I Watched This (Pre-Season) Game: Canucks at San Jose Sharks, September 24, 2013

In many ways, the pre-season is about finding out what doesn’t work. You find out which prospects aren’t ready for the NHL just yet, you find out which line combinations are unlikely to gel, and you find out which defencemen should never, ever, ever be paired together.

In this game, we got the latter. Andrew Alberts and Yannick Weber are, individually, reasonable depth options on defence: not NHL regulars, but players that can cycle in and out of the bottom pairing as needed. Together, they are an endless void of despair and suffering. I was provoked to hyperbole when I watched this game.

Canucks 0 – 5 Sharks

  • I’m not exaggerating when I say that Alberts and Weber were disastrous in this game. The two of them were on the ice for four of the Sharks’ five goals and were directly at fault for most of them. They were the worst pairing since chardonnay with burritos.
  • The Sharks first goal was credited to Tomas Hertl, but the puck actually deflected in off Weber’s stick, as he inexplicably laid his stick along the ice hoping to block an innocent-looking shot from the side boards. It’s not the first time that Weber has gone for an ill-advised shot block directly in front of the net on a shot that the goaltender would have had no problem stopping. He needs to learn, like I’ve taught my one-year-old, that life’s not all about blocks.
  • The Sharks’ second goal came after a brutal giveaway by Weber in the defensive zone. Dan Boyle ended up with plenty of room to rip the puck past Eddie Lack’s glove. Weber needs to learn the difference between a good giveaway, like the Seattle police handing out Doritos at Hempfest, and a bad giveaway, like vuvuzelas at a baseball game.
  • Alberts and Weber weren’t solely to blame on the Sharks’ third goal. While killing a penalty, Jannik Hansen jumped forward on a faceoff just outside the blue line when Richardson won the draw instead of playing it safe. The man he stepped past was Joe Thornton, who had a free path to the net, scoring easily. Of course, he only got the puck because Alberts was too slow getting to the won faceoff along the boards, partly because Patrick Marleau got past Weber too easily on the faceoff. Then Weber, instead of taking Thornton in front, put himself in no man’s land trying to block the pass.
  • On the plus side for Alberts, he wasn’t on the ice for the Sharks’ fourth goal! Unfortunately, he was in the penalty box after taking a roughing penalty far behind the play. Welp.
  • You could argue that Lack should have saved that fourth goal, however, as he went down in his butterfly far too early and slid across on his knees when the pass went across to Couture in the slot instead of staying upright and getting square to the shooter. Because he stayed on his knees, he couldn’t come across quickly enough. It’s definitely something he needs to work on.
  • Lack struggled on the Sharks’ fifth goal, as well, though it’s harder to blame him. The Canucks struggled to get the puck out of the defensive zone, forcing Lack to make a couple solid saves. On one of those saves, he awkwardly struggled to his feet and wasn’t anywhere near set for Hertl’s quick shot. He’s got to track the puck better in those situations and recognize when he has time to get back up and when he needs to scramble to make an ugly save.
  • Things weren’t all terrible in this game. The Sedins were fantastic. Daniel had a game-high 6 shots on goal, but just couldn’t beat Antti Niemi. The two of them even looked good killing penalties, picking off passes and creating a 2-on-1 opportunity the other way. It’s almost like they’re intelligent, talented hockey players who are capable of doing what their coach asks of them. Shocking.
  • Tom Sestito continues to make Mike Gillis’s decision to re-sign him look really, really bad. His one contribution to the game was a pointless fight with Matt Pelech. The two of them even took their helmets off prior to the fight, getting an extra two-minute penalty in the process. It was probably the best thing he could have done, as it kept him off the ice for a full seven minutes. That may seem unnecessarily harsh, but all pre-season it’s felt like the Canucks were on a penalty kill whenever he was on the ice.
  • Just to add some terrible icing to a disgusting cake, Bo Horvat took a puck to the mouth from a deflected Frank Corrado point shot. Horvat didn’t even miss a shift, coming out for the final shift of the game. Being tougher than 7-11 beef jerky will likely help him get into Tortorella’s good books.
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16 comments

  1. BS
    September 25, 2013

    For a nice change I think we both finally watched the same game although I thought Lack had a bad game. Sedins were good but must have finished -2. I cant see them killing penalties all season despite the good scoring chance they generated they still dont defend well.

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    Rating: -2 (from 2 votes)
    • Daniel Wagner
      September 25, 2013

      I don’t recall saying that Lack had a good game. In fact, I spent two bullet points identifying things he needs to improve.

      The Sedins both finished minus-1, as they were on the ice for Boyle’s goal off Weber’s turnover. You would have to really reach to blame them for that one. As for the penalty-killing, they did just fine in this game. Despite a little over a minute on the PK, the only shot on goal came off Daniel’s stick and was directed at the Sharks’ net. The Sharks only had one shot attempt while on the powerplay against the Sedins and it was blocked by Daniel.

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      • Neil B
        September 25, 2013

        Shots (blocked) shots (blocked) shots (blocked) shots (blocked) shots (blocked) shots.

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  2. ikillchicken
    September 25, 2013

    Burritos really go better with a nice red wine or perhaps a glass of brandy.

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    • Neil B
      September 25, 2013

      Apparently chardonnay also pairs poorly with Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Chardonnay–what are you good for!?!

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      • Tengeresz
        September 25, 2013

        Salmon.

        And pretentious clerical workers in a pub

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        Rating: +8 (from 8 votes)
        • Kenji
          September 25, 2013

          My mother-in-law. Calms her right down.

          I don’t understand it. Oak in wine = eating chocolate with the wrapper on.

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          Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  3. Josh D.
    September 25, 2013

    I’m not worried, honestly this is one of the reasons I’m glad we have Torts. :)

    I wish I didn’t have to be at work when the game was on, though, the only place I can readily follow along with things as they happen is CDC, and I get the impression they’re all manic depressives who are just looking for a reason to race to the nearest bridge. Sheesh.

    Tomorrow is a new day!

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  4. Andre
    September 25, 2013

    I presume that Alberts is the burrito in your metaphor. Weber, conversely, seems at times like wine, and otherwise as vinegar.

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  5. akidd
    September 25, 2013

    depends on the chardonnay, i suppose. if you’ve got one that’s a bit sweet and warm….

    ugh, that comparison just too evocative for this pretty early morning, daniel. and just when I was enjoying my pina colada-flavoured coffee too.

    not sure what alberts problem is. it’s like he wants to get waived or something. i thought he was really solid late last season and now even if all the other wine was injured you’d be hard-pressed to uncork him.

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    • Amor de Cosmos
      September 25, 2013

      Alberts will be fine — well, better than adequate at least. He has spells of braincramp like this, fortunately they’re infrequent. Give him a specific role, a regular partner if possible, and a new gumshield to suck. It’ll work out. Plus he’s a new dad, remember what that does to the bio-rhythms?

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  6. chicken chick
    September 25, 2013

    Despite last night’s embarrassment
    This fan remains most confident
    For if in goal were Bobby Lu
    We only lost by one or two

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  7. Brent
    September 25, 2013

    Screw the pretentious chardonnay. Beer, I will need lots and lots of beer this season.

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  8. Cathylu
    September 25, 2013

    Since I am on a cruise ship somewhere off the coast of California I wasn’t able to see or hear last night’s game. Even logging on to the internet on board is very challenging. Unfortunately I was able to connect before going to bed to find out we lost 0-5. In any case thanks for the IWTG; I understand now why the score was so bad. I hope Eddie can improve so he can become a real solid backup for Lu.

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  9. Chris the Curmudgeon
    September 25, 2013

    You wanna know what sucks? Living in the Bay Area, being a Canucks fan, and seeing my team now drop a 9th consecutive game against the Sharks in 2013 alone (3 reg season, 4 playoffs and 2 preseason), without even a single little loser point out of the whole thing. My curmudgeonliness does not extend to premature pool-flipping as those things go, and I know preseason really doesn’t mean anything, but please please PLEASE win just one flipping game against the Sharks.

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  10. DanD
    September 25, 2013

    Great recap Daniel. Is it just me, or is Niemi the Canucks’ kryptonite? It would be interesting to see that stats they’ve had against him in the past few years, but it always seems to me that he gets the better of the Canucks – especially the Sedins. It was a preseason game, of course. But just thought I’d put that out there.

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