I Watched This Game: Canucks vs Colorado Avalanche, December 8, 2013

The Canucks haven’t had much luck this season holding on to 1-0 leads in the third period. They’ve been in that situation twice, and they’ve lost both times, surrendering two quick goals to the San Jose Sharks, then surrendering two quicker goals to the Chicago Blackhawks a week later. “I wonder who’s going to score for Colorado”, I found myself thinking when the third period began, “And I wonder who’s going to score for Colorado 10 seconds after that.”

Sure enough, there were two goals scored in the first 10 minutes of the third. But here’s the wacky part: the Canucks scored them both. With the trauma of the worst homestand ever still fresh in my mind, I was pleasantly surprised when I watched this game.

Canucks 3 – 1 Avalanche

  • In another refreshing rarity, rather than allowing a goal on their first shot against, which the Canucks have done umpteen times this season, the team scored on their first shot. It was weird. After Chris Higgins stole a puck from Erik “the defensive Patrick Stefan” Johnson, he centered for Mike Santorelli, who beat Jean-Sebastien Giguere with the second-best drag play I’ve seen in Vancouver this year. The best remains Twelfth Night.
  • Small observation: midway through the first, Ryan Stanton looked to be closed in behind the net by two Avalanche forecheckers. He beat them both by making a pass between his legs to a teammate out front, and the Canucks started the breakout. He’s the best waiver pickup in a decade. I challenge you to find a Vancouverite who disagrees, and no, you’re not allowed to ask Dale Weise.
  • Jannik Hansen skated alongside the Sedins in this one, taking over from David Booth, who simply didn’t look good there. But Hansen didn’t look good either, and one has to wonder if Zack Kassian’s about to get another shot. He really helped his chances in this one, playing a decent game that saw him get bumped up from the fourth to the third line, and sporting a new Sedin-style goatee that made him look like he fit with the Sedins. It’s possible John Tortorella will confuse him for one and send him over the boards with Henrik. Good call. As T-Shirt Gandhi (no relation to actual Gandhi) once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
  • Ryan Kesler doubled the Canucks’ lead early in the third with his 15th goal of the season. It was a pretty easy one. After Giguere got a little aggressive challenging a Santorelli shot, the puck came to Kesler behind Giguere and he casually put it away like laundry. You had to feel bad for Giguere on that one. When you’re trying to grab the shooter from behind, you know you’re out of position.
  • Weird choice by John Tortorella: immediately following the Kesler goal, he put his 4th line on the ice. They proceeded to get hemmed in their own zone and were fortunate not to surrender a Colorado goal. That would have been a huge momentum shifter and I’m not sure what the point of it was. I understand that you want the line to get a shift, but that’s a pretty strange time. If I could recommend a better time: during the TV timeout. An even better time: these guys.
  • Here’s another thing the Canucks have struggled to do of late: score on 2-on-1 chances. But they did in this game, courtesy Mike Santorelli, who got his second of the night by keeping rather than passing and then going to the far side like a young Gary Larson. What a revelation Santorelli’s been on Kesler’s line. As wingers go, he’s looked about as good as Jeff.
  • Two theories on why Patrick Roy pulled his goaltender with five minutes to go in this game. Theory 1: Roberto Luongo is just one shutout behind him on the all-time list, and Roy refused to relinquish his spot without a fight. Plausible. Roy’s a petty dude. Theory 2: Studies have shown that coaches tend to wait too long to pull the goalie. And really, what’s the worst that can happen with the goalie out when you’re down three? You lose? That’s pretty likely anyway.
  • Loved this exchange between John and John as the Avalanche pushed with the net empty. Shorty: “You surprised they’re leaving the net empty down three?” Garrett: “No.” Ladies and gentlemen, your colour commentator.
  • Garrett’s finest moment, however, was when he said shutout multiple times, then after being chided by Shorty for jinxing Luongo’s bid for one, said, “you can slap me on the side of the head” if the Avs score. Then they did. Unfortunately, Shortly missed his chance to say, “Hey John, what did the five fingers say to the face?”
  • But listen: we can be upset about Luongo losing the shutout, or we can look on the bright side: this was the first snack goal of the season. Snack goals, we remind you, are shutout-erasing goals allowed late in blowouts just to ensure the opponent isn’t too hungry next time. Sure, they’re frustrating, but if you’re in a position to give up snack goals, you’re doing something right. The Canucks first snack goal of 2013-14 is a good sign.
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20 comments

  1. Blueliner
    December 8, 2013

    Ahh… the return of the snack goal.. I totally agree that its a sign of good things to come. You know why last season wasn’t so good? ‘Cause of SNACK GOALS. we left them too hungry the year before..

