Canucks let down by ineffective power play, top six in loss to Lightning – Sportsnet.ca
Turns out Alligator Alley is as pleasant as it sounds – especially when you’re making the trip on foot, through the swamp in flip flops, dangling pork hocks from your pockets.
In crossing the grating state of Florida for road games against the NHL’s best two teams, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers, the Vancouver Canucks played as well as anyone could reasonably expect given the unideal preparation of a nine-day layoff.
The Canucks scored twice in each game and outshot the Stanley Cup contenders, limiting the two-time champion Lightning to just 21 shots on Thursday. Tampa had 11 even-strength shots through two periods.
But the Lightning still beat the Canucks 4-2, two nights after the Panthers dumped them 5-2.
In Sunrise, Fla., it was a pair of Vancouver lulls that allowed quick-strike, two-goal outbursts by Florida to sink the Canucks. And on Thursday, across Alligator Alley and up the Gulf Coast, it was a futile power play that hurt them as much as Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.
At even strength, the Canucks slightly outplayed the Lightning. But the Tampa power play generated an early goal for Steve Stamkos, and the Vancouver power play was 0-for-4 and forced only one actual save from Vasilevskiy.
Let’s accept that the Canucks, who started the season 6-14-2 but hadn’t lost in regulation under new coach Bruce Boudreau until the team ventured to Florida, simply aren’t as good as the Panthers and Lightning. But the Canucks can compete – as they showed this week.
But to actually win these games, Vancouver needs to be closer to perfect. There is little or no margin for error for the Canucks if they hope to win any games on this five-game exam that continues Saturday afternoon in Carolina against the NHL’s No. 3 team, the Hurricanes, who will be all fired up after getting embarrassed 6-0 Thursday by the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“Definitely the margin of error is really little,” fourth-line winger Matthew Highmore, whose first-period goal briefly lifted the Canucks into a 1-1 tie, told reporters on Zoom. “They’re tight-checking games, they’re not wide open. You have to take your chances when you get them. We’re knocking on the door. We didn’t get the win last night or tonight, but we have to continue to do the right things.
“Honestly, I think urgency from a month ago and to the end of the year is going to be the same. We need to win, and we’ve got to find a way on this road trip to get some wins.”
It would help if the Canucks’ best line on Saturday is not Highmore, Juho Lammikko and Tyler Motte – the energy trio who have generated three of four Vancouver goals on this trip.
The Canucks’ best forwards – J.T. Miller and Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson and Conor Garland – need to contribute something.
“I thought they played great,” Boudreau said of his fourth line. “But they can’t be our best offensive line out there. We’ve got to get more production and, at the same time, play the same way. I thought we were really good tonight. It’s not a victory, and I’m not happy about not winning the game. But if you look at the points of us playing well, I thought there was a lot of good things.”
The power play was not one of them. Reborn after the Canucks coaching change five weeks ago, the power play felt like November on Thursday. It was dismal at critical moments – like at the start of both the second and third periods when there was clean ice and rested players, and late in the final frame when a Lightning penalty for too many players gave Vancouver a chance.
Motte scored brilliantly at 15:46, reversing his stick between his legs to bring the Canucks within 3-2, but Brayden Point scored past Quinn Hughes and into an empty net with 1:16 remaining.
Boudreau was displeased by the power play, which finished 0-for-7 in Florida.
“I thought we were much better than the other night for sure,” Boudreau said, now trying to work out of his first losing streak with the Canucks. “Anytime you can limit that team to 21 shots. . . I think you’ve done a good job. But at the same time, we have opportunities and we have four power plays and we don’t get anything. That’s my fault for putting the same guys back out there all the time. But I mean, I think that’s got to get better. We’re a team that needs to have some success on the powerplay and we didn’t get it.”
Asked about the lack of shots, which evoked uncomfortable memories of the Canucks’ awful start, Boudreau said: “I’ve always been in favour of a shooting power play. We don’t have the guy with the bomb from the point but, at the same time, if you shoot and you get inside on the power play, you’re going to score goals. You’ve just got to get pucks through, and I think sometimes we’re trying to be too cute. And that’s got to change.”
They actually have a guy with a bomb in Pettersson, but the Swede’s ferocious one-timer is just a rumour to Boudreau, who deployed the struggling star in front of the net on the power play and on Horvat’s left wing at even strength.
Pettersson, who was in COVID quarantine last week, has a single assist over his last five games, and just six shots on target in the last four.
“I thought he did a good job at left wing,” Boudreau said. “He had two partial breakaways and he set up a couple of really good plays. I would have bet money after about a period and a half that that he was going to break through, and he didn’t. But sometimes you don’t break through on your first chance when you play a good game; it’s your second or third game.”
