Canucks Post-Game SixPack: March Madness Matinee

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It’s been a struggle against the Kings for the last several years, but playing LA this year has been especially frustrating. After a 4-0 trouncing just last week, the Vancouver Canucks were looking for some revenge in southern California.

Playing the LA Kings is difficult for the Canucks. I was searching for an adequate analogy, but Wyatt expressed it better than I ever could.

However, the Canucks came to play in this one. A regulation win against the Kings would go a long way and there was no room for the patented “moral victory”. Clearly, Willie and the boys felt the same way.

Final score:  Canucks 4 – Kings 1

Canucks Goals

1. Nick Bonino (13th) – ASST: Radim Vrbata & Kevin Bieksa

2. PP – Radim Vrbata (27th) – ASST: Alex Edler & Yannick Weber

3. EN – Daniel Sedin (16th) – Unassisted

4. SHG – EN – Bo Horvat (13th) – Unassisted

Kings Goals

1. PP – Marion Gaborik (22nd) – ASST: Drew Doughty & Anze Kopitar

1. Early Excitement

It didn’t take long for things to get going… Lots of hits, plenty of action (most of it in the Canucks zone), and several big hits. There was even a goal waved off. Eddie Lack “played” the puck to Dan Hamhuis which led to the chance. Jeff Carter may be applauded for his impressive hand-eye coordination, but the would be tally was waved off immediately. Here’s the reaction from Canucks fans:

The important thing to remember is it didn’t count… take a breath, guys.

The closest the Canucks came to putting one in the back of the net during the first period was a trickler that was unceremoniously spanked off the goal line by Matt Greene and Jake Muzzin.

2. Tale Of Two Power Plays

The Canucks had an opportunity to open the scoring halfway through the first period after former King Linden Vey drew a penalty. Unfortunately, a Canucks power play that has become the brunt of every joke was just that… A shorthanded breakaway and 2-on-1 highlighted the man advantage and Twitter responded appropriately.

Before this game, the Canucks were tied with Toronto Maple Leafs for the 21st ranked power play in the league. Any time you are tied with Leafs, it’s really not a good thing.

Well, things did end up getting better in the third. After the major penalty to Toffoli for boarding, Radim Vrbata roofed one while the Canucks were up two men.

Nobody was too impressed though, mostly because Vancouver hasn’t been all that impressive this year even with the two-man advantage. There was nothing notable about the rest of the extended power play. Darn.

3. Not-So-Rotten Ronny

The Canucks “fourth line” featuring Jannik Hansen, Bo Horvat, and Ronny Kenins was once again among Vancouver’s best. Their upbeat and physical style matches up nicely against the Kings and while Desjardins hasn’t put any of them on the power play yet (much to Ryan’s chagrin), he continues to put them out in difficult situations.

During the first intermission, Sportsnet aired a feature on Ronalds Kenins that told the story of the 24 year old rookie, following him from Latvia, to Switzerland, and finally to North America. He played for former Canucks head coach Marc Crawford’s Zurich Lions in the Swiss Elite League as well as the Latvian national team. While that’s all well and good, the main takeaway from the feature was this gem.

4. Anze Kopitar Reaches 600

After Dan Hamuis took an ill-advised roughing penalty on Dustin Brown and it didn’t take long for the Kings to take advantage on the power play. Just 7 seconds after Kopitar won the draw, Marion Gaborik took a wrist shot that deflected off of Chris Tanev and past a screened (by Alex Edler) Eddie Lack.

Not only did it break the goalless tie, it was also Kopitar’s 600th career point. Say what you want about the Kings, and I know most of you do, but Kopitar has been one of the more impressive players in the league over the last five or six years. His dominance in the face-off circle (as exhibited on this goal), strong defensive play, and propensity for timely goals/assists have made him one of the most coveted LA assets.

5. Sweet Emotion

This game, with all of its implications, did have a “playoff feel” about it. These teams have never really liked each other and it appears to have spilled out into the fanbases.

Bill probably hates cupcakes, puppy dogs, and the cool side of the pillow too. Our very own Mike Stefanuk even got mixed up in things… Surprise, surprise.

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 17.46.55

 

Nice try, Mike.

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 17.53.45

I’m glad we sorted that out. Back to the game.

After Henrik Sedin barreled into Jonathan Quick over a contested puck, the Kings hotheaded net minder came up swinging. Everybody was in on it… well, almost everybody.

While I think I speak for most when I say I would have liked to see how this shook out, I’m sure we all know how unlikely Eddie Lack is to drop the glove and blocker. I’m also sure we’re excited to see his post-game reaction.

6. #windaturd

Things didn’t get any more amorous when Tyler Toffoli channeled his inner Claude Lemieux and drove Alex Burrows into the boards after a dump in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDv_XTgu2gY

While the ensuing power play did produce a goal, it was the protection of the lead that impressed many. In fact, the Canucks kept the foot on the pedal and outshot the Kings by a 2 to 1 margin (16 shots). Daniel Sedin and Bo Horvat added empty netters and the Canucks  skated to an impressive 4-1 victory. Horvat’s goal was technically a shorthanded marker too. Just sayin’…

https://twitter.com/Mack_n_Tosh/status/579394361013719041

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Lachlan Macintosh : Vancouver Island Native. Harvard Graduate. Recreational sports standout. Above average cook. Below Average fantasy football player.
@Mack_n_Tosh

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