I Watched This Playoff Game: Canucks at Los Angeles Kings, April 15, 2012

If you want to quibble with definitions, this game wasn’t technically a must-win game. Since the Canucks didn’t win, however, that makes Wednesday’s game an actual must-win game. In order to prevent that from happening, the Canucks needed to win this game, making it a proverbial, but not technical, must-win game. But, as mentioned, they didn’t muster a win.

Now I’m depressed and I think Harrison’s drunk (and he never drinks). On the plus side, all of Vancouver is now too despondent to leave the house, meaning The Bay won’t have to replace all their windows this year. Oh hell, now I’m making riot jokes: this is definitely the lowest of the low. I watched this game.

Canucks 0 – 1 Kings

  • Here’s the crazy thing: it could be worse. The Canucks could be the Pittsburgh Penguins right now, who were also favourites heading into the playoffs and also are down 3-0 in their first round series. The difference is that the Penguins are getting blown out of the water and their games are turning into absolute gong shows as the team seems to be coming completely unglued. They’re exploding so badly that the reverberations of their explosion went back in time and inspired a Monty Python sketch.
  • Since it’s Los Angeles, there were a few celebrities attending the game, including David Beckham, Kobe Bryant, and Will Farrell, who Scott Oake interviewed prior to the start of the third period. Farrell at least appeared to know his stuff, name-dropping the Triple Crown Line (seen here singing “Forgive My Misconduct”) and talking about all the time he’s spent with Don Cherry in Yellowknife.
  • The big story heading into the game was Cory Schneider getting the start over Roberto Luongo, despite Luongo being arguably the best Canuck in this series. Schneider performed admirably but had very little action in the Vancouver net, as the Kings only managed 20 shots on net. That’s fewer shots than the New Jersey Devils had in the first period of game one against the Florida Panthers. If Schneider’s action was any lower, his strings would have buzzed against the frets.
  • This could have been a very different game if Jannik Hansen’s shot off the rush that rang off the post had gone in. In an alternate universe occupying the same space as our own but vibrating at a different frequency, Hansen’s shot did go in and the Canucks won this game. Also, everyone has a goatee. Including the women. If you ask me, I’m not sure it would be worth it.
  • I noticed an interesting faceoff strategy from the Canucks in this game. Though they’ve been winning the faceoff battle during the series, the Kings frequently managed to win possession of the puck off of Canucks’ faceoff wins by driving straight ahead past their checks. In this game, the Canucks frequently lined up with one of the wingers further back, not engaged with their check, allowing them to win possession of the puck more easily. This resulted in significantly more puck possession off won faceoffs. It was a small change, but definitely one to keep an eye on in game four.
  • The talk of the town will likely be Dustin Brown’s colossal hit on Henrik Sedin that caused waves of consternation to buffet the shores of panic beach. Henrik struggled to his feet, at one point knocking on the bench door, as if hoping that someone would open it so he could crawl off the ice. Here’s the thing: even if you want to argue that it wasn’t a clean hit, it was certainly legal. Brown caught Henrik looking the wrong way and planted him right in the chest with his shoulder almost immediately after Henrik passed the puck. While Henrik briefly left the game, it evidently wasn’t to go to the Quiet Room for a suspected concussion, as he explained after that he just had the wind knocked out of him, calling it a “clean hit.”
  • Henrik deserves all kinds of respect for coming back from that hit. Not just some kinds of respect: all kinds.
  • Incidentally, it turns out that Craig Simpson isn’t biased against the Canucks: he’s just pretty much always wrong. He repeatedly called Brown’s hit “late,” when Henrik had clearly just released the puck.
  • Kevin Bieksa went after Brown for the hit, attempting to fight him, but Brown weaselled his way out of it. Instead, Burrows and Kopitar engaged in some Greco-Roman wrestling. The combination of Burrows and Kopitar’s greasy, flowing hair had Canucks haters desperately hoping that Burrows would grab himself a fistful, but Burrows refused to play into their cheap stereotype.
  • Such wasn’t the case for Ryan Kesler, who took a pretty blatant dive on a Willie Mitchell cross-check. Still, as much as it was a dive, it was also an incredibly stupid penalty for Mitchell to take. He got away with the first cross-check, then chased Kesler as he was skating away to deliver another. Willie, you know Kesler. You played with him. You knew all along how that was going to end.
  • Before someone gets on my case, Kesler wasn’t the only player who embellished in this game, and the embellishment seemed to come more from the Kings than the Canucks in this game. Still, none of the other dives were blatant enough to make everyone leap to YouTube to capture it for posterity.
  • In a game this tight, just one mistake can be the difference between victory and defeat. In this case, however, it was a series of mistakes. 6 minutes into the third period, with the score still knotted at zeroes, Alex Edler controlled the puck in his own end. Looking for an outlet pass, he threw the puck up the middle of the ice to…no one. The puck went the distance for icing. Edler has struggled all series and this proved to be a costly mistake, not unlike the marketing campaign for John Carter.
  • Then, on the ensuing faceoff, Mason Raymond jumped early, resulting in Manny Malhotra getting tossed from the circle. Fortunately for the Canucks, they also had Samme Pahlsson on the ice: his prowess in the faceoff circle was one of the big reasons they acquired him at the trade deadline. Only, he lost this one to Anze Kopitar. It was the only defensive zone faceoff he took. Ryan Kesler was 9-for-10 in defensive zone faceoffs, but he couldn’t be on the ice thanks to the icing call. On an unrelated note, a butterfly flapped its wings three months ago in Bangalore.
  • The lost faceoff led to a flurry of activity in the Canucks’ defensive zone. Pahlsson threw a hit on Dustin Brown, ostensibly taking him out of the play. He then left Brown in the corner, moving into the slot to check Justin Williams as he took a quick one-timer. Brown got up and skated to the side of the net, where he was all alone. It could be argued that Pahlsson should have shadowed Brown or that Edler should have picked him up as rejoined the play. Either way, like a square in Minesweeper with an 8 next to it, Brown should have been marked.
  • The final mistake belonged to Schneider, as he wasn’t able to either swallow the rebound on Williams’ shot or kick it out hard enough to handcuff Brown. Instead, the puck deflected right to Brown, who fired it into the net. Schneider’s mistake is arguably the least egregious, as he was perfect the rest of the way (other than his usual puckhandling adventures) and there should have been someone on Brown to tie up his stick. It might have also helped if someone on the Canucks could score a goal, but I don’t want to make any unreasonable requests.
  • It wasn’t all negative for the Canucks, as they managed 41 shots on goal, including 8 from Burrows alone. Unfortunately, far too many of those shots were from the outside and directed at the logo on Jonathan Quick’s chest. I understand that this playoff series has you hating the Kings’ logo, Canucks, but shooting pucks at it won’t actually hurt it. It’s just a logo: it doesn’t have feelings.
  • The real highlight for Canucks fans was the return of a beloved friend: the Dan Hamhuis hip check. Hamhuis indicated in an After Hours interview in March that he has been tentative about hip checks ever since he blew out his groin and had a hernia when he hip checked Milan Lucic during the Stanley Cup Final. As a result, the hip check has been missing from Hamhuis’s repertoire all season. But when Dustin Penner, who is actually heavier than Lucic, came busting into the Vancouver zone with the puck in the third, Hamhuis didn’t hesitate, sending him flying with a picture perfect hip check. It was a thing of violent beauty, like The Bride’s fight against O-Ren Ishii.
  • Dan “Community Man” Hamhuis played over 28 minutes in this game, picking up a lot of minutes from the Keith Ballard/Chris Tanev pairing that frequently looked outmatched. Hamhuis is used to picking up extra minutes, of course, frequently filling in for other volunteers at Fraser Valley Gleaners when they can’t make it in.
  • Dale Weise came in for Andrew Ebbett in this game, though I have to ask why, considering Weise played less than 2 minutes of this game. One of the improvements the Canucks made this season was to the fourth line, which was supposed to be able to play regular minutes in the playoffs. Instead, they barely see the ice. Part of that is due to the number of penalties cutting into the amount of even-strength ice time available, but it’s still disappointing. Much will be made of Zack Kassian getting benched after a giveaway early in the third, but he only had two shifts in every period.
  • To really drive it home, Henrik Sedin had a single shift that was almost as long as Kassian’s total time on ice. In the middle of the second period, Henrik had a shift that was 3 minute and 21 seconds long, though 41 seconds of it came prior to a TV timeout. He stayed on the ice for an entire 2-minute powerplay that resulted in 6 shot attempts, though only 1 got through to the net. He then stayed on the ice for another 40 seconds, helping to create 4 more shot attempts, including 2 on net, and forcing an icing by the Kings. It was reminiscent of the Sedins’ insane shift back in 2007 against the Edmonton Oilers. The main difference between the two: just one Sedin. If Daniel was in this game, I can pretty much guarantee the Canucks would have scored during that shift.
  • To cap off Edler’s awful game (and series), he took a delay of game penalty with fewer than 2 minutes remaining. I’ve mentioned my hate for the automatic delay of game penalty for clearing the puck over the glass from the defensive zone; my feelings have not changed. At the same time, Edler had plenty of time to move the puck and make a good pass. He didn’t. Down 1-0, he put the Canucks down a man. To their credit, the Canucks hemmed the Kings in their zone with Schneider pulled and had chances to score, but they were unable to do so in the dying seconds. It’s too bad, because I would have loved to see Edler jumping up and down in the penalty box like Ed Jovanovski.
  • I really wish I had an explanation for how Edler’s been playing, but I don’t.
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87 comments

