Vancouver - Dec. 5, 2011 - Try as the Flames did to bring the game down to their level, by attempting to lull the Canucks into a coma, the home team wouldn’t have any of it as they crushed the visitors 5-1. After a painful 20 minutes of Flames style hockey, the Canucks came out in the second period and reminded the the Flames who the big dogs were in the Division, and proceeded to lay the beating on the Flames that is always so enjoyable, by handing them a decisive loss!
The only memorable thing about the first period was Ryan Kesler’s bone cracking hit on Flames Blake Comeau at the nine minute mark in the offensive zone. Blake never saw him coming, but I can guarantee you he will be seeing 17's in his nightmares tonight. For the Flames, the only memorable thing in the entire game happened in the first period too, and that was the one and only goal they manged to squeak by Roberto Luongo, and a squeaker it was. Somehow, someway Alex Tanguay’s shot managed to find it’s way between Luongo’s pad and the goal post. It was a one off goal, and the odds of it happening again are pretty slim.
The second period showed the Canucks waking up a bit as they picked up their physical play and puck control. Kevin Bieksa tied the game up early, and Chris Higgins got the go ahead goal late to end the second period with the Canucks leading 2-1. Remember how I’ve said that David Booth was going to be a game changer pretty soon? Well, tonight just may have well been that night, as he not only assisted on both second period goals, but he also scored one to open the third period. When he wasn’t scoring or helping, he was getting up close and personal with the goaltender by getting under his skin. He took a goaltender interference penalty in the third, but by all accounts he was definitely helped by Flames D-Man Joe Piskula as he ran Booth square into Mikka Kiprusoff early in the third.
After Booth’s goal to start the third period, Jannik Hansen and Daniel Sedin piled on with goals of their own. Sedin’s goal was a beauty as he took a cross ice feed from Kesler and roofed the puck past Kiprusoff from the side of the net at an impossible angle.
After the first period where the Flames actually outshot the Canucks 13-10, Luongo had a pretty easy remaining 40 minutes as he only faced nine shots. Nine shots? No wonder the Flames aren’t winning hockey games! By the time the final buzzer sounded, the Flames were outshot 36-22 and were no doubt feeling as though they had just been reminded that they are still the red headed step-child to the Canucks.
Tonight’s game is just what the Canucks needed to shake off Thursday night’s loss against the Predators and remind themselves that they are going to be the team to beat again this year if they keep playing like they did tonight. In other words, playing with fire can be fun, as it was tonight!