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A "Those Guys" Game Recap ( 5-1 L )

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The Canucks went out on this four game road trip with portents of doom swirling. Never mind that they were 8-4 and playing well. The pundits and panel folks from back East had declared, "you haven't beaten anyone yet..."

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

So, after wins in Colorado and San Jose, and the guarantee that this "road trip from Hell" will end with no less than a .500 record on it, the Canucks rolled into Staples for a date with the Kings.

With a few guys aching, a couple guys game time decisions, and Zack Kassian definitely out for this one, and their opponents struggling and shorthanded themselves ( more from their own self inflicted problems.  Slava Voynov's domestic "situation" having put them in a Cap pickle ), who knew what to expect from this one ?

Een

You would think that when you give up an early power play, that is not good, and the Canucks did just that.  It was a weak call on Bo Horvat, but they happen, so you just have to buckle down.  The Canucks withstood it, even though Richards tipped one off the post, and then had a glorious opportunity of their own, getting an early power play right afterwards.  They threw it arounf well, but Vrbata fanned on a great set up, and then after a Burrows chance was thwarted by a hook in the hands, they had an even better chance, with a five on three for 29 seconds.

The Kings killed it well, and Doughty in particular made a huge block on Edler.  They then came on themselves, and a chance that was saved fell to Gaborik. With both Stanton and Edler standing right there, he put the rebound into the open net for a 1-0 lead. It all started off of a Kopitar face off win, but the Canucks had chances to get that puck out before the shot.

It got worse.

After a light hit by Bieksa on Brown brought the typical "throw myself into the boards and throw the head back theatrically", the puck made it's way back to the point, and a Jake Muzzin shot was simply whiffed on by Ryan Miller's glove hand.  He should have had that one, but suddenly the team that was struggling to score was up 2-0.

It got worser.

With Drew Doughty just walking the line on what is a penalty, with some interference along the boards, the Kings took advantage of the non penalty call, and Anze Kopitar ( another struggling to score King, suddenly getting healthy on our boys... ) took a shot from an angle that Miller perhaps could have handled.  But he did not, and the high, hard shot went post and in for a 3-0 lead for the home team.

- The Canucks were outshot 11-6, outhit 10-9, and lost the face off battle 9-7.  They could not take advantage of the 7 giveaways ( to 3 for the Canucks ) the undermanned King committed, and were simply outplayed in a first period that, if this was San Jose, the goalie would have made sure the score was probably only 1-0.  But this is not to blame the goalie.  He could have been better.  But he did not get a lot of help either.

Twee

The Canucks did not come out any stronger in the second, as the Kings used the momentum of the first period score to run up the zone time in the Canuck end.  The best line for the team to this point in the game might ahve been the Horvat, Richardson, and Matthias trio, and they were the only ones that had some push back in the early going.

Thank goodness that the Staples crew are horrible. Unlike the Canuck crew, who dealt with the same kind of glass problem in the last home game in a jiffy, the Kings' guys had the Larry, Curly and Moe act going, causing a lengthy break to give them a time out.

They looked a bit better after the "timeout".  Some of that might have been "score effects", as the leading team often lets off a bit, but at least the team was competing more on an even keel ( the hockeystats.ca graph disagreed though. Check out the graph, and that black line running away from the blue one ! #yeesh ! )

The Kings then took advantage of the "best" ( relative term tonight ) Canuck line not being able to get the puck out, and controlled the puck, with Toffoli tipping a point shot for a 4-0 lead.

The score could have been better, as a Sedin set up of Hamhuis should have been a  goal. But Quick got help from his little red friend, and the score remained 4-0.

How shitty was this night ? Down 4-0, the Canucks fourth line decided to start laying the lumber, to at least get the "pound of flesh" against the undermanned defense.  So, Derek Dorsett tries to drill McNabb, and ended up doubled over going to the bench.  Hell, Willie D' even took Vrbata off the Sedin line, and put Burrows there. ( although that could be injury related )

The visitors were doing things that they had not done much of in the early going of this season, backing off the blue line like this was the 1972 Russians coming at them. ( Even when Trevor Lewis got the stick up on Horvat, late in the period, and the Canucks had a power play, to at least try to draw closer, it did not feel like the visiting team would threaten.  You have to get these guys out of your heads boys ! )

