If you’ve been wondering what it would take for John Tortorella to refrain from giving the Sedins 20+ minutes a night, we found out the answer in this game. All it took was for the Canucks to be down 4 goals heading into the third period with no hope whatsoever of coming back to win on the first night of back-to-back games against divisional rivals. So, maybe don’t expect it to happen too often.
This was the first time this season that Daniel Sedin has played fewer than 20 minutes and only the second time for Henrik. The Sedins played just two shifts in the third period, with only one of those shifts played together. Essentially, a few minutes into the third period, Tortorella quite understandably gave up on this game and began looking ahead to Sunday’s meeting with the Anaheim Ducks. I wish I could have done the same, but then I wouldn’t be able to truthfully say, “I watched this game.”
Canucks 1 – 5 Kings
- The first half of the first period was pretty enjoyable, with both teams trading chances and a total of 18 shots on goal between the two teams. It looked like it was going to be the type of game that fans love and coaches hate. Instead, it turned into something that only Kings fans loved and Canucks coaches hated. To be fair, Tortorella hates anything that isn’t a shot block or a dog, so something like that is not hard to find.
- The Kings opened the scoring with a pretty goal made possible from some lax defending by three normally reliable players. Dan Hamhuis couldn’t keep the puck in at the Kings’ blue line, then fell down trying to knock the puck back into the Kings’ zone. Brad Richardson was there to cover, but got schooled by rookie Linden Vey, who put the puck right between his legs before feeding Jordan Nolan, whose shot appeared to glance off the sliding Chris Tanev and past Roberto Luongo. I haven’t seen something that uncharacteristic since Mario the plumber inexplicably became a doctor.
- Late in the first period, the Kings came in on a 3-on-2, with Daniel Sedin skating hard on the backcheck. Jason Garrison and Alex Edler got their signals crossed and both went to check Mike Richards, the puck carrier, who simply chipped the puck to Drew Doughty, who had plenty of room to pass it across to Tyler Toffoli in front of the net. Daniel, regrettably, took neither Toffoli nor the puck, which deflected off Toffoli’s skate and in. They reviewed the goal, but it had less kick than salsa made in New York City.
- Jonathan Quick was frustratingly good in this game, making glorious save after glorious save to keep the Kings ahead in the first half of the game. He made a stick-save on Alex Burrows so incredible that all stick saves were renamed Quick Saves in his honour, then immediately changed back to stick saves when everyone realized how dumb that sounded.
- Burrows had another chance in front shortly after and managed to get the puck past Quick, albeit with his skate. His blatantly obvious kicking motion was the most absurd motion since Washington v. Alaimo, when Matthew Washington filed a “Motion to Kiss My Ass.”
- The Canucks got within one midway through the second. After a nice shift by the fourth line of Jeremy Welsh, Darren Archibald, and Zac Dalpe that kept the puck in deep, giving the Sedin line an easy entry into the offensive zone, the Canucks created a flurry of chances that culminated in a Hamhuis slap shot Quick, who was screened by a leaping Daniel Sedin in front. The assists went to Kevin Bieksa and Ryan Kesler, meaning the Sedins have been held pointless in two straight games. Clearly, it’s time to freak out.
- If this game was on TSN, the TSN Turning Point would have come a minute after Hamhuis’s goal. Since it was on CBC, it was just a random occurrence in the meaningless wasteland of human existence. Kevin Bieksa reversed the puck behind the Canucks’ goal when he shouldn’t have, with Alex Edler unprepared to receive the pass. That mistake kept the Kings’ possession going: Bieksa was unable to contain Dwight King behind the net and Edler couldn’t get to Richards when Mike Santorelli left the front of the net to help with King. That left Richards more open than the limitless possibilities of untethered free will in a narrativeless world and he scored easily.
- After the Kings scored a fourth goal when Justin Williams was completely open in front of the net, Luongo was pulled from the game in favour of Eddie Lack, because it’s impossible to pull an entire team and replace them with a backup team. While you could argue that Luongo could have made a ridiculous save or two, the Canucks were shoddier than an overworked cobbler when it came to the defensive zone.
- As a sign of how bad the Canucks were defensively, they immediately hung Lack out to dry on a 2-on-1. The first shot Eddie Lack faced went in: Tanev went down to block the pass, but had it slid underneath him, taking him completely out of the play, allowing an easy pass back from Richards to Toffoli and an open net.
- To be fair to the Canucks, Dan Hamhuis was wiped out behind the net a moment before that 2-on-1 with a clear hit from behind into the boards from King behind the Kings’ net. It’s a little much to complain about the refereeing in a 5-1 loss, but the refs seemed to tune out of this game as much as the Canucks did. Either that or they were chuckling to themselves that a guy named King plays for the Kings. What a delightful coincidence! they thought as Hamhuis’s head rammed into the boards, Imagine if a guy named Duck played for the Ducks!
- Some people might be talking about the clipping penalty Hamhuis took on Dustin Brown early in the third period, as that penalty can sometimes lead to a suspension. I don’t think Hamhuis is in trouble, however, as on the replay it looked like Hamhuis made contact a little higher than it first appeared, hitting more of Brown’s thigh than his knee. The clipping penalty seems fair, but it seems unlikely Hamhuis will face supplemental discipline, particularly since Brown wasn’t injured on the play.
- One of the few bright spots for the Canucks was the play of Eddie Lack, who stopped every shot he faced after the first one got past him. His best came after a truly terrible giveaway by Zack Kassian in his own end, setting up Trevor Lewis alone in front. Lack bailed out Kassian with a fantastic leg save, demonstrating the lankiness that earned him the nickname The Stork. He then flew off and delivered a bunch of babies.
, I Watched This Game