What a night to be alive!
The the youth was putting on a show, there were plenty of goals mixed in with some violence, and the good guys won 5 to 3! It actually resembled a hockey game out there. For a city that has had to watch eighteen different ways to chip the puck off the glass and out while being hemmed in your own zone, this was a welcome change of pace.
Of course, playing the Senators had a lot to do with that. When you combine two teams whose belief in defence is as shaky as Dr. Wu’s DNA science, you’re going to have a lot more open room, and a lot more time to pull off some slick moves.
You give enough time and space and all of a sudden Bartkowski and Etem are going to start having two goal games.
While I realize that does undercut the teams performance a bit tonight, it at least is something to strive for in future games against tougher opponents. Let’s hope games like this help fuel the younger players, and allow them to gain some confidence to try and perform offensively like this in tighter checking games.
While we all await the inevitable slide out of a top five draft pick, at least have the games be as entertaining as this one. Deal? Deal.
So what happened in the game? Put on your Bartkowski jersey and let’s go for a ride!
1. Wolf of Robson Street
VAN has let other 29 teams know they are open for business on: Vey, Bartkowski, Kenins, Cracknell, Higgins, Prust and Weber.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 24, 2016
When Bob McKenzie let the world know that the Furious Seven were available, it was met with a soft gentle fart.
It’s like letting your buddy know he can borrow your bike that has no working brakes and a flat tire, anytime he wants. It just felt like something that was a given.
The value for those players probably tops out at a mid round draft pick at best, unless GMs enter the trade deadline more drunk than usual.
So while it might amount to nothing more than the courtesy of letting other teams know you’re having a yard sale, it does make it fun for those of us at home, watching said players. All of a sudden their value on the trade market becomes something we want to track. A guy has a bad game? Better give him some more O-zone starts. Bart gets two goals? Hell, put him in bubble wrap and stick him in the basement until you get a hit on Craigslist.
This deadline is gearing up to be an extremely interesting one, due to the fact there hasn’t been a fire sale in Vancouver in many years. With a GM who drops draft picks like they’re pennies in a pond (and to be fair he is at least using those draft picks on rolls of the dice on other youngish players), many in Vancouver want to see Jim Benning and his vaunted scouting prowess on full display at the draft. With as many draft picks as possible.
So that means sell. Sell sell sell. Always be closing. If you can pump up a players value by giving him good offensive zone starts, now is the time to do it. Cody Hodgson the crap out of the Furious Seven.
Bang Bang Bart had what was probably his best game in Vancouver. He got two goals and an assist, and he came out +6 in Corsi at evens (despite a low zone start of 33%), and the few horrible mistakes he made in his own end (as is tradition) were handled beautifully by Dan Hamhuis.
So to recap, not only did Bang Bang possibly turn him into a deadline asset for GMs with no access to video archives, it also made Hamhuis look good as well. Win win!
2. New Kid on the Block
Emerson Etem opens the scoring. Vey throws the puck at the net. Granlund didn't touch the puck in front. But he was there, at least.
— Cam Tucker (@CamTucker_Sport) February 26, 2016
If there is one thing we’ve learned in Vancouver, it’s to not judge a player based on one game.
Hey Steve Bernier.
But, it’s still fun to watch a player do pretty well in their debut, no matter what the circumstances.
Granlund had a solid offensive game. He made some shifty passes that showed that vaunted “hockey IQ” all analytic fellas love.
He got himself free for a breakaway and almost got a goal:
Some people suggested Granlund’s skating was an issue, and then people used this breakaway to shove that concern aside. To me, that breakaway is caused by Granlund being shifty, and protecting the puck really well, so the jury is still out on speed.
However, it does show offensive skill to grab that puck and generate a breakaway between two players, so you have to be happy about that. In the West, where space is so limited, protecting the puck can be just a vital a skill as speed is.
Defensively, it was a different story. I know not everyone loves to eat their Corsi for breakfast, but he was a team worst at -11 at evens. His line (Vey and Etem) overall was the team worst in their own end on the night.
Though as we stated at the start of this section, sample size. Who knows how he will turn out. All we know is in a defensively loose game, he did some good things in the offensive zone, and not some not so good stuff in his own zone.
