7:40 - When the Blue Jackets are walloping on the Cup champs and the Hurricanes are taking it to ESPN's love child Penguin team, it must mean it's hockey time. Canucks are up shortly...and I've been drinking since noon.
This should get interesting.
10:00 - It's time. Finally. And I have two computers going, one dog sniffing at me compulsively and drinks of the Oktoberfest variety. Let's do this.
10:02 - Raymond and Shannon. Chuck in the words "Luongo" and "Sedin" and maybe the question of "will Naslund show up" and you have tonight's pre-game. Ahhh...Jim Hughston. It really is hockey time.
10:06 - Wow, look at them jerseys. Quite...busy.
10:09 - The puck drops, this pig is kicked. Let's go.
10:09 - Kesler as the starting center. It's sheer bedlam folks.
10:10 - Mitchell takes the first call of the year. Good to see we picked up where we left last year.
10:12 - Roenick fucks up a rush up ice on the powerplay and Burrows levels someone. Fuck I love this game.
10:14 - Wow, bodies are flying left and right. That or the Canucks can't skate...no no, it must be the ice.
10:16 - Hmmm, a 2-on-1 with Thornton? What a fucking shock. Sharks fly up 1-0.
10:18 - Golly, 8 minutes into the game and it feels a ton like watching the Canucks flounder around in the playoffs. And, hey, another call. This one against Beeska. I hope you folks have those drinks handy...
10:22 - The Sharks have someone named Flasik or Vlasic...I don't care how you spell it, I keep hearing Hughston yell "flaccid". Again, let's blame Roenick.
10:25 - Oh you HAVE TO BE fucking kidding me. Roenick scores? This ruins my entire premise to this evening. Fuck, someone take his head off. This blows and this period is only half over. Christ. Sharks 2-0.
10:27 - Vancouver has played six of the first 12 minutes short handed. They're learned DICK since last year. Viggy must be punching a blind puppy behind the bench.
10:31 - The Sharks are just stronger on the puck. Granted they're spent most of the period with a man up but at even up they still have a far greater presence on the ice and are winning the battles in the corner.
10:35 - Hahahahahaha. I've clearly angered the gods of hockey tonight with Roenick bashing. He just scored again. I'm at a lost for words which is why I have beer. Beer will replace my complete lack of commentary at what has become a complete joke of an opening period. Sharks 3-0.
10:38 - The Canucks get a power play...well this will just make this period complete. No offense, shit defense, Roenick with a pair...so why not end it with two minute of complete futility?
10:40 - WOW. Shannon just missed an open net the size of the sloppy wet vagina that Roenick personifies in real life. Amazing. More beer, I have nothing positive to contribute.
10:42 - Well, if the first 20 minutes of this game is going to be indicative of the rest of the season, I hope we all have crisis councilors on speed dial. Or at least meaningful hobbies.
11:01 - And we'll start the second with Cooke trying to destroy Marleau only to fall on his ass. Awesome. Good stuff. I'm starting to wonder what else can go wrong in this game. Roenick scoring 10 goals and both Sedins ripping their groins on the same play sounds close to it...
11:04 - This is going to be my official first positive statement: Raymond is fast as hell when he wants to turn those jets on. That's good stuff...at this point it's nothing more then Disney on Ice because (shocker) our offense is doing nothing but it bodes well for the future.
11:05 - Wait, another positive. Naslund just lost his lid getting pissed off in a scrum with Ehrhoff. And the Sharks go down a man. That's the best news of the night so far...let's drink shall we?
11:08 - Hey stat hounds - can you name another NHL team that gave up three goals and took four calls in their first period of this new year? If not, then guess who really sucks?
11:16 - Well, half the game is over and I'm still waiting to see some sort of emotion or rhythm or, I don't know, chemistry shall we? The crowd at GM Place is doing their best to pump some energy into the building, but will it make a difference?
11:18 - We have a little something - Ehrhoff goes back to the box and the Canucks will get another chance to beat Nabakov for the first time of the night. I will admit, they've settled down a bit this period but that's mainly in their end. Their rushes up ice are still nothing to be proud of and much of their offense is still on the perimeter so maybe this will be their chance to finally be comfortable and add some sustained true pressure.
11:20 - Broadcastism of the night? Hughston: "The Canucks really need to score here". That's a social folks, kick the keg if possible.
