FGD: An Anniversary With the Canucks

Ryan Pike
April 10 2013 03:24PM

 

 

Well, gang, we're down to brass tacks. The Calgary Flames will not make the playoffs. If they win every single game, chances are slim. But hey, the season is almost over and the Flames are in full-on audition mode for younger players.

Tonight, with 10 games remaining in the borderline-disastrous 2013 season, the Flames (14-20-4) and the Vancouver Canucks (22-11-6) in the 250th meeting between the two clubs. Since their first epic clash (back when the Flames were in Atlanta) on October 28, 1972, the Flames hold a 123-83-33-10 edge, earning 58% of available points against the Canucks all-time. Expect that record to take a small hit tonight, however.

This year the Flames have gone 1-2-1 against Vancouver, with their single win being in Vancouver's lone visit to Calgary – a convincing 4-2 home victory against a travel-haggard Canucks club that played the night before. Calgary won't have that advantage tonight, but they do have a roster half-filled with plucky youngsters with something to prove.

Game-time is 7:30pm on Sportsnet Flames and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

THE LINE-UP

The Flames won in Denver, breaking both a five-game losing skid overall and a franchise record 13-game road winless streak. The win places Calgary in 28th spot in the NHL standings, three points up on Colorado in the battle for the league basement.

Matt Stajan is the latest addition to Calgary's walking wounded, as he's out (at least for tonight) with an upper-body injury. He joins Brian McGrattan, Derek Smith, Jiri Hudler and Paul Byron on the sidelines.

And no Matt Stajan equals a fairly substantial line shuffle at the morning skate.

  • Tanguay - Backlund - Stempniak
  • Baertschi - Horak - Cammalleri
  • Glencross - Reinhart - Jackman
  • Cervenka - Jones - Begin

  • Giordano – Wideman
  • Brodie – Sarich
  • Carson – Butler

  • Kiprusoff

Blair Jones returns to the line-up, being recalled on an emergency basis. He joins fellow Abbotsford exiles Brett Carson, Max Reinhart, Sven Baertschi and Roman Horak. After today's skate, Flames coach Bob Hartley indicated that he was happy with how the young'uns have been playing, so hopefully that continues tonight.

THE OPPOSITION

Vancouver last played on Monday night, when they beat Phoenix 2-0. The Canucks are a very good hockey club who defeated the Flames last weekend in a shockingly competitive, but ultimately one-sided, affair. That night they needed Cory Schneider to win them the game, but this time around they are playing the glorified Abbotsford Heat, so don't expect Calgary to be quite so present. 

Here's how Vancouver's lines ended up on Monday night.

  • Sedin - Sedin - Burrows
  • Higgins - Roy - Hansen
  • Raymond - Kesler - Kassian
  • Ebbett - Lapierre - Weise

  • Bieksa - Edler
  • Hamhuis - Garrison
  • Ballard - Alberts

  • Schneider

The Canucks are attempting to round themselves into playoff form, but they're continuing to be bitten by the injury bug, most recently losing Chris Tanev and Chris Higgins to the infirmary. They're also without Manny Maholtra and David Booth. I'd expect Tom Sestito to replace Higgins, but that's just a guess. On the other hand, Ryan Kesler finally returned to the linepu recently and his addition plus with Derek Roy from the deadline gives the Canucks a decent 1-2-3 punch down the middle again.

SUM IT UP

After 250 editions, you'd expect that we would've come up with a clever name for the Vancouver/Calgary rivalry. So far, nobody has.

Vancouver's a team poised to make noise in the post-season, while the Flames are dreaming of the off-season and a brighter tomorrow. The result of this game should be predictable, but the Flames youngsters may be full of piss and vinegar, so if the Canucks snooze on this team, they may be in for a surprise.

Either way, this could be a very interesting measuring-stick game for both clubs.

Related

 

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Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's covered the Flames and the NHL since 2010. His work can also be found at The Hockey Writers and The Wrestling Observer.
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#101 Kent Wilson
April 10 2013, 10:23PM
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Reinhart has looked pretty strong tonight overall.

