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Canucks At Canadiens Recap ; Not Dead Yet (4-3s/oW)

It is probably Roberto Luongo's favorite clip from Monty Python. In keeping with our GDT theme, I give you this one. It may not actually be Roberto's favorite, but it is one of mine. It certainly fits how this game went for the visitors.

It should be noted in this game that while our goaltender gave up a bad goal, he also made some huge saves to keep this one at 3-3, get it to O/T, and then again to the shootout after robbing Max Pacioretty on the Habs single chance in a dominant overtime.

No 1-2-3 period breakdown for you tonight, just bullet points and clips, hopefully of hockey, but I make no guarantees. After the break.



- That first period, and throughout parts of the second, showed how the Habs play their system to the Nth degree. It does not matter if the shots come from a long ways away or sides. Take away the middle. The Canadians hockey club is the home of trap type defensive systems. Bowman called his the Left Wing Lock, Jacques Lemaire learned all the tenets of his hellish, hockey killing system as a player there. But for all of that, it just does not work against the Canucks when they get their game going. In the first, they gave up 7 shots and took 13. Two goals that were the result of traffic in front made it a frustrating period, and must have given Jacques Martin the hope that he would have a win to help keep the possibility of being fired at bay.

- The folks on TEAM 1040 should really find something better to talk about. Blake Price and Jeff Patterson look at the stats sheet and see that Cody Hodgson had 10:40 TOI, yet he had a goal, an all world shootout move, and 2 shots. Yet these two boobs are making it THE story of their post game talk. What makes that so annoying is that it is talk without even watching the damn game. He had regular 3rd line minutes in the 1st, until Andrew Alberts had a -2 after one, and looked a bit out of sorts as a winger. After that, AV had a checking line of Manny Malhotra, Dale Weise, and Maxim Lapierre out for the faceoffs in the defensive zone. His other line was Cody Hodgson and the rookie Bill Sweatt with Manny back up with them, and Lapierre there as well. Small wonder that the kid's minutes lagged a bit. The coach still got him out there when he could, on the 2nd power play, and thought enough of The Franchise to put him up first in the shootout. The TV coverage showed him and Raymond sharing a laugh. He sure did not look like he was stewing and thinking of ways to have Silent G fail. Though, this following comment from TSN shows he has made at least one fan. I do love how the poster admits to "struggling" through watching the Canucks anyhow, and the Oh so Canadian congrats on a "nice win" even though he is not a fan!

and 1 sloppy goalie loses to another sloppy goalie. Dont know why the nucks are wasting Hodgsons talent and not playing him up with Kesler fulltime while his linemates are out, every game ive struggled to watch of theirs he's looked great. Nice win Report this comment!

- Check out how he puts Price on his knees in the shootout. Kid has skills. Let us not make it all about ice time tonight. He was named the first star! You earn time with AV. He has been earning it just fine. Nothing to see here folks.

- Roberto. Reading the game thread, and there was even some ribbing there. That 3rd goal was one that sure deserved that ribbing. I don't even have to wait for the post game interviews to know that he owned up to that one. He usually does. Yet, for some reason, Luongo does not get much rope in Vancouver, unless someone is fashioning a hangman's knot. I am not going to post any of the Twitteratti's comments on it, because the way Lui gets the gears, I figure why spread that stuff. The first goal was a little smelly, though Kevin Bieksa probably felt worse about the contact because it was Tomas Plekanec looking like a power forward. It was the kind of contact that occasionally gets called, or at least that gets a goal waived off. It got neither. Moving on. The second, well, youth coaches should save that one to show how to perfectly screen a goalie. He hung in there as the shot was on its way, and when he moved just enough to let it through, that was probably the first look at the puck Roberto got. It is the third one that will get the callers calling, the posters posting, and the Luongo Haters Club warming up the cocoa for an all night session. It was a stinker through the five hole. Shit happens. The man made some huge saves in the second, third, and in the perfect shootout. The team won. His play was a big reason why, even with a Bad Goal. They happen. I bet Carey Price was not too happy with Raymond's goal either.

