Canucks Post-Game Sixpack - Dion the Turtle

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The Vancouver Canucks needed to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night and they fortunately did not disappoint.

With Vancouver once again having to deal with the traditional 4:00 pm Toronto start time, Canuck fans expected a good show and were rewarded with another victory over the Maple Leafs and a jump (at least for now) into second place in the Pacific Division.

It’s these types games that the Canucks need to win in order to seal their Western Conference post-season birth. And so far this season, it’s these games that Canucks have struggled to earn their points.

However, Vancouver finally bucked the trend of playing down to their opponents and banked another valuable two points.

It’s time to celebrate with the traditional Vancity Buzz Post-Game Sixpack!

 

Final score: Canucks 4 – Maple Leafs 1

Canucks goals:

  1. Chris Higgins (9th goal) – Assisted by Brad Richardson and Derek Dorsett
  2. Derek Dorsett (6th goal) – Assisted by Nick Bonino
  3. Jannik Hansen (14th goal) – Assisted by Bo Horvat and Ronalds Kenins
  4. Shawn Matthias (17th goal) – Assisted by NONE

 

Maple Leafs goals:

  1. Phil Kessel (24th goal) – Penalty Shot

 

1. Ron and Bo Forever

The two rookies (plus Jannik Hansen) are just continuing to impress the hell out of everyone in Vancouver with their play.

Once considered to be the 4th line of the Vancouver Canucks, I don’t think anyone would argue against the trio now being the 3rd line. They can shut down the top players on any team and chip in with some timely goals. The 3-0 goal scored by Hansen (more on that in a moment) was a thing of beauty and really paints a picture of a developing chemistry.

But perhaps the best play came in the 3rd period and didn’t even result in a goal.

With Kenins streaking down the boards and Horvat making a beeline to the net, Kenins managed a tricky little drop pass which Horvat managed to turn into a pretty good scoring chance.

With the Canucks getting healthy, there are some interesting roster decisions looming. When Burrows come back, and that’s believed to be sooner rather than later, someone will have to come out. At this point, there is no way that should be Ronalds Kenins.

 

2. The 3-0 Goal

One of my favourite things that the NHL has done in the last decade is giving the referees the ability to discuss goals before officially declaring them a goal. Although it can be both a negative and positive, the refs usually will make the right call.

Case in point, the Canucks’ third goal:

This play is one you will see quite frequently and has, in the past, resulted in a disallowed goal.

While Ronalds Kenins does prevent Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier from stopping Jannik Hansen’s shot, but it was Joffrey Lupul who pushed him into Bernier. I have seen this play dozens of times in the past and rarely has it resulted in a goal because these plays happen so fast it’s incredibly difficult for the refs to catch everything that happens before declaring goal or no goal.

Thankfully, the referees and linesmen gathered to talk about the play decided that since Lupul pushed Kenins, the goal should count.

The NHL doesn’t get a lot of things right. But giving the referees time to decide these plays is definitely one of them.

 

3. Glenn Healy’s Hot Takes

Over the last few years, Hockey Night in Canada has had their fair share of issues. And I’m being very generous with that statement.

But perhaps the biggest issue with Hockey Night in Canada is Glenn Healy and his involvement in anything to do with hockey.

I have never understood why he remains employed in a broadcasting capacity because his opinions and general attitude are almost always ridiculous. Elliotte Friedman deserves better than this…

Tonight however, Healy was on assignment between the benches offering his…um…”insight” into the game between the Leafs and Canucks. Here are just a few of his gems (courtesy of our own Ryan Biech) that make you wonder how many nude pictures he has of whoever is in charge of Sportsnet and Hockey Night in Canada.

 

4. The Dion Phaneuf Side Show

Speaking of people that Hockey Night in Canada insists on shoving down our throats.

I honestly have felt pretty bad for Dion Phaneuf this season. He is the captain of one of the biggest jokes in the NHL and is scrutinized more than any other leader in hockey.

That being said…

Phaneuf spent the entire second period reminding people why he is one of the most hated players in the NHL. His scrum with Zack Kassian (who is no angel but…) tells you about as much as you need to know.

Thanks to Jovan for the Vines.

So it’s pretty clear that Dion is only tough when an ideal situation presents itself. Like a referee holding a player back.

Fortunately, Jannik Hansen was more than willing to call Dion out for his antics towards the end of the second period.

Love it.

Nice pun, but could have easily gone with “make like a maple, and get out of here!” for a cheap Back to the Future reference.

mcfly

 

5. The Power Play

Another game and another horrifying display of ineptitude on the power play for the Vancouver Canucks.

When the Canucks weren’t taking penalties and actually did get a chance on the power play, it was just one failed attempt after another.

Here’s the problem: if the Canucks cannot figure out a way to solve this issue, they are going nowhere in the playoffs if they are able to make it. Winning in the playoffs is all about taking advantage of the few opportunities you get because the games are so tight.

With the power play essentially being a momentum killer for Vancouver, whatever team the Canucks end up playing (please be Calgary please be Calgary) won’t be afraid to mess with the Canucks because there won’t be any repercussions on the scoreboard.

 

6. The Perfect Ending

Despite botching their epic winning streak against the Leafs last season, you can still expect the Canucks to have a pretty good shot at beating Toronto on a regular basis.

This wasn’t a perfect game by any means. The Canucks took their foot off the gas in the third period, blew Eddie Lack’s chances at a shutout and the power play is a still an embarrassing mess that will end up costing Vancouver in the long run.

But despite the negatives, a win is still a win and the Canucks finally beat a team that they should have beaten. And on a national broadcast!

So with a win against the Leafs and a couple more points on the board in their Western Conference playoff race, what could possibly make this any better?

Oh yeah:

Good night everyone!

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Steve Lancashire Canucks Contributor
@lankey22

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