The Canucks and Ducks scrap earlier this week

The Canucks and Ducks scrap earlier this week

The Vancouver Canucks are frustated.

They were coming off three straight losses, scoring just once in those matches combined.  They’d allowed 11 goals – nine of them coming in an embarrassing loss to the Ducks.   They’ve also racked up quite a few penalty minutes, averaging 51 minutes over the past three — 60 vs. the Kings, 71 vs. the Ducks, and 20 (a quiet night) vs. the Coyotes. .

Then they ran into the Calgary Flames.  The Flames were happy to fuel the fire, putting their fourth-line on the ice to start Saturday night’s game.   Canucks coach John Tortorella responded by doing the same.  When the dust settled, the two clubs would combine for 204 penalty minutes, and the Canucks would walk away with a shootout victory.

Here’s how it all started:

For those keeping score at home, that’s 142 penalty minutes handed out just two seconds into the game.  That includes eight game misconducts.

Side note: When was the last time Kevin Bieksa took an opening faceoff?
Never.   He’s never taken a faceoff in an NHL game prior to tonight.

The team was venting their frustrations on the ice.  Head Coach John Tortorella tried to do so from behind the boards, screaming at Flames coach Bob Hartley on the neighboring bench.  When the teams headed to the locker rooms, Torts couldn’t hold back.  He headed to the visitors’ dressing room of Rogers Arena to continue his conversation.

The real question is whether John Tortorella will face a possible suspension from the league.  He should.

Tortorella has been disciplined before.  He was suspended back in the 2009 playoffs for squirting a fan with a water bottle which he then threw over the glass.   He’s also written out some checks to the NHL.

  • 2012 – Fined $30,000 for calling the Winter Classic officiating ‘disgusting’ and alleged of a conspiracy to send the game to overtime.
  • 2012 – Fined $20,000 for comments made against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins
  • 2007 – Fined $10,000 for criticizing the referees

Vancouver’s next game is Tuesday against Edmonton.  Don’t expect to see John Tortorella behind the bench.