A special, rivalry inspired look back and ahead. Although after last night it might be tough to be 100% positive THIS time! In fact, I can almost guarantee that this one WON'T be all positive!
Good Lord. I had forgot how much these games for the Canucks in Chicago can take it out of a fan. I think the secret is pacing and making sure to stretch beforehand. Usually I do these the day before a game, but this one time, in honour of the only team that can inspire such a change...we'll change it up a bit.
Those of you that follow me on Twitter, and here, will know how definitively I thought the unfortunate play on Marian Hossa went. Once again, I hope he is OK, but that is a play that cannot result in a suspension, simply because it does not warrant one.
But that is just my opinion. ( which is remarkably similar to Kerry Fraser's here ) Again, I've made myself pretty clear on the play. It hardly requires a Zapruder style breakdown, and it looked pretty apparent of what happened. Suffice to say I was more than a little disappointed in watching The Score's highlight package and having the talking kid ( they go for the young hip demo, even though their level of actually knowing much about the game is sorely lacking there ) tell me "its happened AGAIN" in comparing an innocent collision when two guys went for the puck to what Torres did in the playoffs. But I was more than a little disappointed in TSN and whomever writes their narrative echoing a similar sentiment.
Its strange how some can look at the same thing as yourself and see an entirely different event based on the colour of the jersey. I mean, there are some folks whose opinions I respect, and fans of teams I hate that I know know their stuff, and they just, be it because of being worked up, bias, or just plain old bullheadedness, they end up sounding silly. (Not to say that I myself have not ever fallen into that trap. No one is infallible. )
But, again, just my opinion, and that game is done now. As entertaining as the games are with the Hawks ( NOTE: Biased homer rant next here ;-) ...and really, you guys are just lucky the draw came up Leggo...might be the most overrated ref in the NHL, and he certainly helped the cause. I did not know that the crowd in Chicago is allowed to call penalties, of which they called at least three. They must have snuck that one in the new CBA ),no more negativity, I promise! Lets get to some numbers, equal shares looking forward and back at the opponent we had and the one to come.
0 - The amount of shits the Honey Badger gives. He plays all out. But Jannik Hansen is not a dirty player. Watching his interview afterwards, it rang pretty sincere and true because it was backed up by what I thought I saw. But again, this is numbers. So lets look at his. The Great Dane had 4 shots, 3 of them on net, 2 blocked shots, including a Keith one on the power play, and a team high ( with David Booth ) 5 hits. He played almost 20 minutes on the ice, and was noticeable all night for the right reasons. Its a shame his name will be bandied about by a bunch of Toronto media types that watched a few highlights and a bunch of probably Canuck haters that are presupposed to this stuff. ( Note, he has gotten a hearing. I cannot stress how heavily I disagree on this one. Again, just my opinion )
0 - Is what I thought of the cloyingly obvious pandering that Jonathan Toews did with his "input" on the supposed "intentional" hit to the head. When the media like they have there lap up his pandering politicking for a suspension, its on them. But its also on him. You know better JT... ( though, it worked, so expect him to continue whining the rest of the season at every perceived slight. ) BTW...perhaps someone can ask JT about how classy Brandon Bollig was with his couple of sucker punches on Dale Weise. I believe the pic clearly shows the Canuck having his gloves on still, but I am sure such a stand up guy as Toews will point out how all that is OK because its HIS teammate.
43 - Look, for all the "drama" alluded to above, there is little doubt we are talking about the best team in hockey right now, by the results. They took 43 shots, and many of those were very good ones. After a first period where, thanks to Cory Schneider, the Canucks could feel a little bit good about, the Canucks let the Hawks get their momentum going in a dominant second period. They were assisted slightly along the way by some questionable "crowd calls" in this game, but Maxim Lapierre's penalty was a bad one, and deserved. When a team goes 16-6 in a period and scores three goals, thats not all something to dismiss because of a few chintzy calls. The Chicago Black Hawks are the team to beat right now. There. I said it...
.930 - Cory Schneider had that as his save percentage, compared to the winning goalie having a .906.
