Canucks Postgame: Sedins torch Oilers; arrested for arson

-Screencap from Twitter dot com’s Mike Martigagno

Seems like the mantra in Vancouver will be to “win big, or not at all”. John Tortorella (pictured above, a fiery, dangerous John Tortorella) earned his first win as the Vancouver Canucks’ bench boss Saturday night as the Canucks pulled out a 6-2 game from their rumps against Edmonton. The Oilers are now 0-2 to start the season and perhaps reeling a little without top two centremen Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sam Gagner.

Take a time machine back to those halcyon days of 2008 to 2011, when Henrik and Daniel Sedin would frequently ravage the Oilers. Daniel scored a goal and added an assist. Henrik had three assists. Everything was mostly working, despite a soft goal two minutes in by Jeff Petry that had a real “oh, Luongo, here we go again” feel to it. The Canucks struck back with a shorthanded goal by Brad Richardson just 1:44 later, and twice more before the period was out.

6-2 final. And we got that face from Torts.

Tell you the truth, I wasn’t really watching this one, sort of coasting in and out of the Oakland-Detroit Game 2 classic that was on the other channel, because the game was no longer in doubt by the midway point of the second.

I did see this, which was some good old fashioned Wizardous Sedinerie:

I missed this, which was also good old fashioned Wizardous Sedinerie:

The game also got chippy after Ryan Kesler fought Will Acton for some reason at the end of the first. The first period somehow ended with the above image, of Tortorella yelling obscenities at the Oilers bench.

Dan Hamhuis scored a sinker on Devan Dubnyk, who has not started his season in an excellent manner. Hamhuis goal looked a bit like a Jacob Trouba sinker that eluded Dubnyk in the opener. Dubnyk is still a pretty good goaltender but clearly wasn’t on form Saturday and had to be relieved by Jason LaBarbera, of all people.

There’s a lot to be encouraged about if you’re a Canucks fan after this one. After taking that special team pounding against San Jose on Thursday, the Canucks out-shot the Oilers 17-5 in man-advantage situations, capitalizing on the six attempts the Oilers gave them. While going 1-for-6 on the powerplay isn’t going to scare anybody anytime soon, they won’t keep going 1-for-6 if they continue to fire 15 shots in 10:52 of 5-on-4 time, which is (do the math) well over 60 shots for per 60 minutes. They appeared to get a lot of real good opportunities in tight and in open areas, exploiting the weak parts of the Oilers’ D.

Edmonton blocked 19 shots to Vancouver’s 10 and out-hit the Canucks 38-22. That’s just grit AND jam right there.

Also, for those of you that follow us on Twitter, you may know that Dimitri and I have a season-long running bet on the number of goals Jason Garrison will score this season. I have the under at 14.5. Garrison scored an empty-net goal by rattling the puck around the glass behind his own net, and then taking a freak hop off a stanchion and rolling into the friggin’ net. Dallas Eakins likes to pull his goalies early because math told him to or something, but if his decisions are going to negatively impact my gambling decisions like that I just can’t get behind them.

  • pheenster

    “There’s a lot to be encouraged about if you’re a Canucks fan after this one.”

    Can we though? It’s game 2 of the season and the Oilers kind of suck. Seems hard to take much of anything from it, though it was super entertaining. Or am I being too harsh on Edmonton?

    • pheenster

      Not being too harsh at all. The Oilers sucked donkey balls. But the style of play the Canucks exhibited tonight will serve them well against better opponents.

  • pheenster

    Wow, Torts showed more passion and emotion on the bench in those few minutes than what AV showed in all the years he was here.

    It was a good win buuuuttt… Luongo still has his streak of one or more stinky goals let in per game. LOL

  • pheenster

    Okay that was a good win, but what was Bieska doing pinching in a 5-1 game? Dude needs to either stop pinching or become a forward. The Canucks have enough fire power to score 3 goals a game, the challenge is to stop goals! Team plays with more passion than the last 2 years, but I’m worried about the block shot first policy…. Kess missed a lot of games last year and now Burr? Deflections can happen also, I don’t totally buy into Torts blocked shot policy.

