Feels Like 1996
The Winnipeg Jets came into town to free Vancouver from the doldrums of the Stars and Coyotes over and over and over and the hype mixed with the highly partisan crowd created an atmosphere not unlike what the Canucks are highly anticipating in just fifteen games.
The game itself had a playoff feel too as the teams traded goals in a tight contest that went 55 minutes without being settled.
Like the crowd, I both loved and hated this game. Here’s the love ’em & hate ’em for the Jets vs. Canucks.
Isn’t it nice to have Winnipeg back in the league? Even better is the fact that the team could very well make the playoffs in an Eastern Conference playoff race and could even win the weak Southeast division to boot.
In fact, I really wouldn’t have minded letting this game end in regulation and giving Winnipeg a point before the Canucks eventually beat them, seeing as how maybe half of the Canucks players and staff have connections with True North and the Manitoba Moose.
As it is, the Jets will have to settle for the moral victory of knowing that they hung tough against the defending Western Conference champions. They looked good, just not good enough for a point, and it would be a shame if they missed the playoffs due to this game.
2. Giving the American Express Line Credit
Not surprisingly, the line played well in a continued effort to spark a debate over who the true first line on this team is now.
If the Sedins ever get going again, this team could be deadly up front.
Cory Schneider could have pulled a Hodgson the past couple of years with absolutely more merit than Cody had, but Schneider has been content to learn from the best and compete for the cup with his team.
His starts have dried up of late, although more rest for Roberto Luongo this month seems likely, yet Schneider has been perhaps the most consistent Canucks all year, routinely giving his team a chance to win and combating rust.
Cory’s time to shine will come, but I’m glad he’s still a Canucks for now.
1. Sami Pahlsson scored?
It really ruins the “Canucks will miss Hodgson’s scoring” narrative when Pahlsson steps up and scores the game winner with a snipe not unlike what we’ve seen from Hodgson this year.
And Sami, if you’re in the offensive zone, who’s playing defence? Think about these things.
2. Edler’s Wheelers
Tough break for Alex Edler on the Blake Wheeler goal, as the defender blew a tire and allowed Wheels to score a dirty goal against Schneider.
Thankfully, Edler got the last laugh by deflecting a point shot in off Wheeler to tie the game, the clearest example of the universe correcting itself ever.
3. Benching Kassian
I understand that Zack Kassian didn’t have the best game, especially his play on Kyle Wellwood’s goal, but his benching is only going to lead to debate about his ice time both from the fans and his agent and we know how that goes.
More seriously, if the Canucks want Kassian to be a force in the playoffs, shouldn’t a little ice time during these dog days be good for getting a feel of the team and system?
I’m not saying to stick him permanently on the second line, but a regular shift would still be nice.