Category Archives: Across The Aisle

Across The Aisle: Game 5 preview

After combining for five points in the series opener nine days ago, L.A. Kings Jeff Carter (left) and Mike Richards (right) have gone silent. Andy Clark/Reuters

The Vancouver Sun coverage

Kings hardly feeling the pressure of first loss to Canucks


The pressure in this series — if that is the fear of losing — is still all on the Canucks, who had two chances to win one game for the Stanley Cup last June and are among the favourites again this year after winning the Presidents’ Trophy.

Canucks coach Vigneault has twin reasons for embracing three-day break between games


While L.A. Kings coach Darryl Sutter bemoans the three-day break between games in his playoff series with the Vancouver Canucks, Alain Vigneault has two reasons to embrace it. The first one is Daniel Sedin. And the second one is Henrik Sedin. In other words, oh brother.

Five storylines flying under the radar


Neither Carter nor Richards has recorded a point in the last three games and both are a combined minus-6 in that span. Making matters worse was that Richards inadvertently deflected Bieksa’s point shot past Quick to give the Canucks their first lead of the series since the first period of Game 1.

Canucks’ Daniel Sedin talks … and talks — so he’s more than okay


For more than 13 minutes, Daniel stood at a podium and answered every question Vancouver hockey journalists could throw at him. Thirteen minutes! Why, that’s almost a lifetime of interviews for some. Imagine 13 minutes of Todd Bertuzzi. (On second thought, don’t.)

Secondary scoring a must for Canucks


The scoring numbers are, overall, pitifully low for a Canucks team that prides itself on strong offensive ability. That the team began playing better only when Daniel Sedin returned says a great deal about the Canucks: they essentially leaned on Daniel for confidence as much as offensive support.

•  Roberto Luongo, Cory Schneider downplay any goalie controversy


Both downplayed the ongoing hullabaloo about who belongs in the Canucks crease next season, and who will be unceremoniously escorted out of town when 2011-12 concludes, all of which has become all the talk around Vancouver hockey circles since Schneider started Games 3 and 4 of the Western Conference quarter-final against the L.A. Kings, ahead of Luongo, the gold-medal winning goalie for Canada in the 2010 Olympics and the Canucks No. 1 guy since 2006.

•  Ex-Canuck, now-King Willie Mitchell feels for sidelined Roberto Luongo


“It’s been a tough road for him up there,” Mitchell said Friday. “A lot of things outside of the game have happened, like being the captain and then they take that away. Before Cory came in for Game 4, who were their two best players? Louie and Cory. It was surprising that they sat their best player, but Cory came in and did a tremendous job, too, so you can’t fault them. But I really do feel badly for him. I’ll talk about it [more] after the series but not during the series.”

Canucks benching Roberto Luongo ‘most difficult decision’ Alain Vigneault has had to make: Rick Bowness


“There was no question that was probably the most difficult decision Alain has had to make in our tenure here,” said Bowness, the tenure being six years. “That’s what it was. You have no idea how incredibly difficult that was because of the amount of respect we have for Roberto, not only as a goalie and as a professional, but as a man.”

Kings right wing Dustin Brown (23) is hit to the ice in front of goalie Cory Schneider by Vancouver Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis (2) during Game 3 of their NHL Western Conference Hockey playoff quarter-finals in Los Angeles, California April 15, 2012. Danny Moloshok/REUTERS

The Province coverage

Canucks build momentum with Game 4 win over Kings

Wednesday night, understudy Cory Schneider stepped into the hottest part of the spotlight and gave the Vancouver Canucks a world-class goaltending performance.
Not to be outdone, the recently concussed Daniel Sedin sent a massive jolt through the first line and a moribund power play as the Canucks, get this, beat Jonathan Quick three times. And the defence, which had been turning over pucks at an awe-inspiring rate, settled down and began, comparatively at least, to look composed and efficient.

Keith Ballard a rock on Canucks’ blue-line


The Vancouver Canucks defenceman averaged 58 seconds of ice time a game with his team short handed during his 47 regular season appearances. On Wednesday, with the club’s season very much in harm’s way, he played two minutes, 33 seconds with Vancouver killing penalties, the most of any player on the squad.

Canucks’ Schneider and Vigneault mum on Luongo future


“I don’t want to get into the reason why I made that call, but we’ve got two great goaltenders, two quality individuals, two people who want to play, one who has all the records that a Canuck goaltender can have, he’s been here a long time, but as a coach you have to do what’s best for the team,” said Vigneault following the Canucks’ workout on Friday. “I knew Schneids would be real happy and Roberto would be disappointed but real supportive and that’s what he was.”

Canucks’ Roberto Luongo won’t comment on trade


“To be honest, I don’t really read or listen, so I don’t know exactly what’s going on. I think right now is not the time to be thinking about that stuff,” said Luongo, who’s been the uncontested No. 1 goaltender in Vancouver since he arrived six seasons ago. “We want to be playing hockey for a little while here and that’s what I want to focus on.”

Canucks’ Kassian, Bieksa no-shows at practice, Raymond on 4th line


And so it appears Raymond, who skated with the Black Aces Thursday — most likely punishment for some poor play Wednesday during Game 3 — has been moved to the fourth line. And Lapierre will play with Kesler and Burrows on the second.

Across The Aisle: Game 4 preview

Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown scores his third-period goal on Vancouver Canucks goalie Cory Schneider and defenceman Alex Edler (right) during Game 3 of their NHL Western Conference Hockey quarter-final series at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, April 15, 2012.Danny Moloshok/Reuters

The Vancouver Sun coverage

Dustin Brown definitely wanted ‘to prove people wrong’


The Los Angeles Kings’ captain, who endured 11-game goal droughts before and after his name was circulated at the National Hockey League trade deadline in February, has four goals in three games and has been the best skater in a series his team can sweep from the Canucks on Wednesday.

Canucks hope to say ‘you’re it’ to Daniel Sedin


“Headaches were my main thing, and that was bad enough,” Sedin told reporters Tuesday after practising here with his team, which trails the Kings 3-0 and faces elimination in the first-round series. “It’s tough to explain, but it’s probably the toughest time, mentally, that I have been through.”

Canucks good, but not quite good enough to beat L.A. Kings

Suddenly, it’s all about Jonathan Quick.
The Kings’ goalie has barricaded his net and, clearly, developed beyond the jittery prodigy he was two years ago when the Canucks beat him at this stage of the Stanley Cup tournament.

Vancouver Canucks vs. Los Angeles Kings playoffs: What they’re saying


Check out a sampling of what media types are saying about the Canucks being on the brink of elimination – down 0-3 to the Los Angeles Kings – in their NHL first-round series.

Daniel Sedin controls the puck in front of teammate Aaron Rome during Tuesday's practice for Game 4 of the team's NHL Western Conference quarter-final hockey playoff against the Los Angeles Kings in El Segundo, California. Danny Moloshok/Reuters

The Province coverage

Canucks’ Daniel Sedin will be in Kings’ crosshairs if back for Game 4


If Daniel Sedin returns to the lineup Wednesday after missing a dozen games with a concussion, he can expect two things from the Los Angeles Kings. He will gain respect. And the 30-goal scorer will be in the crosshairs in Game 4 of the Western Conference quarterfinal series which could see the Presidents’ Trophy winners swept aside.

Kings will not make exceptions for Canucks’ Daniel Sedin

“It’s not like anyone is going to specifically target him but if he’s coming down on us and you have a chance to hit him you’re going to hit him like anyone else,” says Drew Doughty of the Kings, who has partnered with Rob Scuderi to play largely against Ryan Kesler’s line but also some against Henrik Sedin’s line as well. “You’re better off just not thinking about who it is and just playing your normal game.”

Daniel Sedin says watching playoffs harder than playing in them


“If I don’t feel right tomorrow [Wednesday], I won’t play. I don’t want to go through this again. It’s been a tough four weeks and it’s good to be back and first of all feeling good. That’s my main issue. I really wanted to be back for the playoffs, but when that wasn’t the case my main concern was getting back to 100 per cent. We’ll take it day-by-day.”

The enormous mountain they’re facing can be conquered one step at a time – Gallagher


Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said earlier in the week that his team needs simply to concentrate on winning a period to get a start in these NHL playoffs. That’s probably very wise advice, because if they considered the enormity of what they face in trying to climb out of this hole, it would be so very easy to just throw in the towel mentally and get the golf clubs cleaned and ready.

Canucks Booth, Higgins switching lines in hopes of jump-starting offence


If David Booth can finish off his scoring chances as quickly and effectively as he downed a yogurt before facing a sea of microphones Tuesday, then the Vancouver Canucks might just put the bite on the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday. Same goes for Chris Higgins, whose game has gone from reliable and versatile to inconsistent and incomplete.

Is the Roberto Luongo era over in Vancouver?


A Schneider nod would be tangible evidence suggesting we may have seen the end of the Luongo era in Vancouver. A year ago, this scenario would have seemed unfathomable to some. Luongo was the former captain, with the huge contract, the long resume and status as the cornerstone of the team.

Across The Aisle: The Canucks View on Apr. 15

Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin (33) is helped to the bench by teammate Manny Malhotra (27) after being hit by Los Angeles Kings right wing Dustin Brown (23) during Game 3. Danny Moloshok/REUTERS

L.A. Kings defenceman Willie Mitchell takes out Vancouver Canucks winger David Booth during Game 2 of the NHL 2012 Western Conference quarter-final series at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Friday, April 13, 2012. Gerry Kahrmann/PNG staff photoVancouver Sun coverage


• To peep out all the Canuck videos from their Game 3 collapse, check out the Hockeywood Dailies: Canucks Edition.

How badly does Willie Mitchell want to beat the Vancouver Canucks?


Willie Mitchell, one of the league’s most accommodating and quotable players, laughed nervously for a couple of seconds and then said, “next question.” Mitchell wasn’t going there, but it is clear this series means more than he would care to acknowledge.

Game Within Game: Quick lives up to his name


TWEET OF THE NIGHT: The L.A. Kings Twitter aficionado was at it again Sunday night, although he-or-she is proving to be quite the comedian. This time, it was a mid-second period tweet that garnered some laughs. “Dustin Penner goes off for charging, which we thought was a basketball violation,” wrote @LAKings. Of course, L.A. Lakers star Kobe Bryant was spotted in attendance.

Canucks on brink of elimination


Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault played the last good card available to him Sunday, replacing starting goalie Roberto Luongo with backup Cory Schneider. But the guy in goal for the Los Angeles Kings didn’t change and neither did the endangerment of the Canucks’ National Hockey League season.

Canucks’ season vaporizing, getting what they deserve


Hanging in the balance, from the moment they lost the first two games of the 2011-12 playoffs on home ice to the Los Angeles Kings, was their resume, their reputation, their confidence. It still hangs there. Only the thickness of the thread has changed.

Kings’ top line puts them in a special place


The Kings, for the first time in the history of a franchise that dates back to 1967, have a 3-0 lead in a playoff series. The Canucks, fresh off their second straight Presidents Trophy, are one loss away from being swept out of the first round.

Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin (33) is helped to the bench by teammate Manny Malhotra (27) after being hit by Los Angeles Kings right wing Dustin Brown (23) during Game 3 of their NHL Western Conference Hockey playoff quarter-finals in Los Angeles, California April 15, 2012. Danny Moloshok/REUTERS

Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar, left, of Yugoslavia fights with Vancouver Canucks right wing Alex Burrows (14) during the second period of Game 3 in a first-round NHL Stanley Cup playoff series in Los Angeles, Sunday, April 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
The Province coverage

Dustin Brown hit on Canucks’ Henrik Sedin was game changer


It was a hit that could have registered on the Richter Scale because it was looking like the biggest impact the Los Angeles Kings would make Sunday.

Canucks checked into oblivion by L.A. Kings in Game 3


Clearly effort was not a problem based on last night, this team generating a laughable edge in play, plenty of scoring chances and mountains of shots. In that way they pretty much mirrored game two. But without their best scorer and an inordinate number of players lead by Alex Edler underachieving what might be considered their norm, this team’s fate has been all but sealed.

Canucks do-or-die after hard-fought 1-0 loss to Kings
The Canucks changed their goalie, played with fire, and improved their defence.


It all finally exposed the real reason they don’t have a win in their first round series. It exposed the real reason they are on the verge of getting swept out of the playoffs, despite their status as heavy favourites.

Canucks Van Provies for Game 3 vs. Kings


Best reality: You think the Rogers Arena atmosphere is lacking? You haven’t been to the Staples Center. The whole presentation is amateur hour. The feel is minor league.

Canucks vs. Kings NHL Playoffs: The Extra Attacker


Goaltending hasn’t been the problem, it’s simply putting some pucks in the Kings net. But that’s easier said than done against a Vezina contending goaltender like Jonathan Quick and a defence that’s been terrific all season at keeping shots to the outside.

• Sportsnet.ca: Spector on Canucks: Up against the ropes


What’s the mood of this Canucks team right now? “What do you think?” Kevin Bieksa fired back at an innocent reporter (wasn’t me!) post-game. “We’re down three-nothing. It’s not very good.”

Across The Aisle: Game 3 preview

Vancouver Canucks' Manny Malhotra (from left), Christopher Tanev, Roberto Luongo and Kevin Bieksa sit on bench in the closing seconds during Game 2 of their NHL Western Conference quarter-final against the Los Angeles Kings in Vancouver, British Columbia, on April 13, 2012. Andy Clark/Reuters

The Province coverage

Two-game hole ‘not insurmountable’ for Canucks to overcome, Bieksa says

But the best example the Canucks can look to for inspiration as they trail the Los Angeles Kings 2-0 in their best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final, is the Bruins in their opening round last year against Montreal. The eventual Cup champs lost the first two games at home but came back to win the series.

Canucks’ coach Vigneault mum on Game 3 goalie

Alain Vigneault had something interesting to say on Saturday when he was asked who would start in goal Sunday night.
“Have I decided on a starting goalie? Yes I have,” the Canucks head coach said. “But I haven’t shared it with my goaltenders yet, so . . .”

Canucks remain confident despite series deficit

Over the last 40 or so springtimes, Vancouver Canucks’ fans have been preconditioned to expect a certain amount of unpleasantness and as they contemplated their team’s prospects in 2012, they were likely aware further trials awaited. But this? This? Even in their darkest moment, the most tortured member of the faithful couldn’t have conceived of this.

Vancouver Canucks Alexandre Burrows is grabbed by LA Kings goalie Jonathan Quick and Anze Kopitar in the third period of game 2 of the NHL 2012 Western Conference quarter final at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, April 13 2012. Gerry Kahrmann/PNG

Vancouver Sun coverage

Vancouver Canucks losing battles — and series — all over the ice

The Vancouver Canucks have lacked for many things over their history, but rarely in the last 20 years have they been without hope.
They looked fairly close to it Friday night after Game 2 of their first-round National Hockey League playoff series, down 0-2 to the Los Angeles Kings, who are far better than people reckoned when the visitors were being picked to lose to the Canucks in five games — six, max.

Canuck star Daniel Sedin not on trip to L.A.

The reeling Vancouver Canucks will not have star left winger Daniel Sedin in their lineup again Sunday as they attempt to dig themselves out from underneath a 2-0 deficit to the Los Angeles Kings in their opening round Stanley Cup playoff series.

• Sportsnet: Canucks fight for survival; series shifts to L.A.


The first-place-overall finish, and the home-ice advantage that goes with it, will be all for nothing unless the Canucks can conquer the Kings at least once in the unfriendly confines of the Staples Center, which is known for soft ice and bad bounces.

Across The Aisle: The Canucks View on Apr. 13

Los Angeles Kings Drew Doughty (C) laughs as teammates and members of the Vancouver Canucks scuffle during Game 2 of their NHL Western Conference quarter-final hockey playoff in Vancouver, British Columbia April 13, 2012. Andy Clark/Reuters

Vancouver Canucks right wing Zack Kassian (9) bows his head as he sits on the bench during the final minutes of the third period of game two of first round NHL Stanley Cup playoff hockey action against the LA Kings at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Friday, April, 13, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)
For the view from the Kings’ side of the game, click here.

Vancouver Sun coverage

Canucks losing battles — and series — all over the ice


The Vancouver Canucks have lacked for many things over their history, but rarely in the last 20 years have they been without hope. They looked fairly close to it Friday night after Game 2 of their first-round National Hockey League playoff series, down 0-2 to the Los Angeles Kings, who are far better than people reckoned when the visitors were being picked to lose to the Canucks in five games — six, max.

Canucks blue after getting Dustin Brown’d by L.A. Kings


The Vancouver Canucks’ power play is performing about as well as one of those North Korean missiles. And because of it, the Canucks just may crash and burn right out of the National Hockey League playoffs.

Canucks’ challenge more desperate the longer Daniel Sedin sidelined


A few ears perked up Friday morning when — in answer to a question about star forward Daniel Sedin’s progress or lack of same — Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault admitted he has never read the National Hockey League’s concussion protocol. Then again, neither had I.

Game 2: Game within a game


It’s the first in 11 years the Canucks have been down 2-0 in a playoff series and the first time in team history they’ve been down 2-0 when starting a series at home … Since going out four straight to the Colorado Avalanche in 2001, the Canucks had appeared in 14 series in which they were either were up 2-0 or split 1-1.

