Sometimes, we think our team can and should beat everyone. That is a part of fandom, to believe that your team is the equal of any of the others. Sometimes, that means a game like this one. The final score certainly is an ugly one. But, as far as I know, it still only counts as two points.
There will be some interesting hyperbole and reactions to this one. Looking at the score is going to ensure that. But, the Canucks get a chance to put this one out of mind, with a zealous win of their own tomorrow, and if they don't, the hue and cry will really, really make the hyperbole and analysis machine smoke and shake. I recommend doing what the players do in these types of circumstances. Just "throw this one away". I believe the cliche is "you have to have a short memory..."
It certainly seemed that way at the start of this one. The Kesler line hit a post on their first shift. The Sedin line generated a decent chance for Hamhuis. But it would be the home team that opened the scoring in this one. It happened quickly, and with a little bit of a break.
A stanchion passed the puck right to Silverberg, and he set up Cogliano, who beat Lack on the very fisrt shot the Ducks had in this one. Your team just kept coming though. Santorelli had a decent chance, as did Higgins on the next shift. In fact, it was the Canucks that kept pushing the play after the opening goal.
Hell, David Booth showed the boss that he can play at both ends, and back checked like a demon to prevent a decent chance for the Ducks as well ! In fact, his line, with Santorelli and Weise, was pushing the play quite often early on.
It is a shame then, that Paul Devorski got fooled by a Beauchemin sell job on a non existent high stick on Zack Kassian. It simply wasn't a penalty, but then, everyone throwing their heads back like that ( human nature, I know ) , it makes it tough for the refs.
It is a good thing then, that the #1 penalty kill was on the ice. They didn't look like it as much, with lots of desperation and running around, but managed to draw a call on the Ducks at the end, and it was the Canucks' chance to go on the power play. Whic proceeded to almost give a goal to Getzlaf, on a beautiful rush and pass just as the PP started. Getzlaf better bury those in about a month or so from now.
What to say about the powerless play right now? I like Bieksa in front, I think he'll be good at that. They just can't seem to get set up. The best chance came right after it ended, when Anderson robbed Kesler in front on a real good chance to score. And that is how it went. More Canuck carrying of the play, interspersed with periods of Duck offensive zone time.
Which is what was happening when Edler got beat on a Perry break ( guys that score a lot are known to hang just over the defenseman's shoulder ) and tripped him. It prevented a great chance, but just delayed the inevitable, when a good set up, a point shot from Vatenen, and a nicely timed move through the slot by the Finnish Flash, as a puck that got a piece of Tanev was tipped by a helpless goalie. No chance for Lack there.
In fact, it was Lack who made a few good saves late, as the Ducks were energized after the 2-0 goal. The best Canuck line in the first, the Santorelli line with Booth and Weise, were flying late, and David Booth showed that quicks and had a couple good chances in close.
Shots : 11 - 11. Hits : 12 - 12. The Ducks had 60 % of the draws in the first, but Kesler was...
The 2nd Act
Torts is like AV in one respect. You play well, you get ice time, and Santorelli's Flyers. They almost got scored on, but Eddie Lack made the glove save, and it was the Sedin Elder, this time with Higgins and dalpe, and then the Kesler line with Daniel Sedin moving into Higgy's spot. The shake up did push the play with back to back shifts in the zone, and the fourth line held their own as well. So, everyone had a good first shift as they tried to get back into the game.
But, then, the Hockey Gods decided to get involved. Maybe they just decided it was time to get Joacim Eriksson some NHL ice time. There isn't a better explanation. Perry flung a puck towards the net out of the corner, on a pass, and Dan Hamhuis had the misfortune of the tipped "own goal" to make the task that much harder. 3-0.
It went from bad to worse, as Kevin Bieksa got a "too much man" penalty going to the net, bowling over Cogliano. Eriksson managed to feel the puck, on a decent save, but a Belesky AND Edler screen on a point shot from Bonino made sure the Swedish #2 didn't even see it, as he picked the corner. 4 - 0.
You can sure see which team is having problems scoring, and which isn't. The Canucks hadn't played horrible to this point, but the score sure didn't do them any favors. They did keep trying though, as that is part of this team's DNA. Henrik drew a hook from Koivu, and the Canucks powerless play got to at least try to throw it around. It's strange. Most of the same guys are here from the days of a #1 PP. They showed a few baby steps, ( a Bieksa tip in front went off Anderson's shoulder ) and then Hamhuis fell down, and Eriksson had to rob Silverberg on a 2 on 1, and then again on Koivu out of the box.
The "quality" of the chances sure was stark at the halfway point of this game, and with the Ducks pressing into the 11th minute, they were running around, had to ice it, and Torts had to call the time out. You could see Torts doing his best to calm then down.
They were able to do just that, and Santorelli's line began the push back, and The Sedins, with Hansen bak on the wing, continued, but they just could not really get a handle on the puck, or do much more than keep the zone time down.
