Darryl Sutter used to coach in the Federal League, didn't you know? A fun way to ring in 2012 huh?
NHL ( their recap...click around there later and I am sure they will give you the clips. )
- You don't get the Full Monty recap tonight folks, as its a holiday, and honestly, I don't really feel like getting into a whole "Canucks are not tough enough", or "Run the Sedins for fun and profit" schtick like Mark Lee was trying to sell at high volume. I will say this. I love Cassie Campbell. She played high standard hockey, and she was right. Her discounting of Lee's continual desire to couch the game in terms like that was wonderful to see. She can definitely stay. He should definitely go. Not so much because he seems to have a negative thing for the Canucks, we are used to embracing that shit. But because he is inept. He is behind the play, gets things wrong constantly, and yells incoherently at the wrong times. Come on CBC. If my tax dollars are going to be spent on this, at least give me someone that I am not scrambling to find a way to mute and sync up the radio to avoid.
- Where do you start? Well, like Cassie pointed out, the slewfoot on Henrik Sedin when Dustin Brown is a good place to start. That sure looked like something that they got together on beforehand. Or perhaps Mike Richards was skating by at "just" the right time in an act of serendipity. Not to make it about the refs, but they blew it on several occasions tonight. That one time was the start though. Not calling that attempt to injure the captain sort of put a tone to the game. ( FTR, it is about the only play I am still steaming about. I doubt Mike Gillis reads NM, but if he did, Please Mike, throw some weight around at the league for that one. Its an attempt to injure a superstar, and again, its not "tough". Its dirty. Big Frank throws enough money into the revenue sharing pot. He should get something for his ...and our ...millions!)
- Thats fine. I love physical hockey. Henrik did not complain in his interview between periods. Same with the hit by Richardson after a goal. Dale Hunter got suspended for a long time for doing something similar to a guy ( albeit the guy that scored, its not totally the same ), but that was Hansen Brothers bullshit again.
- For all that, let us not make this game about whether the Canucks stood up. They did, all night. It is not their fault that the refs were calling it the way they were. Also, let us not get all Chicken Little about it either. Honestly, I think the team got a little surprised at the dirty play at first, but they pushed back just fine. Part of our teams' game is to make them pay on the power play. It went 0 for 4. Part of that was the way it was called on the ice. I always feel it is tough for us to get the full "nuances" of the game on TV in that regard as well. As 24/7 has taught us, there is a lot of conversation on the ice. I do think Burrows getting the only call on one play for protecting Daniel Sedin could have been evened up, and that the refs definitely blew it when they gave Keith Ballard a minor after Richardson's oh so tough ( thats the thing people, its not tough. THESE refs let some shit go. The next two might have an entirely different take, and penalize the dirty play more...there is not much you can do but try to play through it and win on the PP. The Canucks did the former, but could not make the latter work tonight. )
- Enough about that. The Kings won because the Canucks did not wake up to the roughhouse tactics soon enough, and looked a little tired. Kudos to the Kings. They played hard. They deserved the win, even with the shenanigans. They had a huge edge in shots after one ( 15-7) dominated the faceoffs (16-7 after one, 26-15 after two, and 37-23 overall ) Roberto Luongo was not the problem either. He kept his team in it long enough, they just could not capitalize on their chances. Perhaps a goal when Edler hit the post when they were on the PP and it was 3-1 could have changed things...maybe not.
- The wags will go after the second goal, but that looked like bad luck ( losing the stick, and having Ballard handing him his at the exact time Greene shot the puck ). The third goal was a close play at the line, but onside I hear ( though CBC never once showed us the replay ), and Kopitar waited Luongo out. It was not "he went down on his belly and it went in". That is the quickest way he could get across, and the defenders played that horribly as well. There were defensive lapses all over the ice for the Canucks, but especially in their own end. Lui may have covered a few pucks better at times that led to chances and a goal, but the defenders have to do a better job of locating the puck and clearing it. Even on the second goal that came froma loose puck, Daniel Sedin had a chance to clear and went for a little pass that was checked instead.
- Finally. Stop diving Drew Doughty. I read the comments in the game thread, and was aghast to see a couple comments about Ryan Kesler staying down too long after his chin was split open. It made me shake my head a bit. That tends to hurt, and he was bloodied pretty good, not trying to get a call. The Doughty one on Raymond was just embarrassing. He once again sucked a ref in and laughed about it later. This is not the same player I saw at the 2010 Games and thought was a stud defenseman. Its a player fast getting a rep as a huge diver, and someone that instead of using his many talents, is taking the easy way. Referees look at the games with their bosses, and you can bet that Brian Pochmara and Kelly Sutherland ( decent enough refs usually, but they will get a less than passing grade from Terry Gregory or whomever evaluates their work ) will notice the splay out after minimal stick contact by Raymond and know they got snookered. When even Cassie Campbell is calling you on it on National TV Drew, you have a problem. Maybe you can get a few sessions with "Dr. Drew " and work it out...maybe get on his TV show...
- Happy New Years one and all. Embrace The Hate and all that. Have a safe and happy holiday. You can bet that the team will be up for the next one at home versus the Sharks. Expect another physical game. Something tells me that the NHL will make sure ( or at least try to ) that this one is a bit more in control. Federal League hockey is not the best way to sell the game....and that one is on at 5 pm our time. I would assume that means it gets more exposure back East. Unless they secretly want a gong show!