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.
, I Watched This Game