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I Watched This Game: Canucks 2, Panthers 1

And Henrik Sedin 1,000
IWTG Henrik 1000
IWTG Henrik 1000

It may have been hard to follow the play tonight, what with the beginning of the end of the world happening in real time. (According to my Twitter feed, a giant, angry cheeto has attacked the United States. Details to follow.) But don’t worry, I stayed focused and can fill you in.

This was a big matchup, some history was made, and I just couldn’t stop watching. Firstly, it involved the return to Vancouver of both Roberto Luongo and Jared McCann. Secondly, Henrik Sedin sat on the cusp of a major career marker, 1,000 points. Lastly, critically, this was literally the only giant-cheeto-free thing on television.

About those 1,000 points. I don’t want to spoil anything but allow me put it like this: everyone loves milestones, right? Unless we’re talking about the restaurant Milestones. I mean, they’re OK. Whoops… I’m just being informed by Daniel Wagner that Milestones is now the official sponsor of PITB*. ... Er, boy, I’ve heard their food is delicious and stuff.

I watched Henrik Sedin hit an historic and surprisingly tasty Milestone when I watched this game.

  • *Milestones is not actually a sponsor of PITB. But there’s nothing Will Graham finds tastier than a cheap gag. Other than referring to himself in the third person.
  • I hope you’re as nostalgic about the “Luuuu” chant as I am, because the first period was filled with them. After Sven Baertschi drew a penalty, Luongo was razor sharp stopping Brandon Sutter halfway through the first period. Also yes, Sutter continues to sit on the first unit of the least sharp thing Vancouver possesses, the power play. Sharp like a bowling ball in fact. To be fair, Sutter’s chance was the only real one of the man advantage.
  • Roberto Luongo was also aiming for a big career Milestone himself: win number 450. That total would have put him in pretty esteemed company, just four behind Curtis Joseph for fourth in NHL history, and a mere Carey Price’s entire career away from all-time leader, Martin Brodeur, who sits at 691.

    252 of Lu’s wins came during his career in Vancouver. It was so great to see him back in the big raindrop, even playing on the other side of the ice.
  • Speaking of the Panthers goalie, Roberto Luongo is flat out addicted to those “Luuus.” It’s a real problem. They had an intervention and everything, didn’t work. Now Thanksgiving dinner is really awkward. After a Henrik pass from behind the net flew straight to a perfectly positioned Loui Eriksson, Luongo slid across to make a more dramatic stop than Benedict Cumberbatch moonlighting as a traffic cop. The “Luuus” rained down as Luongo screamed, “All this does is get me to normal!”
  • Gosh. Bo Horvat nearly got hurt and we’re to blame. We’ve been making Nikita Tryamkin - Zdeno Chara comparisons all week, and the big defender listened. He went and slapped the puck Chara hard. Unfortunately, instead of the net, he hit Bo Horvat on the side of the helmet. I appreciate the enthusiasm, Nikita, but if you could go ahead and not murder the future captain that’d be greeeaaat. Fortunately, Horvat is constructed of 75% iron and 25% brawn, and he returned to start the second period none the worse for wear.
  • Early in the second frame, on a Vancouver penalty, Jonathan Marchessault fired a shot on net, Jared McCann received the fat rebound, and sent it to Jaromir Jagr, who made no mistake, firing his ninth goal of his 9,845th NHL season past Ryan Miller. McCann must have recently learned that in hockey, it’s best to go with the flow. And no one has better flow than Jagr.
  • Then it happened. In a perfect, fitting, vintage Sedinery moment, Daniel rushed up the ice and fed Henrik Sedin for the tying goal and his 1,000th point, a perfect little move through Roberto Luongo’s five hole. We’ve seen this play (literally now) a thousand times. The entire bench jumped onto the ice to congratulate Henrik for this milestone, triggering 17 consecutive penalties for too many men on the ice. Worth it! Henrik, from Daniel and Alex Edler, on Luongo. Feels good man.
  • After that, a bunch of indistinct stuff happened. I think there was a lot of cheering, and a touching tribute video. The was almost definitely a velociraptor on the ice. Hard to say, there were tears in my eyes. Because of dust. Here’s the video, beware of dust.

  • Also watch this.
  • Truthfully, despite Henrik’s historic tally, the Panthers owned the second period, peppering Vancouver with an astonishing 21 shots in the middle frame. Fortunate for Vancouver that Ryan Miller was outstanding once again. The chances that Vancouver did have seemed to all come from the Sedin twins. Both Daniel and Henrik had one of the best games of their careers, and each could’ve easily recorded a few more points if it weren’t for a certain netminder.
  • In the third period, Luca Sbisa put the Canucks up by a goal. After yet another Sedin rush, the puck trickled out to the pinching defender, who whipped it high past a confused Luongo. By rights, Henrik should have received an assist on this play, but the NHL is vehemently against numerical palindromes. The powers that be decided a career total of 1001 points simply wouldn’t do.
  • In the latter half of the third, the line of Alex Burrows, Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi, inspired by captain Hank’s impressive career totals, tried repeatedly to pad their own. The trio was flying, with numerous chances to boost Vancouver’s cushion, but Luongo was up to the task each time. Their deadliest chance was nullified when Baertschi made one pass too many. A missed opportunity or a brilliant homage? You tell me.

  • There must have been some point total trash talk between the twins. On a breakaway with 30 seconds remaining and an empty net, Daniel Sedin missed a wide open shot and hit the post. Looks like Henrik got in Daniel’s head worse than an earworm. I somehow find it comforting that a franchise player like Danny still gets hit by nerves. Anyway, that meant Vancouver won yet another tight one-goal game. They now sit just one point out of a wildcard spot.

    The missed goal didn’t matter, nobody cared. Henrik Sedin is the first ever player to record 1,000 points in a Vancouver uniform, he was the first star against the Panthers, and I think I speak for all of us when I say he is first in our hearts. Congrats, Henr1K!