Smashing the ‘Ville
Despite an absolutely horrible second period, the Vancouver Canucks put the lean on Nashville Monday night and escaped Music City with a comfortable 5-2 win. It was a game where the Canucks took an injury-depleted 13th place team and rightfully smacked them around.
With a few weeks left before the big dance, a game with no surprises is exactly what the collective blood pressure needs.
We’ve missed you Ryan Kesler. The pivot’s return has revitalized the team and the powerplay as the Canucks are really starting to look like the 2011 version.
Kesler had two goals and almost had a hat trick but his wrist shot off the rush, his bread and butter a few years ago, pinged off the crossbar.
Still, he’s looking healthy for the first time since 2011, and that really really gets me excited.
Jason Garrison has simply gotten better week by week this season as he acclimatizes to the Canucks’ system.
His powerplay goal six seconds into the advantage was the game winner late in the second and makes you wonder why he’s not getting time on the first unit.
Zack Kassian has been the ultimate enigma this year, but his confrontation with Pekka Rinne late in the game was the kind of destructive force the Canucks need for the playoffs.
There were a number of encounters throughout the match that made the game take on a chippy atmosphere, and Kassian’s somewhat-measured response was the perfect deterrent to another Duncan Keith on Daniel Sedin incident that would have repercussions in the playoffs.
1. No Roy!
Somehow when Derek Roy crumpled to the ice after an errant highstick and started bleeding, it ended with no call whatsoever nevermind the four minutes it probably deserved.
With the speed at which Roy hit the ice, it looked as though you could almost see the Canucks chances of coming out of the West crumple.
Thankfully he returned and set up Kesler’s last goal, but you have to call those plays.
2. That second period
Needs to be called out. The Canucks were absolutely miserable against a team that has struggled offensively so badly that their second goal of the game almost got a standing ovation.
The Garrison goal shut everybody up, but come on guys.
3. Bad Bieksa
After a great start to the season, the inconsistency has been slipping back into Kevin Bieksa‘s game. Between the nonchalant play and the sloppy turnovers, it’s clear Bieksa’s classically bi-polar play had dipped back to frustrating.
- 1. R. Kesler
- 2. D. Roy
- 3. D. Sedin