I Watched This Playoff Game: Canucks vs Los Angeles Kings, April 13, 2012


People are going to congratulate the LA Kings on their expert scouting of the Canucks’ powerplay, especially after Anze Kopitar intercepted a sloppy Alex Edler drop pass on the Kings’ first shorthanded goal. But let’s get real: everyone knows about the drop pass. My wife knows about the drop pass. It’s not hard to guess that the Canucks might employ the same zone entry play they’ve employed exclusively for two years. That’s like predicting that Ash Ketchum will attempt to catch ‘em all.

Henrik Sedin #33 of the Vancouver Canucks falls over goalie Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings after getting hit during the third period in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Arena on April 13, 2012 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

Vancouver Canucks defensemen Chris Tanev (8) and Alexander Edler (23) try to stop Los Angeles Kings right wing Dustin Brown's shot from going into the goal during first period of Game 2 of first-round NHL Stanley Cup playoff hockey action at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Friday, April, 13, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)
The Province coverage

Canucks smothered by Kings in brutal 4-2 loss


The Canucks outshot the Kings 48-26, but could mount nothing at all on their five power plays except give up the two goals to Brown, while the Kings were one-of-four with the man-advantage, making them 25-percent (3-of-12) for the series so far.

Canucks implosion against Kings beyond belief

Over the last 40 or so springtimes, Vancouver Canucks’ fans have been preconditioned to expect a certain amount of unpleasantness and as they contemplated their team’s prospects in 2012, they were likely aware further trials awaited.
But this? This? Even in their darkest moment, the most tortured member of the faithful couldn’t have conceived of this.

Canucks power play DOA against Kings


The Kings enacted their version of Get Shorty with the Canucks in Game 2 and it earned them a 2-0 lead in the best of seven opening round playoff series.

Across the Aisle: Game Two Preview

Photobucket

Vancouver Canucks right wing Alex Burrows (14) and Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards (10) go into the boards during third period NHL Stanley Cup playoff hockey action at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Wednesday, April, 11, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)
• Sportsnet: Solving King Richards


How does a No. 8 seed go about knocking off a two-time Presidents’ Trophy winning No. 1 seed? Well, the recipe begins with a star player taking a Game 1 matchup favoured by the home team coach, and turning it into a nightmare the way Richards did. Then, when that player put his team atop his shoulders — scoring the first goal, making the game-winner with a fine rush, and finally, setting up the empty netter — you’ve got a solid foundation for an upset.

• Vancouver Sun: Vintage Mike Richards spells trouble


Richards matched a season-high by registering three points in the 4-2 win and he co-led the Kings with four hits, capped by a slobber-knocker on Canuck Alex Burrows in the final minute of regulation time when Vancouver was pushing for a tying goal and probably not expecting Richards to close on someone like an anvil on Wile E. Coyote.

• The Province: Ryan Kesler vs Mike Richards is a tale of two warriors


Alain Vigneault isn’t so sure. When pressed on pitting Kesler against Richards during the 4-2 series-opening loss — a matchup that resulted in a goal and two assists for the Los Angeles Kings centre — the Canucks coach sounded like the Selke Trophy winner came out second best. Even though he had two assists and nearly scored a backhand wrap-around goal.

• The Province: Richards relishing NHL playoff redemption

“It’s a fresh start in playoffs. Everybody starts at zero. I never lost confidence in myself. Even though I wasn’t getting the points, the bounces, you knew if you stuck with it, it was going to come. You stick with the game plan. It’s not cheating offensively. It’s playing good defence. It was nice to have a game like last night, but it’s time to move on and look ahead to Game 2.”

The Province coverage

Canucks’ Bitz suspended 2 games, admits hit on Clifford was wrong


Byron Bitz will miss two games for his boarding of the Kings’ Kyle Clifford on Wednesday night. He received a five-minute major and game misconduct for the infraction, and the Kings scored late in the power play to go ahead 2-1.

Canucks show no discipline or intelligence against Kings


When you play almost one-third of the first two periods shorthanded; when you’re outshot 29-14 over that same span; and when you play without a shred of the discipline and intelligence needed for the postseason, you aren’t going to win too many games.

Canucks of years past back to haunt the Kings, and fans


It’s not that the Vancouver Canucks lost Game 1 of the NHL playoffs, the first time they’ve done that in nine postseason series and so handed the Los Angeles Kings home-ice advantage… It was the way the Canucks lost.

