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 4-2 loss in San Jose.
…Manny Malhotra dribbled a long slap shot through the legs of Andrew Raycroft late in the second period to give San Jose an unassailable 4-0 lead in a 4-2 win over Vancouver.
The Canucks, minus Sami Salo and Christian Ehrhoff on the blueline, had nothing to play for but pride and after falling behind in the first, that took a beating in the middle period.
Three straight goals had the Western Conference leading Sharks up by four with a lot of game left, and predictably, the tide turned for the worse.
An Aaron Rome hit on Joe Pavelski midway through the third began a string of heated exchanges that had eight minors, two majors and three misconducts handed out in a span of 38 seconds. The San Jose penalty box resembled Costco on boxing day with so many bodies wedged into a tiny space.
That seemed to spark the Canucks in their final road game of the season as they solved Evgeni Nabokov twice over the final 10 minutes; Pavol Demitra picked up his third goal on the power play before Andrew Alberts notched his third and first with Vancouver.
In the end this was a classic tale of too little, too late for Vancouver.
This game went South for Vancouver in the second period and it took the plus/minus rating of a lot of Canucks with it.
Alex Edler’s remained unscathed as he finished even, that’s been his calling card this season as the defenceman is also even on the year.
Steadiness has been welcomed on the backend with all the injuries Vancouver has been forced to endure of late, which has forced Edler to log increased ice time. He’s averaged as little as three and as much as eight extra minutes in four of his last seven games.
Developing more of an offensive touch, Edler has five goals and 36 assists for a career-high 41 points this season, including three points in the last two games.
Pavol Demitra gets the nod but not for scoring to break Evgeni Nabokov’s shutout, instead because upon scoring he helped Henrik Sedin crawl another point ahead from Alexander Ovechkin atop the NHL points leaderboard.
Henrik took a pass from Daniel and carried the puck into the slot before drawing a defender and the attention of the goaler, he then snapped a pass to Demitra to the left of the net for the one-timer.
While, because of injury, Demitra is nowhere near setting any personal bests this season, Henrik continues to outdo himself. He’s now got a career-high 108 points, two back of Pavel Bure’s Canucks franchise record of 110.
With the loss Vancouver’s road record finishes at 19-20-2, the team’s worst point output away from GM Place since the 2005-06 season when the Canucks had 36 points come of a 17-22-2 road record.
The Canucks simply were not the same team as the visiting club this year. They’ve totaled 141 goals in 40 home games, second in the NHL, compared to 118 on the road, third in the league, despite having 91 more shots in foreign rinks.
Vancouver’s goals against ratio tells a similar story. The Canucks gave up 128 goals on the road, eighth worst, compared to only 83 at home, the best mark of all 30 teams.
Alex Burrows on the game and Vancouver’s late push in the third period:
”Forget that first goal and I think it’s a different game. As soon as they got that second one in the second period, I think we relaxed a little bit and got off our game. But we battled back in the third and we’ve got to play for 60 minutes.
”That might be a team we face in the second round and we’d be looking forward to that matchup. So there was a lot of pushing and shoving in the third, but we have to make sure that we play a better game next time.”
The Canucks return home with one game remaining in the regular season, they’ll end the campaign the same way they started it, with a game against the Calgary Flames.
The Flames were eliminated from the post-season Tuesday so they’ll have less to play for than the Canucks, who will be looking to enact a little revenge on their division rivals. Two seasons ago in the final game of the season, with the Canucks on the outside of the playoffs looking in, Calgary manhandled Vancouver 7-1 in what proved to be Trevor Linden’s final game with the Canucks.
It’s payback time.