  • pheenster

    Is it just me, or has this blog lost its focus recently? I loved it last season, for Drance’s everything-and-the-kitchen-sink stats analysis and Dmitri’s biting sarcastic humour, but now it just feels like “here’s some Canucks stuff that has and/or might happen, also play now sports!”.

    No disrespect Mr. Charron, but after the pre-season posts that felt like drunken CDC post-game commentary, you really need to find your niche.

    • pheenster

      Totally agree, Brock. The analysis has been a bit too casual lately, IMO. That’s fine since it’s a free product…but it’s not the reason I got hooked on CA the last few years. Honestly, if you didn’t watch half the game, why are you doing a write up on it?

      • Peachy

        Need to give them a break for now. The problem with good analysis is that it requires good data. Garbage in garbage out and all that.

        There’s no data yet, much less good data. Performing analysis and drawing conclusions at this point is virtually useless.

        (I do hope it comes though.)

    • pheenster

      I don’t think the Nuge and the Elephant Man would have made much difference last night. Don’t get me wrong, beating up on the Oilers (fun as it is) isn’t doesn’t mean we’ve shaken off the malaise which has led to under-performance since January 2012, but let’s not undersell it either.

  • pheenster

    Umm, I don’t think there’s anything to get excited about here. Sure, there were glimpses of some nice play, but realistically the canucks won cuz the Oilers sucked last night. Period.

    A step in the right direction though…

    • pheenster

      But the Oilers have a large amount of young, drafted players on their roster who are playing during their team controlled years. I’m told there is clear evidence that this is the one and only thing that makes for success. How could they possibly suck?

      • pheenster

        What a lovely strawman…

        Nothing surprising here so far.

        The Canucks lost to San Jose and beat Edmonton.

        There isn’t a logical reason to believe the Canucks are better than LA or San Jose.

        Which means a third straight 1st round exit on the horizon…

        The Canucks aren’t going to improve over last year when they have the worst collection of players in their team controlled years in the NHL:

        Sestito (26), Lack (25), Weber (25), Weise (25), Stanton (24), Tanev (23), Schroeder (23), Dalpe (23), Kassian (22)

        The window has closed.

  • pheenster

    It was entertaining hockey, but the Oilers were without their two best centres. Nice to have a coach who’s always going to push. Even if it costs you occasionally, it’s so much better to watch.

    Does anyone know if sitting back and surrendering more (presumably lower quality) chances is better than maintaining the same style in all game states?

  • pheenster

    Never have I seen the Canucks take that many bad angle shots. Just wonderful to see the Canucks throw the puck at the net and crash it. That’s Torts’ all the way. And then after the mashing, they’re up by a couple and the skill comes out. Not to say Richardson’s wasn’t a display. It was. Great game.

  • Fred-65

    Let’s be honest, you’re not going to run into a defense as poor as the Oilers to often, plus a goalie that uninspired, plus their 2 top centres injured and unable to play. Did you see how and experienced team handled the Canucks….like the Sharks.

    • Peachy

      The Canucks will run into the Oilers plenty of times…in the regular season.

      Even with RNH & Gagner in the lineup, the Canucks will get their fair share of points.

      Chicago is better.

      St Louis is better.

      LA is better.

      San Jose is better.

      So it’ll be another 1st round exit…

      • argoleas

        I’m not usually into predicting how a season goes. No one had LA winning the cup two years ago, and I wonder how Chicago would have fared if St Louis and LA did not first destroy each other. So I’m not going to start now.

        You identify the teams that Vancouver MUST match up with if they have hopes of doing well this year. I agree these teams now represent the best of the west (others may emerge). They are the benchmarks.

        • argoleas

          All 4 of those teams were better than Vancouver last year and open this season with better/deeper rosters than Vancouver.

          And the Canucks simply don’t have the upside on the roster to close the gap.

          This was all obvious this past spring/summer when people were dreaming about Clarkson, Horton, Gordon, Cullen, Grabovski & Luongo for Dipietro+

          I suspect the Canucks will hold off most or all of the younger/higher upside rosters in the west (EDM, ANA, COL) for another year.

          But the most realistic prognostication can’t have Vancouver any higher than 3rd in the division behind LA & SJ…

      • asdf

        Define “better”.

