Canucks: "Nice goal! Awesome! Woo!"
Jokinen: "Hey that looks really fun! Maybe I’ll try to get a goal. HAHAHAHAHA! Just kidding."
(Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)
What a difference a couple of games makes. Following their shutout loss to the St. Louis Blues, the Canucks bandwagon was filled with tumbleweeds and Roberto Luongo was quickly becoming a bigger pyrriah than Frankenstein’s Monster.
Then, the perfect storm rolled in and Luongo and the Canucks faced arguably their two favourite opponents.
And they laid a goal-scoring whooping on their absolute favourite opponent over the last two years.
The Canucks are now 9-0-2 against the Flames in their last 11 meetings, and yesterday’s game again showed the utter dominance that the Canucks have over the Flames. It just seems in games versus Calgary, the Canucks know how to do everything right. In fact, even when they’re doing things wrong, it all works out.
I know that it was an unpopular opinion last night when I said it via Twitter, but the Canucks worst player last night was Alex Edler. That is saying something, given that he ended up with 1G 2A and was the game’s first star. Edler struggled mightily when handling the puck above center, flubbing passes and shots and missing checks. It was epitomized by his huge gaffe on the Flames only goal, where he tripped and fell and couldn’t recover. But everything was coming up Alex last night. His goal was a complete gift as it floated through 3 sets of legs while the Flames just ignored it. And on his two assists, he was a benefactor of some brilliant play and hard word AFTER he dished off, not BECAUSE he dished off. It is one of the more terrible 3-point performances you are going to see from one of your Canucks this seasons. Again, Edler is breaking out though, as he now has 10 points in his last 6 games. You gotta get these when you can, and Edler is doing just that.
I know I’m nitpicking, but there were really only two problems I had with the Canucks game last night. The first was Alex Edler. The other was the Sedins continued tendency to take stupid, lazy penalties 180 feet from their own net. If not for the Flames utter ineptitude on their home power play, those mistakes could have really haunted their team. Luckily, the Flames man advantage was an impotent as a sterilized poodle. A perfect example of how bad the Flames power play was last night was the fact that it featured Olli Jokinen and Jay Bouwmeester. Just to remind you, neither Jokinen nor Bouwmeester has ever scored on the Canucks. EVER. And the piece de resistance from last night was when Jokinen had a wide open net on a broken odd-man rush, and he pinged it off the cross-bar. Of course he did.
I could criticise the Canucks slow-down after going up 5-0, but it was clear at that point that the Flames were just not in the game and were not getting any luck at all, hitting several posts and getting almost no favourable bounces. The Canucks have five more games on this road trip, so going on cruise control when you’re up 5 goals in a game you are clearly going to win is understandable.
Some staty-type folks (*cough* Thom Drance *cough*) have noted that a big factor in the Canucks’ slow start through their first 10 games has been luck, or a lack thereof. Last night was a perfect example of luck swinging wildly in the opposite direction, as these stats start to correct themselves. You have to be good to be lucky and lucky to the good, and last night against Calgary, the Canucks were just that, and the Flames were absolutely not.