Saturday, 1 November 2014

Game 11: Canadiens 2, Canucks 3 (OT)

Some disjointed thoughts about the Canadiens' 3-2 OT loss to the Canucks, which I attended.  I'm cobbling this together from posts I made on  I didn't have a pen at the game to jot down notes, so there's not much structure to how these flow into each other, or what I paid attention to and what I remembered.

-Sea of bleu-blanc-rouge jerseys, home and road versions, it seemed like a 50-50 split in the barn.

-Nice touch by Michel Therrien, letting B.C. boy Brendan Gallagher and former Canucks Dale Weise, Mike Weaver and Manny Malhotra start the game. Carey Price got a huge ovation when he was announced also.

-Carey makes it look so effortless. Someone sitting nearby commented to me that you could really see the difference in how smooth Carey was compared to the more aggressive style of Ryan Miller.

-Early on, P.K. is putting on a show right in front of our seats, and I’m yelling-cheering “P.K.! P.K.!” To counter, a wag behind me yells out “Ne pas! Ne pas!” I look at him, and he shrugs at me and makes a face, as if to say: “I don’t know what I’m doing, this is all I remember from high school French class.”

-I was surprised to see Lars on a line with Brandon Prust and René Bourque, I thought he’d be a healthy scratch.

-Canadiens dominated the game early on, but that advantage ebbed as the game went on. Road fatigue again?

-I admit I wasn’t expecting another comeback from them, I was yawning when they tied it up, I was ready to head home, not for O.T. Great play by Weissy on the tieing goal.

-3 points out of six. Four would have been nice.

-No one in my section really saw the Alex Burrows hit on Alexei Emelin.  After the goal, we all wondered why he was being attended to, and taken to the dressing room.  No replay shown on the Jumbotron.

-The next day, TSN 1040 hosts Dave Pratt and 'Bro' Jake are kind of at a loss to explain the hit or defend Alex Burrows. They agree with each other that while technically he won’t be seen as a repeat offender by the League, that it’s entirely par for the course for him. They’re even playing a clip of him saying he didn’t intend to hurt Alexei, and that he’s glad he came back to action and looked alright, and then satirically repeating what he said: “Oh, since you didn’t intend to hurt him, well then it’s not a problem…

-Watching the game live, Travis Moen was very slow, noticeably so.

-About the powerplay, the perimeter passing, and again after watching it live: the passing and wheeling around was entertaining, the Vancouver fans were getting antsy, but you noticed as it went on that there wasn’t one guy who was slavering for the puck, an Alex Ovechkin or Mike Cammalleri who really, really likes to score. It seemed more like “You take it”, “No, YOU take it”…

P.K. is endlessly spectacular though, when you get a chance to watch him in person. Our seats were in line with the Vancouver defensive zone, right at the blue line, so I got to admire P.K. and Andrei first and third periods. Unfortunately, the Vancouver forwards, like everyone else, are right on top of them and won’t let them wind up. P.K. shot way more wristers than slappers last night.

So I will revivifysurrect the campaign to gift the Oilers with Travis Moen and assorted odds and ends in order to obtain Nail Yakupov, a player who admits he doesn’t really like the checking and blocking and whatnot, that he never wanted to be a defenceman, that he’s a forward. If he scores us 40 goals and acts as the triggerman on the powerplay, it will make the loss of Travis’ considerable penalty kill talents palatable.

-One thing about the Sedin line scoring the OT goal is that they were invisible for most of the game. I told my colleagues that they were in for a show with how they’re clicking with Radim Vrbata, I’d seen them together in a pre-season game against the Coyotes and they were spectacular. Last night, I’d miss entire shifts of theirs.

Sure enough though, as they’ve done so often in their career, the Sedins were the silent assassins who you don’t see until it’s too late and they’ve scored to beat you late or in overtime.

-Jarred Tinordi was on the ice for the Canucks' first two goals, so he picked up a -2 there, but he was relatively blameless on both.  The first was a two-on-one on the giveaway-hit by Alex Burrows sequence involving Alexei Emelin, and on the second he was positioned properly playing the onrushing Brad Richardson, who made a smart play shooting through his legs to fool Carey.

Regarding the defence corps, I’m going to take the ‘glass half-full’ approach and say that we’re doing better than expected, seeing as Marc Bergevin declared he’d be okay with a small step back in the standings, in terms of results, to allow the kids to integrate the lineup. So we substituted Tom Gilbert for Josh , kept Mike Weaver, but didn’t add the one or two trusty veterans that some are now clamouring for. Rubber, meet road. This is the d-squad we have. Let Nathan and Jarred fight to force their way onto the roster.

The tweak now will be for Marc Bergevin and the coaching staff to come up with a plan, a resolve, to ease off an Andrei Markov and give Jarred all he can handle, and Nathan also. We all agree that ‘drei can’t be asked for 30 minutes of play regularly, he’ll tail off, or have to pace himself.

I’m sure these discussions are happening. Post-game, they’re looking at the game sheet and saying “Câlice, he played that much again. We can’t do that.”

“Yeah, but after the (penalty, injury, …), we didn’t have a choice. We put (young or otherwise unsuitable option) out there earlier (in the same situation, against a specific line, …) and he almost killed us. We had to double-shift Andrei in the third, or else we lose the game…”

“Still, we can’t play him that much. So what do we do?…”

And so on.

Jarred, from my perch, looked really confident out there, didn’t embarrass himself. Let’s start transferring the load on him a little more.

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