Canucks downplay beat-down of Bruins
'We still have a ways to go,' says Tortorella after impressive win over Boston
The Vancouver Canucks are already in Minnesota, prepping for their next challenge Tuesday against the Wild, so they have likely put Saturday's impressive 6-2 romp over the Boston Bruins in their rearview mirrors.
Good for them. They treated their fans to a seventh straight win and a home-ice beat-down of the big, bad bears in Boston's first visit to Vancouver since the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. But the Canucks are a veteran team and they insisted there was no cause for large celebration, or added satisfaction, simply because it was the Bruins.
It was all business in the quote department. Euphoria was in short supply.
"I know the media built up the game and the fans were excited, which was great," said captain Henrik Sedin. "I mean, this is what you want in this league, to have games that people look forward to. But for us in here, it was nothing more than playing against a good team and showing that we're a good team as well."
Defenceman Kevin Bieksa, holding court on the other side of the room, was even more subdued.
"What do you think?" Bieksa responded when queried about the spiritual value of the win. "You've been in this dressing room a lot. Is it any more exciting in here than usual? We won a big game. It's two points. Other than that, who cares? I'm not lying and I'm not telling you something you don't know. Like, who around here is highfiving and doing cartwheels? We won a game in December and we have a long road ahead of us."
Head coach John Tortorella was dishing out the praise in small doses. In fact, he had no praise for his team, only some harsh words, during a timeout at 4:11 of the second period after the Bruins had tied it 1-1. The Canucks responded shortly thereafter on goals by David Booth and Chris Higgins to assume control of the game. Yannick Weber, Henrik Sedin (power play) and Chris Tanev (short-handed) added third-period goals while Jannik Hansen opened the rout in the first on a blooper goal from centre ice, his slapper knuckling past Tuukka Rask after it ticked off the stick of Zdeno Chara.
Roberto Luongo made 39 saves as the Bruins outshot the Canucks 41-30.
"I thought we did a lot of good things but we still have a ways to go to learn how to play in those type of games, and in the stiffness of teams that Boston has," Tortorella said. "We need to have more consistency through our lineup. This was a good win, a solid win, but we still have a way to go as far as the stiffness."
RAT PATROL: Saturday's game was not without its Bruin-Canuck moments, beginning with a first-period scrap between Ryan Kesler and ex-Flame captain Jarome Iginla. But it was ultimately Bruin rodent Brad Marchand who stirred the pot when he twice kissed his ring finger, presumably the one on which he puts his Stanley Cup jewelry. Marchand further taunted the Canucks by hoisting an imaginary Cup. The Canucks weren't amused - calling it "classless" - and neither was Bruins coach Claude Julien.
"The perception it gives our organization is not what you want to see with those kind of things and again I don't know what he said to you guys but it's certainly something we are going to deal with," Julien told reporters after the game. "That's definitely not something we will accept in our organization."
Marchand claimed his antics were in response to Kesler eyegouging him.
FIGHT CLUB: The Canuck coach had no problem seeing Kesler drops the mitts with Iginla just 6:24 in the first period. Iginla dislocated a finger on his left hand during the scrap and missed the remainder of the first period. He returned for the second.
"Kes fighting? It doesn't bother me at all," said Tortorella. "That's part of the game. That's part of the responsibility in those type of games. From the beginning of this year, Kes has done everything we've asked of him. He's still growing, there's more there and I think he knows there is more there."
According to Kesler, the scrap with Iginla was heat of the moment.
"Was it planned to go out and fight? No," Kesler said. "Did it stem from the play? Yeah. I'm not going to back down."
NO FAN OF BAN: Bruins president Cam Neely was at Rogers Arena on Saturday when he first heard word that his player, right winger Shawn Thornton, had been suspended 15 games for his attack on Penguin defenceman Brooks Orpik. Here's what Neely told the Boston Herald: "Higher than I expected and higher than I think is warranted. It was ugly the way it played out. We've had our fair share of players hurt badly by concussions. I don't think anyone's gotten a 15-game suspension out of those. Thornton is a guy who plays the role he plays and has never had any suspensions or issues. It comes down a little harsh for me."
Thornton is contemplating an appeal of his ban. He's missed four games, so far.
QUOTABLE: "It's always nice to score the first goal. It's a funky one but you take them as they come. We were very fortunate to get that one."
- John Tortorella on Jannik Hansen's goal from centre ice.
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