I Watched This Game: Canucks at New York Islanders, October 22, 2013

After an incredibly entertaining game in Pittsburgh, Sunday’s game in Columbus was a bit of a snooze fest. Fortunately, the Canucks and Islanders apparently got together before Tuesday’s game in Long Island and decided that sanity is overrated, because this game was crazy in the coconut.

This game was more cray-cray than a pair of Cray supercomputers. If this game had membranes, they would be locked up in an insane asylum. It was more screwball than Hitchcock’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Even Bonkers D. Bobcat thought this game was a little much. I lost 1d4 Sanity Points when I watched this game.

Canucks 5 – 4 Islanders (OT)

  • John Tortorella made David Booth a healthy scratch against the Islanders, saying post-game, “He’s not doing enough to play. Plain and simple.” There’s an entire article to be written about whether that’s true or not, but that’s for later. Tortorella chose to dress seven defencemen and Andrew Alberts drew into the lineup. He played one shift. It was 37 seconds long. The Islanders scored the opening goal of the game during that shift. It was Alberts’ man who scored. Tortorella chose…poorly.
  • The game threatened to get ugly early, as the Islanders took advantage of a powerplay to extend the lead to two less than five minutes in. Frans Nielsen made a great pass to Matt Moulson at the back door, but Luongo came across to make a superb save. Unfortunately, that robbery only inspired Moulson to commit his own crime, pulling a bank job by backhanding the puck off Luongo’s pad and in on the rebound.
  • Just 16 seconds later, the Canucks responded. Ryan Kesler burned through the neutral zone, then set up Dan Hamhuis for a slap shot off the rush that Evgeni Nabokov couldn’t handle. Kesler was quick to the plunder like his name was Maher-shalal-hash-baz and slid the rebound home.
  • The Canucks tied up the game a few minutes later with a nice goal on a 3-on-2. With Mike Santorelli driving the net, Jannik Hansen made a superb cross-ice pass to Daniel Sedin, who fluttered the puck past Nabokov’s glove like a clever butterfly past a net. Then it went right into the larger net behind the smaller one, so maybe that butterfly wasn’t all that smart.
  • All four of those goals came before the game was even 10 minutes old. When my sons were 10 minutes old, they didn’t have any goals, those shiftless layabouts. Set some objectives, for Pete’s sake! Have some ambition!
  • Hansen was flying in the first period — the Canucks had 9 shot attempts to the Islanders’ 1 when he was on the ice — but he left the game early after he kept flying on one rush, right into the boards. He slid in hard, right arm first, and skated straight to the tunnel while hunched over in pain. It could have been his shoulder, but for now it’s being reported as an upper body injury.
  • The Islanders took the lead again early in the second period, once again on the powerplay. Matt Moulson has a great wristshot and can pick a corner if you give it to him. Like the best roommate ever, Luongo gave him plenty of space and as much room as he needed. Still, it was a pretty dang great shot and it’s hard to blame Luongo too much for letting it get past him.
  • It looked like the Canucks had tied it up not long after, as Hamhuis threw the puck towards the net and Kassian swiped the rebound past Nabokov. It was initially ruled a goal, but after a brief conference, the refs waved it off for goaltender interference, which was fair as Santorelli was lying on top of Nabokov at the time. It’s the second time in three games a goal has been called off due to Santorelli crashing the net harder than the Slammer worm.
  • The Canucks actually tied up the game midway through the second, thanks to an incredible pass by Dale Weise, who temporarily claimed Nassau Coliseum in the name of the Netherlands and transformed himself back into Dutch Lindros. He sprung Daniel and Henrik on a 2-on-1 with a long saucer pass and the Sedins, astonished by such a savvy and skilled play from Weise, nearly botched the odd-man rush. Daniel held onto the puck, but couldn’t beat Nabokov. Fortunately, Henrik salvaged the situation by bouncing the rebound off Nabokov and in.
  • To a certain extent, the game hinged on one moment. Kevin Bieksa nearly gave the puck away in the neutral zone for an Islanders breakaway with the game tied. Instead, Bieksa managed to recover, kick the puck forward and wrist a weak shot low on Nabokov’s right pad. Nabokov kicked it straight to Chris Higgins, who made no mistake with the open net. Instead of a breakaway on Luongo, the Canucks took a 4-3 lead into the third.
  • Even with all the goals, the highlight of the night was Henrik Sedin throwing his arms up in frustration over his third penalty of the night, a weak tripping call. MAKAVELI captured the moment in gif form and it is fantastic:
  • Roberto Luongo was far better in this game than the score would indicate. He made some incredible saves, including a wicked glove save on a Thomas Hickey slap shot from in close and a big save on Brock Nelson sliding across. His best, however, was also his most awkward, as he seemed to get stuck sliding through the crease and had to dive across with a two-pad stack to purloin a goal away from John Tavares.
  • It was appropriate, then, that the Islanders tied the game up on a lucky bounce. With Nabokov pulled for the extra skater, the Canucks had to scramble to cover every Islander. After Chris Tanev failed to clear the puck after a won faceoff, Andrew Macdonald’s point shot hit one of the fifty-five thousand skaters in front of the net and went straight to an uncovered Frans Nielsen. He scored, like a jerk.
  • Nielsen’s bigger jerk move was elbowing Ryan Kesler in the head, because then we had to deal with every Islanders fan and every other non-Canucks fan and even a few actual Canucks fans accuse Kesler of diving. They’re probably wrong. Y’know, this time.
  • The Canucks have yet to lose a game in overtime, largely thanks to Santorelli, who had scored both of the Canucks’ overtime gamewinners heading into this game. This time, he switched things up and was the overtime hero by proxy, making a great pass to Brad Richardson. He went wide around Macdonald, then centred for Bieksa, who may or may not have tipped the puck in. Richardson got credited with the goal, his fourth of the year.
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27 comments

