Shell-shocked Canucks try to regroup after Game 1 mauling against Golden Knights

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Vancouver was throttled by the Vegas Golden Knights 5-0 in the first game of their Western Conference semi-final series

The Canucks failed in pretty much every facet, other than at faceoffs. They fumbled pucks. They got bottled up and trapped in their own end. They lost their composure against an opponent they have yet to beat in regulation time in three seasons. With Sunday’s defeat, they are now 0-9-2 against Vegas.The evening began with Antoine Roussel, the agitator who plays on Vancouver’s left wing, chirping at Golden Knights goalie Robin Lehner during pregame warm-ups. The latter went on to pitch a shutout.

That wasn’t the worst of Roussel’s night of misadventure. At one point, he ducked a fight with Vegas forward Ryan Reaves, who then clucked at him like a chicken. Later, Roussel was assessed a 10-minute misconduct penalty after he poked Reaves with his stick, and then hugged and whispered something not so sweet in his ear.“I don’t think he is distracting anyone but himself,” Vegas winger Reilly Smith said. “If that’s the way he wants to play the whole series, he’ll just hurt his own team.

Vancouver head coach Travis Green called it his team’s worst game of the post-season. The Canucks eliminated Minnesota in four games in the return-to-play qualifying tournament, and then dispatched the St. Louis Blues in six games in the Stanley Cup’s first round. “It’s part of playoff hockey. I’m sure our team is pissed off and should be. You learn there are ups and down and there’s adversity. Any time we have asked our team to respond, they’ve done it.”

 

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