On this trip, against these opponents, the Canucks don’t have the luxury of waiting on their best players.
Canada’s win over Honduras just another step in Herdman’s master plan – Sportsnet.ca
* public_profileBlurb *
* public_name *
* public_gender *
* public_birthdate *
* public_emailAddress *
* public_address *
* public_phoneNumber *
Canada’s 2018 world junior players ineligible for 2023 world championship amid investigation, Hockey Canada says
No players from Canada’s 2018 world junior team will participate for Team Canada at the 2023 IIHF Men’s World Hockey Championship, Hockey Canada confirmed in a statement to The Athletic.
“Earlier this year, Hockey Canada made a decision that until the investigation and adjudicative process of the alleged incident in 2018 are complete, no players from the 2018 National Junior Team will be considered for participation for Team Canada,” Hockey Canada said in the statement. “This has been communicated to the management group for Team Canada at the 2023 IIHF Men’s World Championship.”
TSN first reported the news. The 2023 world championship will take place May 12-28 and be co-hosted by Tampere, Finland, and Riga, Latvia.
Hockey Canada’s statement comes after the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage passed a motion Monday directing Hockey Canada to hand over the final report the governing body received from law firm Henein Hutchison Robitaille’s investigation into the alleged sexual assault of a woman in a hotel room by members of the 2018 world junior team.
The allegations of sexual assault were made public in a 2022 lawsuit that Hockey Canada settled. In the complaint, filed last April in Ontario Superior Court, the woman alleged that she was assaulted by eight players in a London, Ont., hotel room on June 19, 2018, following a Hockey Canada Foundation event. Members of Canada’s 2018 world junior team were among those accused of assault in the lawsuit.
London police investigators said in a filing to the Ontario Court of Justice last October that they have reasonable grounds to believe that five members of Canada’s 2018 world junior hockey team sexually assaulted a woman in a hotel room, The Athletic reported in December. The evidence has not been tested in court and no charges have been laid.
Hockey Canada has been under intense scrutiny since May 2022 when the allegations of sexual assault were made public in the lawsuit. Police in London, Ont., and Hockey Canada have since reopened their investigations into the incident. The NHL is conducting an investigation as well.
In the wake of Hockey Canada’s scrutiny, CEO Scott Smith left the governing body and the entire board of directors stepped down in October. The federation elected a new board of directors in December. The board will serve a special one-year term focused on “making the changes necessary to improve the governance at Hockey Canada,” the federation said at the time of the board’s election.
Bianca Andreescu says she’s waiting on test results after injuring leg during Miami Open
Canadian tennis player Bianca Andreescu provided an injury update of sorts on Tuesday, saying she’s still waiting on official test results after injuring her lower left leg at the Miami Open.
Andreescu, from Mississauga, Ont., was hurt Monday night in the second set of her fourth-round match against Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova.
The 22-year-old was moving across the baseline when she fell to the hardcourt and clutched her lower leg in pain. She was wheeled off the court a short time later.
Andreescu provided an update on Tuesday via social media.
“Woke up with a brace on my foot anyone know what happened? On a serious note tho that was the worst pain I’ve ever felt praying for nothing serious. Still waiting on official results. Thank you everyone for your thoughts and kind words, doesn’t go unnoticed,” she said in a Twitter post, complete with a pray emoji.
Andreescu, who won the U.S. Open in 2019, holds the No. 31 position in the world rankings.
Her agent, Charlotte Lawler, said via e-mail that Andreescu met with her doctor Tuesday afternoon. Lawler said a statement would be released once injury specifics were available.
Inside the Very Tough Business of Trying to Disrupt Media – Vanity Fair
Federal budget 2023: Canada's clean economy tax credit plan – CTV News
Post Politics Now: Biden to press for democratic renewal in speech to global summit – The Washington Post
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Search for life on Mars accelerates as new bodies of water found below planet’s surface
Politics15 hours ago
Justin Trudeau has let Beijing deep into Canadian politics
Art18 hours ago
‘Before cancer I was really unhappy’: Tracey Emin on the joy of founding her own art school
Business16 hours ago
Canada eases some rules around foreign homebuyers ban
Real eState18 hours ago
Cottage sales expected to decline in 2023
Art18 hours ago
Emily Fisher Landau, Patron of Contemporary Art, Dies at 102
News14 hours ago
Comedian Joe Avati Set to Bring Down the House on the Canadian Leg of His World Tour this Summer
Science17 hours ago
Look up: 5 planets will align in Tuesday’s night sky
News8 hours ago
Systemic Racism in Canada Healthcare Sector