March 13, 2014

steve laidlaw

2014-03-13

Last night's Jets-Canucks contest was one of those that really gets you thinking. The game went to overtime after a mostly sluggish opening 60 minutes ended in a tie. Then the overtime was played at a feverish pace as the teams traded chances over a whistle-less five minutes of four-on-four. Games like that make you wonder if they could play full games at four-on-four.

 

It's a ridiculous notion, I know. The mere fact that the overtime period didn't have a single whistle, was a wonderful bit of luck. You can't always count on that sort of nonstop action. Plenty of teams have found ways to play four-on-four conservatively just not these two teams, not last night.

 

So I guess what I'm saying is I really enjoyed that overtime period. I wish games could take on that sort of frenetic pace more often.

 

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Alex Burrows finally got the lid off! Not only did he score his first goal of the season but he scored his second goal too – a real demonstration of hand-eye coordination.

 

 

Burrows was a rotisserie beast last night. On top of his two goals he also had six shots, five hits, two PIM and a plus-two rating. That's the sort of stat stuffing Burrows owners have been waiting all year for.

 

It was nice to see him out there on the top power play unit, which might indicate he's got some more production coming now that the floodgates have opened.

 

Unfortunately that Canucks power play is incontinent. And no that was not a typo. They went 0/5 with the man advantage dropping them below the Sabres for power play efficiency this season.

 

It was also unfortunate that Burrows' promotion had to come at the expense of Ryan Kesler who left the game after a knee-on-knee collision and did not return. No word on how much time he will miss.

 

I hate to say it but as a Kesler owner I wouldn't be too upset if he was done for the year. He hasn't done much since the Olympics and considering the direction of the Canucks he is unlikely to pick things up. So if he goes down that's an excuse to cut the cord. I wouldn't have the guts to do so otherwise.

 

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Andrew Ladd was flying last night. He had just one goal and landed just three shots on goal but I swear he had at least five scoring chances.

 

That whole line with Ladd, Bryan Little and Michael Frolik looked really good. Ladd and Little each have five points in their last seven.

 

Frolik, despite scoring last night has not been on nearly as much of a roll but he gets lopped off the top power play unit so that helps explain why he's not as productive.

 

It's hard to call Dustin Byfuglien invisible – he's huge and he landed five hits – but he wasn't really a factor offensively. I wouldn't worry much, he was coming off back-to-back two-point efforts.

 

Byfuglien's linemate, Blake Wheeler, is in a funk with just one point in his last five.

 

Evander Kane's stuggles continued as well as he went scoreless including whiffing on a penalty shot attempt. He's only 22 so you obviously can't write him off but I can only sympathize with those of you waiting for his eventually breakout.

 

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Hey, the Bruins finally got one over on the Habs!

 

Of course, Carey Price wasn't in net so there's only so much you can draw from that result. Price did practice on Tuesday so hopefully he is on his way back.

 

Thomas Vanek notched his first point with the Habs, an assist. He got it on the lone Montreal goal scored by