I Watched This Game: Canucks at Chicago Blackhawks, December 20, 2013

If you only watched the first period of this game, well, that was stupid of you, wasn’t it? That’s like watching Home Alone and shutting it off right around the time Kevin leaves the church after his heart-to-heat with Old Man Marley. I mean, granted, you’ll see the clip from Angels With Filthy Souls, which I guess could be analogous to Chris Higgins’ breakaway chance, but that’s pretty much it for early entertainment in this slow-building holiday classic.

Now, I can see why you might have wanted to turn it off after the first, since the Canucks didn’t turn it on until around then anyway. They were outshot 10-3 by Chicago in the opening twenty, and two of those shots were by Andrew Alberts and Tom Sestito, who are about as threatening a duo as Harry and Marv in Home Alone. But after that, this thing really picked up, with the Canucks turning the tables on the Blackhawks like Kevin turns the table on Harry and Marv in… okay, I’ll stop.

I decided I would be watching Home Alone tonight while I watched this game.

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Spitballin’ on Horvat’s animal nickname, Shinkaruk getting cut, and Luongo’s in-game tweet

Spitballin’ (or Super Pass It To Bulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few quick topics.

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Tom Sestito should spend more time in the press box

Tom Sestito is better at hockey than I ever will be. At 19 in the OHL, he scored 42 goals in 60 games for the Plymouth Whalers and he’s a legitimate point-producer at the AHL level, with 112 points in 246 games. Combined with his size and penchant for punching, his ability to play hockey has allowed him to carve out a nice professional career.

What he isn’t, however, is good enough to be playing every game in the NHL, like he has apart from two games missed due to injury. That’s why it’s baffling to see John Tortorella send him out on the fourth line, game after game, when the Canucks have better options. As harsh as this may be to say, the Canucks are undeniably a better team when Sestito is in the press box.

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When will we see Frank Corrado this season?

Up until December, the Canucks were extremely fortunate with their injury situation on defence — they didn’t have one. The Canucks had been able to keep a stable 6-man defence corps consisting of Alex Edler, Kevin Bieksa, Jason Garrison, Dan Hamhuis, Chris Tanev, and Ryan Stanton. The only game action Yannick Weber and Andrew Alberts received was as forwards on the fourth line.

In the last two weeks, that has all changed, leaving the Canucks with a somewhat unstable defence. Meanwhile, Frank Corrado, who many expected to make the Canucks roster out of training camp, has yet to receive a call-up from the AHL.

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