What an eventful first game of the season. In the first game of their 40th anniversary season, the Canucks brought back all living members of their inaugural team. Pat Quinn received the biggest ovation, a classy gesture by the fans at Rogers Arena. From there, Henrik Sedin was officially named captain by receiving the C from the first captain in Canucks history, Orland Kurtenbach. I thought it was a nice ceremony that was done with a lot of class.
Also receiving a large ovation was legendary broadcaster Tom Larscheid, who was calling his last game. Larscheid is being pushed out of the broadcast booth because of the shameful actions of Vancouver Canucks management. Larscheid is still beloved by most Canucks fans and has been first class all the way. He’s not being pushed out because he’s not good enough, but presumably because of past critiques of the team. The Team 1040 also should share in the blame, bending over for Canucks management who they rely on to secure broadcasting rights.
In any case, Saturday night’s game was a great chance to pay tribute to Larscheid, as they did throughout the broadcast. A credit to him, he is not bitter at all with the decision to let him go and has taken the high road. He’s entertained me since I was old enough to watch/listen to Canucks games. He’s a hall-of-fame worthy broadcaster and will be missed. Courtesy of the Team 1040 you can listen to all of Tommy’s last broadcast, I recommend skipping to the last 5-10 minutes of each clip:
1st period – Larscheid interviews Pat Quinn and Orland Kurtenbach during the 1st intermission towards the end of this clip
2nd period – Larscheid interviews Jim Robson during the 2nd intermission towards the end of this clip
3rd period – Larscheid gives his final sendoff towards the end of this clip
There was also a game to be played on Saturday night! Here are a few random thoughts on the game:
-Both retro jerseys looked awesome, would be nice if the Canucks used them instead of their current third jerseys
-Roberto Luongo looked excellent.
-Despite a poor preseason, Keith Ballard looked excellent. He made a couple of game saving blocked shots.
-Despite an excellent preseason, Raffi Torres’ performance was a little disappointing.
-Kevin Bieksa was paired with Dan Hamhuis, it baffles my mind as to how Alain Vigneault thinks that Bieksa should play against the other team’s top lines.
-The Sedins weren’t overly effective. Willie Mitchell is the perfect player to matchup against them.
-Manny Malhotra looks well worth the $2.5 million. He’s so big and when he throws checks they hurt. He was excellent on the PK.
-The fourth line of Bolduc, Desbiens and Glass actually looked pretty good!
-Alex Bolduc was injured in the game, wouldn’t it be nice if they had a guy like Brendan Morrison to fill-in for him?
-The Canucks could have used Pavol Demitra and Kyle Wellwood in the shootout last night. Mason Raymond (2/9 in his career) and Ryan Kesler (7/23 in his career) took their only two attempts. Alain Vigneault is going to need to find two new go-to shootout guys.
-With a career record of 6/9 in shootouts, Jeff Tambellini could be that guy.
-Another guy worth a look? How about Christian Ehrhoff?
-They didn’t win the game, but one overall feeling I got from game 1 is that they look like a more playoff ready team, case in point: