Let’s be honest: nothing the Canucks did tonight was going to overshadow the events of this afternoon. John Tortorella could have charged into the visiting team’s dressing room, the press box, and two concession booths during this game and it still wouldn’t have done a damn thing to change the front page of tomorrow’s papers. Tuesday was all about the Roberto Luongo trade.
Knowing this, the Canucks didn’t even try to compete with the main story. They played this game like they knew it was going to be a sidebar. Like Frank MacKey waiting out an interview, they sat patiently, counting down the minutes. Occasionally, someone had to hop on the ice, of course, but for the most part, this was as perfunctory as an Adam Sandler movie script. Like the Canucks who played in it, I watched this game.
Canucks 0 – 1 Coyotes
- I could say this game was as boring as watching paint dry, but let’s be fair: when you watch paint dry, you’re at least watching a process. The Canucks don’t seem to have one of those anymore. Furthermore, drying paint eventually achieves its desired result: it dries. And sometimes it even slightly changes colour!
- On the bright side, this really was an appropriate beginning to the Eddie Lack era. How do I know? Because it was eerily reminiscent of the first days of Luongo, with a goaltender doing his best to keep his offensively inept team in the game. On the one hand, you could say it bodes well for Lack, since he looked good, but if history is really repeating itself, Lack’s going to have one Hell of an eight years. Although his surprise appearance on the weather network should be fun.
- Lack really was good in this game, stopping 31 of the 32 shots he faced. One of the major questions heading down the stretch and into next season is whether Lack’s ready for number one duty, but honestly, watching this game, Lack is maybe the only one on this team that isn’t a question mark. Come to think of it, maybe that was the plan all along? Make Lack look good, make the trade look good. I wondered why the players kept shouting, “Boy, if it wasn’t for Lack this game would be over already!” and “Eddie Lack? More like Ready Lack! Ready for this big responsibility, that is!”
- The lone shot that got past Lack was scored by Antoine Vermette, his sixth goal in five games this season versus the Canucks. But you have to feel bad for the guy. The Canucks were obviously a team he thought the Coyotes would have to go through in the playoffs, which is why he paid the witch to make him so good against them. This is why you never ask a witch for her Cup picks.
- The Canucks had one good chance in this game, and it came off the stick of Ryan Kesler. Unfortunately, he hit the crossbar. What a loser. Trade him, I say. We can’t have crossbar-hitters here in Vancouver. Get. Him. Out of here.
- The most talked-about moment of this game may have come at the intermission, when Mike Gillis appeared for a brief interview with Dan Murphy sporting a combination goatee and neckbeard. It was fitting, mind you. We have clearly entered the darkest timeline. What we know so far: Evil Mike Gillis has a weird beard. Evil John Tortorella wears glasses. And Evil John Garrett doesn’t eat Kraft Dinner. He eats people.
- The Coyotes actually scored a second goal midway through the third, and unsurprisingly, Antoine Vermette was in the middle of it. The goal was waved off because Vermette was interfering with Lack in the crease, flailing strategically in a vain attempt to get up. You can’t do that. Strategic flailing only works when you’re fighting your little sister.
- Mike Smith gets a lot of grief from Canucks fans for flopping whenever he’s touched, so we should probably give him plaudits for not flopping when Zac Dalpe whacked him in the head with his stick while trying to knock a puck off the top of the net. But Smith may have just been happy to be involved in the game. He’s an attention-seeker, and with the Canucks barely testing him, he was ignored most of the night. He was this close to writing emo songs about how no one understands him.
- Smith was involved in my favourite moment of the evening, however. At the game’s end, he made a last-second pitch for the empty net, lobbing one across both blue lines. Time had run out by the time it reached the Vancouver end, but an angry Kevin Bieksa still knocked the high floater over the left-field fence. He’s got a future in baseball, and I think he and the rest of the Canucks should go for it. Hockey’s not working for them these days.
- Chris Higgins had 6 shots in this game. The rest of the Canucks’ forwards combined had 7, two of which came off the stick of Tom Sestito. Say, remember when we were complaining about the Canucks’ stubborn refusal to scratch Tom Sestito? Only a few months later, we’re asking the rest of the team, Why can’t you be more like Sestito? It’s suspicious. Has anybody thought that maybe Tom Sestito is a sinister alien turning everyone into — OH MY GOD HE’S HERE