Still, the team has been winning and for the first 30 years of this franchise, they weren’t doing that. But in the past ten years or so, the team has made winning with style their signature.
Now they just win in shootouts. I don’t want to sound like the kid at Christmas who only got a PS3 but didn’t get any cool games, but waaaaah. #1stplaceproblems
It doesn’t get much better this month with another date against Phoenix and games against Colorado, New Jersey, Edmonton, Nashville, and Dallas.
I promise that today’s Love ‘Em/Hate ‘Em will be more entertaining than those games. Onto the Phoenix Coyotes vs. Canucks recap from last night.
1. Thank You Booth God
If it wasn’t for David Booth, we’d all be in suicide booths after the game. The Canucks only goal came after Booth jumped on a Keith Yandle turnover and drove to the net with one goal on his mind: a goal.
Not to be outdone, Booth was equally as magnificent in the shootout, scoring a beauty deke to help the Canucks secure the extra point.
Intriguingly, Booth still believes he has an extra gear to his game as he slowly revs up faster since returning from injury, and it is true that he was on the verge of something special before being felled by Kevin Porter.
Also of importance is that David Booth seems like the type of player who can create offence against the grain, something very important for a team that hasn’t been able to do so recently.
2. The Ballad of Bieksa Part 1
Kevin Bieksa did his best to entertain the crowd in the final minutes of the third by flipping the puck over his back and trying to catch it. He didn’t succeed, but he did manage to get groped by linesman Mark Wheeler allowing the two Johns, or Kermit & Fozzy if you prefer, to go on a little Valentine’s Day riff.
As John Shorthouse alluded to at the beginning of the clip, it was (sadly) one of the highlights of the game.
3. The Ballad of Bieksa Part 2
In another attempt to salvage some entertainment from the game, Kevin Bieksa dropped the gloves with Rusty Klesla at the end of overtime. The refs quickly broke it up but the players still managed a few more jabs before Bieksa could clearly be seen mouthing “next time”.
Oh god, there will be a next time these two teams meet, won’t there…
As has been the theme of this article, this game was boring. The Canucks managed just four shots in the third and didn’t fare much better through the rest of the game yet probably still controlled the play if controlling the play was a thing that actually happened in this game.
It was the perfect storm.
Take one struggling team that still has enough talent not to lose during a slump, add the traditional first game back home trap game, and blend with a defensively-minded team like Phoenix. Congratulations, you’ve invented the hockey equivalent of Ny-Quil.
I had visions of the shootout lasting 17 rounds with no one scoring.
2. Can’t Handle Yandle
It looked as though the Canucks would limp towards a 1-0 victory until Keith Yandle surprised everyone, most of all Roberto Luongo, by taking advantage of a Byron Bitz turnover and somehow turning it into a goal from the point.
The collective groan from Rogers Arena was intense but wasn’t directed at Yandle or Luongo or even Bitz.
It was a groan of realization that this game was getting overtime and, given the run of play, a shootout. Sweet glorious freedom was so close.
3. He Ain’t Pretty No More
In the second period, Aaron Rome caught former Canuck Taylor Pyatt with a crunching hit along the boards that seemed to put a heavy glaze into Pyatt’s beautiful, beautiful eyes, forcing him out of the game with an “upper-body injury”. (You know this is a Valentine’s Day column when I mention both pretty eyes and butt groping)
It was a tough break for the winger who earlier missed a beautiful scoring chance in front of the net just like he did every game for the Canucks back in the day.
Still, it meant Pyatt got to leave the game early, that lucky dog.