Canucks dress like Millionaires, play like paupers

 

 
 
 
 
Vancouver Canucks Eddie Lack, 31, is down after the Colorado Avalanche’s Alex Tanguay, 40, celebrates.
 
 

Vancouver Canucks Eddie Lack, 31, is down after the Colorado Avalanche’s Alex Tanguay, 40, celebrates.

Photograph by: Mark van Manen, PNG

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VANCOUVER – Hope you enjoyed those Vancouver Millionaires replica jerseys. It’s not likely you’ll see the Vancouver Canucks wearing them again any time soon.

The Canucks wore them for the third time Thursday night night and for the third time lost. They were dreadful in the first two periods and dropped a 4-1 decision to the Colorado Avalanche at a sold-out Rogers Arena.

The jerseys were worn to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Millionaires’ Stanley Cup win. The Canucks, who had won three straight games, could have used Cyclone Taylor in this one.

“It’s unacceptable,” defenceman Luca Sbisa said of his team’s lethargic performance. “We knew how important this game was. I think every game down the stretch is going to be like a playoff game. So not showing up tonight is unacceptable. It’s pretty much like our B team showed up. It’s not the same team we had the last three or four games.”

Not even captain Henrik Sedin, who has often found positives in many of Vancouver’s losses this season, could come up with anything good to say about this game.

“They came hard, it seemed like they were pinching with everything they had,” he said. “I didn’t think we made the adjustments we needed to. Sometimes you have to simplify things, throw a few off the glass and get some foot races, but we tried to be cute. We turned a lot of pucks over and it made it tough for everyone.”

The Canucks had trouble handling Colorado’s speed and for most of the night had real difficulty simply breaking out of their own end.

“They were right on us,” Sbisa said. “The Ds, we took a little bit too much time with the puck, and the forwards didn’t come down far enough to support us so we had a hard time coming out. And because of that they had the puck a lot in our zone.”

“They were way quicker than us and their battle level was way higher,” added Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins. “Every pass we put up the wall, they were on top of us so we had nowhere to go with the puck. We weren’t separating from their defence, we were tight to their defence and it was tough for our defencemen. Every time they looked up, they had a guy on them and they were passing into coverage.”

The loss came on a night when everyone else in the West was winning games. The Los Angeles Kings and Winnipeg Jets both won their games. The Canucks remain second in the Pacific Division, but their lead over the Kings has been cut to just two points. Both teams have eight games remaining.

Colorado,which played Wednesday night in Edmonton, was supposed to be the tired team. They certainly didn’t look like it.

The Avs also gave backup goalie Reto Berra his first start since November. Vancouver did not exactly pepper him with shots in the early going.

The Canucks had another one of their slow starts. And that is putting it kindly.

The Canucks were outshot 18-5 in what was a scoreless and decidedly one-sided opening 20 minutes. Vancouver has now scored one first-period goal in the last six games.

The puck seemed to be in the Vancouver zone for nearly the entire period. The penalty-kill bailed out the Canucks when they were left two men short for 1:20. And those two men were their top two defencemen, Alex Edler and Chris Tanev.

“The bottom line is we didn’t play well enough,” said Vancouver goalie Eddie Lack, who faced 38 shots, 31 of them in the first two periods. “This is a very offensive and skilled team and if you give them enough obviously they are going to score eventually.”

The Avs started finishing their chances in the second period, when they scored three unanswered goals and pretty much sealed the win.

Jarome Iginla tipped a Gabriel Landeskog shot past Lack at the 3:23 mark. About seven minutes later defenceman Zach Redmond’s shot bounced off the end boards and right onto the stick of Alex Tanguay, who beat Lack from close range.

Landeskog made it 3-0 at 12:56 on a Colorado power-play, scoring from the back-door after a pass from Tanguay.

The Canucks got some life 15 seconds into the third period when defenceman Yannick Weber beat Berra from the top of the right faceoff circle on a Vancouver power play.

They pressed the Avs for the remainder of the third but could not cash in on two-power play opportunities.

GAME ESSENTIALS

THE SKINNY

The scoreless first period was dominated by the Avalanche, who outshot the Canucks 18-5 and won nearly every puck battle but weren’t rewarded. The second period was a different story as Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay and Gabriel Landeskog (on the power play) beat Eddie Lack to stake the Avs to a 3-0 lead. Yannick Weber’s early third-period power-play goal was the Canucks’ only reply. John Mitchell added a power-play empty-netter to complete the scoring.

TURNING POINT

With the score 0-0 early in the second period and the Canucks exerting some pressure on Avalanche starter Reto Berra, the Avs got the puck deep in the Canuck zone and returned the pressure. This time they were rewarded when Iginla, parked on Lack’s doorstep, deflected a Landeskog shot past the Canuck netminder. The Avs added two more in the period. It was all they needed.

BY THE NUMBERS

Daniel Sedin’s points streak (2-6-8) came to an end … Avalanche centre Ryan O’Reilly extended his points streak to six games (4-6-10) … The Avalanche led after two periods for just the 24th time in 74 games and improved to 20-2-2 … The Canucks lost for the 20th straight time when trailing after two periods (0-19-1). Overall, they are a dreadful 2-22-1 when behind after 40 minutes … Bo Horvat was 10-for-13 on faceoffs.

