I Watched This Game: Canucks at Anaheim Ducks, January 5, 2013

Like Bilbo Baggins in the Fellowship of the Ring, the Canucks looked like butter scraped over too much bread. The Canucks appeared to spend all their available energy in the first period and spent the rest of the game making like the Seawall in a windstorm, just sitting there, withstanding wave after wave.

Considering I just compared the Canucks to a tiny hobbit who spent a lot of time being completely invisible and an inanimate object that massive numbers of people walk all over every day, you can probably guess that this game didn’t go too well for Vancouver. It would have gone a lot worse, however, if not for the efforts of Eddie “Electric Sex” Lack, so named because his legs are sexier than a leg lamp with a fishnet stocking on it.

Lack made save after save, but must have forgotten to put in the Konami code at the beginning of the game, as he ran out of saves at the last second. I wish I had played Contra, but instead I watched this game.

Canucks 3 – 4 Ducks (OT)

***

  • This game seemed like it was written by Samuel Beckett or Jean Genet, as it was a prime example of Theatre of the Absurd. For example, Roberto Luongo wasn’t available to backup Eddie Lack due to an injury suffered against the Kings, leaving the Canucks scrambling for a last-minute backup, signing 43-year-old Rob Laurie, who has filled in for the Anaheim Ducks in practices, to a one-day contract. Midway through the second period, Lack got flattened by Kyle Palmieri, and the camera cut to Laurie on the bench, furiously chewing gum like he had run out of ass.
  • Even more absurd, however, was the emergence of Tom “Lord Dragaunus” Sestito, who was promoted to the second line with Ryan Kesler and Zack Kassian. This seemed like the worst idea ever until Sestito nearly scored on his first shift. I mean, he only threw the puck towards the goal from a terrible angle and nearly deflected in off a defender, but for Sestito, that’s a quality scoring chance.
  • I didn’t think I could get any more surprised, but then the Canucks got a power play and Sestito skated on the ice. With the Sedins, Kesler, and Jason Garrison. Yep, Tom Sestito on the first power play unit. This couldn’t possibly end well.
  • It ended well.
  • Just a minute into the Canucks first power play, with Sestito screening in front, Henrik sent a pass across to Kesler at the top of the left faceoff circle, and he hammered the one-timer like it was a Stone Man from Saturn. 1-for-1 on the power play with Sestito on the first unit.
  • Later in the first, the Canucks got another power play and, again, with Sestito screening, the Canucks scored. This time, it was Henrik slamming a slap shot towards the net, where it deflected off the stick of Team USA Olympian Cam Fowler and past Hiller. 2-for-2 on the power play with Sestito on the first unit. Tom Sestito, power play specialist. I mean, his speciality is being big and opaque, but those are pretty good qualities to have when your job is preventing someone from seeing something.
  • Sestito’s impact on the game didn’t end there. In the second period, he lined up a hit on Hampus Lindholm, but missed, spinning wildly and roundhouse kicking Zack Kassian in the face. Kassian dropped like he was it and it was hot. His nose was spurting blood and he seemed dazed. He left the game and didn’t return. Keep an eye on Sestito: if he “accidentally” injures Jannik Hansen and Mike Santorelli next, you’ll know he’s gunning for the top line.
  • Since Sestito is now clearly too valuable to fight, Brad Richardson took on the role, tussling with Kyle Palmieri. Richardson acted like a proper goon, too, fighting when up by two, a time when you don’t want a shift in momentum, and when David Booth was rushing up ice with Jannik Hansen, hoping for a scoring chance.
  • The Canucks were absolutely dominant in the first period, out-shooting the Ducks 12-to-5. The Ducks out-shot the Canucks 44-to-8 through the rest of the game. I haven’t seen ducks dominate someone so thoroughly since Huey, Dewey, and Louie wiped the floor with their uncle in The Hockey Champ.
  • Santorelli had a rare bad game, missing two open nets that could have given the Canucks an undeserved win. Worse, he missed his check, Saku Koivu, on the Ducks’ first goal, allowing him to convert after a Kevin Bieksa turnover. After the game, he missed a garbage can with balled-up hockey tape, missed out on a high-five when he left Zac Dalpe hanging, then missed the team bus to the airport.
  • As Jean K. Jean would say, Eddie Lack was incroyable. He made 45 saves, some of them spectacular, and was the only reason the Canucks earned a point. Lack carried the Canucks to overtime and nearly to the shootout and yet somehow wasn’t named one of the three stars of the game. You might say that Lack had his teammates’ back.
  • While I would never say that scoring a goal is a bad thing, the timing of the Canucks’ go-ahead goal in the third period wasn’t ideal. Just a minute in, Kevin Bieksa embraced his inner Messala and whipped the puck towards the net. It found its way through traffic and snuck just inside the post. Unfortunately, gaining the lead so early in the third led to the Canucks collapsing into a defensive shell again. Out of gas after a tough game against the Kings the night before, the Canucks seemed to stop even trying to get the puck into the offensive zone.
  • It seemed inevitable that the Ducks would tie the game, but thanks to Lack’s goaltending and some desperate defence, the Canucks actually seemed to be holding them off. Then Jason Garrison failed to get the puck out of the zone on a basic clearing attempt. The puck found its way to a wide open Nick Bonino, whose shot ticked off a sliding Bieksa and waffled past Lack. It was such a failure to execute basic hockey that John Tortorella could only laugh and execute a picture-perfect facepalm. Wait, I mean gif-perfect facepalm.
  • For once, the Canucks actually wanted to get the game to the shootout, as they had little chance to win in overtime on tired legs. It looked like they were in the clear, getting the puck out of the defensive zone while killing a penalty with just 7.6 seconds left. Unfortunately, exactly 7 seconds later, Corey Perry snuck in behind the defence, then snuck the puck through Lack’s legs — his normally so reliable legs. Lack’s legs were the last thing I expected to come up short in this game. Seriously, they’re so long.
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25 comments

