I Watched This Playoff Game: Canucks vs Los Angeles Kings, April 11, 2012

I was promised prior to tonight’s game that playoff hockey is the best hockey. I don’t know about you, but I thought this particular game was pretty lousy. Now I can never trust again.

It’s difficult for a game to be entertaining when it’s bogged down by constant penalty calls. Approximately half of the first two periods of this game were spent with one of the two teams on the powerplay. It made for an extremely disjointed game that significantly lacked any sense of flow. So, essentially, me when I try to rap.

I watched this game.

Canucks 2 – 4 Kings

  • David Booth started the game off with a bang, sending Drew Doughty flying behind his own net with a massive hit. Booth is at his best when he plays an aggressive game, so this is a good sign. He continued his solid play with 4 shots and victimized Doughty again later in the first, this time with a gorgeous inside-outside move. I am fully in favour of Booth repeatedly embarrassing Doughty throughout this series. I suggest that he pants him in front of a pretty girl. Super embarrassing.
  • The Kings dominated the game early, and ended up outshooting the Canucks 13-6 in the first period. It could have gotten ugly early, but Roberto Luongo was sharp, making a big blocker save on a Rob Scuderi one-timer, then back-to-back gorgeous glove saves on Dustin Brown shortly after. Luongo ended up with 35 saves and was the main reason the Canucks were in this game. He had more stops in this game than a pipe organ.
  • Alex Burrows opened the scoring with a little hard work and persistence. Also, interference. After Quick stopped his original shot, Burrows outbattled Kyle Clifford for the rebound and whipped the puck just inside the post. Meanwhile, Ryan Kesler ran into Jonathan Quick, which inexplicably went uncalled. It didn’t have to be a penalty, but it should have been no goal due to incidental contact, like the time I accidentally sent a radio message to Jodie Foster.
  • As good as Luongo was in this game, the Kings’ first goal was a weak one. It was also completely understandable. While killing a 5-on-3, Mike Richards unexpectedly threw the puck on net from a bad angle, sneaking it through Luongo’s legs. In that situation, Luongo had to expect a pass as Jeff Carter was waiting at the back door like a boyfriend that your father doesn’t like.
  • How the Canucks got into that 5-on-3 situation was frustrating. After Ryan Kesler got a somewhat weak unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for giving Quick a snow shower, Chris Higgins accidentally cleared the puck over the glass, picking up a delay-of-game penalty. A minute later, Alex Edler swatted a puck out of mid-air that also sailed over the glass. Neither was a case of intentional delay-of-game, and it frustrates me that there is no room for discretion.
  • Kesler had an effective game offensively, assisting on both Canucks goals, but his blatantly obvious attempts to draw penalties by embellishing contact need to stop. Referees will stop giving him the benefit of the doubt and he’ll attract the wrong kind of attention from fans, media, and opposition players. Less of that and more of this.
  • That said, I was absolutely baffled by colour commentator Craig Simpson and how much embellishment he thought was happening in this game. He repeatedly brought it up, then showed replays of Henrik Sedin getting can-openered and Luongo getting pushed into his net by a stick to his chest. Yes, there was embellishment in this game (from both teams), which is typical for this time of year, but Simpson was seeing embellishment everywhere.  I think he’s got a problem. I heard he woke up in a cold sweat last night after a dream where embellishment chased him down a seemingly endless hallway with a knife and all the doors were locked.
  • Jonathan Quick was superb in net for the Kings, particularly early in the second period where he robbed Burrows with a marvelous toe save, then followed it up with an even better save on a wraparound by Kesler. The Canucks will have to keep him moving laterally and challenge him with more shots if they want to score in this series: Quick is locked in like Wendy Torrance. I wonder if any of the Canucks own an axe…
  • There were three charging calls in this game – one on the Kings and two on the Canucks – and I didn’t agree with any of them. None of the three hits looked particularly egregious: the players did not appear to leave their feet or take too many strides leading into the hits. From what I could tell, they essentially got called for hitting too hard. The Rogers Arena crowd seemed riled up by the calls as well: after Lapierre was called for hitting Scuderi, they chanted “Bulis…Bulis…” I’m guessing they were hearkening back to the amazing hit Jan Bulis made on Jack Johnson in his first NHL game, forgetting that Johnson doesn’t play for the Kings anymore. Either that or they were talking about cow excrement.
  • Byron Bitz’s 5-minute major and game misconduct for boarding, however, were completely deserved. The crowd continued to chant about bovine feces, but Bitz had to let up with Clifford in a vulnerable position and didn’t do so. It seems clear to me that Bitz was looking to make a clean hit to make the most of his limited icetime and was hoping that Clifford would turn towards him, but you can’t hope that a hit will be clean. I have a suspicion that Bitz might get a one or two game suspension out of it as well.
  • We recently appeared on an LA Kings podcast and I happened to mention how sorry I was for them that they had Willie Mitchell, of all people, on the powerplay. So I blame myself for Mitchell going out the very next day and making me look like a buffoon. Mitchell’s point shot with less than a minute remaining in Bitz’s major ramped up Jannik Hansen’s stick and went top corner past a screened Luongo. I tempted fate and fate slapped me in the face.  Also, incidentally, how I met my wife.
  • The shot totals at the end of the night would suggest that the Kings dominated the Canucks in this game, but that was mainly because of the copious amount of powerplay time the Kings enjoyed. At even-strength, shots and possession were much closer. The third line got dominated, however, which means we might see Kesler play more of a checking role in game two. Dustin Brown had 8 shots, Justin Williams had 7, and Drew Doughty had 6. That can’t happen again.
  • Alex Edler tied up the game with 8 seconds left in the second period, taking advantage of a tired Kings group after an icing call. His point shot hit Brown’s stick and actually bounced off the ice and up over Quick’s shoulder. Secretly, the Canucks replaced the regular puck with one made out of Flubber.
  • The third period should give Canucks fans plenty to be positive about: the Canucks were clearly the better team in the final frame, creating scoring chances, drawing penalties, and playing a disciplined game. Even the powerplay finally looked dangerous again. If the Canucks play the rest of the series in the same fashion, they’ll do just fine. Of course, it raises the question of why they weren’t playing that way from the start of the game.
  • Unfortunately, one terrible giveaway from Alex Edler erased all the fine work the Canucks did in the third period. Instead of banking the puck off the boards into the neutral zone, Edler chipped it up the middle, where Mike Richards cut it off. Bieksa stepped up aggressively on Richards, leaving Dustin Penner and Jeff Carter for Edler to deal with alone. Richards threw it to Carter, who cleverly directed it to Penner with the outside of his skate. Luongo, having to play the potential shot from Carter, had no chance.
  • That goal was also one of the few times that Jannik Hansen didn’t skate his heart out. I really liked Hansen’s game: he skated miles and miles, was aggressive on the forecheck, and was credited with 4 takeaways, one of which led to a shot off the post in the first period that, like neutrogena, could have changed the complexion of the game.
  • The top line of Mason Raymond, Henrik Sedin, and Alex Burrows looked good when they could actually get on the ice together. The multitude of early penalties made that difficult, leading to Henrik double-shifting in place of Byron Bitz on the fourth line to get more minutes in the third period. In a game with fewer powerplays, that trio should provide a lot of scoring chances. That said, Daniel Sedin can’t get back soon enough.
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77 comments

