I Watched This Game: Canucks vs New Jersey Devils, October 8, 2013

This may come as a surprise, but Tuesday’s game at Rogers Arena was not a actually a battle between Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider. Unexpectedly, the two goaltenders brought teams with them. Given the hype heading into the game, I was expecting Luongo and Schneider to engage in some sort of 1-on-1 competition. Basketball, maybe?

Instead, they played hockey. And I watched them do so when I watched this game.

Canucks 3 – 2 Devils

  • The real story of tonight’s game? Chris Tanev looked good after looking terrible in his first three games. Because he cut his horrible, horrible hair. Also, he had an assist, 3 shots on goal, and finished plus-1. But it was mostly the hair.
  • Okay, that wasn’t the real story. This game was all about Jaromir Jagr, who played what is entirely likely to be his final game in Vancouver. He looked a little bit like his old self, scoring the Devils’ opening goal and adding an assist on their second. All he was missing was the mullet, which he could have made out of the scraps of Tanev’s hair.
  • Fine, let’s talk about the real real story: Mike Santorelli. The free agent signee joined the Sedins on the top line during the second and third period and (maybe) scored the gamewinning goal in overtime for the second-straight game. It’s pretty clear that he’s going to be one of John Tortorella’s favourite players, particularly after he was the only player, other than the Sedins, to successfully complete his 2 miles in 12 minutes challenge during training camp.
  • All right, all right, the real story heading into this game was Cory Schneider’s return to Vancouver. Fans gave him a standing ovation prior to puck drop and he was superb, making 29 saves on 32 shots and ensuring that an outplayed Devils team earned at least one point. He was even better than that, really, as two of the three goals that beat him deflected off his own defencemen in front of him. And, in the battle of the goaltenders, he made 8 more saves than Luongo. Schneider wins!
  • My favourite Schneider moment came when the Rogers Arena fans inexplicably started taunting him by chanting his name like he was Darryl Strawberry, only to see him stone Jannik Hansen on a breakaway a moment later. It was a bizarre sequence: Ryan Kesler broke his stick on a shot, so Hansen gave his stick to Kesler, who used it to lift Jagr’s stick to break up a Devils’ rush. Meanwhile, Hansen had picked up Yannick Weber’s stick from the bench, which he used on the breakaway.
  • Roberto Luongo was full value for the win, only getting beat by a wide open Jagr and a deflection off Dale Weise’s skate. His performance was only slightly diminished by his biggest save coming on a shot by noted logo-hunter Steve Bernier.
  • More frustrating than the deflection off Weise’s skate on the Devils’ second goal was how the puck deflected off the referee’s skate past Dan Hamhuis to Patrick Elias to set up the shot. It’s hard to blame either Hamhuis or Weise for that goal, though you can for the Devils’ first goal, where Hamhuis over-pressured the puck-carrier, creating a 2-on-1 from the hashmarks in for the Devils, while Weise stopped skating on the back check and couldn’t catch Jagr. You’d think Dan “Community Man” Hamhuis wouldn’t be so kind to a bunch of Devils.
  • After that lucky break for the Devils, the Canucks got one of their own to tie the game when Daniel Sedin’s point shot deflected off Anton Volchenkov in front of the net. Or, perhaps, it wasn’t a lucky break at all and Daniel hit Volchenkov with the third-level Wizard spell Suggestion. We had previously concluded that Daniel is, at minimum, a third-level Wizard, but using Suggestion means that Daniel is at least a fifth-level Wizard at this point. That means that he could conceivably cast Summon Monster III, so I look forward to seeing him summon a bison or hippogriff next game.
  • Alex Edler tied the game by first hobbling Ryane Clowe with a shot off the inside of his foot, then taking advantage of Clowe’s inability to get off the ice to jump up in the play and finish off a pass from Daniel Sedin. He kicked the puck up to his stick, then made a quick deke and elevated the puck like it was an anthropomorphic fox.
  • When Henrik Sedin took a hooking penalty in the third period, colour commentator Ray Ferraro said that he was an unlikely candidate for that penalty. Yeah, not so much. In the last full season, 2011-12, Henrik led the league in hooking penalties with 13. There’s a reason we call him Captain Hook and it’s not because he’s terrified of crocodiles and clocks.
  • Under Alain Vigneault, the Canucks rarely used their timeouts unless it was to give tired players a rest after an icing. Essentially, it was used defensively. In the third period of this game, Tortorella used a timeout offensively, giving the first powerplay unit a rest in an attempt to get the go-ahead goal. It will be interesting to see how Tortorella uses timeouts throughout the season.
  • Speaking of special teams, the Canucks killed their 15th straight penalty to start the season and have now gone four straight games without allowing a powerplay goal. The Canucks have actually out-scored their opponents 2-0 while a man down.
  • David Booth had a solid game: the Canucks out-shot the Devils 10-1 when he was on the ice. Sure, he takes some bad angle shots that skew his numbers a bit, but the only other Canuck to allow just one shot against while on the ice was Yannick Weber, who only played 2:23. Booth played over 18 minutes. Only allowing one shot against in that time is outstanding.
  • One of those shots came from Jason Garrison at the point on the game-winning goal in overtime. After some nice work by Booth and Santorelli on the forecheck, Garrison wristed the puck towards the net. It deflected off both Marek Zidlicky and Bryce Salvador with Santorelli screening in front and, according to Santorelli after the game, the puck hit him before going in. Garrison is still credited with the goal for now, his third of the season to lead all Canucks, but it would also be Santorelli’s third, making him the goal-scoring leader. There’s only one possible way to solve this: slacklining contest. There is literally no other way to decide who gets the goal.
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29 comments

