If your New Year’s Resolution was to try to be more optimistic about the Canucks, well, their first game of 2014 probably didn’t help at all. The Canucks were, to put it gently, a crap factory versus the Tampa Bay Lightning Wednesday night, outplayed in every facet of the game.
John Tortorella called it the club’s worst game of the year. Was it? Yes, because the year is less than a full day old, so they haven’t had time to play any other games. Technically, it was also their best game of the year, and I watched this game.
Canucks 2 – 4 Lightning
- The Canucks may have led this game for a short time, but don’t be fooled. They were bad pretty much from beginning to end. From puck drop onward, they looked more sluggish than Slurms MacKenzie. (Perhaps, after celebrating the end of year, they were just as partied out?) Although I guess it was nice of them to make sure no one mistook the second game of the day for the beautiful one.
- John Tortorella called a time out at the 10-minute mark of the first period, but rather than go his trademark route, down Rage Highway in his Furymobile, he appeared composed and reasonable. “Fellas,” I imagine him saying, “You have come out flat, and I think we can all agree it is unacceptable and unfortunate. Let us put aside this play, which is, to use the parlance of our times, wack, and perhaps up our hustle, activate our sticks and the like, if it’s not too much trouble.” It didn’t work. The lesson: If you don’t swear, they won’t care.
- As mentioned, the Canucks led this game for a short time. Midway through the second, Brad Richardson kicked off a flurry of goals, beating Ben Bishop with a wrister on a partial breakaway. It was a great shot by Richardson, who went inside the post, just like you did, when you clicked on the link to this recap.
- One thing to note about this goal: it’s created thanks to a rare Dan Hamhuis hipcheck in open ice. When Hamhuis arrived in Vancouver in 2010, he threw hipchecks on the regular. But then he tore his midsection up sending Milan Lucic ass over teakettle in the Stanley Cup Final, and by his own admission, he’s been reluctant to throw hipchecks ever since. This time he went for it, and it created a goal, which appeared to give him a little confidence boost, because he threw another hipcheck on his next shift.
- Three minutes later, the Lightning responded, striking (HAHA GET IT?) twice in 20 seconds to turn a one-goal deficit into a one-goal lead. It was the umpteenth time this season the Canucks have given up two goals in under a minute, and if you’re wondering what the real number is, as opposed to the lame, colloquial non-number I used to get out of researching the stat, it’s this many. You do it.
- Tom Sestito picked up an assist on the Dalpe goal, meaning he’s now rocking a two-game point streak. And he finished this game with the same amount of shots as Ryan Kesler in 13 fewer minutes: zero. You picked the wrong American, USA hockey.
- It was great to see the Canucks pay tribute to Sami Salo for his time here with a brief video during a TV timeout. And it was nice of the Finnish d-man to give us a little vintage Salo as well, by missing the game due to injury.
- Jannik Hansen has had his moments with the Sedins, which makes a lot of sense, since it’s pretty much impossible not to have a moment with them. They’re like Ryan Gosling’s eyes. But he’d have a lot more of these moments if he’d make smarter decisions with the puck, especially along the walls. I can’t count the times in this game they’d gain the zone, only to give the puck to Hansen during a cycle and never get it back. Hansen ruins more cycles than a brick in a washing machine.
- The Canucks’ biggest issue tonight? They were unbelievably sloppy. Thers no excuse for beig that sl
, I Watched This Game