The trials and travails of being a fan of this star crossed team huh? I swear, Rogers Arena is on sacred ground or something. There will be all sorts of kvetching and moaning about "how the team is doing". Endless couch coaching and dissecting the new lines that came out for this one.
It's what we do. I thought there were a few things to be happy about. I thought Luongo could have had one of those, and that he made the save on the winner. Evidently you are allowed to do that though. Maybe the ref saw the puck, who knows? It is a judgement call and we did not get the judgement on that one. Moving on... All three goals were a result of the Blues crashing the net, and the Canucks were pretty inept on defense on all of them. At the risk of being dubbed too positive on him, Luongo was pretty good overall. There, I said it.
In honour of meeting our favorite friends the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday in a game that will get some nice hype, a SCH style bullet points of rant and reasoning after the break.
- I hope that there is a good report on the injury blotter in regards to Alexandre Burrows. Nefarious AMFB got himself a goal off a steal, but that hit from Chris Stewart looked like it could have got the shoulder. In his 7:26 TOI, a goal, 3 shots, another wide, and a block. Move him to the Kesler line and it goes, The Sedins looked less in sync with Beaker as well, though they got better in the third. Edit ; ( AV said in the presser after it was "back spasms" and "day to day" )
- Cody Hodgson was a -2, but seems to be getting there in his assent to regular NHLer status. He looked dangerous at times. That being said, Grizz' did not look all that great tonight. The melding of these two with a coming off injury KesLord may or may not be a be a concern with the "Line Blender" that was used before, during, and undoubtably after this one. For the record, I liked most of the lines in spurts. The loss of Burrows hurt, and Booth not being able to take a fucking pass did not help. It is funny that the new guy seems to be pressing and the young guy looks more calm every game.
- The Canucks let the Blues get garbage and lucky goals all night by going to far past their checks, or not reading the play very well in front of Luongo all night. Its hard to not bitch, I know LuongoLOL folk. Not a one looked like a very graceful goal, and he got some bad luck. But when forwards and defensemen both react to a turnover down low like that, it is not fair to blame the goalie too. AV made a point of talking about how the Blues were better in front of their own net than the Canucks were in front of their own. T.J Oshie made some good reads and found the space, but come on guys. They are the guys in the other colour. Take someone.
- Andrew Alberts would like you to politely ( he is from Minnesota, the Canadian State ) tell Don Cherry to go fornicate a goat with his "not paying the price "schtick. Of the 13 blocks the Canucks had, he had almost half with 6. He also had 3 hits, and together with Keith Ballard and Alexander Sulzer were the only defenders to finish even.
- Speaking of which, Sulzer deserves a cool nickname that belies how calm he is out there. There was more than one shift, but one in particular I noticed where the Blues were pressing the 4th line. Ballard made some nice plays to help, but no matter the forecheck pressure ( and the Blues had a kick ass forecheck tonight ), the puck was either passed, chipped off the glass, or feathered to the forward on the break. He showed a hard and accurate shot with the 3 on the net, and even fooled Henrik Sedin by outthinking even the Passing Magician himself on one shift of Sedin pressure. It was no mistake that the Sedin line looked most dangerous when they were out with #4 and #52. Hell, once Luongo fed him a ridiculous pass that he was not expecting, and when he was under heavy pressure right away. He just muttered "Ach De Lieber", found Ballard, and away they went... Something German perhaps, with undertones of awesomeness. It will have to be pondered more, but he just might be another defender someone gave up on too early. I know our cool NM bunch will come up with something.
- Ryan Kesler had a goal, 3 shots and a hit. But he took two minors, one a lazy hook that was just , well, un Lordly. He finished up 7 of 13 on draws, and no one can deny his level of try. His crashing the net led to both goals for the visitors. But he is still not at 100%. Perhaps the added motivation of playing Toews and his boys will get him over that hump.
- Booth struggled tonight, and the fight was probably more frustration than needed, but that being said, that may be just what he needed to break his little "new guy" slump before the nattering nabobs make that a "thing". The guy struggled tonight though. Missed the net on a breakaway for God's sake, ( 2 of his 4 shot attempts hit the net ), and a takeaway. But he did the same as his Detroit buddy and took a lazy, dumb tripping call in this one as well. That shit don't fly here in Vancouver Grizz'. Have to break you of those lazy Florida habits.
- Maxim Lapierre should see some times with the Sedins. Then, he can take over Bieksa's place on the blue line, and once he catches his breath, go out and try and jumpstart Kesler, Booth, or anyone else that needs it. He had 1 of his 2 shots attempts on net, and an egregious 1 of 6 on draws. But in a hard hitting game, he led his team with 4 hits, his speed was on display all night. It is funny, the jump start to any line used to come from Beaker.
- Jannik Hansen. Had the lucky lotto ticket and played with the Twins, and they showed some merit. A -1, 2 shots, a block and 2 takeaways just does not seem to fill up the stats sheet as much as Nerfarious AMFB did in almost ten minutes less. The guy that used to put a charge in any line needs to get back to hitting, aggravating, and using that speed straight ahead. In my one act of couch coaching, I am calling for the guy that has the shot, supposedly, and the speed and creativity, we were told, David Booth to get the 1st line duties. Hansen can use his talents in a more straight ahead manner with any of the other lines. Even with Grizz' struggling, putting him with the Twins is the right move AV. I can feel it..
So, this one was better than the tail between your legs, get the Hell outta Dodge BS of the Minny one. But a loss is a loss. The Hawks at least got to O/T tonight. They have a better record than you do right now as well Canucks. I hear Patrick Sharp is calling out the new guy's looks as well, and Kane said now that he is centre, he has a whole new book on Luongo. You going to take that shit laying down guys? Huh?