  1. PITBFan
    April 16, 2012

    All I will say at this point is that I hope the Canucks keep winning, if only so that I can read more IWTG’s through June. Make it happen, boys!

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    Rating: +17 (from 19 votes)
    • Matt
      April 16, 2012

      I hope they START winning…

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +33 (from 37 votes)
    • Kenji
      April 16, 2012

      Yes! Finding PiTB was sweet consolation for the loss of the KB and now, for the (impending, potential) loss of Canucks hockey, 2011-2012 edition. My internal rationalization machine is spinning up — oh it’s only a game! they played a lot of hockey in the last three years! injuries! Kings played well! you should get out in the sun anyway! — but to not have witty, even erudite post-hockey commentary on the web for free as I drink my coffee…? ‘Orrible.

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      Rating: +15 (from 15 votes)
    • pockets
      April 17, 2012

      You can hope all you want, but its not going to happen, tell me the last team in a Stanely Cup run that won 4 straight games, right. You can’t. The Canucks have got to clean house or next year its more of the same in their weak division. Once Edmonton is up to speed they will dominate the west. Schneider will go to Toronto and luong and Lak will be in Vancouver, what do you really think that is going to look like. Analyze all you want but the Canucks are not going to win anything this year but a consolation prize like last year, and who cares about that???

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      Rating: -3 (from 3 votes)
  2. aaron
    April 16, 2012

    http://vansunsportsblogs.com/2012/02/22/pass-it-to-comics-sometimes-it-hurts-to-be-overrated/

    i don’t think anyone expected that scene to actually happen, but uh.

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    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  3. TubaNat
    April 16, 2012

    The part that really frustrates me about the Delay of Game for pucks over the ice is that there is little to no chance that Edler was trying to delay the game. Meanwhile the Kings spent the next few minutes actually delaying the game, but there’s not really any call to be made.
    Still, I kinda hope Edler isn’t in the next game – I love the guy, but he’s been playing like balls…

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    Rating: +7 (from 11 votes)
    • Jon Coutts
      April 16, 2012

      What’s frustrating is that if there was room for the refs to make a judgement call then 2/3 of our penalties for this would not have been called. However, last night in the dying minutes the refs DID make a judgement call in the King’s favour on a puck that got batted out of mid air over the glass!

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      Rating: 0 (from 2 votes)
      • Jon Coutts
        April 16, 2012

        The reffing is not to blame for our being down 3 to nothing, but the refs and their many calls on negligable incidents have certainly set the tone for this series, making it way more conducive to Sutter than AV. Last night the refs owned the second period and changed the tenor of the game. Again, not to blame the refs, but this is definitely one of those things that makes the NHL so insufferable.

        By the way, thanks for this great blog. Whatever comes of the season, this blog has made the ride enjoyable in success and bearable in failure.

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        Rating: +10 (from 10 votes)
    • SteveB
      April 16, 2012

      I hate the puck over glass/delay of game penalty too, especially after enduring the theatrics of overly fussy Officials who won’t drop the bleeping puck.
      How many minutes do they add to a game with their Prinsessen paa Ærten impersonations?

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      Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
    • iceman
      April 16, 2012

      I can’t remember any other player whose game had completely turned into utter disaster in the playoffs. I mean, Edler made at least one game-breaking mistake in each of the three games. He is having brain cramps at the worst time of the year.

      We’ve all been patiently waiting for him to be developed into a Norris trophy caliber defenceman, as predicted by many. Unfortunately we were all blinded by Edler’s occasional brilliance which he is unable to bring in every night, and totally disappears when it is needed the most. And now with such dismal performance in this series his confidence has been completely shot down. What do we do with him in the offseason?

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      Rating: +7 (from 7 votes)
  4. bergberg
    April 16, 2012

    The Canucks may be losing, but my love for Henrik is growing. He has really put his heart and soul into the last couple games. If only he was getting rewarded for it. Here’s hoping the rest of the Canucks can rally around their captain and save this series.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +72 (from 74 votes)
    • peanutflower
      April 16, 2012

      Well, someone is busy trolling around here and minusing the ratings…

      I’m finding my reading material is getting pretty limited, as it’s entirely pointless to go anywhere but PITB and the few intelligent blogs on the sidebar. Everyone is whining about the Canucks having no heart and fire everyone and reconstruct the team. Geez Louis, could anyone have more heart than Henrik? I see no signs of any of the Canucks being floaters (except Kassian maybe, but that’s just because he’s a little lost. Give him time, he’ll be good) but still the idiot Canucks fanbase is running rampant.

      Did anyone hear about the Canucks diving clip the Kings put up on the big screen before the game? Like they don’t have a few diving specialists on their team? The Kings organization does some pretty unprofessional stuff I think. You’d never see the CAnucks do that, or send out that crappy tweet. I’m not impressed.

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      Rating: +34 (from 38 votes)
      • cathylu
        April 16, 2012

        Yes, I was at the game and yes they did show the “diving” video on the jumbotron, I call it incredibly classless.

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        Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
    • Lucky
      April 16, 2012

      I agree! Seeing Henrik come back from that hit then go on to play like 3 minutes?! Amazing. Like Bieksa said in the postgame interview, not enough people give them credit and resort to calling them tough but people don’t realize how many hits they take and still continue playing.. Henrik’s ironman streak for example. Amazing :)

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      Rating: +32 (from 32 votes)
      • Lucky
        April 16, 2012

        I meant, resort to calling them “soft”. Oops.

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        Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
    • Mary
      April 16, 2012

      Kudos for a real positive comment about a person who is more than just a hockey player – a genuine leader who goes far and beyond for his team. Hope that Vancouver will support the team. Canucks players, believe in yourselves as we do in all of you.

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      Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  5. J21
    April 16, 2012

    I pretty much called this game before it started, including going 0-0 into the third and then surrendering the first goal. :( I feel like once you’ve watched the Canucks long enough, you can read the proverbial falling green characters.

    All that said, going out with a whimper is actually surprisingly more palatable than losing a heartbreaker final series when the entire world is against you and hoping you’ll fail. They actually get a better draft pick out of this deal.

    Saddest side note: that may have been Cory Schneider’s last appearance in a Canuck uniform.

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    Rating: +21 (from 23 votes)
    • Canuck in Oz
      April 16, 2012

      I know what you mean regarding having that funny feeling that things weren’t gonna go our way in the third. Oh sure, I know I was trying to be positive but the pucks in the past eight periods weren’t exactly bouncing our way, and it’s hard to think, sometimes, that suddenly things are going to change.

      I can’t, however, agree about going out with a whimper is better than what happened last year. There’s certain expectations, reasonable or not, I think, as a team that’s been the best regular season team the past two years running, to actually DO SOMETHING other than roll over. No reasonable fan expected the Kings to lay down a path of roses for us to the second round, but I think most of us expected the Canucks to do a bit better than they have. Last year, as painful as it all ended, can at least be semi-justified by injuries and likely exhaustion by the time Game 7 rolled around. This year, other than Daniel, we’re pretty healthy, got two good goaltenders, and we’re a damn good team. Personally, while I know it’s not over (we all know that the 4th game is the hardest to win), and I’ll still be annoying my work mates down here in Melbourne with fist pumps when we score and muttered expletives when we get scored on, I’m finding myself already bewildered and disappointed by Games 1-3. Because I know that we’re better than this. And that makes it harder to take than last year.

