Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Canucks/Kings: Post-Game Thoughts

For the first time in many months, I was able to see live NHL hockey at Generic Motors Place. Luck (but not Luc Robitaille) would have it that I would also get to experience my first (dreaded) shootout, in which the Kings prevailed for a 4-3 score.

Observations and Musings:

1. The new offensive zones look even bigger than on TV. The neutral zone is smaller than any Kariya brother.

2. The new RBK (Reebok) ads on the blue and red lines (scrolling sideways and downwards on the boards) look like Japanese characters for some unknown brand. It took me half the game to realize what exactly the letters were for.

3. Pavol Demitra was TEH BOMBZ0RZ all night long. It doesn't surprise me that he got over 28 minutes in total ice time since he seemed to be almost everywhere. Pavol finished with 2 assists and was hauled down on a short-handed breakaway and somehow not awarded a penalty shot. The fact that Daniel Sedin was awarded the game's first star says more about the homerific Sportsnet crew than of Pavol's play.

I also noticed that Pavol got rid of the Gretzky half-tuck, for what that's worth.

4. Anson Carter played a very inspired game. Why couldn't he do this all the time? I'm sure his former Kings teammates were wondering "Where the hell was this guy when he played with us?"

5. It was a nice contrast of styles between the two goaltenders. Alex (B)Auld relies on his positioning and size while Mathieu Garon relies heavily on his reflexes and athleticism. If Auld didn't let a softy PP goal by Derek Armstrong, the Canucks could have taken the game before OT.

6. Canucks fans are a whiny bunch of preppies. I knew that already, but damn, do they whine about EVERYTHING! If the guy is holding the other guy's stick, don't boo the ref for an obvious penalty call. Morons.

7. The Shootout - So contrived. It has a level of excitement, but not the real 'spur of the moment' excitement that really gets your adrenaline pumping. I found the OT and late game action to be much more exciting than the skills competition at the end.

8. Sean Avery - Got in a nice scrap with Jovocop and the crowd was definitely hoping for a KO punch ala the Deadmarsh fight. I noticed that Avery rarely sat down on the bench, as he likes to stand near the divider and keep his yap flapping all night long. I'm sure his teammates must get sick of his constant yapping. Between him and JR, you'd never be able to get in a minute's worth of meditation on that club.

9. Kevin Bieksa (defenseman) also made his NHL debut for the Canucks. It didn't take him long to get in the coach's doghouse with a roughing penalty 10 seconds in to the game.

10. Alexander Frolov didn't finish with any points (Though he got the lone shootout goal), but he continues to impress me more every time I see him. You probably hear his name and think of 'finesse' offensive-minded forward. Well, Frolov is a strong kid and works very hard. His playmaking could use some work, but he has everything that I would want in a player, except for the fact that he's Russian. ;)

11. Mattias Norstrom - D00d looks a lot smaller than I remember and also skated better than I remember.

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