  1. Dan
    January 6, 2014

    “Kassian dropped like he was it and it was hot.” L O L!

    I can’t believe Drop It Like It’s Hot is a decade old now, man 10 years sure flies by, especially for songs.

    A+ write up Daniel, for a C- game. They were just so outplayed it was ugly. Thank goodness for Lack. How unfortunate was that OT goal, he was fighting so hard to get it to the shootout.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
  2. Brent
    January 6, 2014

    So, so many things to talk about over this “game”, not sure where to start. How about Santorelli with the sedins. If I had a twitter account and I was watching the game in real time rather than delayed on a PVR, I would have tweeted that Santorelli was channeling Hansen when he missed that first open net. Then, since I didn’t have to type anything, it got me thinking, maybe it isn’t just Hansen, maybe it is Burrows. Maybe Burrows made some sort of a deal with a voodoo witch doctor for him and only him to play well with the sedin’s? Thus explaining his stellar play with the twins. But maybe, as we learned in “once upon a time” that all magic has it’s cost. This would explain his horrendous “luck” this year. Unfortunately, the curse is still on any line-mates of the Sedin’s, thus it is not Hansen’s fault, and is in fact Burrows fault! We need a scapegoat for these last 2 games, so I blame Burrows. But then again, maybe I shouldn’t be drinking so much! I blame the Canucks play. And now we get to play Pittsburg and St. Louis. My liver, oh my liver!

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +15 (from 17 votes)
  3. Kyle Good
    January 6, 2014

    I peed myself laughing. A great write-up for one of the worst games to watch. What a bad weekend of hockey.

