Photo via Josh Gold-Smith
I’ve been indulging in House of Cards lately, blasting through it on Netflix like it’s nobody’s business. There’s a particular scene from Episode 1 of Season 2 – don’t worry, this isn’t a spoiler I promise – that Tuesday’s Canucks game in Phoenix made me think back to. It involved Frank Underwood eating ribs at Freddy’s BBQ Joint, and it went something like this:
“Freddy, was their something different about these ribs this morning?”
“Well.. tried a new butcher. Slow-bleeds his hogs. It ain’t legal, but I don’t know if I’m going to go back to him. Went out to his shop, and he’s got a room in the back where he does it. Sound-proof.”
“Because of how they scream. They can smell it coming. You stick that pipe in their throat, next ten minutes is hell. Bust your ear drums. Now.. the humane way to do it is to make it quick. Bring out a bucket of slop like it’s feeding time and.. *bam*.. shovel right to the base of their head. There’s no screaming.”
The Canucks lost 1-0 to the Phoenix Coyotes, in the final game before the trade deadline. They’re bleeding out as slowly as possible, and all we can hope for right now is that there’s a tasty meal at the end of it all waiting for us. Until then we’ll continue to scream.
— Taj (@taj1944) March 5, 2014
Yep. I’d say that bird’s eye view of a goal mouth scrum from the 3rd period is as good a way as any to sum up what we witnessed in this one. That, and GILLISBERG!
From our good friends over at Extra Skater:
Don’t let the final possession numbers deceive you, because as the charts above show, the most valuable player for the Canucks on Tuesday night was the Ghost of Score Effects.
Despite leaving the first period down 1-0, the Canucks actually went into the intermission having a 10-8 advantage in fenwicks, having been the better team through the opening 20 minutes. But after that, the wheels really fell off in a big way. The Coyotes attempted 18 shots to just the 7 from the Canucks in the 2nd period, as the battle between myself and sleep was far more spirited than anything we were witnessing on the ice.
The Canucks dominated the final 15 minutes or so of the game from a possession perspective, attempting 14 shots to just 5 by the Coyotes, but most of it was pretty harmless. Mike Smith had to stop just 23 shots on the night, and I’d venture to guess that the Canucks were hard-pressed to get up to 5 legitimate scoring chances all night. The struggle is real. Apart from Ryan Kesler ringing iron on a screened wrister in the 2nd period, Smith got to chill back there; knowing him the shoutout was bittersweet, because he didn’t even get a chance to flop around at all.
On the other end of the ice, the one goal Lack gave up wasn’t great, but he stopped 31 of 32 shots and was definitely the hard luck loser. Following the goal I tweeted something to the effect of “Eddie Lack clearly can’t handle the pressure of being the number 1!” and some people appeared to take it seriously, for some reason. I was joking.
Lack will be fine; he’s a good young goalie, his future looks bright, and don’t listen to any talking head that tries to put this gibberish about things changing for him following this trade. If he continues to stop pucks, he’ll be fine and there will be no problems. So far so good, despite the ultimate result.
Brad Richardson didn’t come back to the game following the first period, and all we know is that he’s listed as “day-to-day” at the moment. Maybe he should be somewhat insulted that nobody is wondering whether it was actually a precautionary move to avoid injury prior to the deadline, as opposed to an injury. For whatever it’s worth he missed practice prior to the Heritage Classic, so I wouldn’t be shocked if something flared up on him in that 1st period.
Things aren’t good in Vancouver right now, despite Sportsnet’s continued claims that they’re “in a fight for a playoff spot”. They’ve scored 8 goals in their past 8 games. Top Sixtito played 12:44 (and somehow, I don’t have an issue with it, because it’s actually kind of weirdly entertaining and he was one of the more active guys out there). Who are we kidding?
At least we have tomorrow to look forward to, in which the Canucks could very prominently feature in all the trade centre specials on Sportsnet and TSN. It’s quite possible that Ryan Kesler will be on the move (and there may be others), which means that there could be some new shiny toys on the way. The team will get worse in the present if that’s to happen, but that’s okay. As long as there’s a long-term goal, and a plan, and some things to get even remotely excited about moving forward, then we should all be satisfied.
We’ll have lots of coverage surrounding all of the fireworks tomorrow, so make sure to check back here. We’ll be running a live chat, and if you’d like to come by and talk it all out with us, that’d be swell. If you just want to sit on your couch with your laptop out in silence, not making your presence known with a comment, that’s okay too. Just remember that “the more, the merrier” always applies to these sorts of things, as people tend to feed off of each other in sparking more sustained conversations. I hope to see you guys then.
If not, we’ll be back on Thursday with coverage of the game in Dallas.