Canucks and Beyond

First Televised Look at the Canucks

09/23/2007 at 6:48pm EDT

To start, my quick summary of the first televised Vancouver Canucks game of the pre-season.

The Canucks were outshot 37-10, garnered some 65 minutes in penalties (the Sharks, 70), and lost the game, 3-1. And that’s not even to mention matters like Alex Burrows grabbing himself a game misconduct, and the fact that there were large swaths of the night where the Canucks couldn’t seem to summon the energy to walk across a small room, much less play an NHL hockey game.

And regardless of all that, I still thought it was a blast. Here are some quick thoughts and a few random screen shots from last night’s game.

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The first hockey game I’ve seen this pre-season that I actually give a crap about, and it didn’t much matter what happened; it was just great to finally see them play for myself. And despite the downsides—not exactly a game to inspire dreams of the Stanley Cup, obviously—there were still plenty of things worth seeing.

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The combination of Alexandre Burrows, Jeff Cowan and Matt Cooke was fun to watch (or so I thought). Plus Nathan McIver was generally ridiculously impressive, and Roberto Luongo looked like… Roberto Luongo. Which wasn’t a surprise, so much as a relief after his latest brush with death.

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And while it’s true that there were gross amounts of suckage (“suckage” being my version of a game summary; sorry) I can’t bring myself to be too concerned about it. Early days.The sheer amount of injuries makes it hard to gauge much about the team in general at this point, and it’s fair to say the Sharks had a solid advantage in this game.

The Canucks have been hit hard by injuries just three games into the preseason. A total of 10 players, headlined by regulars Trevor Linden, Brendan Morrison, Kevin Bieksa, Sami Salo, Ryan Kessler, Willie Mitchell and Aaron Miller, are unavailable. The Sharks have no injuries.
Anyway. Onwards.As much as the game itself, the entire atmosphere of Canucks’ hockey being back was exciting. The Sportsnet production looked slick—the team colors looking fresh and saturated throughout the broadcast. And the previews for Canucks TV encouraging us to subscribe to the pay-per-view broadcasts this season were even a bit compelling (*although my enthusiasm will no doubt be tempered by the price tag when I have to write the cheque to Shaw Cable next month—about $160 for the PPV, not to mention the $200 for Center Ice, if I get around to robbing a mini-mart).But last year’s original productions on Canucks TV were pretty bad, so it’s nice to be a bit optimistic that this year will deliver more and better content. Let’s hope.
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Lastly, I’m on the record for not being a big fan of the new jerseys, but I’d like to revise that opinion a bit. While I have no urge to own one, I actually thought the new image looked great on television. The blue and green has always been a good look, but even combined with that insidious Orca, it all seemed to work together very well, I thought.Next pre-season game is tonight against Anaheim. Next pre-season game being broadcast on television will be September 29, in Edmonton.

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