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    Rating: +12 (from 12 votes)
  2. jenny wren
    December 8, 2013

    about a game i did not see
    Avalanche one and Canucks three
    unable was i to watch this game
    a birthday dinner was to blame

    it was from off the radio
    that we had won i got to know
    Santorelli was the first to score
    signed by Gillis one shan’t ignore

    he had two goals and one assist
    in this good game i’m sad i missed
    but bottom line best thing i heard
    was that for once we won the third

    i trust two points Vancouver gains
    tomorrow night against the Canes
    we need four up you understand
    on Phoenix with three games in hand

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    Rating: +7 (from 29 votes)
    • Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo.
      December 9, 2013

      if you feel your every thought
      is worthy of public display
      do us all a favour
      at least watch the effin game

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      Rating: -4 (from 26 votes)
  3. Ryley
    December 8, 2013

    I was waiting for the first snack goal!! I remember Luongo let in at least 4 or 5 a couple years ago

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    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  4. Brent
    December 9, 2013

    Nice clip from the Purple Rain movie. You right, those guys would be a good time! Make it happen, we’ll call it night of the living bulis. But everyone will be wearing Canucks jerseys.

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    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  5. Bookie
    December 9, 2013

    So, I’m back up in the game,
    (Running things like my swing),
    Lettin’ all the people know,
    That I’m back to run the show,

    It is, Return of the Snack

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    • Daniel Wagner
      December 9, 2013

      How about “Clear the track, here comes Snack.”

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      Rating: +7 (from 7 votes)
  6. akidd
    December 9, 2013

    beat the avalanche?!? thought those days were over.

    and booth didn’t work with the sedins?!? does tortorella have to try every possible combination? i’d hate to re-arrange furniture with the guy.

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    Rating: +13 (from 13 votes)
  7. the real bob
    December 9, 2013

    Mike Santorelli….best $500K contract ever

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    Rating: +18 (from 18 votes)
  8. NarkusMaslund
    December 9, 2013

    Sad Dater is sad.

    Amazing.

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    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  9. PB
    December 9, 2013

    “the defensive Patrik Stefan” — brilliant. When Erik Johnson, Jan Hejda, Cory Sarich and some dude named Andre Benoit who I’ve never heard of are your top four d, even having all those excellent young forwards isn’t going to help much.

    This was a shockingly lackluster effort from both teams. The Canucks were better but mostly because the Avalanche were worse. Actually the third wasn’t too bad for us; the second was terrible on both sides.

    I love Patrick Roy and the fact that he pulled the goalie basically to try and ruin the shutout, not to win the game, but to prevent Luongo from getting to one career SO within his own record. That Roy, the consummate not-team player, even when he’s the coach and/or GM.

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    Rating: +14 (from 16 votes)
    • Brian
      December 9, 2013

      That is awfully small of Patrick Roy. He has to know that Luongo is going to pass him, eventually.

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      Rating: +4 (from 6 votes)
      • Cody
        December 9, 2013

        He does know. He said as much in the post game interview

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        Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
    • Chris the Curmudgeon
      December 9, 2013

      Why wouldn’t he pull his goalie there? Occam’s Razor suggests to me he still thought his team could win. A quick goal with 5 minutes left would get them back to only trailing by the worst lead in hockey.

      I have to say I was peeved at Garrett at the end of the 3rd. Shorty should’ve deferred to Luongo to give him that slap on the side of the head.

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      Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
  10. Bluetouque
    December 9, 2013

    Did anyone else notice that the slashing call was totally crazy?
    The Canuck player slashed the Avalanche players’ stick in half and then passed his stick to the Avalanche player. The end result was a broken stick on the ice and a whole stick in the hands of the Av’ player, and then the Av’ player headed to the box.
    I’ve looked for the replay online but haven’t found it yet.

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    • nateb123
      December 9, 2013

      I was pissing myself when that happened. That goes up there with Ruutu challenging Phaneuf to a fight, tripping him then calmly sitting on the bench.

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    • Bluetouque
      December 18, 2013

      I grabbed the video of the replay and posted it to Youtube…

      http://youtu.be/eALL8zcuv44

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  11. J21
    December 9, 2013

    Best Canucks’ waiver pickup of all time still has to be Martin Gélinas. Loving Stanton, though.

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  12. Jeff
    December 9, 2013

    Hate to be the one to say it but has anyone noticed the Canucks’ record with Burrows in the line-up is 6-7-4 and 11-3-1 without him?

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    • Daniel Wagner
      December 9, 2013

      It’s almost like win-loss records with and without a player are meaningless in evaluating that player’s performance and ability. Almost.

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      Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)