  1. jenny wren
    April 12, 2012

    Lui stopped one two three then four
    Before we got a chance to score
    Burrows got us the early lead
    I prayed it would be all we’d need

    But it of course was not to be
    As the Kings scored when five on three
    And then it was they got one more
    This time when playing five on four

    Already now I must confess
    The playoffs cause me lots of stress
    As here I sat downright dismayed
    By watching my team be outplayed

    Just when I thought that we were through
    Twenty-three tied the game at two
    But later gave the puck away
    Kings were the better team today

    Jenny Wren

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    • cj
      April 12, 2012

      we must chill out it’s just a game
      and all the teams are much the same
      about my kings i wouldn’t care
      by chance i lived some otherwhere

      it’s only that i’m living here
      that it is they for whom i cheer
      by”here” i mean in east l a
      from whence i came to watch them play

      hoping simply mayhap they might
      beat vancouver wednesday night
      which now it is that they have done
      thus threatening your playoff run

      tonight there were three series games
      the only difference was the names

      cyanocitta jay

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  2. Sleepy Lewis
    April 12, 2012

    Grammar police: through =/= threw in the bullet that starts with “Unfortunately”

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  3. swizzler
    April 12, 2012

    plans for game 2: reunite the AmEx line, Lapierre back in the first line with Hank and Burr, Raymond down to the third line.
    can’t believe lapierre only had 11 mins of ice time

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    • Phileo99
      April 12, 2012

      I agree about reuniting the AmEx line. But I am a little torn about the surrogate sedin. Raymond didn’t play bad at all, does he deserve a demotion into a checking role? But at the same time, we saw glimpses of Lappy as the surrogate Sedin, and he did quite well. Which surrogate sedin gives the Canucks the best chance to win? I would have to go with Lappy, as he has the extra sandpaper, which can make a difference.
      Kassian/Malholtra/Ebbett on the 4th line for sure though.

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  4. CanuckFanInSF
    April 12, 2012

    I was a tad miffed by the LA twitter account tweet. You have to give them credit though, they got cojones. I’m surprised that the tweet didn’t make it to the front page of the Sun. ;) also, as a Canucks fan, I mean c’mon. Thicker skin you guys. Embrace the hate and just rally behind the team.

    I think of this game as a snack game. Lu played out of his mind last night and I still think we have the advantage. And yes, definitely miss Danny. Won’t miss Bitz as much when he gets a call from Sherriff Shanny.

    Go Canucks, Go!

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    • Brent
      April 12, 2012

      Actually that tweet should be posted in the Canucks Dressing room, not in Arial font, but some bad, bad, LA Kings worthy font as a motivator.

