WITH many thanks to Jon Nelson and the fine people at Scotiabank Hockey, I was able to treat my girlfriend’s daughter to her second NHL game last night. The Canucks beat the visiting Winnipeg Jets, 3-2.
It was an entertaining game. As great as it was to see the Winnipeg Jets back and to see the Canucks win, it will not go down as a classic by any stretch. But for the two of us this was the best game of the season.
Here’s some Slap Shots based on the game:
- Good to see Chris Higgins reunited with Ryan Kesler and David Booth. I thought Higgins and Kesler were the Canucks best players. The other lines were really not on, again, tonight.
- Winnipeg Jets fans are the best. They were loud and well represented. I loved the one guy with a giant photo of the Queen. It is great to see the Jets back and it was an honour to be able to give them a standing ovation.
- Speaking of standing ovations: I asked Kylie what was her favorite part of the game. She sheepishly said “everything.” She then returned the question my way. I honestly said “sitting here with you.” She gave me a great big hug.. Then I told her “well, maybe the Trevor Linden standing ovation.”
- Linden was in the building helping to promote the “Canucks For Kids” Telethon. Linden remains very noticeable in the city of Vancouver, but really does not have a lot to do with the organization anymore. I think part of it was Linden really needed to walk away from hockey when he first retired, just to make the transition into his new life. But I also wonder if the Mike Gillis regime purposely keeps their distance from him. Linden is in some ways as large in the city of Vancouver as the Canucks.
- The Sedins went without a point again. Chris Tanev struggled. Zack Kassian was a non-factor. The Canucks do have some things to straighten out. At the beginning of the season I said the Canucks season will be defined not by the first 20 games (which predictably they struggled with) but the last 20. In a best case scenario the last 20 would see them fine tuning their game for a playoff run. There are 14 games left, and the Canucks are anything but a well oiled machine right now.
- Not that there current struggles should be cause for serious concern. They are very comfortably positioned for a playoff spot. But it sure would be nice if they straightened this out sooner rather than later and hit the playoffs in full stride. Though their record is nearly comparable to last season, there is much more concern about this team this spring than last.