I Watched This Game: Canucks at Toronto Maple Leafs, February 8, 2014

It’s over. The long nightmare is over. We don’t have to watch another Canucks game for a whole two-and-a-half weeks.

Like most nightmares, it ends at its scariest moment: the first loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs by a Canucks team in over a decade. It happened in what has become typical fashion for this team: a third period collapse. They’ve become just as predictable as third period comebacks were for the Canucks in 2010-11.

That season, the Canucks scored 100 third period goals, leading the league, and out-scored their opponents by 42 goals. This season: second last in the league and they’ve been out-scored by 15 goals in the third period.

Is it fatigue? Trying to defend a one-goal lead too often? Choking? Or is it a psionic attack that is creating the illusion of a massive, terrifying dragon in the offensive zone in the third period then wiping it from their minds before they can talk about it in the post-game interviews?

I’m going with the dragon thing. I watched this game.

Canucks 1 – 3 Leafs

***

  • Things got off to a rough start as the Canucks took a too many men penalty just one minute into the game. They killed it off but were back on the penalty kill a minute later when Kellan Lain got a lazy high-sticking penalty. This time, the Canucks managed to go a whole two minutes after killing that penalty before taking another one. Fortunately, Mason Raymond, inspired by the Olympics, attempted a double salchow just as Alex Edler tripped him, earning a coincidental embellishing minor.
  • The Canucks opened the scoring in an incredibly dumb way. After some great pressure in the offensive zone and several quality scoring chances, it was a fluttering knuckler from Ryan Kesler that beat Jonathan Bernier, who accidentally deflected the puck into his own net trying to punch it into the corner with his blocker. It was the worst punch since Sucker Punch, though with less outright misogyny.
  • The last time these two teams met, Alex Burrows and Phil Kessel engaged in one of the most unlikely fights ever. Burrows attempted to get a rematch going, which seemed a little unfair considering he still has a face shield protecting his jaw. Kessel was having none of it, which is a shame, as taking the Leafs’ best player off the ice for five minutes would have been great. Instead, he just received a two-minute roughing minor.
  • During the scrum, it appeared that Burrows got a fistful of Kessel’s hair, harkening back to the night he famously pulled Duncan Keith’s hair while being headlocked. This hair pull lasted just a split second, and it’s hard to tell if Burrows even got much of a grip considering Kessel has a lot less hair than Keith. But it happened. Why? Clearly, Burrows is just trying to get back to how he performed in 2008-09, his breakout season, and he realizes he hasn’t been enough of a jerk this season.
  • It seemed to work. Burrows was very good in this game, apart from completely whiffing on a shot on a 2-on-1 with Jordan Schroeder. He and Daniel dominated possession while on the ice, out-shooting the Leafs 9-0 at even-strength. Some of those shots were certainly weaker opportunities from the outside, but they created some decent scoring chances as well. They didn’t convert them, because that’s way too much to ask these days, but they also didn’t allow a single shot against. At this point, you’d figure a puck would bank in off a skate or deflect off someone’s butt in front of the net. Nope.
  • Including special teams, the Canucks actually out-shot the Leafs 18-0 when Daniel Sedin was on the ice. That is outright astonishing, particularly when you consider that this includes time shorthanded. Only one of those shots, however, came off his own stick, bringing him up to 19 games without a goal.
  • Unlike British Columbia, it’s hard to find fault with Roberto Luongo. He made several good stops, including a great save on Phil Kessel from the slot in the third period, but was beaten by two great shots and an unlucky bounce off Alex Edler. When the Canucks manage just four goals in four games, you don’t blame the goaltending.
  • What a way to go into the Olympic break. The Canucks literally took one on the chin, as James Van Reimsdyk threw the puck across the front of the net from a bad angle, only to have it go off Edler’s chin and in. Of course it did.
  • I don’t have anything else to say. Nothing much of note happened in this game. The Canucks lost because that’s just what they do now, apparently. Everyone is terrible. Everything is terrible. Let’s stop watching the Canucks for, say, 18 days. Let’s cheer for Team Canada instead. Don’t pass it to Bulis. Pass it to Zamuner, instead.
Tags: , , ,

49 comments

  1. steveB
    February 8, 2014

    gah, such a frustrating team to watch spiral down the drain.
    I switched the television off when at 3-1 Leafs.
    I know it was over.
    I can’t wait for the CFL season to start.
    At least the BC Lions win a Championship every now and then.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +8 (from 12 votes)
    • Alex
      February 8, 2014

      Good one, Steve.

