Like Johnny Galecki, the Canucks were a little rusty. The week-long break between games didn’t do the Canucks any favours, as they struggled to dispatch the lowly Flames. Don’t get me wrong, they were never in danger of losing this game, generally dominated puck possession, and were clearly the better team, but they couldn’t get the puck past the mediocre Reto Berra more than twice.
Frankly, this game had no business being as close as it was: the Canucks out-shot the Flames 30-to-18 and were about as smothering as a helicopter parent in the defensive zone, while Lack was perfect in his first game as the number one goaltender with Roberto Luongo injured. Aside from a strong push at the beginning of the third period, the Flames never looked competitive with the Canucks, which is why a 2-0 win is so underwhelming.
That said, the Canucks didn’t get sucked into playing down to the level of an inferior opponent and came away with a win, so it was still relatively satisfying when I watched this game.
Canucks 2 – 0 Flames
- This was largely a boring game: the Canucks dominated the first two periods, but only scored one goal, so the Flames weren’t under any pressure to open up their game to come back. As a result, the Flames collapsed around their own net, forcing the Canucks to the perimeter, resulting in fewer opportunities to score than a conservative Christian college.
- The Canucks were likely hoping to keep ice time down, with the Philadelphia Flyers already waiting in Vancouver for their game Monday night, but an ugly elbow to the head from Brian McGrattan on Andrew Alberts just a few minutes in threw a wrench into that plan. Alberts collapsed to the ice with what we might assume to be a concussion and left the game, leaving the remaining defencemen to eat up some extra minutes in his absence.
- Thank goodness Tom Sestito was on the ice to prevent that dirty hit by fighting McGrattan after it happened. Wait…
- McGrattan received a five-minute major and a 10-minute misconduct for the elbow, giving the Canucks a long power play early in the game. Unfortunately, it was the most disappointing five minutes since “We Built This City” by Starship, as the Canucks mustered just 3 shots, none from within 30 feet.
- With the combination of the power play and the Canucks dominant play at even-strength, the Flames didn’t manage a shot on goal for the first 13 minutes of the game and didn’t even have a shot attempt until 11:45 into the game. In my expert opinion, the Flames are not particularly good.
- After dominating the opening frame with the puck in Calgary’s end, the Canucks finally opened the scoring, ironically, with a counter-attack. After Dan Hamhuis blocked a Mark Giordano point shot, Henrik Sedin sprung Jannik Hansen on a breakaway with an absurd, four-foot high, two-line saucer pass that landed right on Hansen’s tape. Hansen bobbled the puck slightly before whipping a wrist shot far side on Reto Berra, then crashed hard into the boards because Honninggrævling don’t care.
- Poor Henrik Sedin had a rough outing, taking a puck to the ear in warmup that needed stitches. His ear, I mean, not the puck. Then, later in the second period, his brother added to his suffering, chipping a puck straight into his face on a clearing attempt. Apparently the pucks overheard Henrik saying something really mean about their mother prior to the game. In this scenario, all of the pucks are siblings.
- Eddie Lack was seriously fantastic in this game, which is astonishing, because Lack doesn’t seem to do anything seriously. His best stretch came when the Flames pushed hard early in the third period, as he robbed T.J. Galiardi on a spinning backhand attempt, then made a head save on a Lee Stempniak chance on the short side. “He headed that one over the bar, soccer goalie style,” explained John Garrett, who doesn’t seem to realize that soccer goalies are allowed to use their hands.
- I just realized that the Flames have two players named T.J. on their team: Galiardi and Brodie. That’s one T.J. too many. Since Galiardi has seniority, he gets to keep the nickname, while Brodie will have to go by his real name, Thomas James. Either that or Broseph Brodie.
- Mike Santorelli was the beneficiary of some hard work from Ryan Kesler, who poked the puck away from Mikael Backlund in the neutral zone, then beat him to the loose puck, feeding Santorelli for the 2-0 goal. It was the best insurance marker since the free Johnston Meier pen I got a couple weeks ago. It’s a pretty nice pen.
- The biggest news coming out of this game is the Alberts injury, as it likely leaves the Canucks with just five defencemen heading into the second night of back-to-back games. If the Canucks call someone up from Utica, such as Frank Corrado, he’d have to leave soon, as it’s a five-hour flight from Syracuse (the nearest airport to Utica) to Vancouver.
, I Watched This Game