QUOTABLE

“There was quite a bit that went wrong in the first two periods. They just outskated us. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, if teams are outskating you, they’re getting to the puck first and you’re always defending. They were really good tonight. They played really desperate and we didn’t have that level of intensity.” – Canuck head coach Willie Desjardins on the dreadful first 40 minutes.

NEXT UP

The Canucks close out their three-game homestand Saturday against the Dallas Stars, a team they haven’t beaten in two seasons. Last year, the Stars swept all three games by a combined score of 12-3 and, this year, they have prevailed in the first two meetings, 6-3 in Dallas on Oct. 21 and 2-0 at Rogers Arena on Dec. 17. Kari Lehtonen made 27 saves for the shutout in the Vancouver game.

Elliott Pap, Vancouver Sun

 
 
 
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Vancouver Canucks Eddie Lack, 31, is down after the Colorado Avalanche’s Alex Tanguay, 40, celebrates.
 

Vancouver Canucks Eddie Lack, 31, is down after the Colorado Avalanche’s Alex Tanguay, 40, celebrates.

Photograph by: Mark van Manen, PNG

 
Vancouver Canucks Eddie Lack, 31, is down after the Colorado Avalanche’s Alex Tanguay, 40, celebrates.
Vancouver Canucks' Chris Tanev, 8, battles the Colorado Avalanche's Gabriel Landeskog, 92.
Colorado Avalanche centre Ryan O’Reilly (90) fights for control of the puck with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Chris Tanev (8).
Vancouver Canucks' Kevin Bieksa (centre) battles the Colorado Avalanche.
Vancouver Canucks Eddie Lack, 31, regroups after stopping a shot in the mask.
Vancouver Canucks defenceman Chris Tanev (8) fights for control of the puck with Colorado Avalanche left wing Alex Tanguay (40).
Vancouver Canucks' Derek Dorsett  battles in front of the Colorado Avalanche net.
Vancouver Canucks Alex Burrows, 14, skates in front of fans before playing the Colorado Avalanche.
Vancouver Canucks celebrate Yannick Weber 's goal against Colorado Avalanche.
Vancouver Canucks Eddie Lack, 31, is down after the Colorado Avalanche’s Jarome Iginla, 12, celebrates 2nd period goal.
Vancouver Canucks Nick Bonino, 13, battles the Colorado Avalanche.
Vancouver Canucks Henrik Sedin (left) and Alex Burrows, pictured during a March 2013 National Hockey League game at Rogers Arena, will again be decked out in Vancouver Millionaires livery when they face the visiting Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, March 26, 2015.
Colorado Avalanche defenceman Brad Stuart (17) celebrates teammate Jarome Iginla’s goal past Vancouver Canucks goalie Eddie Lack (31) as Vancouver Canucks defenceman Luca Sbisa (5) looks on.
Vancouver Canucks left wing Ronalds Kenins (41) fights for control of the puck with Colorado Avalanche centre Matt Duchene (9), John Mitchell (7) and Brad Stuart (17).
Vancouver Canucks defenceman Chris Tanev (8) fights for control of the puck with Colorado Avalanche left wing Alex Tanguay (40).
Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) tries to get a shot on Vancouver Canucks goalie Eddie Lack (31).
Vancouver Canucks defenceman Yannick Weber (6) fights for control of the puck with Colorado Avalanche centre John Mitchell (7).
Colorado Avalanche left wing Alex Tanguay (40) celebrates his goal past Vancouver Canucks goalie Eddie Lack (31) with teammates Ryan O’Reilly (90) and Gabriel Landeskog.
Vancouver Canucks defenceman Dan Hamhuis (2) fights for control of the puck with Colorado Avalanche left wing Alex Tanguay (40).
Colorado Avalanche centre John Mitchell (7) fights for control of the puck with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Yannick Weber (6).
Vancouver Canucks defenceman Chris Tanev (8) fights for control of the puck with Colorado Avalanche centre Ryan O’Reilly (90).
Vancouver Canucks defenceman Dan Hamhuis (2) fights for control of the puck with Colorado Avalanche left wing Alex Tanguay (40).
Vancouver Canucks left wing Ronalds Kenins (41) fights for control of the puck with Colorado Avalanche centre Matt Duchene (9) and John Mitchell (7).
Vancouver Canucks Eddie Lack, 31, is down after the Colorado Avalanche’s Jarome Iginla, 12, celebrates 2nd period goal.
Vancouver Canucks defenceman Dan Hamhuis (2) fights for control of the puck with Colorado Avalanche centre Ryan O’Reilly (90).
Vancouver Canucks Eddie Lack, 31, looks down as the Colorado Avalanche’s Jarome Iginla, 12.
Vancouver Canucks goalie Eddie Lack is down as the Colorado Avalanche's Jarome Iginla, celebrates a second period goal.
Vancouver Canucks' Alex Burrows jumps high in front of the Colorado Avalanche's Ret Berra, 20.
Vancouver Canucks Derek Dorsett, 51, battles the Colorado Avalanche’s Cody McLeod, 55.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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