Thanks to missy for the inspiration. In this allegory, the Canucks and Ducks are Bugs and Wile E . You get the feeling that Getzlaf, and or Perry and maybe Ryan when they can tear him away from Jersey Shore all identify with the Coyote. I am pretty sure the Sedins identify with Bugs, at least on the power play. Let's see if it was one where they actually get the damn bunny after the break
NHL Though I don't know if you should trust this writer. He makes the most selfish player on the ice tonight the first star !
Tonight, with two men that both were in the Canuck coaching tree, lets take a look at the game from how the coaches did their thing, at least in the first, before the madness began.
My eyes go cross eyed when I look at shift charts, and I am sure you can find them here ( and much more! ) for the exact times and whatnot, but it looked in the first period that AV was not scared of the Sedins playing against the big line for the Ducks. The firm of Baldy, Douche and Goose ( Ryan just reminds me of Maverick's happy go lucky co pilot that he killed by being too cocky...) were of course going to be into this one.
They finished the first with 6 shots. (
Perry Douche-3 / Ryan Goose-2 ) Some of that was on the power play, and the one shot from Baldy from the point may have forced the best of Luongo's 9 saves. But they were into it in the initial period.
You can see the similarities in the power plays as well. The passes cross ice to open the penalty killer's lanes. I thought both power plays looked impressive in the first. The set plays of the Canuck power play look a bit more dangerous, as the Canucks seemed to keep most of the chances for the Ducks to the outside or point shots. Hiller may have had his best on a power play set entry where Kesler got what looked like last year's wrister ( almost, its coming! ) from a good position. Not the KesLord lightning bolt over the shoulder yet. But maybe there was a little bit of a vapour trail.
No matter the matchups ( and AV seemed to let Carlyle get most of the ones he wanted while not getting caught. There was one short passage of time with the 1st line out on Lapierre's line, but they get put out a lot, and that line did OK that particular shift ), it seemed the game was going to be close by the first period indications.
BTW, how about last year's marquee player huh? I am so glad refs are onto this guy. The most selfish player in the NHL. You want to fight? Fight? You don't need to slash like that. Its a good thing Keith Ballard has more honour than you bud, or you would have ate a couple while on the ice.
So, it was actually kind of shocking to see the extent of the gong show of the second period. Part of it was self induced ( I wonder if Cheech was right, and Cogliano did indeed fool Dan Hamhuis by yelling for the reverse. Regardless, it was a play that left Bieksa on an island, Colgliano with the puck and Saku Koivu streaking into the slot with everyone else out of position. That is definitely not one you can put on the goalie, but it was an inauspicious beginning to the middle stanza.
The visitors actually had some chances on their power play shortly thereafter, when Lubomir Visnnovsky tripped Ryan Kesler looking like his old self for a flashing second. I thought maybe a penalty shot, and the Canucks had some pressure, but not as much as you would think.
Then, the anvil falling, the "Acme Co." logo getting bigger by the second. You saw it. I thought, if you compare that to the penalty last night on Lewis, there is just no fucking way Aaron Rome should get a harsher sentence. ( It was late though, but only by an instant ) His arm is down the entire time. The game misconduct was a joke, when Lewis was still allowed to play after his sentence. The pass was missed, and I can see a penalty, hell, even a major because the kid was damaged. But after poring over that replay a few times on the old PVR, Aaron Rome was more under control, and while it may have been too much of an attempt to hit, it was not a blatant attempt to injure. Oh well, the Puck Gods giveth major power plays, and they taketh away.
The Canucks actually did pretty good on the major kill. But a lapse, losing Cogliano coming off the bench, who was fed a perfect pass by
Bobby Ryan, Goose and fooled Luongo ( because its always the goalie's fault on a deke. He FOOLED you!!!)
