Saturday night’s affair between the Canucks and the Canadiens is all the evidence we needed that Vancouver is superior to Montreal. Not the hockey teams, mind you — not after this debacle. The cities. How else to explain all the Habs fans in Vancouver? How else to explain why the lower-bowl was more red than blue for this one? If the city of Montreal was so great, their fans would have stayed there.
That’s about the only positive I could mine from this game, which was about as painful to watch as the Flaman Fitness commercials that aired during it. Trust me. I watched this game.
Canucks 1 – 4 Canadiens
- Coming into Saturday night’s game, I think you could safely say than Dan Hamhuis was having his struggles, but now, with this one behind us, I’m wondering what sacred item he recently stole from a vengeful spirit — the man was a walking calamity versus the Canadiens. Here is footage of Hamhuis’s worst shift.
- I’m kidding. That wasn’t Hamhuis’s worst shift at all. That came late in the second, with the game tied at one and the Canucks on a powerplay. With the Canadiens changing up their penalty killers, Roberto Luongo handed the puck off to Jason Garrison, who gave it to Hamhuis, who lost it right into the Canucks’ goal from behind it.
- Lars Eller received credit for the goal, and it’s actually sort of comforting to lie to yourself and pretend he did something to deserve it.
- Hamhuis’s rough night didn’t end there. The Canadiens scored their insurance goal while he was in the box. A little later, he failed to get a shot through at the point, leading to a Canadiens’ break the other way and a Daniel Sedin penalty as he scrambled to get back. After the game, Hamhuis took his sweet time meeting the press, understandably. I’m not sure why they even waited for him: no way I’m standing anywhere near someone that unlucky. That’s how you get hit by a falling anvil.
- Hamhuis didn’t just hurt his team’s cause tonight. He hurt the advanced stats community’s cause as well. Seriously, good luck telling someone he had an even-strength corsi of 60.5% (which he did).
- If you’re looking for the turning point in this game, look no further than the bizarre own goal. The Canucks actually looked like the better team in this one up to that point. Afterwards, they only way they could have looked more shell-shocked is if they had been playing Super Mario Kart on battle mode.
- Mike Santorelli played over 20 minutes tonight, skating on a line with the Sedins early and later, on a line with Ryan Kesler in what looked to be an attempt to get him going, perhaps by making him feel insulted that he was supposed to be looking to Mike Santorelli for how to play.
- At least this game had some Sedinery. After a Jason Garrison shot yielded a juicy rebound, Daniel Sedin pounced on it, then made a backpass to Henrik, who put the puck into the open goal. How bewildering and unexpected was this play? It left the Canadiens in a literal pile in their crease. It was pretty great pile, although it’s got nothing on this pile.
- That was one of an absurd 10 shots on goal and 15 shot attempts for Jason Garrison, who must have listened to a lot of Pat Benatar before the game, because he spent the night firing away.
- Late in the first, Mark Lee confused Daniel Sedin for Dale Weise on an odd-man rush. Crazy. The Canucks have a guy who looks a lot like Daniel. I could see confusing those two. But Weise? How does that happen? Anyway, it was the highlight of Dale Weise’s career.
- With the loss, the Canucks have now won three and lost three. What’s more, they’ve yet to beat what one would consider a playoff team. It doesn’t bode well. Bring back Vign — oh.
- Finally, Don Cherry is amazing. He’s been a Kevin Bieksa fan for eight years, but he still can’t pronounce the guy’s last name properly. It’s even more amazing considering “Bieska” is allegedly his favourite player. “If I could pick one defenceman in the league, it’d be him,” Cherry said tonight. That’s pretty crazy. Bieksa’s good, but best in the league good? Hardly. Unless maybe Kevin Bieska is a different guy entirely, and he’s an elite defender. If so, the Canucks should trade Hamhuis for Bieska.
, I Watched This Game