I've been reading some comments in the game thread that the Canucks aren't going to the net hard enough, aren't trying. I really don't think that's it. I think they are trying. The Kings are just too big and structured defensively for this team to create offense against them right now, with the team as it currently is.
Daniel Sedin is out. That's one of your top weapons gone. Ryan Kesler is as of now overrated offensively. He was great last year, but this season and right now, he is a 20 goal, 55 point type of guy, he's not a star, you can't rely on him for consistent offense every night. He carried the second line last season. The Canucks were always inferior to the other western contenders in terms of their 2nd line wingers. Higgins, Raymond, even getting Booth this season, Higgins is a great fill in for his great cap hit, but he's not a true second line winger, definitely not a great one. Neither is Raymond. Booth has the highest potential of all of them, but even he's not a great second line winger. So this team was always behind in 2nd line wingers, but Kesler was able to rescue the second line from mediocrity. He gave them a huge advantage, having a 1st line quality scorer on their second line.
But now that Kesler has regressed from a 40 goal guy to a 20 goal guy, that 2nd line has no one to carry it. Kesler just isn't good enough right now to make up for the below-average 2nd line wingers he's always had to play with.
So the 1st line is missing its best scorer, and the 2nd line is mediocre because Kesler has regressed so much. There goes the majority of your offense.
Another way to look at it. The Canucks at their best last season got most their offense from three guys: Henik, Daniel, and Kesler. Right now, 2/3 of that is either out of the series completely, or nowhere near as good. Hard to recover from that.
And who else is there now to make up the slack? Hansen and Higgins or Raymond will chip in here and there on the third line, but that line lost a lot of its offensive potency when Hodgson was traded. Thats what happens when you trade your best depth scorer, you find yourself in a playoff series dying for some more scoring, and you don't have it. Pahlsson was invisible all of game 1, and for most of game 2 tonight. The Canucks may have finished the season on good run in terms of wins and losses because they were so good defensively, but the offense just wasn't the same after trading Hodgson.
And now you have Andrew Ebbett on the second powerplay unit. Don't really have to say anything else about that one.
Then you consider the defense. Ehrhoff wasn't an amazing defenseman 5on5, but you could see all season that none of the other Canucks defenseman could run the powerplay like he could. Edler is unquestionably more talented than Ehrhoff, but running a powerplay is also about smarts and savvy, understanding the system. Ehrhoff was just better at it, a big part of it, and he's gone.
When the Canucks lost Hodgson, they knew they lost a lot, but the idea was they were supposed to get a power forward element back that was not just better than anything they had last year, but better than what Hodgson brought. Well it's not the latter, and it's not even the former. The Canucks never even replaced Torres. Getting Kassian was supposed to be on another level, a top 6 power forward, forget Torres. Well now Kassian can't even match what Torres brought in the bottom 6. Torres, Lapierre, Hansen was a great line for the Canucks last postseason, and they miss that element.
So there are a lot of things happening right now that have resulted in a 2-0 Kings lead, but I don't think lack of effort is one of them. The Kings are just the better team so far. Bigger, more physical, much better defensively, with their own offensive weapons. The Canucks just don't have a talent like Jeff Carter on their second line wing. The Canucks cant find any space out there no matter how hard they try.