Game 8 Recap:
Good evening intrepid perusers of the internets. I welcome you to this recap of what I can only assume will be a blowout loss by the Canucks because the Avs are, quite literally, the worst team in the West. Not surprising, I suppose, when they have a goalie riding unsustainable numbers last year that must drop or else all of science is wrong, a defense that is terrible in every way, a coach that is not even close to how good Todd McLellan is, their forwards are awful in every statistical way, they never get any shots because shots and shot-based statistics are the only stats that matters, and they couldn’t even re-sign Stastny who was far and away the Avs best player on the roster last year.
With that said, I better recap this disaster.
DRINKING UPDATE (Last night): I got myself really fucking drunk and didn’t shave for work. I had a pocket square though, so we’re all good.
DRINKING UPDATE (Current): Yamazaki. You all better be drinking because lord knows we are going to need it. Right? AMIRITE?
TANGENT 1: That guy is speeding the fuck through O Canada. He wants that shit over.
I SEE A REDMOND! I SEE A REDMOND!!!! He was the bench and probably won’t play. Oh wells. Duchene’s line out to start.
Haha well that’s interesting, told you it was going to be a disaster. 10 seconds into the game, the Canucks scored. This was going to be a long night. Duchene won the faceoff back into their zone, Johnson chased it down and wrung it around the boards on the far side but right to a Sedin who fed a wide open other Sedin. He put it right by Varly on a very nice shot. Huh. 1-0 Canucks.
Well the Avs had a few good shifts but then got called for Too Many Men. Penalty kill upcoming.
PK1: PK looks good though. Vancouver never had anything going.
OH LOOK A BREAKOUT!!!!! And it created a few good chances for the Avs. Amazing how that works. The Avs had a good minute and a half of pressure and were looking like their old selves.
TANGENT 2: I do not get [EDITOR’S NOTE: I have no idea what I was going to write or what I was thinking so I am just going to leave it like this.]
Mitchell’s line came out and after a disaster of a breakout, Lack gave the puck away to Talbot and Mitchell almost managed to wrap around the rebound. Alas, no goals.
O’Reilly’s line came and managed to have some great possession. Alas, MacKinnon still looks off.
After the following shift, McLeod fought Dorsett. McLeod was all-amped up and he was trying to get the crowd into it. Say what you want about Cody or fighting, but you could even hear the crowd get into it and I noticed and uptick in the Avs play.
TANGENT 3: I really want to troll everyone for not understanding why 1000 penalty minutes is a feat, but I do not have the time.
The Avs followed the fight with an amazing shift. They looked all energized and Tanguay was robbed in the slot. Following a mid-shift change, MacKinnon found Iginla wide open in front but he fired high. The Canucks gained control and lobbed the puck into the Avs zone. Barrie chased it down and was turning to keep the play going and the Canuck had to hold him. Penalty on the Canucks.
PP1: The Power play had some good movement to start but eventually fizzled out into nothing. As the Avs are wont to do, the last 20 seconds was great. McGinn was robbed from the crease and the power play expired.
However, the Avs kept the puck in the zone after the penalty. After some nifty passing by Johnson, Holden, and Duchene, Holden pinched and Duchene found the puck in the far corner. He pulled off his patented spin move to break away. Once he broke away from the Canucks defender, their defense and center collapsed to him. Both defenders moved to chase him behind the net, but before they could, Duchene saucer-ed it out to a wide-open Iginla who ironically scored on a wicked backhand for his first Avalanche goal. 1-1.
The following shift saw MacKinnon speed into the zone, stop short and pass to Landeskog who took a bad angle shot. The puck dropped out of Lack’s pads and Landeskog stormed the crease, but it never went in.
I SEE A REDMOND AGAIN!!!!!
With 2:37, Vancouver seemed to score off a corner feed, but the refs called no goal for kicking. The refs went for a video review. [EDITOR’S NOTE: It looks like a kicking motion.] The refs hung up the very important black phone and………it’s a goal. That’s a bunch of bullshit in my opinion. 2-1 Vancouver.