  1. Jevon
    October 9, 2013

    why don’t Santa an Gar decide who gets the goal by doing a variant of rock paper scissors my friends and I devised. Stingray, Steve Irwin, Crocodile. Croc beats Stingray, Irwin beats croc, stingray beats steve. I bet Santa would go stingray. Not sure about Garrison.

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    • Doop
      October 9, 2013

      hm.

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  2. S
    October 9, 2013

    Sadly I only caught the first two periods of this game(3am start times in the UK!)… But is it scaring anybody else how well this team is playing in October? I know its been against weaker opposition, but I really can’t remember the last time they had 3 straight wins in October, let alone back-to-back comeback wins. I guess San Jose tomorrow will be the true test, but it does seem like this team is nowhere near as lackadaisical as they used to be during these first few weeks of the season.

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  3. P
    October 9, 2013

    I’m pretty sure this game was against the Devils and not the Sharks, fellas;) Wishful thinking?

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  4. antro
    October 9, 2013

    “We had previously concluded that Daniel is, at minimum, a third-level Wizard, but using Suggestion means that Daniel is at least a fifth-level Wizard at this point. That means that he could conceivably cast Summon Monster III, so I look forward to seeing him summon a bison or hippogriff next game.”

    I think he summons a kassian in two more games.

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  5. Chinook
    October 9, 2013

    About Schneider, “the Rogers Arena fans inexplicably started taunting him by chanting his name”. I don’t like the crowd mocking any player, let alone a class act like Schneider. May giant seagulls follow everyone of those chanters for weeks and poop on their fat little heads.

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    • Paul from YT
      October 9, 2013

      There is no reason to think that the crowd was “mocking” Schneider, they were merely chanting his name. The game was 2-2 NOT 6-2 Canucks.
      If the Canucks were blowing out the Devils and the crowd was chanting his name, I would agree with you and it would be in poor taste.
      The crowd could have been chanting his name because they like him (which you know they do) or – which is more probable, they did want to rattle his psyche a bit so the Canucks could score and win the game.
      It was a tight game where the goals were scarce and where both CS and RL only let one non-own goal in each. This game could have very easily been 0-0 in OT with the way both were playing if it weren’t for Weise stopping playing or Clowe wincing in pain hobbling to the bench – both goals were pretty much scored 5-4 due to these plays.
      The other 3 goals were off the respective teams own players limbs/skates for deflections

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      • could be worse
        October 9, 2013

        Nah, it was SCHNEIIIIII-der,SCHNEIIIIII-der, which is a raggy chant. If it was supportive, the emphasis and tempo would have been different Schnei-DER-Schnei-DER.