      Still – onwards to Game 4! Hope springs eternal for a Canucks fan…

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      Rating: +19 (from 19 votes)
      • J21
        April 16, 2012

        I never said it was “better” — it’s obviously not — just that it’s easier to deal with, because it just sucks all-around, as opposed to playing playing out those possibilities in your head over and over again. I’m still not over 1994, for crying out loud.

        But yeah, I called the game before it even started, though. I expected several 1-0 games in this series (have been a bit surprised in that regard), and these are the Canucks, so I fully expected it to be a third period goal after they carried the play through most of the game. And hey, whaddaya know, like clockwork.

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        Rating: +10 (from 12 votes)
        • SteveB
          April 16, 2012

          All that said, going out with a whimper is actually surprisingly more palatable than losing a heartbreaker final series when the entire world is against you and hoping you’ll fail.

          I’ve been feeling a similar sentiment. A Game 7 Stanley Cup loss is much harder to get over than getting swept by the 8th Seed in the first round. Much less emotional investment. The loss still sucks, but at least the end comes swiftly.

          I still think of what might’ve been if Nathan Lafayette’s shot had bounced in instead of off the post in ’94.

          Saddest side note: that may have been Cory Schneider’s last appearance in a Canuck uniform.

          OK, now I haz another sad. :-(

          VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
          Rating: +14 (from 14 votes)
        • Warpstone
          April 16, 2012

          Sad but true. Going out on a whimper is awful but at least it forces you to move on ASAP. You won’t get hung up over one play or game as is the case in a tighter series.

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          Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
          • iceman
            April 16, 2012

            … But then again if we lose G4 we’ll be recorded as the first president’s trophy winner who got swept in the first round. It’s yet another humiliating label that those biased fans and media will love to pin on us.

            Let’s just get a win Wednesday and go from there. Whatever happens afterward is anyone’s guess.

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            Rating: +12 (from 12 votes)
            • Mary
              April 16, 2012

              Let’s pull our positive thoughts and say a prayer or a moment of silence for our Vancouver Canucks team.

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              Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
    • Lenny
      April 16, 2012

      Yeah. I didn’t expect the Canucks to win either. They played better than I thought they would. Every core forward has activated beast mode, especially Henrik and Booth. Apparently Henrik has activated turtle shell mode too.

      The Kings have our numbers. We are not big enough to fight through their checks and we do not have elite offensive snipers and danglers to NOT have to fight through their checks. We have to do something in the offseason because next year every team is going to have the book on the Canucks. Here is to hope that Kassian and Schroeder will be top 6 NHL ready, and trading one of our goalies will yield us something good.

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      Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
      • Lenny
        April 16, 2012

        And Nick Jensen… that guy just scored a hattie in Chicago!

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        Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
      • Chris the Curmudgeon
        April 16, 2012

        Kassian is not an NHL player and he never will be.

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        Rating: -14 (from 28 votes)
    • Shand
      April 16, 2012

      Unfortunately, outside of the Conference Finalists the draft order is determined by regular season standings. The best pick the Canucks can get is 26th

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      Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
    • Nick
      April 16, 2012

      I agree about and am also sad that this may have been Cory’s last appearance in a Canuck uniform.

      He should get the next start because he only let in one goal, whereas Lu let in four in each of his starts, with the second of those also involving a low shot total by the Kings.

      Given the difficulty with scoring, the goalie who starts on Wednesday pretty much has to “steal the game” for the Canucks … so, as well as Lu played in the first two, my choice would be Schneider.

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      Rating: +3 (from 7 votes)
      • FACTS!
        April 16, 2012

        Luongo only let in 3 in game 1. The 4th was an empty net goal. He also had to deal with Edler giving the Kings great scoring chances. And other defensive miscues that weren’t nearly as prominent last night. I don’t care who starts game 4 but each goalie has equal claim. I might lean towards Luongo because he will be our guy next year while Schneider will be starting somewhere else.

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        Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
      • John in Marpole
        April 16, 2012

        To be fair to Luongo, there was an empty net goal in game 1. Can’t hold that against him.

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        Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  6. RG
    April 16, 2012

    The only good part of Edler’s game was his hit on Lewis. Still, he should be that wrecking ball of destruction that was sending Doughty flying a couple years back.

    I’m still waiting for Kesler to activate beastmode and make the Kings D look like pylons, like he did against Nashville last year.

    Good on Henrik. That was a monster hit Brown lays on him.

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    Rating: +22 (from 24 votes)
  7. obituary mambo
    April 16, 2012

    I’m trying to remain optimistic, but it’s taking every ounce of strength I have. I went out and bought some vivid blue and green make-up (that can also be used for Halloween face decoration — that’s how vivid we’re talking) and some nail polish in each colour as well. I’ve worn nearly every combination of the colours I can think of, including the new hair accessories I picked up the other day.

    I’ve got a tattoo that might be causing a bit a problem. As you can see, it’s predominantly green, but it has a black outline and a purple star in the middle. Although Wikipedia tells me that purple is no longer a Kings’ colour, I’ve been doing my best to avoid it. I know it’s silly. but I’m worried that this might be at least partially responsible for the rash of bad luck. If so, do you have any suggestions about what I can do to unjinxify it? Jinxed tattoo?

    And not to worry; I know unjixify is a made up word.

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    Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)
  8. jim
    April 16, 2012

    Brown’s hit looked dirty at first, because it’s so rare to see a clean hit that monstorous in today’s NHL. In reality, it was a giant, legal hit.

    As for what is happening in this series.. all I can I say is damn you, Thomas Drance. Damn you.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +11 (from 15 votes)
  9. Chinstrap Joe
    April 16, 2012

    If we lose this series and Detroit loses to Nashville, can we say that the Canucks “Emulate Detroit” experiment has failed?

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    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
    • Lenny
      April 16, 2012

      Yes. That time has passed. Size and defensive hockey rules the day now.

