Things That Make You Go Hmmm: An Amazing Shift, Spicing up the Superskills, and All-Star Draft Strategy
[Inspired by Arsenio Hall's "Things That Make You Go Hmmm…", Clayton Imoo talks about Canucks-related things that make him go hmmm… You can follow Clay on Twitter at (@canuckclay) or on his website, Clay's Canucks Commentary.]
The Vancouver Canucks head into the All-Star break sitting in second place in the Western Conference after an exciting 3-2 shootout win over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night. While the majority of the NHL may be taking a break, I’m certainly not as I proudly present to you the latest Things That Make You Go Hmmm.
1. The shift. You may recall a powerplay shift in a game between the Canucks and Oilers from October 2007. On that shift, the Canucks controlled the puck for a full two minutes (at least 1:45 of their powerplay plus another 15 seconds afterward) culminating in a Henrik to Daniel scoring play at even-strength.
Fast forward to Tuesday night’s game where the Sedins were part of another memorable shift that included 30 different touches by Canucks players spanning over 90 seconds. While the Canucks didn’t score on that shift – actually they only recorded one shot – Daniel Sedin scored on his very next shift just a few minutes later undoubtedly full of confidence. I present to you, loyal CHB readers, a detailed breakdown of the 32 touches:
- Salo retrieves the puck in his own zone with the clock reading 13:02 remaining in the first period
- Pass to Edler behind the Canucks net
- Edler quick pass to Kesler who starts to skate it out of the zone
- Pass up to centre to Higgins
- Touch pass to Booth who gains the Oilers blue line
- Drop pass to Higgins
- Pass back to Booth who carries it around the net
- Back pass through the slot misses a diving Edler but winds up on Bieksa’s stick back in the Canucks zone
- Bieksa skates behind his own net allowing for the second line to change for the first line, he passes to Henrik at centre
- Henrik to Burrows over the Oilers line
- Burrows back to Henrik in the corner
- Henrik nearly loses it after colliding with the referee but Daniel gets to it
- Only to push the puck back to Henrik who continues to battle in the corner
- Daniel helps out a second time by again passing it back to Henrik (who at this point might be murmuring to himself “Can’t my brother find someone else to pass to?”)
- Henrik is tripped up but Burrows comes to get the puck
- Burrows back to Bieksa at the point
- Bieksa’s slap shot goes wide and is retrieved by Hamhuis on the opposite boards
- Hamhuis slaps it behind the net to Henrik
- Henrik leaves for Daniel who skates out to the corner
- Daniel drop pass to Henrik (same corner)
- Henrik drop pass to Burrows (still in the same corner)
- Burrows leaves for Henrik on the right face-off dot
- Henrik passes it to Daniel at the side of the net
- Daniels centering pass is just out of the reach of Burrows who retrieves the puck on the left face-off dot
- Burrows to the corner to Henrik
- Henrik behind the net to Daniel
- Daniel with a quick feed to Burrows again at the left face-off dot
- No shot for Burrows, instead he wheels and sends it behind the net to Henrik
- Henrik shovels it to a pinching Hamhuis
- Hamhuis back towards the point to Daniel (covering Hamhuis’ spot)
- Daniel gives to Henrik on the right boards
- Henrik back to Daniel completing the give-and-go…Daniel shoots on net…Dubnyk saves it right his right pad and the Oilers finally get possession of the puck with 11:30 showing on the clock – 92 seconds after Salo first touched it
That’s right: 32 different touches by 10 different Canucks over 92 seconds! Amazing. I got tired watching it (and even more tired typing it out); imagine how the Oilers felt!
2. Revamping the Canucks Superskills Competition. I took my family to the annual Superskills exhibition at Rogers Arena this past weekend and we had a good time. As a bonus, I was able to see my cousin Dusty play in the Canucks Alumni game prior to the Superskills (even though Dusty has never played for the Canucks and he was playing as a winger instead of his usual goaltender). I got a kick of seeing the name “IMOO” on the back of an actual player wearing a Canucks jersey.
As I was watching however, I started to think of ways the Canucks could keep this event fresh and I wondered about adding a bunch of new events. Imagine contests for Hardest Hipcheck, Shot Blocking, Spitting, and Best Hairdo. I had enough ideas that I was able to do a Clay’s Canucks Commentary about it.
Then I got to thinking about the way they split up the Canucks players into the “Blue” and “White Teams”. They were certainly even enough, with the Sedins together on one side and Kesler and Booth on the other. But wouldn’t it be neat if they had themes to their teams? I think it would add a bit more “umph” to the event and make it a tad bit more competitive…at least for the bragging rights.
Imagine Canada (Luongo, Burrows, Hodgson, Bieksa and Hamhuis) vs. The World (Schneider, Sedins, Kesler, Booth and Ballard). 30 years-old and over (Luongo, Sedins, Burrows, Bieksa and Salo) vs. 29 and under (Schneider, Kesler, Booth, Hodgson, Hamhuis and Edler. Gingers (Schneider, Sedins, and Sulzer) vs. everyone else.
The possibilities are endless.
3. Daniel Alfredsson’s All-Star Picking Strategy. According to Bruins forward Milan Lucic, fellow Bruin Zdeno Chara will not pick either of the Sedins during today’s All-Star Fantasy Draft. But that’s easier said than done…and it’s all up to Alfie.
Chara would be forced to take one of the twins if they are the two last players to be picked. Alfredsson could actually take this into account when drafting his own team if he truly believes that Chara won’t pick either Sedin. In essence, it gives Alfredsson two free picks that he won’t have to use on the Sedins; then he could take one brother with his penultimate pick and the other with his final pick. Add Edler into the mix and using the same theory, Alfredsson could have three free picks. Look for all three Canuck Swedes to wind up on their fellow Swede’s squad and one of the Sedins to go home with a car.
Seems silly and rather petty to me. The only thing that could be worse is someone skipping out on a visit to the White House to meet the US President. Oh wait…