Kes Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)
Now this could be fun.
Ryan Kesler‘s return after missing 19 games with a broken foot snuck up on everyone in the hours building up to puck drop, which made the end result all the more satisfying.
Where once a tag team of Alex Burrows and Mason Raymond centred the second line and Jordan Schroeder tried to tread water on the third, the Canucks now boast perhaps their most impressive centre depth in the Mike Gillis era.
A choice between Roy and Kesler centring the third line? Yes please.
1. Ryan Kesler Ryan Kesler Ryan Kesler
Kesler picked up the game-winner in a mad scramble that resembled plinko more than hockey.
Kesler was effective all game, and his inclusion in a late third period powerplay lead to two disallowed goals, which should be the equivalent of one legal goal really.
He makes the Canucks dangerous, able to ice three scoring lines five-on-five, anchoring the penalty kill, and most importantly looking like he can bring the powerplay back to life.
Meanwhile, Cory Schneider picked his ninth win in 11 games, and his fourth shutout during that span. It gives him five on the year, putting him in a pack for the league lead.
He’s simply playing his best stretch of hockey in his NHL career and playing exactly what the Canucks thought he could do when the named him starter.
3. Icing the game
So much to love about the empty net goal that came from Antoine Vermette’s errant pass.
It’s the easiest goal Dan Hamhuis will ever score and a great way for the Coyotes to have had effectively forfeited the game.
After those two disallowed goals, it was also the kind thing to do.
1. Mike Smith and his stupid body space issues
There are certain goaltenders who protect their crease with the intensity of Clint Eastwood in Gran Turismo. Dwayne Roloson was famous for it, always ripping off his mask and giving the offenders the eyes like he had just caught them with his daughter.
Looks like Mike Smith is fast becoming the spiritual successor to Rollie, as seemingly every time the Canucks play the Coyotes, he throws a couple hissy fits.
In the first game since Edler’s suspension, Smith threw a fit that helped disallow Burrow’s powerplay goal, aka the one that should have counted of the two and engaged Burrows after the second disallowed that lead to Burrows spending nearly 10 minutes in the box thanks to the lack o whistles.
2. More goals please
Winning a game 2-0 with an empty net goal, even given the flow of the game, is a dangerous thing to do. Against teams with more firepower…well, we’ve seen that before.
More goals please. Don’t skirt with disaster.
3. Also, stop getting hurt
Though Higgins was playing extremely well in the past week, the Canucks will be able to absorb his absence easier than the loss of Tanev.
The Canucks have an abundance of skilled wingers and the option to call up Schroeder or Nicklas Jensen, but the loss of Tanev forces the Canucks to make the choice of dressing either
Go Cory go.