It's amazing what a little rust can do to your game. I'm not talking about the Canucks, mind you -- they may have surrendered four goals, but I honestly thought most of them had pretty good nights. I'm talking about me.
I took the summer off, and man, am I feeling lost right now. For instance: I'm pretty sure the Canucks were outscored 4-0 and the game still ended in a tie. What's that even about? I did not understand this game. But I watched this game.
- Even with Eddie Lack mercifully moved across the continent, Ryan Miller's march toward fan favourite status remains an uphill climb. He's trying his best. He even missed a team bus a few days back to sign autographs. But Jacob Markstrom is Swedish, he was photographed with a pug, and he's not in goal every night, which means there will be fewer opportunities to get mad at him. And Miller probably didn't do himself any favours by surrendering a goal on the first shot against. Unless stopping that shot would have set off a butterfly effect that resulted in him having no milk tomorrow morning, in which case, yeah, he did himself a favour.
- The goal wasn't really Miller's fault, anyway. I'd point a finger at Andrey Pedan, who bobbled a puck at his blue line, then made very little effort to retrieve it. No matter, he told himself as the puck trickled away, Pedan will get it. WAIT. I'M PEDAN. But by then, the Sharks had the puck, and soon after, the net had it. I'd say it was a very Pedan-tic play, but that's not what pedantic means. I know what pedantic means and it means something else.
- Pedan did sort of atone for his error later on in the game, when he absolutely levelled some Sharks prospect. (Yes. Some Sharks prospect. I told you. I'm rusty.) It was a huge hit. Unfortunately, it wasn't the hugest hit of the night. That one goes to Yannick "Safari Hunter" Weber, who took down a zebra like a giant crocodile.
- The Canucks may not have scored a goal, but it wasn't for lack of effort. They outshot the Sharks 30 to 22, with Daniel Sedin registering a game-high seven shots. None of them went in, which was disappointing, but it's no surprise that the Sedins looked a little rusty. They're redheads, after all.
- I actually really liked Ronalds Kenins with them. I doubt it's a long-term option, but if he makes the team, it's clear the Latvian winger he won't look out of place on their line. Plus he adds a nice element of physicality. For the first period, at least, Kenins was hitting anything that moved: Sharks players; a U-haul truck; even Bing Bong's final scene in Inside Out.
- I'll tell you who I really blame this loss on: Chris Tanev. He wasn't there, so the Canucks lost. Chris Tanev is perfect. I heard he was born in a manger.
- I thought Jared McCann had a really nice outing. He had three shots on goal, six attempts, and really seemed to hold his own against some of the Sharks' top forwards. You could see his confidence building, too. The little toe drag he tried in the 3-on-3 overtime was impressive, and a sign that he really seems to believe in his ability. Keep it up, kid. Remember: it's Jared McCann, not Jared McCan't.
- One gets the sense that McCann might really push Linden Vey for that number four centre job. But Vey's no slouch, and he won't be easy to beat. He certainly wasn't Tuesday night in the faceoff circle, winning 9 of 15. That's a good sign for Vey, whose face off woes last season rivalled Gus Fring's.
- Finally, I've always loved how much Alex Burrows and Logan Couture despise each other. Couture got the better of Burrows on this night, goading the Canuck winger into taking a retaliation penalty. It wasn't a very composed moment for Burrows, but I get it. He really doesn't like Logan Couture. It's understandable. Couture looks like present-day Michael Cera, and nobody likes present-day Michael Cera.