Canucks beat Flames because of turnovers, not the Sedin split

Keys to Victory

The Vancouver Canucks played one ugly game of hockey on Sunday night in Calgary, but still managed to steal two points away from the Flames thanks to a late comeback effort.

While I expected Eddie Lack‘s first career win to emerge as the key narrative to take home after Sunday’s game, the splitting of the Sedin twins was the all the rage around the Smylosphere late Sunday evening.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc

It took only three games for John Tortorella to split up Henrik and Daniel Sedin, but the move wasn’t quite the stroke of brilliance many fans have labelled it as.

The Canucks were outplayed by a lesser team for the first 40 minutes of Sunday’s game in Calgary, and with few other options to shake up his team Tortorella did what he knew would get his players’ attention by splitting up the identical twins.

The results were impressive, and yet they had little to do with the line adjustment, and a whole lot more to do with the terrible state of the Calgary Flames.

Let’s check the video evidence.

While it’s slightly hard to tell in the highlight pack, the Canucks’ second goal of the night was the direct result of a brutal defensive zone turnover by Curtis Glencross.

The Flames forward was practically doing his best Henrik Sedin impression by moving to puck to Daniel, who immediately set up a wide-open Jannik Hansen.

On Vancouver’s third goal it was Brian McGrattan’s turn to play the opposite twin, turning the puck over to Henrik Sedin, who immediately found Mike Santorelli (The only available passing option in the offensive zone) to pull the Canucks even.

While it was another smart play by a lone Sedin, Santorelli’s goal was a soft one, and the play simply wouldn’t have gone down much differently if another player was on the ice. Goaltender Joey MacDonald should have made the stop, but instead gave Santorelli a gift in the form of his first career goal as a Vancouver Canuck.

After this, therefore because of this

Sure, the Sedins were both directly involved in Sunday’s comeback over the Flames, but let’s face it, the home team did this to themselves. Two brutal turnovers, two regrettable goals against.

After witnessing his team get lucky twice, John Tortorella reunited the Sedins in overtime and the Canucks (Kevin Bieksa, specifically) squeaked by the Flames to earn the extra point.

Just because the Sedins were split up and the comeback soon followed doesn’t mean it was a result of John Tortorella’s in-game adjustment.

Is it likely that the splitting up of the Sedins put Vancouver’s skaters on notice to step it up? Yes. Did it make a difference in a game the Flames practically gave away?

Not at all. 

Give John Tortorella points for having the guts to make a coaching change Alain Vigneault failed to take advantage of in the past, but let’s hold off building a golden statue of him shouting profanities for now.


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About Kevin Vanstone

Born in Vancouver, and a student at UVIC. "The Flying V" follows all things Canucks hockey and covers the best in CIS athletics around the Pacific Northwest. He loves to write about the athletes that used to show him up in his playing days.
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