I Watched This Game: Canucks at Winnipeg Jets, March 12, 2014

Alex Burrows is such a terrible teammate. Having gone 35 games without scoring a single goal this season, Burrows chose to break his drought during Henrik Sedin’s 1000th career game, stealing the spotlight and making the game all about him. Selfish.

To make it even worse, Burrows scored two goals without allowing Henrik to tally an assist, despite playing on the top line with the Canucks captain. And you’ll notice that he scored two goals; why no assists, Burrows? Share the puck, Alex, this is a team game.

In fact, Burrows had a game-high 6 shots, while his other linemate, Nicklas Jensen, had just one, clearly because Burrows is such a puck-hog. Way to provide a toxic environment for the rookie, Burrows. Oh wait, I’m being sarcastic. Creating a toxic environment is a bad thing, Burr.

The final piece of evidence that Burrows was playing for the name on the back of his jersey rather than the logo on the front? He had the opportunity to score in the shootout and didn’t do it, obviously because it wouldn’t have counted for his points this season. He clearly just wanted to boost his personal statistics and didn’t care about getting his team the win. He was just out for number one, who was, in this case, number 14.

Alex Burrows is just the worst. I watched this game.

Canucks 3 – 2 Jets (SO)

***

  • Okay, so I might have been a bit facetious in that intro.
  • I’m glad the Canucks managed to win Henrik Sedin’s 1000th career game. He just became the first player to ever appear in 1000 games as a Vancouver Canuck without ever playing for another team. Amazingly, his 1000th game somehow came in an arena he had never played in before, since he missed the first game in Winnipeg this season with an incredibly rare injury. That’s pretty neat.
  • On an entirely unrelated note, Tom Sestito fought Anthony Peluso. It wasn’t just unrelated to Henrik’s 1000th game, but to the game itself and its end result. Heck, it was barely related to fighting, as the two mostly punched the air near each other’s heads, as if they thought they could knock the other out by depriving them of oxygen by punching it away.
  • It didn’t look like the Canucks were en route to a victory. The game looked all too familiar: they dominated early, out-shooting the Jets 14-9 in the first period, but couldn’t buy a goal. Then they gave up a goal early in the second and got into penalty trouble. But then the weirdest thing happened: Burrows magically became clutch again. I mean, magic is as good an explanation as any other.
  • Hipsters will love Burrows’ first goal of the season, because it was vintage. He went hard to the net, Jason Garrison’s shot hit him in the leg, he corralled the bouncing puck, and he swept it in from just outside the crease. It was greasy and ugly, just like Burrows. I mean, just like the type of goals Burrows used to score all the time. Man, that came out all wrong.
  • The best part of Burrows busting his slump was all of his teammates, who had the biggest, goofiest grins on their faces. It was a nice reminder that they are, in fact, a team and actually give a damn about each other. Even sourpuss Kesler broke out in the first genuine smile I’ve seen from him in months.
  • After the Jets took the lead once more in the third period, it was up to Burrows yet again to tie things up. He got the kind of lucky bounce that has eluded him all season. Either that or it was the most incredible pass from Jannik Hansen, intentionally chipping the puck over the net for Burrows. Or luck. Probably luck. Burrows then pretended the puck was a snake and the day was May 10th, so he could whack the puck into the net.
  • Alex Burrows was easily the best Canuck on the ice and he could have had four more goals. He had his stick slashed out of his hand on a partial breakaway, got robbed by Pavelec in front on a rebound, hit the post on a tip off a Kevin Bieksa shot, and shot the puck over the net from inside the hash marks during overtime. Basically, Burrows’ luck hasn’t really changed, but the hockey gods underestimated how much bad luck he would need. They didn’t expect him to be this good.
  • Of course, we can’t have something good without something terrible happening, so Jim Slater hit Ryan Kesler knee-on-knee, taking Kesler out of the game and sending him back to Vancouver for an MRI. This will, of course, lead to second-guessing about whether Mike Gillis should have accepted the best of whatever lame-duck offers he received at the trade deadline and sent Kesler packing, because Canucks fans are a reasonable bunch who would have definitely accepted that. Right.
  • The Jets had plenty of opportunities to take control and win this game. Evander Kane got a penalty shot when the Jets were up 1-0, but Eddie Lack made the save. When they were up 2-1, Andrew Ladd got a breakaway, but Lack once again came up big. Then, in overtime, they had a wide open net, but Dan “Community Man” Hamhuis made a miraculous save, sliding in front and blocking the shot with the back of his leg. Really, though, he should focus his miraculous abilities on multiplying loaves and fishes.
  • I thought Nicklas Jensen had a very good game and he led all Canucks in Corsi% at even-strength. His best moment came early in the first period when he set up Chris Higgins for a scoring chance, then beat feet back to the defensive zone to help break up the counter-attack when Higgins missed the net. The sound you heard was Canucks fans everywhere heaving a big sigh of relief that one of the team’s prospects actually looks like he might be a half-decent top-six forward.
  • Jensen’s performance did not go unnoticed by John Tortorella. He played just short of 20 minutes, including 4 minutes of power play time. With Kesler out, he even played on the first unit. Then he got the start with Henrik in overtime rather than Burrows, and was the second shooter in the shootout. In the space of three games, Jensen has already earned more trust than Zack Kassian, though if you look at their respective faces, that’s not surprising.
  • The overtime period was incredibly intense, with not a single whistle in the five minute frame. Whoever came up with the phrase “pulse-pounding” is clearly a time traveller who saw this overtime. Then the five minutes ended and we went to the bradycardia-inducing shootout. Hurray.
  • I was excited to see Jensen bust out his Forsbergian deke, and he didn’t disappoint, except for the part where Ondrej Pavelec made like an NHL-level goaltender and wasn’t the least bit fooled. The surprise star (and only scorer) was Chris Higgins, whose hands were suddenly as soft and quick as Patrick Kane’s, thoroughly befuddling Pavelec before going to the forehand and tucking the puck in with a good night story and a lullaby.
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22 comments