        Canucks often were the “better” team and lost the series so while I don’t disagree with you that those teams probably have a better chance of getting a higher seed than the canucks, I don’t understand the logic behind your prophesy about a 1st round exit. There are so many variables in a season and in the playoffs that go into winning a championship. And we’re 2 games into a season.

        • asdf

          It has nothing to do with being 2 games into the season.

          The decline of this franchise was apparent months ago.

          Aside from being behind LA & SJ, the Canucks are far too dependent on players in their UFA/prime earning years.

          Where is the realistic upside on the roster?

          By the end of the year it will be clear that the Canucks have slid too far down the top of the mountain and rebuilding may be the best course of action for the organization.


          • pheenster

            I think I’ve finally put my finger on the nut of the issue I have with 95% of your posts (apart from the fact that you’re a douche, which is admittedly often hard to get past).

            To you, the Canucks problems are all structural. If Gillis had a better drafting record, if the Canucks had more players in their mid- to late-20s on the roster and producing, if Gillis hadn’t made so many (in retrospect) bad trades, then the team would be in much better shape. (I’m trying to summarize your posts over the last six weeks in a sentence or two, so sorry if miss a nuance here or there).

            What that doesn’t (in my opinion) take into account is the chronic and continual under-performance of this team since January 7, 2012. Sloppy play and an obvious reluctance to work hard have been staples of this team’s effort (or lack therof) since that date. I guess what I’m driving at is you (apparently anyway) completely discount the possibility that the current roster could, put simply, play better. The way I read what you’re saying is that’s simply not possible and that what to me is lack of work ethic and a willingness to settle for sloppy play is in fact the inevitable erosion of the core’s skills due to age, wear and tear.

            While I think there is truth to the argument that the lack of a third line makes it more difficult for the top two to perform (it would be foolish to argue this) I don’t accept that there isn’t a significant amount of upside to be wrung out of the core. Put bluntly, they’re better than they’ve played since the date I reference above. Not as good as they were in 2010-11, but a damn sight better than we’ve seen since.

            At the end of the season, one of us will be right and one will be wrong. I believe (and hope; I’m a fan after all) that I’m right. We shall see.

          • acg5151

            So based on the current roster what are you expecting?

            2nd round or better?

            And who in the division are the Canucks going to usurp SJ, LA or both?

            I’d be glad if I were wrong so long as it’s not a tease (i.e. the Canucks get lucky to win round 1 and promptly get outplayed and lose round 2).

            But it’s not going to happen.

            The window has closed.

        • acg5151

          You have the same mentality as the Sedins when they LOSE a game. ” we played better and we deserve to win, but we didn’t” You need to understand once and for all that when you LOSE a game, or a fight or anything, you were NOT better. That’s why there is a winner, because he or she is BETTER. There is no such thing as a loser who’s BETTER than the winner. Just like there is no such thing as a very thin fat person.

          • pheenster

            I’m sorry, that’s just daft. You’re confusing winning and losing with who plays better. One is not necessarily the same as the other.

            Example: Phoenix and Chicago in the playoffs a couple of years ago. Chicago was fat and away the better team, but Mike Smith was the better goaltender.

          • argoleas

            No, you are confusing losing with winning. You win because you played better, not worse. It doesn’t matter if you win ugly or cleverly, it’s called finding a way to win. That’s what winners do, and that’s what losers cannot do. You can’t “worse” the puck into the net more than the other team. You can’t “out-worse” an opponent for a win. Stop deluding yourself into thinking such nonsense. The best player always wins at that time.

            Your example is also delusional. the goalie is part of the team. The defense is part of goaltending. It is team vs team, not a whole team VS Mike Smith. If chicago couldn’t score on Smith that means they failed. that means their failure was why they lost. And you are trying to make Smith to be the only one who was on the ice for Phoenix. You base your opinion on one player, one factor. Did it eer occur to you that maybe just maybe, Chicago played bad or just not good enough? Are you going to say that a certain boxer was better than Tyson but Tyson just had a better right hook? LOL

            there is winning and losing. In team sports or individual sports, the better team or individual always wins, ( not counting cheating) If the objective is to pass a certain race, the person who wins the race is the winner and the best, not because he just happened to have a better right leg than the loser.

