<table><td><img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/sunny_blog.jpg" align="left" hspace="4">7:01: Dan Murphy smashes the record for quickest mistake by a Canucks broadcaster to start the year when, just one minute into the season-opening telecast, he declares, “It has been 154 days – not that we’re counting or anything – since the Canucks last played a meaningful game, a 2-1 overtime loss to the Sharks which knocked Vancouver out of the playoffs.” That Vancouver playoff loss actually came against Anaheim, not San Jose. But in Dan’s defense, he’s clearly drunk.
7:02: Jim Hughson and John Garrett are back in the booth. Is there a harder-working man in sports than Hughson? He did the Flyers-Flames game in Calgary last night. He’s doing the Sharks-Canucks game tonight. He’s doing one of the Hockey Night in Canada games tomorrow. And he still somehow finds the time to trim Garrett’s moustache. Unbelievable.
7:14: Joe Thornton cashes in on a 2-on-1 and gives the Moose a 1-0 lead. Whoops, I mean the Sharks. But seriously, those new San Jose jerseys look an awful lot like the Manitoba ones. I’m half-expecting Jimmy Roy to come flying down the wing.
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7:17: Kevin Bieksa takes a double-minor for high sticking that the referee ten feet away didn’t call but the referee at center ice did. That’s crazy. If this was a murder trial, would we rank the opinion of the eyewitness who was 50 feet away ahead of the eyewitness who was right there? I think not. And yes, there are a ton of holes in that analogy.
7:25: Jeremy Roenick scores to make it 2-0 San Jose. That play looked suspiciously close to being offside. I’d feel a lot better about the non-call if the linesman wasn’t Tim Donaghy.
7:31: Jim calls Bieksa and Willie Mitchell Vancouver’s “shut-down defensive pairing.” Vegas immediately releases the over/under on the number of times Jim will say that this season at 106 (including playoffs).
7:33: Roenick tips one in to make it 3-0 San Jose. Wow, will Vancouver give up more goals in their home opener against San Jose this season than they did last year when they lost 6-4? My magic 8-ball says yes.
7:39: Ryan Shannon misses a wide-open net that would have made it 3-1. Hey by the way, has anyone definitively proven that Ryan Shannon isn’t Brandon Reid in disguise? They’re the same size, they’re both right-handed shots, and they’re both lightning-quick. Until someone sees them in a room together, I’m calling #26 Brandon Shannon.
7:41: The first period comes to an end with the Canucks down 3-0. Jim sums it up quite nicely when he says, “They’ve thrown a party and the Sharks are here to ruin it.”
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7:59: The second period is set to begin. One good thing about being on the verge of a blowout is Alain Vigneault will have no problem mixing up the lines. I hope he sends a message by putting Aaron Miller at center, with Daniel Sedin and Alex Burrows on the wings.
8:05: Kyle McLaren takes a penalty for roughing. Will this be the power-play that not only gets Vancouver back in the game but also gets the PP off to a good start this season?
8:14: The Sedins and Mason Raymond follow up a strong shift by the Kesler line with a solid shift of their own. It’s too bad Vancouver’s down 3-0 right now because other than that, they’re starting to look pretty good. Seems like the gentlemanly thing for San Jose to do would be to give Vancouver those three goals back.
8:21: Vancouver has a rare 5-on-2 break but, unfortunately, can’t score. Experts everywhere attribute it to the team’s unwillingness to form “The Flying V.”
8:24: I’ve been waiting for John Garrett to do something of note. I just didn’t think that it would be him setting the world record for “Most Times Saying ‘Smooth’ In A Five Second Period.” Garrett used the adjective four times when describing the play of Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov.
8:25: Does anyone else find those Budget ads with John Shorthouse mildly uncomfortable to watch? Anyone?
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8:29: With Vancouver down two men, Mitchell puts on a defensive clinic. First, he gets his stick in the lane and deflects a pass over the glass. Then he follows that up by deflecting a shot out of play. If you read my previous column, you’ll know that because you wore a Willie Mitchell jersey, you’re legally obligated to lead your section of fans through the wave right now.
8:30: Jim: “I don’t think there’s a better player in the league with his stick than Willie Mitchell.”
8:32: The second period comes to an end with Vancouver still trailing 3-0, though they had a far better twenty minutes. At least I think they did, but what do I know? Did you read my analogy at 7:17?
8:52: With the third period just underway, Jim says the following: “Bieksa limps over to the bench.”
8:53: I have a mild heart attack.
8:54: Bieksa’s fine, he just took a puck to the face. And despite my mild heart attack, I’m going to finish this running diary so the three guys reading don’t think I left them hanging.