I Watched This Game: Canucks vs Tampa Bay Lightning, January 1, 2014

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
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12 comments

  1. jenny wren
    January 2, 2014

    It’s twenty-fourteen New Year’s Day
    Vancouver versus Tampa Bay
    Tortorella’s team two thousand four

    Richardson is the first to score
    A Hamhuis hip check starts the play
    Long after which I’ve naught to say

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    • whisky jack
      January 2, 2014

      The top two lines without a goal
      In this the ninth Hangover Bowl

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  2. Swizzler16
    January 2, 2014

    Love the last point. There is No excuse for being that sl

    Wow. Such meta. Very laughs

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  3. David
    January 2, 2014

    Well, still looking forward for a better year for Canuck. Though I agree, there is no excuse for being sloppy.

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  4. Mike
    January 2, 2014

    Two notable eggs laid by the Canucks this year are the Rangers and the Lightning. That’s got to grind Torts gears. Since he got dumped by both, isn’t the script supposed to play out that he triumphantly wins against his former beau?

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  5. Baldrick
    January 2, 2014

    Clearly, it’s the Florida teams. The last stinker was against the Panthers on that awful November home stand. Ugg.

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  6. SharkMike
    January 2, 2014

    Canucks may not win in the next 6. Going to Anaheim and LA, then Pens and Blues, then going BACK to LA and Anaheim…Good luck with that.

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    • Naturalmystic
      January 2, 2014

      It would be delicious to see them fall out of playoff contention with an extended losing streak. I don’t see it happening. They will probably come back with at least 6 points.

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      • shoes
        January 2, 2014

        The hockey hopes and dreams of an entire province rest on the premise of your post, with the Canucks failing. Moms pull their kids out of school and Dads stay home from work celebrating Canuck losses all over Alberta. They lecture their kids……” you may never see more gratifying hockey in your lifetime little bubba” And they mean it…..that might be as good as it gets for this gen-X in Alberta. Mind you, as they often remind us, they only have to go to any old age home and quiz the people with a memory as to the “good ‘ole days”

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        • Naturalmystic
          January 2, 2014

          He mad.

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  7. Brent
    January 2, 2014

    Well, disappointed they lost but I really don’t think it was the worst game they played all “year”. After the time out they played much better. It was actually a pretty exciting game to watch, lots of rushes and scoring chances on both sides. Other than some defensive lapses the Canucks out fenwicked and out corsied Tampa, although they got pummelled in 5 on 5 close. I think it was the team speed that got them, they did give up an inordinate amount of even man rushed that does indicate they were a little slo

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  8. madwag
    January 2, 2014

    the paucity of comments reflects the interest the canucks seemed to have in winning this game: very few and very little. cheers for a happy new year danielson and harrison and all you bulies.

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