Friday, April 08, 2011

I Watched This Game: Canucks vs Wild, April 7, 2011

Canucks 5 - 0 Wild

After consecutive losses to the Edmonton Oilers pushed the city of Vancouver to the brink of martial law, you had to think a loss to the Minnesota Wild would be the tipping point. Fans, it seemed, were one poor effort away from killing one another for the contents of their refrigerators. Thankfully, the Canucks staved off a full-scale societal collapse by coming out in this one a little more interested in winning, and they were fortunate to meet a Wild team only to happy to help. The result was a shellacking that will likely quell civil unrest until the team loses again, at which point all the ammo and applesauce I bought will prove quite useful. In the meantime, I watched this game:

  • The pregame awards ceremony went pretty much as expected, with Daniel Sedin taking home the MVP, Christian Ehrhoff retaining his best defenseman title, Ryan Kesler winning most exciting player, and Jannik Hansen being named the most unsung. The Presidents Trophy presentation was understated, except for that part where Manny Malhotra showed up, and people went nuts. Talk about crowd pop. It was great to see him. In case you were wondering, Henrik Sedin did not touch the President's Trophy, but I get that whole superstition now. Once you realize that it looks like a crystal bidet, I'm sure any motivation to touch it disappears.
  • I especially liked Malhotra's Versace protection sunglasses. It was either that, or a diamond-studded eyepatch.
  • Marc Donnelly is starting to mix things up. The other night he turned the anthem into a duet. Tonight, he did a different run. If he's trying to reinvent himself, he should call Timbaland.
  • After facing criticism for a mild scoring lull to close out the season, Ryan Kesler used tonight as an opportunity to answer back with a hat trick. First, he redeemed himself for his near-infamous powerplay whiff in last Oilers game, where he double-clutched on a tap-in at the goal line and wound up blocking his own shot. He and the Sedins tried the exact same play again, this time with a different result. After successfully making amends on that one, Kesler spent the night bringing his wrist shot back to lethality. He scored two beauties on the rush with perfectly placed snapshots, going high glove side on the first and high stick side on the second (above). Kesler claims he was extra motivated because Farhan Lalji pissed him off earlier in the day. If that's the case, I suggest Farhan Lalji conduct all Ryan Kesler interviews for the duration of the playoffs, with every intent of incensing him: some feel you can't carry this team to a cup. Also, that you're a big dummy. How would you respond to this?
  • Frankly, if there was any disappointing aspect to tonight's game, it's that Kesler's hat trick was met with alarmingly few tossed hats. Shocking stat: in terms of personal items thrown on the ice, the ratio of hats to salmon was about even. Not cool, you guys.
  • Kesler's hat trick goal was his 40th of the season. Quoth John Garrett: 40 is an excellent number. I'm assuming he meant in regards to scoring totals, but he might just like the number 40. Maybe he likes how it looks? He's seen it everywhere this anniversary season, maybe this was a subtle plea for help from a man that's been driven mad by the number's constant presence in his life? He could be completely obsessed with it, like Jim Carrey and 23.
  • Early adopters to PITB will recall that, before he and I became Scrabble buddies, Tanner Glass's presence on the third line offended me, especially throughout last year's playoffs. It seems the universe has a wicked sense of humour, as Glass appears to be have garnered a promotion in the absence of Raffi Torres. Soon, my worst nightmares will come true. Next thing you know, Byron Ritche will return to man the powerplay.
  • Poor Jannik Hansen. First he lost his center to an eye injury, then he lost his other winger to a suspension. He did an admirable job on his lonesome, even setting up Mason Raymond for the game's opening goal with a beautiful cross-ice pass, but his gloved punch to Pierre Marc-Bouchard was a clear sign that he wants to be suspended too, so the line can be reunited in the press box.
  • Speaking of suspensions, frankly, Greg Zanon's 1st period elbow to the head of Maxim Lapierre might have warranted one that stretched into the playoffs. Lucky for Zanon, the Wild didn't make the playoffs.
  • Both of Mason Raymond's goals came on wrist shots after fancy setups, the first from Jannik Hansen, and the second from Daniel Sedin, but they weren't tap-ins. Raymond put himself in great position to receive both passes, and these are places he might not go while playing the wing. He was also the only faceoff guy to finish over 50% on the night. He appears to be adapting to his new role as third-line center quite well. It makes sense. There's a little less pressure to score, it's harder to get over to the side boards and circle the zone, and there's a little more ice. Mason Raymond really likes extra ice. Whenever he goes to Earl's, he asks the waitress to make sure there's plenty in his drink; otherwise, his soda is much too strong.
  • Alain Vigneault rolled all four lines, resulting in steady icetime for everyone, save Jeff Tambellini. Tambellini played eight and a half minutes. No other Canuck played less than fourteen. When you can't find icetime for Jeff Tambellini in a blowout in the last home game of the season, it's safe to say you aren't trying. Victor Oreskovich might want to reserve an airport shuttle.
  • Last night marked the return of Alex Edler to the lineup. He looked good, albeit a little out of sync. He also seemed determined to regain some lost ground in the hits category. He had a game-high four hits in this game, which, as Jeff Paterson tweeted, should answer some questions going forward. Questions like: who led the game in hits and In what category did Alex Edler lead the game? Also: which game did Alex Edler lead in hits?
  • Edler was immediately returned to his initial pairing with Christian Ehrhoff, sending Sami Salo to the bottom pairing with Keith Ballard. This is the match the Canucks have been hoping to make all season, but injuries have prevented Sami and Keith from being together long enough to click. Looks like they finally get together in the end. If this sounds a lot like a romantic comedy, that's because it is. After the game, Sami found out he was the subject of a bet to make him over and get him elected prom queen. Expect a last act poolside dance.
  • Speaking of bets, Roberto Luongo picked up his fourth shutout of the season last night, much to his surprise, and he told reporters that, prior to the third period, he and Cory Schneider bet on who would break the goose egg. Schneider picked Miettinen. Luongo picked Edler. Chew on this: what if Edler actually had scored an own goal, but Miettinen had the last touch? SUCH A DISPUTE IS UNSOLVABLE.