    I had to check, halfway through the IWTG, because I was laughing so hard I really wanted it to be written by DW. If it had been written by HM I would have had to let go of this grudge I hold against him. He did something bad a while back…I can’t remember what but it was bad. Ahhh whatever, PITB rocks! You made me laugh at a time when the Canucks have turned into the Leafs.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +6 (from 8 votes)
  4. ikillchicken
    January 6, 2014

    Regarding Sestito, obviously him playing 5 on 5 in the top 6 won’t last. He’s got size and grit but totally lacks everything else necessary to play in that role. BUT, we could be onto something with the powerplay. When his only job is to park it in front of the net and use his size to screen the goalie and/or create chaos battling with the defender…well in that scenario his lack of skating or puck handling ability isn’t a problem. Of course, ideally, you’d like the person in that role to have a more active stick and get some tips or at least jump on rebounds. I don’t know that we’ll see much of that from him. But, even still, just his screening ability has a lot of value. Especially for a team like ours that is already loaded up with high skill shooters and playmakers on the first unit.

    Regarding Santorelli, my feeling is always that, if you’re in a position to fail to convert on two high quality scoring chances you probably didn’t have THAT bad of a game. He looked great with the Sedins even if he failed to score. As much as I like him with Kesler, I’d like him to stay with the Sedins. Getting them going is more important. And Santorelli does that by participating in the cycle, unlike Hansen who can at best finish plays they set up for him but who has little passing ability of his own to speak of.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +13 (from 13 votes)
  5. Naturalmystic
    January 6, 2014

    The score flattered the Canucks, it should have been 6-3. Lack deserves a raise. I wasn’t able to listen to the Team 1040 post game show, I am sure there was at least one lunatic caller suggesting Lack should be Vancouver’s starter. We all know that if the game is tied at the end of regulation Vancouver is going home with one point. Anaheim saved Vancouver fans from having to watch the fail whales crash and burn in the shoot out.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 8 votes)
  6. ryley
    January 6, 2014

    Anyone else notice the hot chick with the nice rack sitting behind the net?

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: -14 (from 16 votes)
    • 5minutesinthebox
      January 6, 2014

      Given that this is completely anonymous, hit + if you went back to the video and looked for her.

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      Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  7. Barry
    January 6, 2014

    Saku, not Mikko

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  8. mac 'n cheese
    January 6, 2014

    Why isn’t there a camera feed dedicated to Tortorella which is on all the time? We would watch it through the entire game. Priceless!

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +5 (from 7 votes)
  9. chicken chick
    January 6, 2014

    Last night they blew a one goal lead
    On Sunday they are up by two
    The Ducks get back the goals they need
    Alas of late ’tis nothing new
    I feel for Lack and Bobby Lu

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)
    • toulouse toucan
      January 6, 2014

      Can’t beat the Kings can’t beat the Ducks
      So for the nonce the trolls are right
      When they suggest Vancouver sucks

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      Rating: +1 (from 5 votes)
      • whisky jack
        January 6, 2014

        A note to anyone who cares
        For games involving millionaires:
        Your seeming plight has me amused.
        I submit you’re quite confused.
        You think these guys care how you feel?
        It’s time you checked on what is real!
        They’re there for you because they’re paid:
        The whole shebang’s a masquerade.
        The bottom line is you’ve been played.

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: 0 (from 8 votes)
  10. Fitz
    January 6, 2014

    Two games in a row our goaltending has been outstanding so what does the opposition do? run them of course.

    Now I don’t think the Canucks deserved to win either game, but the lack of respect for Luongo (no so much Lack because he’s not as established) is ridiculous. Running Brodeur or Lundquist gets you a penalty, running Luongo gets you a goal.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +18 (from 18 votes)
  11. arjay
    January 6, 2014

    Just did some quick math….teams dress 20 players—the Nux entered tjhe game with 7 of them injured…a 35% bite….now they have ZK out—nearly 40% of the starters out.

    Add in b2b’s vs two of the league’s top and most physical teams and stealing one point is a miracle…half empty or half full?

    Re the Goalie Pinata game being played against the Nux…time to check and see if Ogey Oglethorpe is still able to skate…….bush league and deliberate…….

