I Watched This Game: Canucks vs Phoenix Coyotes, December 6, 2013

The Canucks and the NHL spent most of this week making a big promotional push for the upcoming Heritage Classic. That in mind, we probably should have expected the first game after tickets became available to continue the promotional push. Back at Rogers Arena after a successful road trip, the Canucks did everything short of giving away the win to make fans rue their homecoming. They played a snoozefest of a game in the building, then reminded fans of the last brutal homestand by squandering a two-goal lead late before gutting out the win in overtime.

It was yet another reminder that, for whatever reason, this team isn’t very good at Rogers Arena. If only there was another building… Say! There is! And on March 3, the Canucks will be there. It’ll be like an away game, but at home! Tickets are still available. I watched this Heritage Classic commercial game.

Canucks 3 – 2 Coyotes (OT)

***

  • I want to say the first period of this game was uneventful, but according to the game summary, each team put 10 shots on goal. Since shots on net are one subcategory of what the statheads like to call “Corsi events”, it was actually an event-filled first period. But man alive, was it boring. Fittingly for the holidays, the Rogers Arena crowd performed “silent night”, and I don’t mean the Christmas carol. I mean the type of night.
  • I mean that metaphor literally. Garrison stepped into the one-timer with awestruck wonder for a fantastical new world, then defeated a wicked queen and watched a lion die and return from the dead in a direct allegory for the Christian faith. It was a pretty crazy one-timer.
  • Whoever was sitting in front of the camera in this one needed to stay down. We saw a lot of his silhouette. Unless it wasn’t a silhouette. Maybe that was his actual form and he was looking for Frodo and the one ring?
  • The Canucks closed out a strong second with their second goal of the night, scored by the Sedins and Ryan Stanton off the rush. After losing the puck on the zone entry, Stanton got it back and left it for Daniel Sedin. Daniel moved it to Henrik, as he often does, and Henrik shocked everyone, Mike Smith included, by shooting it right away. He even shocked himself. His body was so stunned to be shooting from there that it collapsed, and Henrik celebrated from his back like a really optimistic turtle.
  • You really can’t ask for a better shift after a penalty than that one for Stanton. With Andrew Alberts in the lineup, Stanton had to know he had no margin for error, and when he was sent to the box for closing his hand on the puck, he had to be thinking, I have to redeem myself on my next shift. Setting up a goal will do it. So would making and serving John Tortorella the ultimate sandwich. But getting avocado, let alone roasting it on such short notice would have been difficult. The goal made more sense.
  • I really liked Dale Weise in this game. He looked like a third-liner, and not just because he was skating on the third line. (Although he was.) He skated well, he made some nice hits and he had some strong defensive plays as well. But we should never be surprised when Weise looks like a player. He was an offensive force in the Netherlands. Like Zwarte Piet, although that’s a different kind of offensive.
  • Dan “Community Man” Hamhuis finished just 24 seconds shy of a thirty-minute night in this one, and I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that in Alex Edler’s absence, the Community Man picked up the extra time. And after the game, he helped out a restaurant that had run out of spices and picked up some extra thyme.
  • Things were looking good for the Canucks heading into the third period. They had a 2-0 lead, after all, and the Coyotes had yet to look dangerous all night. But then something happened. Perhaps they heard the crowd for the first time all night and remembered they were at home. Either way, the Coyotes pounced, scoring twice in 2:21. John Tortorella was angry. He said something about funky rice. But I guess we should have seen this coming. The Canucks had a two-goal lead, after all, the worst lead in hockey. It’s a terrible lead, on par with “his milkshake brings all the boys to their grave.” No wait, sorry, that’s a terrible lede.
  • But despite their best efforts, the Canucks were unable to give this win away. In overtime, Chris “Kiss Huggins” Higgins managed to knock a puck away from Mike Ribeiro, then raced down the ice with the puck and beat Mike Smith low glove to end the game. It was a huge goal. Considering the Canucks’ problems on their last homestand began with a blown lead versus the Sharks, escaping with the win here wasn’t just big — it was downright embiggening. It was a fine display of Higgins’ noble spirit.
  • Of note: all the Canucks’ goal-scorers in this game had beards. Coincidence? Absolutely not. Get some beards, the rest of you.
  • Finally, there was a guy in this game wearing a dead coyote on his head. That’s dedication, but I’d avoid Phoenix as a Canadian citizen, because there’s a reactive fan out there looking to kill and wear a Canuck in response.
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28 comments

