Vancouver's season hangs in balance after 3-0 second period

What an absolutely brutal second period for the Vancouver Canucks. In my eyes, at least, you can’t blame any one player. Roberto Luongo allowed three goals, but his defense hung him out to dry each time. This is a total team effort, or lack thereof.

Troy Brouwer started the scoring off early in the second period with a nice re-direction goal thanks to a beautiful setup from Patrick Sharp. Merely 36 seconds later, Kris Versteeg took advantage of some poor defense on Shane O’Brien’s part to beat Luongo up high. You could hear a pin drop during much of the middle frame after those two rough tallies.

The Canucks showed a little bit of life late in the second, earning a powerplay in the final minute. Unfortunately Pavol Demitra made a boneheaded move at the blueline and allowed Dave Bolland to fight his way to a back-breaking shorthanded breakaway goal.

It’s difficult to foresee the Blackhawks coughing up a 3-0 lead in one period, especially considering how flat the Canucks looked during much of this game. Vancouver seems like it has no spring in its step right now. Can they hope for a miraculous third period or should they just call their travel agents right now?

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit
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What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. For one thing, Torres is a repeat offender who once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.

Flames acquire Freddie Hamilton, brother of Dougie

Freddie Hamilton
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Roughly three months after acquiring Dougie Hamilton, the Calgary Flames have brought his brother on board too.

Freddie Hamilton was pried away from the Colorado Avalanche for the cost a 2016 conditional seventh-round draft pick, per the Avalanche’s website. The Flames announced that he will report to AHL Stockton.

Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.

This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.