- After being behind on draws after the first and second periods, the Canucks battled back to even that stat at 32 apiece. Manny Malhotra was only 5 of 15 ( showing how well the defenders and wingers did helping him out. Most of those were in the defensive zone ), and Henrik Sedin was a bit better at 7 of 16. But the real reason was Ryan Kesler, who went 14 of 21 in the circle ( yet another reason CoHo's minutes were probably down. AV likes to run his first and second lines when they are pressuring a team or looking for a goal.) Knowing Kes was going at a 66.7% clip while taking that many draws, I'd throw him out as often as I could too. Especially when his linemates were Mason Raymond and Jannik Hansen , two of the best players on the ice for the visitors.

- Speaking of Mase and Beaker, they both had a great game. Hansen's work on Raymond's goal earned him an assist, and the ref being chintzy for all his work on Cody Hodgson's tally prevented him from getting another. He was all hustle all night. The play where he drew a holding the stick call on Alexei Emelin was all about hustle. While Daniel Sedin's penalty put them off the PP, it also put the Canucks on 4 on 4, where they once again showed they are dominant. The OT sure showed that! Mase looked to be flying, I saw him go for big hits and take them, even though the stats guy said he got a goose egg in that column. A goal, 3 SOG, a block, and only a penalty to blemish a solid stat line sure butresses what the eyes showed. He was one of the best players on the Canucks tonight.

- On a night where Bieksa, Hamhuis and Salo were all a -1, and Alexander Edler was an even, both Keith Ballard and Aaron Rome were a +1 each. Ballard made some solid plays and was great at jumping on pucks and moving it forward when the situation warranted, without trying to hard for the big play. Romer led his team with 4 of the team's 15 blocks. They may have both come in around 14 minutes, but they were mostly solid minutes. Even without either one getting a shot on goal credited, they had a positive impact on the game.

- Some of those defenders were sure adding to the offense tonight, once again. Sami Salo with his knuckle puck Mighty Ducks special. Bieksa with 3, Edler 5, and Salo with 4 shots,. One where he loosened the strap on Price's mask, who then picked just the right time to shake it off while under pressure, all helped keep the pressure on, as did numerous plays by all the blue liners and forwards covering. There were a couple odd man rushes, and the goal from Cole came off of blocking Salo and going the other way, but once again the blue liners were solid at contributing to the offense.

- I love the history of Montreal and how they get behind their team. I really do. But I also think the fans in the arena every night are the masters of pressuring the referees ( and their own players ) into a call. Their are some of them worse than others, but I lost count of times guys like Gionta and Subban were hitting the ice. Cammy, Pacioretty, and others all seem to have mastered the dramatics. It mostly did not work tonight on the refs. I may have hoped they would have waived off the first goal, but they did not get sucked in by the players, or pressured by the big crowd. The play late in the third where Bieksa was on his man by the net and just holding his check, while the player flopped around on him trying to entice the refs was a perfect example. It drew loud boos as the fans demanded a call. Gotta love when they try and help the home team!

- After typing 1500 or so words, it seems that this TSN commentor summed it up a bit more succinctly.

It took Lou one period to digest the GOOD Italian meal that he had earlier with the family...Every went just fine after that... Report this comment!

- All in all though, I am happy with how the team came back and got the win after it looked like they were going to succumb to the old Ghosts Of The Forum. Some poor goals that gave the normally defensively tight Habs a lead might have been enough on another night. It was not because Raymond and Hodgson both scored goals that were all about the shooter beating the goaltender that had stoned the team to that point. Because they stuck to the game plan, and attacked line after line. Because Roberto Luongo kept it at 3, and robbed several guys on his 20 saves on 23 shots, never mind the Bad Goal or not. And because he did this in the shootout. Enjoy...

I'm Not DEAD YET...Really, I'm feeling much better....

On to Ottawa. I hear it is on HNIC, but who knows? They might have an Oilers or Jets game they prefer, and SNET will have to pick it up again!