Although the Vancouver Canucks played only two games in the past nine days, the results remained the same: the two recent losses have extended the Canucks’ losing streak to four games. Are they being singled out by the NHL? Conspiracy theorists seem to think so. Even the team’s social media account dished out an opinion or two on Coach Tortorella’s behalf…
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Henrik Sedin has clearly got a bad guy reputation with the refs. Seems like they send 33 to the box just for kicks these days. #Canucks
— Dee (@forevercanuck) November 15, 2013
— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) November 18, 2013
John Tortorella still very “happy” with that “great” call. He is saying “nice” things to the “refs”. #Canucks
— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) November 18, 2013
Could the conspiracy theorists have it right? Why is it that a Sedin had to go to the sin bin during an OT game against the San Jose Sharks, in the same scenario that helped swept the Canucks in last year’s playoffs? The questionable hooking infraction by Henrik in overtime didn’t appear to be such at all. Yet the ref called it. Here’s a recap of the 2-1 OT loss to San Jose in extra time:
Coach Torts gave the Sharks credit, and admitted that Vancouver had some opportunities missed. Sharks goalie Antti Niemi performed well in the game especially during the second period when the Sharks were outshot 21 to 9. Again, San Jose frustrated Vancouver yet again.
The Dallas Stars were clearly the dark horse in Western Conference. After coming off a 7-3 slaughter of the Calgary Flames in which Jamie Benn collected a goal and five assists and Tyler Seguin lit up the goal map four times. In Sunday’s contest in Vancouver, the Canucks played against the Stars hard. However, there would be another controversy involving a Sedin. The 2-1 loss to Dallas culminated in more of the same: another rip-off ending for the Canucks that earned them their fourth straight loss.
Daniel did his best to remove himself from interfering with Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen. Still the ref called off the power play goal. He clearly did NOT touch the goalie. This particular loss was hard to take after outshooting Dallas with 42 shots. Again, the Canucks couldn’t finish. But adding controversy to this game certainly didn’t help reduce the team’s frustration with the League’s referees.
Canucks Rating: C-
Highs: Not much to be positive about during the short week, except that the Canucks had many opportunities.
Lows: They just couldn’t make the most of them. Outshooting opponents doesn’t necessarily translate into goals. There needs to be some finish. Can’t win each game by scoring just one goal.
Outlook: This current homestand was supposed to give the Canucks some slight advantages and collect some wins. So far, they have only collected a single point in the first two home games. If they don’t want to get into another controversy with the refs, they’re going to have to make their opportunities count at the right moments.
Florida should be a given on Nov 19. Columbus may be another challenging contest for Vancouver on Nov 22. Next Saturday’s game against nemesis/defending champion Chicago Blackhawks will be another major test for a frustrated Canucks squad that’s still sitting 9th in the Western Conference.
A former novice/atom player, timekeeper and fan of the game, Peter has lived and breathed hockey throughout his life, covering hockey happenings in Edmonton, Vancouver, and currently in Saskatchewan. He is now a contributing writer for the Hockey Writers.