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#102 Q
April 10 2013, 10:23PM
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It is refreshing seeing the youngsters play big minutes! Nice jump! Most of these players have really suffered simply because they've had no real chance to thrive. I'm all abou just loading the kids with ice time! I look forward to Glenn x and Gio being the leaders on this team. I don't see anyone taking cammi's contract or even worse......tanguays!

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#103 RexLibris
April 10 2013, 10:24PM
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schevvy wrote:

Oil Kings vs Winterhawks in the final again. It's inevitable.

Maybe. That could prove interesting.

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#104 RKD
April 10 2013, 10:25PM
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the forgotten man wrote:

A more existential question is if we really want him back? I am actually excited for a new Flames era especially if we can build around a young stud centreman anchoring the forwards and Brodie anchoring the defence.

If Iginla actually commented about the winning mentality in Pitt, then he can go pound sand as far as I am concerned...he was the supposed leader here and there wasn't much of a winning attitude when he graced the Dome. #kettle meet black

Agreed, hope it's MacKinnon. One thing I caution is bringing kids into a losing environment, it can be very toxic to their development. Eventually the young kids start to accept losing as a norm and that's not okay. The Oiler kids have talent but are still figuring out how to win consistently in this league. I would prefer following the Ottawa or Montreal style. Maybe you are down for a season, two, max three. Anything beyond that you start regressing instead of progressing. If this teams misses the playoffs for the next three years after this year that will be another 7 straight years out of the playoffs. Sound familiar?

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#105 RexLibris
April 10 2013, 10:26PM
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Yakupov and Yandle fight. Kind of like watching garden gnomes brawl.

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#106 schevvy
April 10 2013, 10:26PM
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Good god, of all the Canucks to score, it has to be Burrows and LaPierre? Ugh

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#107 Brent G.
April 10 2013, 10:26PM
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F*ck anyone but him. I wish someone (*ahem* jackman) would end that c*cks*ck*rs career

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#108 Q
April 10 2013, 10:27PM
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3 flames standing around:(

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#109 FireOnIce
April 10 2013, 10:27PM
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Man, I really REALLY hate Max Lapierre. And Kevin Bieksa. And most of the Canucks.

Regarding Iginla re-signing with Pittsburgh, if I was Shero, I don't know if I'd want Iginla anymore. First game, Crosby gets his teeth broken. Then their streak gets broken and they lose 3 in a row.

Iginla only has 2 or 3 points (1g 2a or 1g 3a) in several games with them. And that's playing with Malkin and Neal. And that's with a 5 goal game the other night.

Iginla is toxic.

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#110 FireOnIce
April 10 2013, 10:28PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Yakupov and Yandle fight. Kind of like watching garden gnomes brawl.

I can only imagine that Yakupov fights like Alex Semin. Is this truth?

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#111 Rockmorton65
April 10 2013, 10:29PM
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Does anyone know where Brossoit is targeted for next year? Im assuming the AHL, but would he have a shot at the backup here? I mean he's no McBackup, but still...a kid can dream. lol

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#112 RKD
April 10 2013, 10:30PM
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FireOnIce wrote:

Man, I really REALLY hate Max Lapierre. And Kevin Bieksa. And most of the Canucks.

Regarding Iginla re-signing with Pittsburgh, if I was Shero, I don't know if I'd want Iginla anymore. First game, Crosby gets his teeth broken. Then their streak gets broken and they lose 3 in a row.

Iginla only has 2 or 3 points (1g 2a or 1g 3a) in several games with them. And that's playing with Malkin and Neal. And that's with a 5 goal game the other night.

Iginla is toxic.

Iggy has lost a step and isn't his dominant self but wait until the playoffs. This guy has 49 points in 54 playoff games or 0.91ppg. Most guys could only dream to be that good. A lot guys go invisible in the post season. I've seen guys way more toxic than Iggy.

