The Chicago Blackhawks came into town riding a four-game losing streak. (Well, actually, they flew in on a jet. But you know what I mean.) They were struggling, having recently dropped a 5-4 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames, and through the first period and change of this one, it looked like their struggles were going to continue. They appeared to be exactly what the Canucks needed.
Until they weren’t. Shortly after the Canucks went up 2-0, they turned into exactly what the Blackhawks needed. It was an unfortunate inversion, like when that kid swung over the bar and became Inside-Out Boy. Actually, come to think of it, that kid got special abilities. The Canucks appeared to lose whatever abilities they had. And, unlike Inside-Out Boy, they showed very little guts when I watched this game.
Canucks 2 – 5 Blackhawks
- The Canucks got off to a hot start in this game, showing more jump off the first puck drop than S Club 7 in the desert. The trio of Chris Higgins, Ryan Kesler, and Jannik Hansen won the opening draw and gained the zone immediately, then proceeded to score the opening goal 16 seconds after the contest began. Chris Higgins got the tally, backhanding a puck after Ryan Kesler backhanded a pass to him in front. The goal was more backhanded than the compliment, “black is so your colour,” which translates to “you’re fat”.
- Speaking of S Club 7, they once claimed there ain’t no party like an S Club party, but I watched this game from The Pint in Vancouver, where our friends from Canucks Army were hosting an event, and it was definitely up there with S Club’s allegedly legendary events. It was no Event Horizon, a criminally underrated film in the haunted spaceship genre, but it was still a pretty good event.
- The Canucks scored early in the second as well, thanks to — wait for it — Tom “Hands” Sestito. It was a punchy shift for the fourth liner, and not in the usual sense. Sestito got the play started by poking the puck away from Kris Versteeg. Then, Zack Kassian jumped on it and went around the outside like two Buffalo gals, before leaving for Ryan Stanton in the corner. Stanton fed Sestito in the slot, and Sestito stepped into the one-timer like a Tardis.
- Unfortunately, this made it 2-0, a two-goal lead, and as you know, a two-goal lead is the worst thing you can have. It’s like necrotizing fasciitis, but for hockey. In fact, shortly after Sestito ruined everything by doubling the lead, the Canucks’ defence pretty much immediately began to deteriorate like they had a flesh-eating disease. And then Blackhawks feasted on them like they had a flesh-eating disease.
- Jordan Schroeder scored two goals his last time out, but apparently, Mike Sullivan was displeased with his play. The Canucks’ acting head coach demoted Schroeder to a line with Daniel Sedin and Alex Burrows for this game. Unfair, in my opinion.
- The Canucks had a chance to cut the Blackhawks’ lead in half in the third, with Chris Higgins getting a shot at an empty net during a powerplay. Unfortunately, Jonathan Toews stacked his pads and kept it out. They should call him Jonathan Soews.
- That was pretty much it for Canuck chances. They spent most of the final period — and come to mention it, the period before — trapped in their own zone. There are worse zones to be trapped in, I guess, but even still, it was bad. And their exit strategy, which involved giving the puck to the Blackhawks and hoping they skated it backwards out of pity, was terrible. As exit strategies go, it was up there with Vietnam.
- The Canucks may have lost the game, but they won the faceoff battle handily, taking 40 of 63 draws. Ryan Kesler went 16-for-20, and Brad Richardson went 14-for-20. Sadly, you don’t get a bonus point for that, although considering teams sometimes get one for losing, I think you totally should.
- We have run out of things to say about the powerplay. Honestly, we’re as out of ideas as the Canucks are. They’re desperate right now. Dangerously desperate. If this were a Disney movie, a sea witch would be showing up any minute now to make an unfair deal.
- Finally, to add insult to injury, a fan threw a Canucks jersey on the ice. Granted, it was a Blackhawks fan being a dink. Joke’s on him! Now he has to walk home cold! Oh wait. It’s Vancouver. I’m wearing a light jacket. Man. Even our weather failed us tonight.
, I Watched This Game