Now that was hockey! While I've enjoyed following the games up to now it was much better to have the opportunity to watch the game live and get involved with the Twitter discussion etc. (although I'm sure actually being in the arena would be a tad better). It's a shame that there's only one more 1pm start scheduled in for the rest of the season, I'm going to have to make more of an effort to pull all nighters at weekends from now on.
The game itself got off to a pretty sleepy start, probably predictably seeing as these early face offs are rare. There didn't seem to be much of an atmosphere during the first period which raises the age-old question - should the fans generate the noise to drive on their team, or should the team get the crowd going with action on the ice? It's all a bit chicken and egg and a question we see a lot over here in football. I'm very much of the opinion that at the beginning of the game the fans should get the atmosphere going - but if the play being served up for the first five or ten minutes is a bit dull it's understandable that it will drop off. I'm sure the early start didn't help with this and once again some poor discipline resulted in a number of Wild powerplays in the period and ultimately a 1-0 lead for the visitors going into the second.
This became a 2-1 lead going into the third and not for the first time this season the Canucks needed to turn over a deficit in the final period. Once again they managed it. Hansen tied the game up with the best play of the match, tipping in a shot from the point. That took us to overtime where the win was sealed in style. Sami Salo celebrated his 700th NHL game with a top shelf scorcher from the point. It's a good job that nobody got in the way of it because that puck would have caused some serious damage!
One player in particular stood out for me during the game - Maxim Lapierre. I've not seen a whole lot of him up to now but he was all over the ice last night and had a couple of breakaways, narrowly missing the chance to score. I thought Kesler looked lively too, always involved with the Canucks more positive play and although the Sedins were quiet Daniel still popped up with a goal and is right up there on the individual leader boards.
Waking up this morning I hear that a trade went through last night between Vancouver and Florida with Sturm and Samuelsson departing and David Booth coming in. As I've mentioned before Sturm has looked pretty slow and Samuelsson is no spring chicken so this would look like a decent trade. I know nothing of Booth, but consensus appears to be that it's a good deal for the Canucks and he will slot into the second line, probably alongside Kesler and Higgins. Hopefully this won't mean Cody Hodgson being left out. While he's been a little anonymous in the last couple of games he started the season well and I hope we get to see a bit more of him as time goes on. I'm not exactly sure what the rules are around trades during the season and if there is a 'deadline day' like we see in soccer, or if teams can trade all year round - I'll be trying to find that out later today!
On a lighter note I have to comment on the tunes featured in NHL games. The organ music, which I expected to be a lot more irritating, is actually growing on me and definitely adds to the atmosphere. I also love the Sportsnet intro music - could it be more dramatic?! Then again, last night's game coming to an end on an overtime screamer with under 30 seconds left on the clock was more than worthy of it. Bosh!