•  Canucks Hat Trick: Higgins disappears, Edler struggles, Kings tweet


Tuesday night (Chris Higgins) seemed to be invisible, for whatever reason. One game is hardly reason for any significant concern, but last year he played a poor regular season and was great in the playoffs. Let’s hope he isn’t changing it up this year and deciding to play a great regular season and then take the playoffs easy.

Canucks carry power play woes into NHL playoffs


In the case of the Canucks’ power play, you could argue the stats since mid-January — a once-mighty man-advantage that slipped to one of the NHL’s worst, clicking at around 12 per cent the past three months — are dreamy heights beyond reach of these guys now.

• Willes: Canucks haters out in force, even though NHL playoffs have just begun


The idea that the Canucks are the NHL’s most hated team has been repeated so many times it’s now accepted as fact. But why?

Vancouver Sun coverage

Darryl Sutter turns Kings around while brother Brent gets axe in Calgary


When it comes to dealing with the media, Darryl Sutter doesn’t necessarily ooze personality. But there’s no denying at least the immediate impact he’s had on the Los Angeles Kings since taking over as head coach on Dec. 20, replacing Terry Murray, who was dismissed from the position on Dec. 12

Canucks must tune out white noise of controversy that swirls around them


High on the list of things certain NOT to be discussed, however, were (a) whether Canuck winger Byron Bitz should have been suspended when Nashville’s Shea Weber was not, (b) what to do about the Los Angeles Kings’ official Twitter account administering a sharp jab to the Canucks’ sorest spot after Game 1, and (c) whether they are, in fact, the most hated hockey club on the planet.

Why Vancouver Canucks WILL / WON’T beat the L.A. Kings

Reason why: 1. EXPERIENCE: The Canucks have proven on numerous occasions they are a mature group not prone to groping for the panic button.
Reason why not: 1. NO DANIEL SEDIN: The Canucks’ leading goal-scorer and Art Ross winner of one season ago did not skate in Thursday’s optional practice, leaving little doubt that he won’t play again in Game 2.

Across the Aisle: The Canucks View on Apr. 11

Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler (17) falls to the ice after a collision with Los Angeles Kings right wing Dustin Brown (23) during the first period of Game 1 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series Wednesday, April 11, 2012, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)

Los Angeles Kings center Jarret Stoll (28) celebrates after teammate Willie Mitchell scored against Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo (1) during the second period of Game 1 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series Wednesday, April 11, 2012, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)• For the Kings’ media recap, click here. For the Hockeywood Dailies, click here.

The Vancouver Sun coverage

Vancouver Canucks’ discipline, special teams just part of problem


The Vancouver Canucks are trying a new way to win a playoff series. And we don’t mean without Daniel Sedin, although that, too. They’re trying to win it from behind after starting badly against the Los Angeles Kings and losing 4-2 Wednesday in Game 1 of their Stanley Cup tournament-opener at Rogers Arena.

Vancouver Canucks outclassed, lose 4-2 to L.A. Kings on late Dustin Penner goal


The Canucks did not look like a team about to embark on a long Stanley Cup run. They were totally outclassed, especially in the first two periods, by a Kings team that regularly beat them to the puck and looked dangerous much of the night.

Game Within Game: Kings get full marks for win


PIVOTAL POINT – With less than three and a half minutes to go in the third period, Canuck defenceman Alex Edler coughed up the puck in his own zone to Mike Richards, who fed Jeff Carter, the puck bouncing off Carter right to Dustin Penner for an easy tap-in and the game-winning goal with 3:14 remaining.

Henrik Sedin has a discussion with an official in the final minute of play against the LA Kings during the third period in game one of the NHL 2012 Western Conference quarter final at Rogers arena, Vancouver, April 11 2012.

Vancouver Canucks left wing Mason Raymond (21) tries to get past Los Angeles Kings center Jarret Stoll (28) and defenseman Rob Scuderi (7) during the first period of Game 1 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series Wednesday, April 11, 2012, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)The Province coverage

Canucks over-emotional, distracted, in 4-2 loss to Kings


The Canucks reasoned they may have been over-emotional. Too charged up, they said. Maybe they were distracted too, running around, chirping players. What they weren’t was ready.

Canucks chase Kings, flail with penalties and appear coached by Mike Keenan


For starters, will those who repeatedly keep singing this team’s praises and ignoring the ongoing issues like the power play and the lack of attack at least take one night off after this one? Will the ‘everything is wonderful’ crowd at least admit that home wins over Edmonton, Colorado and the like down the stretch may not have meant a whole lot?

