I Watched This Game is a recurring feature on Pass it to Bulis!, chronicling the observations and insights of some guys who watched a hockey game.
Night and day, the difference between yesterday's YoungStars game and the one a day earlier. I'm talking about everything: the sound quality, the stream, the announcing, and the play of the Baby Canucks were drastically improved from yesterday. Perhaps everybody involved in the game read my rant from the day before? I doubt it, but I can't think of any explanation for things going from inexorable worstness to decency in twenty-four hours, apart from guilt over displeasing me. Just spitballin'.
I watched most of the game, and while it was hard to concentrate when my wife was watching Dirty Dancing, loudly, in HD, on the television behind me, I was able to notice things. Those things are below. But, before we go there, can I just say that Dirty Dancing sucks? Holy crap, it's a terrible movie. The acting is wooden, the whole thing is cheesy, the movie friggin' ends with Patrick Swayze mouthing "It's all because of you" or some stupid garbage... I don't mind a well-done chick flick. For instance, I think I'm with Seth Rogen--You've Got Mail was sweet. But Dirty Dancing is a steaming pile of excrement born from out of anus of the world. Never watch it.
- Aaron Volpatti was amazing last night, and he'd better be. At twenty-five, he's got a good six to seven years on some of these kids, making him kind of a creeper. Aaron Vol-PedoBear was hitting kids with his Vol-PaddyWagon all night, just like the night before. Last night, however, he also scored two goals and got in a fight that set a physical tone for the game. He was the best player on the ice. I hope he makes the team, just so I can make more puns with his name. Aaron Volpatti was all-world; we should call him Aaron Vol-Pangaea... They'll be better than that one.
- The tandem of Kevin Connauton and Chris Tanev was fantastic. Connauton had a bit of trouble controlling the puck, at times, and there was one power play where I thought he really lacked the poise he's shown on other occasions, but he was jumping up in the rush, pushing the Sharks prospects back, and making space all night. That said, the rush of the night went to Chris Tanev, who took the puck all the way from behind his own net to the Sharks net, where he set up Volpatti for the score. (It wasn't a tap-in either. In the clip above, Tanev admits it was a "pretty bad pass.") Tanev had two goals and an assist. Both he and Connauton look ready for the next level.
- Jordan Schroeder finally showed a couple flashes, and it's about time. Jason Botchford had the best line on Twitter: "It is Penticton. It is the prospects tournament. It is this week. OK, now tell Jordan Schroeder." He put the criticism on hold with a great bit of puck control, poise and stickhandling to set up a power play goal in the 2nd.
- That said, both he and Billy Sweatt, who showed a ton of speed breaking away (although he didn't finish) may have been outplayed by Pierre Olivier-Morin. Kudos to the Kurtenblog: you guys called it, he's pretty good.
- Eddie Lack was remarkable yet again. For those of you saying that Corey Schneider has zero competition for the Canucks' backup job next season, well, you're probably still right. But Lack's making a case. In fact, both goaltenders last night played very well.
- The Canucks' best line of the night was Alex Friesen, Prab Rai, and Matt Fraser. Rai tends to impress me and then disappoint me within the same shift, but he was good all the way through last night. Fraser scored the Canucks' first goal on a one-timer after some great work by Alex Friesen, and he deserved it. The strong play bodes well for Fraser, as he and Morin are still not signed. Look for one or both of them to get contracts.
- Taylor Ellington got in a fight with a guy and I don't remember who it was, but when Ellington lost his footing and found himself on his back, the other guy punched him square in the nose with a late shot. It was classless and gutless. Anybody else see that or remember who it was? Maybe Gogol?
- I heard Blake Price say Eddie Lack was known as "The fastest glove in all of Europe." It's unfortunate that he had to leave, because "Fastest glove in all of Penticton" is much less impressive.
The Canucks' prospects are doing off-ice workouts today and resting up for a tilt with the Ducks' prospects tomorrow night. As usual, we'll have our thoughts the next day.