Preds, Canucks battle in a physical affair

The Vancouver Canucks were just being the Vancouver Canucks Monday night at Bridgestone Arena. In a game fuull of complaining, cheap shots and just plain stupidity, the Canucks reassured the fans attending the game why everyone in the NHL hates them.

Notorious for his bull crap around the league since he entered, Alexandre Burrows gave Canucks a 5-2 win using his peskiness. Burrows drew a penalty, no thanks to the referee, after he interfered with Hal Gill next to the Nashville net. Gill took exception and knocked him down after the play was over.

Predators’ captain Shea Weber had enough of Burrows and roughed him up in the third period. Behind the net, Weber knocked the rat’s helmet off by finishing a check while on his knees. Several seconds later, Weber leveled the finger eater down to the ice along the boards.

Of course, if Burrows is involved, so is Ryan Kesler. Gill and he have a short history together as they have battled for open ice in front of Pekka Rinne. The 6’7” defenseman knocked Kesler down, who was angry and therefore tangled up with Gill away from the play. Obviously, Gill was involved in the physical play throughout the night.

Another scum-bag move was Kesler high sticking Taylor Beck in the mouth. That is not unusual in this day and age, but what is unusual is doing it on the bench. Yes, Kesler caught Beck in the mouth with his stick on the bench.

To top it all off 16:47 in the third period, after Rinne hitting Zack Kassian from behind away from the play, Kassian retaliated by cross-checking the prized goaltender twice. Weber and Roman Josi didn’t like that one bit, so both sent Kassian to the back boards, where Weber was able to throw a few punches in on the goon.

A total of forty penalty minutes from both sides combined came from that one situation.

While down 2-0, Rich Clune attempted to ignite his team and gain momentum by dropping the mitts with Steve Pinizzotto 5:23 in the first period. Props to Pinizzotto removing his helmet, which had a visor, and Clune for waiting and removing his as well.

Clune’s fight helped his get focused and reenergized, despite not scoring a goal in the first. After a horrendous first period where they went to the intermission down two goals, Nick Spaling broke the ice in the scoring department for Nashville 1:34 in.

Bobby Butler tallied the last goal for the Preds with a nice wrist shot past Roberto Luongo’s blocker.

An electric second period by Nashville couldn’t carry over to the third as the Canucks scored three more past Rinne to earn the 5-2 lead. The loss officially eliminated the Preds out of playoff contention.

Edler's hit on Ekholm: In his first game of the season with the Predators, Mattias Ekholm was bowled over by Alex Edler leading with his elbow and making contact with the Swede's head. Ekholm was in obvious pain in the head region, but hopefully it isn't anything too severe. The after effects could be a lot worse.

The NHL should be looking at this hit and hand out a possible fine/suspension to the Canucks' defenseman.

Goals and Assists

1-0 VAN: PP Ryan Kesler – H. Sedin and D. Sedin at 1:34 in the 1st

2-0 VAN: Derek Roy – Hamhuis and Hansen at 4:34 in the 1st

2-1 VAN: Nick Spaling – Kostitsyn and Bang at 1:34 in the 2nd

2-2 tie: Bobby Butler – Bartley at 11:40 in the 2nd

3-2 VAN: PP Jason Garrison – Raymond and Bieksa at 17:02 of the 2nd

4-2 VAN: Alexandre Burrows – H. Sedin (2) and D. Sedin (2) at 0:50 of the 3rd

5-2 VAN: Ryan Kesler (2) – Roy and Hansen (2) at 15:53 of the 3rd

My Three Stars of the Game

1. Ryan Kesler: 2 Goals

2. Sedin Sister #1: 2 Assists

3. Sedin Sister #2: 2 Assists

Predators scratches: #8 D Kevin Klein (undisclosed), #12 C Mike Fisher (hand), #18 W Brandon Yip (lower body), #27 W Patric Hornqvist (upper body), #28 C Paul Gaustad (shoulder) and #57 W Gabriel Bourque (knee)

Canucks scratches: #8 D Christopher Tanev (lower body), #18 D Cam Barker, #20 W Chris Higgins (lower body) and #29 W Tom Sestito