One of these teams was involved in in a physical, high tempo game against the Detroit Red Wings in Alberta the previous night but amazingly it wasn’t the Vancouver Canucks.
It was a sluggish outing for the Vancouver Canucks who moved about as fast as you will tomorrow after those turkey enzymes kick in.
Coal In Your Stocking (On The Way)
Coming off the heels of a regular season classic with the Wings, this was a bigger letdown than asking for a bike for Christmas and receiving a sweater.
With the holiday spirit in mind, let’s look at who was naughty and who was nice in this game.
Love’ Em (Nice)
The only Canuck who seemingly showed up was Roberto Luongo, who turned aside the Calgary Flames like they were Mary & Joseph looking for an inn until Curtis Glencross finally solved him in the third.
After the second period, the shots were 24-13 in favour of the Flames which is all you need to know about the competing work ethics in this one.
While Glencross’ goal was the conversion of a nice pass by Jarome Iginla, the Mikael Backlund marker was a little more inexcusable. Still, it’s the first trademark Luongo soft goal since earlier this month in Montreal and if Luongo made one mistake in this game it’s still better than the rest of his teammates who committed several all game long.
Henrik Sedin tied the Vancouver Canuck’s all-time ironman record by playing in his 534th consecutive game, tying him with a man who was wearing a Flames jersey last night and goes by the name of Brendan Morrison.
It’s an incredible accomplishment for a player that takes as much abuse as Henrik does and really highlights how dumb the chirps of being a sister and soft really are.
Remember, this a man who amputated the tip of his left pinky finger to stay in a game once. And it was in the Swedish Elite League during the lockout. That is his dedication.
Alex Burrows was up to his bag of tricks again last night during the second period when he took up residence in Jarome Iginla’s brain and hung Christmas lights.
After the two got tangled up in the Flames zone, leading Iginla to drop his stick, they exchanged a few words before Burrows skated off and just happened to kick Iginla’s stick away with his skating stride.
Iginla followed Burrows all the way back to the Canucks’ zone and all then all the way to centre ice as the two exchanged holiday cheer. Meanwhile the Sedins had a beautiful scoring chance because the Flames captain had his back turned to the puck during all of this.
Hate’ Em (Naughty)
1. The whole freakin team Well all the Canucks who weren’t Roberto Luongo really.
Alain Vigneault was in full Grinch mode post-game, saying he was displeased with everyone on the team save for Roberto, especially after he gave the boys the day off yesterday. He called the performance “terrible” and “shocking”, and he was probably holding off a bit there.
And think of all the fans who were probably there on some kind of Christmas holiday related night out with friends and family that got this stinker.
One performance that stood out was that of Alex Sulzer’s, who set the tone for this game by giving up the puck just six seconds in and forcing Luongo to make a beautiful save off Rene Bourque.
He followed that up in the second period by slipping and falling and allowing Lee Stempniak to go in all alone on Roberto Luongo, who once again bailed out the struggling defenceman.
It was only Sulzer’s seventh game of the year, and it may be a while before he plays his eighth.
Home against the Flames on a back-to-back who started their backup goalie, Leland Irving. Easy right?
Well, unless Irving activated beast mode which he did last night.
He wasn’t tested as much as Luongo but came up absolutely huge for the Flames in just his second career NHL game.
To make matters worse, I’m pretty sure Leland isn’t even a real name (neither is Joffrey Leafs fans, but I digress).