I Watched This (Pre-Season) Game: Canucks vs New York Rangers, September 26, 2013

When an old flame comes back to town, you want to make them miss you. You want to show them how much worse off they are without you. You want to make them regret that break-up.

That’s what the Canucks did Thursday. With Alain Vigneault back in Rogers Arena for the first time since his dismissal, with his new flame, the New York Rangers, in tow, the Canucks got all done up and they flaunted their goods. They made the Rangers, that hussy, look silly. They strutted their stuff. They flexed their game. And I watched this game.

Canucks 5 – 0 Rangers

  • The Sedins have looked a little rusty in their previous tune-up games, but their Sedinery looked season-ready in this one, especially on the opening goal. One assumes that the combo of swivelling back-passes they made to set up Alex Edler’s one-timer — which didn’t make it to the goal but ricocheted right back to Henrik for the tap-in — left Alain Vigneault sighing wistfully at the bench.
  • Poor Vigneault. Can you imagine having the Sedin twins on your bench and then having to go to a place where you didn’t? It’d be like being kicked out of the Garden of Eden.
  • Frankie Corrado made it 2-0 seven minutes later, scoring on a knucklepuck that would have made a young Kenan Thompson proud, but I was far more impressed with Jannik Hansen’s work to get the puck to him. With very little room to operate, Hansen squeezed along the boards, then slid the puck through a defender’s legs to the corner before skating back onto it. After that, he chipped it to Corrado, who fired the bouncing puck at Lundqvist. It dipped at the last second, which is the worst for a goalie. The only thing worse than a dip is a double-dip. Just take one dip and end it.
  • I really, really liked the pairing of Alex Edler and Chris Tanev tonight. They moved the puck well all game and looked especially fantastic on the ice with the Sedins and Alex Burrows. As a five-man unit, they were nigh impossible to get the puck from, and their control led to the Canucks’ third goal of the night. After another wide-open Alex Edler slapshot was tipped before it reached Lundqvist, this time by Alex Burrows, it slid right to Henrik, who deposited his second gift of the night into the open net. Dude was getting gifts all over the ice, which is fitting, since it was birthday. Granted, he got two of them and Daniel didn’t get one. We can assume one of those gifts was meant for Daniel.
  • It’s too early to say the new coaching staff has had an impact on Alex Edler, but if there’s one thing that looks different thus far, it’s the frequency with which he shoots the puck. He had a game-high six shots attempted in this one, and he looked to be stepping into everything that came his way. He took over this game step by step, ooh baby.
  • Granted, it wasn’t all Edler. No disrespect to Henrik Lundqvist, but he didn’t have a very good game tonight. No disrespect to Ben Affleck, either. All disrespect to Jimmy Kimmel.
  • Lundqvist looked bad a few times, but he looked worst on Hunter Shinkaruk’s goal, which made it 5-0 with just under a minute to go in the second period. After taking the puck as he crossed the blueline and showing some nifty footwork yet again, Shinkaruk beat Lundqvist high to the far side. In Lundqvist’s defence, he probably didn’t expect Shinkaruk to release so quickly, but that’s always a concern with 18-year-olds.
  • David Booth actually played tonight, and he looked pretty on top of his game, especially on a shorthanded 2-on-1 with Alex Burrows. Burrows made a nifty pass, leaving Booth a wide-open net, and the winger managed to redirect the puck right into the post. It brought a tear to my eye. David Booth is back. Like HBO after all those horses died, he has no Luck.
  • Truthfully, the score doesn’t really reflect the game we just watched. The Canucks lit the Rangers up, sure, but they also looked really, really shaky defensively, like they still don’t know where they’re supposed to go in John Tortorella’s zone system. There were times they looked good. But there were other times, far too many times, when they looked completely lost, like this poor guy trying to freestyle on live television.
  • Thankfully, even when you’re pretty bad defensively, it doesn’t matter if your goaltender is unbeatable. Roberto Luongo picked up the shutout in this one, and he deserved it. After struggling in his first outing, he showed signs in his second that he was finding his game, and his third time out, tonight, he was downright disgusting. So much so that the crowd started chanting Leeeeeeeewd.
  • Finally, after getting into it with Dan Hamhuis, of all people — a decision that earned him an unsportsmanlike conduct because, seriously, who gets into it with Dan Hamhuis? — Derek Dorsett got a visit from Kevin Bieksa. Bieksa won the fight handily, landing some serious blows. The lesson: going after Dan Hamhuis is like prying open the Ark of the Covenant. It’s a surefire way to get your face messed up.
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  1. Nee
    September 26, 2013

    That Shinkaruk comment killed me. Great recap!