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      Rating: +1 (from 3 votes)
      • Chris the Curmudgeon
        April 16, 2012

        Wrong, young talent and veteran leadership rule hockey. Size and defensive are a mirage that GM”s chase after with futility. For all the talk about Boston’s “size” last year, David Krejci was their leading scorer in the playoffs. Brad Marchand, Rich Peverley, Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron: some of their are strong defensively, but none are big and hulking, but they’re all quick and talented, and guys like Marchand, Krejci, Tyler Seguin are all still very young. The Flyers are winning because of a huge crop of gifted rookies and youngsters mixed with a few veteran leaders: Jagr, Briere and Hartnell have been great, but Giroux, Read, Couturier et al have been indispensable. Chicago won 2 years ago with Kane, Versteeg, Toews, et al, ie: young talent. Filling up a team with checkers and bruisers is a recipe for disaster.

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        Rating: +12 (from 12 votes)
        • Lenny
          April 16, 2012

          Boston’s D is big and hulking. So is Nashville’s D, so is LA’s D, so is Phili’s D. So are St. Louis’ forwards. Those little talented guys in Boston would not be as effective if it wasn’t for the size and toughness support they had. Find all the counter examples you want, we’ll see who wins the Cup.

          Having said that, you are right about youth. We need to get younger.

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          Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)
      • Chris the Curmudgeon
        April 16, 2012

        Yes, it helps to have big, tough defencemen (and elite puckmoving ones). The Canucks don’t really have either. But at the forward spot, you need speed, skill and playmaking ability. Unless you’re trying to win the after-whistle scrums, it’s more important that you choose forwards that have elite scoring ability, balanced with a few guys with defensive abilities, or occasionally, that rare guy that is both. The Eric Lindros type just isn’t the straw that stirs the drink anymore. Size and defensive ability on the blue line are very important, but upfront it’s skill that puts the puck in the net.

        St Louis is successful because of the Hitchcock system, which completely sells out to team defence. That can work to some extent with the correct personnel, but it’s really more of a relic of the 90′s (the last time Hitch won a Cup). St Louis has some big forwards, but their leading scorer is TJ Oshie (6’0 194), and key guys like Perron and Steen aren’t big either.

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        Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
      • cheesepizza
        April 16, 2012

        yup. the archetype for an nhl win seems to be, as you say, size and defense. it’s becoming so boring. no thanks st. louis, nashville, phoenix, la, ny, boston, and nj.

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  10. Dr No
    April 16, 2012

    Not that it matters now, but didn’t the Brown goal start with a hand pass along the boards? It sure looked like it. The goal was so deflating couldn’t even rage at the TV. Nobody mentioned it so I may be having denial-based hallucinations. I thought the PITB readers would have the most unbiased view on that play.

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  11. John Andress
    April 16, 2012

    I tend to be a bit of a pacifist and I was offended by suggestions that the Canucks should have responded to the hard but legit Brown hit on Henrik Sedin by someone, anyone, fighting someone, anyone. The guy that I wanted to see pulverized was the little shit behind the Canucks bench with the oh so witty “Sedin Sosters” tee shirt. By the presence of security around him at the end of the game, it would appear that efforts in that direction were being attempted. Too bad they failed.

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    Rating: +37 (from 37 votes)
    • bergberg
      April 16, 2012

      I like to see physical play in hockey. I think the Canucks could stand to ramp that up a bit, but I don’t think it’s their main problem. In Game 1 we saw them make some big hits, but they got themselves out of position by doing so and it didn’t work out so well. I’d just rather see them play hockey (which they have been doing well, for the most part) and score goals (which, unfortunately, they have not been doing).

      I live in Ottawa, the NYR/Sens series has plenty of examples of retaliatory hits and fights. These players targeting each other specifically with a mentality of “he hit our star player in the last game, so this game I’m going to pound him whether he wants it or not”. A lot of the fans here seem to love it, but quite frankly, I find it pretty sickening. I’ll take the Canucks brand of hockey any day, even if we’re not winning.

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    • peanutflower
      April 16, 2012

      I totally agree. That shirt sucked, and it was pretty obvious after Henrik came back how much NOT a “sister” he is. I was also pretty offended by that moron PJ Stock who suggested that devolving the game into a big retribution match was what was required after that hit on Henrik. I could absolutely not believe it when Henrik came back and then immediately played a 2 minute shift. Unbelievable. Totally admire him. I thought he was done for the game. He probably should have been.

      And how come accidentally flinging the puck over the net is a delay of game but purposely lying on it with seconds to go is not? that sucked.

      Anyway, I’m not all that upset by the loss, strangely enough. As much as it’s a game of skill and hard work it’s also a game of chance, and the hockey gods just weren’t there last night, or the past two nights. I thought the Canucks outplayed the Kings, much as they did in the previous game, but just couldn’t get the right shot or have luck on their side.

      I am going to stay away from any other site except PITB so I don’t have to read all those moronic posts about “lack of heart” and “fire AV and Gillis” and all that crap. The Canucks need some size, that’s right, but that’s for management to figure out so I’ll just sit back and wait. And enough about the trading Cody away cost the Canucks the Stanley Cup. Clearly talent is not the Canucks problem in this series, it’s size, and Cody would never have been able to help out in that department.

      Anyway, one more kick at the can. It was a great season whatever happens, and I’ll always be behind my team.

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      Rating: +46 (from 48 votes)
      • CanuckFanInSF
        April 16, 2012

        Like the musicians in the ill-fated Titanic, I will go down with this ship.

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        Rating: +30 (from 32 votes)
      • Frank
        April 16, 2012

        I don’t agree with your observation about talent. I think the lack of scoring talent in general and playmaking talent on the second line is the biggest problem the Canucks have right now.

