GIF via the Score
In case you missed Wednesday night’s game in Anaheim and are wondering how it went for the Canucks, I think you can use John Tortorella’s reaction above as a pretty reliable guide. It sums things up fairly adequately. Just extrapolate it into nearly 3 hours worth of self-deprecating viewing, and you’ve got yourself a good synopsis!
We’ll sort through the wasteland following the 9-1 defeat just past the jump. If you’re not sure whether you should click or not, I promise that this right here is the last time you’ll see the terms "moral" and "victory" next to each other (as that was probably the only thing beaten into the ground more than the Canucks on this night).
The Rundown All of the Bad Things that Happened
When you give up 9 goals, I guess you can expect that this section would feature a laundry list of things.. and, well, it does. For the sake of brevity let’s run the mess that led to the result:
It’s hard to make excuses for what happened when you lose by 8 freakin’ goals, but I still feel the need to point out that the first period was littered with unfortunate bounces from Vancouver’s perspective. Ryan Kesler rang iron on the first shift of the game just a few seconds in. A simple dump-in hit the stanchion, got by Jason Garrison, and went right to Jakob Silfverberg who set Cogliano up for the opening goal. Yannick Weber and Kesler both badly fanned on nice opportunities with a chance to the game on a 1st period PP.
The Canucks had a 20-11 shot attempt advantage with just a couple of minutes left in the opening frame, but couldn’t get out of the period without conceeding a PP goal by Teemu on a nice little tip-in. Whatever could’ve gone wrong, went wrong.. so we thought. But then there was so, so, so much more to come.
Like, for example, the Glen Gulutzan feature that ran during the 1st intermission. What on earth was that? I know that Sportsnet tapes and preordaines these things well in advance but I still find it comical that they ran that considering the state of the team’s PP. Gulutzan’s sole job on the team is to manage that unit, and I’m putting it nicely when I say that it’s a complete and utter mess. Kevin Bieksa in front of the net, and Alex Edler not being able to sniff the top unit. There’s thinking outside of the box and then there’s.. whatever that is.
Corey Perry scored off of Dan Hamhuis’ stick early in the 2nd – one of a couple own goals for the Canucks, en route to a particularly forgettable night for Hamhuis – signalling an early shower for Eddie Lack. Lack came into this game with a 2.12 GAA and .924 save % in his first 18 NHL appearances while saving the team big-time with all of Luongo’s injury woes, so I think some perspective is in order here. These nights happen occasionally to the best of ’em.
Unfortunately, the timing was crappy, because it meant that Joacim Eriksson was thrust into a pretty miserable situation. He wound up giving up 5 goals on 31 shots, but as crazy as it sounds to say it things could’ve gone a lot worse given the way the team in front of him played. It was about as listless as it gets, and he made a couple of real nice stops. I was under the impression that Luongo would potentially be back for tomorrow’s game, but they were talking on the broadcast about how John Tortorella was trying to encourage Eriksson by letting him know that he’d get another (more fair) chance tomorrow v. Phoenix, so I guess we’ll see?
Then this happened in the 3rd period:
Ho boy. As if Paul Devorski’s performance recently hasn’t been embarrassing enough, he was caught on camera by our good friend The Stanch. What a fudging packhole. I quite frankly still don’t understand how Tom Sestito and Jannik Hansen were each given fighting majors with nothing going up on the board for Anaheim.
The result was a 7 minute 5-on-3, on which the Ducks scored 2 of their 6 PPGs for the night. Following all of the carnage, the Canucks have now fallen to having the 3rd best PK in the league (behind Pittsburgh and New Jersey). In case you needed more evidence that we should just burn the tapes, Chris Tanev took a minor penalty for just the 4th time this season.
All of the Good Things that Happened
.. Um, there were a couple of good things (relatively speaking of course).
a) David Booth’s showing. He was particularly awesome in the 1st period, with one memorable sequence in which he ran down Nick Bonino and dislodged him off of the puck (without taking a penalty), before going back down the other way and nearly scoring. Him and Santorelli combined for a handful of really dangerous chances, and Booth ultimately wound up setting up the team’s only goal (a PPG by Kassian) with a hard drive to the net. He was also on the ice for 24 shot attempts for, and only 5 against at 5v5. Impressive.
We discussed in the pregame about how this could be a short leash, 1-game audition of sorts for Booth, and following this outing it’s damn near impossible to envision him being taken out of the lineup for anyone tomorrow night. As is always the case with Booth though, anything is possible and we need to take it on a game-by-game basis so that we don’t get ahead of ourselves.
b) Alex Edler laying out Corey Perry early on, while we all still had the ability to smile:
c) This screenshot from NHL.com by Mark Hamilton made me laugh. That’s probably not an optimal formation, I’d say. The Canucks may’ve lost their claim to the top PK unit in the league, but they now have the league’s top PIM player on their team; Tom Sestito, with 49 in the past 2 games, now has 152 on the year which is 43 more than Antoine Roussel.
The Booth-Santorelli-Weise unit was very effective, but when your 4th line is the team’s focal point, that’s a bad sign:
Image via Extra Skater
Fortunately for the Canucks and their fans, this loss won’t get to marinate for too long with a game against the Coyotes on the schedule tomorrow night. The Coyotes are currently battling with the Wild for the 8th seed in the West (4 points behind, 3 games in hand) but Mike Not Jonathan Bernier Smith has been a trainwreck of late. Meanwhile the Canucks head home following Thursday night’s game for Calgary, Edmonton, and Nashville so that’s as good a chance of any to help clear the mind of this performance.