Douche then got himself a goal by somehow being left alone in front. Luongo made the first save, and the Selanne shot off the goalie was more like a pass, but that one is perhaps one the defenders could have helped him out with. So, it was probably the last goal that inevitably was the back breaker. As much as John Garrett looked for the tip from Sami Salo ( and it is possible, but it looked like it was all shot ), that was a play that maybe the guys in front of him could have did better on with their coverage, but was one you need a big glove save on. In Luongo's defense, without plays like Ballard stepping up at the wrong time on one goal, and Hamhuis fighting the puck on Douche's tally, those are probably not in the net. Win and lose as a team though, and the Ducks scored four.
So, with the perfunctory goalie change to start the third, and a 4-0 deficit on the road, the new lines from AV's mind were just to get some spark right? Well, bow howdy, was it ever. Every one of his changes seemed to work. Jannik Hansen was a beast back on the line with the Twins. Ryan Kesler and Chris Higgins welcomed Alexandre Burrows onto their line by being as dominant a line as the Twins were in the third. Hell, the Cody Hodgson line ( which was David Booth and Manny Malhotra at first, and then Maxim Lapierre ) looked dangerous.
The Ducks were just playing the 1-3-1 and hanging on, when they could actually get into that system. The Canuck speed shredded it for the rest of the game. It was on one of the only times they looked like they were going to get a rush in the third ( the Ducks had 2 shots on Schneids compared to the 19 on Jonas Hiller in the final stanza ). But that was only because they had too many men on the ice.
So, onto the power play. The crowd was mainly happy for the home team at this point, with the visiting fanbase probably just enjoying their barley sandwiches. But then Kevin Bieksa ( an a nice play by David Booth to get him the puck ) slapped one that may have went off of Cody Hodgson's skate, though he was the one on the score sheet. The Blue and Green fans awakened and roared. The Go Canucks Go chant was fired up, and they were loud! The home team fans resorted to the "U-S-A" chant. Which must have fired up the Sedins and their Danish winger. After a faceoff win and more zone time, Sami Salo unleashed the big gun and felled Goose. That enabled Daniel Sedin to get the puck, and direct it on net. Jannik Hansen made a nice tip, and suddenly the game was 4-2.
The atmosphere was wonderful now. With a variety of defensive pairings of the five remaining blue liners all powdering pucks, traffic in front, and the forwards hunting rebounds, Jonas Hiller quickly became the only guy that mattered. Well, the Ducks did end up with 7 blocks, but only 2 of those were in the third. Hiller made a ton of nice saves. But it was more pressure on another one of those dominant Sedin shifts that ended with Beaker doing his Ryan Kesler/Alex Burrows in front of the net impression, sweeping home a puck on the third goal that was all effort.
It was desperation time for the home team, and their fans were surely on edge. Whomever was sitting near the SNET mics in the Honda Center tonight sounded quite worried. Everyone had a chance. The Ducks defenders were now diving around to get to pucks in front, and it did help on a few chances. (Perry got his stick on a Ballard chance in close with an empty net )Even when last year's MVP violently slashed Henrik Sedin to give the Canucks a late power play, sending the crowd into a frenzy ( and admit it Ducks fans, you loved that atmosphere during the third. Rivalry crowds in your own building add to the flavour huh? )
An Edler bomb, a Salobomb, and a great glove save by Hiller on Kesler in close were about the closest the visitors came. AV was quite right about the Canucks needing to be better five on five, and being .500 is not good enough. They will have a chance to get the coach's back on Sunday, but if the third is any indication, leave these lines together AV! Maybe change out Volpatti, he looks like he has an owie. ( though he had a strong game with it. 3 hits and 3 SOG )
So, I guess Randy Carlyle wins this round, as his team got the points. AV definitely was not "outcoached" tonight though. His team, on the last game of a six game road trip, being down 4-0 after two, showed that. And I guess the Ducks get to be Bugs Bunny and the Canucks Wile E Coyote. But damn, that Acme Line juggling almost worked huh?
Sunday we welcome Grabner back. .500 is not good enough. Let's go.