The Superman Revenge Squad is a team of supervillains gathered together by Morgan Edge, a crime boss who, get this, wanted revenge on Superman. The team includes Maxima, Barrage, Riot, Misa, and Anomaly, none of whom you have ever heard of before. That should let you know what their chances were against Superman.
Tonight, in Calgary, the Canucks had their own version: the Calgary Revenge Squad. Hunter Shinkaruk, a Calgary native who was passed over twice by the Flames in his draft year, skated on a line with Blair Jones, a former Flame who spent more time in the AHL with the Abbotsford Heat, and Jake Virtanen, who plays for the Calgary Hitmen and has no real reason to hate the Flames, but ignore that.
Also in the lineup: Sven Baertschi, jilted former Flames prospect, Brandon Prust, who was traded away by the Flames not once, but twice, and Wacey Hamilton. Wacey has no connection to Calgary, but his name sure is fun to say.
Unfortunately, like the Superman Revenge Squad, the Calgary Revenge Squad was soundly defeated. Unlike the Superman Revenge Squad, it was in a game of hockey. I watched this game.
Canucks 1 - 4 Flames
Canucks 1 - 5 Flames (OT)
- The Canucks actually opened the scoring in this game, picking up their first regulation time goal of the pre-season. Unfortunately, it was on the power play, so they have yet to score an even-strength regulation goal, which means the season is already over and we better start reading draft previews.
- Jake Virtanen scored the opening goal with a snapshot that seemed to catch Jonas Hiller off guard with how quickly it came off his stick. With Brendan Gaunce screening in front, Virtanen launched the puck top corner with next-to-no backswing. It was the sickest release since Human Centipede 2 came out in theatres.
- Off the ensuing faceoff, Brandon Prust fought Blair Riley, because both players need to reaffirm their existence in a cruel and uncaring world. Sometimes, the only way you can prove to yourself that you still exist and can still feel something is to have another human being punch you in the face. It’s Fight Club, but with less pseudo-philosophy and more stick-tapping.
- Hilariously, that fight was the end of Riley’s night, as he drew enough attention to himself to make the Canucks check the lineup sheet and see that he wasn’t on it. The Flames forgot to put him on the lineup card, which meant he had to hit the showers. If he hadn’t fought, he might have made it a few more shifts before anyone noticed he wasn’t supposed to be there.
- The rest of the game was all Calgary, as they scored 4 unanswered goals in regulation, then tacked on another in the mandatory 3-on-3 overtime, meaning the Canucks managed to lose twice in five minutes. Thankfully, these losses matter less than a tweet from a protected Twitter account with no followers.
- The best Canuck skater was easily Hunter Shinkaruk, who had a team-high 4 shots on goal in under 11 minutes of ice time. He was noticeable whenever he was on the ice, which is why it was frustrating that he wasn’t on the ice more often. Only Carter Bancks had fewer shifts than Shinkaruk, and I just made that name up on the spot. He’s not even a real guy.
- The goaltenders, Richard Bachman and Jacob Markstrom, were mostly okay. Markstrom looks like an NHL goaltender, which is good, because he is one by default: the two sweetest words in the English language.
The Flames overtime gamewinner featured some extra-special defending by all three Canucks on the ice. As Kris Russell skated to the net, Linden Vey assumed Yannick Weber would take him, but Weber assumed that Derek Dorsett had him, while Dorsett didn’t seem to know where he was after getting shaken up tripping over Johnny Gaudreau. All three just backed away, giving Russell a breakaway off the cycle. It was a comedy of errors, except that comedies are usually funny.