Canucks Post-Game #Sixpack: Ouch...

Dec 19 2017, 8:43 pm

If the Vancouver Canucks were trying to prove that they belong in the upper echelon of the National Hockey League, Saturday night sure didn’t help their cause.

With a 2-1 record on their current road trip, things could definitely look more bleak for the Canucks. But with two stinkers against San Jose and Los Angeles, Vancouver has only one game left to prove they can skate alongside the deadly Californian teams.

While we await their final test of the road trip, why not kill some time with the Vancity Buzz Canucks Post-Game #Sixpack?

Final score: Kings 5 РCanucks 1

Canucks goals:

  1. Chris Higgins (3rd of the season) – Assisted by Linden Vey and Ryan Stanton

Kings goals:

  1. Marian Gaborik (1st of the season) – Assisted by Alec Martinez and Anze Kopitar
  2. Jake Muzzin (1st of the season) – Assisted by Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson
  3. Anze Kopitar (3rd of the season – Assisted by Marian Gaborik and Jake Muzzin
  4. Tyler Toffoli (7th of the season) – Assisted by Alec Martinez and Jeff Carter
  5. Jeff Carter (6th of the season) Assisted by Tyler Toffoli and Alec Martinez

1. Rough Start for Vancouver

Hockey is a funny sport.

On Thursday against the San Jose Sharks, the Canucks spent the majority of the first period running around like John Tortorella was still their coach and thoroughly embarrassed themselves in the process. And yet, perhaps by divine intervention, the Canucks managed to escape the first period tied 1-1 thanks to a last second Radim Vrbata goal. Vancouver would go on to get dominated in the Corsi battle but still squeak out a 3-2 victory, despite not deserving to be in the conversation.

Against the Kings, the Canucks actually showed up to play and looked pretty good in the early going. Following some missed power play opportunities, the Kings struck thanks to Marian Gaborik’s first goal of the season. Being down 1-0 is no big deal right?

Vancouver came right back at the Kings with a dominant shift from the third line and optimism was running high again…for about five more minutes.

The Kings finished the period with another couple of goals from Jake Muzzin and Anze Kopitar to lead the Canucks 3-0. This pretty much sums up how Vancouver fans felt:

2. CBC Throws The West Coast a Bone

Although I’m sure there was a reason that somehow revolves around the Toronto Maple Leafs, it was great to have former Canuck broadcaster Jim Hughson back calling a game on Saturday Night. Not that the commentary has been a big issue this season (in my humble opinion), but every now and again it’s good to get some playoff quality broadcasting.

In addition to Jim, we even got an interview with a special guest during the second intermission: Wayner!

The new Rogers Hockey Night in Canada has had its rough patches, but the one thing I haven’t felt is an issue is the commentary, minus last weeks game against Edmonton which was just cheerleading session for the Oilers.

The panel, however, remains a mystery:

For the record, I’m not a fan of Ron Maclean (for obvious reasons) but the one thing that he does bring, which can’t easily be replicated, is his knowledge of hockey and it’s heritage. You name some random town in Northern Manitoba and Maclean will tell some story, as if it’s common knowledge, about a journeyman plug from the 70’s that no one has heard about.

I think George Stroumboulopoulos will be fine, but it will require some patience. And if there is one thing that hockey fans have, it’s patience…

3. The Sedins and Vrbata Consciously Uncoupled

With the top line unable to get anything going offensively, Willie Desjardins did what pretty much everyone expected him to do at some point this season: Split the Sedins and Vrbata.

Fortunately, Alex Burrows is still hanging around with that “Put me in coach, I’m ready” look in his eyes. Never a bad thing to have that option and in a game like this, why the hell not?

It’s also a good opportunity to see what Vrbata and Bonino can do together on a slightly more beefed up second line.

Unfortunately, nothing came from the new line combinations. It will be interesting to see if Desjardins rolls out some different units tomorrow in Anaheim.

4. That 70’s Line

Hey guys, did you know the LA Kings have a trio of forwards called “That 70’s Line”? Because apparently they do:

Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson have been a fantastic line and have carried the Kings offensively in the early going this season. But like any shiny new rookie (say, Johnny Hockey) or new line combination in the NHL, the hockey media will not shut up about it.

We get it. That 70’s Line is good. But please stop talking about them or we’ll all have to collectively channel our inner Red Foreman:

5. One of Those Games

A 5-1 loss is bad enough, but when these games end with a rash of injuries, it just adds insult to, well, injury.

6. The Canucks Have Some Work To Do

We’ve been hearing all week about how this was going to be a defining road trip for the Vancouver Canucks. Going into Los Angeles on Saturday, the worst that Vancouver could do was a 2-2 record which, considering a quarter of the road trip was in California, is not a bad thing.

However, this road trip was meant to gauge how the Canucks stack up against the best of the Western Conference. So far, despite the win in San Jose, it doesn’t look too good for Vancouver moving forward. Just ask Willie:

One of the bigger issues is going to be the third line centre position.

The Canucks haven’t had anyone step up and take ownership over that position yet this season. But based on the way he has played so far, I would like to see Bo Horvat get an extended look on the third line. He is smart enough to handle the defensive side, but needs some decent line mates to put it all together.

At this point, it’s either Bo Horvat or General Manager Jim Benning will have to start making some phone calls.

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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