  1. Marcus
    October 22, 2013

    http://www.liftthepuck.com/blog/ih1y16d7i6isdudu2240mrk6ebvbtb

    Moulson is totally Sully.

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  2. Mike
    October 23, 2013

    “Fortunately, Henrik salvaged the situation by bouncing the rebound off Nabokov and in.”

    Don’t you mean passed instead of bouncing?

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  3. dontpassjustshoot
    October 23, 2013

    Uh oh. I’m afraid Edler is going to get a call from the league about that headshot to Kesler. Three games minimum.

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  4. Qris
    October 23, 2013

    I wanted the crazy in the coconut link to be the Avalanches, and then it was.

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  5. Doop
    October 23, 2013

    <3 Henrik's exasperated arm waggling

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    • shoes
      October 23, 2013

      I totally loved Hanks reaction to the diving going on his vicinity. Sometime since the Canucks were villified by CBC (Boston fan Cherry) and NBC (Boston fan MIlbury) in the ’11 final, diving has become a weapon wielded by the referees. They seldom call it, but they do just enough to let the players know they can call it if they want to call it. So when and why did diving become a part of the game? Was it right after the video that showed Boston diving as much or more than the Canucks in the finals?

      I am so grateful that Colin Campbell and his classless reffs do not have any involvement in the strike zone in the world series.

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  6. Qris
    October 23, 2013

    Two more things:

    1) No mention of the most hilarious exchange of the night? John Garrett said he could do what Edler did — shoot the puck over the glass in the opposing end. Shorty was doubtful, but Garrett insisted, leading Shorty to say they were going to have Garrett in skates ready to make the shot today. This would have been hilarious on its own, but Shorty apparently caught Garrett receiving a text from his wife. She, too, doubts he could make the shot.

    2) This site’s second page links AND month links are doing poorly, making it nigh-impossible to read older articles. Catching up on my PitB is hard when I can’t read past the first page of articles.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      October 23, 2013

      We’re working on fixing those link issues. In the meantime, if you click the month links on the right hand side, you should be able to navigate through all the articles from each month.

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      • Qris
        October 23, 2013

        Yeah, when I hit that, I just get the camp cuts: Bo Horvat link. I’m not sure if that’s on my end or yours.

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  7. Gary
    October 23, 2013

    Re Hansen’s injury, when did the shoulder stop being part of the upper body??

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  8. The Bookie
    October 23, 2013

    I don’t know, I think it discredits Lu to say he ‘gets stuck’ sliding across on that Tavares save. I’ve watched it a few times and it looks like he re-adjusts while in motion to slam his stick down on the ice, driving the puck up under his thigh.

    That’s a sleeper candidate for early SotS (Save of the Season) to me.

