Raffi Torres scored the first hat trick of his career last night in Edmonton, as well as his second game winning goal of the season and was, consequently, awarded the first star of the game.
Torres scored his first goal only 22 seconds after the Sedin’s opened up the scoring, in a spectacular dive off of Malhota’s rebound. He tipped his second off a shot by Kevin Bieksa on the powerplay and completed the trick on a nonchalant backhander with nine minutes left in a tied game.
"I know we're a third line and we're grinders,” Torres said after the game, “But if you can play with a little bit of finesse we'll get where we need to be."
Despite being on the road, plenty of hats hit the ice when Torres nabbed his final goal. Clearly Edmonton fans still remember the four years Torres spent with the Oilers, including 2005-06, when Torres had a career season (27-14-41), and recorded 11 points in 22 playoff games.
“That was nice, that was nice,” said Torres. “I made a lot of good friends here, a lot of good relationships here. Edmonton was nothing but first class while I was playing here so it was nice of them.”
He spent most of the summer without a contract until the Canucks signed him on August 25th.
"I saw [signing with Vancouver] as another chance for me," Torres told Province reporter, Jim Jamieson. "You've got a wife and kid now. There's things you're working for. They push me to want everything to be good for the family, so I'm doing whatever it takes to do that."
"I told Raffi the first time I met him I wasn't interested in his past," said head coach Alain Vigneault. "I just said we'd take it day by day and get better. That's what he's done. Every day he steps on the ice, he's tried to get better. He's got a great work ethic and a great attitude."
Torres’ six goals place him second among Canucks goal scorers, right behind Daniel Sedin’s eight goals.
BIEKSA HITS 100
Kevin Bieksa went pointless in the first 10 games of the season, the longest point drought of his career but made up for it in a big way with three assists and a third star nod against the Oilers.
"I wasn't too worried [about not scoring]. I had the pleasure of playing with Raffi all night," Bieksa told Jim Jamieson. "I just kept putting it in his area. The guys that are hot, you just give them the puck."
Although his first assist broke the drought, it was his third that is most note worthy, for several reasons.
Not only does three assists tie his record for most points in a game but it also completed Raffi Torres’ first ever hat trick, it was also Bieksa’s 100th career assist, all in a Canucks jersey.
Bieksa has historically played well against the Oilers, prior to this game he recorded 13 assists against them in 28 games, more than any other team.