The Goods: Call it a come back

Sunday, 16.10.2011 / 2:05 AM / Features
By Derek Jory
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The Goods: Call it a come back
Vancouver Canucks
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Scoring summary
  1 2 3 OT SO
Van
EDM
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2
2
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1
0
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Edmonton Oilers
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It was men against boys and boy did those men get all they could handle.

The Vancouver Canucks rallied from two-one goal deficits Saturday night to take down the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 at Rexall Place.

Sami Salo bookended the game with his first and second goals of the season and in between Henrik Sedin and Alex Burrows scored for Vancouver, both collected their second markers of the year, while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins did all the damage for the Oilers in recording his first career hat trick.

A stick-smoking, puck-smoldering laser from Salo had the Canucks on the scoreboard before their opposition for the first time this season, but building on that was easier said than done.

Nugent-Hopkins, yes the 18-year-old playing in just his third NHL game, had back-to-back goals to close out the first period at 2-1 Edmonton. The youngsters were impressive to say the least.

Vancouver was outshot and outplayed in the first and that continued into the second, were it not for the veteran
Canucks remaining calm this game could have been a cakewalk for Edmonton. Instead Henrik Sedin evened it at 2-2 on the power play before Nugent-Hopkins and Burrows
traded goals leaving 20 minutes to decide a winner with the game knotted at 3-3.

In the third the Canucks clamped down and wore down the Oilers.

Salo’s 22nd career game-winner came with 12:13 remaining, an eternity, but Roberto Luongo stood his ground stopping all four Oilers shots in the third, and 27 overall, for his
first win of the season.

Vancouver improves to 2-2-1 this year, the same start it had to the 2010-11 campaign. After struggling through the first five games, the Canucks went 7-1-1 with convincing wins over Minnesota, New Jersey and Detroit to alert the league they were for real.

Burrows is confident the Canucks are readying to send that message again, beginning next Tuesday against the New York Rangers at Rogers Arena.

“We were getting pucks deep and getting on the forecheck and we stayed out of the box and that was huge not to give them any life on the power play,” Burrows said of Vancouver’s play in the third period against Edmonton.

“We really wanted to win this one and we showed it out there, we got a big goal by Sami and then after that we closed the game, blocked a lot of shots and played Canucks hockey.”

Mission Unaccomplished

Darcy Hordichuk should have listened to Thumper’s father.

If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.

Maybe he’s never seen Bambi.

Instead of letting his game do the talking, Darcy Hordichuk opened up to Jason Botchford of The Province before Saturday’s Canucks/Oilers tilt saying that his presence is having a Hell’s Angel in the line-up and Vancouver is foolish for not having a brusier on the fourth line to protect the Sedins.

“It seems the Canucks are going in a different direction,” Hordichuk told Botchford. “It's great for me. It's great when I get into a game like this because those are the guys you want to try to abuse on the ice.”

Mission unaccomplished.

When the former Canucks enforcer stepped onto the ice for his first shift of the night, he took a run at defenceman Keith Ballard, who sidestepped his check, which sent Hordichuk into the air. He landed awkwardly and suffered a right knee injury that forced him from the game.

Although Hordichuk was credited with a hit, he didn’t make anyone reconsider Vancouver’s stance on Sedin protection with his five seconds of ice time.

DO THE BARTMAN

There’s bluffing during a family game of cards and there’s bluffing on national television with 16,839 fans in attendance.

In what will surely be remembered as one of the stranger incidences of the season, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was given credit for Edmonton’s third goal, a goal that appeared to be scored by Taylor Hall. Right or wrong, Nugent-Hopkins had his first career hat trick and fans celebrated with a customary toss of their hat.

Problem is the announcement was made during play and hats began raining down onto the ice with the Canucks in possession of the puck.

Vancouver called for a penalty, but no penalty was called. Fair enough, it was a delayed reaction, it was his first career trifecta, enjoy the moment RNH.

An announcement was then made at Rexall Place that the Oilers would be penalized if any more hats hits the ice during play.

And down flew a hat.

Vancouver called for a penalty, but no penalty was called. Again.

I’m not questioning the officiating, I’m questioning the sanity of the fan brave enough to go against the grain with a bonehead move that could have potentially produced a Canucks goal.

Had a penalty been called, Edmonton’s version of Steve Bartman would have been born.

OH THE IRONY
Love Shack by The B52's was played during a first period stoppage. Mixed signals alert: I thought the Oilers wanted a new arena?
Tweet of the night - "I'd rather hug Tim Thomas than get hit by a Sami Salo Slapshot." - @huffl3puff,
responding to a fill in the blank of I'd rather ____________ than get hit by a Sami Salo slapshot.
Twitter reply of the night - "I would too. Tim would be soft and warm where Sami can take your head off with that shot."
- @thenwchica. Evidently @huffl3puff is not alone in going to an extreme length to avoid a Salo slapper.
Say whaaaaaat? -  Since the NHL lockout the Canucks are 18-7-2 after being shutout a game prior.
Gettin' Higgy wit it? - Possible congratulations to Chris Higgins who might have reached 200 career points with a
two-assist effort against the Oilers. The NHL game notes say one thing, the stats say another...stay tuned.