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From the Rafters (9.29.14)

by Wyatt Arndt / Vancouver Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks took on the newly minted Arizona Coyotes in pre-season action tonight. Here's how it went down.

- Tonight marked the arrival of the artist formerly known as Phoenix, as the Arizona Coyotes rolled into town to face off against the Vancouver Canucks. The big news of the day was the fact that three of the top prospects in the Canucks system (Shinkaruk, Horvat, and Jensen) would be playing on the same line together! This led to one question:

I received many suggestions, but I won't lie, I think this name has the most potential. Think of the t-shirts they could make! If a defenseman gets an assist, it could be the Boho and Shinny Show ft. Nicky J. with a special guest appearance by Dan Hamhuis. The possibilities are endless!

- And in quick farm team news:

As a proud member of #TeamBeard myself, I am happy to see Archibald stand up and fight for his beard. Don't let people pressure you into shaving! Pre-season beards are a real thing!

- Team Canada had its Women's Rugby team do the ceremonial faceoff for tonight's game. Guys, is anyone ever going to beat Hank on the ceremonial faceoffs? I don't mean to keep bragging, but I think his skills at ceremonial draws are on a whole other level from everyone else.

FIRST PERIOD

- Vancouver hasn't exactly been blessed with great puck moving goaltenders (aside from Kirk McLean. Praise be to Kirk McLean) so I am always interested to see how the new goalies do when they arrive. Ryan Miller? He banked a puck off the back board to go right around an incoming Coyote, and cleared the puck. Stay frosty, Ryan.

- Things to note on this goal are 1) Linden Vey is incredibly fun to watch in the offensive zone and 2) Derek Dorsett is going to be a fan favorite. He reminds me a bit of Raffi Torres with his underrated speed and his desire to murder people with huge body checks. The only things missing are the Torres crazy eyes...

- I don't mean to harp on last year (just kidding, I do) , and I know it's just pre-season, but the Canucks are moving the puck much more efficiently this year. They are passing to team mates instead of blindly chipping the puck off the glass, and as a result, are getting good scoring chances. Yay smart hockey!

- There are rumors the Coyotes tied the game up at one on a five hole goal, but I refuse to believe it.

SECOND PERIOD

- There is no diginified way to walk while eating popcorn. It's even worse when Laurence Gilman sees you doing this. PLEASE DON'T JUDGE ME MR. GILMAN.

- Frank Corrado, owner of the best nickname in hockey, The Corrado Kid, was having his best game of the pre-season before he had to leave the game with an injury. Tough break for someone trying to make the team.

- The Sedins continue to look like they've played with Vrbata their entire life. Vrbata, playing like a young Anson Carter, is intriguing to watch because he can cycle with the Sedins, but he also isn't afraid to shoot the puck any chance he gets. Do the Sedins look like he broke their favorite mug every time he shoots? Sure, those boys just love passing way too much. But it's a good thing to have a shooter playing with them.

- Speaking of Raffi Torres like hits, Lucas Sbisa attempted to force Brandon McMillan into taking a line change against his will in the second period. Considering it was the Canucks bench, it appears he tried trading him as well.

- Unfortunately for Vancouver it wasn't all peaches and cream for them in this game, as the Arizona Coyotes took over the game in the second period, taking a 3-1 lead against the passive looking Canucks. It was around this time that press row began smelling like hot dogs. I don't want to blame hot dogs for the collapse, but...

THIRD PERIOD

- Ok, first off, it's the "The BoHo and Shinny Show ft. Nicky J." line, but I do agree that one of the few highlights of the third period was the play of the youngsters. They had one great shift in the third period where they outworked the Coyotes and created several scoring chances as a result. Bo Horvat showcased his ability to shield the puck very well, and the entire shift led to a rousing ovation from the crowd.

- How do the Canucks get back into a game in which they look tired and out of it? Simple. SUPER SERIOUS RADIM VRBATA. He takes winning very very seriously. He's also making everyone forget about the last person to wear #17 very very quickly. The Canucks PP, which actually looks like a legit power play so far, is making full use of Vrbata's quick, hard release. They're also taking advantage of his WIZARD LIKE POWERS because I still have no idea how that puck ends up in the net.

I concluded my interactions with Mr. Gilman later this night by almost running him over as I left the bathroom. I am in fine pre-season form.

Unfortunately for Canucks fans, the Canucks could not close the gap any further, as the Coyotes iced the game late in the third period, making it a 4-2 final. This is where we can all collectively breathe a sigh of relief and say out loud "At least it's just pre-season."

POST GAME

Tonight's "Minor Hockey League Intermission Goal of the Night" is brought to you by the New Westminster Royals. Their goal of choice? TOP SHELF GOALS. Where you keep the really old cans of soup you tell yourself you'll use one day. But you never do. You never do.

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