It really breaks. With the Canucks 5-5-1 in October, and just everyone getting all worked up about it, to the point Don Cherry, Roenick and everyone else is taking shots, it was a great time to get out on the road. This five gamer ( oh, the sked says its a six gamer? Well, the Canucks treat the Saddledome like a second home anyhow ) began in front of the Sea of Red. There were definite pockets of Blue and Green in there as well. They were the ones with the smiles and the "Luuuuuuu" chant.
Here's your musical inspiration for the title. The rest you'll have to go after the break. ( with added bonus of Neil Young. You're welcome!)
Well, though most of us missed the first 3:09 due to a slow finish to the Bruins and Sens, according to Shorty we did not miss much more than a Burrows chance, and a couple of good Luongo saves on the same guy ( shot and rebound ). Who knew that they would be a harbinger of things to come?
- How about the four line effort tonight, huh? Every line had a good night. The Flames best line was the 4th for most of the night, and the Kesler line is getting so close to being a scary proposition for the opposition without getting rewarded yet. But that was fun to watch. The guys all worked hard at the end to try sand get that shutout for Luongo, who was awesome. Too bad. A nice play by Tanguay to get his stick on the tip while being tied up by Edler.
- Speaking of which, Alexander Edler is now in the Top 3 for defensemen with 3 goals and 9 assists, a point a game pace. Even with the goal at the end, he was a beast tonight. The power play? Deadly with the Edler back there. Passes as well as he can shoot. 3 shots of four hit the net. Somehow played physical and did not get credited a hit. One third of his TOI was on special teams ( 3:15 PP / 4:02 PK ) No coincidence the former was 2 of 6, and the latter blanked the Flames on the same number of chances.
- Stats are fun. They can be informative. But sometimes they do not tell the story. This game, except for some third period and brief pockets in the other two, was dominant. The Canucks were faster and more assertive in the other team's end all night. Yet ; Calgary outshot the Canucks 29 to 21. Did you notice a bunch of sustained pressure? Except for power plays, it was more one and done right? The hits were 22 to 8 for the Flames. They gave the puck away 15 times to 9, and won the takeaway battle 15 to 10. Except for a dominant night in the circle ( 37 of 57 draws were the Canucks), looking at the box score, you would probably have a different idea of how this one went if you did not see the game.
On to the fun stuff. Check out the move. Higgins might be better at the Burrows move than Alexandre.
Speaking of stealing moves. AMFB might not make the Top 10 lists as much as Ovechkin, because his was sexier, and farther out from the net, but I put it to you that this feat of dexterity was just as amazing. Getting rocked from behind by J-Bo only adds to degree of difficulty.
Classic Sedinery here. Check out how Henrik Sedin delays that extra beat to make the angle perfect, and give his Twin the time to get open. Then, replay it and marvel at how Kesler ties up two guys in front. Calgary's defense is funny!
On this one, is that Henrik or Maxim Lapierre? In addition to holding the puck with ridiculous ease on Kostopoulous, that pass to Hodgson is amazing. A solid drive to the net by Aaron Volpatti should not go unnoticed either
The final goal on a dominant night for the Canucks? More teamwork, and timing. In addition to the visitors looking just faster than their opponents, the screen is perfect. Cody Hodgson one of the guys paying the price this time. The kid seems to be developing some solid skills at the NHL level hmmmm?
- Sulzer is German for "well timed pinches and smart defensive plays". Had a solid, solid game. Out several times versus the Iginla line. Finished with a shot, a hit, a block, and 15:48 TOI. Very confident with the puck. He is taking the chance and running with it.
- Manny Malhotra started the night 2 for 6 in the circle after one period. He then proceeded to lose one draw the rest of the night, going 12 of 19. Got an assist on the Higgins goal for doing the hard work on the boards and getting it to Hansen. Was it just me, or did it look like his game was coming around tonight. That third line was pretty good.
- The Twins had a great game too. They seem to own the Flames, especially in Calgary. They also had 8 minutes combined in penalties ( Hank with 6! ). And no Don, he was not whining to the ref after one there. He's the captain, and lets face it, they were calling stick fouls very very closely tonight. The one penalty he asked about was worthy of the question. The goal made up for it, as did Hank going 8 for 12 on draws.
- The whispers and wonderings will start soon if the second line does not cash in soon, but this line was another I was impressed by. They seem to be figuring it out, and getting Hodgson the puck to dish to those two. Both Kesler and Booth seem to be just a little off on the finish, but you know once that line pops one, they will pop a lot too. Cody Hodgson's empty netter courtesy of Lapierre notwithstanding. Hodgson was the standardbearer for them tonight, with 3 shots, and the biggest hit ( that the scorer saw anyhow ) for a Canuck on the night on Glencross I believe it was. Or Jackman. One of their bigger fellows.
- Speaking of which, Jackman should be the one that cost his coach $10,000.00 tonight, not Dale Weise. once the gloves come off, Weise is just protecting himself.
- Is there any better shadenfreude than Flames shadenfreude? God I enjoy that stoney faced Sutter face they love to show on the bench. The way he rocketed down the tunnel after each period, you know the players were like..."hey, guys? Let's just stay out here a few minutes more, the Zamboni is not even out yet!"
- The last slew of PP time, the Canucks players were Volpatti, Sulzer, Weise, Hodgson and Edler, or Bieksa, Ballard, Booth, Kesler and Higgins. The whole "respect" thing, but did anyone else notice the way Ballard found guys with nice passes? Come on AV, let him out there on the power play!
- Sorry Flames fans. You hit two posts, but so did we, and it really was not that close. Too bad Kipper could not make the big save as Luongo did a couple times. He was under substantially more pressure however.
- So many more mentions, but we have to stop sometime. (OK, just one more, maybe a twofer darn it! ) Weise blocking a shot and toughing it out, and still having the wherewithal to find the puck and slide it to Luongo.
-The "Big Cat" ( as Schneider calls him ) himself, patrolling that crease like we know he can. No blame on the late goal, and he stopped 28 of 29. Though so far both TSN and SNET, as of this writing, are giving an inordinate amount of play to the "calendar change" as the main reason. Silly me. I thought it was because he made the first save a lot and had the help of his teammates playing some of the best hockey in their own end we have seen this season.
There you go. Onto the next one. Minny on Thursday. At least its at 5PM our time, instead of them getting the Canucks at the end of a road trip and asking for the afternoon time to boot! Something tells me we see Schneider, and Luongo in the Friday game in St Louis, as well as the Sunday game against some team from Illinois that uses Native American symbolism.