I Watched This Game: Canucks vs Winnipeg Jets, December 22, 2013

‘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.

 

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25 comments

  1. Naturalmystic
    December 23, 2013

    Merry Christmas!

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  2. Shade of Blue
    December 23, 2013

    * In a battle between the Canucks’ tiredness and the Jets’ suckage, the suckage emerged triumphant. (Yay!) The Jets seem to suck despite having some very good players. I don’t see them play often enough to hazard a guess as to why that is the case, but I am grateful.

    * Lack was the best Canuck tonight, followed by Tanev and Kesler. I knew next to nothing about Lack before the start of the season other than he was next on the depth chart, so his play to date has been encouraging. (I had been worried we’d return to the pre-Schnieder days when it was an adventure every time Lu’s backup hit the ice.)

    * Sestito won a pointless fight that served only to keep the Canucks’ leading ‘puck-icer’ unavailable for 5 min, so there ws that. (Those consecutive icings of his in the second were brutal.) Mostly, I just want Sestito in the box, preferably the press box, because I like Weise. Absent Sestito, the 4th line is much better and if it is better then the other guys on that line might mean get a chance to earn some more ice time.

    * I hope the week-long break is sufficient for Luongo to heal and everyone else to rest up.

    * Merry Christmas Daniel, Harrison & fellow Bulies.

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    • J21
      December 23, 2013

      I will now defend every regular pre-Schneider backup that Luongo has had in his time in Vancouver.

      The weakest was probably Dany Sabourin, but he wasn’t losing games for the team (he just wasn’t stealing them the routine way Luongo was during the 2006-07 season) and the fact that he had a decent run as a backup in Pittsburgh after his time in Vancouver shows that he wasn’t a horrific choice, if a little off-the-board.

      Curtis Sanford was quite good for the Canucks until Luongo went down and he had to assume a starter’s load. Then the team did suffer noticeably from the drop-off (although the 2008-09 skaters were better than the 2006-07 ones and were also better positioned to make up for it). But after Sanford’s performances against the Canucks as a member of the Blues, I’d have taken him for top goalie in the league in any event.

      Jason LaBarbera, brought in when Sanford struggled, acquitted himself quite well. It was a minor disappointment when he invoked the every-NHLer-must-play-for-Phoenix clause of the standard player contract and didn’t return after a decent run for his hometown team.

      Andrew Raycroft was actually very good. It kind of baffled everybody, but he was. He proved more than capable in his one year with the team.

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      • chicken hawk
        December 23, 2013

        With Eddie Lack she’s truly jake*
        He backed this win before the break
        Luongo for Lecavalier
        No need for controversy, eh**

        * In Australia and New Zealand, if “she’s jake”, then “everything is under control”.

        ** A distinctly Canadian usage, the “Anglo” equivalent of the French “n’est-ce pas?” which translates loosely into “isn’t it so?”

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  3. akidd
    December 23, 2013

    “Either that or Grandma Lack paid of Byfuglien to take Luongo down. I wouldn’t put it past her; she looked shifty.”

    i was thinking the same thing…the way she was diabolically keeping time on her water bottle like that…scary….

    nice to get the two points AND the extra couple of days of vacation there. that doesn’t happen often. thanks to his holiness the 27th reincarnation, eddie lack of course and a general adherence to the system despite running on fumes.

    but there were bursts. dalpe looked good with the extra minutes. showing some speed there. with weise and someone besides sestito there could be a chance of half-decent 4th line, something that might come in handy if ever this team advances to the point where it may match up for a series against a chicago blackhawks or some other such deep team. at least experiment and see if the team gets gooned the moment sestito is a healthy scratch.

    another guy who’s looking good is alex burrows. not liking the general dynamic with the sedins recently, much at all. they seem a little wonky out there. hansen is trying but it’s not the same thing. burrows could win the puck, dish it off and be around to finish the play if needed. tough gig. still think a bit more of kassian up there at select times could be a good thing. something to wake them up. (or is it an injury?)

    but hey, great run before the break! well-deserved rest/celebration for everyone–canucks, fans, media, bulies, fellow humans, everyone….well-deserved! Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays!

