Canucks try to explain 8-1 Game 3 embarrassment by Bruins

BOSTON — After Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa was asked if Brad Marchand's shorthanded goal for the Boston Bruins was a turning point on Monday night.

"When did Marchand score?" he asked, confused.

It was that kind of game for the Canucks.

Marchand's was the third goal in an 8-1 decimation by the Bruins, who cut the Canucks' series lead to 2-1 with the type of Big Bad Bruins performance they seemed incapable of having in Vancouver.

They hit, they scored, they defended, they hustled, they taunted.

They defeated.

"Obviously you don't want to lose 8-1 too regularly. It's embarrassing, especially at this time of year. But it's a loss. And the series is 2-1, us, now," said Bieksa.

What went wrong? To hear the Canucks say it, pretty much everything.

Roberto Luongo was in goal for all eight Bruins tallies, going from the Conn Smythe hunt to a goalie whose coach asked him if he wanted out with 8 minutes left in the third period (Luongo said no).

"They got a couple of lucky breaks in the second," he said, talking about a broken Alex Edler stick on the first Bruins' goal. "A loss is a loss. Whether we lose in overtime or 8-1, we move on."

Some of the goals were Luongo's fault; the majority could be blamed on a defense that was overwhelmed and undermanned after Aaron Rome was ejected from the game in the first period for his hit on Nathan Horton.

Daniel Sedin said the loss couldn't be pinned on their netminder: "Aw, forget it. He didn't get the help he needed. It's not on him."

What did Sedin see out there? "We weren't sharp enough in a lot of areas. Passes, helping the defensemen out, our breakouts, our forecheck," he said.

It was that kind of game for the Canucks.

Special teams were a considerable failure in Game 3. The Bruins' previously pathetic power play began the game going scoreless on Rome's 5-minute major. It ended up 2-for-4 on the night. The Canucks had eight power plays (15:13 of power play time). They failed to score in all of them, and gave up two shorthanded goals to Marchand and Daniel Paille.

"We had plenty of chances on the power play tonight to make them pay, and we didn't," said Bieksa. "That's how you keep them honest."

By that he meant, 'That's how you ensure the Bruins don't take liberties with you during the game.' Which they did against the Canucks in Game 3, including Milan Lucic battling Alex Burrows, which led to this brief Q&A with the Canucks winger after the game:

Q. "Did he punch you in the balls?"

BURROWS: "Punch me in the balls?

Q. "Yeah, Lucic."

BURROWS: "No, in the face. In the back of the head I think."

Q. "What was your reaction? Were you surprised when he came at you that way and followed it with the hand in the face?"

BURROWS: "Not really."

It was that kind of game for the Canucks.

Was Ryan Kesler surprised by the Bruins' Mark Recchi and Milan Lucic revisiting the finger-biting incident with Game 3 taunts?

"No. We know the type of team they are over there," he said.

Said Bieksa: "It's playoff hockey. For us, we're best if we stay out of that kind of thing. It drains your energy. They took penalties after the whistle tonight. They will again."

So they regroup. They forget. They think about how they moved past blowout losses against Chicago in Round 1. They chalk this one up to the Bruins being motivated by home ice, by the buildup to Game 3, by the Canucks' nefarious actions and by a total systems failure for Vancouver.

"Just a couple execution plays. Next thing you know, it's 4-0. We had chances. At times we had poor execution. At other times, we didn't finish," said Bieska.

"You just throw it out the door."

It was that kind of game for the Canucks.

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