With last night’s Canucks-Blackhawks game being televised on both Chicago’s WGN-TV and Sportsnet, I decided to watch the Chicago feed to get their perspective. I found it quite interesting comparing the play-by-play and commentary of Pat Foley and Eddie Olczyk (WGN) to that of John Shorthouse and John Garrett (Sportsnet); especially as the game went on and the outcome became a certainty. While both broadcast crews were certainly watching the same game, you’ll see below that they saw different things.
(Note: if the WGN or Sportsnet ramblings seem incoherent, they’re probably from Eddie Olczyk and John Garrett, respectively. I’ve tried to tidy up the grammar the best I could.)
David Booth PP Goal: 6:00 of the 1st period (Vancouver 1, Chicago 0)
WGN: “David Booth gets his first goal of the year as a member of the Canucks. Booth had a meagre 3 assists without a goal and was a minus-9 coming in but a big early strike for the Vancouver newcomer. It’s a second chance that he puts in. Booth did a good job of backing off initially, great stop by Crawford on the first chance. Unfortunately for the Hawks the puck went right back to David Booth.”
SN: “David Booth has his first as a Canuck, his first of the season and it’s 1-0 Vancouver. David Booth goes to the slot area, one-time attempt stopped by Corey Crawford but Crawford just can’t get back in time. Good save on the first one. Sean O’Donnell tried to block the pass and once O’Donnell did that and missed it, he had no chance.”
Michael Frolik Goal: 12:57 of the 1st period (Vancouver 1, Chicago 1)
WGN: “Well we talked on inconsistent goaltending, how’s that? A 45-foot wrist shot right to the middle of the net, it’s 1-1. Never a bad play to direct the puck towards the net. This is a terrible goal to give up when your team has pretty much controlled the whole first period. Those are the type of goals that have gone in on the Vancouver Canucks a lot this year.”
SN: “A terrible goal that’s only going to feed the frenzy here in Chicago; the game’s tied at one. This long wrist shot by Michael Frolik…I don’t know if it hit Aaron Rome, but it fools Roberto Luongo off the inside of his pad. Even if it does hit Aaron Rome…from that far out, Roberto should have time to react. He got half a butterfly down, off the inside of his pad and squeaked in.”
First stoppage in play after the Frolik goal: 13:32 of the 1st period (Vancouver 1, Chicago 1)
WGN: “And listen to the crowd, loving the “Lu” salute. Or maybe it’s “boo.” Is it “blue?” He’s feeling blue right about now. While he claims to love playing in this rink, I wonder about that …he’s certainly had a lot of off nights here. He’s certainly had some good ones but for a guy of his stature, and for a guy with that contract which is huge and long, he’s certainly had a lot less success in this rink than you would expect. But he wants to keep telling me that he loves coming in here. Well, okay.”
SN: “They love the opportunity to give it to him and Hawk fans are doing their part. When David Bolland had that rebound go off the side of the net, you have to have some good luck like that when you’re a goaltender. But then you let in that long wrist shot like that, then you lose that feeling. You have a feeling that things are going your way, and then you lose that feeling.”
Henrik Sedin’s 2nd snow-shower of Corey Crawford: 3:53 of the 2nd period (Vancouver 2, Chicago 1)
WGN: “Second time tonight that Henrik Sedin has put some snow shavings up near Crawford. The first time, Kane said “Uh uh”, this time Bolland says “What do you think you’re doing in our house?”
SN: “And again, Henrik with a shower of snow, and this time it was Bolland with the cross-check. And because there’s an altercation along the boards, nobody is looking at Bolland and Henrik Sedin.”
Daniel Sedin PP Goal: 4:40 of the 2nd period (Vancouver 3, Chicago 1)
WGN: “A little bit of a hook in front of the net by Ryan Kesler. Look at Corey Crawford there. I don’t know if the stick got knocked out of his hand by Kesler or if he lost it as he coming across to find that big rebound.”
SN: “Crawford threw his stick in desperation but to no avail…I guess he was hoping Daniel would slide it (and hit it) along the ice.”
Stoppage in play 5:13 into the 2nd period (Vancouver 3, Chicago 1)
WGN: “Lots of hockey to be played, you know Luongo’s a guy that can give up some bad goals, but you gotta start playing down there and force him to make some stops.”
SN: Quick discussion on the absence of Duncan Keith and how it might affect the team playing the first of 3 games in 4 nights.
