On Friday, Henrik Sedin was asked about the importance of the home opener against Edmonton.
“Tomorrows a big game for us,” he said. “We have six days off after that, so if we can get a win tomorrow and get a good feeling in this dressing room it’s going to help us big time.”
Well it wasn’t easy. The Canucks had to come back from being down 2-0 in the first, but mission accomplished. They beat the Oilers 5-4 in the shootout. And if you missed it, you missed a hell of a game.
1. Practicing the shootout??
On Friday, the Canucks practiced the shootout. Sure, this is normal for many teams, but for the Canucks… not so much.
David Ebner of the Globe and Mail wrote this article last year on John Tortorella’s opinion of the shootout. Quick summary from Torts:
“You cannot simulate the shootout in practice, no matter how you do it – so write your story.”
Desjardins feels differently:
“Shootouts play a big part. Those points are real important at the end of the year. I think that’s an area where we need to get better, so we’ve devised a plan to help us get better on that route. Time will tell if it does.”
Radim Vrbata on practicing the shootout:
“It’s always good to practice it and work on some stuff. It helps… Practice is good for working on the fundamentals and the speed and your moves but during the game you have 20,000 people there and all the pressure and it’s different, but it’s good to work on it for sure.
“The key is to have your one or two go to moves, but you have to read off the goalie.”
Well, the Canucks didn’t exactly score a ton in the shootout – both Vrbata and Nick Bonino missed – but Chris Higgins scored and Ryan Miller saved all three attempts on him… so the practice helped.
2. The twins are back
Jim Benning, interviewed by Canucks media man Joey Kenward on Friday, said:
“Having a chance to watch Daniel and Henrik play on a night-to-night basis is a special treat.”
I don’t know if he means a special treat like ice cream or a special treat like a glass of the finest wine, but on Saturday, it was both.
Daniel had three assists, Henrik had a goal and an assist and Vrbata, taking advantage of his re-energized linemates went one and one as well.
3. The supporting cast
Kenward also asked Benning what he’s noticed about the team since becoming the GM.
“The core group, their character is excellent and they’re hardworking guys, but I wanted to try to surround these guys with players that are going to help them get to where they want to get to.”
Benning added Vrbata, who now has two goals in two games, and Linden Vey, who scored the Canucks’ fourth and game-tying goal on Saturday – also his first NHL goal – to the team in the offseason.
When Benning was hired, there was a ton of talk about his scouting abilities. If the early returns out of Benning and Vrbata are sustainable, he’s not a good scout, he’s amazing.
4. Burrows’ passion
Willie Desjardins was asked about Alex Burrows at his post-practice presser Friday.
“I love his passion. I didn’t know he was that passionate.”
You mean the Dragonslayer, Willie? You didn’t know? We did.
Anyway, Burr had the best assist of the night Saturday with his heavily-debated hand pass on Nick Bonino’s goal. Here it is:
Don’t think a hand-pass should be a goal? Blake Price has the explanation for you:
Upon review, rule 67.1 is pretty clear the puck needs to be "deliberately" batted to a teammate, and Burrows was trying to get it to himself
— Blake Price (@blakeprice1040) October 12, 2014
5. Vey’s first goal
Linden Vey scored his first goal as a Canuck!!
6. Tweet of the game
As mentioned last game, we have a new feature in this year’s post-game SixPacks – the Tweet of the Game.
The winning tweet’s writer will receive a gift certificate for use at the Charles Bar, or any other Blueprint location.
First, there were a bunch of great “dry scrape” jokes (about the new ice-cleaning procedure at the end of regulation time). None better than this:
“Dry Scrape” is the least popular gynecologist procedure.
— Daniel Wagner (@ADanielWagner) October 12, 2014
Second, I told this person his tweet went too far. In retrospect, it was really funny and is the runner up.
— Mike S.™ (@Mike_Stefanuk) October 12, 2014
And the winner:
We won a shootout!! Change IS here!
— Harry Nijjar (@harry1619) October 12, 2014
Congrats, Harry. Tweet me for details on how to collect your prize.
Note: thanks to @myregularface for providing .gifs of the goals.