Friday, October 22, 2010

I Watched This Game: Canucks vs. Wild, October 22, 2010

Canucks 5 - 1 Wild

After tonight's game, it might be hard to differentiate between the west coast sea breeze and the relieved sighs of Canuck nation. While a win tonight doesn't solve our problems, it certainly mitigates our concern. The Wild, like us, had played 3 games in their last four nights, but they were on the road tonight, and gosh darn it, we're better than they are. Had we lost tonight, especially considering what's gone on this week and how badly we craved a win, there might have been enough hand-wringing for a spike in sales of Glysomed. Thankfully, we won. Also thankfully, Pass it to Bulis watched. Hear us roar:

  • Corey Schneider continues to play fabulously, propagating the largely shortsighted and reactionist "goaltending controversy." Not since Cheryl Blossom has a redhead so relentlessly challenged the status quo. Before we start demanding the team waive Luongo, let us remember that the Canucks have played much, much better in front of him than they have in Luongo's losses. The whole team was excellent tonight. Still, Schneider deserves much kudos, as he made it look easy tonight. Maybe it was. Minnesota sucks.
  • Jeff "Shmalexandre Shmurrows" Tambellini looks to be the best fit, among healthy forwards, for the Sedins. Even before the breakaway goal, Tamby allowed the twins to play their game, retrieved pucks, used his speed to back defenders off, and read the play smartly. The line was visible all night. Tamby also made a pretty solid case for being on the shootout roster.
  • Tamby's success up top also allowed Vigneault to roll some solid second and third lines, such as Jannik Hansen with Malhotra and Torres, a line that combined for the first, third and fourth goals. They were the best line on the ice tonight. Hansen and Malhotra were amazing like a double rainbow. I declare them the tandem that will give the third line it's identity for the rest of the season.
  • Why not Torres? While he has excellent moments and definitely did in this game (in this game, a goal and a coupe nice hits), he often doesn't seem to know how to play with others, like Stampy. There were two odd-man rushes where he was so close to his linemate he neutralized any cross-ice pass, as well as spared the defenseman from having to take a man. Open up the ice, Raffi.
  • Tambellini's success with the Sedins also allowed Vigneault to keep Kes, Ray, and Sammy, the rightful second line and producers of the second goal, intact. They're clearly still regaining their confidence, but they're beginning to be consistent. Want to see how stats are totally bogus? Prior to tonight, there was much ado about Ryan Kesler's lack of production. With tonight's goal, he has three points in his last four games. Please unpress your panic buttons.
  • The fourth line looked excellent too, but primarily because Tanner Glass and Peter Schaefer skated on it exclusively.
  • It's not all roses, though. While Mikael Samuelsson still shoots more often than Horatio Caine, too many are getting blocked or missing the net. He seems a little off. He needs to, uh, you know, fix that.
  • I laughed out loud at Shorty and Garrett bickering over the tricky issue of mass nouns and the fewer vs. less debate. Turns out Shorty's a grammar nazi. Think he's a big enough loser to own (and, like me, cherish) a first pressing of Funk & Wagnalls Handbook of Synonyms, Antonyms, and Prepositions? We can only hope. For the curious: fewer is typically used for countable amounts, less for abstract amounts (i.e. fewer shots; less offense). Garrett was talking about games played, and thus should have used fewer.
  • On the first powerplay of the game, Henrik Sedin took a slapshot, but he is such an innate passer that it turned into a crisp tape-to-tape pass to a Wild defender. Does he think he's Daniel? He wouldn't be the first guy to make that mistake. I know he scored 29 times last season, but Hank is not a shooter. I firmly believe he's going to reach 100 points this season without scoring a single goal.
  • That said, he nearly had an awesome one on a 2-on-1 when he pulled off spin move on Greg Zanon and got in alone. It would have been absolutely perfect if Henrik had pulled it to the forehand after coming out of the spin. He had time. Not sure why Zanon was so completely bamboozled. All Henrik does is spin. He's like Cobb's totem.
  • Hats off to the defense corps. They were great tonight, steady, dependable, smart. It's enough to forget Kevin Bieksa is amongst them. Seriously, though, Kevin Bieksa was really good tonight, apart from one ill-advised pinch which led to a two-on-one.
  • Alex Edler has been good all season, and he was great tonight. Often times, he goes completely unnoticed, which is both an element of praise and a criticism. Edler has the ability to do more than he often does. Aaron Rome should be unnoticeable. Edler needs to do more things like this. He's the only D-man in the lineup who can make a pass like that.
  • Great job by the penalty killers on the 5-on-3. The Dead Puck Era created more offense than Peter Schaefer does, but he really is excellent when you're a man down. He killed a ton of time on Minnesota's two man advantage, then drew a powerplay-ending penalty on Mikko Koivu later in the game. I just wish he'd use his knucklepuck more often.
  • Anybody else see the two dudes jump-hugging on the Kesler goal? If there's one thing we at PITB are totally in favour of, it's public displays of dudehuggery. I think the preponderance of dudehuggery is secretly why men love hockey.
  • The 2nd intermission had an excellent piece on one of PITB's all-time favourite Canucks, Cliff Ronning. My favourite moment was the last clip of the segment, which featured Ronning celebrating a goal in slow-motion by shouting "F***ing right!" Obviously, there was no sound, but there is no easier lipread in the English language. What a strange clip to use, but I shouldn't be surprised. Sportsnet makes some questionable choices with their intermission programming, such as putting Tony Gallagher in front of a camera.
  • I'm going to assume Daniel Sedin is going to be given a belated assist on the Tambellini goal. He should, and I hope he does, primarily so his season-long point streak continues. Not since Frank the Tank has there been streaking of this magnitude.
  • I would like to ban Mason Raymond from carrying the puck over the blue line on powerplays. He tries to go end to end, but usually loses the puck because he should have passed it off. Even at even-strength, Raymond needs to realize there are other passing options besides the defensemen. He seems to forget he has linemates--it's a hoedown of one. Only Colin Mochrie can thrive in such circumstances.
  • This is PITB's 200th post, and we're feeling pretty good about it. We work hard on this stuff, and we'd like to thank everybody that's recognized and supported our efforts. You guys are awesome.