  1. BeCanucks
    December 6, 2013

    Oh no, you don’t! Don’t even think about exporting your blackface in Europe. Zwarte Piet is NOT black, the guy is covered in soot because he’s going trough chemneys to bring toys for kids prepared by Saint Nicolas. So just no way. We WONT import your Coca Cola Flashy Red Father Christmas. You leave Saint Nicolas and Zwarte Piet out of this, they are important for children here in Belgium and The Netherlands.
    Otherwise, a nice IWTG

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    • dontpassjustshoot
      December 6, 2013

      If you are looking for a non-Coca Cola Santa, look no further than the gallery of photos from this game on the Canucks home page. The very first one is a Canucks-blue Santa – the only red thing about him is the Canada mitts. Win!

      But otherwise, that could be a losing battle – the ancient tradition of soot-blackened (SOOT-blackened) Zwarte Piet could end up swept away by the same flood of feeling that makes everyone suddenly throw “holiday” parties, out of fear of people who would be offended by Christmas parties. (Half of me doesn’t believe there are such people – but coffee cups are printed with warnings that “contents may be hot” for a reason.)

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      • Gabe
        December 7, 2013

        The modern look of the Zwarte Piet costume isn’t an ancient tradition, though: it dates from the heyday of vaudeville blackface. White guys with soot on their faces don’t actually look anything like racist caricatures, oddly enough.

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        • Snepsts
          December 7, 2013

          It’s incredibly racist and I was angered to see it mentioned even in a jocular way. It is blackface masquerading as tradition which is even more insidious than blackface itself.

          Nice goals scored this game. Also, I have a great beard. And I am 100% of Dutch descent.

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        • dontpassjustshoot
          December 7, 2013

          I never heard that. Reference? (NOT wikipedia, please! :)

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          • Laplander
            December 8, 2013

            Question, would it be OK if it was an actual (Black man? Negro? Person of colour? Coloured person? ) playing the part?

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            • Chris the Curmudgeon
              December 9, 2013

              Two of those terms are already not ok.

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              • llaplander
                December 9, 2013

                1) I knew the last one wasn’t but which other one?
                (I used the last one to establish a point – we have shifted politically correct names at least 4 times in the last 40 years to descibe a ‘black’ person – quote “You will not fine ONE term that is always right. You will find many terms that are always wrong, however. “Colored” is considered an old-fashioned term and slighly prejudiced. Negro sounds like you’re from the 1960s. And the “n-word” is considered so offensive that many people who use the “f-word” without pause but will never use the n-word.”.

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              • Harrison Mooney
                December 9, 2013

                This conversation is beginning to make me uncomfortable.

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              • llaplander
                December 9, 2013

                I would like to apologize – my comments were not meant to insult, but to question.
                I will limit my responses to hockey here, as I should have to begin with. I appreciate the hockey knowledge and the writing on these pages.
                Thank you!

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              • Harrison Mooney
                December 9, 2013

                All good, and non-hockey discussion is cool. This one was just taking a weird turn.

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  2. Wetcoaster
    December 6, 2013

    Only on the second read did I notice that the word was ‘embiggening’ and not ‘emhiggining’

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    • Chris the Curmudgeon
      December 7, 2013

      He’s here all week, folks.

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      • Wetcoaster
        December 7, 2013

        Try the veal!

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  3. dontpassjustshoot
    December 6, 2013

    Luongo was great, & looking so consistent too. He’s a pretty strong contender for the Olympic starting goalie – good luck to him for it. It’s nice that Brodeur has been talking him up so consistently, too, sort of like a big brother figure. If I were Babcock, by now I’d be thinking I might get an angry visit from this big brother figure if I overlooked Luongo as starter, lol.