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#113 Captain Ron
April 10 2013, 10:30PM
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Is it just me or does anyone else think the Flames play in their own end has improved a lot in the last couple of games. Much better coverage if you ask me. I wonder if that has something to do with the young guys doing what they are supposed to do

They also don't seem to be completely outclassed in this game either.

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#114 FireOnIce
April 10 2013, 10:30PM
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Rockmorton65 wrote:

Does anyone know where Brossoit is targeted for next year? Im assuming the AHL, but would he have a shot at the backup here? I mean he's no McBackup, but still...a kid can dream. lol

He got signed to an ELC the other day. I think he's headed to Abby.

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#115 schevvy
April 10 2013, 10:30PM
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Raymond. Still a Flames-killer

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#116 Captain Ron
April 10 2013, 10:31PM
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So I post that comment and the Canucks score two goals.

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#117 FireOnIce
April 10 2013, 10:31PM
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Captain Ron wrote:

Is it just me or does anyone else think the Flames play in their own end has improved a lot in the last couple of games. Much better coverage if you ask me. I wonder if that has something to do with the young guys doing what they are supposed to do

They also don't seem to be completely outclassed in this game either.

Did you see either of Vancouver's last 2 goals tonight? I'd say no, they haven't improved in their own end. Dudes standing around, not covering anybody.

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#118 ?
April 10 2013, 10:31PM
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Win over Canucks = Win

Lose to Canucks = Win

Now time to watch the Oilers season tick away :)

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#119 ?
April 10 2013, 10:31PM
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? wrote:

Win over Canucks = Win

Lose to Canucks = Win

Now time to watch the Oilers season tick away :)

Plz Phoenix, don't make me regret my comment!

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#120 Kent Wilson
April 10 2013, 10:31PM
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Best of both worlds, pragmatically speaking. Another good game from Flames, but they still lose.

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#121 FireOnIce
April 10 2013, 10:32PM
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Captain Ron wrote:

Is it just me or does anyone else think the Flames play in their own end has improved a lot in the last couple of games. Much better coverage if you ask me. I wonder if that has something to do with the young guys doing what they are supposed to do

They also don't seem to be completely outclassed in this game either.

Weird double posting.

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#122 Captain Ron
April 10 2013, 10:32PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Yakupov and Yandle fight. Kind of like watching garden gnomes brawl.

HAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHA!!

AAAAAAAhahahahahahahaha!!!!

Thanks for the good laugh.

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#123 Cowtown 1989
April 10 2013, 10:32PM
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Rhino looks good. Hopefully a better NHLer than American League player and not a case of Akim Aliu flash-in-the-panitis.

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#124 FireOnIce
April 10 2013, 10:33PM
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To be honest, I thought tonight was the yearly 8-2 beat down by the Canucks that officially ends Calgary's season.

If Calgary loses, are they officially eliminated? What's the magic number?

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#125 ?
April 10 2013, 10:33PM
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Mike Smith has a fairly large temper I see.

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#126 negrilcowboy
April 10 2013, 10:33PM
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schevvy wrote:

Raymond. Still a Flames-killer

the flames still flames killer

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#127 Q
April 10 2013, 10:33PM
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Freak I hate burrows! We win either way. Draft baby draft! It's no mistake that the nucks are the most hated team! It's not because of cups won obviously! Teams that win cups are respected, not hated! ie Detroit! Vancouvers hated because they whine and they are dirty! Nobody discounts their skill but as long as the fire crotch sisters are Canucks they won't win a cup! They're like Thornton in the playoffs....no heart!

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#128 FireOnIce
April 10 2013, 10:34PM
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What kind of call was that? He barely touched him, and Raymond got his crap shot off.

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#129 schevvy
April 10 2013, 10:34PM
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Haha Oilers

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#130 FireOnIce
April 10 2013, 10:35PM
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? wrote:

Mike Smith has a fairly large temper I see.

In Tampa, Mike Smith gave himself a concussion while freaking out in anger. He also broke his hand freaking out in anger.

He has SERIOUS anger issues.