      I mean it worked for Team Canada when Wayne Gretzky said everyone in the world was against us. And this is similar. Lets go Canucks!

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  5. Andre
    April 12, 2012

    “If the Canucks play the rest of the series in the same fashion, they’ll do just fine.”

    My thoughts exactly.

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  6. VanFan85
    April 12, 2012

    Somebody needs to tell Kesler that NHL hockey is a mans game and those childish embelisments and little cheap-shot spears to the lower areas of opponents bodies are the actions of a boy. Time to grow up Ryan…

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    • natevk
      April 12, 2012

      I find that way too many people forget this game is played on ice. Lots of times those “dives” are actually just a player falling either because their skates get tangled or there is a legitimate stick messing with their feet to take them down. Sure, these guys are professional but considering how many times Raymond falls down in a game it’s pretty easy to believe that when a couple guys are jostling for position, someone’s feet are gonna get tangled and may result in an awkward cartwheel…

      That said, I don’t appreciate the head-tosses and any complaining to the refs and I expect with the leadership in the Vancouver room that we won’t see much more of that going forward.

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      • VanFan85
        April 12, 2012

        It’s one thing to fall like Raymond does and it’s one thing to have incidental contact create a fall, but everytime Kesler went down – accident or not – he got up and immediately looked at the ref for a call. And its not just that, it was the spear to Stoll’s nads and the cross check to Greene’s obliques and little stuff like that after the whistle – it was like I was transported 4 years back in time and was looking at the whiny, childish, immature Kesler. He can be so much more than what he is if he would cut the crap, put his nose to the grindstone and play.

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        • B
          April 12, 2012

          Both you and the writer have spoken the truth about Kesler. Why has he all of a sudden decided to revert back to being a diver and a whiner. Play the game. It makes me crazy. AV should tell them to shut their mouths and play hockey. This team can win the cup but not if they play like a bunch of idiots (last night was the first game all season we have seen that cr@p – I still can’t explain it)

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    • Chako Mika
      April 12, 2012

      I hope his daughter calls him on it, maybe he’ll stop.

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    • akidd
      April 12, 2012

      agreed. not sure where the thumbs down come from. support the hometeam of course but you gotta acknowledge what the eyes see. kesler did not win over many people with his performance in game one.

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  7. JDM
    April 12, 2012

    “If the Canucks play the rest of the series in the same fashion, they’ll do just fine.”

    This is pretty optimistic. If you selectively look at the portions of the game the Canucks played full-court-press hockey in, you’re deluding yourself. If you watched that game, completely in a vacuum, you would be forced to conclude that the Kings are better at this than the Canucks.

    The game yesterday was extremely concerning. Game 2 is crucial. Then they still have to split the games in LA. There is no longer any realistic way to avoid this being a long series.

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    • J21
      April 12, 2012

      Yeah, this. I did not take much positive away from this game, because any objective observer who didn’t know the seedings would have to conclude that Los Angeles were the favorites and very much in control.

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    • cableguymike
      April 12, 2012

      I think he was implying that if the Canucks keep moving their feet and showing some urgency, something that they should be able to do for a full 60 minutes, they’ll be just fine. Not so much a comment on the result but the process.

      But whatever.

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      • JDM
        April 12, 2012

        I agree that that was what he was implying, but I do not agree that they should be able to do that for a full 60 minutes for this whole series. The urgency at the end of the game was the kind of desperation you normally see from a team down by a goal with a couple of minutes left. How often do you see a team play game-7-third-period hockey for a whole series? You need to play at a high intensity level, sure, but there’s a consistent level of play that most teams maintain throughout a game and a series. Call it the baseline play level. Yesterday, with the exception of a few players (Booth, Raymond, Hansen, Burrows at times) LA’s was way, way above Vancouver’s.

        On another note, I was surprised last night in that I thought coming in that Booth should be well served by watching Beast-Mode-Kesler and following his example on how to play in the playoffs. Looking back on the game now, I think it’s the opposite: Kesler needs to take Booth’s example. Stop trying to draw calls, stay on your feet and out-will people.

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    • Lenny
      April 12, 2012

      I have to say I agree unfortunately. I’m more concerned now than I was after game 5 against the Hawks last year… and that was a pretty desperate time. In order to win this series:

      1, The Canucks need to control their emotions and play the right way like they did at the end of the regular season. Giving up that many scoring chances in the first 3 minutes of the game is inexcusable.
      2, AV has to find a way to counter Darryl Sutter’s aggressive forecheck. This reminds me of Boston last year and Calgary in 2004.
      3, Luongo has to keep playing like he did.
      4, Kesler has to outbattle Richards.

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      • Phileo99
        April 12, 2012

        There were two common themes in all 4 regular season games that the Canucks played against the LAK:
        1) Roberto played outstanding against the Kings
        2) The Kings were aggressive on the forecheck

        I trust that AV will come with a game plan to counter the aggressive forecheck. Speed and playing more as a cohesive unit comes to mind.

