What a bizarre, infuriating game it was. Vancouver came out and dominated most of the first period, hitting like they’ve never hit before, making the right plays, getting scoring chances, causing turnovers and getting the first goal by Mason Raymond on the reunited speed line with Ryan Kesler and Mikael Samuelsson. Then it happened.
What happened was a Canucks minor penalty. Ordinarily that’s not the end of the world, but for the Canucks penalty killing unit, it was. The Canucks actually did a great job of staying out of the box Monday night, being shorthanded only three times. The problem was that they were scored on on all three times.
Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson are being allowed to wheel and deal with ease right now. They’re getting shots through without problem, and passing down low without problem. At times, the Canucks’ penalty kill formation is getting completely jumbled by Doughty and Johnson’s movement on the blueline. The Canucks’ coaching staff better figure out a way to fix it, and fix it quick.
Roberto Luongo is now being outplayed by Jonathan Quick in this series. That’s all you need to know. Luongo played well, not spectacular, in games 1 and 2. Game 3 he let in two bad goals, and didn’t make the big save for his team when they needed it. It goes without saying, Luongo needs to be better in this series.
The Phantom “Kick”
Never in my life have I disagreed with a video replay decision more than I disagreed with Daniel Sedin’s disallowed goal. I have always understood the rule to be that there has to be a “distinct kicking motion” to disallow the goal. Listen to Mike Murphy’s explanation yourself:
The boys at the Kurtenblog offered up a print version of this bogus recount by Murphy:
“The puck was moving in one direction and in order to get it to move back in the other direction, it had to be propelled some way. We felt it was the skate. It wasn’t a distinct kicking motion, but a kicking motion, that made it move back the other way. It wasn’t a deflection, it wasn’t a re-direct, it was a kick.
“He [Sedin] knew what he was doing. And some of the factors that we looked at were: where his skate was, where his stick was, what did he do with his skate at the very end…To me looked like he twisted his toe and got a little more push on the puck and got it moving back in the other direction.
When your reasoning involves distinguishing between a “distinct kicking motion” and a “kicking motion” as well as reading Daniel’s mind as to what he meant to do, your argument is flawed. To go into more detail about why the goal should have counted is unnecessary. It’s clear to see.
Don’t believe this notion that’s taking flight that there’s a conspiracy theory against the Canucks. I agree with Bob McKenzie’s blog and I think Canucks nation is only embarrassing itself by calling this a conspiracy. It’s bad luck, it’s poor officiating and it’s poor decisions, but no conspiracy, sorry.
The Good News
Believe it or not, there is good news to be found. Had the Canucks gotten ordinary, average, or even poor penalty killing last night, they would have been in good shape to win the game. Even with average goaltending from Luongo and a disallowed goal. The problem was it was horrendously horrific penalty killing. Fix the PK, fix the problem. The Canucks have outplayed the Kings in this series at 5-on-5. There’s also room to get better. Luongo can and should play better in game 4, as should their specialty teams. If that happens, the Canucks should even up the series tomorrow night.