What started out as the third matchup of the season between the Vancouver Canucks and the Edmonton Oilers turned into yet another debate about a headshot.
Fortunately, this time it wasn’t those dirty rotten Canucks who perpetrated the act. It’s our turn to sit on the high horse!
So as we wait for another inconsistent NHL suspension announcement, why not crack a Canucks post-game #Sixpack to pass the time?
Final score: Canucks 3 – Oilers 2
- Luca Sbisa (2nd of the season) – Assisted by Chris Higgins and Nick Bonino
- Linden Vey (3rd of the season) – Assisted by Derek Dorsett and Tom Sestito
- Derek Dorsett SHG (1st of the season) – None
- Jordan Eberle (3rd of the season) – Assisted by Taylor Hall and Martin Marincin
- David Perron (1st of the season) – Assisted by Leon Draisaitl and Andrew Ference
1. Jannik Hansen on the Second Line
As if Willie Desjardins had never seen Jannik Hansen in a top-six role, it was a curious decision to place the Great Dane next to Nick Bonino and Chris Higgins in light of Alex Burrows’ recent suspension. Even more curious was Desjardins explanation for said move:
Desjardins on the options to replace Burrows on 2nd line: "For whatever reason, we went with Hansen".
— Blake Price (@BlakePriceTSN) November 2, 2014
It’s almost as if Desjardins reads Twitter (highly unlikely) because that pretty much sums up how most felt upon hearing Hansen was going to be the Burrows replacement. Hansen’s previous stints as a top-six forward have been underwhelming. And I am being very generous with that description because the term “disaster” would be perfectly appropriate. Although Jannik has always shown offensive promise, he admits to changing his game depending where he plays which has proven to be a horrible way to approach his promotions. Basically, he stops doing anything.
"Jannik Hannsen, great opportunity. Just couldn't find the net" #ifihadanickel
— Jason Botchford (@botchford) November 2, 2014
Tonight was no different. Other than a decent shot on a second period power play, Hansen was invisible all night except for a couple of giveaways in his own zone when the Oilers were pressing for the tying goal late in the third.
Willie Desjardins seems like a smart guy. I’m hoping that he can come to the conclusion that many before him seemed to ignore: Hansen isn’t a top-six winger!
2. Luca Sbisa’s Pizzeria
GET 'EM WHILE THEY'RE HOT! pic.twitter.com/70guHR6kHN
— Lachlan Macintosh (@Mack_n_Tosh) November 2, 2014
To the surprise of absolutely nobody, Sbisa’s inability to play defence effectively resulted in the Oiler’s first goal of the game. Here is what that looked like:
— Harman Dayal (@harmandayal2) October 27, 2014
But for all of Sbisa’s issues (and there are numerous issues), even his biggest critics have to admit he has been useful on the offensive side of the puck. With less than a minute left in the first period, a strong rush by Nick Bonino resulted in a loose puck in the slot that was fired by Sbisa past Ben Scrivens to tie the game up at one:
That was Sbisa’s second goal of the season and I didn’t realize the significance until I read the following tweet:
— Mike Stefanuk (@Mike_Stefanuk) November 2, 2014
I honestly don’t know whether to laugh or cry…
3. Two Minutes for an Illegal Check to the Head
Two minutes for an illegal check to the head (hilariously announced by the Rexall Arena PA guy) was the official penalty given to Andrew Ference for his headshot on Zack Kassian late in the second period. You’ll have to forgive Vancouver fans for having a rather harsh opinion about this particular play in light of the fact Alex Burrows was just suspended for three games for his own headshot.
Here’s a look at the hit from Ference:
Not only is Kassian’s head the initial point of contact, but it appears that Ference left his feet to make the hit count. The only thing that’s missing is the hit being considered late.
Again, it will be very interesting to see how the NHL’s Department of Player Safety handles this latest controversy. So far, they have been proven to be wildly inconsistent with their decision making, especially when it comes to decisions involving Vancouver. However, I don’t believe for a second that there is an anti-Canuck bias within the NHL’s head office. I legitimately believe that the Department of Player Safety has no idea what they are doing due to them having to consider every possible variable in their decisions.
For more on this subject, check out Rob the Hockey Guy’s take on the Burrow’s suspension which is pretty spot on in my opinion.
4. Two Minutes for an Illegal Check to the Head: Part II
There was a lot of ridiculous coming out of Edmonton after the Ference hit. First, you had the PA Announcer’s hesitance and pain to even announce that this was a penalty. Then you had the Oilers fans booing about the headshot, which is probably a result of them still being angry about Sam Gagner.
Best of all though was the Edmonton Oilers Twitter account with this gem:
BAM! @Ferknuckle flattens Kassian.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) November 2, 2014
I’ll let the Vancouver response speak for itself:
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) November 2, 2014
Kassian is fine by the way:
— Schneider's Teeth (@SchneidersTeeth) November 2, 2014
5. Tom Sestito and the Fourth Line
I really liked what Tom Sestito brought to the Canucks fourth line tonight. If he wasn’t hitting something Oilers-related, he was responsible and seemed to mesh well with Derek Dorsett and Linden Vey, who must have felt three feet taller with those linemates. Ultimately, Sestito is a very serviceable option for the Canucks as the season progresses.
However, the problem with Sestito is that in order to hang in Willie Desjardins’ system, you have to be able to play significant minutes. In tonight’s game, Sestito was given just over six minutes (6:25 to be precise) in ice time which is not nearly enough for Desjardins to run his lines the way he prefers. It’s possible that as the season moves forward, Sestito can gain more trust from the coach but with only two more games remaining in the Burrows suspension, that seems unlikely unless another Canuck goes down. Not to mention that Bo Horvat is probably on his way up to Vancouver which creates yet another obstacle for Sestito to overcome.
Just one third period shift for #Canucks Sestito. Bo Horvat, come on down…
— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) November 2, 2014
6. Tweet of the Game
Kipper is a meathead.. #vcbCanucks
— Mike Stefanuk (@Mike_Stefanuk) November 2, 2014
Mike’s streak of #Sixpack mentions continues with another strong outing.
Sbisa should be a forward #vcbcanucks
— Oscar (@KKanucks) November 2, 2014
And tonight’s winner:
Milk turns faster than Luca Sbisa, I swear #vcbCanucks
— Anna Forsyth (@aforsyth03) November 2, 2014