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  8. sarah
    April 12, 2012

    Where is the on switch@!>$>@>$> Where is the on switch ^>>$@>!?

    Oh, I forgot, we don’t freak out here. Carry on.

    Positives: Strombone1 looked solid. Boothy had a good game. I still think Maxime is going to be difference maker this series. And Kes looked like he was in the early stages of activating beastmode.

    Hoping for better results Friday.

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  9. Jyrki Lumme
    April 12, 2012

    Perhaps the Canucks could tweet back something about LA not being very good at rioting? Oh no wait a minute……

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    • sarah
      April 12, 2012

      OMG Jyrki Lumme reads PITB. You guys!

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  10. Chicky
    April 12, 2012

    I’m thinking the same, they play like they did last night, minus the dumbass penalties, and we’re good. I have faith. Kesler needs to save that shit for another more useful time, game 1 wasn’t it. LOL

    A can-opener is a can-opener is a can-opener even if Hank went soft, pretty sure that stick was still between the legs.

    Oh, and for the rest of Canada that are haters out there… I think I speak for all true Canucks fans. We never asked you to cheer for OUR team, so please go about your business. We can cheer for them just fine on our own. Thanks for visiting Beautiful British Columbia!

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    • J21
      April 12, 2012

      The rub is that I got yelled at (by people in Toronto) for not cheering for the Flames and Oilers in 2004 and 2006 respectively. And then we get page after page accusing us of trying to get people on our side and how they won’t, which is both projection and hypocrisy.

      We never asked for it, we just don’t want the transparently prejudicial and unrealistic treatment that the media fans-turned-sportswriters are serving up.

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  11. J21
    April 12, 2012

    This game was followed up by my toddler waking up multiple times through the night and for a long time at 4:30 a.m. (I’m out east, so the game hadn’t been over very long). The fact that it wasn’t even worth it leaves an extremely sour taste in my mouth.

    Without Daniel, the Canucks don’t have any truly threatening lines. They seriously don’t. Lapierre and Raymond are in their top 6. Going for balance in the lines just ends up with a lot of tepidity across the board, as I see it.

    The media/Inter-world, which is already in full-swing hate mode, will of course read into the Bitz hit as more proof that the Canucks’ DNA makes them somehow distinct and unique from every other hockey team (when to this day, Philadelphia and Boston’s goon culture and gratuitous violence over the years is celebrated). And this is a guy who wasn’t even on the team this year. It doesn’t even make any sense to pretend that there is anything unique here or that it is an organizational issue.

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  12. invisibleairwaves
    April 12, 2012

    I really think we need to take a step back here and look at the positives:

    -The powerplay was truly painful to behold. Fortunately, if Ryan Kesler keeps diving and antagonizing the officials, we won’t have to see it ever again.

    -The penalty kill allowed two goals and gave up countless high-quality, dangerous chances. In other words, a vast improvement over the last playoff series against the Kings.

    -Beast Mode Samuelsson should be showing up aaannnyyy minute now…

    -The Canucks still have one more guaranteed game at Rogers Arena, which means we still have 48 hours before going into a full-blown panic over Luongo’s questionable home/road splits.

    -It isn’t a problem if the Shanabanhammer comes down on Byron Bitz, since he’s just a replaceable depth piece. Post-season suspensions only impact the team if they happen to key players, like Aaron Rome.

    -Anze Kopitar still looks like he got crosschecked with the ugly stick.

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  13. cableguymike
    April 12, 2012

    I wonder what the LA Twitter account thinks about the Hemsky signing.

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  14. peanutflower
    April 12, 2012

    I’m going to take up the suggestion on turning off the TV sound and turning on the radio. I found myself pretty frustrated with listening to Simpson and several times had to back up and re-listen to make sure I heard what I thought I heard. It’s too bad he took this tack because of course that just makes everyone, including Canucks fans (have a read at the HF boards) think that every move the Canucks make is diving. Other than Kesler’s dramatic headtoss I didn’t see anything at all, whereas I saw several Kings dramatically search for penalties that Simpson didn’t comment about. It’s too bad that a colour commentator can have such an influence. I’m also mystified by the many anti-Lapierre fan posts on the HF boards. The general consensus is that Lapierre is somehow “arrogant” because he chirps and yaps. Clearly they don’t understand the psychology of hockey. And they obviously haven’t read a dictionary lately.

    Anyway, I thought for stretches of the game when they weren’t killing penalties, and really, that was the whole game changer, the Canucks played pretty well. I thought Kassian was pretty effective when he didn’t look like he didn’t know where to go. As in sometimes he looked a little lost. Hansen was in full flight last night, right? No sign of Higgins or Pahlsson though, and maybe that would have been a game changer. I hope this game puts to rest any thoughts of Luongo not starting a game. Without him the game is a sad affair.

    The game was pretty poorly officiated and that was one comment by the CBC duo that I agreed with, is that the refs were calling hits that would not have been called in the regular season. Kassian did in fact look at the linesman just to see if what he was going to do was okay. That’s not how it should be. The rule book is the rule book. It shouldn’t change at the whim of the ref and whether it’s a playoff game or not.

