So the Sharks are apparently going to be pretty decent this season. One game removed from destroying Alain Vigneault’s New York Rangers, 9-2, it’s understandable that they would be a little cocky coming into Vancouver. Turns out they had every right to be.
With their 4-1 victory at Rogers Arena, they have now out-scored their opponents 21-5. The Canucks, unfortunately, have been that opponent twice already, leading to some consternation among Canucks fans, particularly since that makes 9 straight losses to the Sharks, 11 if you include the pre-season. In my opinion, though, it’s time to stop worrying about that. Why worry about something inevitable. It’s clear to me that the Sharks are going to go 82-0 this season and will never lose to the Canucks again.
No point fretting about it. Just learn to stop worrying and love the bomb. After all, the Canucks will lose 5 games to the Sharks, but so will the rest of the Pacific Division. No big deal. I watched this game.
Canucks 1 – 4 Sharks
- Three and a half minutes into this game, there was a momentous occasion: a Sedin blocked a shot for the first time this season. It was a legitimate shot block too, as Daniel Sedin laid out and got his shin pads into Tyler Kennedy’s shooting lane and took the shot off the skate. And lo, the skies rumbled, the earth shook, and darkness fell over the face of the deep.
- The Canucks got thrashed and mutilated at even-strength in this game and only looked reasonable in the first period thanks to a strong powerplay effort from the first unit, launching 5 shots on net. Antti Niemi purloined a goal from Daniel Sedin on one of those shots with a slick kick save after Ryan Kesler set Daniel up in front. Niemi was, as Mel B. would say, on point, robbing Chris Higgins earlier in the period and stopping Henrik Sedin on a wraparound in the second period. Beyond that, he didn’t have much to do, as the Sharks clamped down on the game like they were a robot with clamps for hands.
- The fourth line hasn’t gotten much ice time to start the season and they showed exactly why on the Sharks’ opening goal. As the Sharks entered the Canucks’ zone, they were outnumbered by the Canucks. Yannick Weber took this as an indication that he should double-team the player heading to the net instead of keeping an eye out for the trailer, which follows the play rather than preceding the movie, which is probably why Weber was confused. Brent Burns found Marc-Edouard Vlasic wide open coming over the blue line and Vlasic, delighted to be found, beat Luongo stick-side.
- Mike Gillis can’t have been thrilled with what he saw on the ice, but he had one consolation prize. His nephew, Matt Pelech, scored his first career NHL goal to put the Sharks up by two. After Ryan Stanton and Chris Tanev got out-battled behind the net, Dale Weise over-committed on the puck, while Brad Richardson and Jannik Hansen, both expecting Tanev to ring the puck around the boards, failed to mark Pelech out front. Basically, like a YouTube compilation video, everyone failed.
- Mike “Cindarella” Santorelli continued to enjoy the favour of his fairy godmother, John Tortorella. Not only did Santorelli once again play on the top line with the Sedins, he played a game-high 23:42. That’s not a joke: Mike Santorelli led all skaters in ice time in this game. Not just forwards — all skaters. It’s too bad that once Zack Kassian and Alex Burrows return to the lineup, he’ll turn back into a pumpkin.
- For now, Santorelli has the crystal slippers, scoring the Canucks’ only goal. It came after some strong cycling down low with the Sedins — that’s right, with the Sedins. Santorelli participated in the cycling before heading to the high slot, where he made a gorgeous tip on a hard pass from Ryan Stanton. In five games, Santorelli has four goals, doubling his total from all of last season. The stone the builders rejected has become…well, not quite the cornerstone, but he’s at least in a wall somewhere, maybe framing a window.
- Meanwhile, Stanton picked up his third assist in as many games and has been quietly impressive on the backend. Well, maybe not in this game, where no one was particularly impressive, but overall Stanton is showing that picking him up on waivers may have been a shrewd move on the part of Mike Gillis.
- Dan “Community Man” Hamhuis is known for his giving, charitable nature, but the giveaways in his own end of the ice are going a little too far, as Patrick Marleau score the Sharks’ third goal after yet another uncharacteristic turnover by Hamhuis. Has he been deprived of opportunities to be charitable off the ice causing him to bubble over with charity on the ice? If so, someone needs to get him a child to sponsor, stat.
- Other than the demoralizing loss to the Sharks, the big news coming out of this game is that Alex Edler may get the second suspension of his career after connecting with Tomas Hertl’s head on a hit in the neutral zone in the second period. While there was no penalty on the play, Hertl’s helmet went flying and replays showed pretty clearly that Edler made direct contact with Hertl’s head. While there are some mitigating factors that may lead to Edler not getting suspended — Hertl was uninjured and put himself in a vulnerable position by bending low and reaching to play the puck, while Edler keeps his elbow tucked tight to his body and does not leave his feet at all — he may still get a couple games from the Department of Player Safety.
, community man
, I Watched This Game
, Mike Santorelli