Anders Nilsson kicked off his season with an impressive 32 save shutout as the lowly Nucks suffocated a red-hot Ottawa offence in a 3-0 victory on the road. There were 3 major story-lines in this stint. First, the play of backup goalie Anders Nilsson; second, a Houdini-caliber escape out of a VERY one sided first period; and third, a new found chemistry between the new “Killer B’s”.
Our shiny new backup goaltender stood tall (6’6″ to be precise), most notably in the first period, to keep the high-flying Sens at bay. Although there were a few awkward looking saves and juicy rebounds that Ottawa failed to capitalize on, you just can’t argue with results. Anders the Giant (you heard it here first) did what he had to and deserves a ton of credit for the dubya. I know it’s early, but do we already have a goalie controversy?… That’s not like Vancouver.
Speaking of the first period… I almost got to the point of switching off the telly and watching Seinfeld re-runs up until a Canucks powerplay opened the scoring. Until that point, the team looked sluggish, uninspired, soft, and frankly; like they didn’t give a fuck. I’m happy to say that I was wrong. A powerplay that actually boasted a little zone-time and control was able to convert after a point shot from Del Zotto bounced around the crease and on to the red-hot stick of Brock Boeser who buried that biscuit. Extra credit to Alex Burmistrov who took a molestation in front of Ottawa’s Craig Anderson.
There’s a new Bur in town. Alexander Burmistrov, who looked like he may have been a long-shot to make the squad when he was signed this summer, found some chemistry on a line with Brock Boeser and Sven Baertschi. The Killer B’s (Bo replaced by Bur) looked like they had played together for months. Not only did the line show a little grit and gusto in puck-battles and possession, but they also tossed the rock around like a drop-in session. The second goal of the game was a dandy tic-tac-toe with a side of net-front presence and tipsy finesse. These young studs may be cause for some excitement moving forward.
Finally, the night was capped off by Thomas Vanek’s second goal of the season. After Erik Karlsson showed some nasty pace breaking into the Vancouver zone, his ripper smashed off the crossbar, out of the zone and directly onto the stick of a streaking Vanek who hammered a slapper top cheese on a frustrated Ottawa net-minder. Ya, ya heard that right… Big clapper from the hash-marks. Stud move Thomas, stud move.
Save for an ugly first period, the Canucks started looking like a difficult team to play against and a squad that could produce just enough offense to win a few games.
Unsung Hero: Brandon Sutter could have, with an inch on each play, netted 2 goals last night. The first, a shot off the inside of the crossbar, the second being a disallowed goal for contact with a high stick. His line (Virtanen, Sutter, Dorsett) was a stifling presence that was a source of frustration for the hometown Senators.