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    • Brent
      September 27, 2013

      Ya that was my favourite part to!

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  2. Kit
    September 26, 2013

    In Lundqvist’s defence, he probably didn’t expect Shinkaruk to release so quickly, but that’s always a concern with 18-year-olds

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    • Kit
      September 26, 2013

      I’d intended to point out that I found that line hilarious rather than just pasting it, but I live in Halifax and it is very late and I have a case of the stupids.


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      • KevinZed
        September 27, 2013

        It was quite possibly the best line of the night, and this was a night where the Sedin line was fantastic.

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  3. akidd
    September 27, 2013

    ooo…bieksa! he’s got some mad skills, a very efficient puncher. not support hockey fights but he, like rypien was) is a little more graceful than your average nhl swinger. nice head duck to avoid the one big shot too.

    didn’t watch the game. how was the crowd response to AV? any signs, cheers, jeers, or just an awkward silence–”oh, it’s you.//shuffle, shuffle//didn’t expect to see you here//shffule, shuffle, play with pointing toe on the ground.”

    or more confrontational?i see you have a new team. very nice. i see they’re also a blue team….hmmm… do they make you feel the way we used to make you feel?remember that, alain, remember in 10-11 how good it was?we were unbeatable together…almost….”

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  4. Betty Henderson
    September 27, 2013

    You are a very funny guy, appreciate that ! Laughter is good for the Soul !

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  5. Josh D.
    September 27, 2013

    I was at this game!

    Made a nice post explaining my thoughts and then the server ate it or something.

    Good times all around!

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  6. Cathylu
    September 27, 2013

    I was at the game also. There was a show of love for AV at the start, with applause and a standing ovation. Loved the game and loved the IWTG! I thought our guys really played like they meant it, especially Hank, who was a real pest. My only regret is that Lundqvist never took off his mask, or if he did I didn’t have any binoculars.

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  7. DanD
    September 27, 2013

    Wow, that spoken word video! So awkward!

    Good point about the defense tonight. It’s great to win 5-0, but consistently getting outshot the way the Canucks have in the pre-season won’t work out well long-term once the season starts. Let’s hope consistent D-pairings and more practice time will help work out the kinks!

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  8. Naturalmystic
    September 27, 2013

    Plan the parade, they won another pre-season game! Kings, Sharks, Ducks watch out, here comes the pain train!

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  9. Shand
    September 27, 2013

    Dude was getting gifts all over the ice, which is fitting, since it was birthday

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  10. Iceman
    September 27, 2013

    Thank you Harrison for the detailed recap of the game and a full of witty observations, as always.

    It was one of those strange games where we get badly outshot (40+ SOG for Rangers, as opposed to 20-something for Canucks?), yet the final score was totally irrelevant to the stat. Things could easily have gotten uglier for AV’s new team had Booth and Burr buried the puck with their SH chances in the 3rd. Luongo also seemed to have regained his mojo to start the season.

    The takeaway of the night? Finally seeing Booth playing (and better than I expected at that) and skating off the ice on his own after the game. That was a big relief – and the guy really deserved a break.

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  11. whisky jack
    September 27, 2013

    That I did watch I cannot claim
    Was at our weekly poker game
    (The only point of interest there
    How would the forty-niners fare
    They won the spread was twenty-four
    I lost ten bucks though some lost more
    When every hand was like nine two
    There’s very little one can do)

    This morn I read PITB
    Its post on what I did not see
    It seems the “O “ is set to burn
    About the “D” there is concern
    So it depends on Bobby Lu
    The first few games to get us through

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  12. Gimmic
    September 28, 2013

    Oh how I’ve missed “I watched this game” recaps. Always good for a laugh.

    I’ve seen Canucks fans go a little crazy over this 1 single game. Guys, “SAMPLE SIZES”, it was 1 game!! AV’s not a crappy coach cause his team lost 5-0, and Torts isn’t god cause Luongo stole the game.

    Sample sizes people. Sample sizes.

    Also lots of comments about Edler looking better already. You really wanna know why this is people? Cause he’s not paired WITH KEVIN BIEKSA anymore! That’s why. That pairing was an absolute disaster last season. And for whatever reason AV kept them together. Now that they’re not, Edler is fine. Of course, Tanev can make Aron Rome look like Drew Doughty, so it doesn’t hurt having tanev as a partner.

    But Daniel still looks really off. He hasn’t been the same player since Keith assaulted him. I thought after another summer to train, maybe build his confidence back – he’d be back to Daniel. But he still looks really off. It makes me a sad panda.

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