Hi everyone….it’s almost over.
The Canucks limped into Calgary one night after a game that I missed, but I knew what was going to happen anyways. The Canucks have a long history of playing down to the level of the crappy teams. Wait…maybe the Canucks are one of those crappy teams and now when the Canucks win it’s because the opposition has played down to the Canucks level. So were the Oilers the better team last night…yep. Are the Oilers the better team overall….I don’t think so. I'll ponder that during the long summer.
I was wrong about the Flames this year. I thought they would be better this year. They weren’t, which makes my heart warm.
Sedin-Sedin-Hansen— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) April 8, 2016
Ryan Miller got the start tonight as Willie ride the rotation the end. Ronald Kenins got called up as the injury bug wants to try and get all of the Nucks before the season ends. The Canucks get to see Hunter in a Flames jersey.
The action began quickly as Jannik Hansen was called for a phantom double high-sticking penalty. Brendan Gaunce got an early break away against Ortio, which was turned away and Miller able to stop a few Flames shots before Backlund was able to put one past Miller on the weakside.
The Canucks PK has been more chaotic than Walmart on Boxing Day.
Luckily the Nucks were able to kill off the rest of the "penalty that never occurred". I didn’t know what to expect from these two teams who are far removed from the playoff picture but the pace was quick and seemed to be getting physical. If Sbisa was playing, he would have fought Ferland already.
With an offensive zone faceoff out came the Sedins with Hutton/Groot. A face off win lead to Henrik getting the puck behind the net and throwing out front. The puck went out to the point and Tryamkin was able to snap one off Shinkaruk and past Ortio for his first NHL goal.
The next shift saw the Flames come right back out and get a tip chance against Miller. The Flames speed is noticeable against the Sedins, especially in transition. I really do wonder what happened to the Flames. They have an offensive defensive core and some talented forwards. I think injuries took their toll on them as well. It might just be that no matter how good your team is on paper, the injury bug is stronger. The Canucks went on the PP as Johnny Hockey tried to go through Ryan Miller, which is a silly thing to do when Miller has those over-size goalie pads. The PP wasn’t really able to set up until there was 20 seconds left and it only got one good shot off.
The Flames got another good chance as a puck through the crease and by the post. They had another chance earlier but if it ain’t injuries stopping ya, it’s the man.
Daniel Sedin had a great steal at center ice and sprung Etem for a clean chance. Etem deke but couldn’t beat Ortio. Granlund then a chance in front on the next rush. The pressure led to Monahan taking a penalty. The Canucks had real trouble entering the zone for the first minute. The second unit came on and wouldn’t you know it, our man Bo was able to snap one by Ortio.
32 Seconds after the Horvat goal, the Flames came right back and tied it. Dougie Hamilton wristed one towards the net and a Bollig screen was enough to distract Miller. Bollig was then met with a Dorsett fist and those two dance for a minute afterwards.
The period ended tied 2-2.
The period didn’t really start that well for the Nucks as Hutton got caught out of position which lead to a 2 on 1 for Stajan and Backlund against Groot. Backlund missed the past but he was able to bank it off Miller’s arm and go in. Hutton’s been caught a few times out of position tonight. I wonder how his body and mind are after such a long season.
Etem was able to block a point shot and then bank the puck off the boards to himself and sprint down the ice with Hansen. Etem made the pass over and Hansen was stopped by Ortio. Soon after Etem was back out with Hansen and Horvat causing a tired Calgary D problems. Ben Hutton got a shot towards the net and Etem tipped in his 6th goal.
Hey, by the way, did you know that Biega is a forward now? Willie says so. Pedan was back to playing defense and really it was the only Pedan was getting more than 2 minutes of playing time, like he had in the first period. Biega received a rough welcome from Shinkaruk along the boards and Hunter’s penalty led to another Canucks PP. Hansen is out there on the PP but he isn’t on the weakside where his right-handed shot is needed, he is in the middle. PP sucked again and is easily killed. The Flames came back down the ice and caused their own problems around the Canucks net and drew a penalty against Pedan in front of the net for tripping.
You want to see a PP that can move the puck around and use the point shot. That would be Calgary as Hamilton’s point shot was tipped by Colbourne by Miller.
No sooner was the red light done flashing, and the Flames got to go right back on the PP as Kenins couldn’t stop his locomotive forward momentum as he ran into Ortio and received a goalie interference penalty. The Canucks were able to get their PK back to 50% as they killed it off.
Granlund has the opportunity to make his former team’s management rue the day they gave up on him as he had a point blank chance on Ortio but was stopped.
A Miller stop at one end, a Granlund chance at the other. pic.twitter.com/6OSAPCgbML— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) April 8, 2016
The Canucks got another PP opportunity with less than 2 minutes left. The Canucks away PP % this year has been an anemic 13%. Teen boys can score more than that. To add insult to that first insult, the Flames score a short-handed goal, in fact it Backlund again for his 3rd of the night. Cue the hats.
I was thinking of packing it in after this goal. But since it’s my last recap of the year I went and got two fingers of scotch and waited for the third.
The Flames were able to kill the remainder of the Canucks PP and the period was relatively quiet compared to the first two periods as no quick goals were scored. The play was a lot of back and forth between the teams and no real stoppage until 13:00 when the Canucks went back on the PP. This PP was better in terms of movement and shots for the first unit, but the second couldn’t get set up and therefore no goals again.
Kenins tonight has been a trainwreck. Scratch that, he is a rusted out wreck of a trainwreck that was already wrecked. His puck awareness is brutal and his positional play is brutal. Injuries did this. He shouldn’t be up at this level playing like that.
With 6 minutes left the Calgary fans started doing the wave. I had another drink. I saw Tryamkin go it alone up the ice chasing the puck. I then saw the lone Calgary defender let Groot retrieve the puck in the corner. I wouldn’t want to go there either.
The Sedins combined have one shot tonight. I wonder if any teammates will call them out for their lackadaisical play in the last two games.
Granlund loses a faceoff in the offensive zone, one Nucks defenseman gets caught up ice and Jake falls which leaves to a 2 on 1 for the Flames. Tanev takes the guy with the puck for some reason, which leads to a quick pass and an Engelland goal.
I couldn’t even finish typing the last goal summary and low and behold, the Flames score another as 85 year Sam Bennett came out from behind the net and snuck one below Miller’s pads.
I wonder if this is Miller’s last game. I know it’s mine for the year. I want to thank the NM overlords for letting do these recaps this season. I also want to thank all the writers and commenters here for keeping me honest and making me have to be better at this zero salary gig.
Here at the stats for tonight. Don’t look at them.
See you all Saturday for the end of this torturous season.