Not since Game 7 in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals have the Boston Bruins come back to Vancouver. It was a much anticipated game and was the biggest topic when the Canucks schedule was released in the off-season. Anyone who lives in the 604 who say they didn’t think it was that big a deal, book an appointment with a cosmetic surgeon and get your nose sawed down, liars. There was a lot of material to pick through about Saturday night, so where do we start?
- Dan Cloutier’s Ghost: Jannik Hansen scores on Tuukka Rask from just past centre ice.It took a strange deflection off Chara’s stick and into the back of the Boston net. Rogers Arena erupted and soon “TUUUUUUKKKAAAA” was being chanted.
- Mount St. Tortorella Erupts: In the second period, after the tying goal, Canucks coach decides to give a “pep talk” to his team and get them going. It worked.
- Workhorse: 39 saves out of 41 shots on goal effort from Roberto Luongo. This was after shutting out the Oilers the night before.
- “Barbwire” Taunt Moment: Brad “Barbwire” Marchand had the taunt of the night. Kissing your ring finger and a “Raising the Cup” blurb would have made Vincent K. McMahon happy. There is life after hockey for the Stanley Cup “Champian”
- Tonka Tough: Jerome Iginla dislocates his ring finger in a first period fight with Ryan Kesler and came back in the second period to play the game. He also got in a short altercation with Canucks Dman, Dan Hamhuis, later on in the game. I have always liked Iggy and Saturday showed why he is my all-time favourite Kamloops Blazer.
- St.Michael: Mike Santorelli keeps adding more depth to his game. He is proving to be a gem of a pickup in the off-season with the way he has played here in Vancouver. He was a huge part of the Canucks win on Saturday night.
- Bear Hunter: He does it in the off-season and he did it here on Saturday with a beauty of a tally. David Booth responded with a “this is why we signed you” type of goal after Torts’ blowup at the bench. We need to see this more consistently. He’s too talented of a player to not play like this. This goal was the catalyst for the 6-2 on slaughter of the evening.
- Old School Mentality: This is in a good way. Bruins Coach, Claude Julien, came out and publicly chastised Brad Marchand in saying those antics will not be tolerated. He also said of Marchand to be too good of a player to act the way he did.
- Library is Closed: On Saturday night, the vibe was electric! THAT is how Rogers Arena should sound like each and every night. Well, as close to it as possible. It’s too bad, and often times too hard, when you play teams like the Oilers and Flames.
- We’re Going Streaking: The Canucks have now won 7 in a row. They have caught up 9 points on the San Jose Sharks and have moved into 6th place in the Western Conference. If they can sustain the level of play and keeping finding ways to win games, expect to see them in the post season.
It is pretty evident, the Canucks and the Oilers don’t like each other. In fact, it got so ugly between the teams this year, the two franchise official twitter accounts went at each other publicly during a night the two teams weren’t even playing one another.
Perhaps, most of the hate this season started on September 21. A pre-season game, when Canucks forward, Zack Kassian, broke Sam Gagner’s jaw with a reckless hit and was subsequently suspended five games. Last night was the first time Sam Gagner faced off against the Canucks since that injury. Here’s a look at that play.
No, it wasn’t pretty. Yes, Kassian got a just suspension for it. Meanwhile, the Oilers, their fans and Sam Gagner haven’t forgotten or forgiven. So what does Zack Kassian do? He mocks Sam Gagner during a skirmish on the ice about the addition to the bottom of his head gear. The enforced chin strap that dangled to protect his jaw.
This became such a huge topic. It even took a life of its own on twitter, on blogs and both teams respected Facebook pages. Even members of the Oilers media started getting really sensitive about the chin-strap incident.
@TSNRyanRishaug: Can confirm that at no point did Kassian reach out to Gagner after he shattered his jaw, No apology at all. Then that tonite, pretty bad.
Absolutely, not cool nor ‘classy’. However, people forget, even hand gestures on the ice are part of the ‘trash talk’ package. I’m pretty sure even Gagner wasn’t exactly “Silent Sam” throughout the night on the ice. Words get thrown around and a hand gesture or two might be exchanged, but that’s always been a part of the game. Maybe if Sammy kept his mouth shut, Kassian might not have ‘gone there’, but he did.
