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Red Wings 6, Canucks 1: Latest rout is another one for the bad books

It was the 25th time the Canucks have conceded five or more goals this sad season

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The Vancouver Canucks have enough problems.

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However, they had two more pressing issues to resolve on Monday at Rogers Arena.

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How would they stop Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin and how would they get to goaltender Ville Husso? They had no answers.

Larkin scored twice in Saturday’s 5-2 win over the Canucks at the Motor City. On Monday he had four shots and two goals in the opening stages to help in the 6-1 win.

And Husso, who posted a 4-0-0 dominance against the Canucks, a miserly 1.76 goals-against-average and .948 percent defense in that last encounter, improved on those gaudy numbers at Rogers Arena by finishing 29 of 30 shots stopped.

It was the 25th time the Canucks have conceded five or more goals this sad season.


NEXT GAME

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Wednesday

Vancouver Canucks vs. New York Rangers

7 p.m., Rogers Arena. TV: Sportsnet Pacific. Radio: Sportsnet 650 p.m


At least the Canucks didn’t dig an early hole like they did last time they met the Red Wings. They conceded two goals on the first two shots in the 2:35 opening round at Little Caesars Arena.

On Monday they were two goals down at the end of the first frame and down 1-3 in the second. But once again they didn’t give up. They took two penalties but didn’t finish and that would be their undoing.

The Canucks then conceded three goals in the first eight minutes of the third period when they looked like they were about to stop.

Here’s what we learned as Rabbi Fabbri, Gustav Lindstrom, Pius Suter and Jonatan Berggren scored the Red Wings’ other goal while Sheldon Dries answered for the Canucks, who fell 21-29-4 and hosted the New York Rangers on Wednesday :

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Vancouver Canucks forward Dakota Joshua (81) and forward Sheldon Dries (15) look for the rebound while Detroit Red Wings goalie Ville Husso (35) makes a first-half block at Rogers Arena.
Vancouver Canucks forward Dakota Joshua (81) and forward Sheldon Dries (15) look for the rebound while Detroit Red Wings goalie Ville Husso (35) makes a first-half block at Rogers Arena. Photo by Bob Frid /USA TODAY sports

Chances, chances, chances

In a wild second-half episode, the Canucks raved about the power play but couldn’t bury several chances.

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First it was JT Miller who sent a perfect cross-ice pass to Brock Boeser, who made the perfect mistake, shooting down the open short side. Boeser then ripped one from Husso’s shoulder in the same sequence.

Andrei Kuzmenko then netted a penalty with a strong stickhandling move. It resulted in Anthony Beauvillier, who licked a slash shot off the bar before Kuzmenko unloaded a heavy shot that hit the top of Husso’s racquet.

Dries had opened the period by taking a cross ice feed from Conor Garland and moving the puck from the skate to the stick and to the back of the net. Miller then found a pinching Hughes with a sweet feed from the sideboards, but he couldn’t find the high short side with a backhand effort.

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Detroit Red Wings' Dylan Larkin (71) battles with Vancouver Canucks' Sheldon Dries (15) in the second half at Rogers Arena.
Detroit Red Wings’ Dylan Larkin (71) battles with Vancouver Canucks’ Sheldon Dries (15) in the second half at Rogers Arena. Photo by Bob Frid /USA TODAY sports

Larkin is always lurking

The Red Wings have eight unrestricted free agents, but one thing is clear: tThey’ll have to get creative to make room for salary caps to expand Larkin. Not only is their captain the heartbeat of the franchise, he’s scored four goals in his last two meetings with the Canucks and can lead his club in both categories by as many as 20 goals and 50 points.

What’s all this worth? Much more than an expiring cap of $6.1 million and a total salary of $5.250 million this season. Larkin made his presence felt early Monday.

On the morning shift he had Oliver Ekman-Larsson in no man’s land. The defender didn’t know whether to close in on the middle at the risk of being beaten 1-on-1, or pull back and allow Larkin to rip a heavy and accurate wrist shot from the faceoff spot.

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Larkin opened the scoring when Moritz Seider intercepted a pass from Ekman-Larsson in the Red Wings’ zone and served Larkin. He sped away with a breakaway and backhanded on Collin Delia. He then made it 2-0 in the last minute of the opening period by completing a nice work of spades from Tyler Bertuzzi.

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The winger got behind the Canucks’ net and muscled the puck between Ekman-Larsson and Miller for an open fabbri. His fast cross-ice feed found Larkin on target by locking onto Luke Schenn. Fabbri then made it 3-1 when he dove into the crease to chase home a loose puck from Delia’s skate.

Like bees in honey, the Wings buzzed around Delia early in the third period until D-Man was allowed to pinch Lindstrom to put a backhand ball over the line. Suter then scored fairly accurately with a 2v0 and then the back door was wide open for Berggren.

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Detroit Red Wings defenseman Filip Hronek (17) checks Vancouver Canucks forward Andrei Kuzmenko (96) in the first half at Rogers Arena.
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Filip Hronek (17) checks Vancouver Canucks forward Andrei Kuzmenko (96) in the first half at Rogers Arena. Photo by Bob Frid /USA TODAY sports

Tocchet not “ruffle feathers”

There are several ways to get a player’s attention. scratch him. Cut his minutes, take him out of his comfort zone. Drop him in the lineup.

If the Canucks coach is true to his word about “non-negotiable” aspects to see in the arduous process of establishing systems, bite and sustainability, there can be no double standards. It’s an all-in approach.

In Kuzmenko, the bank boss has a gifted winger who’s adept at handling bats in tight spaces, delivering a nasty wrist shot and demonstrating adept deflections. However, his play off the puck has never been a forte, so using him on the third row is a smart first thought.

The third line should be responsible and good in transition. And the draw of the second or third defensive pairing allows for offensive chances. But it’s a balancing act. Those 22 goals look good for Kuzmenko, though that is not the problem.

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“We don’t argue,” Tocchet pointed out. “We have to lay a foundation for him. He’s a good player but there are aspects of his game that will get us where we want and they have to be better. He’s a talented guy.

“In some situations, I have to bring him up against the other team’s weakest spot. It’s a long-term thing with him and a process. Nobody is perfect. He’s a great kid.”

[email protected]

twitter.com/benkuzma


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