    Does anyone else do this ? Every time Higgins scores, I yell, “Aw, HIGGY!!!” Every time. Especially this time, when I was already bracing for a shootout.

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  4. Brent
    December 7, 2013

    Horrible, horrible third period. Especially that second goal. Everyone still shellshocked from the first one, you could see the let down after it, everyone staring a little wider eyed, grabbing their sticks a little harder. Then flopping around in their own end and then just standing there as a big rebound comes off Luongo out into the slot. Can’t do that sort if stuff against Boston and they will be here soon. Talk about opportunistic scoring. Luongo is going to have to stand on his head for that one.

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  5. Sean
    December 7, 2013

    “…stepping into a one-timer like it was the wardrobe to Narnia.”
    You’re on fire tonight, Mooney. Outstanding simile.

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  6. ikillchicken
    December 7, 2013

    “Not long into the second period, however, we finally got some action, as Jason Garrison remained hot by skating around the ice with a strong jawline adorned with a thick, well-groomed beard.”

    Yeah, Garrison has been great lately. Actually, I have a suspicion that during the big pointless streak he had, he was actually playing through a beard injury.

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  7. Mr Lewis
    December 7, 2013

    And after the game, he helped out a restaurant that had run out of spices and picked up some extra thyme.
    Boo! I say! BOOOOO!
    Not really, cause we love you.
    BOOOO!

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  8. shoes
    December 7, 2013

    Glad to see you didn’t worry the “1 point that phoenix got” to death. If that point is what unhinges the Canucks season….it was unhinged already.

    3 in a row and counting….that is the only stat that matters.

    SJS was leading the Canes 2-0 and got beat 5-3……and nobody is talking end of the world there just yet.

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    • PB
      December 7, 2013

      2nd loss in a row for SJ, Colorado got smoked by Edmonton and barely beat the Flames last night. STL has lost a bunch too. We keep talking about how tough the Pacific/West is for us, but it’s no piece of cake for the other top teams either.

      That 2nd goal was terrible though. All five Canucks collapsed in front of the goal and none took a stick or the puck.

      Though the game was pretty bad, the Canucks really had a lot more chances, especially the Richardson line. Sestito has looked surprisingly not terrible the past few games, thought the fourth line was decent.

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  9. whisky jack
    December 7, 2013

    Garrison did not shoot it wide
    “A goal for us!” sweet Jenny cried
    Luongo saved and covered up
    “He’ll take us to the Stanley Cup.”
    Ryan Stanton from out the bin
    The puck from Dank to Hank and in
    It seemed they’d win their fourth of five
    “A troll alert: we’re much alive!”

    Except Phoenix a goal did get
    From off the stick of one Vermette
    And when Moss tied the game at two
    It once again was nothing new
    From Jenny Wren an, “Oh my word!
    There was a time they won the third.”

    The certain win was not to be
    And on it went into O T
    Where twenty gave Vancouver three
    “Chris Higgins is the man for me!”

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  10. S. Nek
    December 7, 2013

    Actually thyme is a herb. Not a spice. That’s herb with a ‘H’ . Unlike ‘Iggins which hobviously does not ‘ave a haitch.

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  11. Andre
    December 7, 2013

    I agree with Torts’ unhappy assessment of the game. If we cannot play strong and win in a 60 minute game, we will be relegated to first round elimination yet again.

    That aside, I loved Weise’s game. He has everything that Sestido is lacking and does everything better, except the goon part. I’d rather see young players being given a chance rather than watch this disaster-on-ice.

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  12. Pavo
    December 7, 2013

    Note to self:

    When the Canucks play at home, either don’t watch the game or don’t budge from the sofa. Because anytime I leave the room for a couple of minutes, the opposition seems to score at least 2!

    That said – pleasantly surprised that they managed to pull this one out of the fire.

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  13. Doop
    December 7, 2013

    Edutaining as always, Harrison

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