Game one against the Sharks wasn’t so hot.
Friday night marked the 150th consecutive sellout in Vancouver. Less than a minute into that first game of the season, Yo! Luongo made a big save, the crowd roared “Louuuuu!” and a new season began to great expectations. (So, that part was sort of fun.)
And then of course, much of the rest of that night sucked like a hoover.
Jeremy Roenick scoring two goals felt like some kind of curse, for one thing. So in order to banish the curse, I thought I’d republish the image below that I created as an homage to Roenick a few months ago:
Mike Chen was even good enough to drop me a note the other day to say that this image still gives him nightmares. Personally, I think it’s nice to know my artistic masterpieces can stand the test of time… ;)Now, moving onto the Calgary matchup…That game was a perfect example of why I expect this season to be The Story of My Progressive Heart Failure. The Canucks seem to be genuinely gifted at keeping us afraid.But I’m not really complaining. There were plenty of positives, in addition to getting the 4-3 OT win:
- Markus Naslund looked great. Worked his Swedish buns off most of the night and demonstrated some competitive fire; I can’t even remember the last time we’ve seen that from him. His roughing penalty on Phaneuf didn’t turn out so well (i.e. the Flames scored) but even the coach cut him some slack; the next shift, Vigneault had the captain right back on the ice. He ended up with 1 goal, and a wicked assist on the OT winner.
- Alex Burrows is a killer PK’er. He’s particularly good at handling those dangerous 5-on-3 situations. Burrows is actually quite a smart player who sees the ice extremely well, if you ask me.
- Daniel & Henrik Sedin. When those two get the puck and use their cycle game, they can create all kinds of havoc. And of course, Daniel’s OT winner was an impressive effort. My only slightly-negative observation is that I wish they’d kill that urge to pass the puck to their linemate-of-the-night. If they don’t see a chance to safely bank it off an ‘Anson’ standing beside the net, they should just shoot it themselves.
- Other random things: Aaron Miller (despite almost killing Luongo when he tagged Langkow on top of him) is very steady and reliable; Mattias Ohlund’s—and soon, Sami Salo’s—offensive talents are definitely going to be important factors this season; enjoyed having Jeff Cowan back; and really enjoyed watching 4 PP goals go in the net.
I do have one question—who the hell picked these on CBC?
That makes no sense to me, but I’m admittedly pretty biased. Perhaps someone else can justify it?And that brings me to a couple things about the CBC broadcast and its HNIC debut with the Canucks on Saturday night.Of course it’s good to have Jim Hughson calling the games again, but I didn’t realize we were getting Craig Simpson in the color seat until tonight. And while in many ways I thought he was fine, I could have lived without the never-ending blather dedicated to hosting a Calgary Flames Love-In. Granted, fans of other teams probably get sick to death of most tv announcers worshiping Luongo (and I don’t blame them; it can get excessive) but Simpson’s adoration for the Flames was also pretty hard to stomach.Honestly, there were moments I thought he was channeling Greg Millen. And hell, the main thing I LIKE about Simpson is that he’s NOT Greg Millen.I just hope he can conceal his lust for the Oilers next Saturday, or we’re going to have a problem.Another thing. The After Hours crew had an interview with Calgary coach Mike Keenan after the game that revealed him to actually be somewhat pleasant, engaging, entertaining and even likable. (God, that was disturbing.)Anyway, before I had a chance to think I might have the guy all wrong and perhaps I should quit trashing him, Keenan spills this little gem: “I can tell you how I got hired in Vancouver: I got hired because of Mark Messier.”Geezus… so many bad memories in one tiny, little quote. I’ll stick to trashing the guy.________________________
To read more about the games or the Canucks in general, be sure to check out these guys over the season, too: