Vancouver Canucks v Boston Bruins - Game Three

Vancouver’s undoing in Game 3: Miserable power play and turnovers

There were more than a few things wrong with what happened with the Vancouver Canucks in last night’s Game 3. When you get beaten 8-1 there’s generally a laundry list of things to check off to correct. A couple of things that went especially wrong for Vancouver reminded us of things that went wrong for Boston in Games 1 and 2.

Vancouver’s woes with the puck in Game 3 started with their power play and special teams in general. After the Canucks killed off Aaron Rome’s major penalty in the first period things went downhill for them. They went 0-8 on the power play and gave up a power play goal to Mark Recchi in the second period and then two shorthanded goals, one to Brad Marchand in the second and another to Dan Paille in the third.

All around it was not a banner night for Vancouver’s special teams but Canucks captain Henrik Sedin says they have to do better.

“If we score early on the power play or when it’s 2-0 and we get a chance, that’s a chance for us to get in the game. Instead we let them score the other way. That’s a killer. It hurts the guys on the ice and if you’re sitting on the bench and you see their PK score a goal… That hurts,” Sedin says.

It wasn’t just the special teams that did the Canucks in, it was their lack of puck control that hurt them as well. The Bruins capitalized on turnovers much in the way the Canucks did in the first two games of the series. The turnover issue is one that wasn’t missed by Henrik.

“They’re a team like us and they feed on turnovers. We turned the puck over on our power play and our five-on-five and that’s why you see the chances they get. We’re going to have to keep this tight. We can’t open it up just to get things going. We have to rely on our system and go from there.”

Seeing the tables turned the way they were in such a lopsided way still has us a bit stunned. After all, you don’t see teams score eight goals in a game often and certainly not in the Stanley Cup finals. For Vancouver, they stressed that they too were also able to get the Bruins to turn the puck over as well and that they just couldn’t capitalize on things thanks to Tim Thomas’ work in goal.

Canucks assistant captain Ryan Kesler described what he saw out there.

“I thought they turned the puck over a lot. We had a couple of grade-A scoring chances and we didn’t bury it,” he said. “We had a couple of turnovers and they had their chances and they buried it and we didn’t. That was the difference in the game.”

Hockey can be a simple game but if it’s as simple as Kesler and Sedin make it out to be, the corrections for Vancouver in Game 4 on Wednesday will be simple to make. If it runs a little deeper than that then we might very well have ourselves a series.

Tyler Johnson’s injury: One of several ominous signs for Tampa Bay

Carl Gunnarsson, Tyler Johnson
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The gloom only seems to lift from the Tampa Bay Lightning’s cloudy season in small drizzles.

Sure, they’re on a three-game winning streak, but the Washington Capitals seem to be on the verge of ending that with a thud (they’re currently up 3-0 going into the third period).

That’s the least of the Bolts’ concerns right now, really, as Tyler Johnson left Friday’s game seemingly injured.

The word seemingly comes into play because details are scarce, as reporters note.

/ominous music plays

If you look at Tampa Bay’s upcoming schedule, things could get downright stormy.

They face the Islanders at home, but they do so tomorrow so they won’t be well-rested. It gets worse from there.

Dec. 2 – 6: Three-game road trip against the California teams

Dec. 10 – 12: Two home games (one vs. Ottawa, one vs. Washington)

Dec. 14-18: Another three-game road trip

Long story short, they close up a back-to-back set at home tomorrow and then play six of eight on the road.

/even more ominous music

The end of 2015 looks friendlier, but for a team that seems to be cratering here and there … things look a bit morbid.

We’ll see if they can keep fighting, perhaps with a comeback tonight?

The ghost is here: Another OT-winner from Flyers’ Gostisbehere

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Here’s an easy way to remember how to spell Shayne Gostisbehere’s maddening last name (and even his first name can trip you up).

Ghost-is-be-here, without the h.

Not too bad, right?

If you’re more of the slogan type, it’s getting to be the point where “Tough to spell, tougher to stop” may be a pretty good one-liner.

The Philadelphia Flyers phenom has made a habit of scoring overtime game-winning goals on the power play lately. Friday’s version was the decisive tally in a 3-2 OT win against the Nashville Predators, which you can watch up top.

As you can see in comparing that goal with the one below (which made the difference against the Carolina Hurricanes), opposing coaches may want to make it a point to emphasize stopping this setup, even if it means writing “Don’t let that Ghost kid free.”

All three of his goals are on the power play so far.

Will he breathe life back into the Flyers’ man advantage at this rate?

Julien says Lundqvist’s acting ‘doesn’t need to be on the ice’


The goalie interference penalty called on Brad Marchand late in Friday’s Thanksgiving Showdown didn’t sit well with the Bruins.

Marchand, whistled after making contact with New York’s Henrik Lundqvist midway through the third, said he thought “it was a bit of a weak call,” adding “[Lundvqist’s] out of the crease, and he lightly gets touched.”

While Marchand took issue with the call, his head coach took issue with King Henrik.

(In Julien’s defense, Lundqvist does have a pretty lengthy IMDB page.)

The interference penalty was nearly disastrous for the Bruins, as J.T. Miller scored on the ensuing power play to given the Blueshirts a 3-2 edge.

However, Boston replied with a power-play goal of its own — Ryan Spooner, at the 16:14 mark — which set the stage for David Krejci‘s dramatic game-winner with just under two minutes to go.

So, to recap: Today’s game had the Beleskey hit on Stepan, the Marchand-Lundqvist theatrics and a dramatic come-from-behind victory for Boston.

And so, to answer your next question:

These two teams next meet on Monday, Jan. 11, at MSG.

Related: Yep, Alain Vigneault went there — ‘I remember Aaron Rome in this building’

Video: Peluso, Gabriel throw down in spirited heavyweight tilt


The big boys got after it early in Minnesota today.

Wild forward Kurtis Gabriel — all 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds of him — picked one of the toughest opponents in hockey on Friday, throwing down with Jets enforcer Anthony Peluso early in the first period.

And it was a pretty good tilt.

Peluso, one of the league’s most feared fighters, was coming off two pretty heavy scraps — one against Columbus tough guy Jared Boll, and another in which he landed some serious shots on overmatched Canucks d-man Luca Sbisa:

Of course, Gabriel’s no slouch.

He had one previous fight in the NHL this year (against Peluso’s teammate, Chris Thorburn) and five in the American League, where he’s spent the majority of this season.

Given the fisticuffs that occurred earlier in the Bruins-Rangers game, it seem the NHL has really gotten into the spirit of Black Friday.

(All videos courtesy