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  9. shoes
    October 23, 2013

    Once again the PP’s for the Canucks were 1/2 of the other team. The law of averages and yappy fans from other team always claim that “will even out” Is the question “WHEN” fair? It is getting faintly ridiculous and if you take 1 or 2 of Hanks 3 very weak calls, you can see it being more or less equal. WTF is that?

    I am with Torts, it was a scruffy game, but the bottom 6 were givin’ er! And Santorelli is a true gem. The man is inspiring along the vein of Burrows and I can hardly wait to see them both in a game.

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    • Dave Robinson (@dcrwrites)
      October 23, 2013

      The Canucks have had more PPs than the other team precisely twice this season. They’re averaging 2.6 PPs a game when the League average is 3.7, and the average is only that high because they got 6 PPs in each of their first two games. Otherwise it’s 1.9 PPs per game. It’s one reason the conversion rate is so crappy, with fewer opportunities it’s taking longer for the shooting percentage to regress towards the mean.

      I’m really curious to see what the numbers are going to look like over the season.

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    • Iceman
      October 23, 2013

      I wouldn’t worry too much about not getting more PP opportunities… Not yet anyways, as it’s not exactly like we are lighting up the lamp on PP. As long as we keep doing well on PK and can score on 5-on-5 I’m sure eventually calls will even out and our PP will begin to climb up.

      Santor and Richardson are the best pickups of the season so far. We would have dug ourselves into a really deep hole without those two.

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  10. Zach Morris
    October 23, 2013

    Shoutout to stacking the pads!

    People say they miss how “men were men” back in “the good old days”, with everyone willing to fight everyone else. I miss the two pad stack. It’s just the perfect embodiment of the acrobatic goalie, a come from behind desperation move to kick the puck away with a side-volley like Zinedine Zidane.

    Luongo’s was but a mere shadow of pad stacks in the “good old days”.

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  11. jenny wren
    October 23, 2013

    As faithful fans we have this dream
    For what may be an average team:
    We hope each game they will not fail
    As seemed they might in Uniondale,
    Where they were quickly down by two
    On rebounds put by Bobby Lu,
    But Kess and Daniel tied the score
    And John and John predicted more,

    As was the case as we all saw
    It ending in a four four draw,
    And I suggest one can’t deny
    Each of the teams deserved a tie,
    Though gratifying in OT
    That final goal by number three!

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  12. Paul
    October 23, 2013

    I just can’t stop looking at that gif of Henrik. I may have to take the afternoon off.

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  13. Pavo
    October 23, 2013

    Great gif.

    But all that twirling makes me feel dizzy.

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  14. Pavo
    October 23, 2013

    It may just be my jaundiced eye, but it seems that we give up a lot of late game-tying goals but never score one of our own.

    I know, I know – it’s only 11 games in.

    But small sample size be damned, it’s never too early to start whinging.

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    • Origamirock
      October 23, 2013

      I’m not sure what you mean by game-tying goals, but in this game alone the Canucks scored 2 of them.

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  15. Pavo
    October 23, 2013

    It may just be my jaundiced eye, but it seems that the Canucks give up a lot of late game-tying goals but never score one of their own.

    I know, I know – it’s only 11 games in.

    But small sample size be damned, it’s never too early to start whinging.

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  16. Pavo
    October 23, 2013

    OK – double post. Am going senile.

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    • madwag
      October 23, 2013

      no. when you submit your comment, it doesn’t always register right away. don’t submit it again. close the site and then reopen it and voila! there is your comment. at least that how it works for me. cheers.

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  17. XavierPeters
    October 23, 2013

    Oh how I loved the Indiana Jones link, I try to quote it whenever I can.
    And my what an obscure Biblical reference; there ain’t nothing like a little Hebrew thrown into a good hockey blog.

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  18. mb13
    October 23, 2013

    So long as the Canucks score 5 goals a game, Lu should be able to pull out the victory…. boy, the Canucks should be glad they have the “best goalie in hockey” on their team.

    I’m just not sure how best to define “best”. Surely not with numbers.

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  19. Bolderevolution
    October 23, 2013

    As far as claiming Nassau Coliseum for the Netherlands… “Old New York was once New Amsterdam. Why they changed it I can’t say, people just liked it better that way.”

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    • Daniel Wagner
      October 23, 2013

      Yessssssss.

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