Systems Summary: 1st goal aside, the Avs played a great period. They still had a few hiccups on their breakouts (I am straight up baffled by this occurrence) but once they got their game going, they did a great job tying the game and smothering the Canucks. Of course, the Canucks second goal was a fairly lucky play, but Stuart still should have had his man.
TANGENT 4: I cannot wait for these stupid Colorado political ads to stop. Fucking Rhode Island. Land o’ convicts.
More Redmond. His first shift of the period saw him have a good rush but you can tell he is still timid. He’ll get there.
I want to recap this period, but there isn’t really anything until the 16 minute mark. Landeskog was fighting for the puck in the Vancouver zone and O’Reilly was stalking. Then a dirty little Sbisa speared Radar’s ankle and got called.
PP2: The MacKinnon unit came out first but really had nothing going, at all. No shots. No nothing. The Avs looked flat, but the Canucks had a great kill.
As the penalty expired, Barrie and Stuart managed to gain possession in the high Avs zone. Barrie launched the puck from the far side in the empty gspot [EDITOR’s NOTE: I am leaving this typo] in the near side neutral zone where Duchene was streaking up the wall. Duchene had a head of steam and took it wide on the Canucks. He did an awesome move to get it from his forehand to back hand and fed McGinn in the slot. McGinn fired the puck over Lack’s other should to tie the game. Fucking beautiful. 2-2.
TANGENT 5: THAT WAS FUCKING BEAUTIFUL.
TANGENT 6: BEAUTIFUL.
TANGENT 7: SO MUCH WOW. MUCH FUCKING. LOTS BEUATIFUL.
DRINKING UPDATE: Heavily.
Well, the Avs 3rd line came out now with McLeod out there based on how he was playing. Mitchell took a long shot form the blue line and the puck flew up into the air. Bonino went to swat it and “Keith Ballarded” Talbot right in the face. Hope he’s okay. He’s okay!!!! Bonino was called for attempted murder with a deadly weapon.
PP3: The Duchene unit started and couldn’t really get much going. Vancouver plays a very tight PK unit. With a minute left, Duchene had a wide open net to shoot at but Edler slid to stop it. The Duchene unit then took.the.fuck.over. Shot form everywhere and Vancouver was called for another penalty! 5 on 3! Yayyyyyyssssssssssssssss.
5on3: MacKinnon’s unit came out. And GOAL!!!! The Avs won the faceoff (HOW FUCKING IMPORTANT ARE THESE FUCKERS). Barrie and Johnson passed on the blue line and eventually switched spots. The puck came back out to Barrie who switched again with Johnson and left it for EJ. EJ looked like he was going to take a slap shot, but instead fired a quick wrist shot right over Lack’s other other shoulder. 3-2 Avs.
Also, more power plays to go.
PP4: Oooh and this one for a minute and forty seconds. MacKinnon’s unit stayed out but only managed one host. Duchene’s unit came out and Duchene tried to skate through the entire Canucks team. He did. But he didn’t score. Boooooo. PP over.
TANGENT 8 or something: Can Barrie hear McNab talk when he’s in the bench?
TANGENT 9: HOW THE FUCK CAN HAYNES TELL THE SEDINS APART SO QUCIKLY.
With 6 minutes let in the 2nd, this is a bizarre penalty. The puck was dumped on Varly and he dove to cover it, but he slid into the restricted zone. Penalty for “playing the puck in the restricted zone – trapezoid.” Sure, that’s a thing.
PK2: The Canucks ran a great power play. They managed to get the Avs to provide a lot of space. Probably took much space. Much Cliché was stuck out there and was clearly hurting. He couldn’t chase. However, Vrbata ripped shot off the pipe but other than that, there wasn’t a lot of worry just a foreboding sense of dread of inevitability. No goal though.
