Thursday, September 23, 2010

Every Goal, Forward Edition: the Guys with Four Goals or Less

Demitra: Did you see that? Two between-the-legs moves in a row!
Wellwood: Ho ho ho! Golly, that was nifty.
Demitra: We didn't score, but we're satisfied with the skills we've showcased!

Welcome back to the Every Goal series, a nearly exhaustive compendium of every goal the Canucks scored last season, player by player, in chronological order. There are two days left in this beast. Today, we cover the forwards who scored four goals or less as a Canuck last season in descending order: Rick Rypien (4), Tanner Glass (4), Pavol Demitra (3), and the one-goal guys--Darcy Hordichuk, Matt Pettinger, and Ryan Johnson.

Most of these guys deserve to be here. They're the muckers, the grinders, the six minutes a night guys, with the exception of Pavol Demitra. Consider that I've been railing against Glass being used as a third-liner at times last season, but he outscored Pavol Demitra. Injuries be damned, my friends--that is unacceptable. Nucks Misconduct has been touting a Demitra-free existence since July 1, and I have to admit I like breathing the Vancouver air knowing I'm not sharing it with Pavol Demitra. To be fair, he had his moments in Vancouver, but seemingly none of them came while wearing a Vancouver jersey and that's infuriating. Part of me thinks the Demo nickname is more appropriate now that we know Vancouver got the limited demo version of Pavol (hence, why this didn't amount to anything), and the Slovaks got the fully licensed, unlocked version. In the future, Gillis, let's steer clear of shareware. On to the forwards.

Rick Rypien

1. Oct. 16 vs. the Calgary Flames
Rypien's first of the season comes on a feed from Henrik. He comes out from behind the net and then wires a wrist shot, top corner, over Kiprusoff. It's a gorgeous shot. Credit to Henrik, who gets the puck to him with a ton of space to do something.

2. Nov. 3 vs. the New York Rangers
Rypien here is the beneficiary of some incredible work by Ryan Kesler, who enters the zone 1-on-3, dumps the puck in, gets it back, and controls it along the boards before finding Rypien sneaking in. Kesler makes a beautiful pass, and Rypien finishes.

3. Jan. 5 vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets
Rypien rips (pun!) a slapshot past Steve Mason in this clip and it's a bullet. The real story here is Kyle Wellwood's weak little saucer pass, however, as it hops over the defender's stick and then just lays there, waiting for the Rypper to tear into it.

4. Apr. 10 vs. the Calgary Flames
Credit here to Adam Pardy, who does some terrible defensive work, gets beat and loses his stick in Matt Pettinger's legs. The play becomes a 2-on-1, and Pettinger walks in before feeding it to Rypien directly in front of Kiprusoff. Rypien's four goals show he's actually got a pretty good shot, and here he puts it to good use. The guy isn't much of a playmaker, but he actually can finish if he's set up.

Tanner Glass
Tanner Glass, upon realizing that, against all reason, he's skating on the third line tonight.

1. Nov. 1 vs. the Colorado Avalanche (at 1:51 of clip)
Glass scores on a 2-on-1 with Kyle Wellwood by keeping, shooting, and having the puck bank off the defenseman, which is the textbook play, really.

2. Nov. 14 vs. the Colorado Avalanche
Glass's goal is the eighth of the game for the Canucks, so everything was going in for them. That's likely why Glass scores. He shows good strength with the puck here, coming out from behind the net, fighting off his man, and putting it low on the short side.

3. Nov. 26 vs. the Los Angeles Kings (at 5:37 of clip)
Don't believe Shorty's call here. It's Glass that scores, although Wellwood does most of the work, stealing the puck in the neutral zone and feeding Glass. After Quick makes the save, Glass pokes the rebound home.

4. Nov. 28 vs. the Edmonton Oilers
Glass's shows good tenacity on his fourth goal of the season, coming out from behind the net for a shot, then picking up his own rebound and roofing it. I'm not a huge fan of Tanner Glass. Yes, he dished out many hits, but not very good hits, and he didn't bring much else. This despite a number of games where he skated, inexplicably and poorly, on the third line, thereby causing Kyle Wellwood to have to sign a tryout contract with Phoenix. All this said, however, I would have Tanner Glass in November. He scored four goals last season, all in November.

Pavol Demitra

1. Feb. 6 vs. the Boston Bruins
Demitra's first of only three goals last season was a big one. Down late in the third period, he tips this Tanner Glass shot home to tie the game. My favourite part of this clip? Kyle Wellwood, looking hapless. That's him tripping over a Bruin in the corner of the frame on every replay.

2. Mar. 2 vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets
Maybe it's just me, but it seems like everybody on the roster scored a goal on Steve Mason last year. He's just looked terrible in these clips all through the Every Goal series. Anyway, here he is getting beat by a Demitra wrister off a rebound. My favourite thing about this clip? Mikael Samuelsson's interference to give Demo the room to get to this this puck and shoot it. He had body position, but still, it just looks so blatantly like interference.

3. Apr. 8 vs. the San Jose Sharks
Here we have another beautiful yet largely-forgotten piece of wizardous sedinerie, as Henrik and Daniel pull off a give-and-go along the boards. Daniel's no-look, between-the-legs back-pass to Henrik is downright effortless. From there, Henrik feeds Demitra, who makes a nice shot to score the goal. This is a tight angle shot that Demitra absolutely kills.

Darcy Hordichuk
Darcy Hordichuk, after winning a fight with the puck.

1. Nov. 5 vs. the Minnesota Wild
Darcy Hordichuk's only goal of last season comes on a dreadful botched breakout, as Derek Boogaard fails to receive a simple pass, and the puck squirts out to Hordy instead. He slaps the puck past Backstrom. Glen Sather, upon seeing this goal, immediately circled Boogaard's name on his must-sign list.

Matt Pettinger

1. Nov. 5 vs. the Minnesota Wild
Can you believe Matt Pettinger scored his only goal of the season in the same game as Darcy Hordichuk? How odd. Anyway, this one comes off a pretty terrible angle, and banks in off of Backstrom. That's two goals the Wild shouldn't have allowed, both to the Canucks' fourth line. Yes, they lost the game. I love the look on Hordichuk's face when he's on the ice for a goal. It's like, "OMG YOU GUYS WOW." He's genuinely shocked not to be in the minuses.

Ryan Johnson

1. Mar. 18 vs. the San Jose Sharks
What's incredible to me about Ryan Johnson is that, while he rarely scored, the ones he potted weren't easy. This goal is a prime example. Johnson shows speed, stickhandling ability, and quick hands to get to that rebound. This goal is another example. It's a shame this Ryan Johnson only showed up about once a season. Farewell, Balls. You will be missed, just like when you played for us.

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