      Typical Canucks fan.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: -9 (from 25 votes)
      • Chocoball
        February 8, 2014

        Hey canucks fans are loyal enough to put up with some of the consistently highest prices in the league….don’t we deserve something in return???

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: +15 (from 17 votes)
      • shoes
        February 9, 2014

        Typical Canucks fan?

        Well if we are talking typical and assuming you are a typical Alberta hockey fan (both teams) Wazzup Bro? How is the mullet, trailer park, jacked up lil’ red dodge 4 x 4 with mix n’ match tires, lethbridge pil stubbies all over the front lawn on a Sat’iday morning.

        Typical enough for you?

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: +1 (from 11 votes)
        • GofTJ
          February 9, 2014

          Wow, lots of insults here.

          Isn’t anything ever said to you by the owner’s of this blog, or is that just reserved for people with opinions they don’t like?

          Either way, it doesn’t bode well for your or their character benchmarks.

          VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
          Rating: 0 (from 2 votes)
          • Daniel Wagner
            February 9, 2014

            Pretty sure you missed the point of his comment.

            VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
            Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  2. Momo
    February 8, 2014

    VanRiemsdyk “through” the puck….how about “threw” the puck. Canadians butcher English all day long.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: -28 (from 34 votes)
    • Harrison Mooney
      February 8, 2014

      Just a mistake, bud. It’s been fixed.

      VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +11 (from 11 votes)
    • Andrew
      February 9, 2014

      If you’re going to criticize spelling, you should probably ensure your punctuation is correct. Just a suggestion.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +8 (from 8 votes)
      • madwag
        February 9, 2014

        like maybe a question mark.

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  3. Wetcoaster
    February 8, 2014

    I think it was fairly obvious even a couple years back that Vancouver’s prospect cupboard was looking pretty bare. The recent injury string just made that weakness damaging now instead of a couple years down the road. That one’s on the GMs.

    The performance of previously reliable players is down on the coach. Torts preference for video and rest over practicing and plans makes sense in the context that he plays his stars so intensely, but the power play in particular looks like they need time together to come up with and practice new plays now that other teams have adopted to their previous tactics and returning injured players (take your pick, there are plenty) need more, not less practice to get back up to speed.

    I assume that no matter how the rest of the season turns out (even if they are ultimately and unlikely successful), there will need to be a very long debrief with both the Canucks and Comets coaching staff on what went wrong, what can be fixed, and how to manage their AHL affiliate to develop their prospects (and hopefully provide better than replacement-level reinforcements in the face of protracted injuries in the future.

    Also, maybe hire Mike Myers to find out who stole the mojo from Henrik’s wingers.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +14 (from 14 votes)
    • Mitch
      February 8, 2014

      Well… on the bright side, it looks like we’ll have a decent chance of addressing the prospect problem at the draft. How’s that for the barest glimmer of a silver lining.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  4. David
    February 8, 2014

    “When the Canucks manage just four goals in four games, you don’t blame the goaltending.”

    Truer words were never written. I just wished “the fans” would’ve remembered that when blaming Lu for the Stanley Cup loss.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +32 (from 36 votes)
    • mb13
      February 8, 2014

      Why the need to defend Luongo. Just like the rest lf the team, he isnt good enough. Anybody who thinks he is anything but average needs glasses.

