That Much Further West - Canucks 3, Hawks 2 (OT)

Nothing like getting thrown in the deep end. After a sluggish start start wherein the Canucks pretty soundly took it to the Hawks, a quick answer of a goal from Jamal Mayers plugging away in front brought the Hawks even. From there on through the middle of the third, the Hawks were all over the Canucks, with only some heroics from Cory Schneider keeping things close while the Hawks routinely denied the Canucks entry at the blue line into the offensive zone.

Viktor Stalberg's insistence at going to the net was rewarded with the go-ahead goal, though the lead was short lived. A bad bounce off Stalberg's stick at the Canuck line allowed Alex Edler to spring Cody Hodgson in alone on Crawford, and he made no mistake high on the glove side, and into overtime the game went. A Stalberg break with a non-call on a slash kept things even until Tomax and Xamot connected from behind the net to in front, catching both Keith and Seabrook looking. Canucks 3, Hawks 2, one point in hand. Your week-marinated bullets:

Observations

  • While he'll probably be torched for the sort-of giveaway that led to Hodgson's goal (it looked like the puck rolled on him or hit something at the line), Viktor Stalberg was awesome tonight. While the "physical" (and we use the term loosely) aspect of his game has been dialed back a bit since playing with Daydream Nation, he's been using his blistering speed to break to the net, which has resulted in his fair share of opportunities, and all of them, save the breakaway, were on net, with Schneider simply being the better. The manner in which he created the breakaway for himself truly illustrates what a weapon his speed is.
  • And before everyone gets up in arms about that non-call, there were certainly opportunities where the Hawks could have been penalized as well. It was pretty clear from about the middle of the second on that the refs were putting the whistles away, which for the most part was warranted.
  • So ends Marian Hossa's 9-game point streak. While he, Brendan Morrison and Patrick Sharp were a bit sloppy in the early going, one could see the comfort level rising during the game. There were good ideas abound from this unit, but Sharp's rust and/or shyness from physicality and Morrison's fresh introduction to the team undoubtedly factored into that. It's certainly worth a look for another game or two before blowing it up.
  • The power play is fucking clown shoes. Get the goddamn forwards off the point. If I have to keep saying it until it ends up in my obit, I will.
  • John Scott didn't take a shift in the third period. That was a well-thought out decision, especially in a game that went to over time.
  • While he was saddled with a -2 tonight, I felt Duncan Keith was excellent. The type of game that the Canucks play and their persistence at carrying the puck in feeds right into one of Keith's strengths, which is knifing the puck away at the point of entry at the Hawk defending blue line.
  • So nice of Foley and Konroyd to mention AT ALL during the broadcast that Toews missed 2 or 3 three shifts in the first for reasons unknown at this point.
  • It's certainly a dissatisfying result after gaining the lead in the 3rd period, and Nashville dropping 4 on the death-spiraling WIld in the third, but the defensive effort, particularly from Corey Crawford was there, as was the discipline. There are a few things to be ironed out, and there are likely pieces to be acquired, but the eye-test results should be encouraging even if the end result wasn't. Alberta Ho!
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