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    • VanFan85
      April 12, 2012

      Hansen was in full-flight last night until the most important monent of the game when he completely air-mailed his back check and allowed Penner to get the front of the net completely untouched on LA’s 3rd goal. All that hard work he put in earlier in the game was completely forgetten when he forgot to skate and take his man away from the net.

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      • JDM
        April 12, 2012

        Well, he also tipped Mitchell’s shot into the top corner, unfortunately. But yes, I agree his play was overall very good.

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  15. Russburger
    April 12, 2012

    Great IWTG! I’m glad you mentioned Craig Simpson’s constant harping on embellishment. Although I’m not a fan of his delivery and I have this feeling that I want to dislike him (because of the nonsense that often comes out of his mouth due, apparently, to a perceived obligation to fill every nanosecond of airtime with commentary), generally he isn’t too bad. But last night was beyond the pale. Maybe the CBC told him to balance out Jim Hughson’s mostly favourable comments – good heavens, we can’t have that!

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    • Brent
      April 12, 2012

      Glenn healy was the one who drove me crazy. Talk about Mr. Negativity. How do you take Hendrik carrying the puck in, having possession, skating around most of the LA kings on the ice into a negative that he needs Daniel! What a butthead!

      I like Elliot Freeman though. He seem pretty balanced and knowledgeable, actually the exact opposite of Healy.

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    • J21
      April 12, 2012

      I have no doubt that Simpson is paired with Hughson to be his “foil” and generally dump on the Canucks. CBC has no such policy of balance with any of the other Canadian teams, but because both Alberta fanbases have it in their common interest to attack Vancouver (kind of like how mutually hostile dictatorships will band together at the UN to pass human rights resolutions against democracies no matter how absurd it sounds, just because it’s in their common interest), CBC probably feels obligated to try to tone it down somehow.

      The reality is that nationwide broadcasts in the U.S. (NBC, ESPN, etc.) will pretty much openly back a U.S.-bsed team in a cross-border series because few if any fans of the Canadian team are watching them, so they’re trying to appeal to their viewers. You’d kind of think CBC would have a similar approach — and in fact they do, with respect to the Leafs, Oilers and Flames in particular — because they don’t exactly have a big Southern California viewership to worry about. But it’s the Canucks, and everyone “hates” them, so CBC has to be on their guard about being too positive.

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  16. the real bob
    April 12, 2012

    it’s easy to dominate when you get 5 straight powerplays…

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  17. Rituro
    April 12, 2012

    On the bright side, how about that Back In Black vs. We Will Rock You mashup? Nice mix. Since I watch so many regular season games on the PVR, I’ve been in the habit of skipping through stoppages in play. This was the first time in a long time I’ve sat through a game in real-time, so, yay, musical reward!

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  18. peanutflower
    April 12, 2012

    Wow, hey, this twittering is getting pretty out of hand.

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    • Chicky
      April 12, 2012

      *draws on will power to not be sucked into Twitter vortex*

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  19. Will
    April 12, 2012

    You clowns better get it together… it’s time to ACT like you want to be there… show class, some pride and be humble, no one cares who you are.

    GET IT DONE!

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  20. the real bob
    April 12, 2012

    LA has joined the classess side…why can’t more franchises be as classy as nashville?

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  21. John Andress
    April 12, 2012

    Well, that was a pretty disappointing performance. The Canucks need to decide whether they are going to create some offense and score some goals or if they are going to take penalties and make turnovers in the defensive zone expecting Roberto Luongo to bail them out every time. The problem with rope-a-dope, as it has been played by the Canucks for the last ten games, is that sometimes the wrong dope gets roped. Listening to the post game reaction, I suspect that the players got the message and that we will see a far better team on Friday evening.

    By the way, am I the only one who finds Craig Simpson to be a bit or a pain in the ass?

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  22. Innovation
    April 12, 2012

    So when the Canucks win the series, should Jory (@canucksgame) tweet “To all of Canada but British Columbia, Suck it!” #embracethehate

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  23. cathylu
    April 12, 2012

    I vowed I was only going to read the IWTG and nothing else about this game. It’s obvious we didn’t play very well and the penalty situation was outrageous. I only hope it was some kind of opening night jitters and come Friday the Canucks we know and love will appear. I know I definitely need to get thicker skin; I almost got physically sick this morning coming to work because I knew I would get it from all sides from the King fans I work with (and I did). On a different subject, we also were able to sync up the radio with the TV game because I can’t stand to listen to the TV announcers. I need my Shorty!

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  24. obituary mambo
    April 12, 2012

    I’m a positive kind of gal, so I’m going to set aside all the negative and focus on the one of the few aspects of this game I capital l Loved: Booth’s performance. He was full of energy and looked dangerous from the outset. I miss AmEx so much; they were without question Vancouver’s top line in the weeks leading up to Daniel’s injury and I think it’s high time we saw them reunited.