Max Lapierre unsportsmanlike conduct penalty at the 6:55 mark of the 2nd period (Vancouver 3, Chicago 1)
WGN: “If you’re Max Lapierre, your team is in control of the game. This couldn’t be more foolish or selfish. You’re in control of the game, you have all the momentum. To me, that’s a situation, if you’re a coach, you grab him and you put him at the end of the bench for the rest of the game. It’s selfish more than anything else when you put yourself in front of the team.”
SN: Quick discussion trying to figure out if it was an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty or a misconduct penalty.
Fight between Daniel Carcillo and Aaron Volpatti at the 13:00 mark of the 2nd period (Vancouver 3, Chicago 1)
WGN: “They both seemed to get one or two good ones in. Didn’t take long to drop the mitts in that confrontation. A good hit by Carcillo and then Carcillo was looking for Volpatti as he was on the ice. Trying to get a little energy, trying to change the momentum of the game. There’s a time and place and that was the right time for Daniel Carcillo and he got the invitation from Volpatti. A couple of wild and crazy swings by both guys and I think Carcillo got Volpatti with one good one.”
SN: “This started with a hit by Carcillo… Dan Carcillo has been looking for someone to go with… Aaron Volpatti got off balance when he tried to throw that right, no damage done.”
Marcus Kruger Goal: 15:07 of the 2nd period (Vancouver 3, Chicago 2)
WGN: “Beautiful little pass by Viktor Stalberg, simple play by Jamal Mayers, and Marcus Kruger elevates the puck up and over Roberto Luongo…he just chips it up and over. If you wanna score goals, get to the middle of the ice.”
SN: “The shot comes through and Roberto Luongo is unable to control the rebound. Roberto Luongo is down to try and get the rebound; he would have had it had it been along the ice but instead it’s chipped up and over. That’s a good play by Kruger….go hard through the defence…able to chip it up and over the goaltender.”
Jannik Hansen Goal: 15:50 of the 2nd period (Vancouver 4, Chicago 2)
WGN: “Tap in goal for Jannik Hansen who was the very fortunate beneficiary of a puck that seemed to just find him.”
SN: “Big goal for Jannik Hansen… It’s a 3-on-2 from the red line down, and the Sedins were able to find Jannik Hansen in the crease. Able to just slide it into the empty net.”
Viktor Stalberg high-sticking penalty on Dan Hamhuis: 16:11 of the 2nd period (Vancouver 4, Chicago 2)
WGN: “Actually, the trainer…when he came out to tend to Hamhuis, he started barking at the officials ‘Hey look he’s been cut.’”
SN: “Mike Burnstein onto the ice to tend to the wounded Canuck. And Mike Burnstein is showing the linesman (that Hamhuis got high-sticked).”
Fight between Jamal Mayers and Kevin Bieksa at the 20:00 mark of the 2nd period (Vancouver 5, Chicago 2)
WGN: “Watch Bieksa kind of back off and then he goes on the attack with Mayers. And there you see Jamal Mayers losing an elbow pad, as soon as he started shaking his arm, Bieksa went on the attack. Both of the guys got some shots in but Bieksa got the last one in.”
SN: “Mayers throws off the elbow bad, uppercuts by Kevin, Mayers gets that right hand free and then Kevin got his free.”
Henrik Sedin PP Goal: 9:26 of the 3rd period (Vancouver 6, Chicago 2)
WGN: “The hard pass, the patience in front of the net by Henrik Sedin. That is some skills shown by that man…how many times have you seen a pass delivered that quickly jump when it gets to a guy…it explodes off the stick.”
SN: “Henrik Sedin made that look easy… And give Ryan Kesler credit… he’s in front and it’s the pick so that Henrik Sedin has all sorts of room.”
Game over: Vancouver 6, Chicago 2
WGN: “They’ve certainly never had a situation where a game has been this one-sided against them all year-long. Best part about it is, it’s one of 82, they can get back at it against a division rival (St. Louis). A dominant powerplay performance by the Vancouver Canucks, they score 5 with the extra man, they beat the Hawks 6-2.
SN: Roberto Luongo stops 38 of 40, Henrik Sedin has a big offensive night with 4 points and the Canucks beat Chicago handily at the United Centre. It was a clinical performance by the powerplay.
After the game, I was bemused as I watched the WGN post-game show. While Pat Foley and Eddie Olczyk were quick to praise Roberto Luongo for his strong game, the on-air hosts (their Dan Murphy so-to-speak) tried to blame the Hawks’ poor performance on the hangover from the recent Father and Son trip to Florida.
Here’s an idea: give the Canucks some credit. They outplayed, out-hustled, and out-gunned the Blackhawks in a very dominating performance. There should be no disagreement there.