Canucks 4 - 3 Oilers
It may have gotten a bit tense there at the end, but a win's a win, right? Wrong. The Canucks made a crucial mistake that let the Oilers back in this one: they briefly held a two-goal lead.
Yes, the dreaded two-goal lead, a guaranteed death sentence for all who hold it. Originally, the Canucks had a three-goal lead, but then the Oilers scored. And then it was a two-goal lead. And then they were screwed.
In actuality, the Canucks have yet to show a killer instinct this season. This is a team that, last season, was money in the third. They held leads and they staged comebacks. This year, however, they've been losing leads and hosting comebacks. The Canucks dominated the first period, storming out of the gate with three goals, but then they quit applying pressure. Just like when administering First Aid, that's a pretty big no-no. And I'm not trying to say hockey players are like doctors; only Dan Ellis feels that way. I'm just saying you can't let up.
Anyway, in the long run, the Canucks came out the victors, thanks to the absurd video content we have provided above. That's above. Below, we watched this game, and our thoughts have been broken down into bulleted points. Read them. Read them aloud?
- Raffi Torres had the most absurd hat trick since Mason Raymond hoisted a puck over Miikka Kiprusoff from center ice. Let us review this trio of goals. First, Torres scores on a nutty dive and stab at the puck. It was the best headfirst dive since George Michael Bluth. Then, as part of the best double tip since Darth Maul's lightsaber, and finally, on some sort of weird curling play. The last time Khabibulin blew it that badly, it was a breathalyzer. Torres also had one wicked hit on Andrew Cogliano to seal the win. He was excellent tonight.
- Moment of horror: only Daniel Sedin has more Canuck goals than Raffi Torres.
- Skeeter believes Kevin Bieksa was the best defenseman on the ice for the Canucks tonight. Reluctantly, I agree with him. My urge is to disagree, however, simply on principle, so I'll disagree about something else instead. Skeeter, I don't like your hat. But seriously, Bieksa broke out of his funk (significantly less funky than my band, Cinnamon Toast Funk) with three assists in his 22 minutes of ice time. He played smart, he played physical, and he didn't make any of the massive mistakes that tend to make me, Harrison, furious. I'll admit that, if he played this way on a regular basis, I would like him a lot more. That is all I'll admit.
- Skeeter would like to add that a) he already likes Bieksa and b) his hat is heck of sweet.
- Alex Burrows returned to the lineup and made an immediate impression. His first period shifts, like the rest of the team's, were his best. He caused turnovers, generated scoring chances, wreaked havoc in front of the net, and fit right back in with the Sedins. This may seem obvious, but this is a good thing. Also good Things? Stan Lee's comic book character and John Carpenter's 1982 film.
- At the end of the first period, the Canucks were playing so well I wasn't sure who I was going to pick on. John Garrett seemed ripe. This replay is a slowed down version of a play you just saw. Thanks for the analysis, Garrett.
- It's been awhile since we saw Daniel and Henrik Sedin's trademark slap-pass actually work. Other teams have taken it up as a power play option, but these guys are the originals, and they showed it on this play. I don't think I've ever seen that slap-pass look that fluid. It was more fluid than classic Darkwing Duck nemesis The Liquidator. It was more fluid than Alex Mack.
- The Canucks were excellent in the faceoff circle, with everybody who took a draw registering above 50%. Kesler was the star, going 13-6. Take that, Manny Malhotra.
- I want to talk about the first goal against. I recognize the Oilers have a lot of small forwards, but I think Alberts took his size for granted a little. Rather than swing the puck around the boards, he puts his back to Andrew Cogliano and expects the little guy to bounce off. You forgot about velocity, Alberts. Any physics experts read PITB? Someone explain this to Alberts. Anyway, Mason Raymond peels off Cogliano, expecting Alberts to send it around, but instead, Alberts just stands there, staring blankly at the wall, recreating the ending of the Blair Witch Project.
- Roberto Luongo was good tonight, but people are going to point to the second goal when claiming that he wasn't. Yes, he lost the puck in the crease, but one of Ballard or Rome needs to tie up Ryan Jones's stick. Instead, they whacked fruitlessly at the puck. Yes, fruitlessly. They were yielding less fruit than that fig tree Jesus cursed. We all remember that Bible story, right?
- Cogliano also creates the third goal when he beats Alex Edler inside. Alex, I said to be noticeable, but not bad. On this goal, you were bad. You can't give up the center of the ice like that.
- And finally, a word about my wife, who spent the whole game claiming Canuck players looked like celebrities they do not look like. Peter Schaefer was compared to Eddie Cibrian. Tanner Glass got Gerard Butler. Andrew Alberts got Ben Affleck, and this may be the only one where she's got a point. Little does she know I made this comment way back in April. That's right, I beat my wife. Nope, that came out wrong.