        It was meant to taunt, which I thought was a bit douchy.

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        • levite
          October 9, 2013

          The chant was started by a group of friends and I. How could anyone possibly dislike Schneider; he’s absolutely class. It was done out of friendly rivalry now that he’s playing for New Jersey, and like someone else observed – it’s not like he was playing badly or anything like that.

          Paul is pretty much bang on with his observations.

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    • Adam Nowek
      October 10, 2013

      It was playful. Get over it. If it wasn’t clear to you last night that Vancouverites will always have a soft spot for Cory Schneider, then it never will be.

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  6. laplander
    October 9, 2013

    I remember the Canucks vs Boston in the early 70s – There was a sense of fear and excitement whenever Boston would go on the powerplay or penalty kill.
    We could stand up to them 5 on 5 because they would rest their best players, as soon as they had a penalty out would come Orr, Sanderson and crew. And every few times Boston would be up by one.

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    • peanutflower
      October 9, 2013

      I remember a game I was at — Boston won the SC that year , so 1970, in the dungeon that is Pacific Coliseum. Gorgeous George Gardner had the game of his life and the Canucks — bottom feeders at that time — won the game. Bobby Orr was so mad. Gardner never played another game like that, but man, that was a game. Crowd went nuts.

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  7. chicken chick
    October 9, 2013

    i watched early and i saw
    the avalanche of patrick roy
    continue their unbeaten streak
    into this season’s second week
    but the more intriguing story
    is luongo versus cory
    the two of whom are looking good
    as hockey fans have hoped they would

    it’s in the first and rather late
    a goal is scored by sixty-eight
    his six hundred and eighty-third
    derision from the trolls is heard
    but what it is they have to say
    is of no interest anyway
    the devils one after a frame
    an entertaining hockey game

    early on in period two
    a second puck by you know who
    then it’s two to one the reason
    daniel’s second of the season
    two one also in tampa bay
    a boston win six outs away
    edler ties it back at the rink
    vancouver wins this game i think

    but after sixty still a tie
    two goalies are the reason why
    then in o t while four on four
    garrison shoots the canucks score
    timorous trolls say what you will
    vancouver played with drive and skill
    a good win for the green and blue
    plaudits to schneids and bobby lu

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    Rating: +13 (from 17 votes)
  8. chicken chick
    October 9, 2013

    i watched early and i saw
    the avalanche of patrick roy
    continue their unbeaten streak
    into this season’s second week
    but the more intriguing story
    is luongo versus cory
    the two of whom are looking good
    as hockey fans have hoped they would

    it’s in the first and rather late
    a goal is scored by sixty-eight
    his six hundred and eighty-third
    derision from the trolls is heard
    but what it is they have to say
    is of no interest anyway
    the devils one after a frame
    an entertaining hockey game

    early on in period two
    a second puck by you know who
    then it’s two to one the reason
    daniel’s second of the season
    two one also in tampa bay
    a boston win six outs away
    edler ties it back at the rink
    vancouver wins this game i think

    but after sixty still a tie
    two goalies are the reason why
    then in o t while four on four
    garrison shoots the canucks score
    tom ten forty say what you will
    vancouver played with drive and skill
    a good win for the green and blue
    plaudits to schneids and bobby lu

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  9. Kenji
    October 9, 2013

    The team playing well in October doesn’t scare me, it elates me. It scares me how much it elates me.

    The play of Santa (is that his official nickname yet? he could begin his playoff beard early, like Jason “I Am Johnny Canuck Minus The Toque, Bitches” Garrison) is also elating, isn’t it? I am trying to temper my enthusiasm by recalling past Canucks who had amazing weeks or months and then kind of regressed to their mean, e.g. Jason King, Jeff Cowan.

