Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
So now the question becomes one of repetition.
Can the Vancouver Canucks duplicate that kind of superb effort — four, five, six or seven times, if necessary — in a potential playoff series against one of the so called ‘heavy’ teams?
To be sure, they walked into Staples Centre and beat the L.A. Kings in a game both teams needed desperatel,y and there were so many outstanding aspects to this tilt from a Vancouver standpoint it’s difficult to list them all and do them justice.
For starters, this gives Vancouver a decent chance to actually make the playoffs, and if and when they do, Eddie Lack will most certainly have had a huge say in this team reaching what has been their team goal all season.
And the best part about that will be how it will ruin the failure scenario likely already being hatched, particularly by media in other markets. It goes like this: “Canucks lose Ryan Miller and miss out on playoffs down the stretch without him.”
While Miller has been very solid this year and there are no complaints about his play whatsoever, the Canucks have had a tremendous goalie in Lack sitting for much of the season, and now he’s showing what he’s all about and certainly questioning the summer strategy of ripping his job away and spending $18 million for three years for a guy to play ahead of him.
Tyler Toffoli was assessed a five minute major for boarding and a game misconduct for crosschecking Alex Burrows from five feet into the boards on a line change.
Watch as Vancouver Canucks captain Henrik Sedin collides with Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick and Eddie Lack thinks about fighting.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
The Canucks have nine forwards in double digits in goals, two more at nine and another at eight, meaning they could have 12 forwards with at least 10 goals by the end of the season. You don’t think of the Canucks as an offensive juggernaut, but they’ve already scored more goals this season (197) than they did all of last season (196).
“It’s the four lines,” Hansen says. “(Desjardins) wants us to be a deep team. John’s thing was we have to win this game, then we’ll worry about the next game. He played some guys too much and didn’t trust the fourth line as much.”
“Maybe last year guys felt they didn’t need to show up because they were going to play for seven minutes,” says Henrik Sedin. “You can’t win that way.”
When they’re at their best, the Canucks also play with a speed and creativity that were completely missing last season. Bieksa says there’s more freedom this season. Desjardins also coaches with a lighter hand than his predecessor.
“He’s able to relate to guys in different ways,” Bieksa says. “He has a feel for the team.”
Which isn’t to say it’s Club Med around the Canucks. Desjardins doesn’t practise a lot but, when he does, he means business. The Canucks’ sessions are fast and demanding. Last season under Torts, not so much and the players believe that’s honed the team’s edge.
The Vancouver Canucks will likely be heading into the playoffs without their top goaltender.
According to TSN's Farhan Lalji, Ryan Miller will not start skating for at least three weeks which means by the time he is ready to return to game action, the team could be into the first round of the playoffs.
The 34-year-old Miller suffered a lower-body injury in late February when teammate Jannik Hansen crashed into him. The original timeline for the injury was 4-6 weeks. In his first year with the Canucks Miller has appeared in 44 games with a 28-15-1 record, a 2.47 goals against average, and a .913 save percentage.
All expectations now are that should the Canucks make the playoffs, Eddie Lack will be in net to start.
Kerry Frase of TSN answers an email...
In the Ducks-Canucks game, Patrick Maroon was going to take a tripping call. He turned to Kassian and said "let's go" as Kassian had been encouraging him to fight for 3 games. Maroon then quickly threw his stick down with a 'fake" gloves drop and then he put his hands over his ears and turned his back until he felt a punch, then he dropped the gloves and "drew" the even up call. Yes a good play on his part.....if you think all diving/embellishing is an acceptable play.
But my question is why do the refs fall for that? And do they like being shown up when they see it on replay? Should he get fined by the NHL for embellishment?
Turning to engage and invite an opponent to fight and then 'turtle' is definitely a form of embellishment that, in my opinion, is definitely worthy of a fine. A player that resorts to this in this type of unmanly behavior is doing so purely for the purpose of attempting to draw a penalty. A minor for unsportsmanlike conduct and/or misconduct penalty for "inciting" can also be imposed to a player that is guilty of this form of conduct (Rule 75.4 iii & v).
We shouldn't just focus our attention on Patrick Maroon here for his successful attempt to draw Zack Kassian into incurring a penalty. The game footage shows that Maroon turned and said something to Kassian, faced the Vancouver player and did drop his stick prior to using his gloves as ear-muffs. This was an absolute 'dumb' penalty for Zach Kassian to incur and negate a Canuck power play when Maroon was being whistled for tripping Henrik Sedin.
read on and watch the incident below...
from Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea,
The Sharks (32-26-8, 72 points) remain four points behind Calgary for third place in the Pacific Division and an automatic playoff berth, and six behind the second-place Canucks. The Kings are in fourth with 75 points, and each of those division rivals has a game in hand on San Jose, which fell to just 15-15-5 at home.
It’s not looking good.
“It’s painful because it’s a team we’re chasing in the standings,” Wingels said. “These opportunities, there’s not too many more of these. They slip away.”
Joe Pavelski said: “It was our biggest game to date. We got the start we want and we get the lead, and we give it away slowly. We can be better than that.”
Watch the game highlights below...
from Ryan Kesler at The Players' Tribune,
I wanted a trade out of Vancouver this offseason for several reasons. That’s no disrespect to the fans, my teammates, or Canucks ownership, but I think both sides needed a change. I’ve got three kids at home; I just wanted a more normal life for them away from the rink. Playing in Canada can be a fishbowl not just for players but for families, too. That said, this was really hard. I know you read that all the time, but Vancouver was my home since I was 19. I grew up with Kevin Bieksa, Alex Burrows, and the Sedins. These guys will always be my close friends. One day you wake up and you realize, Wow, I’m really leaving my buddies. It’s weird because I spent all summer preparing for a move, but when I actually got the call from my agent that I was headed to Anaheim, a little bit of anxiety rushed in.
My first thought was: Sunshine. Shorts and flip flops. Nice.
My second thought was: Getzlaf and Perry. Interesting.
Then came a rush of really complicated thoughts: How am I going to tell my 6-year-old daughter that she has to say goodbye to her best friends? What happens with my Canadian bank account? How do those taxes work? Where do I live? How do you even move furniture and stuff?
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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