A pretty good game from the team. Nashville is completely depleted due to injuries and on a one-way trip to the NHL's basement this year. But the Canucks owned the 1st, surrendered ground in the first 15 minutes of the second period and played on their heels a bit. Then we took over in the 3rd.
Kesler and Roy on a line together sure paid off. I imagine we'll see that again tomorrow. The downside to that it that it significantly weakens the 3rd line. Schroeder should be called back up and Ebbett sent down. Schroeder can do all the things Ebbett does, but he can play in the offensive zone much more effectively. Either that or move Kassian up with the twins and Hansen back down to the 3rd line and use it as a checking unit.
The PP looked a lot better tonight, but I found that the first unit again was out performed by the second group. Garrison is clearly a MUCH better option than Edler. In the last few games I have noticed that when the second unit wins the offensive zone faceoff a scoring chance is generated off of Garrison's stick very quickly. The passes coming to him aren't even perfect either. Tonight we saw a faceoff win, a scrum near the point, and a rushed pass under pressure from Raymond that Garrison simply pounded by a screened Rinne. The next PP saw the 1st unit back out to start it off, and they squandered over a minute without even gaining the zone before the 2nd unit got a chance to even try. That was my only real frustration with the team tonight.
I loved that Kassian went after Rinne. Rinne gave him a little whack with the stick as Kassian cruised through the top of the crease, then with no defenders around Kassian sets up OUTSIDE the blue ice and Rinne delivers a Pronger-esque crosscheck to his back. Most of our team would have just taken that like pussies. I liked his response, who cares if you're a goalie, you want to play like a regular skater then fine, you get the same treatment. Team response to that was a bit sad.
Burrows should be wearing the "C" in games like this. Other than Kesler he is the one guy on the team that NEVER quits, can play any situation, with any linemates, and against any opponent. His work against Hal Gill was awesome, non-stop, take the abuse, keep fighting, draws a penalty, Garrison scores, then he gets the deflection while working against Weber to put the Canucks over the top. He gives up 45 pounds to Weber and 55 pounds to Gill.
Ballard didn't have a great game again, but according to the lineup Vigneault had him back on the right side. I just can't make sense of that. He's been with the team for 3 seasons, and from day one he has struggled on the right side.....so play the other guy there. I dunno. I can't fault Vigneault for Ballard's gaffs, but I can't help but think he's intentionally setting the guy up to fail.
The non-call on the high stick to Roy was absolute bullshit. The puck was right there, not sure what the officials were looking at.