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#131 FireOnIce
April 10 2013, 10:35PM
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So... Kipper's just given up then?

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#132 ?
April 10 2013, 10:35PM
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3-1 PHX. Oilers finished.

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#133 RKD
April 10 2013, 10:35PM
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2-1 Phoenix and Horcoff just took a cross-checking penalty with 17 seconds left, thank you 'Yotes.

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#134 schevvy
April 10 2013, 10:36PM
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The Flames D has fallen apart

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#135 ?
April 10 2013, 10:36PM
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Man, Sven almost pots one late

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#136 RKD
April 10 2013, 10:38PM
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Final score: Phoenix 3 Edmonton 1, David Moss with the third Phoenix goal.

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#137 ?
April 10 2013, 10:39PM
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COLARADO BEATING ANA 4-1 right now

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#138 Q
April 10 2013, 10:39PM
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It's all good flames fans! We are on our way to getting a sweet prospect! I'm cool with losing out! Some day when all of these Canuck losers are old and crusty they'll look back to the flames 2013 draft as to why they suck and were working me over night after night! No cup for you seeing sisters! Pens win again!

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#139 RexLibris
April 10 2013, 10:40PM
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FireOnIce wrote:

I can only imagine that Yakupov fights like Alex Semin. Is this truth?

Nope, that kid has fire. Yandle tried to jump him and I think Yakupov surprised him by how willing he was to come back.

The funny part was watching to two chirp at each other in the penalty box. Yakupov has so-so English, but he was certainly taking what words he knew for a spin.

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#140 ?
April 10 2013, 10:41PM
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? wrote:

COLARADO BEATING ANA 4-1 right now

With only 11 to go in the 3rd :)

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#141 ?
April 10 2013, 10:42PM
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@RexLibris

It would've be awesome if he had been swearing in Russia :)

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#142 ?
April 10 2013, 10:42PM
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@RexLibris

It would've been awesome if he had been swearing in Russian, was wat i meant to say.

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#143 Kent Wilson
April 10 2013, 10:46PM
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Flames played well. Chances were 10-6 Flames in the third.

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#144 RexLibris
April 10 2013, 10:46PM
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@?

He probably was.

I was wondering while watching some of the Flames game, does Baertschi swear in German or French? Swiss can go either way.

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#145 Chris Fairfield
April 10 2013, 10:48PM
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Flames are down 4-1 and Colorado is up 4-1 over Anaheim in the 3rd, tied for 29th overall by the end of the night. Can't wait for June 30th.

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#146 RexLibris
April 10 2013, 10:51PM
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I'm just waiting to see if Feaster was right last year when he said that without Kiprusoff the Flames would be "worse than 30th". Not sure how that's possible, but if anyone can do it, he can.

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#147 Captain Ron
April 10 2013, 10:55PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Flames played well. Chances were 10-6 Flames in the third.

I also thought they were decent tonight but it fell apart after they started chasing when they got down 2-1. Otherwise not as bad as I thought it was going to be.

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#148 Chris Fairfield
April 10 2013, 11:05PM
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RexLibris wrote:

I'm just waiting to see if Feaster was right last year when he said that without Kiprusoff the Flames would be "worse than 30th". Not sure how that's possible, but if anyone can do it, he can.

The Flames have been without Kiprusoff pretty much the entire season and you are right, flyin' JF will make it possible!

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#149 Chris Fairfield
April 10 2013, 11:07PM
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Captain Ron wrote:

I also thought they were decent tonight but it fell apart after they started chasing when they got down 2-1. Otherwise not as bad as I thought it was going to be.

Final shots on goal total

Cal-41 Van-29

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#150 Chris Fairfield
April 10 2013, 11:10PM
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schevvy wrote:

Good god, of all the Canucks to score, it has to be Burrows and LaPierre? Ugh

Of all people to score, the 2 biggest pimples on the ass of hockey. I did however like how Backlund stood up for himself after Be-itchsa hit him from from behind after roberta lu had the puck covered and the whistle was already blown.

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