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    • hockeyispretty
      April 12, 2012

      What about Luongo? The first goal was preventable, but not really soft, and he learned from it and shut down a nearly identical play a few seconds later, so kept his head. And those were monster saves at the beginning- so sharp! There’s another positive. He let three in, so it wasn’t perceived as a great performance, but I would call that a great night by our starting goalie!

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      • obituary mambo
        April 13, 2012

        Oh, I agree; Luongo had a great night. I went back and changed the sentence from “the one aspect” to “one of the few aspects” but I forgot to edit out the first “the”. D’oh! I really wish we could edit our posts. Sometimes you write something and you go back to rephrase it, but neglect a word. If that happens, what was meant to be a coherent statement gets muddled.

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  25. Josh
    April 12, 2012

    Well then….
    1) A good number of Canucks fans are pitiful. I’m sure not here, but the amount of “OMG its over” garbage I’ve seen, Luongo blaming, whining and bitching thinking everybody is against us is just amazing. Makes us all look awful. Oh, and as far as I can tell, the Rogers arena crowd was BRUTAL last night. Down by 1 goal with about a minute to go in THE PLAYOFFS, and the crowd was firmly in their seats with their mouths shut. No wonder people hate us.

    2) I was watching the game with a few buddies so I wasn’t able to hear the commentary that well. I can’t comment on Craig Simpson, or which specific instances he was calling the Canucks divers… but based on what I saw, he’d be right last night. Kesler needs to stop diving. You have to call your own guys out on it if you want to maintain any sort of credibility; if we’re going to go on and on about how much of a diver Doughty and Brown are, then we need to hold our own accountable too. Kesler was the main culprit; there was one with Henrik that looked questionable to me, but I did not have the benefit of PVR so I can’t say anything further.

    3) Hi, Alex Edler. These are the playoffs. Kindly wake up. Directly responsible for 2 goals, indirectly sort of responsible for a third. Oh and… Pahlsson?? Higgins?? You guys there?

    5) Anyone blaming Luongo is an idiot and should never be allowed to watch hockey again.

    6) The officiating was bad last night, but it was by no means why we lost the game. If you’re blaming the refs, stop. Even if they were at fault, it’s so garbage to blame the refs. Work through it. Last night was a perfect storm of body checks being called penalties, 2 delay-of-games, and a thoroughly terrible team discipline. Also, you look like a fool if you’re complaining about Kesler’s unsportsmanlike penalty, seeing as LA got dinged for that same thing last time they played us.

    7) If the Canucks play the way they did in the third, I see no reason why they can’t take this in 5 or 6 games still. Everybody is running for the hills, and good riddance. The team looked, once Burr scored, as if LA was just going to fold up and surrender, and as if just being the mighty Canucks was going to be enough to win. I’m not saying that’s the thought process, but that’s how it looked. Hopefully, LA playing the way they did (like they care) will be enough to wake the Canucks up. I liked most of what I saw in the third, but I feel we had no business being in the game after the second. Stop the stupid penalties, get #23 to remember he’s a defenseman, and lots will follow from that.

    Aaaand lastly:
    8) I would like to see Bitz get suspended for at least 2 games. Do not want to hear any justification for that hit. Stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid. Shea Weber should be gone for the rest of the series IMO, but he probably won’t get any.

    Re: LA Kings twitter. Who cares if they want to do some trolling? My thoughts were that the declaration of “You’re Welcome” makes it sound an awful lot like they’ve won something… I’d wait to win more than one game before talking like that.

    Oh, and CBC rules.

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    • Body Schmautz
      April 12, 2012

      But Josh, WHAT IS #4?

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    • hockeyispretty
      April 12, 2012

      WOW! How did you call it that Weber wouldn’t get anything? Just star power? Because I was amazed they deliberately sent a message that it’s OK for him to smash someone’s head into a wall from behind AFTER THE GAME IS OVER. (The teeny tiny fine seemed to me designed to draw everyone’s attention to the fact that it wasn’t a big deal, as if they’d not set any penalty at all, people would have talked less and it would have just looked like an oversight.)

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  26. Zach Morris
    April 12, 2012

    I never thought I would say this, but they’re calling too many penalties…in the playoffs.

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    • iceman
      April 12, 2012

      Officiating in playoffs like picking a box of chocolates – “You never know what you gonna get.”

      The flavor can change between series and, even between games. I won’t be surprised at all if the refs swallow their whistles and let the guys beat the c**p of each other in game 2.

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  27. Nick
    April 12, 2012

    What exactly was wrong with the mid-season D pairings? Edler was an all-star calibre player when paired with Salo, and Bieksa was good with Hamhuis. Why the need to change that?

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    • Lenny
      April 12, 2012

      The problem with Edler – Salo pairing is not Edler, but Salo. He doesn’t look as though he can handle top 4 minutes / opponents any more. After this season if Salo stays on, he will be relegated to bottom pairing + powerplay specialist, unfortunately.

