Every time the Vancouver Canucks hit rock bottom this season, there’s seemingly another rock bottom to hit. Their 7-4 loss to the New York Islanders on Monday night – in which the Islanders scored all seven goals in the third period – might actually have the Canucks nearing the Earth’s core.
“This is a kick in the teeth,” said Coach John Tortorella after the game.
There was no classic Torts explosion in the postgame. Every question asked received at least a dozen-word answer. He seemed as flabbergasted as the rest of us over a team that’s now lost 12 of its last 14 games; a coach desperately trying to remain positive for a team just four points out of a playoff spot, but feeling as though they’re 40 away.
“I have to try to show them the good things that we did,” he said.
One of the few players Tortorella mentioned by name was goalie Eddie Lack, who stopped just 21 of 27 shots. The Islanders’ fourth goal, by Frans Nielsen, was a stoppable shots that beat Lack to complete a 5 minute, 9 second sprint to the lead.
“Eddie makes a mistake there. Don’t put this all on Eddie, but he makes a mistake there,” said Tortorella.
“I just don’t think [Jacob] Markstrom’s ready and Eddie has fought back in situations like this before.”
But again, the Canucks are four points out of the final wild card spot, although the Dallas Stars have three games in-hand.
“It’s going to be a tough one to move by. But somehow we gotta figure out how to get by it,” said Tortorella.