It was the Canucks’ fifth annual Hockey Talks day, when they help remove the stigma of mental health issues by discussing them publicly, encouraging people to talk to their friends and family if they are suffering from depression, anxiety, or any other mental health issue.
The ceremonial puck drop was conducted by four members of the UBC Thunderbirds, teammates of Laura Taylor, the Thunderbirds goaltender whose jersey was retired last month by UBC.Taylor was dealing with bipolar disorder and depression, something her teammates never knew until she committed suicide last year.
If you are struggling with a mental health issue or just want to know the signs and get some tools and resources, visit mindcheck.ca and talk to someone. You’re not alone.
I watched this game.
- It is truly astounding how terrible the Canucks were to start this game. The Canucks didn’t get a single shot on goal until 12:44 into the first period. That’s nearly 13 minutes of game action without a shot on goal. There were two commercial breaks before the first Canucks shot. When that shot finally came, it was from centre ice. And it went in. Hockey is dumb, you guys.
- Yep. The Canucks opened the scoring on their first shot of the game, an Alex Edler slapshot from centre ice that knuckled right past Brian Elliott, the same goaltender that allowed four goals on 13 shots in the Canucks’ last meeting with the Flames. Though the puck was rolling before the shot, it had settled flat by the time Edler hit it. All the same, it seemed to dip at least a foot, ducking under the glove like Muhammad Ali.
- The Canucks seemed to come alive after the goal, somehow ending up with more shots than the Flames by the end of the first. They should have been up by two goals, in fact, but a quick whistle robbed them of a goal. I’d be more upset about that, but the Canucks had a quick whistle save them a goal against in their last game. These things happen.
- Actually, I am going to be mad about it, because it robbed Bo Horvat of a goal, ending his goalscoring streak at three games and that’s a male cow’s tunic: bull-shirt. Brian Elliott initially robbed Horvat off the rush, but had no idea where the puck was, allowing Burrows to poke it across for Horvat to swat in. Frankly, the referee should have seen that Elliott was clueless and that the other players on the ice seemed to see the puck and waited until he was in a better position before blowing his whistle.
- Honestly, the few remaining pleasures of watching Canucks games at this point are Bo Horvat goals and Nikita Tryamkin shoving opponents to the ice like they were just hockey jerseys stuffed with straw. I mean, I guess I did see Horvat score, even if they didn’t count it, and Tryamkin later man-handled Troy Brouwer, with the added benefit that Brouwer is a former Blackhawk, so this was actually a pretty enjoyable game.
- After the botched call, the refs were quick to call a penalty on the Flames, nabbing Kris Versteeg for a borderline interference call, then tacking on an extra two when Versteeg did not go quietly into that good penalty box. Was it a makeup call? Does Lady Gaga have her cosmetologist on speed dial?
- Jayson Megna has incriminating photos of Willie Desjardins. Doing what, I don’t know, but it must be something really, really bad. How else do you explain how a 27-year-old with 19 career NHL points who never even played for the Medicine Hat Tigers is on the first power play unit?
- Maybe Megna has photos of a moustacheless Willie? Do those exist? I mean, he’s been boasting that lip caterpillar since his playing days with the University of Saskatchewan. I'm pretty sure he came out of the womb sporting a 'stache.
- You could argue that Megna's on that unit to replace fellow right-handed shot in Brandon Sutter, who recently suffered a wrist injury, apparently affecting his ability to shoot the puck. But then why wouldn’t Desjardins go with the right-handed shot that happens to be coming off a 20+ goal season? Seriously, what’s it going to take to get Jannik Hansen some freaking power play time?
- I nearly went into an incoherent rage when the Canucks later got a 5-on-3 power play and none other than Jayson Megna came out onto the ice. An ode extolling my self-control and restraint should be penned simply because I managed to avoid screaming at the television, waking up my sleeping children. The Canucks won the faceoff for the 5-on-3 and then didn’t get a single shot on goal. Heavens to motherloving Murgatroyd.
- I should correct myself slightly: it apparently takes a four-minute-long power play to get Hansen some freaking power play time. He got on the ice for the final 33 seconds of Versteeg’s penalties and got the Canucks’ best scoring chance on a backdoor play, but Elliott lunged across with his right pad to stone him like an ox that has gored someone to death.
- The Flames ended up with two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in this game, which has always been the funniest penalty to me. Look at the way you have been conducting yourself! You are no sportsman! Begone from my sight for two minutes!
- With a one-goal lead, the Canucks basically turned off any thoughts of offense in the third period. Unfortunately, they also turned off any thoughts of defense as well, getting out-shot 18-2. Fortunately for the Canucks, Ryan Miller was kicking out pucks like MC5 kicks out the jams.
- Henrik Sedin got called for a phantom hooking call with just over two minutes left. Like cars before the invention of the automatic transmission, it was all stick. The Flames didn’t score on their power play, but Mark Giordano tied the game up seconds later, sending an unexpected wrist shot past Ryan Miller, who never saw it. Alex Edler skated right through Miller’s field of vision as Giordano shot and the puck went just inside the far post.
- How can I hate Giordano’s goal? It gave us one of the things I love more than Horvat goals and Tryamkin takedowns: a Chris Tanev overtime gamewinner. Tanev has just 15 career goals; five of them are gamewinners and three of them are overtime gamewinners. If Tanev’s goal song wasn’t already boss as hell (DMX - “Party Up”) then I would definitely campaign for him to change it to DJ Khaled - “All I Do Is Win”.
- Tanev’s goal was a beauty, jumping up on the rush with Daniel Sedin, who feathered the most pillowy-soft pass just out of reach of the back-checking Michael Frolik and perfectly set up for Tanev to rip it past Elliott with more authority than you would have thought he was capable of. Or “more authority than of which you thought he was capable” if you’re a grammar prescriptivist who hates natural sounding sentences.
- I would just like to point out that the result of this game — a game in which the only goal the Canucks scored in regulation was a fluke from centre ice — is one of the games that Jim Benning thinks is essential for evaluating where the Canucks are at heading into the trade deadline. But they won, so they’re in the playoff hunt! Better not make any trades!