Canucks SixPack: No April Fool's joke, they won AGAIN

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sixpack-higgins

 

Once again, the Canucks played hard but ultimately lost to the Anah… Hang on, they did what!?

After being outplayed and outscored by the Ducks in the first period, Bo Horvat tied the game at 1 early in the second. That’s how it stayed until the third period. Tank Nation was nervous…

Nate Thompson appeared to have the dagger for the Ducks, scoring to make it 2-1 Anaheim with just over 11 minutes to go in the third. That’s usually pack your bags and head home time for Vancouver, but not on this night. Dan Hamhuis (or was it Jannik Hansen?) tied it up with under 9 minutes to go in the third and Emerson Etem had the go-ahead goal 2:21 later.

All of a sudden the Canucks were ahead.

We’re not used to games like this from the Canucks.

After losing nine in a row, the Canucks have now won two in a row and will be looking for their first three-game winning streak of the season Monday at home against the LA Kings.

The tank has been derailed.

Disco Stu’s personal tank has been derailed too.

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1. What a mismatch

This is the lineup the Canucks iced tonight against one of the best teams in the National Hockey League…

These were their forwards:

Sedin Sedin Hansen
Higgins Horvat Etem
McCann Granlund Vey
Pedan Gaunce Burrows

This was their defence:

Hamhuis Tanev
Hutton Tryamkin
Bartkowski Biega

Let’s break this down:

  • Their first line has a career third liner on it
  • Their second line has a guy who passed through waivers this year
  • Their third line has two guys who were in the AHL this year
  • Their fourth line has Gaunce, a natural centre turned winger turned centre again… And a defenceman
  • And their defence? Don’t get me started…

Then midway through the game the Canucks lost Linden Vey and Chris Higgins to injury.

 

Andrey Pedan barely saw the ice in the second half of the game, so the Canucks essentially rolled three lines on the second of back-to-back games.

The Canucks are now 6-4-2 on the second of back-to-backs this year. That’s a better winning percentage than their overall record. Somehow, they’re actually better without any rest.

 

 

2. Tanev the tank killer

You know who’s killing the tank? Chris Tanev.

Tanev led all Canucks in Corsi tonight and he’s the clear choice to win the team’s top defenceman award again this season.

He was around for just three games of the nine-game losing streak. The minute he returns, the team rattles off two consecutive wins. It’s not a coincidence.

Tanev is steady, and he helps his team keep their head above water against elite competition. The Canucks aren’t deep on D, and playing without Tanev hurts.

And now he’s killing the tank.

 

3. Kesler up to his usual tricks

Ryan Kesler got caught slashing Jacob Markstrom late in the first period. I think he steps up his troll game when he faces the Canucks.

kesler-markstrom-slash

Now, was it a bit of a dive from Markstrom? Of course it was.

But, don’t discount the effect of that slash.

Kesler purposely aims for the back of Markstrom’s knee, a place where there’s no padding. Let someone give you a light whack on the back of the knee and tell me how it feels.

I’m going to chalk this one up as a smart dive from Markstrom. Kesler deserves the penalty, but without the dive, the refs probably don’t call it.

Nobody said a word to Kesler after that, just as nobody said a word to Corey Perry after he ran Chris Tanev into the boards later in the game. You don’t need to drop the gloves, but at least get in his face. That’s the type of stuff that Derek Dorsett seemed to engrain in the team late last year.

Perhaps they need a refresher.

 

4. Horvat

This was a cool stat brought forth by Brad Fay on the broadcast.

Now, the stat here is a little misleading, because Sergei Samsonov had 51 points in his second season in the NHL.

Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler were not elite scorers until they were in the league for a few years, so you’re not setting the bar as high as you would think.

But still, watching Bo Horvat’s play with the puck has been encouraging this year.

Sure, his plus-minus is garbage, but that’s explainable. His defensive play is also something that he’s likely to improve upon.

He was a good defensive player in junior and he can be taught whatever he needs to be taught in the NHL.

You know what you can’t teach? This:

horvat-goal-anaheim

 

5. Most Exciting Player: Nikita Tryamkin

Here’s a suggestion: vote Nikita Tryamkin for the Pavel Bure Award, awarded to the most exciting player.

I know he’s only played nine games, but what a treat he is to watch. He’s big, he’s raw, he’s unorthodox, but somehow he gets the job done.

Here’s Tryamkin breaking out of his zone…

tryamkin-breakout

…He put the puck right on Higgins’ stick.

Here’s Tryamkin lighting up Brandon Pirri before rag-dolling 6’2″, 231-pound Chris Stewart like he was a peewee player.

tryamkin-hits

 

 

Canucks fans, as you might imagine, were pretty excited by this…

The hype is real.

 

6. John Garrett’s diet

Win or lose, the one thing we can always count on is John Garrett.

Could Sportsnet have a more polished colour commentator for Canucks games? Sure. Could they have a more interesting one? No.

I can’t get enough of Garrett talking about how he eats his mac and cheese on the broadcast and I can’t get enough of his diet as documented by Dan Murphy on Twitter.

Here’s a selection of the best ones from the last three months:

Now I’m hungry. If you need me, I’ll be at the nearest Five Guys.

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

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