CA Postgame: Canucks win fight(s), lose game

There was a lot of talk leading up to Monday night’s game in LA as to what the Vancouver Canucks would do in response to Dustin Brown’s most recent shenanigans. I did my part in perpetuating the talk by devoting a large chunk of the game preview to it (mostly because I figured there was at least a decent chance that we could see them really muck it up), but I still wasn’t necessarily convinced that we’d see what most fans were clamouring for ever since the incident in question took place.

The Canucks – despite being billed as a tougher team that would play with an edge and wouldn’t be bullied by bigger opponents from the day John Tortorella was hired – hadn’t exactly lived up to the hype on that front this season (except for that one time in November, against these same Kings). They also had a chance to tie the Kings in the standings with a regulation win, which made me question whether they’d throw caution to the wind and go all out for the retribution.

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I guess I should’ve stuck with my gut instinct, because that’s exactly what happened. The Canucks may’ve lost the hockey game by a score of 1-0, but in the grand scheme of things I think we can put an asterisk beside this one, because they put a lot of the "soft" talk to rest. Lose a battle, win the war? We’ll see.

A lot of things took place at the Staples Center on Monday night. We’ll let the fine collection of Vines, GIFs, and funny tweets speak for themselves, because they’re top notch and quite frankly far more entertaining than anything I could say with my words. Read on past the jump for the goods, and in the meantime, I think I’m going to have a smoke.

The Rundown

We didn’t have to wait long to see how the Canucks would respond, with Zack Kassian lining up next to Dustin Brown on the opening faceoff. The cameras showed him moving his mouth a lot, probably spewing all sorts of filthy gibberish Brown’s way. As soon as the puck was dropped he stuck his stick between Brown’s legs, eventually pulling him down and nonsensically taking a hooking penalty just 9 seconds in. I joked at the time that something like that wouldn’t dissuade Brown from pulling the sorts of stunts that he has in the past, but as it turns out that was just a sign of things to come..

Shortly thereafter, Jordan Nolan took a nice long run at Henrik Sedin (who he seems to have a personal vendetta against based on his past actions), then refused to answer the bell, turtling in cowardly fashion when Top Sixtito approached him on the ensuing faceoff. Unfortunately for Nolan, "no" wasn’t something Sixtito was willing to hear:

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This Vine, and all of the others, are via Thomas Drance.

Before we let Nolan off the hook and move on, let this further show that there’s really no such thing as a "code" amongst fighters. Jordan Nolan has 36 fights since he turned pro back in 2010, and while he’s a decent enough player on a 4th line, I think it’s fair to assume that he considers himself a fighter who abides by this mythical code. I would love for someone to ask him which passage says that you can take a big run at an opposing team’s star player, and then refuse to fight when the time comes. Total rubbish.

As for Sestito believe me when I say that we’re far from done talking about him, but before we get to that let’s quickly recap all of the other tomfoolery. Henrik Sedin went on to take a hooking penalty a few minutes later, giving the Canucks 31 penalty minutes as a team before the 1st period had even reached its halfway point. 

They escaped these first 11 minutes or so of the game (which was like nothing I’ve ever seen before) unscathed, having only given up a handle of shots to a meek Kings man advantage. As has been the case for the majority of the season, the team’s penalty killing unit was probably it’s biggest weapon on the night, aside from their fists I guess. Through all of that PK time they only really surrendered one quality scoring chance against, a Jeff Carter breakaway, which was matched on the other end when Mike Santorelli went in all alone against Quick. Somehow, despite playing with one less player for essentially half of the period, the Canucks held an 8-7 advantage in shots on goal at intermission.

Those first 20 minutes of play – which seemingly took forever to actually unfold in real time – were something I don’t think I’ll soon forget. And that comes from someone who really isn’t a proponent of fighting. But this was something else.. this was awesome. It feels like Twitter was created for spectacles like this; I was feverishly refreshing my timeline the entire time, soaking in all of the witty repartee.

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Things did not die down in the 2nd period, as soon-to-be Olympic teammates Dustin Brown and Ryan Kesler fought just 6 seconds in. 

After that kerfuffle we saw Kevin Bieksa fight Matt Greene, which made Henrik Sedin laugh. Then we saw Daniel Sedin take a penalty on Drew Doughty, which also made Henrik Sedin laugh. Basically Henrik Sedin was having a lot of fun.

