Morning Buzz: Canucks pushed to the brink; Pens and Flyers get nasty; Shanahan hands out suspensions

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 15: Dustin Brown #23 of the Los Angeles Kings gets sandwiched between Keith Ballard #4 and Kevin Bieksa #3 of the Vancouver Canucks in a fight in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center on April 15, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

The Canucks are down 0-3 in their first round playoff series against the Los Angeles Kings. That is really all that needs to be said right now. Alain Vigneault's "one game at a time" mantra has become a self-fulfilling prophecy; it's now literally all the Canucks have. It's frustrating, because the team has played two pretty damn good games in a row. Spinal Tap taught us that "it's such a fine line between stupid and clever", and such is the line between winning and losing in the playoffs.

I'll let the links tell the rest of the story. I'm predicting a lot of talk over the next two days about Alain Vigneault's job security, the Cody Hodgson trade, and who will be our #1 goaltender next season.


Vancouver Canucks News & Notes

Check out the Game 3 recaps from CanucksArmy, PITB, and the Legion of Blog, if you feel like reliving it.

Darryl Sutter of all people had a good quote on how close this series has been, despite the 3-0 Kings lead: "Every game's been so different. I thought we deserved to win Game 1 . . they deserved to win Game 2 and tonight was a coin toss." | Brad Zeimer

There isn't much to be positive about right now, but Thomas Drance attempts to "spin it like Henrik". | CanucksArmy

Three quick notes from Game 3, on Henrik's clairvoyance, loading up a line and Kassian's icetime. | HTTN

Three more notes, these ones from The Province's Jason Botchford. Interesting bit here: "Quick may be the best goalie in the series, but if he had been playing for the Canucks, Vancouver is still down 3-0." | The White Towel

Dustin Brown's huge hit on Henrik Sedin was a game changer last night, made all the worse when Brown scored the game-winning goal. | The Province

Tim Wharsnby draws parallels between the series against the Kings and the Bruins a year ago. | CBC

As I mentioned, there will be a lot of people questioning the Hodgson-for-Kassian deal Mike Gillis pulled at the trade deadline. As Richard Loat points out, it's a little early for that. | CHB

NHL News & Notes

Near the end of another Philadelphia blowout over Pittsburgh yesterday, Elliotte Friedman suggested that Sidney Crosby should be taken out of the game. | CBC

Sid's post-game comments pretty much sum up where the Penguins' heads are at:

In the Rangers / Senators series, Carl Hagelin was suspended 3 games for his elbow to the head of Daniel Alfredsson, and Matt Carkner received a game for pummeling a helpless Brian Boyle into submission.

The inconsistencies between suspensions has been puzzling, and Shanny joined a radio show yesterday and attempted to explain himself. | PD

It's been confirmed that Alfredsson suffered a concussion from the Hagelin hit, but he could still play in Game 3 today. | Sportnset

A trifecta of Game 3's tonight: NY vs OTT, BOS vs WSH and SJ vs STL.

Imagine this for a second: a Philadelphia Flyers / Los Angeles Kings Stanley Cup Final. That would be a dream for the NHL. Two big markets going head-to-head, plus the storyline of having Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Shenn going up against their former teams. Based on how each team has manhandled the supposed Stanley Cup favourites in the first round so far, it's not outside the realm of possibility.

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