With less than two minutes left, the Avs 3rd line took over the ice and after some good zone play, Redmond broke in and took a great shot the Lack had to fight off.
Systems Update: The Avs played great and their systems were on fully display. The 5 on 3 power play absolutely helped them but really Duchene was the key. He was leading all the neutral zone rushed. Of not, specifically, was the Avs defense. They still had some gaffs that caused Canucks possession, but they were able to limit any threats by controlling where Vancouver went when on offense. My old coach referred to that as non-puck possession. The Avs man-to-man coverage creates a lot of that and it showed how effective it can be.
The period started off slowly that saw Redmond with a nice rush. I CAN HAZ MORE REDMONDS?
The 4 line came out next and had an offensive zone face-off. Cliché won the draw back to Barrie who skated the blue line and fired a shot on Lack. Briere was in front, grabbed the rebound, and slid it under a sprawling Lack. 4-2 Avs.
At the 17 minute mark, the Avs saw a scary play that fortunately went well. Edler hit Duchene awkwardly who looked to go headfirst into the boards. He looked shaken up and my heart sank. But it was his mouth that got dinged. Phew.
Under 15 left, the Canucks skated into the Avs zone. Johnson made a great play to remove the Vancouver forward from the puck and chipped the puck up to Iginla on the far-side boards. Iginla started skated and passed to the Duchene and they were off on a 2 on 1.
4 strides later and it became a breakaway because no one was near Duchene then. He took it in on Lack, went for the fake shot, deked to his right and slid the puck through Lack’s 5-hole. 5-2 Avs.
The following shift saw Roy put out the 4th line and Briere drew a penalty on a boarding call. However, he stupidly retaliated and drew a matching minor so it was 5v5.
Landeskog then decided to kill Weber and was called for boarding.
PK3: Vancouver had some good zonetime, but only until the penalty expired was Vancouver able to get any good pressure. At the end, Higgins was trying to play badminton but Varly was there to stop everything.
With just under 10 minutes left, Vancouver was able to win the faceoff off an icing and Sedin rifled a shot from the blue line past Varly. Bad goal. 5-3 Avs.
For the next few minutes, the game got choppy but as the Avs were pinned, Redmond skated the puck out, thankfully, and dumped it in. O’Reilly and McLeod chased it down and O’Reilly fed Landeskog who skated into a monster of a slap shot and blew it by Lack. 6-3.
With 2:42 to go Kassian was kicked out of the game for misconduct (buttending).
With 43 seconds left, the Duchene line clearly wanted another goal. After a dump in, Tanguay found the puck on blue line and sent a shot towards the net. UPON FURTHER REVIEW: it was a pass. It was a pass right to Iginla who made a remarkable tip on a puck going wide and the puck hit both posts and went in. 7-3 Avs. Fuck you Vancouver, bunch a whiny babies.
Systems Summary. Good. Literally, just good. Nothing else really needs to be said. The team looked great. In the 1st there were a few miscues including the blunder by Johnson and the lost man by Stuart but the team looked great. 48 shots is a great number, but I care more about the fact the Avs stuck to their system and found speed in the zone. Shots are just part of that. I was more impressed with the systems. The defense still had errors but I loved the breakouts. Just wait until MacKinnon gets going.
3rd Whore: O’Reilly. He was underrated in my opinion. He played amazing all game and added stability in the 1st when the Avs needed it.
2nd Whore: Johnson. I could have easily made this Barrie but as big as Johnson’s goal was, outside the one boneheaded mistake he played lights fucking out. He looked awesome, like last years EJ. He and Hejda dominated the Sedins.
1st Whore: Duchene. Dude was flying. Best player on the ice. Hands down.
Honorable Whore: Redmond. He reminds me of Holden. Boy, you ain’t going to the press box.
Next up: Winnipeg on Sunday afternoon. Let’s keep it rolling.