John Tortorella has a 5-year contract with the Vancouver Canucks.
I watched this game.
Canucks 1 – 6 Stars
- Some will describe this game as a gong show, but that’s not really accurate. If it was a gong show, we could have rung a gong and ended the pain.
- The Canucks were badly, badly outplayed in this game, giving up odd-man rushes by the barrelful and generally looking like they didn’t care about the end result of the game. There will be plenty of speculation about whether Tortorella has lost the room, which is something that we can’t really know since we’re not in that room, but I do know that Tortorella was billed as a motivator who could light a fire under some butts and those butts looked ice cold in this game.
- Zack Kassian finally got an opportunity to play in the top-six, skating on a line with Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows. It didn’t go well. He was largely to blame for the Stars’ first goal, then took an incredibly stupid boarding penalty on Brendan Dillon at the end of the first period that saw him tossed from the game and will likely result in a suspension. It was dirtier than Eddie Lack’s pants during the Heritage Classic.
- Speaking of Eddie Lack, the poor guy got shelled early, giving up three goals on the first eight shots he faced in the first period. Given how the team in front of him was playing, it seemed like the right time for a mercy pull, but Tortorella kept him in through the entire second period as well, allowing another two goals. Post-game, he said he sucked, but he would have had to be absolutely incredible to get the Canucks the win and, like Morgan Freeman doing voiceover, he was credible.
- The Stars’ first goal was scored by the trailer after Lack made a fantastic save on a 2-on-1. Their second goal came on a breakaway. Their third goal was a floater from the side boards, but it came past an Alex Edler screen. The fourth, a tap-in at the backdoor on the power play after a superb pass. The fifth, yet another 2-on-1. If Eddie Lack was a Pinterest board, he’d maybe have one of those goals pinned on him.
- Lack finally got the hook in the second intermission, sending new Canuck Jacob Markstrom into the fray. He didn’t have much to do, as the Stars took their foot off the pedal up 5-1, but he still allowed one goal after a rare defensive miscue from Chris Tanev left Tyler Seguin all alone to find a hole short side with a quick shot. That’s how bad this game was: Tanev was making mistakes defensively. It was like seeing an addax in the wild.
- I wouldn’t say there were any bright spots for the Canucks, but there were a couple slightly less-dingy spots. New Canuck Shawn Matthias was quite good, with a game-high 7 shots on goal, was 64% on faceoffs, and did some good work on the penalty kill. The fourth line of Zac Dalpe, Jordan Schroeder, and Darren Archibald looked like a group of three NHL forwards at times. So, there’s that.
- Is it gauche to point out how terrible Ryan Kesler was in his first game after he didn’t get traded at the trade deadline? I’m not sure what the etiquette is on this. The Canucks just had three shot attempts with him on the ice at even-strength, and allowed twelve. For shots that actually made it to the net, the Canucks were out-shot 8-2 with Kesler on the ice at even-strength. Is suggesting that Kesler looked like he didn’t want to be out there like mistaking a salad fork for a luncheon fork? Help me out, Judith Martin.
- It turns out the Canucks got a better return for Roberto Luongo than we initially thought. No, I don’t mean Matthias or Markstrom performed above expectations. I mean that we got something unexpected out of the deal: now Luongo can tweet during Canucks games. His three tweets during the game revealed a little lingering bitterness and a lot of sympathy for former teammate Eddie Lack. They were also hilarious and ensured that Jacob Markstrom’s nickname will have to be Thing 4.
, Everyone Sucked Tonight
, I Watched This Game