Game 1 blame game: Canucks vs. Sharks


Game one of the regular season featured the Canucks doing what they do best in San Jose – lose.

The score might have ended up a little unfair in the end but this team looked and played a lot like the team that got swept last spring – just this time with a worse third and fourth line.

Vancouver generated very little offense, took a handful of undisciplined penalties and everything fell apart in the third period.

Don’t get me wrong, there were some positives.

For example, the revolutionary idea of putting Jason Garrison on the point on the power play. It might have been an obvious fit to everyone watching the Canucks last year (other than Alain Vigneault) but it was nice to see Garrison establish his presence on the PP.

Another shining spot was the play of Roberto Luongo – at least for the first two periods. He gave the Canucks an opportunity to win and while his numbers might look pretty bad, he wasn’t the reason why Vancouver lost this game.

John Tortorella leaned heavily on his top six and for good reason but they just couldn’t match the Sharks.

Here’s my chumps of the evening for game one.

Jannik Hansen

Hansen recently signed a four-year contract extension worth $10 million and he certainly played like a man who just got paid. Hansen was straight up zeros across the board – no shots, no points, no hits and was a -2. Brutal. He did record one blocked shot but for the amount of time he played (15:42, including 1:51 on the PP) he needs to produce a lot more.

We all know Hansen has no hands whatsoever but he needs to do the energy and effort things if he wants to keep out of the doghouse.

Don't get me wrong...there were some positives.

Don’t get me wrong…there were some positives.

Dale Weise

He set the tone early taking a stupid penalty and rightfully didn’t play a whole lot after that. Still, in only 4:49 of ice time he managed to be a -1 and coughed the puck up once. I’m really not sure why this guy is in the NHL at this point.

He can’t play, can’t fight and takes dumb penalties. But hey, he’s still big in the Netherlands.

Alex Burrows

Dude played most of the night with the Sedins and didn’t manage a single shot. He also couldn’t bury a golden opportunity when the Canucks badly needed a goal.

Vancouver can’t afford to waste scoring chances Burrows, like Hansen, has to produce more given the amount of ice time he’s gobbling up.

Ryan Kesler

Just didn’t like his game today. In fact, I’m waiting to hear about what kind of mystery injury he’s developed to cover his poor play. He wasn’t good enough in the face-off circle (50 per cent) and the most striking stat is zero hits.

Kesler is on his game when he’s hitting everything that moves and is playing aggressively. He did absolutely nothing of the sort last night.

He also took a pair of penalties and was a -2. Not a great start for the “new and improved” #17.

Again, not a horrible effort from the Canucks and I see them bouncing back big against a pretty bad Edmonton team on Saturday. I thought overall the D, PK and PP all looked fine tonight. Five on five is a bit of a concern, especially with the team’s nonexistent third and fourth lines.

I’d say the Torts temper-o-meter is at a mild four out of 10.

Make sure to check out Canucks and Oilers with a puck drop on Saturday at 7 p.m. on CBC!


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About Ben Lypka

Straight outta South Central Delta, BC, Ben's been a sports nut for as long as he can remember. With experience covering the Olympic Games and reporting on sporting events in BC and Alberta, he hopes to bring a unique perspective to the NWSB! You can catch him on twitter too! Connect with Ben today!
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