  1. People, careful with the hashtag #passittoraymondorkeslerbutfirstpassittodanielsohecangetapoint. It may look harmless, but I know from experience that it will sabotage my twitter app so that it displays a horizontal scrollbar when NO HORIZONTAL SCROLLBAR IS EXPECTED. It is a malicious hashtag. A mashtag. Or a hashlicious. Don't trust this man.

  2. What would we do without IWTG? You guys are the best! I hope you're going to watch the playoffs ;-)

  3. Also of note - with the shutout, the Canucks have let in 183 goals through 81 games. Nashville and Boston are tied for second in the league with 191, with two games left each. Baring an NHL '94-on-rookie-mode onslaught from the Flames, it appears the Canucks have locked up the Jennings for the first time in team history.

    Luongo probably won't get the Vezina this year, but it'll sure be nice to see him (and Schneider) get some individual hardware.

  4. TBCF, not only will we be watching the playoffs, but we've got a couple of really cool things coming down the pipe. Glad you like us, because PITB's not going away anytime soon.

  5. I think some people were saving their hats in case mase scored a hat trick as well...

  6. Well, that's just silly, anonymous. Hat tricks are not buses. You can't just wait for the next one.

  7. In a game full of celebration, leftrightcentre, I was also surprised fans didn't rain hats on Kessie--who'd just been awarded most exciting player, for gad's sake. I guess when it comes to '40', it's a lot of money for a hat, too.

  8. Finished number one
    Blown out twice and seemed done
    Canucks win five none

    The Hawks can't ignore
    The Stars won and furthermore
    The Wings now need four

    clay pigeon

  9. Oh, me again, anonymous 11:30AM, wanting to point out that this particular IWTH made me laugh a lot. Tambellini was given minutes, btw, solely for the purpose Vignault seems to keep him. He's the mascot of good fortune, along with Donnelly. Tamby will reincarnate as Fin. Meantime, he's just in for the win.

  10. (and by IWTH, I meant, IWTG, although my Freudian slip may be saying IWTHarrison)

  11. Hash tag needs some capitals, it makes me dizzy

  12. I laugh at most of your IWTG posts, but this one was definitely at the top. You've outdone yourselves.

    Great job, guys! I'm definitely with you through the play-offs. And beyond.

  13. The guys on Team 1040 said there were way more hats than usual thrown after the hatty. So, I'm wondering, who doesn't know what they're talking about?

  14. Hey, this is like a real un-controversy! :) This clip: reveals that one kid kept his hat on. But don't the camera guys usually show the downpouring of hats? Didn't last night. What we need is someone who was there to let us know who #winsthearmwrestle, PITB or Team1040.

  15. There's, like, five people who don't take the hats off in the goal clip. From the television, it certainly looked like two few hats.

    Mind you, in truth, I only brought that up to make the salmon joke, so...

  16. hahhahahaha @ hats are not busses..I know I know, but what IF masey scored a hatty..and no hats rained..his moment of confidence would be burst FOREVER (/sarcasm)

  17. Question for the PITB community: I know Harrison was making a joke about the Wild not making the playoffs and a possible suspension, but just hypothetically, if a player were suspended say 4 games when the team only has 1 left, would they then have to sit out the first 3 games of next season?

    Great job PITB, can't wait for the playoffs!!

  18. @Julia. I think suspensions just carries over into games a player could play. So, say, if a player got a 3-game suspension, played two games, then had the season end and got signed by a new team in the offseason, he'd have to miss that his new team's opener.

  19. After reading here so many times about the snack goal that was scored in the last 10 minutes of the game, I have to admit, I got really nervous when I saw there was 10 min. left. I watched those last 10 minutes as if it were a tied game, white-knuckled.

  20. I was at this game, and I can confirm that there were lots of hats. The ice crew was out immediately to pick them up though, so they were gone quickly. Just didn't look like much on TV. Some of the fans had a hard time getting their hats to the ice, since this is really still toque season....not exactly aerodynamic.
    Anywho, great game, and great atmosphere. They gave out Nucks banners that folded into fans, so people were banging them and making a racket all game. Lots of chanting too. Since I can't afford to go to post season games, I was really happy that this was the last game I saw.

  21. I noticed you tagged this post 'lets settle this by stacking pancakes' and I lol'd. But then I looked for other pancake worthy posts and there were I haz a sad.
    So great when Manny came out...the people around me were flipping out. Glad to see him looking happy and healthy. Man I miss that guy.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...