It should be clear to everyone who watched last night's game which team deserved to win. The Vancouver Canucks carried the play by every measure, and they left Bridgestone Arena with the win, so it would be silly to say that the result was somehow unjust. And yet, after the game, it was hard not to wonder at Tim Peel's hooking penalty to Shea Weber, which led directly to the winning goal. David Legwand, for example, decided to channel Bruce McCurdy:
I don’t know if Timmy Peel had a date or something, but he wanted to get outta here pretty quick.
That'll cost him. And even though I can understand his frustration, he should really be focused on playing better, since getting outplayed is really what cost his team the game. Regardless, the Canucks obviously felt differently about the call. Ryan Kesler drew that penalty, and his opinion of Peel was much different:
Any time you put a stick in someone’s gut, it has to be called. That was a good call. He was hooking me and when you get a stick caught in my arm, it’s his own fault.
Of course, Kesler also called the high-sticking penalty he took in the second period - an errant stick that knocked Joel Ward's helmet right off his head - "a bad fucking call", so it would seem that his post-game comments were more about twisting the knife than anything else. What an ass. Scoring chances and more after the jump.
|Period||Nsh / Van||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
Crucified and Risen
3. Alex Edler - He hit without getting out of position, he made good clean passes, and his team never looked like they were in trouble with him on the ice. Got beat up a bit on David Legwand's shorthanded goal, but at even strength he was a pillar of strength.
2. Chris Higgins - He scored in the second period to put his team ahead, and was hard on the puck all game long, helping his line to dominate the game when they were on the ice. Higgins was been a great acquisition for Mike Gillis at the deadline, one of several good ones still on the club, although this is still largely Dave Nonis' club. When he was fired in 2007-08, the current coaching staff and the following players were already on the team at the NHL level: Roberto Luongo, Kevin Bieksa, Alex Edler, Sami Salo, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Ryan Kesler, Alexandre Burrows, Mason Raymond, and Jannik Hansen. In other words, Nonis (and Brian Burke) should be getting a lot of credit for how good this team is today.
1. Ryan Kesler - He may be an ass, but he's also a great hockey player. Kesler dominated this game, and was rewarded with two goals including the game-winner in overtime on a power play that he set up by drawing a hooking penalty on Nashville's top defender. With Nashville's pop-gun offense, Kesler has been able to focus more on his own offensive game in this series, and the results have been fantastic.
Just Plain-Old Crucified
3. Christian Ehrhoff - He was a plus on the chances board, and he made a nifty rush to set up the Canucks first power play goal, but I kept on noticing him for the wrong reasons. Just before setting up the goal, for example, he was extremely lucky not to get an interference penalty on Joel Ward who had chipped the puck past him at the blue-line. He then gave the puck away to Legwand in the defensive zone, which nearly resulted in a scoring chance. And near the start of the third period, Jerred Smithson pulled off a toe-drag to cut around Ehrhoff and into the middle of the ice.
2. David Legwand - He was completely destroyed by Kesler's line at even strength (+0 -5), which is why he finds himself here despite some great work on the Predators' first goal of the game. In addition to getting fed on the chances board, his -10 Corsi was the worst among Nashville forwards. This kind of domination simply can't happen if Nashville hopes to win this series.
1. Shea Weber - A really odd night for the pairing of Weber and Ryan Suter. For most of the game, they were charged with shutting down the Sedins, and they were largely successful. Weber was +3 -2 at even strength against all three of those players, and if that was the extent of his night you could easily say that he had a great game. Unfortunately, that wasn't the extent of his night. In the seven or eight minutes he and Suter were out against Kesler's line, they went +0 -6, not to mention the game-ending penalty that Kesler forced. In addition, Nashville's power play has been very poor in this series, and Weber needs to take some responsibility for that. He's a great player, but they'll need him to be (way) better.
Dishonorable Mention. Glenn Healy - His "feud" with "The Green Men" is so asinine that even Jim Hughson seemed annoyed when it came up on the air. He also couldn't figure out why the crowd was using whistles, which was hilarious because it shows that he hasn't ever watched a game that involved Jordin Tootoo in Nashville. Finally, he had this to say about Cody Franson: "He's got those hands like Joe Thornton." I'll just bet he does.