Nothing went Vancouver’s way in the 2013-14 season. Not a damn thing. So it was a nice change of pace when Canucks jumped out to a 4-0 lead versus the Calgary Flames, with the Sedins looking like their old selves, Frank Corrado scoring his first career goal, and the team appearing to be on the verge of ending the failed campaign on a rare high note.
But it was short-lived. Late in the second, as Daniel Sedin and Paul Byron went into the corner, the high note morphed into a series of high notes — the ones that play when Janet Leigh is getting stabbed a bunch in Psycho. Then Daniel was stretchered off and taken to hospital. I witnessed one final horror in a season stuffed with them when I watched this game.
Canucks 5 – 1 Flames
- Daniel Sedin’s injury was terrifying. The way he twitched his fingers, but lay there motionless otherwise, made me fear for the worst. But apparently he’s okay. Knowing that, can we revisit the outrage we had for Paul Byron, as though he achieved his desired effect or something? He wasn’t trying to hurt anyone. He boarded Daniel, there’s no question of that, but that’s a hit you see at least once in almost every hockey game. Sometimes it’s called, sometimes it isn’t. It needs to be called more often, though, since sometimes, a guy gets hurt really badly due to it. That’s the case here.
- Daniel’s second goal of the game came with no help from Booth, but plenty of help from Henrik, as the twins combined for a little late-season Sedinery, making more passes than a lothario before finally converting. You had to feel for the Flames on this play, trying to keep track of where the puck was. There are David Lynch movies that are easier to follow.
- Daniel finished the night with eight shots on goal, which is crazy, since he only played two periods. He boasted a corsi rating of 88.2% too, because he was on the ice for 15 shots for and just 2 against. No doubt it’s too little, too late, but the Sedins appeared to have re-found their mojo through two. Thank god, because under John Tortorella’s system, they’ve looked near ready to leave it on the steps of the building where they first picked it up.
- Just as he did when he got John Tortorella to lose his mind back in January, Bob Hartley sent Brian McGrattan and Kevin Westgarth out to take the opening faceoff. No doubt he was messing with his archnemesis. This time around, however, Tortorella didn’t bite, sending out Zack Kassian, David Booth, and Shawn Matthias. Four seconds later, the Canucks gained the Calgary zone, registered a shot attempt, and got themselves an offensive zone draw. The Flames’ fourth line was pulled from the ice without incident. Huh. It’s a shame that starting your third line was against the rules in January. The Canucks could have avoided a lot of embarrassment.
- I’m partly kidding. No doubt Hartley was a little more adamant his players “set the tone”, as they say, back when the game meant something. You’ll recall Kevin Westgarth lining up to take the faceoff, like that was a thing he does. But all that said, I still felt like the incident-free start to this game made Tortorella look silly. He found a way to start this game without sideshow antics, even despite Hartley icing goons, but in January he couldn’t? People point to this incident as the season turning point. It looked disconcertingly avoidable tonight.
- Tortorella deserves some blame for that. As for the steady stream of injuries to the Sedins? I don’t think so. People keep pointing to his deployment, or his emphasis on shot-blocking, as though it played a role in their woes. But the connection isn’t there. Monday night was the first time all year that one of the twins has been injured in his own zone. Henrik’s broken rib, his leg injury, and Daniel’s leg injury at the Heritage Classic all happened in the offensive zone, while the Sedins were doing what they did almost exclusively under Alain Vigneault: cycling the puck, trying to score. The twins got hurt because sometimes guys get hurt. It had nothing to do with the besuited guy behind the bench.
- Finally, a word to everyone who followed along with us this season. (Not that we’re going anywhere — this blog slows down a little in the summer, because there aren’t any games to cover, but there will still be plenty of nonsense.) Thank you, thank you, thank you. This site got glitchier than ever this year (we’re hoping to finally fix it), and so did the team it’s devoted to. Yet you guys kept coming back, and it gave us the motivation to keep doing what we do. Did I say thank you already? Thank you.