#1 The Canucks owe Jaroslav Halak free meals
Halak has looked good as the backup this year except he has only had one win so far and has not had a lot of goal support. There wasn’t a lot of goal support for him Thursday night, unfortunately.
Halak was clearly Vancouver’s best player. He managed to stop 34 out of 35 Kings shots. The veteran netminder was making some great saves particularly with his pads including this one on Kempe.
Without Halak, the Kings could have won by a much larger margin.
“He was unbelievable tonight,” said Bo Horvat. “That game could’ve been a lot worse than it was. He stood on his head.”
Halak also managed to stop Lemiuex on a penalty shot.
Halak also went two for four in the shootout but he was the biggest reason why the Canucks got to that point as he was saving shots that looked like they were going to be goals from LA.
Halak deserves some free food and drink or a late Christmas gift after a very good performance.
#2 The Canucks clearly looked tired
The Canucks were playing the second of a back-to-back and it was kind of expected that they would start off slow.
The team clearly looked tired and didn’t look like a team on a seven-game winning streak. For most of the game, the offence was hard to come by as they didn’t get any high danger scoring chances on Jonathan Quick.
They were also not connecting their passes, had a hard time winning the puck battles, and the defending let players like Anze Kopitar and Adrian Kempe get by them easily. There were also some pretty bad turnovers.
The second period was pretty much all Kings in particular. The Kings outshot the Canucks 17-3 in the middle frame. According to NaturalStatTrick, Vancouver had only 13.51% Corsi for in the second while LA 86.49%. The Kings had 36 shot attempts in the second while the Canucks only had six.
The Canucks looked like a bunch of zombies from the Walking Dead in the second.
“36-6 isn’t any indication of an NHL team playing well,” said Boudreau after the game per Patrick Johnston of The Province and Vancouver Sun.
It’s tough for a team to perform at the same level they did on the first game of a back-to-back but it can’t be an excuse. That second period was tough to watch and letting the Kings have 36 shot attempts in one period and having only six isn’t acceptable.
Thankfully, the Canucks only got scored on once and snagged a point thanks to Halak but they should have helped him out more.