Jon Foxall is the Vancouver Canucks' correspondent for OurHometown.ca. He is the Founder and Editor of LoveOurCanucks.com. If you have questions or wish to contact Jon, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Crumbling Canucks drop second straight to Dustin Brown and the Kings
This series could easily be referred to as the Tale of Two Teams. Kings fans are surely asking themselves, “where was this team during the regular season,” as the 8th place LA Kings beat the Vancouver Canucks for the second consecutive game by a score of 4-2.
Vancouver - April 14, 2012 - This series could easily be referred to as the Tale of Two Teams. LA Kings fans are surely asking themselves, “where was this team during the regular season,” as the 8th place LA Kings once again put on an impressive performance for the fans at Rogers Arena tonight. The same cannot be said for the Vancouver Canucks as their fans are scratching their heads and wondering, “where is the Canucks team that dominated during the regular season?”
Suffice it to say the “regular season” Canucks are done, finito, kaput, they’ve left the building, and if the “playoffs” version of the Canucks can’t get it together in LA and at least win one game on the road, they will be done…like dinner. But truthfully, if the past two games are any indication of what the Canucks bring to the table in this series, they are in trouble because the Kings are not only in control of the series, leading 2-0 but they are also in control of the Canucks fate, seemingly playing them like a marionette for 60 minutes at a time.
All that “was” good with the Canucks is gone. Did it all go with Daniel Sedin after Duncan Keith effectively ended his season with his predatory hit late in the season? Yes, some of the magic is missing without Daniel’s presence on the ice, but this goes deeper than one player’s absence. What we are witnessing is a Canucks team in a free-fall, and the only question is will they be able to pull out of it before slamming head first into Terra Firma?
Like a tired old Ford pickup that’s been sitting in the garage all year, the Canucks struggled to get started tonight, and just when they looked like they were going to get it in gear, they sputtered and belched out a puff of dirty smoke and coughed and choked their way back to the bench. This of course is referring to their once powerful and mighty power play that was a proud trademark of their special teams play. Well it is now turning out to be their Achilles heal as being on the power play seems to actually be an advantage for their opponent as they gave up two short handed goals tonight on their way to being embarrassed in front of their fans. Maybe embarrassed is not the right word, humiliated might be better.
The shots on goal stat is quite deceiving as it shows the Canucks outshot the Kings 48-26, but yet the scoreboard shows something completely opposite. Luongo had another strong game, again bailing his team out with several difficult key saves to keep his team in the game. Aside from one softy late in the third period, he was the difference between the game ending 4-2, or 10-2 and in no way can tonight’s loss be hung on his shoulders. Jonathan Quick stopped 46 of 48 shots he faced, and out of those 46 he stopped the majority of them weren’t good quality scoring chances, something the Canucks are having a problem generating so far in the playoffs.
Tonight’s game was all about special teams. 5 on 5 the Canucks were holding their own against the Kings, not very well mind you, but they were holding their own. On the power play however, the Canucks were dismal as they went 0-5 with the man advantage and gave up two goals in the process! Being a man down actually turned out to be an advantage for the Kings as the Canucks special teams play is essentially flushing their season down the toilet.
The Kings are playing well. They are stepping up their game and playing playoff caliber hockey as they fight to make it to the second round. The Canucks on the other hand are playing dysfunctional hockey as they continue to show their frustration of not playing like the team everyone (including themselves) thought they were. Goaltending aside, the Canucks are nowhere close to playing up to their potential, and these past two games proved that. The only question that remains is when the Canucks finally do sort out their problems and get back on track, will it be too late?
The Canucks now head to hostile territory, down two games in the series and need to win the next one. Like any animal, you never back it into a corner without expecting a fight for it’s life. The Canucks indeed have their back against the wall, and game 3 on Sunday will be telling of how much the Canucks want to go on, because it is literally life or death for their season.
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