Two Sharks forwards drop their gloves and go after a Canuck player who had just thrown a very legal hit and no penalties are called on either of the two.
Fast forward –> A Coyote player hits a Canuck player in the back after a (questionable but unpenalized at the time) hit and the Canucks are the only ones penalized.
I’m not saying anyone is out to get the Canucks but I am saying the officiating in this league is difficult to not critique every night. The inconsistency is remarkable and I’m sure I’ve said before, I can’t wait until the playoffs where the majority of whistles are put away. Kesler’s hit on Derek Morris was boarding without question, however neither official on the ice put their hand up after seeing it clear as day. The ability to retreat and make a penalty call after the play is stopped is not something I agree with unless we start going back and reviewing it every time in which case it will take 6 hours to watch a game. In Kesler’s defense, Morris looked back, knew that Kesler was on his way and should have protected himself better. Obviously the speed of the game is not very receptive to making quick decisions but that is one of the more necessary qualities of being an NHL player. Morris was lucky not to be more seriously injured and I hope players do work on that aspect of their game. Every night seems to be a different adventure in random hits and awful officiating and you never know where you may end up at the end of the night.
Defeating a very impressive Coyote team is nothing to scoff at. The 4-1 victory was full of Canucks playing strong games, however the score and the game as a whole would most likely have been much close had Coyote netminder Ilya Bryzgalov been even remotely involved. Judging from the play itself, I believe the Canucks would most likely have won this game anyway but it’s difficult to get going if your goaltender drops the ball early and Bryzgalov did just that. On the other end, Roberto Luongo played very well and made several very acrobatic and important saves over the last two periods especially. It was nice to see him play aggressive and confident in the net and so hopefully he doesn’t look back from here. The players in front of him seem to be chugging along without problems though. A franchise record 28th home win was especially productive for Henrik Sedin, who bottled up 3 points on the night to shoot past the temporary tie in the scoring race with OV. Passing Markus Naslund on the list of Canucks single-season points seems a forgone conclusion, but Pavel Bure and his 110 points are now well within reach. Henrik has obviously gone about his points in a much different fashion than Bure or Naslund but it’s progressed to the level where he may be able to hold onto those levels for much longer than either of those two former Canucks.
Another plus has to go to D-Man Andrew Alberts, who saw game action in Shane O’Brien’s absence. Alberts has been downright awful since coming over from Carolina, which I’ll admit I was not expecting. Having watched him in Carolina, I assumed he would bring the same qualities of steady, hard hitting intensity that had made him very efficient. The first few games he played put me in my place and I had written in a blog after the trade deadline that indicated he would fit right in and boy was I wrong. Tonight we saw what Alberts brought to the Hurricanes. 16:01 TOI, 3 Hits, +1 was the stat-line for Alberts and anytime a player can step in and eat up 15+ mins it indicates very strong depth. With Willie Mitchell still out and SOB riding the pine for maybe more than 3 games, it will hopefully come in handy come playoffs to have Alberts around.
Vancouver Canucks @ Los Angeles Kings – April 1, 2010 @ 7:30 PM PST – SNETP, NHLNET-US(HD), CSN-NW
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Written by Luke Mirza