Games against the Ducks always tend to get strange.
In the latest episode, Canucks D-Man Aaron Rome took his newfound status as a difference maker to heart and provided the easiest and most blatent turning point in a while.
Sparking two powerplay goals from a Ducks team dead last in goals scored and with just one win in their last 10, it was a hole not even a dominant third could overcome.
1. There’s something very strange about a large group of Canadians abroad chanting U-S-A, but the long weekend and cheap tickets combined yet again for a contigent of travelling Canucks fans.
The chant understandably was for Higgins and while the American Express line may be defunct the Canucks still never leave home without their fans.
These shows of passion and excess income (and booze) in the heart of the enemy may be an underrated reason why no one likes us.
If Gary Bettman truly wants to save Phoenix, 41 home games against the Vancouver Canucks might be a good start.
2. The Canucks could have easily taken their ball and gone home after the second.
Rather, down four in their second game in as many nights, they came out and old-school dominated the third.
Perhaps inspired by Burrows mantra to win da turd, the Canucks almost won this turd with a 22 shot performance but ultimately fell short by failing to convert on a late powerplay.
It may be a bit too late in the season to relish moral victories but the Canucks at least gave themselves something to work with heading into Sunday.
3. The leader of the comeback was Jannik Hansen who potted two in the final frame. Invisible for large stretches to start this year, Hansen validated AV’s choice to play him with the Sedins.
After deflecting home a Daniel shot, Hansen globetrotted with the Sedins and eventually banged home a rebound that put the Canucks within one.
The reigning Fred J. Hume award winner for unsung hero wins the Mariah Q. Carey award for sung hero in this one.
1. Aaron Rome made a huge mistake.
His second period elbow on Devante Smith-Pelley effectively decided the game. It was the most decisive elbow since the People’s Elbow.
Robbed of their Norris-calibre defenceman, the Canucks stood little chance on the ensuing powerplay and whenever Andrew Cogliano is granted time and space to score pretty goals you know the wheels have fallen off.
2. That being said, that was a five and a game penalty?
Her, er that? Rome was in the process of being herded to the penalty box before the Refs apparently saw Smith-Pelley in some pain and decided to up the sentence.
Rome was once again a victim of injury over intent and even then Smith-Pelley missed maybe a shift.
Call it a two minute elbow and maybe give him an extra two minutes for looking so good, but don’t deny the paying fans the right to see Aaron Rome play in his prime.
If you can watch the video and find evidence of targetting the head or having it as the principle point of contact well you’re a better video-watcher than I am. Shanahan seems to agree with me as Rome will be neither fined nor suspended.
3. Manny Manny Manny.
Whether its rust or an adjustment period with the eye it’s hard to say anything good about Malhotra’s game right now outside of his face-offs. With the second toughest Qualcomp on the team behind Ryan Kesler, Malthotra is also leading the Canucks in goal against per 60 minutes.
A shadow of the dominant defensive self from last year, Manny appears to be at a crossroads and needs to prove he’s more of a Saku Koivu than a Bryan Berard.
If Malhotra can’t find some depth perception than the Canucks might not be able to find any depth themselves.
Sunday will be a rematch of the 82 Stanley Cup Finals aka the forgetten finals. No word yet if Kevin Biekas is planning to giftwrap an OT goal for John Tavares.