          • pheenster

            I see what you’re trying to say. I’m just saying that it’s entirely possible for one team to dominate another statistically (i.e. be measurably better) and still lose.

          • argoleas

            “You can’t “worse” the puck into the net more than the other team. ”

            Saw Tom Sestito do it in the preseason, as I recall. 🙂

            If you recall the Sestito play, the puck went in because the goalie was tracking what Tommy *wanted* to do with the puck; had Sestito competently handled the puck, he would have been stonewalled by a competent goalie. Instead he bumbled the puck right into the net.

            Yes, in a large enough sample size (like a whole season, say) things like that become background noise. In a small sample size (like a best-of-seven series, say) the noise can displace the signal, and the better team *can* lose. Goals go in off helmets, butts, and groins unintentionally; shots are blocked off butt ends of sticks accidentally. A defenceman playing a 2-on-1 perfectly has his skate hit a rut in the ice and he falls down.

            That’s why I can agree with NM00 about the Nuck’s possible placement at 3rd in their division (although historically their record over the last 3 seasons suggest they will finish higher than that) and yet say that another first round ouster is not inevitable. 3 or 4 poorly prepared servings of duck l’orange…

          • argoleas

            If he “worsed” the puck into the net than it really wasn’t all that “worse” was it? If Mike Tyson got lucky and clocked you one, wouldn’t you give him credit and say it was your stupidity for being hit in the first place? But nice of you to try and take what I said literally. Maybe we now live in a world where the winner isn’t the winner anymore. So if the better team that wins the game isn’t the better team in that game, why even bother with the score? Why even bother playing a game? Why not just play pond hockey where scoring doesn’t get tallied?

            Yeah, the puck could have gone off the bum of Sestitos and it wouldnt have been a goal if the goalie made the save…what’s your point, semantics? You can also say that had the goalie not “bumbled” the save, it would have been a goal. Maybe if the defense did their job , Sestito wouldnt have been anywhere near the goalie or in the zone? What if every goalie made all of their saves and every game was 0-0? What’s your point man? Why don’t you be humble and give credit to Sestito for scoring the goal, instead of making excuses? Hey, I could score goals in the NHL too if the goalies don’t make the saves, and again, what’s your point? The better team is the team that wins, that’s why they have a thing called “a game”, a “season” a Stanley Cup”. Rankings and luck or lack of luck is irrelevant in who has won or not.

            We should forget about the score and the wins, with your logic, we should at the end of the year employ a hockey panel to look at the teams and see how they think was the “best” team. Any team that has the least amount of luck should be the best team. Any team with the least bumbling goalie should be the better. Then they should award the Stanley Cup to that team based on who they thought was the best. To hell with competition, the best team isn’t the one that wins the game, let’s just give the cup to who we “THINK” is the best, right?

  • argoleas

    The problem with all the prognostications in the pre-season about the emerging Oilers dynasty (isn’t this a annual thing now?) was only based on the offensive potential of their stars. Seems like something that has been beaten to death, but the Oilers will not go anywhere until their stars, and they have lots of them, start taking their defensive responsibilities seriously. As much as there are emerging excuses about missing centers, I think this Oilers team could use more of the stars getting benched for their bad defensive play. Eakins better start earning his paycheque. The team could use some Boston’s internal team discipline. A guy like Chara would not tolerate this kind of BS. But I suppose if your highest paid guys are all young, who cares? Was making Ference the captain the best they could do? Not an oilers fan, but if I was, I would be livid just about now. Again, the season has just started, but it seems these are fundamental issue the team has, and they may take a long time to fix.

    I dont know whether Dubnyk is a good goalie or not, but as a Canucks fan, I know something about goalies looking worse because of bad team defense, and the Oilers had plenty of that. As things are now, I expect Calgary to end up higher in the standings because that team tries harder.

  • asdf

    Fun game to watch, but it was the Oilers, so..

    I’ve never seen a team stand behind a mediocre goalie for so long like the Oilers have with Dubnyk. Seriously, I just don’t see what so many people seem to see in him. He’s just not that good.