I Watched This Game: Canucks 4, Capitals 3

Ryan Miller lobbied to start this game, arguing that it would potentially be a tough start for Eddie Lack since the Canucks had the day off on Monday and Lack hadn’t been playing. While that logic seems shakier than Miller’s game against the Red Wings, Willie Desjardins thought it was a good point, so gave Miller the start.

Here’s the thing: if you argue to start a game that your backup was supposed to get, you better back up that argument with a strong game. Instead, Miller was merely mediocre, making a couple decent stops, but allowing a couple weak goals. At some point, his shakiness is going to become a problem, but it wasn’t one tonight because the Canucks were able to outscore Miller’s mistakes and he held off the Capitals late in the third period.

Or maybe it will never be a problem. Maybe the shakiness will go away or the Canucks will continue to rack up enough goals that the goaltending becomes a moot point. Though that’s a pretty lousy nickname: Ryan “Moot Point” Miller. I watched this game.

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I Watched This Game: Canucks 4, Capitals 2

There are certain things that Canucks fans firmly believe about their team, even though they have no real proof of those beliefs being true. Two of those beliefs are as follows: the Canucks always make mediocre goaltenders look like Vezina-calibre all-stars and the Canucks are on the receiving end of an above-average number of first career goals, if not the most in the NHL. If you’re a struggling goaltender or a rookie skater, you want to visit Vancouver, where you’re sure to make multiple miraculous saves or pot your first NHL goal and pose for a picture with the puck after the game.

Are these beliefs true? Do the Canucks make bad goaltenders look good more than other NHL teams? Do they give up more first career NHL goals than other teams? I suspect not. But it sure feels true.

So, when the Canucks peppered Capitals keeper Justin Peters in the first period but couldn’t put the puck past him, it just seemed like confirmation of what we already knew to be true. Even after the Canucks took the lead, they gave up a goal to 20-year-old rookie Liam O’Brien: his first NHL goal. It seemed inevitable: the Canucks would surely lose because of another firmly held belief about this season’s Canucks, that they can’t beat good teams.

My beliefs crumbled to pieces when I watched this game.

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I Watched This Game: Canucks at Washington Capitals, March 14, 2014

I don’t really know how to describe this game, only to say that I haven’t seen anything like it for some time. In fact it’s been so long that my vocabulary that I might used to describe it has atrophied. It was…expediting? No, that’s not right. Exfoliating? Nope, that’s not it. Excited? Is that the word?

Exciting! That’s the one. It’s been a long time since I used that word in relation to the Canucks, but it fits this game. The Canucks buzzed around the offensive zone, created scoring chances, and actually capitalized on a few of them. It was bizarre. I mean, they didn’t win, of course. It wasn’t that bizarre. But it was still fun to watch.

I was — what’s the word? — entertained when I watched this game.

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I Watched This Game: Canucks vs. Washington Capitals, October 28, 2013

Here’s what some idiot had to say about this game when he was previewing it in last Wednesday’s Vancouver Sun: “If you skip just one game this year, I’d make it this one. Teams tend to be at their absolute worst right after they return from lengthy road trips, and with the Canucks facing the high-flying, Alex Ovechkin-led Washington Capitals, this is probably your most likely candidate for an embarrassing, early-season blowout.”

Well then. That is most definitely not what happened in this one. Instead, we got a dominant performance from the Canucks and one of the most entertaining games of the year. I sincerely hope you didn’t listen to this idiot, and what an idiot he is. Does he even watch the games? The answer is yes, because that idiot was me a week ago, and boy did I feel like an idiot when I watched this game.

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‘Robert’ Luongo could get traded ‘to’ Vancouver, according to Sports Illustrated

For a few brief, merciful days, all the talk of a Roberto Luongo trade in the media had been replaced by talk of a goalie controversy in Vancouver. We complained about the hype, questioned what would actually constitute a goalie controversy, and scoffed at how Alain Vigneault giving a world-class goaltender consecutive starts while he’s on a hot streak could even be called controversial.

But really, it was a relief.

For once, we could stop the endless speculation about potential Luongo trade destinations, returns, and whether he would even get traded at all. Instead, we could focus on a rather pleasant problem: which of the Canucks’ two fantastic goaltenders should start each game?

Unfortunately, it couldn’t last. Eventually the rumour mill would start up again; this time around, it was kicked into gear by a visit by Mike Gillis and Laurence Gilman to the Verizon Center for a game between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins. This, of course, immediately led to speculation from every corner of the media landscape that the Canucks were working on a trade with the Capitals, with Luongo the centrepiece. That included Sports Illustrated, who need to pay closer attention to their photo captions.

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This was a thoroughly enjoyable game for two very simple reasons: a lot of goals were scored and most of them were scored by the Canucks. Really, it’s the simple things in life that matter the most. Four different players recorded 2 goals in this game. One was Alexander Ovechkin, which is not unexpected. The other three were Chris Higgins, Maxim Lapierre, and Alexander Edler, which is a bit more surprising. Even more surprising, Luongo received a healthy dollop of praise, despite giving up four goals on 32 shots. Funny how everyone likes the goaltender when the team plays well in front of him. I watched this game.

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The Washington Capitals took a 2-0 lead in their series against the New York Rangers last night thanks to some stellar goaltending by Michael Neuvirth and goals from a pair of Jasons: Arnott and Chimera. But something odd occurred in the dying seconds of the game. With a mere 4.8 seconds remaining and the game clearly over, Bruce Boudreau frantically called a timeout from the bench before a defensive zone faceoff. What possible reason could Boudreau have for calling a timeout at such an inconsequential time?* Here are 10 possible reasons for the oddball call.

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Canucks 4 – 2 Capitals Just like their previous two games against the Rangers and Islanders, the Canucks outshot their opponents in the first period. Unlike the last two games, the Canucks continued the trend in the second, and it made all the difference. They came out of the first two periods with a two-goal [...]

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