  1. Shade of Blue
    March 13, 2014

    In the midst of one of the most awful stretches of Canucks hockey in more years than I care to count, it sure was nice to see everyone on the Canucks’ bench break out in smiles when Burrows finally (FINALLY!) scored. After he tied it up at 2, I spent the rest of the game hoping he would score again and complete the hat trick, outcome be damned.

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  2. akidd
    March 13, 2014

    just caught the 3rd and when i turned on the tv right away i was struck by an unusual feeling. something was different yet somehow familiar. familiar like a dream i might have had before but i’m not sure.

    that team with the orca logo was skating hard, making passes, and creating chances. the other team with the flying war machine logo was doing likewise. back and forth with speed, skill and determination. it was weird. what do you call that game? it sure was fun to watch. way more fun the this other game that i’ve been watching for what seems like forever. this other game sucks. it’s really boring and awkward. i like the new game. they should start a league or something, do it regularly.

    still i can’t place the familiarity. where have i seen it before?

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  3. Anon
    March 13, 2014

    I love your blog, and I know you’re trying to be funny, but that doesn’t mean throwing religious jokes whenever you can makes it okay..

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    • RG
      March 13, 2014

      Jeez, don’t get your crucifix in a twist.

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    • ikillchicken
      March 13, 2014

      “And the Lord said: Thou shalt have no sense of humor about thyself whatsoever. Thou shalt always take offense at the most inconsequential and good spirited jokes. And so it was.”

      Apparently I missed that verse.

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    • Andy
      March 13, 2014

      I didn’t find the reference disrespectful, just a nod to Hamhuis and his faith. I’ve seen an awful lot of semi-obscure biblical references that makes me think one of the writers regularly went to sunday school, didn’t hate it, and isn’t mocking anything.

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      • Harrison Mooney
        March 13, 2014

        Yeah, we both grew up in church, and one of us is still there.

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        Rating: +19 (from 19 votes)
  4. bluemoonjones
    March 13, 2014

    If your god has no sense of humor, perhaps you should shop around for a new one.

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    • johnnym
      March 13, 2014

      …………gosh knows there are plenty to choose from……….