11:22 - PP is over and Shannon clearly has a case of the Smolinki's with all of these open net misses. Fucking bloody hell.
11:25 - Hey I saw Pyatt! He just got leveled by 90-year-old Roenick. Wow, karma is just kicking my ass this evening...I should talk highly about those I hate. "Hey everyone, Iginla is a fine upstanding biological specimen worthy of much praise and free doughnuts if possible".
11:27 - Shannon goes into the box for, I don't know, being unable to bury the biscuit when the net is wide open. Sure, why not? You realize, at this point, Todd Bertuzzi has more points then the entire Canucks squad? Swish that around in your mouth...in fact, while you do that, keep in mind Ohlund just took a tripping call and it's a 5-on-3 now.
11:33 - I took a whitewater rafting trip a few weekends ago in West Virgina on the Gauley River. One of the terms I learned on that trip was that, when your boat tips and everyone flies overboard, it's call it a "yard sale"...with oars, people, limbs, etc all flying around the river.
Well folks, this is a yard sale. Nothing is going right. You can't even pick a good Canuck player now...it's a shit show. A yard sale. A joke. Pathetic. (sure, maybe I am being too hard on a bunch of professional athletes who can't get their shit in gear after 40 minutes of their first game, but still...call me opinionated or passionate. This sucks).
11:56 - Hey five minutes in and you're missing absolutely nothing. This is the epitome of a drunk (blog).
11:58 - WOAH...did we just score? Ironman Morrison? A very similar, albeit reverse direction, goal from the 2004 playoffs against Calgary. Very cool, we have a pulse. And no shutout for you Nabby. Bitch. Sharks 3-1.
12:05 - It may not air, but I was just talking with Alanah from C&B and I offered free steak dinners for Vancouver if they came back this period. They are 1/3 of the way there...so if you crave beef, start praying.
12:09 - A bobbler of a puck skirted across the Sharks crease line but all the video replays made it seem ultra inconclusive. Nabakov had a great reaction to that bouncer. Rather then booing the refs, the crowd should be booing Shannon for what seems like his fifth great chance that wasn't converted.
12:14 - Aaron Miller just ate goal post something fierce. That was fun. Poor guy, probably wishes he never left LA.
12:17 - Well, -3 Kesler drives hard on the forecheck and gets a call against McLaren for hooking I think. If this squad is going to make a rose out of this pile of shit evening, it's going to have to start here.
12:19 - Fuck, Shannon misses another gapping vagina of an open goal. Wow, I sense a new drinking game on my hands. The "Shannon Shitfest" ...copyright 2007, property of the Yankee Canuck LLC LTD Inc. All Rights Reserved.
12:23 - The Sharks are 0-for-7 (!) and the Canucks are 0-for-4 on the man advantage. So, much like last year, our PK kicks ass but our PP is a biblical joke.
12:25 - Vigneault pulls Luongo with two minutes left. I like that...this game was a joke from 15 minutes in so let's have fun for the final two. Besides, he's too busy punching puppies behind the bench to care about the remainder of this game.
Postgame: Well, that certainly wasn't fun.
It was great to have hockey back, but that joy lasted about 7 minutes. Two from fucking Roenick and one from Thornton was all this game needed for San Jose.
Hughston brought up a fun point: the Sharks smoked us in the home opener last year 6-4 and I can almost bet that was the first game Lui got pulled from as a Canuck. So maybe we're just cosmically screwed when San Jose rolls into GM Place.
I'll try and be diplomatic here: the good news is that, if you ignore about 12 minutes of the first period, Vancouver hung in there. They were far from dominant, but maybe we can chalk that up to the opening night jitters or just not being familiar with some of the new linemates the core guys had.
The good news? The PK is 100%, Luongo settled down after a rough first period, the D got better as the game went along, Raymond has tremendous speed and the Sedins can still cycle better then any Swedish twins in the league.
The bad news? They had a weak opening period, Shannon has to learn to finish if he wants to hang around, the PP is 100% awful and, if at all possible, can we not let Roenick score for the rest of the year against us?
This game was over in the first. We can forgive that. Ideally shame and a liberal amount of Vigneault spittle on their face will anger them enough to roll into Calgary tomorrow and play a far stronger game.
81 games left. Nothing is lost yet.