        The Hodgson trade is done and cannot be undone. That being said, I never liked it because of what we gave up and what we got in return, but mostly for the direction the team took with that (in a way of thinking); size over skill. In my mind, skill will always prevail over size.

        But with the trade done, what surprises me most is the coaching. Why is Kassian not stapled in front of the King’s goal on the power play? Have Kesler, Henrik and two shooting defencemen on the power play and let Kassian battle it out in front. Fight for those rebounds in close. Instead, nobody is in the slot and all the outside shots are way to easy for Quick to cause any problems at all.

        The Canucks might optically dominate the game, but they never become truly dangerous. And that is fine with the Kings, who relegate the outsides to the Canucks but keep the inside cordoned off. So until we start paying the price, and take the physical abuse in the slot, we won’t outscore the Kings and win a single game…

        Of a somewhat related side note: I cannot stop thinking that Kesler is playing injured after having returned so soon (too soon?) after his surgery. I guess we’ll find out soon.

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      • betty
        April 16, 2012

        Great comments here ,best i have seen! I see GENUINE, realistic comments about an incredible Team. I will always support the Canucks, that IS what a FAN IS, isn’t it?? They outplayed LA, dominated mot of the Game, no question. Luck has lots to do with the result. GO CANUCKS !!

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    • John in Marpole
      April 16, 2012

      Re: the idiot in the shirt, I could not agree more.

      Short of wanting someone to punch his lights out (which was the first thing that crossed my mind) What I wanted someone to do is ask him to recount a list of all of the LA Kings successes… or at minimum provide the dates of the dozens of Stanley Cup appearances the team has made.

      Because they’ve been there more than the Canucks, right..?

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  12. Zach Morris
    April 16, 2012

    http://cdn.electricpig.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/oh-god-why.jpg

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  13. sarah
    April 16, 2012

    IWTG – and then I sat and stared at a blank TV screen in stunned stillness. I don’t want to know a May without hockey.

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    Rating: +21 (from 21 votes)
    • Kenji
      April 16, 2012

      well you could start thinking about a plan B (e.g. I also like Nashville, because I like the idea of a Music City franchise doing well, they still play like a bunch of Scott Walkers, and Barry Trotz has awesome Jon Polito charisma)

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      • obituary mambo
        April 16, 2012

        Philly and Nashville are my back-up plans, but it’s just not the same. I want Canucks hockey, not second fiddle teams. Anyway, I’m not quite ready to give up hope. The Canucks have been the better team; it’s impossible for me to believe that won’t eventually pay off.

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        Rating: +17 (from 17 votes)
        • Frank
          April 16, 2012

          Not Nashville. Not after the nasty business Shea Weber pulled. I root for the Red Wings!

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          Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
      • sarah
        April 16, 2012

        I’m just going to start PVR-ing every BlueJays game.

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    • Canuck In Oz
      April 16, 2012

      I’m fairly fortunate that once the ice hockey season starts that I start concentrating on my Australian Rules Football team – their season started up three weeks ago, but I find it hard to really get behind them until the Canucks are done & dusted. The Grand Final of the AFL is the last Saturday in September, which means October is right around the corner – and the Canucks start all over again.

      I know that baseball will dominate in North America but seriously, you should watch AFL. You’ll never go back.

      My rather long-winded point is I’d rather be watching the Canucks in May & June as well.

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  14. Joel Willoughby
    April 16, 2012

    I was really impressed with Henrik this game…to come back from that hit and play with that much heart was HUGE…as Bieksa said post-game: “He’s as close to a Canadian as you can get…for a Swede.”

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    Rating: +39 (from 43 votes)
  15. whisky jack
    April 16, 2012

    You really never know
    Canucks could win four in a row
    But being realistic
    I can’t say I’m optimistic

    Mayhap again it’s suck it up
    Relearn there’s life with out the Cup
    For it’s really not all bad
    As joyous times can still be had

    Down at the park they’re playing ball
    Or if you choose there’s alcohol
    You might even take a hike
    Go for a swim or ride a bike

    I mean it’s just a hockey team
    For which we had a little dream
    I doesn’t matter if they lose
    A week away they are old news

    Besides they’re down but they’re not out
    Just saying there’s a lot of doubt
    And if it happens as we fear
    There always is another year

    Whisky Jack

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  16. Mallick
    April 16, 2012

    It was out of the ‘zoid, Cory Schneider that was dumb to do
    Hey Hamhuis, I think I wanna marry you

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  17. John Matrix
    April 16, 2012

    As a die-hard Canucks fan I hate to say it, but they’re done. A week ago, it seemed inconceivable that the Kings would win even one game in this series, never mind the first three.

    If there’s a Game Five, I’ll be surprised.

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    Rating: -4 (from 10 votes)
  18. JDM
    April 16, 2012

    Yeah we’re pretty screwed.

    But it doesn’t hurt as bad as last year, simply because it’s a coin toss that they’ve lost 3 straight of. Any of those games could very easily have ended differently. If we’d pulled it out yesterday I’d have plenty of confidence. It’s just hard to win 4 straight coin-tosses.

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    • peanutflower
      April 16, 2012

      At least it’s not like the Philly Pens series. That’s just a complete disaster.

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      • John in Marpole
        April 16, 2012

        I have come to the conclusion that I am still hockey-numb from last year. I wasn’t nearly as amped up for the playoffs this season as I was last year – quite possibly because the last 6 weeks of the season caused me to have some concerns about success – and the loss in game one didn’t sting as much as it should have.

        After Friday I felt disconnected from the game, not the crushing blow of losses during the SCF last year.

        1994 was hard to take, and that Cup run had a surprise element to it. 2011 was 20 times worse, because there was an element of expectation. This year, it has a feel, for me, of inevitability. Can’t say why but it does.