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +13 (from 13 votes)
  12. Chris the Curmudgeon
    January 6, 2014

    Would the real Vancouver Canucks please stand up, please stand up…

    Seriously if this team is going to go Slim Shady one month, Marshall Mathers the next, they are going to be watching the playoffs on television in a couple of months. They are built to win by being a solid two-way team, perhaps they need to be reminded that one of those “two ways” is offence even when they are winning. The sooner they learn that they can’t nurse a lead, the better. Not pining for the Vigneault days, but I seem to remember those teams being almost impossible to come back against in the 3rd period. This year it seems like the majority of our losses include a late coughed up lead.

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    Rating: +7 (from 7 votes)
    • steveB
      January 6, 2014

      Is there a team in the NHL more susceptible to surrendering goals in the starting and ending minutes of periods than the Canucks?
      It’s worrisome how often they squander 2 points.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
  13. cathylu
    January 6, 2014

    Eddie was great – I so wanted him to get a win for his birthday. That was a tough weekend. On the bright side – our offensive output increased from 1 to 3.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)
    • Kevin
      January 6, 2014

      Instead of a win, the team got him a round of shots.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  14. akidd
    January 6, 2014

    another day in the pacific division. this game was much more winnable than the kings game i thought. imo, the ducks aren’t quite as mighty as their record indicates and should come back to the pack before long.

    quite a few regulars out. sestito could read everyone’s minds who were thinking about the first unit pp. thinking that if big tom could thrive in front of the net then big zach with softer hands might do even better. then when zach took his best wristshot of the season and rang the post tom knew he had to nip the competition in the bud so he promptly kicked zach in the head.

    thin, thin, thin. the blueline and now the forwards too. basically there’s kesler and santorelli left as impact forwards. apparently there’s a canuck who’s going to need off-season surgery. henrik or daniel is my guess. 5 on 5 those guys have dropped off the face of the earth.

    when there’s one only line that’s even a moderate scoring threat it’s going to be a slog. i know the guys were exhausted but wow, the forecheck disappeared faster than my christmas break.

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  15. Raftgeek
    January 6, 2014

    I miss AV! Under him we could at least score, this teams looks beat down. I don’t think this team makes it to the playoffs the way it is now. Not sure what Gillis can do with trades or moving people but this team looks dead to me.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      January 6, 2014

      Canucks goals-per-game: 2.61. Rangers goals-per-game: 2.37. Canucks goals-per-game last season: 2.54.

      We’re less than a week removed from the Canucks’ 10-1-2 December. Let’s maybe relax a little before declaring the Canucks dead.

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      Rating: +4 (from 6 votes)
      • Brent
        January 6, 2014

        Ture, but Canucks fans seem to like to panic and flip the pool, it seems to be in out DNA. Maybe it is time for a “Moment of Pure Bulis”? Haven’t had one of those for a while.

        Maybe we just need to play Buffalo or the Oilers to feel better about our selves.

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        Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  16. Lemming
    January 6, 2014

    I wish that with, like Dustin Brown from the game before, the Canucks had started a scrum when Palmieri ran the goalie. I was amazed that not a single Canuck made his way towards Brown when he ran Luongo, and less amazed when they didn’t come to the defense of Lack. If they’re not going to defend their star goalie, they’re not going to defend the backup either.

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    • Naturalmystic
      January 6, 2014

      Vancouver doesn’t retaliate, they punish opposing teams with their power play……

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      Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
  17. Raftgeek
    January 6, 2014

    Okay I’ve often and loudly said Canuck fans were irrational in their expectations so maybe I’m starting to fall into that too. It’s just hard to watch the PP be so bad, to see guys getting beat in practically every puck battle I get to watch and have a positive attitude about this team. I always liked AV, he seemed to get the most from every player IMO. I think guys like Hanson, Burrows the twins have all taken big steps backwards this year. The D doesn’t appear to be chipping in the way they used to and it just doesn’t feel right. Not to mention we can’t seem to beat any of the top teams in our division. Sorry count me on the band wagon for this team is done. I’ve never had a team win anything in 42 years so me picking against the Canucks is probably the best thing the team could hope for.

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