Canucks get smacked 4-2 by chirpy Kings


Get well soon Daniel Sedin. Real soon. As much as the Vancouver Canucks were convinced it didn’t matter what lineup they iced in the Western Conference quarterfinal series opener Wednesday, the reality was the Presidents’ Trophy winners will need their top offensive threat if they expect to get past the Los Angeles Kings

Across the Aisle: Mar. 2

Jordan Nolan #71 of the Los Angeles Kings fights against Ben Eager #55 of the Edmonton Oilers at Staples Center on April 2, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Kings' Dustin Brown slides into the net as Edmonton Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk jumps to avoid him during the second period of their NHL hockey game in Los Angeles April 2, 2012. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok, edmontonjournal.com• Edmonton Sun: Oilers shoot blanks in L.A.


The Edmonton Oilers are starting to wonder if the referees are basing their decisions on the standings, not the game. Monday night in Los Angeles, in what has become a recurring and rather disturbing scene, the Oilers seemed to be playing in a contest with two sets of rules — one for a playoff team and one for a lottery team.

• Edmonton Journal: Kings upend Oilers, even as Dubnyk stands on his head again


The Edmonton goalie made 27 saves by the time the game was 40 minutes old, including a stop on Brown on a late second period power play. He got some help, too. Twice the Kings rang pucks off the iron and, late in the second period, a goal was waved off because the net was dislodged before the puck crossed the goal-line.

• The Copper & Blue: Kings 2 – Oilers 0: We’ve seen this before

It seems like every Oilers season ends like this: a long, slow march to the end where fans wonder what next year will be like and hope that the next draft pick will get the Oilers out of last place.

• Edmonton Journal: Kings improve playoff chances with win over Oilers


While the Oilers are coasting into the off-season, the Kings are desperately trying to lock down one of the three remaining playoff spots in the Western Conference. Los Angeles has 93 points and a two-point lead over the Phoenix Coyotes in the Pacific Division.

• Edmonton Sun: Life’s A Beach

There is a big difference between a fishbowl and the ocean. Matt Greene
and Jarret Stoll, four years after moving from Edmonton to Los Angeles,
know this better than anyone.
“It’s different, that’s for sure, than being in Edmonton,” said Greene,
who spent three seasons under the hockey microscope before a 2008 trade
to LA gave him a little breathing room.

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk looks to stop the puck, while Los Angeles Kings' Trevor Lewis looks for a rebound as Oilers' Ryan Smyth defends, during the second period of their NHL hockey game in Los Angeles April 2, 2012. Danny Moloshok, edmontonjournal.com
They said it


“They’re good at home, and again, they’re a desperate team. They’re certainly going to stick to their game plan and hope that their opponent makes the odd mistake to give them a chance, and that’s what we did.” – Head coach Tom Renney, on the Kings’ game plan.


“Maybe they (the NHL), needs Hollywood in the playoffs. I’m not sure. “It’s tough sledding out there. We had to kill a couple too many penalties.” –Renney, on the Oilers getting called for too many penalties, in an Edmonton newspaper.


“They definitely kept us on the outside. I don’t think we got any chances inside, and (we got) hemmed in  … you don’t get any offensive chances and we’re a team that has a lot of offensive power. It’s tough. We knew that coming in. We played two pretty good periods as far as keeping the puck out of our of net, but at the end of the day, I think we just got a little too fancy.” – Jordan Eberle, on the game.


“I think if you want to beat a team like that, who is playing desperate hockey, you’ve got to play in their end a little more. You’ve got to get pucks in deep and force their defense to turn pucks over, and we didn’t really do that tonight, and we’ve got to learn from it.”  – Oilers forward Sam Gagner on what it takes to beat a team like the Kings.

From across the aisle: Mar. 28

Anze Kopitar #11, Drew Doughty #8 and teammates of the Los Angeles Kings celebrate a 3-0 victory over the Calgary Flames on March 28, 2012 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)

Tom Kostopoulos of the Calgary Flames skates away after disgustedly trying to throw back into the crowd a jersey tossed onto the ice by a fan at the end of a 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings in NHL hockey action at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Wednesday, March 28, 2012. LYLE ASPINALL/CALGARY SUN/QMI AGENCY
• Calgary Sun: Flames shut out by Kings


If the Calgary Flames’ season was already on life-support, the Los Angeles Kings just yanked the plug. Magic numbers aren’t as cut and dry in hockey as they are in baseball. But Wednesday’s 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings was brought to you by the No. 93. As in, the Calgary Flames’ best-case scenario when the regular-season comes to a close next week is 93 points in the NHL’s Western Conference standings.