      Salo was having a good year until that little twat low bridged him… if there is a player I would condone Bitz running into the boards head first from behind, it’s that little twat.

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  28. iceman
    April 12, 2012

    Canucks played so poorly and lost Game 1. Luongo kept his team in the game until late in the 3rd… Otherwise it would have been utter massacre by Kings. Nucks better show up in ‘playoff mode’ Friday to get the home ice advantage back.

    And please guys, stop embellishing and looking at the refs, hoping them to blow a whistle. It’s just downright embarrassing. Haven’t we learned anything from last year’s playoffs? Besides, why would you want a power play when your team can’t even carry the puck over the blue line? Stop wishing for luck and just start playing the game the right way.

    Just think about if the tactic is so obvious to your fans with homer glasses on, how it will look to the rest of the hockey world. Don’t let them point fingers at you and say “See? That’s what we are talking about!” We want to earn respect, not contempt.

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  29. tj
    April 12, 2012

    I actually didn’t expect them to win last night. We’ve seen games like these, and they’ve usually managed to squeak out a win. Luongo saved their asses and they know it. They came out with Game 7 SCF ants-in-their-pants, after all that pre-playoff ‘pacing’, and no one was consistently up for the challenge of the Kings’ kind of game. There was a moment at the beginning when the ref took Kassian aside and ‘gave him a talking to’ and from that point on Kassian played nervous. It’s his first SCP game, and he’s being muzzled by a ref. Bitz got over-excited, as did all the non-veterans. Kesler’s desperate for beast-mode, and no one is settled into their game. It was painful to watch, really. But what was learned from it were: Doughty is easily shaken; there are a few ways to get to Quick; the refs are going to be game-changers.

    I do expect the Canucks to look very different next game.

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  30. Brent
    April 12, 2012

    Shea Weber only got a fine! What??!!

    Sorry probably shouldn’t post this here but I just can’t believe it.

    Anyone know if they are looking at the Bitz hit? Since he isn’t star quality like Weber maybe he will get suspended.

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    • iceman
      April 12, 2012

      So basically the leagues is saying you can pull WWF on the ice, as long as you “pay” for it? What a circus.

      Bitz will be suspended for sure, at least for a couple of games.

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      • VanFan85
        April 12, 2012

        $2500 fine is a joke. Thats like giving a $14 fine to a guy who makes $40,000/year, its pocket change. Weber makes $91,500 per game, fine him $250,000 – about 3 games pay and see if that will make him think twice before he tries his Stone Cold Steve Austin impersonation.

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        • Brent
          April 12, 2012

          Unfortunately, according to the collective agreement $2500 is the maximum fine allowed. And yes, it is totally stupid. Wonder if they will manage to renegotiate that next time around?

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          • hockeyispretty
            April 13, 2012

            I don’t think it’s stupid to have a $2500 max; to improve their odds at winning the Cup, loads of players would risk some cash. The only real deterrent is suspension. Giving the fine is like a pat on the back, actually highlighting that the league agrees with the behaviour, rather than quietly letting it pass.

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  31. Sammyc69
    April 12, 2012

    Perhaps it was already mentioned, but while Luongo made many brilliant saves and kept his club in the game, the bad angle goal he let in was not good. I can remember my goalie coaches over the years drilling into my head these words: stay square to the puck – always, even on an odd-mad rush. At this level, this guy has to stop the tough ones and the standard shots, even those from bad angles and stop cheating. Thanks.

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    • hockeyispretty
      April 13, 2012

      Also, he totally needs to do something about the teachers’ strike. And world peace.

      It’s being called a soft goal everywhere, but I thought it wasn’t especially soft, though stoppable. His positioning was reasonable given the other players hovering about in the 5-on-3 and the very nice feint the shooter made with his head as though he was passing just before the shot. I am no expert, but I think if Lu stayed square to the puck in that situation, it wouldn’t end well – quick pass, and he’s no longer square to the puck.

      But I’ve heard someone say he was caught “cheating off the post”. What does that mean? Anyone?

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  32. JanBanan
    April 12, 2012

    I have to agree with you when you say that Bitz was obviously just looking for a legal hit and didn’t get one. As an AHL call up eager to show what he can do in the playoffs, having Clifford fighting for the puck in the corner is serving him a duck on a platter. The fact that Tanev, another AHL call up, was the one fighting him for the puck gives Bitz all the better reason to go for the hit. Obviously it wasn’t a clean hit, but it’s easy to see where it could have gone right. Hopefully Shanahan’s call comes from the same place Weber’s punishment did, and Bitz doesn’t get a harsh suspension.
    Also, Daniel won’t be able to come back soon enough. Henrik’s dangles are fancy, but the puck can’t be in the back of the net if it’s on his stick. That being said, it’s hard for Mason Raymond to receive passes when he’s fallen down. Henrik needs his passing buddy. I think it was Simpson who was talking during a replay of one of the dangles and said “the puck would already have been between the two of them three or four times now”. An exaggeration? Maybe, but it’ll be nice to see Danny back on the ice.
    As well, Alex Burrows is clutch.

