The wheels came off pretty hard Thursday night as the Canucks laid a dud of a game against the Bruins. If you’re into watching that kind of thing, here are your highlights:
“They showed up and we just made some stupid mistakes,” Tocchet summarized after the game.
There’s not a lot to be said after a game like that. The Canucks put up 17 shots, let in two shorties, and the entire top half of the lineup had little effort the whole night. Games like this happen over the course of an 82 game season, but when you’re the number one team facing the number two team, there should be a bit more on the line than just another game.
Thankfully for the Canucks, that was only their third regulation loss since December 5th. Their record against the top 10 teams in points percentage is 10-4-2. They also play again tomorrow so they can wash the taste out with a strong effort against the Wings. However, they still have to dissect what went wrong and what led to this game being what it was.
Tocchet was not pleased after the game, which is fair. This is a man who cares about effort and accountability, and that was sorely lacking.
"A lot of eyes were on us tonight," he said after the game. “They didn't play well their last game (and) their coach kind of called them out. They showed up, and we just, we made some stupid mistakes. You're in big games, you’ve got to make sure that you don't make mistakes and you... have to have effort. I thought some guys played well. I mean, I thought some guys tried. Unfortunately, we had half the guys, they weren't there."
He seemed to take shots at his top guys too:
"Listen... we need a couple of guys here, let's go. I mean, come on. They weren't good tonight, some guys, and they haven't been good, frankly. These are big-time games. Marchand and Pastrnak, you know, are great players and they showed up. We've got to have that kind of thing.”
One wonders who Tocc was referring to specifically, but Petey said himself he had to be better after the game. He was also limited in his ice time last night, and has been called out by Tocc in recent weeks. Fuel to the fire.
However, Tocc didn’t want to lay it on too thick. He knows the context of this game in the run the Canucks have been having.
“It's our first loss in I don't know how many games, 13 or 14, so I can't get too critical. But these are big games and you'd like to see a little bit better from some guys. The shorthanded goals really is something you cannot do in big, critical games. You just can't.
“Now, like I said, it's the first loss in a long time. But it's an alert-type of loss. It's a good learning lesson. I know the guys; they're not happy and they know that there's a little bit of urgency after this type of loss."
Five shorties in six games is brutal, especially after giving up just one the rest of the season. But, now that they’ve all been called out by the coach, hopefully they’ll respond appropriately Saturday afternoon.