There are enough blogs to systematically break down the art of hockey trash talk regarding last night’s incident between Kassian and Gagner. I want to share 10 things that stuck in my head about other happenings around the game last night.
- Shutout #65: Roberto Luongo gets his 65th shutout of his career with a 19 save effort against the Edmonton Oilers. First of two games back to back this weekend the Canucks net -minder not only seems to be focusing on the task at hand, but working to solidify his spot on the Canadian Olympic roster.
- Foot in Mouth Tweet winner:
Dan Tencer So, Vancouver is still trying to pretend that Zack Kassian might be a player? Ok, then.
- Best Reply to Foot in Mouth Tweet winner:
- Tortorella-ism of the Night: “Who cares what Mike Milbury says. No disrespect to Mike, but we can’t worry about what commentators, and all these guys outside the game, say about our players.” I love Torts. So much more enjoyable to listen to over AV’s constant cliches.
- Swedish Thuggery: You know you’re bad when your fan base (and much of the league) are calling the Sedin twins “sisters” and your team gets pushed around by them. –Torts: “See Danny run a guy over tonight.” Indeed he did, Johnny, indeed he did.
- Beastmode: Not really a big fan of the nickname for Kes, for me, it belongs to Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks, but the Oilers felt Kesler’s presence all over the ice, the boards and on the scoresheet. 3 shots, 4 hits and 2 assists at a +2 rating for the night. He has been the hottest Canuck in the last 10 games for sure, and possibly the last 30 days.
- Call me Don Draper, I’m THAT Cool: Chris Tanev continues to amaze me with his poise, his patience and his growing ability to read the play and make the right decision on how to counter it. Jim Hughson brought up Bieksa’s comment about how Tanev could play with a cigarette in his mouth, he is that cool.
- Don Cherry Hooked on Phonics award: Craig Simpson calling Dubnyk DUHB-NIK instead of DOOB-NIK on air. Really Craig?
- Hairdo of the Night: Dallas Eakins with his Brandon Walsh 90210 coif. He’s more worried about his hair than the fact his team is in the running for another race to the 1st over-all pick.
- Trash talk of the night: Zack Kassian. I don’t want to explain it to you, I’d rather show you.
Top 10 Honourable Mention: Dale Weise with a power play goal. The fourth line clocked over 10 minutes of ice time. Their presence was felt. They were rewarded and Weise capped it off with a nice dinger on the power play. Good job to Weise, Welsh and Dalpe.
The Canucks showed up last night. The Oilers did not. The Canucks were focused while the Oilers were distracted. However, the better team won, and the better team showed why they are fighting for a playoff spot instead of another “First Overall” draft pick. Yes, Edmonton fans, my team has yet to win a Stanley Cup. Yes, your team has five of them. I get it, you can count. I have some numbers too…
3- Goals Devan Dubnyk let in 5-hole last night. I almost mistook him for the Massey Tunnel.
0- Are the number of goals score by Eberle, Hall, RNH, Gagner and Yakopov last night.
2-0 The season series between the Canucks and the Oilers so far. Canucks are the two, in case you were wondering.
23- The number of years since the Oilers won the cup. Your most recent three “First Overall” draft picks weren’t even born. Taylor Hall (b.1991) Ryan Nugent-Hopkins(b.1993) Nail Yakopov (b.1993) Long gone are the days of Messier, Gretzky and co. Relevance, matters.
8- post seasons the Oilers have missed presently and consecutively.
25- Points in the standings. Good enough for last place in the Western Conference. Only Buffalo is worse with 23, but they have some guys on defence and Ryan Miller. First Overall Pick is looking like a possibility again!
In conclusion, I would rather be in the shoes (and the city) of the Vancouver Canucks than the Edmonton Oilers right now. Sure the Canucks might get ousted in the first round again, or they may not, but having that chance at the post season is a far better problem to have than what is going on in Edmonton. See you in January.
After 113 days of an NHL work stoppage via lockout, it’s actually safe to say it’s finally over. It’s official, the NHL is back in business. However, some fans have voiced out the they don’t really care if the lockout is over. They are not happy with the NHL and their local teams. Many have said they will boycott the games and not watch any of the NHL. Some said they won’t spend a cent that would benefit their local hockey and some said they will take up knitting. Well, I can’t knit, but to each their own.
