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I Watched This Game: Canucks 4, Oilers 3 (SO)

With that, the Vancouver Canucks' 2015-16 season is over. Granted, it's been over for months now, but you know what I mean -- now it's officially over, and not a moment too soon. If anything, I'd argue that it was several moments too late.

With that, the Vancouver Canucks' 2015-16 season is over. Granted, it's been over for months now, but you know what I mean -- now it's officially over, and not a moment too soon. 

If anything, I'd argue that it was several moments too late. You'd be hard-pressed to find a fan of either team that was hoping for overtime in this one, let alone a shootout, and a lengthy shootout at that. For a while there, I thought the season was never going to end. But then it did, and for the last time this season, I watched this game.

  • I shouldn't complain about the shootout. Not when my team won, which means I like shootouts this week, and definitely not when it set the stage for what might have been Alex Burrows' final goal as a Canuck. (According to reports and rumours, the Canucks are seriously considering a buyout for Burr this offseason.) In a nice touch after a move that showed some very nice touch, Burrows busted out the classic archer's celebration he used to do in honour of the late Luc Bourdon. It was a really sweet moment. If he is truly gone, I'm gonna miss Alex Burrows -- right up until he bites his first Canuck.
  • Derek Dorsett opened the scoring in this game, and if wasn't clear at puck drop that you were watching two very bad teams play hockey, this goal probably drove the point home. After a won draw for the Oilers in their end, Adam Pardy took the puck behind his goal and then moved it ahead to Taylor Hall. But before Hall could accept the pass, he tripped trying to skate backwards like a 12-year-old, and the puck drifted to the blue line, where Matt Bartkowski snagged it and connected with Dorsett for the score. Dorsett kinda biffed the shot but, again, it's quite clear by now that you don't have to be at your best to beat the Oilers.
  • But the Canucks aren't very good either, so they allowed the Oilers to respond quicker than one of those bots you meet on Tinder that always tries to get you to leave the app for a video chat where you can be extorted. But I'll tell you what's harder to believe than those bots: Alex Biega's defending on this play. First, he loses sight of the puck. Then, when he spots it in the corner, he abandons his post to go after it. It's gone long before he arrives, but no matter -- he's still in the shooting lane, right until he inexplicably decides to curl out of the way. I don't know why. Sometimes, people think an aggressive curl makes sense for them.
  • The Canucks responded early in the third period, but I don't want to give the impression that these teams were trading goals. Really, they were trading defensive lapses. Emerson Etem got the 2-1 tally, and he probably wouldn't have if Jordan Eberle hadn't decided not to forgo checking him. Etem blew past the forward, taking a pass from Derek Dorsett and going under Cam Talbot's glove like the last out of the 1986 World Series.
  • After a Canucks' defensive lapse allowed the game to be tied at two, Vancouver capitalized on a bad change from the Oilers as Matt Bartkowski spotted Jannik Hansen camped out at the Edmonton blueline and hit him with a long pass. Hansen took it, accelerated like he'd just picked up a golden mushroom, then put one off the far post and past Talbot. It was close to a perfect shot, like the monkey selfie.
  • The Oilers responded once again. The Canucks didn't like it, and not just because they weren't confident they could score again -- they also felt Ryan Nugent-Hopkins interfered with Jacob Markstrom. They were wrong. The Nuge bumped Markstrom, sure, but just barely, and the shot came well after Markstrom had time to get over the shock of being lightly brushed by a skinny 22-year-old. Really, if he wasn't fanning himself while saying "I do declare", I'll bet he would have had it.
  • In the shootout, Willie Desjardins turned to several players he'd never tried before, which makes sense -- when else to give your young players a chance than in Game 82, when it's too late for it to matter? Etem got the winner, making a nifty move to the backhand before sliding the puck five-hole on Talbot. The best part of the goal: Etem's celebration. It looks like he wanted to celebrate hard, since he won the game, but right when he's about to, he remembers it's the last game of the season because his team didn't make the playoffs, so he just whispers woo to himself, like a kid at the club alone.
  • That's all for me tonight. This has been a weird season and I won't beat around the bush: I'm a fan and all, but I'm terribly glad this one's over. Frankly, I'm more excited to write about what looks to be a pretty busy offseason. But then again, why wouldn't I be excited about a summer where the Canucks will be drafting Auston Matthews, acquiring P.K. Subban in a trade, and signing Steven Stamkos. It's gonna be a great summer.