And with that, the Vancouver Canucks have played their last game against the Columbus Blue Jackets as Western Conference rivals.
Judging by the quality of last night’s game, thank god.
When is hockey not hockey? When two low-scoring teams riding hot goalies converge in a contest that saw so little action it became an exercise in existentialism.
Let’s see if I can remember six specific instances from this game.
We start with the play of Cory Schneider, who continued his hot streak with another shutout that wasn’t a whole lot of work, but the margin of error in this game was razor-thin.
Cory was perfect through three periods, overtime and the shootout. He’s on easily his best streak of the year and giving a preview of the zone he could get in during playoff time.
2. Go Columbus?
You have to feel for the Blue Jackets, who have handled the departure of franchise player Rick Nash by dominating March and offering some hope in what has traditionally been a sad-sack team. Between the assets acquired for Nash and the dominating play of Sergei Bobrovosky, could thing finally be looking up for Columbus?
3. Maxim power
Not only was Maxim Lapierre‘s shootout winner a beautiful move, it was the only goal in the game, so there’s that. It also thankfully negated the possibility of an endless shootout with no goals.
By mercifully ending this game, Lapierre deserves a medal.
1. Did I mention it was boring?
The second period of this game was Bermuda Triangle-esque. It sucked you in as time passed with absolutely nothing happening. Seriously, by the 15 minute mark of the second period, I couldn’t think of a single event I had just witnessed. Bring back the lockout!
2. Also, let’s call penalties
For some reason, the refs threw their whistles away for this game, allowing Columbus to turn this into a mud fight akin to a playoff game before the lockout. Without the playoff-esque pressure, it was just a horrible, horrible game.
3. Oh, and score goals
Despite the close score, the Canucks significantly out-chanced the Jackets. Yet, their lack of conversion almost came back to haunt them.
Goal scoring forwards need to be the focus of next week’s deadline.