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I Watched This Game: Canucks 3, Canadiens 4 (OT)

Canucks at Canadiens, November 16, 2015
I Watched This Game
I Watched This Game

Of course.

I watched this game.

  • This game looked like it would go very differently, with the Canucks jumping out to a quick lead. The forechecking Chris Higgins read Jeff Petry like a children’s book -- very easily -- and picked off his pass, sending the puck back to Matt Bartkowski at the point. The Bartman’s point shot rebounded to Derek Dorsett, who swatted the puck across the crease to Adam Cracknell. The Crackman quickly went forehand-backhand to tuck the puck in the open net, then quickly skated over to Bartkowski and told him to stop calling him “The Crackman.” Seriously, that guy gives out the worst nicknames.
  • Daniel Sedin took a nasty high stick from Brendan Gallagher in the first period, causing his nose to explode with blood like he was in a Quentin Tarantino movie. The word “class” gets overused, but I thought it was pretty classy of the Canadiens’ fans in attendance to give Daniel a respectful cheer when he got to his feet and skated off the ice.
  • Daniel didn’t miss a shift because he’s a friggin’ boss.
  • During a first period power play, Henrik Sedin got belted to the ice by Tom Gilbert late in his shift, preventing Henrik from getting off the ice. It was the worst thing the Canadiens’ penalty kill could have done, as Henrik took advantage of the extra ice time, setting up Jared McCann for his first career power play goal and his team-leading 6th goal of the season.
  • McCann didn’t hold the sole lead in goals for long, as Daniel Sedin, who was out for more blood than usual having lost so much out of his nose, gave the Canucks a 3-0 lead a few minutes into the second period with a slap shot on the power play, though only the Sedins seemed to be aware that the puck went in the net at all. It raised a philosophical question: if the puck is in the net and no one saw it go in, does it make a sound? Because apart from John and John talking, it was completely silent after that goal.
  • The rest of this game played out predictably, based on how this season, and particularly this road trip, has gone. It started, of course, with a shorthanded goal for the Canadiens, though at least the Canucks’ power play finished with a positive goal differential, outscoring the Canadiens 2-1. Congratulations, Canucks, you have cleared the lowest of bars.
  • Since it’s the Canucks, there also had to be a goal with some mild controversy, as it appeared that Chris Tanev was taken down behind the net with no penalty before the Canadiens’ second goal. It looked to me like Tanev simply lost an edge, but since Tanev never does anything wrong, my eyes must have been deceiving me and the refs were paid off by the Montreal mafia. It’s the only possible explanation!
  • I am stupidly happy that Dale Weise is a fan-favourite in Montreal. He was shifty as hell in this game and was legitimately a handful to deal with in the offensive zone. He even played nearly three-and-a-half minutes on the power play and the Canadiens out-shot the Canucks 11-3 in all situations when he was on the ice. I’m not even mad. Seriously, good for him.
  • Hunter Shinkaruk had an uneventful NHL debut in this game, playing limited minutes on the fourth line. Not that limited, mind you. He still played two minutes more than Sven Baertschi. Here’s the issue: if you’re going to use Bo Horvat as a predominantly defensive centre, and the Canucks need to do that with Henrik Sedin, Jared McCann, and Adam Cracknell as their other centres, you can’t have Baertschi and Jake Virtanen on his wings. Inevitably Horvat will get shifts with other, more defensively responsible wingers and Baertschi and Virtanen will find their way to the bench.
  • Jacob Markstrom was solid for the most part, making several stellar saves on great scoring chances. Unfortunately, for the least part, he wasn’t solid at all. He was more gelatinous on the Canadiens’ tying goal, as Tomas Fleischmann’s shot oozed right through him.
  • 3-on-3 overtime remains the worst and I hate it. And the Canucks still have the Crap Mantle! Crap!