The Canucks continued their road trip into Dallas, land of the broken clavicles, as they looked to take out the Benn and Seguin Express. While they fell just short of winning, they did manage a mini miracle of sorts: they didn’t lose in overtime. Yes, they waited until the shootout to do that.
Still, it wasn’t all bad, so let’s break this one down, shall we?
1. Jamie Benn Punches Pucks?
I’m not a huge believer in the grand conspiracy against the Canucks. I don’t feel like the NHL is actively sending out sleeper agents to make sure Vancouver fans live miserable lives and never get to experience happiness. Except for maybe the 1994 Finals.
However, the NHL does calls things inconsistently at times, and it sure feels like the Canucks end up on the wrong side of the decision when it comes to scoring with body parts. Jannik Hansen discovered this when his goal was disallowed a couple of games back, due to a kicking motion.
So imagine my surprise when the NHL didn’t even bother to check this goal out:
Eagle eye Jesse Gonzales found a better angle, and there was no punching. Oh, the glorious jokes I had written, all gone by the wayside.
That goal was “weird as ****” as they say.
— ST💩RS (@jgonzales35) November 28, 2015
Thanks for the update Jesse!
2. Hansen Truth Bombs
Hansen being honest in an intermission interview– Does he not know how this works?
— MR.RM Hastings (@theMattHastings) November 28, 2015
The Sedins are such a well oiled machine when it comes to PR spin, we’re almost too used to the cliche ridden interviews. The Canucks could lose 29-1 and the Sedins would pump the tires of that first goal.
“You know, 29 more goals and we win this thing, it’s not that bad.”
That’s what made this 2nd period intermission interview with Hansen such a delight:
It’s glorious. Hansen doesn’t even give Dan Murphy time to finish his question before he lets out a derisive scoff. He openly admits their PK is awful. No, “we just have to stick to the system”. Instead, just an up front admission that he knows the PK is playing like garbage.
The Stars went 2-for-5 on the power play on the night, and the Canucks sit in the bottom 10 of the league in penalty killing. That is not good, and it’s actually quite refreshing to hear a player talk honestly about a shortcoming in their team game.
The Canucks went on to kill off a power play in overtime, perhaps spurred onward by the fear of being called out by Hansen in the next interview.
“Well remember that Dallas game Murph? We lost it because Hamhuis was trash on the penalty kill.”
Rule by fear, Hansen. Rule by fear.
Also, these two saves helped in OT, but Miller was probably scared of Hansen Truth Bombs as well.
3. The Sedins Are Glorious Unicorns
The Canucks power play was well on its way to another horrible game. They were 0-for-6 in the game, and heading to one last hurrah, a five on three power play, late in the game.
Up until that point, the power play was stuck on the perimeter, producing little in the way of dangerous chances. It felt like any time they got a point shot off, nobody was in front of the net. It was like watching five construction workers working the “Stop” and “Slow” signs on a slow street.
Now to be fair, the Sedins powered the majority of the awful power play. But then THIS happened:
For all of the over passing the Sedins can do, when it works, its glorious. I don’t even know how Daniel thinks that’s a good spot to pass, much less knows how Henrik is there to receive said pass. Yet that is the type of play they’ve been doing their whole careers, which is why this team lives and dies by them this year.
I think everyone pretty much accepted the fact that if the playoffs were in the Canucks future this year, the Sedins would have to play a big part. What I don’t think people expected were the Sedins to be dragging them to wins at such a high rate. Daniel Sedin is fourth in league scoring right now with 25 points. Hank is right behind him with 22 points.
Yes, it’s early in the season, but sit back and enjoy what the Twins are doing right now while it lasts.
4. Blooper Reel
The Canucks are an average team, which means mistakes that are often overlooked on good teams that win the majority of their games, are scrutinized to hell and back on teams like Vancouver.
Most of the Canucks defence has felt the sweet burn of angry fans this year over mistakes. Luca Sbisa. Or Alex Edler. Or Dan Hamhuis. Or Bartkowski. Or Weber. I think only Tanev is immune to criticism, unless you’re talking about his point shot.
Take tonight for instance. Want an Edler giveaway straight up the middle?
What about Bartkowski getting turned by Spezza?
