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.
, I Watched This Game