        Well, it ain’t over ’til it’s over…

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    • akidd
      April 16, 2012

      i completely agree, jdm. it’s the state of the game. it’s time for a breakaway group, let’s say the canucks, hawks, wings, sharks, avs and oilers start a league that plays hockey.

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  19. Brent
    April 16, 2012

    Well pretty bummed out over this. They obviously played well enough to win, but as in some games this year they came out incredible strong at the beginning of the first and completely dominated, I mean not just dominated, but COMPLETELY dominated. But failed to score. And then they started ramping down. They still dominated but just not so completely after that. I actually thought once they made it through the period of death still tied that they would take it in the third. But alas, Sutter had the Kings pumped up and they came out and played their best hockey of the game at the begining of the third.

    Be nice if they won 1 or 2 to make it look more respectable but it will be tough. I know they are saying all the right things but this must be pretty crushing psychologically.

    And yes, Edler need to be benched, probably should have been benched two games ago. His brain is somewhere far, far away from a hockey rink right now. Not sure where, but if anyone sees it send it back please.

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  20. CanuckFanInSF
    April 16, 2012

    Oh boy. Where do I begin? At first I was optimistic with the energy that the boys were showing, but it wasn’t enough.

    It was reminiscent of the SCFs last year, we were throwing everything including the damn kitchen sink at the goalie but we just couldn’t get that lucky bounce. Maybe we have angered the hockey gods by preemptively releasing the “THIS IS OUR HOME” campaign.

    Oh great, a coworker just stopped by lending his sympathies.

    I really wished we drew the Sharks instead of the Kings.

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    • Don_Rocko
      April 16, 2012

      Part of me still can’t help but wonder if the Kings were trolling us on the last night of the regular season there. They saw that the Canucks had clinched first and Sutter saw how well his team’s size matched up against the Canucks, so he told his team in the second intermission to maybe, sorta, accidentally-on-purpose choke away a two-goal lead to let the Sharks have the 7-seed.
      I’m sure it’s just a quarter-century of Canuck fandom that has my paranoia running rampant, but that was my first thought when I saw that score. Seriously – can anyone see this Kings team choke up a 2-goal lead at home right now?

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      • CanuckFanInSF
        April 16, 2012

        Losing a 2-goal lead to the freaking Sharks nonetheless! I was watching that game too and was hoping against hope for the Sharks to lose. But alas, such is the card drawn.

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      • Alison
        April 16, 2012

        I totally agree – turned to my sister and said…watch this unfold. We’ll get the Kings because they control their destiny. Then you think “naw…a professional sports team wouldn’t do this on purpose”. Now all the Canuck haters can add this to our list of conspirancy theories.

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  21. Warpstone
    April 16, 2012

    Right. So we have the Kings right where we want them and the Aquilini’s should be happy to get the two extra home gates, right?

    No?

    Oh.

    It’s Highlander time Vancouver. If the Canucks deserve to progress, they will. There’s nothing any of us can do. It isn’t personnel, Daniel’s absence or even tactics that have made the greatest difference. The Canucks are simply getting outplayed and outcoached and it’s hard to deny. So if they bow out, they deserve it. If they’re really the great team we think they are, they will come back. Execute or die.

    In the end, there can be only one…

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  22. Lisa
    April 16, 2012

    This game was really frustrating to watch. The shitty ice, lack of scoring despite 40+ shots, and that turd with the sedin sisters shirt. Coming from a Kings fan is especially hilarious because they don’t have a cup either…and The Great One played there!

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    • Abby
      April 16, 2012

      Yeah, that shirt was annoying. You think people would learn when a joke gets old (never mind the fact that it wasn’t funny to begin with).

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      Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)
  23. Josh
    April 16, 2012

    Just so disappointed. And I wonder how much time is left in our window to win the cup. Bieksa’s 30, Sedins and Burrows are 31, Lou’s 33. Realistically, the odds of winning with this core are dwindling. There’s still time, but the last 3-4 years were prime opportunities and we’ve lost in some pretty inventive and heartbreaking ways.

    Why does being a Canucks fan have to be so g*damn hard?

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  24. superreggie
    April 16, 2012

    I’m still ruminating on the “clean” hit on Henrik. I wish it were possible to see a realtime mri-scan of the replay, showing Henrik’s brain sloshing around in his head. Couple more plays like that and Henrik is done. This s—- has to change.

    Any sport that makes brain injuries a normal part of the game, sucks.

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    Rating: +16 (from 16 votes)
  25. C
    April 16, 2012

    Alex Edler is absolutely killing me. He’d probably be hurting me less if he bodychecked me into the boards, and I’m literally half his size.

    I think I need to watch something that’s less likely to make me vomit than these games. Like a Twilight marathon, with extended features.

    IWTG, the panacea for every negative emotion I’m swimming in right now. Thank you for being so consistently awesome.

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    Rating: +13 (from 13 votes)
  26. rvtBC
    April 16, 2012

    Look, I don’t think it was realistic for a Canuck’s sweep or near domination. Not the way that they had been playing in the month prior (yes, even winning down the stretch. There were disconcerting aspects to their game that have been magnified now). I thought the series would go 7 games. I did not expect it to go like this though. Maybe a win here, a loss there, a win there, a loss there. Something like that anyway.

    But, hey – I have tickets for game 7. I always say that you should buy tickets for a game that will really mean something. Well, if there is a game 7, then it will mean something for sure. I am ever the optimistic but always the pessimist. How can that can be? Well, I’m a Canucks fan since birth, you see?

    I’ve watched this far. All season long, nearly every game. I’m not going to stop now. As that great mind Todd Bertuzzi said, “It is what it is.” (I guess it’s too much to wish that Campbell had a conscience and feels sort of bad now, not that it’d do any good.)