What about Sbisa missing Spezza?
Back in the 2011 days, the Canucks never had a standout defence. What they had was a perfect compliment of guys who all brought skill-sets to the team. The Canucks currently are trying to make it with a group of guys that doesn’t necessarily compliment all the holes in each others games.
This is why when you play a top team like Dallas, fire alarm defensive situations are going to happen, sometimes a lot. It might not make it any easier to watch, but it’s important to remember that average teams equals streaky play at times. Keep that in mind so you don’t keep reaching for the alcohol this year.
5. Jared McCann
Of all the young guys this year, Jared McCann has been my favourite to watch. And it’s not just the nice shot and all the goals. It’s the way he always seems to know where the puck is, and that he rarely gives up on a play.
If he loses the puck, instead of doing the “Higgins Woeful Turn of Sadness” (the long, looping turn before heading back into the play), he’s practically running across the ice, attempting to get the puck back.
He also looks like he is starting to feel more and more comfortable on the ice. Tonight, he spent 20 seconds chirping Jamie Benn, refusing to be pushed around.
I had to speed that clip up, just to get all 20 seconds in.
Jared McCann doesn’t care who Jamie Benn is. He is not intimidated by Jamie Benn. Jared McCann just wants two things: a Stanley Cup, and a nice cold one as he rides his steed into battle (I’m guessing here).
McCann is like a less divey, more noble version of Kesler right now.
Speaking of Kesler, this happened tonight:
Kesler is such a rat puke. https://t.co/zbfWiHuovb
— Chief (@BarstoolChief) November 27, 2015
Look at Mr. Tough Guy Ryan Kesler wait for the refs to show up before he drops his gloves h https://t.co/tinQ9IeVj5
— 🎁⛄ Happy HoliToews ❄🎅 (@19JToews) November 27, 2015
The doctors hope they can re-attach Kesler’s leg. Ah, memories.
Hell, even CM Punk is starting to cut promos on Kesler’s play:
— Coach (@CMPunk) November 27, 2015
Kesler had a glorious run in Vancouver, highlighted by that 2011 series against Nashville, but it is amusing to see his antics from a different angle in Anaheim.
6. Willie Gonna Willie
Higgins instead of McCann… Willie reverts to age over goals.
— Omar A (@omarcanuck) November 28, 2015
The SixPack boss took the night off, but he made sure to get in here anyhow.
Now, when it goes to a shootout, sometimes it’s unfair to complain about the choices the coaches make for the shooters.
After all, it is a small sample size you’re dealing with, so one failed shot doesn’t always mean the coach was wrong.
Higgins, for example, was 60% in shootouts last year. 25% the year before. 66.6% the year before that. So it’s not insane to put him out there. I just think Higgins, visually, does not give off a good vibe this year. In 2011, and the start of 2012, Higgins worked the boards like no other. He looked like he was constantly busting his ass on the ice, and at one point in 2012, he honestly had a stretch of play where he was the Canucks’ best player.
But now? He just kind of exists. It’s like he went back in time and potentially screwed things up by preventing his mom and dad from dating, and now he’s starting to disappear.
We know he has a good skill-set, he can make good passes, and he’ll get his goals, but his play seems very flat right now. So he’s an easy target to point out of the lineup and go “That guy, that’s the guy that crushed my dreams.”
Then you have Daniel Sedin. Daniel Sedin has been awful in the shootouts in his career, yet people were wondering if he should have gone tonight, because he’s been on fire lately.
Goalies aren’t voodoo, shootouts are voodoo.
The reason I wanted to see McCaan in the shootout (and why others do too) is because he’s got a great shot, and because he is a big piece of this teams future. Why not put him in pressure situations and see how he does? He earned his way to the NHL, so why not let him have a chance to learn on the job in the shootout? You don’t need to limit ice time in a shootout.
Worst case scenario, he doesn’t score, and we all go back to venting about Sbisa. Best case, he scores, and gets some great experience under his belt.
Comment of the Night:
Hamhuis looking more like Dana Murzyn every game.
— SHAP DADDY (@SHAP4LIFE) November 28, 2015
Too far. Too far.
Look how close he came to winning the game in OT!