      When is the last time he stood on his head and stole a game? Would be nice once in a while from “the best goalie in hockey”.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: -18 (from 38 votes)
      • John in Marpole
        February 9, 2014

        I don’t see anyont calling Luongo “the best goalie in hockey” in this thread. perhaps my eyes are not working well, I’ll look over the posts again…

        Nope, those words aren’t anywhere to be seen, Sunshine.

        In order for Luongo (or any other goailie for that matter) to have stolen the last four games a shutout was required.

        Even “the best goalie in hockey”, whomever that may be, wouldn’t have delivered on that, Sunshine.

        The blame is obvious to those who know the game – hint: not you, Sunshine – no offense. Nada, none, zilch, same as your hockey IQ, Sunshine.

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
        • mb13
          February 9, 2014

          Actually, the guy that wrote (or co-writes) this blog picked Lu-ser to win the Vezina many months ago…. I know, ridiculous. Nevermind the teams used car salesman has referred to Lu-ser as the best goalie in hockey at least a few times.

          Anyways.. all I am saying is why do people constantly feel the need to defend Lu-ser? I guess the last guy that called out Lu-ser (Larscheid), didnt last too long after he did. Sure, the team could score more… but they don’t… deal with it. These guys arent good enough… they were a very good group… but I stress were.

          Sincerely,

          Sunshine

          PS … when is shoes going to cry about the refs? lol… he must be just dying to blame them for this teams ineptitude. LOL

          VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
          Rating: -4 (from 4 votes)
          • Daniel Wagner
            February 10, 2014

            Why do people constantly feel the need to defend Luongo? Because idiots insist on constantly attacking him.

            VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
            Rating: +9 (from 9 votes)
            • Aaron
              February 10, 2014

              Well said Daniel! Lou has been unfairly attacked for years despite stats saying otherwise. I’m not saying it hasn’t been his fault some of the time. Find me one goalie that hasn’t let in bad goals. We are lucky to have a goalie of his calibre. No matter how good a goalie is or isn’t the puck still has to get by the rest of the team before it gets by the goalie.

              VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
              Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  5. GofTJ
    February 8, 2014

    Ha ha.

    Playoffs!

    Does it really matter.

    Look forward to hearing from the team’s used-car salesman (good one, mb13).

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: -1 (from 9 votes)
    • shoes
      February 9, 2014

      Whenever I see one of MB13 “internet friends” following him around with accolades…..I picture 2 guys in his moms basement, takeout containers everywhere, and suddenly a loud drooling cheer, followed by an attempted high 5, which of course misses resulting in monumental opposing face palms. The subject of the their “bestest day ever in Okotoks” ……another Canucks loss.

      Which tells you a lot about “bestest days” where some fans live.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: 0 (from 8 votes)
      • mb13
        February 9, 2014

        I picture you in a crib and a full diaper. LOL

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: 0 (from 10 votes)
        • John in Marpole
          February 9, 2014

          That says ever so much more about you than you’ll ever understand, Sunshine.

          VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
          Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
          • mb13
            February 9, 2014

            Must just kill you inside to insist on replying to me. Whats that say about you?

            Sincerely,

            Sunshine

            VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
            Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  6. jenny wren
    February 8, 2014

    Saturday night against T O
    Vancouver’s seven in a row
    And bottom line all I can do
    Is feel for Lack and Bobby Lu
    As for the rest one thing I know
    There’s not a one who cannot go
    No longer those that I once knew
    It’s surely time to trade a few

    At least now for a week or two
    I’ve not to watch the green and blue
    To miss the grit that they don’t show
    Or see the leads they’re sure to blow
    And now can watch and hope in lieu
    Of Stanley’s cup Olympic coup

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +7 (from 9 votes)
  7. Kevin
    February 8, 2014

    Look on the bright side though, we already have more wins than we averaged during the Messier era.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +15 (from 15 votes)
  8. Sorry Canucks Fan
    February 8, 2014

    No break for heart broken Van. supporters. Here’s what’s going to happen at the Olimpics: Canada will lose in the Quaters to whoever makes it and thankfully so will Sweden. Daniel will rue his coasting through the Canucks season. Wait ….. I think not- he still collects his handsome checks….

