First I would like to commend the Canuck organization for the impressive and sincere tribute to the late Luc Bourdon
. For those who didn't have the opportunity to see the heart-warming display it began with two massive portraits of Luc on the ice surface. Tom Cochraine and Red Rider performed "Big League" to a mixture of photos and videos of Bourdon. The season ticket holder who received Luc's last game worn jersey at the end of last season returned the jersey to his family and girlfriend. Classy displays by all parties involved.
Now to the game, could we have asked for a better result? Goals, hits, and tough team play; Mike Gillis is on to something. Right from the get go Canucks were throwing bodies at everything that moved. After a quarter of a period of Flames pressure that surely left some wondering how this team was going to respond (and trying to figure out the familiar colour commentator voice
), the Canucks exploded.
The first goal was a very familiar Sedin to Sedin combination, but the scorer was something fresh. Henrik converted a behind the net pass from Daniel to put the Canucks ahead and give them the ever important 1-0 lead. What you might have missed was the heads up pass off the boards by Ryan Kesler out of the Canucks zone to a streaking Daniel Sedin, a great play by the young center.
The third unit of Kesler, Burrows and Hansen were the best line on the ice tonight from either team. Each player showed incredible speed and offensive instinct. Hits were coming from all three players, and the goals followed. Burrows converted two passes to have an incredible home opener. Jannik Hansen sent his fists flying towards Lombardi after the Flame took a swipe at captain Luongo.
Steve Bernier played extremely well from the opening face off until the closing buzzer. Bernier scored the Canucks second goal, but was the main reason there was a scoring chance to begin with. After battling Lombardi on the side boards, Bernier dished the biscuit
to Daniel and headed towards the net. I'm sure you can predict what happened next, but for those who are slow
, Daniel put the puck on Bernier's stick and the rest was a highlight. The cherry on top of Bernier's solid game was his fight against Dion Phaneuf
after the Calgary giant layed the boom on Henrik Sedin.
Despite its success the Power Play looked lost at times. The Canucks had obvious trouble trying to gain entrance to into the Flames zone. On a positive note, the combination of Salo and Bieksa looked great on the back end of the top PP unit, as both blueliners moved the puck extremely well.
Shane O'Brien made his Canucks debute and had a relatively average game. Shane made a brutal giveaway to Cammalleri but he recooped and played a gritty, defensively sound game. O'Brien shared a few words with Ex-Canuck Todd Bertuzzi late in the second period.
Captain Luongo had a solid game, registering his first of many shutouts to come this season. After a relatively shakey kill of the Flames 5 on 3, Luongo shut the door with an impressive performance. If this is any indication of his play this season, we should be in for an exciting year.
CanuckBloggin's 3 Stars
* Alexandre Burrows
** Roberto Luongo
*** Steve Bernier
Oh, and don't forget to vote
for the new Hockey Night in Canada anthem! Canadian Gold
was by far my favorite.
-On a side note I had my identity stolen today via Paypal. I just paid off somebodies massive Skype bill. A blogger and a philanthropist, how do I find the time?