1:41 - That is how long it took the Canucks to tie this game late in the third period. Because it is always thrown up when the team I cheer for blows a game late, it has to be brought up here. Yes, it was a good call on Rozsival, and yes, there were more ups and downs in this game that way than any other I can remember this season, but there should be as much praise for the Canucks in earning a point here. They may have gotten the other one with some luck, and if that puck on the line got in, maybe even have stolen one in regulation. But it was an excellent comeback that should be told as such, as assuredly as the collapse by the Hawks will be ignored in favour of the "Hansen is bad,mmmmk? " narrative and hyperbole. Its fun how quickly things can change, huh?
5 - The shots had by one Ryan Kesler. He also won 12 of 25 draws ( Jordan Schroeder did the best, going 5 for 7 ) Daniel Sedin led the team with 6 shots and Alexandre Burrows had 4. While it was nice to see the the guys that should be working hard, just remember that stats are always "punked" by the fact that a hometown guy is there to count them up. I mean, I can see the Hawks having 19 takeaways to 7, I guess. It was that kind of game. I can sort of see the Hawks having 12 giveaways to the Canucks having 8. I definitely agree that, by my eyes, the 30-16 edge in hits for the visitors was accurate. They were trying to finish checks all night. But it is sheer homer lunacy to watch that game and only give Hansen one takeaway. On ONE SHIFT, maybe. But he was both tallying takeaways and forcing giveaways all night long. Its as arbitrary as saying that Kevin Bieksa only had 1 hit. ( another big goal for Juice, he has 4 now )
1 - Well, just under one. Thats the amount of points per game the Sedins each have versus the Stars. Daniel Sedin has 14 goals and 31 points in 40 games versus the Texas team, but his brother is even better, with 8 goals and 40 points in 43 total games. There always seems to be a "the Twins can do better" vibe no matter what, and I am sure they would say the same themselves. But with a goal and 13 assists in 15 games so far for Henrik, and with Daniel having 5 goals and 16 points in the same time, can we settle down a bit on that "vibe"? A point per game is pretty good.
5 - The number of points in four games the Canuck team leader has. No, its not Henrik ( he is tied at the top, with all assists of course ), but one Chris Higgins, who had 2 goals and 3 assists versus the Lone Star team. It would be fairly safe to assume a close, low scoring game, even though both teams had a 5-2 victory on Canuck home ice last year.
3 - Fights in 3 seconds. The Stars said afterwards that winning two of them was a big reason they changed the momentum and won their last game versus the Canucks. Seeing as Aaron Volpatti won his decisively, and has had 4 fights already this season, I kind of expect him back in the lineup.
Infinity - The factor by which my respect ramped up for one Doug MacLean on the one section of HockeyCentral I could stomach watching today. He stood up to the rudeness and snippiness of Mallard and Kypreos quite well, and said about the exact same thing I said last night in the aftermath of what happened. I know thats not a Stars factor, but I just watched it and was really impressed!
17 or 16 - The number of shots, or the number of hits that Beaker has against the Stars, in 11 games. Let's hope that the Canucks don't have to learn what it is like to do without either.
42 - How many hits Maxim Lapierre has, which leads the team. Thats good, he always finishes his checks. He is also 50.3% on faceoffs, which is sorta, kinda acceptable. Then again, Henrik is only at 51%. So, maybe our standards are too high without Manny Malhotra around as AV's safety blanket.
20% - Did you know that Zack Kassian leads the team in shooting percentage? Its true! Let us hope he can up that tomorrow against Dallas. Not that he has sucked or anything, because he has not. But it would be nice to see him produce on that non Sedin line.
Thats it. No Olde Tymey number to regale the kids with today. I am still too downtrodden at all the crow I am going to have to chow down on if Shanahan succumbs to the false narrative and mistakenly suspends the Honey Badger. Did he not listen to AV?
Time to put that stuff in the rear view mirror. It does seem that the rivalry is strong still huh? Lets see if the Canucks can get the hate going with the team that stole 2 points at the Rog' and steal two in their house.