Canucks Post-Game SixPack - Sestito's Revenge

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It was a fun night to be a Canucks fan at Rogers Arena on Monday night. In their last game before the Christmas break, the Canucks scored early and often, chasing Mike Smith from the game. It was an ugly one for the Coyotes, who lost 7-1.

I like my headline better.

And he’s also our new SixPack poster boy. Tonight had the potential to be a trap game for the Canucks, who certainly have had their fair share of problems with the Coyotes over the years. Their most recent game against the Yotes was an embarrassing 5-0 loss at home on November 14.

Yes you did Mike. Now, lets celebrate with a SixPack:

1. Burrows on the Power Play

The Canucks’ power play was ranked 18th coming into tonight’s contest. It didn’t score once during the Canucks 5-game losing streak. But it has come alive recently, and it has a lot to do with Alex Burrows getting time with the first unit.

Burrows is the net-front man on PP1 and he has been a revelation. His ability to keep plays alive by digging for loose pucks was exactly what the Canucks needed.

With two goals tonight, Burrows has 15 points in 28 games and is proving he can contribute without playing on the top line. He makes players around him better.

He’s also proving that he can contribute on the power play, something he has never done consistently in his NHL career.

Still, some people aren’t impressed. Presumably, they’re holding his $5 million contract and his lousy injury-plagued 2013-14 season against him.

Burrows isn’t the player he used to be and he might even be a little overpaid at $5 million. But he isn’t grossly overpaid. He is a player that can contribute on any line, the penalty kill and the power play. Burrows was no doubt inspired by some bulletin board material provided by regular reader, Stu.

But Stu was not finished…

Burrows scored his second goal of the game, this time on Dubnyk, shortly after.

2. Game management

That was some interesting interpretation by the refs to not award Shawn Matthias a penalty shot in the third period tonight. One can only assume the refs decided that the Canucks had scored enough goals. Or something.

Personally, I was really interested to see if the wave, which had been circling during the play for longer than usual, would have continued going around the stadium during the penalty shot. Could have made Canucks history!

If there’s a time to do the wave during the play, it’s when you’re winning a laugher against the Coyotes in the third period.

3. Ryan Miller SV% update

Ryan Miller has not had a good season so far. He entered tonight’s game with a SV% of .901. But tonight? He was pretty good.

Miller made 38 saves on 39 shots, including some very good saves in the first period when the game was in doubt.

Sure, he slid too far on the Coyotes only goal, but I think he deserves some kudos tonight.

Mike Smith, on the other hand, does not deserve any credit. He let in 4 goals on 11 shots, including some softies. It’s truly remarkable that a guy can go from being on Team Canada in Sochi 10 months ago, to being perhaps the worst starting goalie in the NHL.

So what about Ryan Miller’s save percentage after tonight’s game? It’s .906. That’s still not very good, but hey, it’s better than it was yesterday.

4. Sestito’s revenge

Tommy was terrific tonight. The Canucks enforcer has had trouble getting into the lineup under head coach Willie Desjardins and has essentially told the Canucks ‘play me or trade me’.

With so many good wingers ahead of him in the depth chart, Sestito isn’t likely to get much playing time unless the Canucks get into injury trouble. He might not like that, but that’s reality.

But tonight? He was everything you want from an enforcer.

Way to rain on his parade, Ryan.

Sestito had three hits, a fight and was responsible for the Canucks getting two power plays in just under 10 minutes of ice time. Kyle Chipchura took an instigator penalty on him in retaliation to a big, but clean, hit.

Sestito’s finest hour came in the final minute of play when he got some retribution for Martin Hanzal, who was swinging the lumber once again in this game.

The man who injured three players in one game last season was at it again tonight. He chopped Chris Higgins on the hands and crosschecked Derek Dorsett in the ribs. It seems he was running his mouth too.

Sestito is still facing an uphill climb to get more playing time, but nights like tonight will help his case.

5. Honey Badger Update

Jannik Hansen gave everyone a good scare on Saturday when he fainted on the bench. So far, it looks like it was nothing more than that, which is obviously great news.

He was held out of tonight’s game, despite the fact that he feels fine, as a precaution.

Better safe than sorry.

As for Hansen, he hasn’t lost his sense of humour.

6. Christmas Presents

After a nice run of weak teams of late, the Canucks are going to get a stiff test after Christmas. They get to play all three of the California teams, the Detroit Red Wings (5th in the East) and the New York Islanders (2nd in the East). Fun.

But hey, it’s Christmas! Lets not end this on a negative note.

Our guy, the charismatic Clay Imoo, was all the rage at Rogers Arena during the intermission tonight. Seriously, the man can’t walk around the concourse at Canucks games without getting harassed by autograph hounds.

Apparently it’s hard to start chants at Rogers Arena.

His latest video, featuring the much more talented Marie Hui, is getting a whole lot of play this week.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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Rob Williams Sports Editor at Vancity Buzz covering all sports in Vancouver.
@robthehockeyguy

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