I Watched This Game: Canucks vs. Calgary Flames, April 13, 2014

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.
  • Mike Zalewski probably deserved an assist on the Ryan Kesler goal, but he didn’t get one. Fortunately, he earned some powerplay time during Paul Byron’s major, and there, he was able to set up Yannick Weber for the fifth and final goal. He was actually on the ice for the Canucks’ final three goals. It’s tough to say exactly what kind of player the Canucks have in him, but thus far, he hasn’t looked out of place. Which is more than I can say for this dog.
  • 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.

21 comments

  1. TubaNat
    April 14, 2014

    Well this season has been punch in the nuts after punch in the nuts, but thanks PITB for keeping if fun, even through all that!

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  2. Brent
    April 14, 2014

    Well thanks you you and Daniel as well. It made this Annus Horribilius a little more bearable.

    So do we start a pool for when Torts gets fired?

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    • Neil B
      April 14, 2014

      Trotz is available now…

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  3. Andymac
    April 14, 2014

    THANK YOU – You made the Canuckians’ anus horriblis bearable….many many times over this long winter of our incontinence.
    PITB rules. As long as Lack can keep the puns out of the net, and the sharpshooters get their groove, er….goals on next year, we shall be golden.
    Trev will lead us to the promised land. So it is written, so it shall be done.

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  4. SanFranVanCanFan
    April 14, 2014

    No, thank YOU.

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  5. jenny wren
    April 14, 2014

    Utterly without delight
    This worse than worthless win tonight
    Because I wish I had not seen
    A motionless Daniel Sedin
    My prayers are he’ll be alright

    Sure they honored Patrick Quinn
    And sure it was a five one win
    And Frank Corrado got his first
    All overshadowed by the worst
    Disrespect yet shown a twin

    Though Henrik said he was okay
    My thoughts were very far away
    Like how to kids does one explain
    Their daddy may not walk again
    I wish I hadn’t watched today

    Most thankfully it seems that he
    Is better than he looked to be

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  6. Brandon
    April 14, 2014

    I get that the Byron’s hit on Daniel is something that happens in hockey games fairly frequently, but I think we should also consider that it was the last game of the season in a mean-nothing game that was already 4-0. That’s not a time to start throwing risky hits, come on. I will be very disappointed in the league if the hit isn’t punished.

    Random Thought: Do you think the Sedin Twins can watch David Lynch films and understand them perfectly? Someone should ask them…

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    • iain
      April 14, 2014

      the fact that this type of hit does occur regrettably frequently merely highlights the problem the league has with players, as Garry Valk said, failing to have any respect for each other out there.

      it is exactly the type of hit the league has belatedly been trying to eliminate , and for exactly the reasons we saw last night: the potential for nasty, serious, life-altering injury is right there.

      if the NHL fails to deal harshly with this, well we know what conclusions to draw from that.

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  7. SEAPP
    April 14, 2014

    Thanks for the entertaining perspectives.

    However, i don’t think that Tortorella had nothing to do with the injuries. Using older players more than ever, in PK situations which are more taxing on the body. Regardless of which zone they got injured, if they were fresher and more able to slip a cheeck or not be in a position to be hit, then maybe they don’t get injured so often. I’m not saying that Torts took a bat to their bodies, but he is not blameless.

    PS. this site really sucks. 3rd time i tried to enter a comment.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      April 14, 2014

      Comments have to be approved, so if they don’t show up right away it’s not necessarily because the site’s not working. I mean, sometimes it means that, sure, but not always.

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      • Harrison Mooney
        April 14, 2014

        The site does suck, though. We’re hoping to have a new one that doesn’t repel commenters at every turn next season.

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        • dontpassjustshoot
          April 14, 2014

          Every time an article loads, there is a delay during which the main text does not display. During that time, the single word “false” appears where your article should be. It hangs around for a minute or two superimposed over your article after the text loads. The site sucks. Posting comments is awful: sometimes you will have gone two weeks without posting, and you type in something and click “submit”, and you get our favourite page: “You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.”

          Technology wise, could this be the worst year ever for PITB? IS PITB JINXING THE CANUCKS WITH A HORRIBLE YEAR????

          OMG.

          It was you.

          It was you the whole time.

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          • Harrison Mooney
            April 14, 2014

            Hmm. I didn’t know about the “False” thing. Can you guys actually give us a laundry list of site complaints? I’m writing a strongly-worded letter to our overlords at the Sun.

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  8. Shade of Blue
    April 14, 2014

    Thanks for the great coverage all year. The posts here took the edge off an otherwise horrible season, like vodka shots before dinner at the inlaws…

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  9. cathylu
    April 14, 2014

    You’re welcome and thanks again. You and Daniel are my hockey voices of reason.

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  10. Jacob
    April 14, 2014

    Thank YOU guys! I moved this year and no longer have cable, so I didn’t have to suffer through watching too many games. Instead, I was miserable vicariously through PiTB, which is a much more palatable form of misery laced with jokes, insightful analysis, and obscure pop culture references. Never mind the Boston model, Linden should be emulating the Daniel and Harrison model: a consistently entertaining and excellent team!

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  11. Dale
    April 14, 2014

    Harrison, you and Daniel are two of the funniest guys ever. Thanks for the laughs.

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  12. DanD
    April 14, 2014

    Thanks you, Harrison and Daniel for a great season of IWTG’s in spite of a horrible season of games. Always appreciate your humour, level-headedness, and great writing!

    And it was great to actually meet you guys this season too!

    Here’s to a dramatic and eventful offseason!

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  13. Llaplander
    April 14, 2014

    I love your articles – this is always part of the best of my day.

    “THE CANUCKS CAN’T EVEN TANK RIGHT!” There, I’ve said it. Now back to “It doesn’t matter if they tank or not; the Canucks can’t draft right!”.
    Except for when they do…

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  14. shoes
    April 14, 2014

    HEY Daniel and Harrison: Thank You for your time and effort. I hope you are paid handsomely for a job well done.

    HOWEVER, the injuries were directly related (IMO) to Torts overplaying the top players with the following exceptions …all of Burrows injuries, all of Hanzals attacks, although one could argue Hank was reacting slower after being overplayed, and Tanevs injuries. Those were all hockey thingys, but the overplaying in an Olympic year with the team setting a new NHL back-to-back recored in December, led to the injuries in January and the general fatigue….which all led to a collapse.

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  15. Rituro
    April 15, 2014

    I can always count on PITB to make even a dreary season survivable. Thank you, Daniel and Harrison, for doing what you do.

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