We wrote yesterday that the Vancouver Canucks could use a win against the Los Angeles Kings. Well, in case you missed it, they didn’t get it. They lost in overtime, 3-2, after holding a 2-1 lead late in the third period.
Two defensive breakdowns…
…meant the Canucks finished their six-game home stand with just one victory. Now they face a four-game road trip to visit the Senators, Rangers, Hurricanes, and Predators. And they head off on that trip in ninth place in the Western Conference, three points back of a playoff spot.
Yet despite another negative result, Canucks coach John Tortorella said he liked what he saw from his club.
“I’m very excited about some of things that happened,” he said, per the Vancouver Sun. “You may call me crazy, but I am. We just have to keep banging away … and keep working at this.”
One of those “things that happened” was this:
That melee was largely in response to an earlier hit by the Kings’ Jordan Nolan on Canucks captain Henrik Sedin.
You may recall earlier this month when Tortorella said this: “If someone goes after the Sedins, other people have to step in. That’s part of the game.”
Looks like that message got through.
A couple of other things Torts could’ve been “very excited about” last night:
— The Canucks outshot the Kings, 39-22, and drew eight penalties.
— Recent healthy scratch David Booth finished with five shots and a couple of great scoring chances. (No, he didn’t finish any of them, but hey, it’s progress.)
The challenge for Tortorella will be keeping the Canucks positive and helping them maintain their belief in his system. Last night might’ve been the toughest loss of the season for Vancouver, and that’s saying something.
“I’m going to support them and we’ll get through this,” said Tortorella.
“We just need to take it one game at a time and, come March, we’ll see where we’re at.”