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The Goods: Canucks fall to Blues

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks

You want to know what happened in the Canucks game and you want to know now. We get it. Here’s the bare bones recap of Vancouver’s 3-1 loss to St. Louis.

…David Backes and Keith Tkachuk each scored in a span of 1:27 midway through the second period to put St. Louis in front 3-1, a lead the Blues would cling to until the final horn.

St. Louis jumped out to a 1-0 advantage on the power play 2:59 into the first before Shane O’Brien, yes Shane O’Brien, scored his first goal of the season late in the frame to tie things up.

A second period dominated by the Blues saw them outshoot the Canucks 14-7 and outscore them 2-0. Although Backes’ second goal of the contest counted as the game-winner, Tkachuk’s eighth of the season, which came after Barrett Jackman dumped the puck into the Vancouver zone, it took a funny bounce off the boards and ended up on the stick of Brad Boyes in front of the net and he dished it to Tkachuk who converted the one-timer, was the result of some favourable bounces.

It was just one of those nights for the Canucks, who have now lost six games to the bottom four teams in the Western Conference.

Vancouver falls to 6-4-0 in December and 4-2-0 on their season-high eight-game home stand.

The last time Shane O’Brien found the back of the net during the regular season was on November 8, 2007, as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 5-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Put the calculators away, that was 166 games ago, which makes his ecstatic reaction to sneaking a puck past Ty Conklin from just outside the paint very understandable.

O’Brien’s first regular season goal as a member of the Canucks gives him a goal and two assists on the year, good for 20th in team scoring.

Effort was lacking from a few players on this night, but Ryan Kesler wasn’t one of them.

In 22:24 of ice time off 29 shifts, a team-high, Kesler was a minus-1 with five shots, one missed shot, two hits, one giveaway, two takeaways, one blocked shot and he went 13-for-25 on faceoffs.

Kesler played on the power play and on the penalty kill and although he didn’t record a point, he was a menace to the Blues all game long.

With the Blues leading 3-1 in the third period and the Canucks trying to cut the lead to a single goal, the home side appeared to have done just that.

Henrik Sedin threw the puck out of the corner towards the front of the goal, it hit the skate of Alex Burrows before deflecting off Barret Jackman and past Conklin.

The referee immediately waived the goal off and after a chit chat with those in Toronto, the call on the ice stood. It was ruled that Burrows made a distinct kicking motion, despite a replay that was far from suggesting as much.

Because the ref deemed it a kicking motion, NHL rule 49.2 came into play:

Kicking the puck shall be permitted in all zones. A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who uses a distinct kicking motion to propel the puck into the net. A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who kicks a puck that deflects into the net off any player, goalkeeper or official.

Coach Alain Vigneault on the disallowed goal and the suggestion that the Canucks are playing down to weaker teams in the Western Conference:

”I don’t agree with that decision. I looked at the replay and yes, Alex does turn his foot, it goes off his skate and then there is a forward motion, but not on the initial deflection. I understand what the rule is, if there’s a kick and it goes off their player than it’s not a goal, but you’ve got to live with that and that’s what it is.

”I don’t know how anybody could suggest that the team we played against tonight is not a good team and I don’t know how anybody can suggest that Anaheim’s not a good team. Those are basically the same teams as last year, they’re two playoff teams, we’re in a tough conference and sometimes you go out there and you bust a gut and you don’t play as well as you can but it’s not from a lack of trying.”

The Canucks are back to the drawing board Monday before hosting the Nashville Predators on Tuesday evening.

Nashville, another one of those teams Vancouver seems to routinely struggle against, handed the Canucks a 4-2 loss in their only meeting of the season on December 8 in Nashville.


NUMB3RS

1 – Goal for Shane O'Brien in his last 166 regular season games.

1
– Assist for Mason Raymond as he continues to impress.

1
– Win for the Canucks against the Central Division (1-7-0).

13 – Canucks who had at least one shot on goal.

23 – Saves by Roberto Luongo.

QUOTABLE
“At the time it felt real good, it’s been a while, and to say I wasn’t thinking about it some days would be a lie, so it was nice to get it."

-
Shane O'Brien (on scoring)

"I haven’t seen it, I saw it on the big screen up there, but I don’t think it’s a kicking motion."


-Henrik Sedin (on the no goal)

"Nothing to do with that. We come to every game worrying about ourselves and not who we’re playing and what place they are in the stands."

-Ryan Kesler (on losing to lower teams)
OFFENCE

The Canucks played well in the first period outshooting the Blues 14-8, but little offence was generated after the opening frame.

Vancouver had only 16 shots over the final 40 minutes, many from in close that Ty Conklin had no trouble with.

Vancouver outshot St. Louis 30-26.

DEFENCE

Considering two of St. Louis' three scorers had the help of gratuitous bounces, neither Vancouver's defence or Roberto Luongo played all that bad.

The fact the the blueline chipped in with the only goal of the game makes this a good effort from the back end in the loss.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Blues opened the scoring with a power play goal and finished 1-for-3, while the Canucks failed to convert on four man advantages.

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