Saturday, November 13, 2010

I Watched This Game: Canucks at Maple Leafs, November 13, 2010

Canucks 5 - 3 Maple Leafs

So Skeeter and I watched this game, and we can safely say the Canucks were uncharacteristically poor tonight. Thankfully, the Maple Leafs were characteristically poorer, and the Canucks skated away, as Kevin Bieksa would say, with a greasy road win. Greasy like a certain John Travolta musical. Greasy like Kyle Wellwood's favourite meals. Greasy like Luongo's hair.

  • Speaking of Luongo's hair, it is attached to Roberto Luongo, who was stellar like a jay tonight. While some fans might disagree with this assessment because he let in 3 goals, consider that he made 29 saves, many of the genus remarkable. His best save of the night: the game. This one was good too.
  • The Canucks really need to deal with their sloppy seconds. And sloppy firsts and thirds. They've been playing some sloppy hockey on this road trip, and it needs to stop before it becomes a trend. Twitterverse: don't start a hashtag. We don't want this to trend.
  • The Maple Leafs deserved better tonight, but they made the debilitating mistake of jumping out to an early two-goal lead. As everyone knows, the two-goal lead is the worst lead in hockey, and invariably leads to a loss. Also a bad lede: The White Castle on East Fordham Road in the Bronx shimmered as if glazed."
  • On Kadri's kovalchoke: bwa ha ha, choke. But seriously, folks, you've gotta feel bad for him. After all, he's property of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
  • Post-game, Don Cherry went on his usual rant about defencemen getting their sticks in the way of shots. His example? Mason Raymond's goal. The replay? The defenceman's stick didn't touch the shot. As we said on twitter, Giguere came down with a sudden case of stigmata and Raymond shot it through the hole. It had nothing to do with the defenceman's stick, Grapes. You're wrong. This is not uncommon.
  • Tonight's goat: Christian Ehrhoff. He was grotesquely goatesque--as goatlike as Stevie Nicks. The stat line claims that he only had one giveaway, and while we all know numbers don't lie, this number feels very untrue. He was an adventure in the defensive zone, and not a fun one, like Indiana Jones. A terrible one, like Young Indiana Jones.
  • Ryan Kesler was given first star of the game honours tonight, and while we think that's maybe one spot too high (Luongo deserved first star), he was definitely the best forward on the ice. That's the second game in a row where we can say that. It's also the second game in a row where he's netted two goals. The important thing about this is that Kesler's best work is suddenly coming on the road, like Jack Kerouac.
  • On faceoffs: after what appeared to be a poor first period in the faceoff circle, Henrik Sedin wound up being the Canucks' top drawman, winning 61%. The interesting stat is Ryan Kesler being 5-for-5 in the offensive zone. He was 4-for-4 in Ottawa. This is one of the reasons the second line has been clicking the last two games, and a large part of the reason he has four goals. That said, he was 0-for-5 in the neutral zone, and finished the game 10-for-19 overall.
  • While we're still on the topic, we assume one of Mario Bliznak's primary responsibilities as a natural center would be to win draws. He won none. He was 0-for-4 in the circle. Mario, we award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
  • On the theme of diving and poor officiating: we are incredibly biased, but it seemed to us like the Canucks did nothing wrong, and the Maple Leafs did everything wrong. Especially egregious was Phil Kessel getting hit in the midsection by a Henrik Sedin stick and reacting like he'd been stabbed in the face with a lightsaber. Between that, and the time he slid the puck into Manny Malhotra's legs during a line change, hoping for a too many men call (or too "Manny" men, amirite?), Phil Kessel is a massive feminine hygiene product.
  • Daniel Sedin's goal tonight was his 11th of the season. He's on pace for 56 goals. If it wasn't for Steven Stamkos and his 1012 goal pace, this might be more impressive. But it's still impressive. I don't need to remind all you Bulies how out for blood Daniel Sedin is. But seriously, he's out for blood like the androgynous Eli of Let the Right One In.
  • And finally, watching the Maple Leafs lose makes me happy. Skeeter: "It makes me happy too." So we're both happy.


  1. Kudos on the Kerouac reference. It brings up the literary quotient of this blog to three and a half on the Beowulf scale.

    I have to agree it wasn't the Canucks' prettiest game, but they're still winning, even if they are playing down to their opponents. As long as they can avoid matching the level of their opponents and lose, I'm happy.

    I'm still waiting for that third line though. Need more face time with Manny's awesome 'stache. Even Kesler's lip ferret is leagues better than Jokkinen's pedophile mustache.

  2. Beowulf? Psh. Everybody reads Beowulf. Sir Gawain & The Green Knight for the win.

  3. I'm wishing we had gone with "too many Manny" now. I'm second-guessing our terrible puns. This is a bad sign.

  4. Just let it go, Skeeter.

    I sort of wish I'd gone with a Steinbeck reference over a Kerouac reference, but you don't see me sobbing over it. I'll just make one next game.

  5. Maybe I should have gone with a knife metaphor rather than a nail metaphor, but it's too late for that now!

  6. Right now all I can think about is not thinking about you over there on your thinking dock thinking about what you did.

  7. Cherry accidentally pronounced Bieksa's name correctly! The scavenger hunt's doing well!

  8. I watched the reply of Raymond's goal very closely and you can see the the shot changes direction just slightly when it hits the stick. It was a deflection even if just. Giguere still should have had it though.

    Bad game by everyone not named Luongo, or Kesler. At least we won though and that's all that matters

  9. @ By-Tor

    You can see the shot change direction, can you? From the replay

    I'll admit I can't see it NOT change direction, but that's because there's only one blurry frame between Mason Raymond taking the shot and the puck being halfway to the net. If it WERE deflected, Beauchemin's stick was less than a foot away from the puck when Mason Raymond took the shot. There's no clear angle of what direction it was going, let alone enough to tell if it changed direction.

    Don't like to call out a commenter as being wrong, but unless you were using a high speed camera, there's no way you can see the shot changing direction.

  10. Just want to add -- to check to see who number 22 for the Leafs was, I had to go to the Leafs site. Go there. Look at Phil Kessel. Look at that frown.

    Is he supposed to be looking intense or something? I know Phaneuf is trying to look badass, showing off his manly jawline, and the shadows all over Kessel's face seem like they may be to make him seem dramatic or something.

    What the shadows really do, though, as you'll see if you brighten the picture up, is they hide his sullen look of despair. They make his round face look sorta menacing, and his eyes look intense, but when you fix the lighting and contrast, you see that the eyes aren't intense, they're sad. The brow furrowed in grief. The deep, serious frown. The man is truly unhappy.

  11. @Qris

    I'm pretty sure I saw a slight change of direction in the shot. I could be wrong since as you pointed out, it's blurry.

  12. Qris, don't call out our readers. You'll offend them, and they'll run to supportive communities like Nucks Misconduct. THAT WOULD BE BAD FOR BUSINESS

    By-Tor, I believe you. Also, you look very nice today.

  13. Should've done it anonymously.

    But right now I'm more concerned about Kessel's Frown of Desperation. I think it's safe to say he hates Brian Burke more than anyone else.

  14. @Qris
    I'd hate anyone who wanted me to go to the Leafs as well


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