I Watched This Game: Canucks vs. Colorado Avalanche, April 10, 2014

The last time we saw the Canucks, they were fighting for their playoff lives versus the Anaheim Ducks. (Not that they seemed to know it. It’s like they don’t even read the papers. Typical millennials.) It didn’t go well, and they were mathematically eliminated from postseason contention, making Thursday’s tilt with the Avalanche their first truly meaningless game of the year.

At first, I thought it was going to be impossible to get up for this game, meaningless as it was. But then I remembered life is meaningless, and I find reasons to get up for that every day. By rewarding myself with a bagel, I watched this game.

Canucks 2 – 4 Avalanche

  • There was some beautiful symmetry at work in this game. The Canucks last truly meaningless game, and by that I mean the last game they played after being eliminated from playoff contention, was Trevor Linden’s final game as a player in 2008. Their next game? His first as Team President. It was meant to be, like Ted and Robin. And, like Ted and Robin finally getting together, fans hated everything that led up to it.
  • Also, the Canucks lost both games. What’s the common element? Trevor Linden. #FireLinden
  • The Sedins were buzzing Thursday night, which is either a good sign that they’re back, or a good sign that they’re bees. Perhaps both. Twin bees. (Related: Twin Bee was an awesome arcade game.) In any case, they were responsible for the game’s opening goal, scored after Henrik Sedin got his stick on a Dan Hamhuis point shot. Like Francesco Aquilini hiring Trevor Linden as team president amid all sorts of concerns about his over-involved role in this calamitous season, it was an expert deflection.
  • Nicklas Jensen played this game with the Sedins, and he looked good there, except for on the Avalanche’s first goal. During some impressive cycling in the offensive zone, Jensen tried to walk the blueline with no one backing him up and was victimized by Paul Stastny. Let this be a lesson to you, Nicklas: always make sure you have backup. But don’t beat yourself up about it. Dana Scully always forgot to do this, and she worked for the FBI.
  • Speaking of unexplainable things, Don Taylor spent the whole night calling Rogers Arena “The house that Linden built”. He’s been president for one day. Are we also going to give him credit for this roster? Even Mike Gillis didn’t get credit for it. But I guess that’s just how it goes now. After the game, Linden visited the Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada House, The Provincial Law Courts, Simon Fraser University, Robson Square, and UBC’s Walter C. Koerner Library, and was given credit for building all of those.
  • David Booth continued his argument for not being bought out, with 5 shots on goal in just 11 minutes of ice-time and his ninth goal of the year. When Dan Hamhuis’s point shot missed the net and came off the boards, Booth fanned at his first opportunity, then corralled his second and went upstairs like a married couple in a family sitcom when the writers want to imply that they’re about to do sex to each other.
  • I know a lot of people want the Canucks to tank, so as to improve their draft seeding, but I’ve always hated the idea of tanking. It has nothing to do with some romantic notion of “playing for pride”. I just really identify with making others feel bad because you feel bad. The Avalanche, for instance, are chasing the Blues for the Central Division title. I like the idea of the Canucks trying to stand in the way of that, just to be dicks.
  • This really was the most Alex Edler game ever. The guy had a game-high eight shots on goal, he was driving play, but he took two penalties, and he finished the night minus-2. Part of this is his usual bad luck: he did nothing wrong to earn a minus on Stastny’s breakaway goal. Frankly, the other one was bad luck too, as Kevin Bieksa turned the puck over deep in the Avalanche end, leading to a two-on-one the other way. But I don’t even blame Bieksa for that minus. I blame Tortorella. When Alex Edler is the stay-at-home side of your defensive pairing, you are coaching poorly.
  • Jacob Markstrom started this game for the Canucks, and frankly, he looked a lot like the similarly tall Eddie Lack, especially when he was scored on more times than the guy at the other end.
  • With Trevor Linden the man of the hour, John Garrett treated us to a little trivia: what number did Linden wear in his first preseason game? 49, he told us, while scoffing at the absurdity of this number. I’ve never understood this part of hockey, where certain numbers are just inherently ridiculous and no one should ever wear them. Seven? Sure. Go for it. Seven squared? Don’t be an idiot.
  • I enjoyed Dan Hamhuis’s post-game interview. He was asked about Linden’s hiring. This is his actual quote: “I like a lot of the stuff that Mike [Gillis] was doing while he was here. What he was doing in the community, that was a big thing for him and big thing for this organization, and I know it always has been for Trevor too, so just looking forward to seeing how Trevor picks that up.” Community Man to the end.

15 comments

  1. ikillchicken
    April 11, 2014

    “Avalanche, for instance, are chasing the Blues for the Central Division title. I like the idea of the Canucks trying to stand in the way of that, just to be dicks.”

    Understandable. However, our last two games are against Edmonton and Calgary, two teams who are actually worse than us and chasing precisely nothing. If anything wouldn’t the best way to be dicks who stand in the way of their goal be to lose? I mean, their goal at this point is like ours: To get a good draft pick. So if we lose, it’s totally win win…or possibly lose win. I’m not sure. The point is, it’s definitely good for us and bad for them. So if we really want to spite them we should go out there and absolutely beat the pants off ourselves the next two games.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +25 (from 27 votes)
  2. Zach Morris
    April 11, 2014

    So no one told the Nucks: “That’s not how you should play!”
    Our coach: a joke, we’re broke, Luongo’s gone away
    And now we’re crashing to the bottom tier
    It really hasn’t been our day, our week, our month, or even our year, but…

    I’ll believe in blue
    (When the rain starts to pour)
    I’ll believe in blue
    (Tortorella’s out the door)
    I’ll believe in blue
    (I got nothing better to do)

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +13 (from 13 votes)
  3. iain
    April 11, 2014

    in the number 7 draft spot this morning. need carolina to win a game to rise to number 6. calgary is 4pts up at number 5. might have to rely on tiebreaks to settle it.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  4. Scruffy
    April 11, 2014

    Canada is a shell of the hockey royalty it once was, and its days of hockey dominance are over. Just look at the teams who have been eliminated from playoff contention already: Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton. As far as I’m concerned, California is the new land of hockey, Canada is merely second fiddle. Think I’m wrong, well you are in the minority! ( http://st8.it/NHLteams )

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: -13 (from 15 votes)
    • David G.
      April 11, 2014

      You mean outside of Olympic hockey.

      I find it puzzling that California produces so many high-talent hockey players, and Canada so few given there respective climates.

      Yes, it’s sarcasm.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +17 (from 17 votes)
    • Neil B
      April 11, 2014

      Yoou’re not wrong, Scruffy, you’re just a titch rude about it is all.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +5 (from 7 votes)
    • Ham Danhuis
      April 11, 2014

      Our 2 consecutive Olympic gold medals (men’s and women’s) would beg to differ.
      Given the multinational composition of every team, the location of said team is hardly an indicator of a nation’s hockey dominance

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +11 (from 11 votes)
    • BDL
      April 11, 2014

      If you’d clean it up to say Canadian-based NHL teams, then there’s not much argument, and hasn’t been one for a very long time. Good of you to catch up. There’s of course a myriad of reasons for this, not the least of which is revenue is in CAD while player salaries are in USD.
      It’s telling to point out that the best players on Anaheim (e.g. Getzlaf, Perry) San Jose (Thornton, Couture, Vlasic) and LA (Doughty, Richards, Carter) are Canadian, and most of them are double gold medalists, but don’t let these details get in the way of your learned argument. Canada’s dominance of this sport continues unabated.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +11 (from 11 votes)
    • Max
      April 11, 2014

      it’s more likely because the markets in california are desirable places live. Canada is still hockey mecca because the vast majority of top-end talent in the NHL comes FROM canada, not necessarily playing in Canada. As the great Donald S. Cherry always points out, the stanley cup winning teams almost always have 13+ Canadians on their respective rosters (that’s more than half a team). I haven’t checked to see if this is true but what Donald S. Cherry says is Gospel. CHURCH!!!

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
    • 5mintuesinthebox
      April 11, 2014

      I seriously cant tell if you are bring facetious or you are just that ignorant. What correlation does NHL teams based in Canada and Canadian hockey have?

      Let me put it you in a very simple way. Every year the Stanley Cup travels to the hometown of the players on the winning team, guess which Country the Stanley Cup spends the most time in every year?

      Here’s a hint: California is not a country.

      And as for being the minority…well Im not surprised that ignorance is more of the average than common sense.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  5. tom selleck
    April 11, 2014

    Lots of good stuff in this write up. My fave from this one was:

    “went upstairs like a married couple in a family sitcom when the writers want to imply that they’re about to do sex to each other”

    which had me laugh out loud. Brought back memories of Married…With Children and Peggy pulling a totally reluctant Al upstairs to do sex.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +7 (from 7 votes)
  6. Brent
    April 11, 2014

    “Community Man to the end.”

    What, we are going to trade Hamhuis?

    Good game, played pretty good so it wasn’t embarrassing (pretty good corsi all around except for Sestito 9%!) and still didn’t get any points!

    SO why didn’t we play Schroeder? Does than mean he is gone?

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +7 (from 7 votes)
  7. Mb13
    April 11, 2014

    On the point of a David Booth buyout. Why would they buy him out? He’s got one year left on his deal. The Canucks are most likely in the start of a re-build. I doubt they get to the cap ceiling next year unless they overpay drastically for a free agent.

    As far as I can tell, you buy out players for two reasons. Cap room or long term flexibility. Neither are an issue for Booth.

    I would argue that a buy out for Garrison or Edler would be more logical. Both have term left on their contract and neither is performing up to the standard of their contract. Edler is probably the most guilty of this. Granted – I don’t watch the games (I watched 2 minutes of the Anaheim game and saw Garrison shoot a puck as last man back right into the shin pads of a defender leading to a 2-0 vs the goalie) and basically go by what I read.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  8. DanD
    April 11, 2014

    Totally unrelated, because there’s not much to be said about the game:

    I was on the fence about this whole Northern Gateway Pipeline thing, but every time I click a video link from PITB, and those stupid Youtube advertisements tell me how hard they’re working to fulfill all of the 200+ conditions for building it, it makes me hate it a little more each time. So thanks PITB, for helping me love the environment just a little bit more.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
    • akidd
      April 11, 2014

      tell me about it. worst part of the season(from the other article)? having to absorb those northern gateway ads. it’s like listening to the eastern media give advice on what the canucks should do. ya, those guys really have our best interests at heart. if northern gateway needs another guy to look into the camera and lie for the company, well, too bad. aquilini is snapping up all the good candidates.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)