Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"The Gameover" - Canucks vs. Rangers

Ugh....w-what? What happened?

Those are almost always the first words someone with a hangover says. You wake up in a daze, head pounding as you quickly try and recap something that seemed really important last night. The next words you say define the kind of night you had.

"...Why am I in jail?" = Bad night.
"...*Sniff* who is making me breakfast in bed?" = Good night.
"...Who is making me breakfast in bed... in jail?...*sniff*" = To be determined.

But every so often I wake up feeling groggy and confused and my next words are:

"....Oh. right. Canucks game."

Yes folks, today I woke up with a wicked "gameover". Last night the Canucks played the Rangers and anyone who remembers the 1994 Stanley Cup Final wants to believe that every time those teams square off that:

A) The Stanley Cup is at stake.

B) Perhaps we can re-write history.

Sadly though, it's just a fantasy.

Nobody can re-write history and we will have always lost the Cup that year. Even if we could go back in time, I'm sure people would just use it for selfish reasons. Like ensuring their existence or inventing rock n' roll.

(Pictured: Selfish)

(Pictured: Well adjusted priorities, shoddy picture editing)

Last night the Canucks got stifled by a demon goalie from an Eastern conference team and were embarrassed at home 4-0. This draws several comparisons to a few months ago, but we all remember back that far, so there is no need to address it (psst, I'm talking about Tim Thomas).

The night started out with an excellent tribute to fallen Canuck Rick Rypien, who died this past offseason. Kevin Bieksa, Rypien's best friend on the team, presented his parents with the Ripper's 40th anniversary game-worn jersey. There were tears, there were hugs, and of course there was a montage set to "Superman" by Five for Fighting (they are like the Sarah McLachlan of the NHL). Two things went through my mind after it was over: 1. That's really sad. 2. Bieksa is fighting someone tonight.

(Rick Rypien, captured at his finest. RIP)

The Game

The Canucks got into early penalty trouble, because what they lack in discipline they more than make up for in consistency. Roberto Luongo made some early saves, but decided at one point to handle the puck (uh-oh!) and he shot it up over the glass: putting the Canucks on the penalty kill once again. At that stage in the game it was still 0-0: so the Luongo hate brigade needed ammunition... and he delivered.

(Sad Luongo is sad)

It is also worth noting that our favourite "Second line Center-fold" was back on the ice tonight. Ryan Kesler made his return to the line-up after offseason hip surgery. He probably doesn't know it, but he beat my grandmother (who also had offseason hip surgery) back to the ice. I lost $400 by betting on Nanna, but I was still pumped Kesler was back. As were the fans. They cheered him for barely connecting on a body check on his first shift, they cheered him for a pass he made at some point. They even cheered him for taking a drink of water on the bench.

("MVP! MVP! MVP!")

At one point in the game, someone at TSN dropped the ball... right onto the Canucks control panel (I'm sure they have one) and they lost the broadcast feed from Rogers arena. Whoops! No worries though, they still had access to the feed from New York. So we all got to watch our Canucks... in coverage so blurry I felt I should be wearing 3D glasses.

Vancouver blogger Miss604 called it right by saying that it was a real "first world" problem... but that doesn't mean it still wasn't a problem. I must say, one of the things I loved about the MSG feed was hearing the other commentators call the action from a Ranger bias. Alex Burrows got a 4 on 1 gangland beating in front of the net after a whistle, and the New York commentary team dropped this gem on us:

"You know what? That's a good knockdown".

Another thing I loved about those guys is the attention they spent on profiling each and every Ranger who was on the ice for the penalty kill. Real in depth stuff. They spent a lot of time talking about it too, as the Canucks had several power plays at this stage (cue Rangers Coach John Tortorella looking like my dad when I told him I wanted to be a writer).

("Is there money in that?" Answer: Not really)

It's okay Mr. Tortorella, the Canucks went 0 for 8 on the power play. Which angry Canucks fans seemed to forget as soon as Luongo started letting in goals in the 3rd period. Remember how I mentioned Kesler was getting love earlier in the game for simply existing? Well the most important fan cheer of the night wasn't even a cheer. It was a jeer. More specifically a sarcastic round of applause for Roberto Luongo as he stopped a long shoot in late in the game.

(Second verse, same as the first)

Sarcastic applause? Really? That's where we have ended up with him? Jeez. It doesn't help that the broadcast then started cutting away to lauded Canucks backup goalie Cory Schneider on the bench. On behalf of Canucks fans everywhere, I just want to tell the broadcast team that we are all VERY aware that Cory is sitting there with his ballcap on, waiting for his shot. Cutting away to him just makes the irrational Luongo hate worse. We all need to relax a bit and leave sarcastic clapping where it belongs: Children's golf.

(Nice approach on the 8th hole buddy)

It's all coming back to me now. My "Gameover" has worn off. Bieksa ended up fighting someone, Henrik Lundqvist stopped 40 shots, shut out the Canucks and the New York Rangers won in Vancouver for the first time in 14 years. October 11, 1997 to be precise. Imagine that, the last time the Rangers beat the Canucks in Vancouver, Chris Farley was still alive and the following movies had yet to be released in theatres:

Good Will Hunting
Starship Troopers
Scream 2
Tomorrow Never Dies
oh, and a little film by the name of....


Apparently one of those films became one of the biggest Oscar winners in history. I'm too lazy to look up which one it was, so let's all just assume it was Starship Troopers.

("I'd like to thank the academy....for training me to kill giant insects")

Final Score: Rangers 4 - Canucks 0

To recap yesterday, "The Lion King" was showing in theatres and the Rangers beat the Canucks. I swear if I saw a new episode of "Party of Five" last night I would've been convinced it was 1994. Before I sign off, let's check in with Irrational Luongo Hate Corner and see what the hatewagon has to say:

"I can't believe he didn't contribute at all during our 8 power plays. C'mon pal, get in there and score a goal or something. Man, he is the worst goalie."

Thanks for Reading

- jB

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