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  5. starfish
    March 13, 2014

    dear Anon

    in fairness it has to be stated that
    PITB has been absolutely consistent on linking community man Dan to (Christian) acts of kindness. This game really was about miracles What better metaphor then than that of the feeding of the 5000 i thought it was fitting and respectful and at the moment same time amazingly clever writing

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  6. Aaron
    March 13, 2014

    As always that was an entertaining article. Just a thought to consider for all. The Canucks are 100% for wins when Burrows scores this season. Go Burrows Go!!!

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  7. Zach Morris
    March 13, 2014

    This is frustrating.
    I want the Canucks to be really good, because it’s fun cheering for a good team. I want the Canucks to be really bad, because otherwise Tortorella’s system will be justified.
    I want the Canucks to be really good, because Eddie Lack and Chris Tanev and Chris Higgins. I want the Canucks to be really bad, so we get a decent draft pick.
    I want the Canucks to be really good, because it makes me happy. I want the Canucks to be really bad, because then I don’t have to care.

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  8. Agnost
    March 13, 2014

    So religion is not to be used for humourous reasons Anon? I think you should check the calendar…this is2014 not 1420.

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  9. iain
    March 13, 2014

    burr breaks his slump, a young prospect looks NHL-ready AND a shootout win.

    Dear, most esteemed and all-powerful hockey gods, please please can we have Henrik play his 1000th game every time the canucks play?

    oh but scratch the part where Kes gets hurt. we don’t need that. thanks!

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  10. the olde coot
    March 13, 2014

    I didn’t even hedge my bets
    Just wagered we would beat the Jets
    Course I’m all in with pocket twos
    And like the ‘Nucks I often lose
    But on this night I’ve no regrets
    Because the Heat lost to the Nets
    And I just won a case of booze

    Though Burrows first is all the news
    For my first star one of the two
    Vancouver got for Bobby Lu

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  11. Gored 1970
    March 13, 2014

    Good to see Burrow’s hard work pay off. Up until last night a nun in a phone booth could score more than Burr.

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  12. madwag
    March 13, 2014

    pavelec saves, but burrows scores on the rebound.

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  13. Andre
    March 13, 2014

    Now we can despair a little less…

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  14. Chris the Curmudgeon
    March 13, 2014

    Attaboy Burrows.

    I really hope that winning won’t rekindle the “but we still have a shot at the playoffs” talk though. Seriously, anyone saying that sounds like an Oilers fan in November. I’d like to see the team finish strong, draft positioning be damned, because that’s the proud and professional thing to do, but right now should really be about setting up for next year. In that vein, seeing Jensen get a lot of minutes, trying to get Burrows to end on a high and start his career rebound, and trying to see exactly what we’ve got in Shawn Matthias and Markstrom should be important tasks for the final stretch. I’d also like to see Schroeder and Stanton get leaned upon a little more heavily too for evaluation purposes. I’d say let’s call up some junior players too, except that all of the best ones are playing for highly seeded OHL teams and those games tend to bring out the best in young players.

    Not to be a Debbie Downer here, but the Stars are on pace to finish with 93 points (a conservative estimate too, since they’ve gotten better as the season has gone on). To overtake them even at that level, the Canucks would need to win 12 of their last 14. As it is, the Canucks are tied for first in the NHL in the 2014-15 standings, and with the right personnel moves both on and off the ice, there’s no reason they can’t be competitive then.

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    • Wetcoaster
      March 13, 2014

      Let’s add troubleshooting Daniel Sedin’s change in shooting percentage onto that to-do list. Actually, troubleshooting the low shooting percentage for a lot of the Canucks forwards should be a priority in the off season and training camp.

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  15. DanD
    March 13, 2014

    Hooray for Bible jokes!

    I caught the third period and overtime on the radio. It was great to hear that Burrows scored! It was weird to hear Shorthouse working with someone other than Garrett. Shorty and Tomlinson’s chemistry was definitely a little off. At one point they spent a couple of minutes debating about whether Parise scored the winner for the Wild the last time the Canucks were in a shootout. It was awkward.

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  16. Lucky
    March 13, 2014

    My favourite moment:

    The best part of Burrows busting his slump was all of his teammates, who had the biggest, goofiest grins on their faces. It was a nice reminder that they are, in fact, a team and actually give a damn about each other.

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