Canucks 5 - 3 Maple Leafs
So Skeeter and I watched this game, and we can safely say the Canucks were uncharacteristically poor tonight. Thankfully, the Maple Leafs were characteristically poorer, and the Canucks skated away, as Kevin Bieksa would say, with a greasy road win. Greasy like a certain John Travolta musical. Greasy like Kyle Wellwood's favourite meals. Greasy like Luongo's hair.
- Speaking of Luongo's hair, it is attached to Roberto Luongo, who was stellar like a jay tonight. While some fans might disagree with this assessment because he let in 3 goals, consider that he made 29 saves, many of the genus remarkable. His best save of the night: the game. This one was good too.
- The Canucks really need to deal with their sloppy seconds. And sloppy firsts and thirds. They've been playing some sloppy hockey on this road trip, and it needs to stop before it becomes a trend. Twitterverse: don't start a hashtag. We don't want this to trend.
- The Maple Leafs deserved better tonight, but they made the debilitating mistake of jumping out to an early two-goal lead. As everyone knows, the two-goal lead is the worst lead in hockey, and invariably leads to a loss. Also a bad lede: The White Castle on East Fordham Road in the Bronx shimmered as if glazed."
- On Kadri's kovalchoke: bwa ha ha, choke. But seriously, folks, you've gotta feel bad for him. After all, he's property of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
- Post-game, Don Cherry went on his usual rant about defencemen getting their sticks in the way of shots. His example? Mason Raymond's goal. The replay? The defenceman's stick didn't touch the shot. As we said on twitter, Giguere came down with a sudden case of stigmata and Raymond shot it through the hole. It had nothing to do with the defenceman's stick, Grapes. You're wrong. This is not uncommon.
- Tonight's goat: Christian Ehrhoff. He was grotesquely goatesque--as goatlike as Stevie Nicks. The stat line claims that he only had one giveaway, and while we all know numbers don't lie, this number feels very untrue. He was an adventure in the defensive zone, and not a fun one, like Indiana Jones. A terrible one, like Young Indiana Jones.
- Ryan Kesler was given first star of the game honours tonight, and while we think that's maybe one spot too high (Luongo deserved first star), he was definitely the best forward on the ice. That's the second game in a row where we can say that. It's also the second game in a row where he's netted two goals. The important thing about this is that Kesler's best work is suddenly coming on the road, like Jack Kerouac.
- On faceoffs: after what appeared to be a poor first period in the faceoff circle, Henrik Sedin wound up being the Canucks' top drawman, winning 61%. The interesting stat is Ryan Kesler being 5-for-5 in the offensive zone. He was 4-for-4 in Ottawa. This is one of the reasons the second line has been clicking the last two games, and a large part of the reason he has four goals. That said, he was 0-for-5 in the neutral zone, and finished the game 10-for-19 overall.
- While we're still on the topic, we assume one of Mario Bliznak's primary responsibilities as a natural center would be to win draws. He won none. He was 0-for-4 in the circle. Mario, we award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
- On the theme of diving and poor officiating: we are incredibly biased, but it seemed to us like the Canucks did nothing wrong, and the Maple Leafs did everything wrong. Especially egregious was Phil Kessel getting hit in the midsection by a Henrik Sedin stick and reacting like he'd been stabbed in the face with a lightsaber. Between that, and the time he slid the puck into Manny Malhotra's legs during a line change, hoping for a too many men call (or too "Manny" men, amirite?), Phil Kessel is a massive feminine hygiene product.
- Daniel Sedin's goal tonight was his 11th of the season. He's on pace for 56 goals. If it wasn't for Steven Stamkos and his 1012 goal pace, this might be more impressive. But it's still impressive. I don't need to remind all you Bulies how out for blood Daniel Sedin is. But seriously, he's out for blood like the androgynous Eli of Let the Right One In.
- And finally, watching the Maple Leafs lose makes me happy. Skeeter: "It makes me happy too." So we're both happy.