The first unit could not do much though, and the second unit did little as well, though each unit at least got a point shot on net !  A late Sbisa turnover was thwarted, and what seemed like the umpteenth ( that means there was a lot of them tonight ) odd man rush followed in the last few seconds, though this one was denied as well.  The Kings sure seemed to have the Canucks number through two periods ( ahh, time, I remember when this team was absolutely owned by the Canucks.  I guess this is part of what happens when a team finishes at the bottom of the league for years, and drafts high and WELL.  Credit the organization though.  The Kings have won two Cups in recent years.  The Oilers have had the same shitty performance right now, and they can't get out of the West basement ! )

- With the Canucks now leading the hit stat 18-14, and the faceoffs even at 18 apiece, it may have looked slightly better on the stat sheet.  But imagine if Toffoli had not missed 5 shots through two periods ! Most of those were on odd man, and scrambled chances, but it says something when one player has missed as many shots as your team !  The Kings outshot the Canucks 22 -12 through two, but the shot attempts were even more lopsided. Add in the missed shots and blocks, and the tally was 41-26 for the home team after tow periods.

Drie

Willie Desjardins then got the folks that had been wondering if Miller should start both games wondering if maybe he would start tomorrow against Anaheim, as Eddie Lack was in the net to start the third.  ( I think he will, with Lack playing the third, FWIW )

It did not matter.

After a shift where the Canucks were putting on a little pressure, a set play out of a defensive zone face off, Tyler Toffoli took advantage of a rare Christopher Tanev mistake. Tan Man jumped up into the neutral zone, Toffoli poked the puck perfectly to Carter, and with two guys hooking him, he went back across the goalie, and post and in, for a 5-0 score.

Want another perfect example of the douchebaggery of the Kings ?  They were owning this game, and a Daniel Sedin check on the stick at the point on Doughty MAY have caught some of his hand. MAYBE !  It was not a hard slash at any rate, but Doughty shook his hand, oh so dramatically ( the ref ignored it...they are onto you guys this year L.A ) ,like it was broken, and then went after him after the whistle with way too much vigour for such a play, like he was hurt or something.. The whining was easy to see, all the way from Vancouver through the TV.  It was a hockey play.  It happens all night, every night. Hell, you did it to Richardson in this game as well ! He just did not "Hollywood" it like you do all the time... ( guess who did not miss a shift either? Drew Doughty.  Because it was nothing . ) .  It was NOT a hard slash, and your team was up 5 zip Drew.  Typical DB play, from one of the most supremely talented douchebags in the NHL.  Enough. Show some class...it is this kind of shit that is the reason why folks hate your team.  ( Excuse me if that offends any Kings fans reading this. It was a frustrating night, and I have played enough hockey to know that Doughty was fine, and just being an asshole. Sorry you have such a talented asshole on your team. There...all better ? )

The Canucks at least killed the shutout, as a shot attempt by Vey was blocked by Muzzin right to Higgins, who buried it in the open net for a 5-1 score. Small mercies.

We also did not see any of Radim Vrbata in the third. Whether that was the nagging injury from a previous game, or just a coaching decision, will have to wait for the starting line up tomorrow.

The Burrows / Doughty battle ( Burrows being the one that was most pissed off, rightly, by this result. Good for you for showing the fire Burr ' ) drew a power play for the home team, but the visitors at least remained perfect on the kill in this one.

So, the better team won this one, and the stats are going to look bad.  But they are now 2-1 on a "road trip from hell", and while outplayed and outscored, the Canucks perhaps deserved a slightly better fate.  Maybe if they score on that 5 on 3...?  It has to be said.  The better team won tonight.  I may detest these guys, and the douchebag ( sorry for that word throughout this recap.  It is the only one that really fits the Kings, and paints the picture of this team in one word... ) way that they play the game, but they sure were effective on this night.

What is more troubling is the fact that Derek Dorsett and Lucas Sbisa could not finish this game, and Radim Vrbata as well.  We do not know the nature of their physical ailments, but that is a fair number of starters that may be injured, or not 100 % going into tomorrow night against the Ducks.

While that is not an excuse, and with their being 4 games in 5 nights, perhaps these things were inevitable, it may not bode well for tomorrow night, and the game in Anaheim.

Still, 2-2 at the worst.  You would have taken that on this 4 gamer if they told you that was the result before they left Vancity. Remember the St Louis game last year ?  They came off a bad looking loss and owned a West "powerhouse" the next night.  Hell, they do not even have to fly to their next game !

Addendum

No "Willie Said", as the video takes longer for the mothership on road games sometimes.

There is this though...interesting...