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  33. Warpstone
    April 12, 2012

    I’m actually surprised fans had so much sympathy for Canucks showing last night.

    Luongo was our best player… which is great, but generally means the rest of the team underachieved and have failed to scrutinized to the same level:

    Kesler’s antics warrant Simpson and the hockey world’s condemnation. Sorry guys, while most of Simpson’s commentary was overblown (can we please get Razor as the Western CBC colour guy?) it’s simply reaping what Kesler sowed.

    Bitz deserves several games. I doubt he even sees the ice again barring injuries. What’s worse than getting suspended for a cheap shot: letting down your coach by giving up a major.

    AV was outcoached. There, I said it. Sutter and the Kings had a great gameplan, executed it and won. They deserve the win. The Canucks failed to adjust to the hard forecheck and simply could not find a way to make their edge in speed and skill count on break outs or via puck possession.

    Edler was… just bad. It was a fluke goal that hid an otherwise poor performance. You can say his turnover for the gamewinner was bad luck, but that would the sort of mistake you forgive a bottom 6 defenceman for. He can’t make that play, especially against a team that’s always pushing past his own blueline to pressure possession.

    At the same time, keep in mind that the world hasn’t ended. AV and company are good. They must adjust and I think they will, starting with a renewed emphasis on zone starts and line matching. The Canucks are like the Borg when they’re in a groove: adapt, rebuild, assimilate! Let’s just hope they get this figure out before the Kings hold the hammer in this series.

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    • VanFan85
      April 12, 2012

      The safest play for Edler was to send it up off the boards or the glass immediately to his left and clear the zone but instead he tries to thread the needle between 2 LA players up the middle to try and hit Higgins for a partial breakaway – it was a boneheaded play and a bad decision. In tight games like that follow the K.I.S.S. method – KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID – but that mistake alone didn’t hurt nearly as much as Hansen blowing his back-check and letting Penner get to the net un-touched – both Edler and Hansen should be equally responsible for that goal.

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    • JDM
      April 12, 2012

      They already do hold the hammer; they have home ice now.

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      • Warpstone
        April 12, 2012

        That’s one way to look at it. I was thinking more along the lines of how hard it would be to play against the Kings if they’re up to 3 wins. Much tougher to come back against a tight, forechecking team like this than San Jose or even Detroit.

        BTW, just a note: Sami Salo’s Fenwick (-6) is depressing! I only had a sense that he was too slow to be effective, but if this continues, it’s a clear sign that Sami is really losing effectiveness.

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  34. Lenny
    April 12, 2012

    “AV was outcoached. There, I said it.”

    Yeah. How many times did Malhotra win the draw only to have the Kings take the puck right behind him?

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    • Warpstone
      April 12, 2012

      It’s true, Manny was great, but certainly his support on those starts was lacking. I’m hoping Ebbet gets back in on the 4th and/or Hamhuis+Tanev help out.

      In terms of line matching, I think even AV has decided against Richards vs Kesler so long as Kesler is underperforming. Certainly, the Canucks rarely threatened on the odd-man rush and a lot of it had to do with an inability to exploit skating mismatches on the breakout.

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  35. Nuck 'em Down!
    April 12, 2012

    It’s sickening listening to the CBC commentators and their love ins for everything anti-Cancuks. Then the Canucks score a couple and their all over how great they are. Thanks CBC for all the CRAP you send our way. Can’t wait to hear what Cherry the “everything Cancuks hater” has to say on Saturday.

    TSN needs to take over HNIC now! They got the song! Get the show and can all of those useless announcers!!

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  36. cathylu
    April 12, 2012

    I know this has nothing to do with this IWTG but you might find it interesting. Here’s how important the Kings are here in L.A. I was watching the local Fox news this morning before work and here’s how the sports stories went: first the Lakers, then Clippers, Dodgers, Angels and finally Kings.

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    • JC
      April 12, 2012

      Good thing LA doesn’t have an NFL team yet. It’s only five months until the season starts – that would have pushed the Kings right off the lineup!

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    • iceman
      April 12, 2012

      Kings news didn’t come up 6th only because they don’t have a NFL team :-)

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    • CanuckFanInSF
      April 12, 2012

      It’s the same here in SF. News goes 49ers, Giants, A’s, Kings, Warriors then Sharks.

      I’ll take a page from Burkie – “Hockeywood” my ass.

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  37. biznow
    April 12, 2012

    if only they’d given out a puppy….

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  38. Tyler
    April 13, 2012

    I find it funny how many canuck fans whine and complain, one person wrote how it was a boring game. Cause of the penalties. My opinion is canucks need to stick to the finese part of the game they are good at, and stop trying to play like a tough team like boston. I hate to say that myself as I really dislike boston.Maybe then the canucks wont be in the box so much.

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  39. Tyler
    April 13, 2012

    And on another note, the game was very exciting, Las Angeles had something to prove, and good on them for being the better team in game 1. Maybe vancouver will work out the kinks in game 2 and show us a win.

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