‘Twas three nights before Christmas, in Rogers Arena;
Not a creature was stirring, not even Serena,
Assuming there was a Canucks fan, of course
Whose name is Serena asleep on the concourse.
Actually, though I might be delusional,
Rogers Arena was louder than usual.
Jeering the Jets as they came out a’shufflin’,
Including that portly defenceman named Byfuglien.
He isn’t much cared for out here in Vancouver:
When he was a forward hard to outmaneuver,
Too big and too strong to remove from the crease,
He helped give the Canucks two straight playoff defeats
But now Dustin Byfuglien and pal Andrew Ladd
Are skating for Winnipeg’s Jets (who are bad),
So playing against him just isn’t the same
And neither was watching when I watched this game.
Canucks 2 – 1 Jets
- The big story coming out of this game may be the injury to Roberto Luongo, who left with 3:30 to go in the first period. Rumour has it (Rumour has it!) that it’s a groin injury, making it worth noting that he missed 24 games in 2008-09 with a groin injury. Little known Tru Fakt™: he missed those 24 games with the world’s longest trip to the bathroom, followed by the world’s worst case of pins and needles.
- So, who’s to blame for the injury? Some pointed to contact made by Blake Wheeler, while others noted that Dustin Byfuglien clipped Luongo’s right skate, which may have tweaked his groin. Me, I’m blaming John Garrett, who must have said the word “shutout” at some point after Luongo stopped the first 6 shots he faced.
- There is an alternate and more heartwarming explanation. Eddie Lack’s dad and grandma were in attendance, hoping to get their first ever chance to see him in an NHL game. Perhaps Luongo, knowing they were there, decided to take a minor groin tweak a little more seriously to give Lack some playing time in front of family? Either that or Grandma Lack paid off Byfuglien to take Luongo down. I wouldn’t put it past her; she looked shifty.
- The Canucks got the first goal of the game on an extremely unlikely scoring play: a power play goal by Brad Richardson from Dan Hamhuis. It was the second power play goal of Richardson’s entire career and just the second power play point of the season for Hamhuis, who, need I remind you, plays on the first unit. Richardson had just 7 seconds of power play ice time in this game, making him a more efficient scorer with the man advantage than Juwanna Mann.
- Luongo wasn’t the only one to leave this game early with an injury. Early in the second period, Dale Weise was dragged down behind the net and slid into referee Ian Walsh, who fell hard on his tailbone. Walsh gamely continued for a few minutes before leaving. Both injuries actually have Olympic implications, as Walsh was one of the NHL refs heading to Sochi. Hopefully the injury won’t keep him from the Olympics, though missing the blatant interference on Weise that caused the injury perhaps should.
- The Jets dominated the first 7 minutes of the third period, out-shooting the Canucks 7-3. After that, they fell flatter than unleavened bread. They Jets didn’t have a single shot after Lack stopped Scheifele with 12:52 remaining in the game. Even while down one, the Jets couldn’t get anything going offensively. While trying to come back, the Jets had just two shot attempts, both blocked.
- Zack Kassian had his best game of the year, coming just short of a gorgeous highlight reel goal early in the first period. After causing a turnover at the Jets’ blue line, he dragged the puck around Ondrej Pavelec, then made a quick backhand-forehand move to tuck the puck in. Unfortunately, Mark Stuart managed to get his stick in the way, poking the puck like it was an old friend on Facebook from whom he had grown apart over the years.
- Kassian made a great play on the gamewinning goal, picking up his own rebound before centring to Chris Tanev from behind the net. Tanev hurled the puck past Pavelec’s blocker, by which I mean he grabbed the sliotar, took two steps, then whacked it into the net with his camán. Quite frankly, I’m surprised the refs allowed it, though to be fair, there was only one left on the ice at that point.
- Seriously, though, Tanev is awesome. The crazy thing is he just turned 24 on Friday.
- As one of the stars of the game, Eddie Lack tossed a souvenir stick into the crowd. Well, tossed isn’t quite right: he flung it with murderous intent. He clearly got a little too excited, clearing the glass with the stick by a good 5 feet. Remember, Lack, these are your fans. Don’t hurt them.
Stick-tap to Andrew DeWitt (@DeWittCBS) for the gif.
, I Watched This Game