Chris Tanev tried to throw a hard hit on Perry, and he did, but he also had the knee a bit too far forward, and the young defender had his 10th ( 10...in all his ice time ) minor of his career to date. That was a good call. The one on Kesler for pressuring the puck was not. It just wasn't. I agree with Cheech on this one. Are you kidding? In a 4-0 game, you call that as a 5 on 3 penalty? Wow. That's some cruel gangster shit.
So, whatever. Bonino got a chance and a goal. Watch the highlights. What a gift from the refs. It made the goal right after it five on five ensure this was "one of those night", as it bounced around. Eriksson made a save, but at this point, it was obvious that this wouldn't be the night the "streak" was broken.
Like I said though, kudos for not giving up. An Edler blast forced a good glove save, and the Twins pressure forced a Koivu penalty. How would the power play do this time? It actually looked good, until another shockingly good short handed chance. It was like "Oh **** it, it's 6-0, make a save rook'.", and Erikkson did, stoning Silverberg again on the night.
David Booth showed he is hungry, perhaps, as he had a shift late on that power play, with a strong power move to the net. He was saved by the goalie, but, Kassian had an empty net, as the force of the drive took the goalie away from the net. It was nothing. It was legal. It was what we need from Booth. But evidently the Ducks didn't think it "kosher", and Jackman challenged Sestito, who was happy to oblige, even going "come on" as Jackman seemed more intent on holding his clothing, before they got into their contribution to the festivities.
Shots - 23 - 21 for the Canucks? OK then. Hits were now 32-21 for the home team, and the faceoffs were only 52 % - 48 % for the Ducks after two. That 4 for 6 on the power play is what can happen. even to a #1 penalty kill.
Well, will you look at that ! David Booth plays well, and the coach puts him out with The Twins. Higgy went back with Kesler, and the third line stayed together. The Ducks were trying to put more on the scoreboard, if there was any thought to them sitting back. Cogliano had a breakaway that the goalie got a piece of, and the goalie tried to spring Perry, who was hanging at the blue line. I guess, if a team plays a certain way, why stop? Brude Boudreau is an "offensive coach"...even in a 6-1 game. He did it later on a pass to Jackman that didn't work either, so maybe it's just a set play with Anderson. " Smoke em if you got em !"
The Kesler line had a couple shifts that were strong, and so did the Santorelli line ( Dalpe there now ), but the way the Ducks counter, and the way the Canucks were giving up the middle of the ice, in their own zone, was the troubling part. Bonino had another perfect chance, but for the puck bouncing over his stick alone in the slot. They look for it all the time, and it was certainly apparent tonight.
What can you say? Another "Hockey Gods" goal came when Bieksa made a pass to Kesler, who fell down. Getzlaf got it to Perry behind the net, and all he did was shovel it at the net again, this time in an almost "change up" slow manner. Kevin Bieksa did the honours on the own goal, or at least it was the stick he was holding that it went off of. #Yeesh .
Frustration boiled over with about seven minutes left, as a Weber turnover led to Sesisto throwing a hit in front ( 5'5, and the guy was slapping at a goalie that had the puck. In a 7-1 game. Eriksson had the puck. ) Sestito had every right to bowl over Perreault. The Sestito "fight" was expected, but it was Hansen throwing pissed off shots at Vantanen. Of course, I am a Canuck writer, and I might be biased, but are you freaking kidding me Paul Devorski? A two man advantage, and another 7 minute power play? I've never seen this kind of bush league reffing in the NHL...well, never in a long long time. Jackman had his gloves off and was throwing punches, so was Vantenen, and these pinheads give the Ducks a 5 on 3 for seven minutes?
A joke. Dan O'Rourke, Paul Devorski, you guys suck. Kassian gets pissed off, and you send him to the room? He didn't do anything? Maroon sucked him, and you refs acted like you were in Bruce Boudreau's poker game every Friday night. Marron was LAUGHING at you ( and how he suckered Kassian ) The Canucks didn't take it lying down though, as Jackman jumped into a skirmish with the same Maroon. He was finally escorted off, but the two man continuied, and they scored two more meaningless goals.
Look, this game was a decent one, and closer than it looked in the first half. Credit the Ducks for taking advantage, and up to the 6-1, 7-1 part, I was OK with the loss.
But now, as I write this, I am just pissed off. All this is going to do is make the conspiracy theorists go nuts. One day after being lauded for "tough hockey", the Canucks, with one of the same refs in the striped shirt, were victim to, flat out, some calls so profoundly bizarre that they defy belief. It was two fights Paul Devorski and Dan O'Rourke. There were four sets of gloves on the ice, and all the guys were throwing them. The fact it was Sestito clearing the net ( and a guy is flippering away on a goalie with the puck in his glove, and you get pissed at the guy clearing him out? In a game that far gone? Yeah, right guys ) is irrelevant.
Let's hope they come out hard faced, determined, and pissed off,against Phoenix, with two new refs, and throw this one away.
Addendum : I don't usually put these in, because I figure you can go to the mothership anyhow. But this one, I agree ( and wrote it up almost the same way ) with everything he said...
And then there is Hamhuis...and he says the same thing, and I like what he said about motivation. Gotta do it on the ice, but...
Get right back at it !