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  27. McAliister
    April 16, 2012

    Have a D strew his body across the front of our net, then behind him have Kassian park himself at one of the goal post, Schneider in the middle, and another big D at the other goal post. Now no one can score since we filled up all the space and they can’t crash the goalie. Have Kesler climb on top of our net and start swatting at the Kings like swatting flies and rotate the others to go 1 on 5 for the entire game.

    We don’t even need to switch except for the one odd man since we don’t move. But hey, if they can’t score, and we can’t score, then Game 4 goes on forever and the dream never dies, right?!

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    • Micheal
      April 17, 2012

      That was beautiful.

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  28. sarah
    April 16, 2012

    I’ve been sitting in my office sighing all day. How long is it appropriate to be down following a game like that?

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    • Alison
      April 16, 2012

      I’d say give yourself 24 hours – then dust yourself off, re-read this IWTG, laugh and brace for the next one. Like a sequel to Jaws or Rocky it’s coming whether we like it or not.

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      • sarah
        April 16, 2012

        Good call. I’m over that loss now and already excited for Epic Comeback tm.

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  29. landend
    April 16, 2012

    Advantage of playing against the Canucks: You come out relatively unscathed while every other playoff team all got nunchucked Chuck-Norris style. “To every team in the NHL outside of L.A., you can suck it.”

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  30. akidd
    April 16, 2012

    i made a comment a few weeks ago about a brit friend and soccer fan who dismissed hockey as a serious sport because the outcome was too-heavily based on bounces and goaltending. if he was trying to make a case for his statement he could easily use last night’s game as Exhibit A.

    I’m not sure what else the canucks can do to win a game. they dominated the play last night but were the loser. the ’1-0′kings’ seem to understand my brit friend’s concept and have geared their game towards winning not through creation but by reducing the game down to its lowest common denominator and throwing in horrible ice for good measure. when the puck is bouncing around there’s no point in even bothering to pass or stickhandle. the only thing i can think of for the canucks to try and win game four would be to replace their sticks with big aluminum snowshovels.

    while i waited(and waited) for the playoffs to start i envisioned fast-paced, exciting series vs the hawks or wings or sharks or pens, series full of skill and speed. pretty naive. the reality is more like the nashville series last year. sludge hockey. stifling, oxygen-deprived stuff that hurts to watch.

    my recommendation is that the league takes the kings, yotes, preds and blues, a pair of dice and a craps table and settles it all in a delightful half-hour that they can air right before ‘the repbulic of doyle’.

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  31. iceman
    April 16, 2012

    Perhaps the only solace I can take right now is we’re not alone in this mess. Canucks and Penguins are both in deep 0-3 hole, making a fool out of many hockey analysts who had predicted Canucks vs. Penguins SCF. And I totally believed that too.

    Well at least our guys still keep their sanity… Just look at how collectively Penguins lost their minds, starting with their ‘Canadian’ captain. Their #1 goalie is being lit up like a slot machine and the only thing they do is delivering a series of cheap shots to Philly players’ head. It’s literally “MMA on Ice” genre pioneered by none other than Shea Webber.

    I may move on cheering for Red Wings once we’re done, but of course it won’t feel anywhere close to cheering for our hometown team… :-(

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    • bergberg
      April 16, 2012

      I just watched Coaches Corner in the NYR/Sens game, and had to listen to Don Cherry praise Crosby for double shifting during the last game, and blame his poor comments to the media on the reporters. Here I am waiting for him to praise Henrik for double shifting after a huge hit, and for remaining calm in the media and being a leader for his team. To my shock (I don’t know why anything Cherry does shocks me anymore) he pulls out a “I’m not going to hate on Sedin, but….” and brings up some quote where Henrik says he doesn’t understand playoff hockey. I have no idea where that quote came from. Cherry even quotes part of Bieksa’s interview, but of course leaves out the part about how tough and “Canadian-like” Sedin is. What a joke.

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  32. Abby
    April 16, 2012

    You know that it was a bad game when I don’t wait with baited breath for the IWTG. Usually I’m refreshing the page every 5 minutes after post game interviews end.

    I couldn’t look up anything Canucks related until this afternoon because I know I wouldn’t be able to handle it.

    Bother you PITB. Bother you for being so good that I am forced to find my way over here and read even when I’ m suffering from disbelief and despair.

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  33. cathylu
    April 16, 2012

    I was at this game and I felt pretty good up until the point when the Kings scored. But even then I thought we had enough time to tie it up. I thought we out-played them but obviously they were the only ones to put the puck in the net. I’m sorta at a loss for words. I was expecting a much different outcome. And the hardest, most frustrating thing is I can’t do anything about it. I just have to keep being a fan and hang on to the end. I’ll be at Wednesday’s game and praying for a hockey miracle since the thought of being swept by the Kings is almost more that I can bear.

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  34. McBruce
    April 16, 2012

    The latest evidence of Ron Maclean’s hatred of Vancouver: after PJ Stock poured lame on the Canucks for not gooning it up after the hit on Henrik, Ron pointed out that Vancouver did not play this style and–direct quote, check the tape–”almost got away with a Stanley Cup last year.”

    Almost got away with? Really? Like it was a mirage that the league leaders got that far? If it was the Leafs that pulled that off a comment like that would bring down hockey on CBC forever. But here in Vancouver, this is business as usual.

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  35. Micheal
    April 17, 2012

    I’d like to see Gragnani and Tanev as a pairing for game 4… Canucks could use more offense. Plus that pairing had some praise heaped it’s way by this very blog not too long ago as being defensively sound… I think it was their fenwick was the best on the team or somesuch. Couldn’t hurt… we’re on the ropes, and Gragnani played well for buffalo last playoffs.

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