I Watched This Game: Canucks at Calgary Flames, October 6, 2013

With the Canucks playing their first of 17 (!!!) back-to-backs Sunday night in Calgary, John Tortorella turned, as many coaches do in such situations, to his backup netminder. That meant a couple of firsts for Eddie Lack. His start was the first of any rookie netminder this season, and more importantly, it was also his first ever NHL start. Granted, after hearing Calgary’s in-arena announcer introduce the Scotiabank Saddledome to their 2013-14 Calgary Flames (Ben Street! Lance Bouma! Joe Colborne!), you can understand why it might not have felt like an NHL start.

Fortunately, the Canucks are a tight-knit group. Sensing Lack’s skepticism over the NHL-ness of the Flames’ roster, Henrik, Daniel and the gang committed themselves to making the Flames seem like a truly formidable foe, even placing the outcome of the game entirely in Lack’s hands, and all for his benefit. After two periods of well-meaning listlessness, once they certain Lack would cherish his first start forever, they stormed back and won it for him. It was sweet to see, and I did see, because I watched this game.

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John Tortorella cusses out the CBC, Glenn Healy responds like a ’14-year-old’ (Video)

Saturday night’s Canucks home opener was a completely novel viewing experience for the Vancouver hockey fan. After jumping out to a 4-1 lead, the Canucks did the hitherto unthinkable, continuing to pressure the Oilers until the game was over. The result, a near-flawless victory, with very few moments where the team looked in danger of relinquishing their lead. It was exactly the sort of performance the fanbase needed to get onboard with the new regime, especially after Thursday night’s embarrassing debut in San Jose.

But then John Tortorella ingratiated himself to the fanbase even further postgame, turning his trademark snarl on the CBC after learning that he had been criticized for a brief shouting match with Oilers coach Dallas Eakins at the end of the first. Told that Glenn Healy had said Tortorella needed to “suck it up and shut up,” Torts snarled back, “I really don’t give a shit what they say.”

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