• Calgary Sun: It’s lights out for the Flames


Sure, the Flames can talk about still having a mathematical chance of reaching the NHL post-season and crow on about having faith — cue the insipid Journey classic rock staple Don’t Stop Believin’ for added effect — but Wednesday’s 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings all but sealed their fate.

• Calgary Sun: Flames fans voice their disapproval


With a few minutes left, the stoppages in play prompted floods to the exits and an ironic cheer after a long shot on goal. The tipping point came in the final minute, as a Flames jersey hit the ice. Tom Kostopolous threw it back into the crowd, but the message was clear.

Tom Kostopoulos of the Calgary Flames picks up a jersey thrown onto the ice by a fan at the end of a Flames 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings in NHL hockey action at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Wednesday, March 28, 2012. LYLE ASPINALL/CALGARY SUN/QMI AGENCY

They said it


“I just thought our decision-making was a step slow tonight and theirs was probably half a step quick. It’s not good. The result was them executing both ways, and us making poor decisions and allowing them to execute and not forcing them to defend us.” – Former King and current Flame winger Mike Cammalleri, on the game.

“It’s a tough loss. It’s as tough as any this year — probably the toughest. We didn’t generate anything. We get up tomorrow and try not to eliminate yourself. We will let other people do it.” – Flames captain Jarome Iginla, on putting loss behind them.

“For both of these hockey teams, it’s such a huge position. When you look at what Kipper has done for us this year, and for this organization in the past, and you look at how Quick has played in L.A. and how he has developed and what he has brought to that hockey team, it tells you that your teams start with your goaltender on out, and that’s the way these two teams are made up. Our best player is our goaltender, and so is theirs. That’s really it, at the end of the day.” – Flames coach Brent Sutter, on the importance of goaltending to these two teams.


On location: The Calgary Dailies

Here’s Jerome Iginla after the game.

Mike Cammalleri’s postgame comments.

Lee Stempniak spoke to the media as well.

Brent Sutter’s postgame presser.

Across the Aisle: Calgary edition

Darryl Sutter makes his return to the dome as the LA Kings are in town to face off against the Flames, who are just three points out of the 8th playoff spot in the West. He speaks to Anze Kopitar at practise. Puck drops tonight at 8 pm. Calgary, Alberta. Saturday, January 14 2012. BRENDAN MILLER/Special to the Calgary Sun/QMI Agency
• Calgary Sun: Kings beat Flames in Darryl Sutter’s return to Calgary

In the battle of Alberta’s First Hockey Family, it was the elder Darryl who walked away victorious over brother Brent — maybe even a little satisfied after being asked to resign from his post in Calgary a little more than a year ago. Not that he’d admit it.

• Calgary Sun: Kings thriving under new coach Sutter

“He’s different than what I expected. Coming in, I thought he was going to be really hard on us, yelling at us all the time,” Doughty said. “He’s awesome. He expects us to be at our best every night, working hard and be tough on players, and that’s what we needed as a coach.”

• Calgary Herald: Sutter as surly and abrasive as he ever was

The first time is always the worst time. But the novelty is now gone. The curiosity, evaporated. The intense scrutiny, at an end. With Saturday over, Darryl Sutter, and the Flames, can exhale and move on.

• Calgary Sun: Sutter’s old grudge remains

To say Darryl Sutter wasted little time reminding the Calgary media how miserable life in and around the Flames organization could be at times when he ran the joint would be wrong.

They said it

“It’s a great building to be in. That’s what it’s about. Hey, what more do you want? A kid from Alberta on Hockey Night in Canada in an Alberta building. Pretty awesome right?” – Darryl Sutter, on the first game back to Calgary.

“Everyone is aware of the situation, coming back here for him,” Brown said. “Guys understood, whether he downplays it or not, I know he wants to win this game.” – Dustin Brown, on the matchup of the brothers Sutter.

“I said this this morning — you guys make more of a deal about it than myself or Darryl does,. His job is to coach the L.A. Kings, and my job is to coach the Calgary Flames. I’m disappointed we lost the hockey game.” – Brent Sutter, on the game.