Oh, John(s).. [Image via Legion of Blog]
Roberto Luongo was just moments away from recording his 3rd shutout of the season, and bringing his save percentage on the year right up to his career average of .919.. but then, John Garrett decided to deviate from his usual analysis of Peanut Butter and other Safeway products, and went out of his way to point the shutout bid out to the audience..
.. and of course, with just 8 seconds left in a 3-0 game, Jamie McGinn put home a totally meaningless goal to spoil all of that goodness. Oh well. I guess a 28/29 performance from Luongo, and a 3-1 win over a team currently holding a playoff spot in the packed Western Conference will have to do. It wasn’t the prettiest of performances, and the Avalanche almost certainly aren’t as good as their record would indicate, but it was a big win for the Canucks regardless.
Read on past the jump for more.
This is Mike Santorelli’s world, and we’re all just lucky enough to get to live in it. Thankfully Santorelli, who can’t seem to go through an interview without falling back on crutch phrases and dropping "yanno"s, is better at playing hockey than he is on the mic. His big night started just a handful of minutes into the game, after he put a sweet move on JS Giguere:
Higgins and Santorelli have pretty much played fantastic hockey together since being paired up just a few weeks into the season, but now they’re finally starting to get rewarded for their play with some results. The Higgins/Kesler/Santorelli trio combined for 3 goals, 6 points, 12 shots on goal, and a Haida hat. Except for Higgins not looking for Santorelli near the end of the game (instead opting to shoot the puck himself, and missing), they could do no wrong.
Santorelli was the only one of the three not to crack 20 minutes on the night, but he surely would’ve if not for having to leave the game after taking a hit during the 1st. Speaking of Kesler, here’s his 15th of the season:
Please, for the love of god, can we stop with the "Beastmode" thing? It’s over. There’s a significantly better alternative, which is quite fitting considering where Kesler has been doing most of his damage this season:
— Gráinne (@wholegrainne) December 9, 2013
I’m strongly in favour of going with #creasemode, instead. Let’s let Santorelli, the $550k man, put a bow on this section as we head to the numbers..
Image via Extra Skater
In 35.7 minutes of 5v5 play in "score close" situations, the Canucks attempted 35 shots to the 33 of the Avs. Then, as you’d expect, with the Canucks up 2-0 the Avalanche took over from a shot attempts perspective as they tried to score a goal. I should also note that Patrick Roy – kind of admirably, by the way – pulled his goaltender with around 5 minutes left. Who cares whether your team loses 3-0 or 4-0? Why not give it a shot, right?
The Sedins finished with a low-event, 60% Corsi night, but I was for the most part fairly unimpressed with their play at 5v5. It’s kind of hard to get on them too hard considering they’ve managed to continue producing on the scoreboard, but it certainly feels like it has been a while since we’ve seen a vintage, dominant Sedin performance. I think Tortorella is more than aware of this, as he switched David Booth off of their line after a few games there, putting Jannik Hansen on their right wing.
Here are Daniel Sedin’s on-ice shot attempt differentials since that beatdown of the Blue Jackets back on November 22nd (for-against): 16-15, 8-9, 11-10, 13-15, 11-12, 11-15, 11-18, 12-8 (tonight). They’ve generated only 2 goals during that time, to boot. But they’ve earned enough of a leash with me over the years that I bet they’ll go on a torrid stretch any time now..
I tweeted this out after the game, but I’ll mention it here once again: since getting pulled in New York, Roberto Luongo has stopped 95 of 99 shots he has faced, bumping his save percentage on the season up to .918. His career save percentage is .919, by the way. I’d still wager on him finishing the year around the .920 mark, as I thought he would back in the preseason. He should have a chat with Garrett [thanks to @ChiefsHockey97]:
Andrew Alberts was on the ice for 4 shot attempts for, and 9 against in "close situations" in this one. He also played only 8:39. Dan Hamhuis is on the first unit PP, and Chris Tanev is on the 2nd unit. Yannick Weber was called up by the Canucks this morning, so.. it’s now or never for him?
The power play failed to score a goal for the first time 7 games, but then again, they only had 2 opportunities. It’ll have a chance to get back on track against the Carolina Hurricanes and their 21st ranked penalty kill unit tomorrow night.