10.09.2010

Game of the Night (Pt. II)


LA Kings vs. Vancouver Canucks @ Rogers Arena
2-1 Final S/O

40 years ago, these two very teams faced-off for the first time in history.  The Canucks ended up falling to the Kings 3-1, and spoiled their franchise opener. 

The last Canadian team to have their home-opener, the Canucks and the Kings open their seasons to a high expectations.  After announcing Henrik Sedin as captain (insert "woo!") moments before puck-drop, the Canucks looked to avoid repeating what happened in history 40 years ago.

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Canucks, the two teams in Rogers Arena wore special jerseys in honour of the original teams of their franchises in the NHL.  No names on the back of the shirts; just numbers.  And some players from the Vancouver 1970-71 team are present to watch.  Someone has some pressure to step up, eh?

Living up to most expectations, the game was a physical match with little scoring.  The two teams battled along the boards and collided body with body.  And then one big blow from Alex Edler to a King made the intensity take a big turn.  Next thing you know Anze Kopitar was in the corner with a really bloody nose and then, on the PP, Christian Ehrhoff let a bomb go to open the season's scoring for the Canucks.

During the first half of the game, the penalties kept being handed to the Canucks and seemed never-ending.  But many lessons have taught that our PK was a precious one and killed them all off and kept the goose egg for the Kings.  In the final period, the Kings got a little restless and let penalties that shouldn't occur happen and things started to look up for the home team.

The clocked ticked down and the pressure-cooker went up on the Kings' bench.  Shift after shift that left the bench in the third came on the ice with possessed eyes and powered their play down and up the rink.  There was a new purpose behind every stick-play and defensive decision.  In turn, the Canucks answered with as much vigour.  If you weren't already glued to the ice, you were drawn and super-glued to the game on the white surface.  All that effort paid off, though, when Justin Williams scores a PPG to even the score for the Kings of Los Angeles and push for OT.

If you hadn't known better, the OT period appeared as if it was the OT period for the game to decide whether or not one of these two teams were going to the playoffs!  But alas, it is only the season opener, but what an opener!  The goaltending on the Canucks' PK in the final half of the OT was as great as ever!  Whoever questioned Luongo is sure to be eating his words now.  I don't recall a season-opener where I felt myself jumping up from my seat in joy that many times!  What an OT!

But, in the end, the Canucks failed to not repeat history, and fell 2-1 to the Kings in a shoot-out.  This isn't the end though!  There are still many games to come and the rest of the season to compete!  Let this just be an index of what is to come in the next 81 games.

3 stars:
(1) Jonathan Quick
(2) Roberto Luongo
(3) Anze Kopitar

My 3 stars:
(1) Roberto Luongo
(2) Jonathan Quick
(3) Mason Raymond








No comments:

Post a Comment