Down 0-3 in their opening-round series against the Sharks, the Canucks went on the offensive on Monday.
Defenseman Kevin Bieksa called out San Jose forwards Joe Thornton and Logan Couture, suggesting both were trying to sell calls to officials.
“It’s a lack of integrity,” Bieksa said. “Couture has been snapping his head back. This isn’t my opinion. The evidence is in the video.”
Bieksa also took aim at the pair’s “Canadian-ness,” — you know, the Don Cherry-esque theory where all good Canadian boys play the game honest and never dive to draw penalties — suggesting the Sharks forwards were, for a lack of a better term, frauds.
“Those are two Canadian guys who are supposed to be playing the game with integrity,” Bieksa continued. “Maybe our team has to do more of that.
“Thornton, another so-called Canadian — he gets slashed, takes his glove off, shakes his hand.”
When asked about Bieksa’s comments, head coach Alain Vigneault offered up “we’re the embellishers,” as his reply.
(Note: The comment was dripping with sarcasm. Also, embellishers isn’t a word.)
But staying on the embellishment front, it’s worth noting that Bieksa has gone down this road before.
During the 2011 Western Conference semifinal against Nashville, he warned that diving could damage the game and the reputation of the offending team.
“I know guys will do whatever it takes for a power play to win a game,” he told The Province. “But sometimes they’re crossing that line of integrity.
“I think for the better of the game, for the good of the game we need people to stay on that line and not cross it, and not dive and exaggerate for calls.”
The catch here?
Bieksa was responding to allegations the Canucks were embellishing to draw penalties against the Predators.