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: -15 (from 17 votes)
    • shoes
      February 9, 2014

      buddy….you sound drunk, illiterate and just plain dense. Olimpics? Quaters? Get a breathalyzer on your keyboard……these are not typos.

      And as to your predictions that the Canadians and Swedes will lose in the Quaters……it seems to stem from your hatred of the Canucks and Sedin, as those are singled out. LOL

      Carry on and hope spring comes as early as May for you in the province of ‘Berta.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: 0 (from 12 votes)
  9. Angry Canadian
    February 8, 2014

    The one that I’m grateful for, as the years go by, is a little perspective. Seven losses in a row? Not great, to be sure, but when you’ve seen some of the teams that some of us have going back to the early/mid 70s – and some of the 80s – and some of the 90s…well…we’ll get thru this. With gritted teeth.

    Also, with regards to an earlier comment about Lu being “the best goalie in hockey”. I don’t know if even the most fervent Canuck fans believe this is true anymore. I think he’s still having a top season, but this year, not only does he have to stop pucks from going into the net via the opposition, but he also has to stop them going into the net via his teammates. Awfully hard to steal games with that combo.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +18 (from 20 votes)
    • mb13
      February 9, 2014

      I can think of one blogger that picked him to win the Vezina… but thats neither here nor there.

      He may be having a top season (by his standards) but is still a middling goalie when compared to the rest of the league. And bounces happen… not only to lu-ser but the rest of the league. The teams used car salesman has a rolodex of excuses for why this team is struggling… seems like its rubbed off on the fans.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: -13 (from 15 votes)
      • Angry Canadian
        February 9, 2014

        Some days, I wish I could have been a psychologist, to find out what makes people like you tick. I see you & naturalmystic on here, and a heaps of your ilk on the Canucks FB forum, who seem to be happiest when you’re making derogatory comments about the Canucks. I simply don’t understand the mentality of people who do that. OK, you don’t like the Canucks, that’s fine, but to come in to what I consider a fan forum and basically be the equivelent of that kid that everyone knew in school that ate glue, peed his pants and caused chaos…like I said, I don’t understand the mentality.

        And please don’t give me the whole I-can-say-what-I-want-it’s-a-free-counry spiel because cowards hide behind that rationale. It basically says, I choose to be a complete dick to cool people who are just wanting to talk about their team, in good & bad times.

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: +17 (from 17 votes)
        • Wetcoaster
          February 9, 2014

          I work with one of those people. In his case, he’s just an all-around loser and I guess that’s one of the times he can feel better about himself. I’ve asked before if he’s such a critic of the Canucks why he has their decals on his window instead of say, the Giants.

          The more I think about it though, the more I suspect that people like him *are* fans – in that they are fanatics (the original root word, right?) and as such, rational thought is a purely optional exercise.

          VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
          Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  10. Sucker Punch
    February 8, 2014

    Sucker Punch was not promoting the hatred of women. It had a deeper message than “women are sexual objects”, have you even watched the movie?

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: -1 (from 3 votes)
    • Daniel Wagner
      February 9, 2014

      Yes, I watched it. It was one of the worst movies I have ever seen. As for a deeper message, that was one of the most shallow movies of all time. The “deeper” message still pandered to the male gaze.

      VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +9 (from 11 votes)
      • PB
        February 9, 2014

        Well said. That is a terribly misogynistic (not to mention plodding and dull) film.

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
      • Wetcoaster
        February 9, 2014

        I thought the trailer was for another mediocre mass market AA PG-13 console game release.

        Saw the movie and still think it probably would have been better as a mediocre mass market PG-13 console game release.

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  11. KevinZ
    February 9, 2014

    When the Olympics are over, we’ll win 7 straight. It’ll happen, just believe!