    On the other hand, maybe – just throwing this out there as a hypothetical – he was a good signing and a quality player for the medium term.

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  10. Warpstone
    October 9, 2013

    Might Summon Monster III = the return of Kassian to the top line?

    Santorelli has been a nice find, but honestly, just about anyone will look awesome next the Sedins when they keep making their spell rolls.

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  11. mb13
    October 9, 2013

    Wow – you guys that think the Canucks are playing well need to take off the homer glasses.

    They have had to fight from behind against the probably the worst team in the NHL and beat two non-playoff teams. One they had to fight back against at home against opposition who was on the 2nd of back to backs – remember those back to back that EVERY canucks fan makes a big deal about when the Canucks are on them but seems to forget about when opposition is victimized.

    I’ll give the Canucks credit for banking points now against inferior competition. Let’s see how they do against the Chicago’s, St. Louis, San Jose, LA, Anaheim and even Winnipeg first.

    A phrase from Winston Wolfe comes to mind right now.

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    • Kenji
      October 9, 2013

      hmmm…. “I’m an oak man myself”? “Just because you are a character, doesn’t mean you have character”? No.? “I’m sure you boys have been to County…don’t be afraid of the soap”?

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    • Nee
      October 9, 2013

      “Let’s see how they do against the Chicago’s, St. Louis, San Jose, LA, Anaheim and even Winnipeg first.”

      Dude, Winnipeg? Other than that I agree with you. It is still early days though, with a new coach and new system, so I’m not worried yet about our performance so far. We won’t really be able to make assumptions about this team until another 20 to 30 games have passed, and then we can somewhat confidently get excited or pessimistic, depending on our record up until that point.

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  12. DJ
    October 9, 2013

    A Lovecraft reference the other day, a hardcore D&D reference today….Great to see you embracing your inner nerd.

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  13. cathylu
    October 9, 2013

    Here’s hoping we bring our A-game against the Sharks tomorrow. I commented to my co-worker this morning (who is a Sharks fan) about their blow-out game last night against the Rangers and he said it must have been a Sharknado. LOL

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  14. tom selleck's moustache
    October 9, 2013

    Hey Daniel, was it just me or did it seem like Edler and Bieksa were paired together a lot this game? If so, what did you think of them, given that they had their struggles as a pairing last season? They seemed to be working pretty well based on what I had seen in that game but wondering if you noticed anything else.

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  15. DanD
    October 9, 2013

    Garrison is a treat to watch these days. It seriously seems like he sends an opponent limping to the bench once per game. It’s not surprising that his OT wrist shot got through. I’d have learned my lesson by then too if I was a Devils’ defender.

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  16. biznow
    October 9, 2013

    It’s great to read about that shot differential for Booth. I hope he can keep it up, and maybe with a little luck bury some of his chances this season.

    I wasn’t aware that slacklining was a thing, now I’m curious how many balls have been blown out while practicing that.

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    • akidd
      October 9, 2013

      booth was working hard out there. but still not really showing much hands. a couple of goofy bobbles and errant passes. and a cresthunter himself. liked the one wrist shot through a defender but another one from the corner on the goalline was the kind of play made by someone who is very well-aware of the whole corsi concept.

      not to rag on booth though. he’s trying hard. and the forecheck system seems to suit him but the hands…the hands. he’s got 2nd-line legs and 4th-line hands.

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      • peanutflower
        October 9, 2013

        the weird thing is, for a guy with 2nd line legs Booth surely has the most massive thighs on the planet. Seriously. There were some vids on the Canucks.com site a while ago — with quads that big Booth should be faster than everyone in the NHL, you would think.

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  17. Pavo
    October 9, 2013

    “Chris Tanev looked good after looking terrible in his first three games. Because he cut his horrible, horrible hair”.

    Chris Tanev = Samson in reverse.

    Tortorella better keep the clipping shears handy.

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  18. the real bob
    October 9, 2013

    don’t look now but garrison is on pace for a 62 goal 103 point season

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    • Sean
      October 9, 2013

      I looked. I jinxed it. Sorry everyone.

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