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    • laplander
      December 23, 2013

      Hmmm,
      Scenario #1
      Lou didn’t want to be tired when he was going home to Florida for the holiday so decided to take the rest of the game off…

      Scenario #2
      Lack’s Grandmother has Lou taken out AND THEN Eddie gives up one goal so he could get the win!
      “Clear the track, here comes Lack” (apologies to all those living Shack fans…)

      I smell a goaltending controversy coming up :-) AND Merry Christmas to all!

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  4. TubaNat
    December 23, 2013

    Ooh a Hurling reference – very good! And merry Christmas to all!

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    • Chinook
      December 23, 2013

      I’d never heard of hurling – as a sport. Looks great! Especially curious: the men dressed in lab coats hanging out by the goal – are they medical staff? to quickly sew up any axe (stick) wounds?

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      • John in Marpole
        December 23, 2013

        Until a couple of years ago the goal judges in Australian Rules Football used to wear lab coat/tench coat type outfits as well. I’ve always assumed that because both sports are so very brutal, it was to protect against blood stains.

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  5. Eastern Dane
    December 23, 2013

    There were so many giveaways, the Canucks must have been in the spirit of giving!! #Naiedit!

    No but seriously, what a heartwarming game. The dad who gets up at 3am to watch his son’s team’s games comes to Vancouver and gets to see his son steal the show and the crowd chant his name. My heart grew three sizes.

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  6. James W.
    December 23, 2013

    Is it just me or does Eddie Lack’s grandmother resemble Claudette from The Room?

    I can’t find a picture of grandma, but here’s breast cancer mom: http://netflixroulette.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/claudette.jpg

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    • J21
      December 23, 2013

      Haha, what a great story. Oh hai, James W.! Lisa’s looking hot tonight!

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  7. Amor de Cosmos
    December 23, 2013

    For four hundred bucks Amor Jr and I attended this game. So did the Canucks in body — their minds appeared full of sugar plums, and their spirits were obviously already off for a long winter nap. Jets fans made more noise, with less cause, than Nux fans. Even the desperate attempts to get a wave going by the lashed dude three seats away were met with indifference. Still we enjoyed the pretty lights on the ice, and the three bars of over-amped music before each face-off.

    Our seats provided an excellent opportunity to watch Chris Tanev for two periods. He really does have an air of confidence that belies his years. Rarely is he out of position, nor does he misplace a pass, we’ve all known that for a couple of seasons. What I hadn’t picked up was how busy his eyes are, they’re working all the the time, he misses nothing. Fascinating to watch, and maybe worth the money after all.

    Best of the season folks.

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  8. the olde coot
    December 23, 2013

    Chris Tanev is twenty-four
    I’m all of that and two times more
    It pleases me to see him score

    Merry Christmas, all!

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  9. the real bob
    December 23, 2013

    I guess on those turnovers, Bieksa channeled his inner Edler

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  10. madwag
    December 23, 2013

    “ Walsh gamely continued for a few minutes before leaving, which may the ice.” you lost me.
    falling “flatter than unleavened bread” was wonderful as was the hurling reference. a merriest of Christmases to you, your wife and sons. cheers!

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    • Daniel Wagner
      December 23, 2013

      Ha, I lost me as well. That’s an odd result of editing…

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  11. Noodle
    December 23, 2013

    RIP Canucks fans that got impaled by Eddie’s javelin style throw.

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  12. cathylu
    December 23, 2013

    I’m so happy for Eddie – his kin in attendence and the “Eddie! Eddie!” chant. The gif of him launching his stick into the crowd was funny. I think we have ourselves a pretty good back-up goalie.

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  13. Pavo
    December 23, 2013

    Couldn’t watch the game until the 3rd. Switched on the TV to see Sestito ice the puck twice in quick succession. Am on the ‘Scratch Sestito’ bandwagon.

    Having said that, it was nice to see the 3rd line bring home the bacon in this one.

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  14. Fruzenius
    December 23, 2013

    Hats off to you for rhyming Byfuglien with shufflin’

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    • J21
      December 23, 2013

      The proper spelling is “shyfuglien”, though.

      Anyone hungry for some Ryfuglies chips?

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  15. Barry
    December 23, 2013

    Mark Stuart -something something- defensive stewart.

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    • Barry
      December 23, 2013

      err stalwart. Merry Christmas PitB!

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  16. Moose
    December 23, 2013

    In contrast to Lack’s attempted murder, Tanev’s stick toss was almost as weak as his slapshot in his first seasons.

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