Sunday, April 18, 2010

Game 2 - Kings 3 - Canucks 2 - Game Notes

After game 1 the question was how would the Kings react after getting a game under their belt? On Saturday night the Kings were much better while the Canucks lacked the sense of purpose they played with in game one. The result was a 3-2 loss in overtime on an unlucky, if not questionable, too many men on the ice penalty.

I don't like to blame officiating for a loss, but penalties in overtime are a different animal. First you had the non-call on Ryan Smyth's high stick which was somehow deemed a follow through even though he was not taking a shot, he was simply flailing at a lose puck and got his stick up... what happened to being responsible for your stick? The refs let that go and I would have been fine with that, until the too many on the ice penalty (called by a linesman no less). Did the Canucks have too many men on the ice? Yes, that was obvious. However, 1) the puck was shot towards the Canuck bench by the Kings; 2) It hit Bieksa who was coming off the ice and was not played by a player coming on to the ice. In the NHL those types of plays are usually not called, let alone called in overtime during the Stanley Cup playoffs.

That said it wasn't the officiating that cost Vancouver the game. They simply didn't play hard enough. The Kings were better in that department and in the end their hard work got them the breaks they needed to win the game.

  • If their was one silver lining for Vancouver it would be that the real Roberto Luongo made an appearance at GM Place for the first time in 2010. That is the Luongo we are used to seeing. He was razor sharp all night and for the first time in a long time I felt 100% confident in him.
  • It has become apparent that this series is going to be determined by special teams. The Kings power play has been lights out and the Canucks have taken far too many penalties. Vanocuver's PK needs to be much much better. Right now they are giving too much respect too the points and it has resulted in the Kings easily moving the puck across the ice through the middle and down low. The Canucks need to tighten up and make some adjustments.
  • Andrew Alberts is an awful defenseman. There's a reason one of the worst teams in the NHL wouldn't give him any important minutes. The Canucks needed a defenseman at the deadline, but Alberts for a third is looking like Gillis' worst move as GM. In his first few games Alberts seemed to be on the ice for half the team's goals against. He looked a little better in the final few games of the year, but two games into the playoffs he has been a disaster. Alberts has nearly single handedly kept LA in this series.
  • Where was the 4th line? If you can't get them some ice at home how are you going to do it in LA? Three minutes of ice isn't enough. Mike Gillis chose not to get any help for the bottom 6 and so far it has resulted in Vancouver playing a 3 line game. Pretty tough to go 4 rounds doing that.
  • The Sedins were great in game one, and not too bad in game two, however it was Henrik Sedin being late on the backcheck which allowed the Kings to tie the game up.
  • Where has Demtira's game gone? Maybe the Canucks should put a Slovak jersey on him and see what happens. If he doesn't show signs of life soon, I'd like to see Grabner moved up to play with Kesler.
  • Alex Edler was great in game one and solid in game two, but he's got to hit the net. Edler missed the net 5 times on Saturday night.
  • The Canucks found an edge in the faceoff department, which should help as they head down to LA.

Game three goes Monday at 7:00 pst. Let's hope we don't get stuck with that stupid high camera angle that is used so often in California.