The Goods: Canucks fall in LA
Four games into the 2010-11 season, Vancouver’s game continues to be a real work in progress.
The Canucks are in the midst of their first losing streak of the season following a 4-1 loss to the LA Kings Friday night at the Staples Center.
Vancouver’s second straight loss, and second loss to the Kings in a less than a week, played out to a familiar theme for the Canucks: offensive output from the Sedins and no one else.
Daniel Sedin’s fourth goal of the season, assisted by Henrik, was all the offence Vancouver could muster; the third period score cut Los Angeles’ lead to 2-1 before the Kings responded by restoring their two-goal lead 50 seconds later to seal the game.
As was the case in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Kings in Vancouver’s home opener last Saturday and in a 4-3 defeat to the Anaheim Ducks Wednesday night, the Canucks couldn’t capitalize on scoring chances.
Vancouver fired 10 shots at Jonathan Quick in the first, eight in the second and eight again over the final twenty minutes of play, yet the Sedin strike off a Henrik to Daniel one-timer was all the Canucks could muster.
Don Taylor wasn’t joking when his play of the game on Sportsnet Connected was a crowd shot of David and Victoria Beckham.
Vancouver, the highest scoring team in the Western Conference last season, now has only seven goals to show for 124 shots through four games and a 1-2-1 record to boot.
Daniel Sedin is a goal back of Clarke MacArthur and Derek Roy for tops in the NHL, he also sits third in points with six, one better than Henrik’s five, as the twins continue to hold their own.
The same cannot be said for Vancouver’s secondary scoring. The Sedins have 11 points, the other 18 players combined have 10.
Despite a team-high five shots for Ryan Kesler, the forward remains without a point this season, ditto for linemates Mason Raymond and Jannik Hansen. Raffi Torres and Manny Malhotra each have singles, but they too were stale against the Kings coming together for one shot and a minus-5 rating.
“Obviously right now a coup’e of our guys are trying real hard to get going and it’s not going obviously to the way that they’d like to,” said coach Alain Vigneault. “We’ve just got to stick with the process, we’ve got some good players, they’re hard workers, they prepare themselves well, they’re good people and they’ll find a way here to get back on track.”
To make matters worse, defenceman Keith Ballard left the game late in the third period in obvious discomfort after taking a hit from Brad Richardson. Ballard, who hasn’t missed a game in three seasons and has sat out only 13 contests in his five year career, did not return after being evaluated.
Roberto Luongo allowed four goals on 19 shots, while Quick remains unbeaten this season having given up only three goals in as many games.
For the second time this year Vancouver’s penalty kill was flawless stopping all five Los Angeles power plays.
Los Angeles opened the scoring for the first time this season and that same goal counted as their first score in the opening 20 minutes this year; Vancouver is one of six teams without a road win; Manny Malhotra continues to dominate the faceoff circle going 14-for-18 on the night, including 10-for-10 before suffering a loss.