The Canucks finished 2013 the exact same way they started it: locked in. Wait. That’s not right.
Truthfully, the Canucks were locked in for this one. Focused. Formidable. They looked pretty good out there, registering 44 shots, the most the Flyers have surrendered all season. But it wasn’t enough, because outshooting your opponent by a ratio of nearly 2 to 1 is meaningless when you outscore them by a ratio of 1 to 1. That’s a one-way ticket to the shootout, which, in Vancouver’s case, usually means a one-way ticket to just one point. That held true in this game. And I watched this game.
Canucks 3 – 4 Flyers (SO)
- You had to know this one was over for the Canucks when they failed to score in overtime. John Tortorella suspected as much. He was so uninterested in deciding the game via the skills competition that he played four forwards for most of the final minute, hoping to produce a real goal. And then, when it didn’t work, he sent Daniel Sedin over the boards to finish the night, knowing full well what would happen. It was pretty much the coaching equivalent of this gif. Eff this ess, Tortorella said in his mind — except probably uncensored. And out loud.
- This image, I think, best sums up the feelings of most Canucks fans when Daniel was selected for the shootout. Next time Tortorella’s in a position to choose a Sedin for the shootout, he should remember this helpful rhyme: If the beard is orange, no. No no no no. No. Stop. No. Don’t. No.
- It’s frustrating that Tortorella won’t use Kassian in the shootout. I understand that the winger needs to learn smart, two-way hockey before he gets on the ice, say, with the Sedins. But the shootout is literally one-way, and if he’s on the ice, the Sedins don’t have to be. It’s win-win, which seems preferable to the tie-lose model.
- Did anyone else feel like this game had a throwback feel? It seemed less like a December Canucks game and more like a November Canucks game, with the team dominating for almost the entirety of the night, but unable to convert on their chances, and, eventually, unable to close out the game in the final minutes. The only thing it was missing was a retro “November” patch on the Canucks’ sweaters. Maybe a fan with his head in his hands, sobbing? But, like, hand-stitched.
- We make fun of Tom Sestito for being a goon a lot, but we have to give the guy credit: he occasionally uses his hands for more than punching dudes in and around the head. He has more goals this season than John Scott has in his entire career. Sestito scored his third of the season early in the second to tie the game at one, kicking a Dan Hamhuis rebound to his stick before tucking it past Steve Mason. Then, because he was playing the team that waived him and he clearly has a chip on his shoulder about it, he popped the crest of his jersey towards the Flyers’ bench. Now, normally, I’d say one goal isn’t enough to make a team regret a personnel decision, but it’s the Flyers, so I’m sure they called Mike Gillis during the game, begging for their guy back.
- How positive is Eddie Lack? After taking a shot to the mask, he laughed as though the puck had told him a really good joke. I’m not sure what joke ends with a man getting hit in the face, except for that one Rick James tells Charlie Murphy.
- Speaking of positivity, David Booth looked good in this game, and I’m positive it’s because he’s positive. The dude is so optimistic, he truly believes he’s going to get to the net on every rush. He just goes straight ahead, as though no one is going to impede him. My sincere hope is that he quotes Philippians 4:13 every time he crosses the blue line.
- We’ve said it many times at this blog: Jannik Hansen, a.k.a. the Honninggrævling, don’t care. Which is probably why he decided to save all his highlight-reel goals for immediately after we released our list of Canuck goals of the year. Late in the second, Hansen put the Canucks ahead by executing a perfect give-and-go with Daniel, dropping the puck, then going to the net for Daniel’s return pass. It was a slick return. As returns go, it was better than Jedi, but not as good as Mack.
- Further evidence that Hansen doesn’t care: after a puck was contacted with a high stick in the neutral zone, he avoided touching it, not wanting play to be blown dead. But when the nearest Flyer decided not to touch the puck either, Hansen just punched him. Touch the puck, stupid.
- Like the Canucks, the Flyers employ a complete set of brothers. Unlike the Canucks, one of those brothers is kind of a bumbling oaf. That would be Luke Schenn, who was victimized on the Canucks’ 3-2 goal, with the puck deflecting off of him and in. One imagines the Sedins went back to the bench and argued about which one of them was Luke. “You’re older, so you’re Luke,” Daniel probably said. “You’re dumb and no one likes you, so you’re Luke,” Henrik said, meanly. And then the waterworks started.
- We don’t often marvel at the goals scored by Vancouver’s opponents, but full credit to Claude Giroux, who did some serious work on the Flyers’ goal shortly after Hansen put the Canucks ahead. Racing down the ice on a partial breakaway, Giroux controlled the puck with one hand while fending off Dan Hamhuis’s attempt to reach around him for a clean pokecheck with the other. I haven’t been that impressed by a guy fighting a hand since Evil Dead II.
- Vancouver was close in this one. The Flyers had their goalie pulled in the final minute, but instead of twisting the dagger, the Canucks went full Macbeth and just sort of stood around, pondering it. Is this a dagger which I see before me, they said, The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee. And while they were clutching, Brayden Schenn was being clutch, scoring the game-tying goal. The lesson: when your opponent shows his ear, you pour poison into it and you don’t think twice.
, I Watched This Game