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.. and then we saw Dale Weise slewfoot Drew Doughty, which is when the fun sort of stopped. I don’t really have time for things like that, and I expect that he’ll be getting a call from Brendan Shanahan in the coming days. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing for the Canucks; Weise went on to take an idiotic, back-breaking penalty later in the 3rd period, and is quickly playing himself into a permanent spot in the pressbox. 

In true Hollywood form, Dustin Brown scored what wound up being the game winner just 24 seconds into the 3rd period. The Canucks didn’t really mount any sort of credible comeback attempt in the final 19+ minutes, which kind of makes the late power play opportunity they had even more egregious. For some reason completely unbeknownst to me they sent out Henrik Sedin on the right wall, Yannick Weber and Daniel Sedin on the points, and Kevin Bieksa as a net front presence. I don’t know.

The Numbers

Image via Extra Skater

Believe it or not but a hockey game was actually played in between all of that rough stuff, and by the numbers the Canucks more than held their own against the Kings. While the result was the same as the one from 8 days ago, everything else couldn’t possibly have done a more dramatic 180. Even before they started dominating the possession as score effects took over in their bid to tie the game up, they were neck-and-neck with the Kings in the shot attempt department. An admirable accomplishment.

I know there’s going to be some people out there that won’t be satsified with the loss, but just keep in mind that it’s an 82-game season, and falling in a game that played out the way this one did may not exactly be the worst fate. God knows we’ve seen enough mind-numbingly boring 2-1 victories over the past year or two in which the goaltender bailed them out. I appreciate the entertainment value of the spectacle we witnessed on this night.

By the looks of the postgame quotes from the players, they seem to agree with that, and appear to be rather satisfied with their effort despite the result:

Tom Sestito’s Curtain Call

.. and now it’s time for the main event. Forget everything I’ve ever said about Tom Sestito in the past, because I think he’s officially my hero. The man simply does it all, including posting the impressive stat-line of 0:00 time on ice, and 27 penalty minutes (which worked out quite swimmingly for anyone that listened to me and picked him up in their pool as a speculative PIM play).

Anyways, I told my followers to tweet me the ways in which Tom Sestito has changed their lives, and I got some good responses:

What can Sestito do for you? A lot, apparently. Take a bow Tom!

EDITOR’S NOTE: These teams meet again in Vancouver on April 5th (for the final time this season). After that, perhaps a playoff series..?

  • Cale

    Also, lots of embedded media combined with a 3.7MB gif make the site load super slow. Speaking of, you’re loading a 640×320 gif but displaying it in a 500×281 frame. Go here:

    and resize the gif to the size it’s being displayed at. While you’re at it, cut down on the colours. This:

    has been resized and optimized, and is less than half as big as the original let looks identical. That means your page will load something like 3-4 seconds faster, depending on the user’s connection. That’s a good thing.

    This page took 18 seconds to load, and I have a fast connection. That’s not a good thing. Go lighter on the embeds and gifs to make it load faster. And Vines are slow as shit. Try to make them not autoplay, as they’re taking 1s each to load.

  • pheenster

    If Doughty wasn’t setting a pick that probably wouldn’t have happened but yeah, that wasn’t a very nice thing for Weise to do. He’ll sit for a couple.

  • Cale

    So, given that Rogers Arena is generally regarded as having one of the lamest atmospheres and game experiences in pro sports (perhaps we think constant silence unnerves opposing teams), I have an idea.

    Next time the Kings roll into town the Canucks should give away stuffed turtles to every paying customer. That way fans can through them on the ice when a Kings players inevitably curls up in the fetal position when challenged to an altercation.

  • Brent

    Got mixed feeling on this one. Really great they were standing up for themselves and each other (Was Henrik throwing a lot of hits or what?) but you can take it to far. They were lucky they didn’t get scored on with all the power plays. And Sestito did perhaps go a little over the edge trying to fight with a wenie who was unwilling to fight. Good thing the wenie didn’t get hurt like Orpik or there may be a couple of suspensions. But what great penalty killing, that was impressive! Would have been better with the two points, but there are certainly positives here. Although Hamhuis wasn’t one of them, looked bad on the give away and not taking brown on the back check.

    Lets hope they put together another gritty effort against the Ducks, with less penalties!

  • acg5151

    Even though there’ll probably be a lot of “Trash It”s let me tell you, the Sestito bashing is getting kind of lame. How about we say something about 4,5mio$-man Burrows and how/if he can score his 1st goal of the season…

  • acg5151

    Great game. I wasn’t planning on watching, but glad I did!