However, in a season devoid of fun hockey, it was refreshing to see Vey Granlund and Etem throw caution to the wind and just try and blitz the net all game long. Canucks ended up with the win, so their “screw defence” strategy worked for one game at least.
3. Goal Songs
I appreciate Etem's complete mockery of the goal songs – going with Come Fly With Me.
— Omar A (@omarcanuck) February 26, 2016
For whatever reason goal songs were all the rage on the night (maybe because it’s not often five goals are scored at Rogers Arena).
Things got started when Etem scored and Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly With Me” roared through Rogers Arena, which was on oddly subdued choice of song for a goal song.
Now, music is subjective. Anytime you start talking about music, however, suddenly it becomes a contest of how objective your tastes are. It’s as if “Sure, musical taste varies from person to person, but if we’re being honest with each other, I have the scientific proof that shows my love of screamo songs is correct.”
So my thoughts on goal songs are just that, thoughts. I’m not right, nor am I wrong.
With that being said, I no longer like the individual goal songs. I championed their cause for years thinking they would be a great way to add personality to the game. In the old days, players wore no helmets, and you would see different haircuts flowing through the wind. It was neat and added an element of personality to each individual player. With that gone, maybe a cool goal song could take its place.
Pros of individual goal songs:
- Adds personality
- Becomes a fun game of “I wonder what that guy chose for his song”
- Possibly helps you like a player more based on his song
- Keeps things fresh by having variety
- Player choosing a song that doesn’t create energy in the crowd
- Country songs
- Don’t have that iconic goal song for a period of time in a hockey clubs history. When you hear Holiday, you remember that period of time in Canuck history.
- Country songs
- Country songs
The main thing for me in regards to the songs is the iconic goal song representing a period of time in Canucks history. That’s my favorite part about a goal song, so that is my only argument I will make about ditching individual goal songs.
Though if you’re a fan of individual goal songs, and you’ve seen Ben Hutton’s dance moves, the Canucks DJ has promised there could be a mind blowing goal song on the horizon…
@TheStanchion Ben Hutton's is my favourite. Figures he hasn't scored.
— (((jay swing))) (@JaySwing) February 26, 2016
4. Pros of a Losing Season
Watching your team lose is never fun. Sure, you can console yourself in a good draft pick, and there are legit reasons to view a higher draft pick as being almost vital for the Canucks making a better rebuild.
But watching a losing team is boring. It tires you out and makes you cranky.
That being said, the one silver lining I have for the rest of the season is I no longer have to get mad at Derek Dorsett.
Dorsett takes a stupid penalty for no reason? Sounds good.
Dorsett getting made and getting in a scrum for some perceived slight (“He said Henrik smells of lemons!”)? Go for it.
Dorsett missing a goal?
That’s ok, he tried.
Dorsett being run over by Phaneuf?
Hey, these things happen in hockey.
It’s kind of a relief to not have to get frustrated over plays like that any longer.
5. Squad Goals
Horvat, Virtanen, McCann, Hutton, and Baertschi comprise One Direction, a collection of young rascals who make the ladies swoon.
— Wyatt Arndt (@TheStanchion) February 26, 2016
Tell me that isn’t straight out of a boy bands dance playbook.
Tonight was a great night to watch them, because instead of seeing them hampered by playoff bound teams, it was like a game of pick up hockey after school.
As the game wore on, One Direction got stronger and stronger. Sure, things looked a bit shaky when Baertschi forgot what a back check was on the PP:
And it got even shakier when Stone almost scored shorthanded again:
But then they started coming on strong late in the game. All of a sudden there was speed and skill on display, and dare I say it, hope for the future was shining brightly in Rogers Arena.
McCann, Horvat, and Virtanen teaming up for a goal?
Virtanen absolutely erasing Bobby Ryan, so nonchalantly it’s as if he didn’t even feel him?
As stated earlier, it was just a fun game to watch. Sure, you might not want to draw a ton of conclusions from this game, but it was certainly nice to see the young guys step up and put a team away like they did tonight. It’s the sort of game that will draw people back towards watching the team.
6. Checking in with old friends
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) February 26, 2016
It’s good to see Kassian making a comeback in the NHL. That is the kind of goal a young Emerson Etem would score.
It is a bit sad we no longer get to play the “We won the trade” game, though.
The Canucks won that trade though, right?