I’ve talked to many fans on twitter like @ThePrawnGuy ,Jay Mayede, who said he is boycotting the NHL because of this lockout. He even went to far to tweet just how long:
@ThePrawnGuy:<—- pretty much ignoring hockey until after Grey Cup in Nov.
Jay has expressed he is probably going to buy Vancouver Whitecaps FC season tickets and for the money he’d spend for three or four Canucks games.
@ThePrawnGuy: … for 4 decent Canucks tickets, i could buy Lions or Whitecaps seasons tix and get change
Meanwhile Jason Baker, @JBonCanucks has had mixed feelings about the whole thing and tweeted to me
@JBonCanucks: Just excited to have hockey back and that’s sort of what I’m choosing to focus on. Not as much time invested though.
This seems to be the most common consensus of the majority of the Canucks fans on twitter and those that I have talked to personally. Even long time season ticket holder, Chris Baldwin, @cbaldwin74, is still a little ‘iffy’ on jumping in wholeheartedly. Although he was disgruntled by the lockout, he does feel the Canucks are trying to make amends, at least throughout the beginning of the season with their fan offers.
@cbaldwin74: The @VanCanucks also need to make sure they target Season Ticket holders who left their money with the team
Then there are the likes of fans like Jocelyn Aspa aka @suitoflights who said
@suitoflights: I’m really excited about it! It’s been far too long, I’m ready for the puck to drop
Lindsay Bayne gave a heartfelt tweet talking about the upcoming season after viewing the newest Canucks TV Video
@causticchick: Well, I cried watching the new Canucks TV today, so I guess I’d say over-excited and emotional.
Excited isn’t enough to describe these ladies’ anticipation for the upcoming season and they are not alone!
I think it’s great to see a wonderful spectrum of opinions from the Canucks fan base. However, I am with Baldwin and Baker on this one. I am excited, but at the same time, I am hoping the Canucks do as much as they can to show the fans they are appreciated.
Are the Canucks the villians in this situation? Did they gauge the fans until we’re bled dry and want more now that they are back in business? If that is the case, nothing the Canucks do will be enough for some, that’s ok. We have the choice to say no. Remember that.
For me? I am excited to be heading to Rogers Arena and hitting my foursquare check-in for a hockey game, not a rock concert. But I’m not ready to depart with funds to buy new merchandise quite yet. Call it my little ‘boycott’ towards the NHL, the NHLPA and their ‘lockout’. The difference between me and the ‘complete boycott’ people? I love Canucks hockey way too much to be away from it for too long. So I will see you at the rink, in last year’s fashions, but I will be there, in anticipation for a new Canucks season.
Parting words: Go Canucks Go!
Seeing all the negativity on twitter, on Facebook and all over the internet about how the Vancouver Canucks are done as dinner. It may be a truth, but it is not yet so. Until it’s final that the Vancouver Canucks are no longer part of the playoff race, I choose to remain faithful and believe in them. I decided to make my own hockey prayer of the Apostles’ Creed and call it the Canucks Creed.
I believe in hockey gods,Lord Stanley almighty,
Creator of the cherished cup,and in Captain Hank,
our only voice, our leaderwho was conceived with a twin spirit, Danielborn of the Swedish viking,
suffered under Dustin Brown’s hit|
was knocked down; winded and weary;
he descended to the ice;
in the same period he rose again from the hit;
he then ascended into a 3:20 minute shift,
I believe Cory or Luongo, neither will falter,
although it is 0-3 is how the Kings have led
I believe in the hockey spirit,the shot of Sami Salo,
the determination of Kelser,the speed of Jannik Hansen,
the resurrection of my team,
and the cup dream everlasting.
The boys are yet to be eliminated. It could be tonight, it could be next week, or maybe it could be never this season. I refuse to concede defeat when the last battle has not yet to take place. I ask you all to join me in ‘prayer’ and keep the faith. It may be a last ditch effort, but it is our duty as Canucks fans to believe, keep faith, and hope for the dream to stay alive.
GO CANUCKS GO!