At this rate the playoffs will be extremely mild since the Canucks manage to make almost every normal game now feel like one. Although, perhaps that's just my take from missing the post season for a year and trying to get my postseason fix somewhere. But it was a solid game that had surprisingly few penalties. Not bad for the Canucks…but hey, it’s not like hockey is a violent sport (h/t Kukla) now is it?
The good? The Canucks dominated most of the play and everyone was contributing. Luongo was soft at times, but got it done in the final minutes, the OT and the shootout. Bieska, Sopel and Salo jumping into the offensive rushes is great while Ohlund and Mitchell (even with his two assists) shut down Minny’s top guns most of the night. Jeff Cowan’s going to need to pace himself because, unless he gets a hat trick in the next game, the callers in to Team 1040 will want him in Manitoba before the end of the week (am I too cynical? No, can’t be). The twins, Morrison, Smolinski and even Bulis all had nice rushes. All in all, the team actually used its’ strengths and it was great to see.
The bad? They only played 40 minutes. Again. I don’t know the logic of why the team likes to shit themselves in one of any three periods a night, but after two solid periods, they laid back in the third and let the Wild storm into their end repeatedly. Luongo saving them like that was nice the beginning of the year, but it would be great to see this effort run the tape to a full sixty minute effort.
A query: Does anyone know if Sami Salo wears a mouthguard or does he chain smoke like a 75 year old woman playing the nickel slots?
A parting shot: I shouldn’t even bother with this, but if you were curious, Terry Frei’s still bringing up the Bertuzzi/Moore incident and blaming Naslund. You can almost see Frei standing on a cold Denver street corner wear nothing but carpet samples around his pale waist telling anyone that passes by how it’s all Naslund’s fault and not, maybe, a terrible overreaction started by a guy who was getting a name for such hits. Perhaps Frei could also take a note from his home town captain that Selanne, too, isn’t going to care that May is now on his team in Anaheim. But just wave the ‘Bertuzzi is evil’ flag Terry. Crawford, May, Burke, Naslund, Bertuzzi, the hot chick in section 212, the goal judges, everyone's at fault. Fin too, you know he paid off someone. You can never trust an Orcinus orca anyway. Can one sue an animal? Maybe in Texas...
(And in case you subscribe to the simpleminded "if you’re not with us, you’re against us" way of life, defending Naslund or criticizing Moore doesn’t mean I’m pro spinal damage. What happened to Moore was awful, period. But don’t let Frei obscure the reality we all live in.)
OK, enough of that. Back to the fun: the game tomorrow against the Lightning should be good with both teams trying to shake off rivals for their respective divisional titles. Call it a 3-2 win for Vancouver now. In regulation. A full 60 minute effort. Please?