Back to you, Lu. - Dilip Vishwanat
A frustrating loss for the Canucks Friday night against Dallas and as is the norm, it was instantly seen as 'proof' of just how bad this team is, because reasons. Yes, there were a number of things that happened Friday night that were disconcerting, but despite what many would have you believe, also very much out of character for the way the team's played of late. You are aware they had won 6 in a row before that, right? Just making sure, because some seem to be unaware of that.
It's one of the traits of Canucks fans that really gets under my skin: the double standard of how they perceive the team and other teams around the league. You'd think they lost to Columbus the other night, judging by the howls of condemnation, calls for Vigneault's head on a platter, etc. There are some things that you can say about how the team played, that cannot be disputed. What I do dispute is how every time the Canucks falter (and sometimes even when they don't) it's viewed as the team being horrible, completely discounting the fact that the team they're facing might actually be good. Dallas is a much improved team over last season, and they showed it Friday night. Yes, the Canucks certainly took their foot off the pedal, but Dallas had to take advantage of that, and they did. They also had to get some help from Cory Schneider, who by his own admission was not good enough. The Canucks needed him to shut the door, and he did not. There was also the ridiculous waved-off goal by Mason Raymond. The fact that the league has made that play non-reviewable is going to come back to haunt them. Imagine a carbon copy of that goal in the Stanley Cup Finals. You think that gets waved off? Not a bloody chance. So why now? Raymond's contact with Lehtinen had zero impact on whether or not Lehtinen was able to stop the puck. It was going in no matter what.
Apart from Schneider, the other reason the Canucks lost that game was some uncharacteristic defensive play. Say what you want about the Canucks, one of the reasons they went on that run was tightening things down defensively, and they got away from that against the Stars. They gave up odd-man rushes and missed some assignments. Why was that? Maybe the distraction of Henrik's milestone, the return of Ryan Kesler and dark cloud of Manny Malhotra hanging over them was a little too much for one night? As far as the fights go, it may have gotten Dallas fired up, but it certainly didn't turn the Canucks into shrinking violets. I do question whether or not it was wise of Maxim Lapierre and Dale Weise to engage in their fights, even though they didn't get their asses handed to them in either case. They should have just let things go after Volpatti dealt with the issue, or even tried to draw a penalty.
At the end of the day, the Canucks dropped a 1 goal game to a team in pretty similar to them. Dallas got some bounces, the Canucks did not. At this point in an 82 game season, their record is equivalent to 13-5-3. Just terrible, huh? I think we'll see a strong bounce back game tonight against St. Louis before they hit the road for a journey that will show us a little clearer picture as to where the team stands.
The Canucks will turn back to Roberto Luongo tonight after that disappointing outing from Schneider. Whether or not this means we'll see him start in Chicago remains to be seen, but given the way he's played against them in the regular season, I won't be surprised in the least to see him also get the start Tuesday evening.
KICKASS METAL TUNES OF THE DAY
Today's first cover tune takes an iconic 60's anthem and does some pretty mean things to it. Seattle's The Accused unleashed this version of the Ten Years After classic on their album 'Martha Splatterhead's Maddest Stories Ever Told'. After that, a pretty interesting take on Public Enemy's 'Fight The Power' from Dillinger Escape Plan (featuring the man himself, Chuck D giving the boys a hand). This track was featured on the soundtrack for the video game 'Homefront', all of the tracks on that album were cover songs. Got a couple others from there I will be featuring down the road.