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Canucks Army Post-Game: NHL China Game #2

Hello, is this thing on?

I’m not sure how I found myself here, but I was up and there is hockey on my TV.

After watching the “Utica Canucks” against the Oilers yesterday, we are treated to an actual mostly NHL team in the Vancouver blue and Travis green.

THE RUNDOWN

What a great thing this trip to China is. Sure the results are not what Canucksarmy citizens are hoping for but the people watching it were having fun. Definitely more fun than your average NHL fan at a preseason game. They even did the wave!

Things were slow to start overall. The Kings scored goals one and two in quick succession.

Muzzin was all over in the first stanza and the slow start in general didn’t really stop for the Canucks. There was a bit of emotion shown when the Canucks rushed the net and Andreoff took exception to Dorsett.

The second was a bit of the same. Nilsson getting tested with some pretty good chances from the Kings. Then Sven Baertschi said, “Got this”:

Otherwise the second was a lot of Kings with little minor push-back from the Nucks.

Baertschi started off the second driving the play again, coming close. The Kings come back and off a weird bounce from the glass, Nilsson is lost and the puck is in off Toffoli on the spot

Play picked up after that for both teams. Odd man rushes and broken plays from both sides. The Canucks push harder through the mid way point and are rewarded on the second of a back-to-back power play:

We have a game on our hands! The crowd was on the edge of their seat and the Kings and Canucks exchange chance after chance. Finally Tanev comes streaking in from off the bench and rips one past the Kings Keumper.

Think you’ve been up too long? We bring you OVERTIMEEE.

Imagine the confusion for a Chinese hockey fan taking in the NHL in person for the first time and seeing the chaos that is 3-on-3. The Kings took the first half of OT with the Sedins changing the momentum briefly for Vancity. Canucks hold on and now we shoot.

Shootout:

Canucks shooter –

Kings shooter –

Canucks shooter –

Kings shooter –

Canucks shooter –

A anti-climatic end to a great comeback of the Canucks. The skills competition what it is. The ice played a role.

Lots of positives to take from this however.

THE GOOD

  • Less penalties! Good golly the players were allowed to play. Aside from Andreoff getting upset at Dorsett for going to the net the boys were allowed to play. Thanks refs.
  • Sven Baertschi’s entire game really. Highlighted by this shift in the 2nd period that led to his goal:

  • The push from the Canucks PP. There wasn’t a PP that the Canucks did have that wasn’t well establish for flourishes. The Eriksson goal a result of the PP work.
  • Over 12,000 people in Beijing to take in the festivities.
  • The comeback. The boys didn’t give in. Could have folded up shop when Toffoli put that weird one in. The Canucks didn’t stop. They were rewarded with a preseason OT point?

THE BAD

  • The ice. Right from the hop the moorings for the nets were an issue. Before the first puck drop the LA net was under repair. Now China isn’t yet the hot bed of hockey so we’ll give them a break.
  • The not so Great Wall of Nilsson. He was bombarded, but was all over with rebound control and his stops/non-stops. He constantly was scrambling around the crease.
  • 3 on 3: there was very little Canucks possession in the extra period. (Until the Sedins were on the ice)

THE UGLY

  • Labate’s face after laying a massive hit on Burmis… No wait. He plays for the Canucks… that can’t b.. No no it actually was his own teammate:

  • The breakaways. I counted no less than 5 full or partial breaks by the Kings. Nilsson already having a tough time on the night, and the team makes him save some solo rushes.

LOOKING AHEAD

The China series is done.

The players can head back across the pond and the Canucks have until Thursday the 28th to get rid of the lag of the jet variety.

Thanks for having me Canucksarmy and best of luck to you guys going forward. If you have any comments or complaints I am always around at @TheNationDan

  • Steamer

    Aw, that was so much fun, watching the NHL pimp their corporate brand in a new market! Maybe next time we can see more of labour-camps, political prisoners, etc.? Totally makes sense to ‘sell’ the game like this rather than the Olympics – I mean, who’s gonna watch that when there’s high-calibre exhibition hockey between Canucks & Kings?

    • who flung dung

      well said Steamer. Clearly North American fans were totally irrelevant with the ridiculous game start times. The only logical explanation for the NHL sending a team as bad as Vancouver over to sell their product to the Chinese is that only being allowed to have one child per family by law, the twins were a real novelty circus sideshow act?

      • Nation Dan

        Sports are fun.

        They are trying to expose the world to our game.