  1. Crosspost from CDC:

    Few thoughts on this game:

    1. Good to see Schneider play another great game. There is still no goalie controversy.

    2. Malhotra deserved those two goals. He's been excellent in most of the games that he's played for the Canucks.

    3. Great to see lines that make sense. Next game, KEEP THESE LINES!!!!

    4. Schaefer belongs on the fourth line. He's good there, along with Glass and Desbiens.

    5. I was kind of sad that Daniel wasn't going to get a point in this game. As soon as I saw the puck on Tambi's stick on a breakaway, though, I knew it would happen. Yay Daniel!

    6. Why couldn't we play like this in Minnesota?

    7. If I was a Wild fan, I'd be a Clutterbuck fan.

    Also, there's no such thing as a fan jinxing a shutout. The only way that this is possible is if a goalie jinxes it himself.

  2. And a follow up:

    I miss the BBC "Who's line" so damn much.

  3. Very true about Cal Clutterbuck. He's really great.

    Calgary has a few players like that: I want to hate, but really like a) Curtis Glencross and b) Rene Bourque.

  4. Clutterbuck and Bourque are the Burrows' of their respective teams.
    I love Burrows.

  5. "Not since Cheryl Blossom has a redhead so relentlessly challenged the status quo. "

    "Not sure why Zanon was so completely bamboozled. All Henrik does is spin. He's like Cobb's totem."


    This site is truly a pleasure to read. I legitimately look forward to your posts every time. Congrats on the 200th post! I look forward to 200+ more.

  6. One more thing...
    Is Erhoff/Edler the top defense pairing yet? To me, Bieksa/Parent is maybe the 2nd pairing... possibly the 3rd with Alberts and Rome playing as well as they are.

  7. Quick thoughts and responses:

    - Edler and Ehrhoff are definitely the top pairing. Just check the time-on-ice. Edler led the defence with 25:27, then Ehrhoff with 23:55, followed by Bieksa with 21:52, Rome with 17:48, and Alberts with 16:41. Parent played a minuscule 12:52, barely more than the fourth line.

    - Tony Gallagher reminds me of the Cryptkeeper, if the Cryptkeeper never smiled.

    - Completely agree about Tambo with the Sedins. For the first time all season, the Sedins were playing their possession game, dominating down low and cycling effectively. They've been able to put up points through the first six games, but they weren't controlling the game. Tonight, they were.

    - Secondary scoring, however, was the story. Love Hansen and Malhotra. Torres, on the other hand, needs to be slapped a few more times.

    - I've been trying to pay more attention to Edler on the ice because he so often flies under the radar. The little things he does are so fantastic. He had two big moments tonight, of course, with the lovely assist on Malhotra's first goal and the superb slide to interrupt a scoring chance defensively. It's enough to make me forget that he was responsible for the sole goal against in regulation last game...

    - I totally saw the dudehuggery. It was excellent.

  8. Also of note: Ehrhoff, despite not scoring a single point, was +5 on the night. Holy monkey.

  9. One last thing: Jose "Alvin Simon" Theodore's temporary new mask was amazing. He literally just taped over his old Washington mask and stuck a bunch of Minnesota Wild stickers all over it. Just incredible.

    Full story here.

  10. Hey, you guys shared your 200th post with the night of Raffi Torres 100th ever goal.

    nice, that equals 300, the lowest common denominator being 3 and as we all know, three is the magic number.

  11. I'll take my hat off to the defense, but I don't know if they were good enough to merit the removal of my hands.

  12. PITB is one of my first stops each day. Congrats on your 200th! Keep it up boys. There can be nothing but fame and fortune in the future for PITB.

  13. "Think he's a big enough loser to own (and, like me, cherish) a first pressing of Funk & Wagnalls Handbook of Synonyms, Antonyms, and Prepositions? We can only hope."

    As a grammar Nazi yourself, AV must drive you nuts with his "he had a real good game", "he played real solid". I don't think the use of an adverb would violate the guidelines of hockey vocabulary.

    And speaking of vocabulary, they should add a hockey player option to PITB comes out quite nice with the jive option.

  14. I think my favourite kind of typos are when you don't simply misspell a word. You spell a different word. For example, hats becomes hands. Why does this happen? Because we are all dying, that's why.

    Thanks for the heads up, Jason. Although I do think, if something is good enough, it would be really flattering if you removed your hands in honour of that thing.

  15. Little-known fact: In feudal Japan, it was considered a sign of respect to remove one's hand and give it to one's master, or just someone who deserved recognition. That's where we get the expression, "Hasn't he been just wonderful? Let's give him a hand."

  16. Great game...great post! One quibble: the "Frank the Tank" streaking formulation hardly registers on the "Miller Obscure Reference" scale. On the upside "Cheryl Blossom" scores an 8.3.

    BTW Malholtra-Torres-Hanson is easily the best Indo-Mexican-Danish third line in the entire NHL, perhaps in the history of hockey.

  17. Good point, B.O'B. Let me redo the line:

    If he continues to streak at such a high level, he should expect a call from


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