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 5 votes)
  12. akidd
    February 9, 2014

    whoa, rough board. attacks on fanhood here, belligerent grammar-checks there…it’s all falling apart.

    good times, eh? how many times has raymond not scored on that move? good times!!!

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +18 (from 18 votes)
  13. shoes
    February 9, 2014

    I think that was Raymonds first goal in 18 games. I am sure he liked it, but I am also sure that I am happy he is no longer a canuck….. he is not a playoff player at all and we seem to have our quota of that…..

    Having said that, I am not throwing in the towel here as 20 guys don’t forget how to play hockey all at once.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +3 (from 11 votes)
    • mb13
      February 9, 2014

      Raymond might not be a playoff player…. but judging by the canucks this year, it will be moot. Canucks making the playoffs is looking less and less likely.

      Is this the real shoes even? You havent blamed the refs once for the loss. LOL

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: 0 (from 8 votes)
    • Corsi Fenwick
      February 9, 2014

      I think that was Raymond’s first goal in one game, he scored on Thursday against Tampa, and prior to that he scored January 30th. In fact Raymond’s longest spell without a goal this season is 7 games in December and his 16 goals would rank 2nd on the Canucks this year.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)
      • mb13
        February 10, 2014

        Hahahahahha…. just like shoes. Never let the facts get in the way of a stupid point.

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
    • KP
      February 11, 2014

      It was Raymond’s second straight game with a goal. He scored in the previous game vs. TB.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  14. PB
    February 9, 2014

    Thank god for the Olympic break (apparently the trolls spell it Olimpic but I’m staying with the traditional spelling). I can’t take any more of this. Worst spell I’ve seen — including the Messier years — since the days of JJ Daigneault patrolling the blue line. I need a break to watch at least entertaining hockey which I’m hoping the Olympics will provide.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +7 (from 7 votes)
  15. Bill K.
    February 9, 2014

    Being a Leafs fan I thought your guys looked pretty good. Bu you obviously need a shooter. I know your G.M. doesn’t want to give up any futures but I’m figuring he might have waited a bit long seeing what fell thru cheap ahead of the deadline. Wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t kicking tires on Moulson..but then he got injured. Then again, the draft has some nice shooters.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  16. starfish
    February 9, 2014

    Yep. it is time to take step back. Shoes, thanks for keeping it real

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  17. BBoone
    February 9, 2014

    I have gone to Canuck games since 1956 at the PNE and also at away games at Queens Park. Usually a competitive entertaining team. From 1970 on I learned to be much more comfortable rooting for tomorrows prospects and abysmal, cartoonish coaching .
    Of course there were some great teams very well coached , but in general the former. I am getting ready for the next few years of the old days.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  18. akidd
    February 9, 2014

    when the team sinks so rapidly to historic messier/keenan-era-like lows like it has you have to start wondering about the new coach. he seems like a good guy and there’s lots of blame to go around but if there’s any job performance accountability left in this organization then maybe it’s time for torts to head down to the point roberts liquor store to start stockpiling boxes for the next big move.

    i mean, this is such a spectacularly epic fail. epic! blame gillis, sure but this team got so bad so quickly under its new coach, it can’t just be coincidence. dude is just not the right fit. #releasethetorts

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  19. Snepsts
    February 9, 2014

    yeah, even if the stats still hint that the Canucks should be doing better, this is not a slump, it is a team of zombies that has hit bottom, morale and effort-wise. With the NTCs, the only rational change can come at the top, so it’s either Gillis or Torts after the Olympic break.

    It would be interesting to see if upper management were able to convince two or three players to waive their NTCs, but that would only suggest they were sick of Torts, so it seems kind of logical at this point, especially after the Calgary debacle, that he is done.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  20. clutch fan
    February 9, 2014

    It will be interesting to see how Daniel Sedin performs in the Olympics, if he lights it up, then maybe his bad play is on coach Torts, but if he still sucks then maybe it something else and not on the coach at all. I still think you have to give the coach the full year and a bit to see if he can get it going.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)