Frustrating. Disappointing. It almost makes you… just a little bit angry.
The Canucks were 65 seconds from a 1-0 victory on Thursday night, before the Sharks swarmed the net – as sharks always do, and as these Sharks always seem to do so easily against Vancouver – and Tomas Hertl banged in his team-leading 11th goal of the season.
Dan Boyle ended it in overtime, on a penalty call that may have been deserved or may not have been deserved. Doesn’t matter when the W’s all you see.
“That’s a tough way to lose,” said head coach John Tortorella, facing the media on Thursday night, a little quieter than normal.
“I’m not gonna discuss it with you guys,” he said, when asked about the penalty call, which had Henrik Sedin hauled to the box for a poorly-timed tap-tap hooking on San Jose’s Jason Demers.
In my opinion, it was a weak call. It was hardly a graze. Demers appeared to be losing the puck even before Henrik touched him. Sadly, it was far too similar to last year’s playoff bouncer, when Henrik’s brother Daniel was sent to the box for basically being aggressive, and had to watch Patrick Marleau end the series while the wronged Sedin had to sit in the loneliest seat in the HP Pavilion.
“We played a really good hockey game,” Tortorella said. “We end up getting it tied on a fanned shot that goes right to, I think it’s the young kid there, Hertl. It’s a kick in the teeth to lose it, but looking at the big picture and some of the things we did against a really good hockey club, that’s what we’re gonna take out of this game here. We played a really good game, right on through.
“That stuff happens. We’ll be on the (other) end of one of those games somewhere along the line, too, and we don’t deserve to win it. We’ll win one.”
But for a Canucks team that saw this exact scenario unfold in two games of a four-game sweep in last year’s playoffs – San Jose won games two and four on late, tying goals – it’s just simply not enough to turn up your hands and say, “Well, we should have won.”
The Canucks should have won too many times. They should have won a Stanley Cup in 2011, or any time since then. They should have beaten the L.A. Kings the next year, because they should have had Daniel Sedin in the lineup. They should have done this, should have done that. Should have signed Brendan Gallagher probably, too. Or Milan Lucic.
These aren’t all relevant topics but they add up over the years, and the fact that Thursday’s late-game loss was so predictable is the real issue.
It’s alright if the song remains the same. But this is a broken record.