Eddie Lack, Corey Perry, Cam Fowler, Ryan Kesler

Torts says Canucks ‘have lost ourselves a little bit’


The Vancouver Canucks went to Southern California this weekend, and all they got was one lousy point.

And frankly, they were lucky to get it.

On Saturday, the Canucks were outshot 49-28 in Los Angeles and fell 3-1 to the Kings. The next night, in Anaheim, they were outshot 49-20 and lost 4-3 in overtime to the Ducks.

If not for the performances of their goalies — Roberto Luongo in L.A.; Eddie Lack in Anaheim — the scorelines could’ve been a lot worse.

“We have lost ourselves a little bit,” said coach John Tortorella. “You know, we’re a little bit beat up. I never want to use it as an excuse; we’re a little bit beat up. I think we’re playing against a different level of team, especially the past couple of nights. But we have some work to do.”

Now winless in four, the Canucks played without a number of injured veterans versus the Ducks, including Alex Burrows and Alex Edler — both of whom have been out a while — and Chris Higgins, who reportedly missed the game with the flu. Then, to make matters worse, Zack Kassian took a skate to the face early in the second period and never returned.

But things aren’t about to get any easier. On Tuesday, Pittsburgh’s in town. Friday, it’s St. Louis. And then it’s off to SoCal once again to play the Kings and Ducks, followed by a trip to Phoenix.

Which is to say, if the Canucks don’t find themselves soon, they could be right back on the outside looking in when it comes to playoff positioning in the Western Conference.

Related: Luongo’s issue might be worse than day-to-day

Habs claim Byron off waivers from Flames

Paul Byron
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Montreal added some forward depth on Tuesday, acquiring diminutive forward Paul Byron off waivers from Calgary.

Byron, 26, is a veteran of nearly 150 career NHL games, most coming with the Flames. Despite fairly solid production over the last two years — 40 points in 104 games — he was exposed to waivers on Monday, along with fellow forward Mason Raymond.

(Calgary does have a logjam of players at forward, hence parting ways with Byron and Raymond.)

Byron can play both wing and center but, at 5-foot-7, 153 pounds, is one of the most undersized skaters in the league. Thankfully for him, Montreal has an affinity for undersized forwards, with the likes of Brendan Gallagher (5-foot-9, 184 pounds) and David Desharnais (5-foot-7, 174 pounds) already on the active roster.

Byron could also fill Zack Kassian‘s roster spot. Kassian is currently suspended without pay while undergoing Stage 2 of the NHL’s Substance Abuse program.

Isles claim goalie Berube off waivers

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Jaroslav Halak
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The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.

Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.

That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season after all.

If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.

The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.