hockey game. It’s over and done too, of course, but that’s a good thing. I celebrate it’s completion, as this was preseason hockey at its finest, which is to say that it was particularly not fine. What I am talking about is the Canucks’ 2013-14 season. It’s done. Finished. I’m calling it right now.

The Canucks are now 0-2 in the preseason, leaving them in serious danger of not making the regular season, and I think it’s safe to say that the John Tortorella experiment is a wash, the kids aren’t all right, the Sedins have lost a step, and it’s time to blow it up. All of these things were evident when I watched this game.

Canucks 1 – 4 Oilers

 

  • Our good friend Wyatt Arndt warns you that, if you PVR’d this game, you should throw your PVR into the deepest ocean. But that won’t work. This thing you recorded is an evil, evil piece of programming. It will find you and it will mangle you like that girl in the closet in The Ring. The only way to survive at this point is to make a copy and end the curse before preseason Luongo crawls out of the well, his wet, greasy hair hanging menacingly over his face, his soul gnarled with a desire for vengeance.
  • Yeah, Roberto Luongo looks like he’s ready for the season to begin, which is another way of saying that he totally doesn’t. The Canucks de facto starter struggled to find the puck for much of his two periods of work, especially on Jordan Eberle’s wraparound goal, where the Oiler forward had so much space I thought I was watching the trailer for Gravity. It’s hardly a cause for alarm — although his struggles were literally cause for alarm four times — since this start wasn’t really about Funny Bob being amazing. It was about him finding his rhythm and whatnot. But amazing would have been cool too. It’s way more fun than contextualizing the starting goalie’s poor performance.
  • The good news is, after Luongo came out, his backup, Joacim Eriksson, looked really good, so don’t expect the Cory Schneider trade to leave us without a Cory Schneider.
  • After losing two defencemen to injury in John Negrin and Patrick Mullen, Jason Garrison was pressed into some serious action. The blueliner played a game-high 33:03. That’s a lot of time for such a meaningless game. Granted, there are worse ways to waste half an hour. The pilot of Dads, for instance.
  • More Garrison is fine with me, though, because he plays for the team I like and I don’t have to get in the way of any his shots. Boyd Gordon and Devan Dubnyk do, however, and they both regretted their career decisions after being hit with 2 of Garrison’s 11 shot attempts. The dude steps into shots like they’re Slim Jims.
  • I liked Brad Richardson’s game a lot, and I suspect that the coaching staff’s search for a third line center will somewhat more focused after witnessing both his two-way game and his 8-for-9 performance in the faceoff circle. As tough as it will be for Tortorella to put his faith in someone with “Brad Richards” in his name, you have to think Richardson is the frontrunner there.
  • It was weird to see the Sedins out killing penalties, but there they were, the first forward duo over the boards on the very first Vancouver penalty-kill. But they looked good out there, intercepting passes, winning battles along the boards, and even creating a few chances on the counter attack. I firmly expect to see some very slick shorthanded goals from those two this year. Granted, in order for that to happen, they, like Luongo, need to find their rhythm. They had a lot of passes picked off tonight, and you could see the frustration building as the night wore on. Friendly reminder to both of them: pass to the guy you remember from the womb.
  • Looking slightly better, albeit not literally, since he looks weird with short hair, was Zack Kassian. I was especially into his passing on the powerplay, where his soft touches and control down low really showed. That’s ideal, since the powerplay, like the art of lovemaking, is mostly about soft touches and control down low.
  • Brendan Gaunce scored the Canucks’ lone goal in this game, his second of the preseason. Gaunce hasn’t been the prospect that’s impressed me the most — that award goes to Hunter Shinkaruk, who had his moments again tonight — but he’s been the most productive thus far, and he’s shown a knack for being in the right place at the right time. It’s more than I can say for Dr. John.
  • It’s weird to see the Oilers and the Canucks swapping deployment ideologies: while Henrik took five defensive zone draws tonight, unheard of under Alain Vigneault, the Oilers kept new defensive centre Boyd Gordon to the d-zone. He took 9 of his 11 faceoffs inside his own blueline, and none inside Vancouver’s.
  • Finally, here’s hoping Nicklas Jensen musters the courage and fortitude to throw the One Ring into the fires of Morder soon and doesn’t spend his next game wearing it like he did tonight. You’re trying to make the big club, bud. Now is not the time to be invisible.
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12 comments

