Canucks Notebook: A dinosaur response still has a place in today’s game


‘It probably could have used a whole bunch of fights. They (Ducks) love to play that game.’ — Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau on a lack of pushback Saturday

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Wooden sticks are long gone and fighting is also going the way of the dinosaur.

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In a game predicated on speed, skill and incredible ingenuity by emerging young stars, it’s not often that process gets interrupted by dropping gloves to swing momentum or settle a score.

The Vancouver Canucks had an opportunity Saturday to turn the emotional tide when the Anaheim Ducks struck for two goals in the first 3:23 — and especially when they made it 3-0 at 14:08 — to not get run out of their rink before a full-capacity crowd.

They didn’t respond.

They went quietly into the night and dug a 5-0 hole en route to an embarrassing 7-4 result. Would it have made a difference if Luke Schenn or Travis Hamonic took on somebody when it was 3-0? Maybe. Probably.

It was certainly worth a shot to awake a listless club.

Schenn has answered the bell on four occasions this season and has either come to the rescue of a teammate, or fought to turn the tide. And always-willing combatant Kyle Burroughs, who was injured on his second shift when crushed into the end boards by fourth-line scrapper Nicolas Deslauriers, left the game and appeared to suffer a shoulder or ribs ailment.

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“Burroughs doesn’t look very good — at least for the short term,” said Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau.

That alone should have triggered a response, but Deslauriers knows his role and has eight fights this season. Still, that game needed something.

“It probably could have used a whole bunch of fights,” said Boudreau. “They (Ducks) lead the league in fighting (actually second) and they love to play that game. When Deslauriers started the game, I thought we don’t have the guys to do a line brawl right off the bat.

“I tried to defuse that by putting (Conor) Garland against him. Obviously, that didn’t work. I could have put out Schenn, but thought it was to our advantage to put other guys against Deslauriers. And then he goes and gets two goals.”

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Anaheim Ducks defenseman Simon Benoit (86) collides with Vancouver Canucks forward Nils Hoglander (21) in the third period at Rogers Arena.  Ducks won 7-4.
Anaheim Ducks defenseman Simon Benoit (86) collides with Vancouver Canucks forward Nils Hoglander (21) in the third period at Rogers Arena. Ducks won 7-4. Photo by Bob Frid /USA TODAY Sports

PETTERSSON WAS A HIT

Elias Pettersson scored with his trademark one-timer. power-play howitzer Saturday and a three-point night gave the improving Swede eight points (3-5) in his last five games and 15 points (8-7) in his last 14.

The center also had three shots, four attempts, four hits and won 50 per cent of his draws.

“I played really hard tonight,” said Boudreau. “When he’s leading in hits (Schenn actually led with eight), there’s a definite problem. He was taking no prisoners and that’s a positive thing.

“And I love what (Vasily) Podkolzin did (aggressiveness) and the (Juho) Lammikko line never gets outworked — no matter who we play. But we can’t give up seven goals.”

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