        People had fun at the games. Don’t think too hard about this past that. It’s a game.

        Thanks for reading.

        • who flung dung

          Thanks for your piece and input Dan, but that’s a very naive statement imo. The NHL doesn’t spend millions of dollars ‘for fun’, sports is a business and Gary Bettman’s primary mandate is to make money through his product!

          In my opinion both these teams, especially Vancouver, are a very poor choice in order to sell your product to a potentially massive audience like the Chinese.

          Dan, If i’m trying to sell cars to China surely i don’t send over a boring Volvo and a lame Pinto, I send over two Ferrari’s and a superstar or two like Lewis Hamilton to present them to the public! That’s how you leave a lasting impression and legacy.

          • Nation Dan

            Don’t think there is any magic to whom they chose.

            Two pacific time zone teams that agreed to go.

            Not many teams would be ok with this kind of disruption. With the team NA side it has to be hard even assess what you have.

            I would venture to guess other teams opted out.

          • Vchiu

            My sister was at the game. Her impression was there was a good chunk of Canuck fans and the Chinese people were mostly cheering for the Canucks as well.

            From her talking to the local Chinese they were already pretty overwhelmed with the speed of the game. Couldn’t track the puck :p Well, there’s lots of basketball fans so they used ball instead of puck but oh well, baby steps XD

  • Jabs

    Nilsson certainly didn’t step up and win this for the team but he was way way better than he was the last time he played and from what I saw, I thought he was standing in there fairly well. I wouldn’t call him bad, I just thought that a lot he looked unfamiliar with the defensive coverage so may have been caught because of that but that is something he will quickly adjust to. I actually thought he looked good as opposed to bad.

    • Nation Dan

      That’s fair. The last time I really sat down and watched Nilsson play he looked exactly like he did this morning. Just fighting it hard.

      thanks for reading!

    • defenceman factory

      I agree I thought he looked okay. Got better as the game went on. He looked weak on the Kings second goal. If he makes that save it’s a pretty good preseason performance.

  • copey

    Labate wrecks his own player, wrecking his own face in the process.

    Hmmm…. we have a metaphor for this season to go with Ericsson’s own goal last year.

    Well done Bear Cheese! As for Loui’s PP, it’s hard to see, but does the LA Schwing player knock it in for him?

  • Naslund

    Excellent idea to sell the game to the Chinese. We’ve sold our housing in Vancouver to the Chinese, and that’s working out well. Maybe they could buy up all the NHL teams and move them to China. That would be great. Also, I get really thrilled and excited to see some Chinese billionaire who has exploited and ripped off his countrymen through the corrupt and morally bankrupt Chinese system. I really want him to like hockey too, because anything that involves that guy must be good for everyone, right? Yay, this is awesome! Thanks Gary Bettman. Love you!

    • Jamie E

      China now has the world’s biggest middle class. These folks are just like middle class folks in North America – they are looking for things to do in their leisure time, like attend sporting events. Everyone wants into the Chinese market. You and I may no the fans of the Chinese political system, but in the last 30 years 500 million Chinese have been lifted out of extreme poverty, according to the World Bank. That accounts for 75% of global poverty reduction during that time period. The Chinese middle class is not our enemy and selling products – like NHL hockey into emerging markets – is just good business.

    • Doodly Doot

      I neither applaud nor deride your ironic tone. I do empathize for sure. Speaking specifically to the NHL’s ‘effort’ to make an inroad into the Chinese market, I would comment that they demonstrated their typical style of incompetence and lack of creativity when approaching something that is clearly a ‘grass-roots first’ type of project. The NHL sees the game as travelling circus rather than a cultural phenomenon. That’s pretty much always been the Bettman run NHL, so no surprise this flight of fancy looks so damned amateurish. It’s a shame the Canucks, who more than most needed a concise focused preseason, are one of the suckers in the deal. That’s a lot of lost time they won’t get back and it will definitely shape the early part of their season. Let’s not forget the Kings, who equally don’t deserve the distraction. Interestingly, the potential Chinese hockey fan didn’t show up. Their is probably a long list of reasons why, but leisure time and money for something ‘other’ than hockey seems an easy one to grasp. Canuck fans reacting to a ‘potentially’ miserable season start may come to a similar conclusion and go and do likewise.

  • ds4quality

    Was there ever this much backlash against the games in Europe or Japan? The ice was terrible, but no excuses. Nilsson got better after the second period, but he’s only played 1 and a half games so I give him the benefit of the doubt.