Happy Stinkin New Year
It’s appropriate that this game took place on New Year’s Eve, considering all the fireworks.
It’s also appropriate that this game took place on New Year’s Eve because it allowed this game to be completely swept under the rug and drank away.
It wasn’t a pretty game but, unlike the year 2012, it’s not the end of the world. Onto the Love’Em and Hate’Em for the Kings matchup.
Aside from a couple of days this June, this team has given us so much to smile about in 2011.
We’ve been absolutely spoiled with team and individual accomplishments this year that were your wildest dreams just a few years ago.
There’s one major omission in the hardware collected this year, but at the same time finally beating the Blackhawks was a hockey memory that will live forever.
I can only imagine what 2012 will hold.
Back to the game, Kevin Bieksa opened the scoring early to continue his red hot play.
He has nine points in nine games, giving him 22 points on the year. That matches the point total he put up in 66 games last year.
The Sabres meanwhile may have learnt an important lesson about cap management.
3. Oh Boy Roberto
Roberto Luongo tried his best in this game but was let down by the defensive effort in this one.
A made a series of saves in the first to keep the Canucks in it before the Kings finally put this one away.
No doubt Luongo had his own personal countdown in his head in the final 10 seconds of this game.
What last week’s game did for the Sharks, this game did for the Kings.
I hate these guys now.
Unlike the San Jose game, which only turned south in the final five minutes, this one resembled a rugby game all night long.
You had Stoll pushing Alberts into Luongo, the Richardson hit on Henrik well after the Kings had scored, Kyle Clifford trying to destroy an unwilling Keith Ballard, and Jannik Hansen‘s flying crosscheck to Dustin Brown, and those were just the major incidents.
Their first round playoff series may be a distant memory to some, but I think the Kings remembered it last night and they did their best to jog the Canucks’ memory.
Don’t think that this nastiness on the first Californian tour after the re-alignment news is a coincidence. Oh, it’s on.
I hate calling out the refs, but sometimes they force your hand.
Cassie Campbell called a spade a spade on the Doughty dive late in the game, and the Kings and Richardson not getting handed a penalty for the mugging of Henrik Sedin‘s post-goal was a head scratcher as well.
All in all, the refs lost control of this one in a way that I haven’t seen since the Finals but this wasn’t the reason the Canucks lost.
Said Henrik, “You know what?I’m pretty tired of that question. We won the President’s Trophy last year, we went to the seventh game of the Stanley Cup final. We didn’t lose the final because we were pushed around, we lost because we couldn’t score.”
Added Hansen, “We were badly outshot and outplayed and outhit and out-just-about-anything in the first period.”
Sometimes teams just lose, and it’s a callback to how thrilling 2011 has been as a Canucks fan that losing is now an aberration.
3. Cassie, Cassie, Cassie
Last night saw the debut of Cassie Campbell as a colour commentator who was not bad for a rookie debut.
Still, it continues the trend of CBC taking the Sam Gagner approach to developing their talent over the Cody Hodgson approach. Kevin Weekes, who has improved, was absolutely horrible in his first year on the job.
The problem is compounded by the continued presence of Mark Lee, hands down the worst commentator in the game. His delivery is a combination of word salad and escalating volume that adds nothing to the game (or mainly detracts).
It’s amazing that the CBC let Chris Cuthbert go and kept Mark Lee. It’s almost insulting to the Western Canadian audiences.
With the CBC’s hold on Hockey Night in Canada on tenuous ground thanks to the a strong push from the private sector and their vast arsenal of resources, should this not the be time for the CBC to go all in and put their best foot forward in all aspects of their production?
I love Hockey Night in Canada but if Wendy’s Presents TSN Saturday Night Hockey means I don’t have to ever hear Mark Lee (or pay his salary) ever again, I’m listening.