Shirt thrown on ice is a sign of the times for struggling Canucks – .

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Shirt thrown on ice is a sign of the times for struggling Canucks – .


VANCOUVER – If the Vancouver Canucks jersey that landed on the ice in protest late Saturday night was accompanied by a note, I hope the fan who disowned his team would have explained, “It’s not you , Bo, it’s everyone.
The jersey was named after Captain Bo Horvat, and it was quickly and respectfully retrieved from the ice at Rogers Arena by Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin, who returned it over the glass where it was claimed by a fan always ready to wear the Canucks colors. .

There are still plenty of them. But many of those who kept their shirts on still booed the home side towards the end of the 4-1 loss to the Penguins, who outscored Vancouver 44-23 and put an end to the little momentum generated by the Canucks this week ending a road trip with wins in Montreal and Ottawa against teams even worse than they are.

The tendency for fans to throw away their jerseys is horrendous for all National Hockey League teams, and was proof on Saturday that the unrest within the Canucks nation goes beyond general manager Jim Benning and owner Francesco Aquilini. .

“Not a good one, obviously,” Canucks winger Tyler Motte said when asked about how it feels to be mocked at home. “(But) the only way to get over that is to go through it. We have. . . have to keep looking at ourselves in the mirror and find a way to be better because we owe it to more people than ourselves.

He later added, “We heard the frustration from the fans tonight. And again, we look at ourselves in a mirror and find a way, because we owe more people than ourselves to create a better product. “

Horvat, more than any other player to explain the Canucks’ spectacular shortcomings this season, said simply, “The fans want wins, and we don’t give them to them.

As a result, a significant number of fans with tickets, those who devote their time and real money to the Canucks, once again chanted “Fire Benning!” During the third period.

Twenty-five games in the season – almost a third of a schedule that was supposed to lead them to a playoff run – the Canucks are 8-15-2.

They used a new application of an old losing method to fall for the second time in 11 days against a much superior Penguins team.

The Canucks league’s worst penalty kick failed them yet, but this time it never really stood a chance when Motte, Tyler Myers and Tucker Poolman took penalties – perhaps unwarranted, definitely reckless and unlucky – in less than two minutes late in the second period.

On back-to-back five-on-three advantage, Penguins sniper Jake Guentzel took shots 70 seconds apart from Canucks defensemen Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Luke Schenn, who were unlucky to be on the ice instead of the penalty bench.

Guentzel, whose hat trick started with another friendly ricochet at 2:19 of the second period, turned a 1-1 game into a two-goal lead for the Penguins that the Canucks never seemed able to threaten. .

“It ended up costing us a lot of games and it made a difference in a lot of hockey games,” Horvat said of a PK who was DOA in at least half of Vancouver’s games. “And that was still a difference there tonight.

“We were still in the game after the 3-1 and we should have come out stronger in the third. But it’s hard when you run into penalty issues like that. It’s deflating when you play catch up against a team like that.

The penalty problems started earlier in the middle of the period when JT Miller managed to pull two penalties to stumble in fairly harmless situations in just over three minutes. Even more remarkable, the Canucks eliminated both drawbacks.

But the numerical disparity between the players reached a critical mass – two – after the stickless Myers reverted to his primary instincts and simply picked up the puck to try to throw it out of the zone at 4:14 pm with the Canucks. besieged following an unnecessary frosting by struggling sophomore Nils Hoglander.

The contentious call, and the first five-on-three, came 31 seconds later when Motte was whistled for a Pittsburgh counter-check on Kris Letang, who appeared to launch for the glass on first contact.

And just 20 seconds later, the hapless Poolman desperately hit a backhand to release a puck that, skin-deep, soared past Earth’s gravitational pull like a NASA space launch. Game delay.

Guentzel, who has only scored 12 goals in 10 career games against the Canucks, scored at 17:13 and 18:23.

“When you’re already down against a guy and he’s 200 feet (from your net) with no clear opportunity to score, I think no one is ever really okay with (the penalty) he’s taking.” ”Said Motte. “But when the player comes after you and tells you they’re losing an advantage going down, it’s difficult. But, of course, we still took too much tonight. It changed the game a lot. “

And yet, had it not been for another post struck by struggling Canuck Elias Pettersson about two minutes before the penalty parade, Vancouver might have led 2-1 in the game despite being outscored and outclassed.

But it’s a loser for you. And win. Each effort creates its own inertia, and the science of this was exemplified by both teams on Saturday.

“It’s kind of like a roller coaster for sure,” Motte said. “You feel confident enough to win the last two. But again, every day is a new day. Especially in the position that we have placed ourselves in, we have to be able to come in and find a way to win hockey games, and whether it’s 1-0 or 6-5. . . it’s about winning hockey games. It is essential.

The Canucks’ six home games continue on Monday against the Los Angeles Kings.



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