    Let’s hope this doesn’t turn into one of those games that completely emotionally drains the team moving forward (think back to their game against Boston the season after they lose in the finals).

    • pheenster

      i was thinking the same thing throughout this game and had an inclination that perhaps what could fuel this team for the remainder of the season would be playing as passionately as they did and losing a close one. we’ll see.

          • Mantastic

            Well, here’s some news, they do! Like I’ve said over and over, your posts provide much amusement!

            Anyway, nice to see the prospects post on Hockey’s Future. It has been a long time since we’ve had so many decent prospects in the system. A reluctant slow clap for GM Gillis!

          • elvis15


            There’s a simple solution to your problem.

            Stop reading NM00’s posts.

            Stop responding to NM00’s posts.

            Stop reading replies to NM00’s posts.

            Stop responding to replies to NM00’s posts.

            You’ve established that you think NM00 is a troll. You’ve surely heard the expression “Don’t feed the trolls.” You can’t stop NM00 from posting. But you can ignore NM00’s posts.

            Your posts complaining about NM00’s posts have become more irritating than NM00’s original posts.

            And before anyone points it out, I’m fully aware of the irony of this post. But I hope my message gets through regardless.

  • acg5151

    I have to say, in the group of players that Tortorella has helped, I think we can put Tostito up there. The guy is playing like a legit NHLer and is becoming an enforcer who can actually play for us, which is something we have lacked for a while.

    I guess there is something to be said for patience.

  • acg5151

    This is a game that feels like it should have concluded with a player skating out to center ice and demanding to know if the spectators were not entertained like Russell Crowe in Gladiator.

  • acg5151

    Let’s be clear: you want and need two points against this team. That power-play really needs to turn it around.

    HOWEVER, when you man-up like that, respond to the Kings shenanigans and make Dustin Brown turtle, Jordan Nolan no-show and knock Matt Green out of the game [ :'( ] you have done something right.

  • acg5151

    It was a loss but it was a good loss. It has been a VERY long time since I’ve seen the Canucks ‘fight’ back. Loved it. NHL officials are the worst and you can’t rely on them for anything especially calling a good game. I wish we played the Queens a bit sooner!!!

    • Mantastic

      People have to find some reason to be positive since this isn’t a contender anymore.

      These regular season games against Chicago, Boston & Los Angeles mean WAY too much to Canuck fans…

        • Fred-65

          Yes, because that’s exactly what I said.

          The “lose the battle, win the war” nonsense won’t mean a thing when this team fails to win a playoff round for the third year in a row.

          But, hey, they showed “team toughness” so let’s ignore the fact that the goalposts have shifted from cup contender to wildcard contender…

          • Mantastic

            I stand by my reply to exactly what you said.

            Long season, lots can still change but I really enjoyed this one for what it showed for now and perhaps the future. Sure I think we still need a little help, but it’s nice to know at this point in the season we can at least stand in with the big boys and swing with them when it’s needed. Time will tell if this was a statement game, but it sure felt like one while I was watching it…which was nice.

  • Fred-65

    This game was the opportunity Archibald was looking for….he passed on his chance. This was supposed to fit your “style Archi” but you blew the chance. The good news is it likely gives Lain an opportunity

  • Mantastic

    That was amazing. Even more amazing when you consider our lineup. Dalpe on the top line. Richardson on the third (Healthy scratch for Kings last year). Kass barely played. Sestitio played 1 second.

    So fun to watch. We’d get massacred against the Hawks or Sharks if we did that though. We’re not close this year. Should be sellers at the deadline. Richardson, Santorelli and Tanev could bring back something interesting.

    The Sedins need a line mate who can actually contribute to their scoring. Getting sick of their line mates saying stuff like, “I’ll just go to the net and the’ll find me”. They’re not superstars anymore. With the Burrows model they’re excellent two way players, not elite scorers.

  • Fred-65

    Look, I know this is the more”cerebral” Canucks site and I truly enjoy that, but its also OK to enjoy the brute nature of the sport once in a while (or all the time for that matter).

    Cooking is my hobby and I consider myself to be a bit of a food snob. That doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally steal through the McDonalds drive thru for a Big Mac and fries and enjoy the hell out of it.

    It’s kind of nice to to just flat out enjoy a hockey game, which I did last night.