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.
Canucks 3 – 2 Blackhawks (SO)
- This win felt especially good if you remember how the last game versus Chicago went, and I know you do, since it was less than a month ago, and also it was exceedingly painful. After leading most of the game, the Canucks collapsed, allowing Chicago to come back in the third and steal the two points. It would appear that turnabout is fair play. Also fair play: riding a carousel.
- Eddie Lack deserves a ton of credit for this win. He made more big saves than Microsoft Word’s document recovery software. He was especially good in that awful first period, where, despite the fact that the two teams are literally in the same league, Chicago looked as out of Vancouver’s league as Alice Eve in that Jay Baruchel movie about a guy who dates a woman that’s out of his league.
- Fortunately, the Canucks came out stronger in the second, and if you’re wondering if it was the result of another impassioned John Tortorella speech, I have it on good authority that this one was just seven words long: Play better, or I’ll kill Jannik Hansen. We call that motivational approach “hitting the Jannik button.” Heyo!
- Their humdrum first act behind them, the Canucks took over in the second, outshooting the Hawks 9-0 in the early going. And then Patrick Kane scored against the run of the play to make it 2-0. It’s tough to blame anyone on the Patrick Kane goal, except maybe God, for making Patrick Kane.
- That’s Kassian’s seventh goal this season, which is impressive, since he’s not on the ice all that much. He’d be a great fit with the Sedins. It’d be nice if he’d get good enough at the rest of the game for John Tortorella to play him there.
- The Sedins weren’t overly noticeable for much of this game, but they finally got on the board midway through the third, as Daniel Sedin scored the game-tying goal on with a truly impressive show of dexterity. In the time it took Antti Raanta to slide to his left, Daniel stopped a wide shot with his right foot, kicked it across to his stick, dragged it back from below the goal line, and shoveled it into the net. He dug deep for that one. Dig Dug deep.
- Dan “Community Man” Hamhuis played 29:15 tonight, a game-high. He’s eating a lot of minutes right now. But not all the minutes. He put some minutes aside for the less fortunate, because it’s Christmas.
- And then there was a shootout. Things were looking surprisingly good early, as Eddie Lack stopped the very formidable Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, and Mike Santorelli scored for Vancouver. Suddenly, the Canucks had not one but two chances to win. And John “we suck in the shootout” Tortorella sent out Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Worse, he sent them out separately.
- Daniel’s attempt wasn’t that terrible. You could see how it might go in, if, say, Raanta had scrambled out of the net about the time Daniel crossed the blue line. But Henrik’s was a special kind of bad. It’s amazing to me that the leading scorer in Canucks’ franchise history, not to mention their most potent offensive weapon in the shootout era, has never scored in the shootout. How did we get a superstar with an ironic Achilles heel? He’s like a schlocky, Spielbergian action movie hero. He’s Indiana Jones, and the shootout is snakes.
- Zac Dalpe had another decent night in the faceoff circle, going 4-for-5. Last night, he went 8-for-9. That’s a decent weekend set. Winning draws is a good way to get on Torts’s good side. And survive in the old West. Another good way to survive in the Old West? Turn a train into a time machine.
- Finally, after eight rounds, Ryan Kesler scored the shootout winner, much to the chagrin of Raanta. Here’s what he had to say about the shootout after the game: “Sometimes it feels like somebody is flipping the coin to decide who wins.” Hmm. Sounds like somebody is a sore coin flip loser.
, I Watched This Game
, Kassian has too many nicknames
, Wizardous Sedinery