It is always supposed to be some sort of blood feud whenever the Canucks play the Flames, and the games usually have something in the way of spirited play. Of late it has been a decidedly one way street. I may have lost count, but I think it is something like 9-0-2 in the last eleven games.
More than a few of those games have been beat downs, with fine examples of Sedinery on display for one and all to see. You have to think that is the kind of thing that grinds the very last gear of Coach Sutter. I often like to entertain myself by rewinding to the various scowls and dour faces the man throws down on the bench.
But even though I like Jarome Iginla, and think he is a player any team would love to have, I still have enough residual hate going back to '89 and even before that I do have to giggle when seeing what is happening in Cowtown. The team has some pieces, and the rebuild would probably be quicker as a result, but they need one of those soon, not a GM who deflects to a nonsensical attack on bloggers to blow smoke. Come on Jay,
Bruce Garrioch Eklund everyone says so!
Let's see what else is said after the break.
Here's the title music tonight. Tell me you aren't shaking at least one body part listening to this one! This one was the theme song of a few summers of my youth. And, yes, Disco did suck. Robert Palmer was still too cool though.
You know, it is probably a trait in all hockey fans, but I do find it interesting how the fans of this team react to a goal. Reading Twitter and the game threads, you can see us all ( I do it as much or worse than anyone! ) assigning blame on the particular play, giving some slack for this or that.
No slack for Roberto Luongo, you Cup losing SOB you. In the first period, he stopped a couple clena in breaks, and made some great saves. The home team, for whatever reason, were not skating as fast and as together as they would be in the final forty minutes. The goalie was doing just fine.
So when Alex Tanguay made one of those dipsy doodle skates around the offensive zone that he is good at, there were plenty of guys that had a chance to just look him squarely in the chest and plant the guy. Jannik Hansen and Keith Ballard both could have taken a more physical approach, but went for the stick check. As the puck followed him around, all the way down low, the same goalie that was out challenging shooters and making saves got caught out a bit away, and Tanguay made that shooter's play and banked it off his back. I did not have a problem with it as far as the goaltender goes. He has to get back to that post, of course. That is why the guy scored. But its the same guy that has done it before from there. Its a skillful play.
Clicking on Twitter, you would have thought Roberto Luongo had went out on a TV timeout and kicked a puppy down the ice or something. I get it. Its what we do, and we are all Canucks and all that. Yes, the man could have done something more there. Goals get scored sometimes. I just thought it was more a skilled guy making a slick play on the goalie than a "LUONGOALZZZZ!!!!!" moment.
stat sheet says - Give the Calgary team some credit. They had more shots (13-10), hits (16-9), and takeaways (4-1 ) in the opening stanza. The Canucks gave it away for free (4-0) too often, and were bailed out a bit by their greater speed and an 11-6 edge on faceoffs. Iginla had 4 hits, and Jackman led the team with 3 shots. Ryan Kesler was a very good 7 of 9 on draws, and his line was the best of the home team players in the first period.
In hockey, the first and third periods, a disciplined team that has a talent deficit can usually hide it better. The coach can insist on his best matchups, and even on the road, get those matchups easier when the bench is just outside your blue line. In the second, when it is outside the other blue line, well, if the more talented team gets going, it can look like it did tonight. After an opening period where the Flames not only scored, and killed off an extended 5 on 3 penalty kill, it was kind of shocking how inept they looked in the following period.
Henrik Sedin even made it easy for the Flames by taking a stick foul in the first minute. The penalty kill did very well keeping things to the outside, and what they got to a shooting position was either stopped or blocked. Iginla may have had the best chance, and it was from the point. Nuff said.
The Canucks then showed the Flames how it is done when Iggy took a goaltender interference penalty shortly after the penalty was killed. While the shot that did go in was tipped on the way, it was the way the puck moved around the zone ( and this was the second unit!) to get the goalie moving. It worked, and the game was tied on the power play. But it was not just the man advantage where the Canucks moved the other guys around. They were clearly deeper, and were rolling four lines with a purpose now. AV made one change in this period as well, getting Kesler's line out against Jokinen's, and keeping them on defense as a result.
I present this goal as a prime example of what was happening this period. It is from the second line, and showed how that line and the power game they are learning to dominate with works. No subterfuge. Just speed and power. That was just that line. The 3rd and 1st lines also had entire periods in the offensive zone. Hell, the fourth line did too!
numbers never lie - Suddenly the shots were 25-17, with a dominant 15-4 tally for the middle period. To give you an idea how it was being spread around, 3 was the most a Canuck had, and it was David Booth, Daniel Sedin, Kevin Bieksa, and Alexander Edler all tied, The faceoffs were now 29-10, with Kesler winning 10 of 13 to that point, and Captain Hank going one better, going 11 of 13 after two periods. Maxim Lapierre had 4 hits bt the second intermission as well.
The highlights of all the goals is just down below, and the third period was fun as hell to watch for a Canuck fan, with three goals in the first 5:42 effectively put this one away. As I described the second period is how the third went, with the only real pressure the Flames managed being mainly on the power play. No, I want to ask about the David Booth goaltender interference? Is that going to get a call from Sheriff Shanny? I don't know, Jordin Tootoo, has he been suspended for jumping into a goalie in the crease? At least Grizzly kept the puck all the way, and had Brodie leaning on him all the way in along the goal line. It seemed like they could have called it a bit harsher if they had desired. But I am not sure, because the players and referees are not sure, I think.
As for the fighting that occurred at the 11 minute mark, well, I am not really sure what started that but a general sense of frustration with playing a team that is now 10-0-2 against your team, and continually beats you down by scores that mirror tonight's 5-1 final. It has to be a horror show. I remember as a young fan how much it hurt watching game Canuck teams play against the Gretz' and Messier show and be outclassed.
But honestly, too bad. Its the Flames right? Kick em when they are down! ( BTW, if you want to trade Iginla Mr Feaster, we'll take him for the Sedin's winger any day! Please note that even though you cannot see it sir, I was fully clothed during the writing of this blog.)
final tally - Not that Alexandre Burrows is chopped meat! He finished with 3 shots and played lock down penalty kill tonight. Anyone else notice his kick ass, head down back check just before the 3-1 goal? Unheralded, but that is Mr Everything for you. David Booth had a pretty kick ass stats line too. 1 G, 2 A, 5 SOG, and that run of the goalie. He was named 1st star. Faceoffs finished at a ridiculous 39 to 16 tally. After being badly behind in the takeaway stat after one period, the Canucks edged that stat 7 to 6. Hey, Calgary won the hit count 29 to 18! Did YOU see the Canucks being pushed around physically in this game though?
Yeah, me neither.