  1. Betty
    September 19, 2013

    Brilliant ! Laughed at some of it too! You do have a way with words. Wyatt does at times, but hates ladies that don”t agree with him. Then he rapidly loses his sense of ha ha.

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  2. PB
    September 19, 2013

    Excellent recap, especially puts the preason-ness of it all in nice and humorous perspective. I wasn’t quite so comfortable with Sexy Kassian descriptions but you brought it all back with a Dr. John and a LOTR ref to close it up. I do so enjoy these days where a freaking preseason game can so definitely prove all the Chicken Littles right

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  3. tj
    September 19, 2013

    I (am glad I) didn’t watch this game. But I am glad I read this. Hilarious, and really, for the first time, even a bit risqué. Well, well. Someone maybe caught the pilot of The Masters of Sex this week?

    Great recap. Thanks, H.

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  4. i know nothing Dreger
    September 19, 2013

    Wow, who’s stuck with whom? Is Luongo stuck with us because of his contract or are we stuck with him because of it? I am not a Luongo hater (really not..in fact I really want him to do well) but let’s face it, those four goals were terrible and indicative of the whole Luongo saga!! Remind me of why we wanted to trade him in the first place? Right…

    I think Luongo should stop worrying about his feelings and start focusing on stopping pucks. He lost his starting job last year for no reason other than the fact that he was not good enough and was outplayed by another goalie – plain and simple!! Nothing more and nothing less! Enough of this feeling BS and marriage analogy!! Need to earn the starting job – even now without Cory! Nothing more nothing less!

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    • Andre
      September 19, 2013

      I notice that Luongo fans are already getting warmed up in the pre-season.

      Gogo Canucks fans!

      P.S. We’re back to the: “Error: You posted your comments too quickly” thing. I guess everything is returning to normal…..

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  5. the olde coot
    September 19, 2013

    You watched this game and I did too
    Saw four quick shots beat Bobby Lu
    And then found something else to do

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  6. akidd
    September 19, 2013

    it’s a good thing lou has a lock on the starting job…because if he had to compete for it out of camp he’d be in tough. another freebie. throw it on the pile.

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  7. steveB
    September 19, 2013

    After last night’s game (actually, after the first 12 minutes), I thought of this:
    http://i.imgur.com/4MF60hF.jpg

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  8. kcf
    September 19, 2013

    Lol! “soft touches and control down low”… can’t wait to see them light a smoke up on the bench after a powerplay.

    Torts will have his faith restored with this version cause “Brad Richard’s on”.

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  9. Snepsts
    September 19, 2013

    I was AT this game. I stayed until the bitter end so maybe the hockey gods will favor me with two free tickets to an actual good game for once. I honestly thought this would be a barn-burner with a 6-5 outcome.

    I also thought Bieksa-Garrison looked absurdly good, but I couldn’t tell who was on the ice for every goal. It’s not hard to fault Luongo for at least two of them, but I give him a free pass for at least October thanks to Gillis stealing his mojo. I’m not bitter, it’s a business at the end of the day, but no one really expects Luongo to find his form before, say, Hallowe’en, right guys?

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  10. Cal
    September 19, 2013

    “You’re trying to make the big club, bud. Now is not the time to be invisible.”

    You say it perfectly.

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  11. DanD
    September 19, 2013

    I PVR’ed the last 14 minutes of this game while I was doing some household chores. What a mistake. The chores were more exciting.

    That being said, fully agree with you Harrisson. This is not the time to worry. That doesn’t happen until at least Saturday.

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