The view from Vancouver

For the Vancouver Canucks, what now? They reached the Stanley Cup Finals last season. They won the President’s Trophy this season, with a ridiculously talented group of forwards, a strong veteran goalie and a fairly deep group of defensemen. And, at the end of the day, the Canucks won exactly one more playoff game than the Columbus Blue Jackets. Among a fan base with expectations that are enormously high — and rightfully so — that won’t sit well. What changes will be made? Will coach Alain Vigneault feel the ax? What will the Canucks do in goal? Roberto Luongo just turned 34, and while he certainly didn’t play poorly in the first two games of this series, Cory Schneider did an outstanding job in the final three games. Luongo’s contract is an anchor. Can the Canucks convince another team to take it, and then turn over the keys to Schneider? Or will they write off this series loss as a fluke and return intact next season? To be certain, the Canucks didn’t plan to be thinking about these questions in late April. Here’s how the Vancouver Province and the Vancouver Sun covered last night’s game, followed by some additional postgame quotes from the Canucks’ locker room, courtesy The Associated Press…

The Vancouver Province’s Canucks coverage

The Vancouver Sun’s Canucks coverage



(on the series…) “You’ve got to give credit to the Kings. They played a real great series. They’re a real tough opponent that played real strong hockey, made the strong plays on the ice and, at the end of the day, they deserved to win.”

(on letting the series get away by losing the first two games…) “We didn’t win a game at home in this series. Obviously starting off 0-2, losing the first two at home, makes it more challenging, but we still had a lot of faith in this group, that we could get it done. We played a real strong third game. Didn’t score. Won the fourth one. Tonight, we had a one-nothing lead, had some real good chances to make it two-nothing. We weren’t able to capitalize, finish on those, and they were able to tie it up and win it in OT on an unfortunate… When Hammer [Dan Hamhuis] fell there, it was bad luck.”

(on why goals were hard to come by in the series…) “Great goaltending. They didn’t get very many. Our goaltending was solid and their goaltending was solid.”

(on whether the Canucks’ scoring problems predated this series…) “I’m not going to go that far back. We’re all very disappointed with how things turned out right now. We’re just going to take a step back and figure things out.”

(on Hamhuis falling before the overtime goal…) “I haven’t looked at the replay, but what I’ve been told is that it wasn’t a penalty.”



(on being eliminated…) “It’s always tough. To be honest with you, it doesn’t matter if you lose the seventh game of the finals or you lose in five in the first round. It’s devastating, both of them. That’s the mindset we have in here. We have the mindset to win every year. When you end up on the losing side, it’s tough. We’ve got to come back and be stronger.”

(on the Canucks not scoring enough…) “We knew it was going to be a low-scoring series. We were fine with that. These last few games, we kept them down to not a whole lot of goals either. That’s the kind of game we wanted to play. Those first two games, we gave them too many power plays, and they’re going to capitalize.”



(on the game…) “It’s a tough one, a tough way to lose. I thought we played a good game. They came back and tied it in the third, and in overtime, anything can happen. I thought we were good enough to win this one.”

(on being stunned about elimination…) “Absolutely. Of course. If you lose in overtime, that’s a quick ending. That’s tough to take.”

(on why the Canucks lost the series…) “My opinion is that you can’t give away two games, like we did, at home to start the series. That’s what we did so good last year. Even though we didn’t play great, we were good enough to be in games and win games. Playing the way we did in the first two, we didn’t play poorly, but in our first game we took way too many penalties. In the second game, our power play was losing us the game. If you give away two games, it’s tough to win four out of five.”



(on being eliminated…) “We had expectations and hopes to go far in this playoff. It seems like, around the league, parity is running wild. Look at Pittsburgh, ourselves, Detroit, San Jose. New York’s facing elimination, Boston held it off today. We can’t take anything for granted. Anyone is capable of winning in this league.”

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