Hey everyone, hope you enjoyed tonight's game as much as I did. The Canucks came out a little slow tonight, but got it together for a big win to snap their "mini slump". It's a long read, so if you want the game summary, it's right here. Lets get at it!
Keith Ballard continues to look like the Keith Ballard who hasn't been in the Canucks doghouse over the past two years and had a solid first period, including one hip check on that red-headed bastard, Cody McLeod. McLeod then took it upon himself to chase someone down, attempt to hit them and then fight Dale Weise. Trying to declare a clear cut winner in that fight would be like trying to enjoy putting a pin in a light socket: impossible. Body shots and a big chin. I don't know how else I can describe it.
Though the game didn't quite start out the way they may have liked, they were out shot 5-0 before the Canucks were able to register their first shot 7:34 into the first period. However, when that shot is a goal it tends to make people forget that the Avalanche were controlling the play for the first seven and a half minutes. Also, Jason Garrison scored his first off the season, and no, he wasn't the last man to touch the puck and one of the Av's put it in his own goal. Garrison launched a bomb from the point, on net and then into the net. Great job in front by Jannik Hansen with the screen on Simeon Varlamov.
The Canucks continued to carry the play most of the period, out shooting the Avs 9-5, until Hansen was penalized for tripping with 43 seconds left in the period. The Canucks were able to kill off the first penalty of the night, I suspect it's because the Avalanche tried the drop pass entry. Come on, guys. Enough is enough...from everyone. Seriously, don't encourage this type of drop pass-ery, it's fucking annoying and it doesn't work.
The Sedin's started the first bit of 5 on 5 action with Jannik Hansen and made a few nifty passes when Daniel put a shot off of Varlomov's mask, stopping play. The pass from Hank to Dank was blind and beautiful, very Sedin like. The shot...also very Sedin like, limp and soft. Easy now.
Aaron Volpatti took a cross-checking penalty at 7:35 in the second. For the last half of the PK, Luongo stood on his head, made two great glove saves and a nice pad save. The Canucks killed the penalty off and then drew a penalty almost immediately after Volpatti left the box. Crafty passing and mediocre looks couldn't buy the Canucks a goal though.
At 15:12 of the second, Maxim Lapierre gave the Canucks the dreaded 2-0 lead. Shortly after, and sensing I gave him some praise, Keith Ballard took a weak holding call. Then something happened with Chris Tanev, something that has been only trumped in rareness to a goal...a fucking penalty. A weak as fuck boarding call. What did I say about those 2-0 leads! Two man advantage for the Avalanche, but the Canucks are able to kill it, oh and my ears are burning. Literally has no relevance to this game, but my ears, for whatever reason are on fire.
The one real rant I have so far this game is the play of Chris Higgins. I guess you could say it's been a few games, but this one has really stuck out to me. He's getting beaten in puck battles and especially tonight, he looks as slow and sloppy as me in a div 14 beer league game on his coverage in the defensive zone. Hope he can turn it around, he's great when he's going. Me though? I'm a lost cause, terrible in my own zone. Period ends with the Canucks up 2-0, being out shot 13-7 in the second and 20-16 so far on the night.
The third had been pretty calm until Cody "fuck ugly" McLeod took a high stick from Mason Raymond, which wasn't called, then he proceeded to chirp the ref and get two for unsportsmanlike. Dan Hamhuis got caught flat footed and it allowed Matt Duchene get a short handed breakaway chance. Luongo continues to stand on his head and makes the stop on Duchene. Two things. Duchene's nickname has to Douche, don't you think? The other thing, what the fuck is Dan Hamhuis still doing on the power play? Why not give Tanev some of those minutes. Christ. But I suppose if it's broken, why bother fixing. Anyways, as I'm writing this Keith Ballard draws a penalty and the Canucks are back to the power play.
Once again, as I rant, Dan Hamhuis makes a GLORIOUS pass to Kassian for the Canucks first power play goal since Anaheim last Friday and Kassian's fifth goal of the season. Shocking part of the third period? Daniel on a 2-on-1 with Zack Kassian and he shot...he took a fucking slap shot. The Canucks had one more power play, the Avs had one chance to end the shutout at the end, but couldn't. That's the game!
Roberto Luongo pitches a shutout, the Canucks kill off all four of their penalties, Zack Kassian keeps on rollin and most important...the Canucks win!
Even though they won, the Canucks were only able to capitalize on one of five power play chances. The other minus for me tonight is Chris Higgins. Get it together, bud.
That's it for me folks! Next up, the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.