The Goods: Duck and cover
And the award for the most unsatisfactory showing at home following a tremendous road trip goes to…
Don’t bother opening the envelope.
The Vancouver Canucks had a less than golden performance Sunday night at Rogers Arena losing to the Anaheim Ducks 4-2 to open a six-game homestand.
Cody Hodgson and Mason Raymond scored for the Canucks on a night where Vancouver was hardly at its best, especially early on. The Canucks mustered just three shots on goal in the first period, two via the power play, and that offensive outage carried through for the better half of the game before Vancouver simplified things and started putting pucks on net.
Even at 1-1 after 20 minutes, the Ducks took a 3-1 lead into the third period; offensively the Canucks were only outshot 12-9 in the second frame, but the defence couldn’t keep Vancouver in it.
Roberto Luongo, on the doorstep of win 212 (which will set a new franchise record) took his share of the blame for not keeping the game closer, yet his 30 saves were the only reason Anaheim didn’t find the scoreboard more.
In the third the Canucks were better at both ends of the ice and still a ways off from where they normally are.
On Vancouver’s recent four-game road trip the Canucks were able to pull out wins in two similar games when not playing their best. This one, as many players said, they can’t
wait to forget about.
With the Los Angeles Kings in town in less than 48 hours, hopefully the Canucks are already over it.
“I don’t know the reason for it, but obviously our first two periods weren’t good enough,” critiqued Kevin Bieksa, who had an assist and was minus-1 while taking all three of Vancouver’s minor penalties.
“We had three shots on net in the first and for and offensive team that scores a lot of goals, obviously that’s not good enough. Give them credit, they’re a lot better team than
they are in the standings, but we didn’t execute in the first two periods for whatever reason.”
Some may point to a lack of emotion between normally sour rivals as a possible explanation for the missing oomph from the Canucks, but no one was buying that.
“It was going both ways, it wasn’t like they were super emotional either,” said Bieksa. “That’s what kind of game it was, which is fine, we should still be able to play in these
games, not every game is going to be a Boston/Vancouver game, so there’s no reason for the lack of execution, it’s on us, we have to be better.”
NEEDED: SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS
Sometimes silence is golden, but not after only producing three shots in the opening 20 minutes of a game.
Cody Hodgson, Alex Edler and Kevin Bieksa all tested Jonas Hiller in the first period of Sunday’s Canucks loss and that simply wasn’t enough. That’s was discussed in Vancouver’s dressing room during the first intermission, to no one’s surprise.
“Shoot more pucks, that’s what said,” Bieksa said, matter-of-factly.
Vancouver had another nine shots in the second and finished with a respectable 23 shots; Daniel Sedin, for one, said that was as bad an effort he’s seen the Canucks produce in trying to generate offence this season.
“We’ve had a few games on the road where it wasn’t good enough either, but with the way the team has been playing here the last couple of months, this is the worst if you look at scoring chances.
“We’re got high standards that we want to live up to and we know it’s not good enough.”
It wasn’t gritty enough, either.
“Sometimes the best thing to do is just put pucks on net and go to the net and get a little greasy,” added Bieksa. “We’re really good when we’re doing that and we didn’t do it tonight.”
If there was a silver lining to be had in Vancouver’s loss, it’s that David Booth made a successful return to the Canucks line-up.
Not only that, he felt fine post-game. How he feels Monday may tell a different story.
Booth, who missed 18 games with a knee injury, said he was still running on adrenaline after playing15:50 in his first action since December 6, 2010, so any ill effects won’t be felt for a while.
Early signs are positive that he’s healing well, now it’s all about returning to true form.
“Just getting my feet going, getting those first couple of steps,” said Booth, asked about any early hurdles he had to jump. “That’s where all the power is and when you have a knee injury that’s where all the power comes from. That’s something I’ve got to keep working on is getting that strength back.
“It felt good to get back, I wish we would have had a better result tonight, but it felt good to get back into the pace and it’ll take some more time before I really feel comfortable, it’s all part of the process.”
Booth had one shot and was second on the team in power play time at 2:43.
third period, with the Canucks down, taking a walk in Tebow's shoes.
KISS rocker Gene Simmons pre-game; he then used it for the rest of warm-up.
and Shannon Tweed made an appearance, ending the kiss cam with a smooch.
Canucks game, Vancouver lost 4-1 to the LA Kings on New Year's Eve. Then 4-2 Sunday. Strike two.