Canucks Army Postgame: [Insert Linden Vey Wordplay]

It sure did, Mr. Burgundy. It sure did. Speaking of Ron Burgundy, the Vancouver Canucks probably could’ve used his services in the latter parts of Saturday night’s 5-1 loss to the Kings, considering that Tom Sestito actually managed to ecclipse the 10-minute time on ice mark. Anything would’ve helped.

The Canucks are now 1-1-1 on their tough road trip through the Pacific Division, and are now looking at a quick turnaround for a game tomorrow evening against an Anaheim Ducks squad that is 7-0-0 at home on the season. While that doesn’t sound overly promising, let’s try to put Saturday night’s events in perspective – because as we preach all the time, you can’t just look at the result in a vacuum – just past the jump.

The Rundown

I probably shouldn’t have made as much fun of Jonathan Quick as I did leading up to this game, and it became abundantly clear early on that I was probably going to wind up having to eat some crow. In the preview I noted that he had needed a shutout against the Buffalo Sabres just a few days ago to finally climb over the .900 save percentage plateau. I even suggested that we should consider naming it ‘The Quick Line’, considering his troubles in ecclipsing it since the beginning of last year.

Here’s the only puck the Canucks managed to get by him on this night, which brought the Canucks to within 2-1 nearly halfway through the 2nd period. It was basically one of the only bright spots on the night, as things quickly went downhill soon thereafter:

For what it’s worth, I’m not letting this performance by Quick change my opinion of him (which is that he’s severely overrated). I get that it’s his style to scramble around and look acrobatic in stopping the puck – because admittedly, he’s a tremendous athlete – but he was fighting it all net, and benefited greatly from a few lucky bounces here and there. I could probably count at least a handful of occasions where he made the save, but pretty clearly had no idea where the puck even was. It’s hard not to wonder how differently this game would’ve turned out if some of the chances the Canucks’ top two lines generated, with the most notable example being Kesler looking at a yawning cage early on, had gone in their favour instead of Quick’s. But that happens.

The Kings got on the board approximately 12 minutes into the game, after Dan Hamhuis stumbled and fell, and LINDEN Vey made Brad Richardson look silly before setting Jordan Nolan up. The result was a laundry list of Vey jokes, ranging from ‘holy crap, that was legitimately hilarious’ to ‘you’re drunk, get off of the internet’. Regardless, it was one of those moments that make me glad that Twitter is a thing that I get to indulge, and participate in. 

In the final minute of the opening frame the Kings made it 2-0 after a lucky bounce off of Tyler Toffoli’s skate beat Luongo, who didn’t really have a chance on the play. The man to blame on this one was Daniel Sedin, who put in the effort to get back into the play, but then inexplicably just stood there and watched as the puck went by him and off of Toffoli. 

Speaking of Toffoli.. I’d love to hear how many times Mark Lee, who appears to be on a break from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, mentioned his name affectionately. He had a very nice game, and has looked awesome since his call-up following the Jeff Carter injury, but this angle really got out of hand quicker than the actual game result itself. 

Luongo was pulled after the 4th Kings goal by Williams just after the halfway mark, but I’d say it was more of a mercy pulling than anything. His defense really let him down on this night, and there’s not very much he could’ve done on any of the goals he surrendered. It’s just a slight hiccup after a handful of strong performances. He’ll get the night off on Sunday as it has already been announced that Eddie Lack will get the start (after stopping 13/14 shots he faced after coming in on relief).

The Numbers

Let me dump some numbers on ya:

Image via Extra Skater.

Image via @RobertJFTC

Image via @nickaresee

Zack Kassian was on the ice for 2 shot attempts for, and 17 against, which is remarkably bad. The Kings feasted on the team’s 3rd line in a big way. Tom Sestito topped 10 minutes for the 2nd time as a Canuck, took 2 charging penalties, threw 6 hits, and got into a fight. Lots of GRIT and JAM, but somehow against all odds that didn’t help the Canucks win the game.

Speaking of struggling.. what on earth is happening to Jason Garrison? He’s melting right before our very eyes. He has now played 17:45 and 17:11 in his last two games, and has really looked particularly bad over the last handful. There’s a theory out there that he’s reeling following that awkward looking colision he had in the game against Toronto, but I’d argue that his play was already slipping by that point. Maybe he needs to shave his beard, or something.

Overall though, I’d say that things weren’t really as bad as the scoreboard might lead you to believe. The Canucks actually had more unblocked shot attempts than the Kings (17-16) in score close situations, and ultimately a few defensive lapses strung together were their undoing. I wouldn’t panic about this one, personally. With that being said though I can also understand why you’d be unhappy with the performance the Canucks put forth, especially if you had devoted 3 hours of your Saturday night to what ultimately amounted to a whole lot of garbage time.

And finally, there’s this:

Daniel’s 13:25 was nearly 7 minutes less than his previous season low, and marked the first time that he had failed to top 20 minutes on the year.. which is kind of remarkable. I’m glad that Tortorella used the blowout as an opportunity to get them some rest, especially with what waits ahead.

  • pheenster

    Tough night for luck.

    Funny to see Sestito get that first charging penalty for totally missing Kopitar and splashing the glass like Steve Bernier of days gone by.

    I checked out this Robert P blog you linked to in the preview – he’s gushing about a “crushing” even though his own chances were even at 14 each? He appears to understand process but chooses to ignore it to be a fanboy?

  • pheenster

    On an actual serious note, I’m somewhat encouraged by the Fenwick chart. Despite a bad defensive effort, they weren’t that far back from a fancystats perspective. I know PDO isn’t really a one game stat, but LA’s was 111.8 (their best of the season by far) tonight while the Canucks’ was 88.2 (their worst of the season by far).

  • acg5151

    Agree that the game was not as bad as the score indicated. Glad to see the Fenwick backed this up. Definitely a fair dose of puck luck, some brutal defensive plays/turnovers and a healthy dose of playoff officiating. It worries me that the sedin’s don’t do well in this kind of game (large bodies crushing them into the boards) as this will be playoff hockey. They certainly had some chances but definitely not their best game. Wondering if daniel is injured? He missed practice yesterday. Thought Brad Richardson would have been on fire tonight, but…. not so much.

    Unknown comic – Agree about that the first phantom call against Sestito! WTF! Even the “charging” penalty seemed pretty lame. And Hrudy said nothing, even when watching the replay! But don’t you hate Glen Healy even more after his comments after the game. What a butthead!

  • acg5151

    Edler is happening to Garrison.

    Have you guys ever noticed that no matter who plays with Edler, be it Bieksa, Hamhuis, or now a Garrison, that they all look awful doing it?

    There is only one d-man who could successfully play with him and that was Christian Ehrhoff. No one else can figure out how to play with the guy.

  • Edler hitting consistently is a myth. He hasn’t had a 20 game stretch, to my knowledge, where he has been consistently physical. That myth is perpetrated, in part, by one ridiculous hit against LA and a few dominating performances.

    BTW, am I reading this wrong, or was Welsh’s line dominant last night?!

    • I like what Welsh brings. I think he could be a solid contributor. Dalpe might develop too.

      Last night was an off game for sure. I think the intense sched and minutes play have hit the team. Hopefully Torts was serious when he said there would be extra days off.