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Blame game: Halak, Mason, Kesler each shoulder load after last night’s losses

Jan 17, 2014, 11:28 AM EDT

The St. Louis Blues, Philadelphia Flyers and Vancouver Canucks all suffered defeats on Thursday night, with only Philadelphia — thanks to the shootout — managing to steal a point.

Interestingly, a key member of each clubbed stepped up postgame and said they were responsible for their team’s respective loss. First up is St. Louis’ Jaroslav Halak, who shouldered the blame for a 4-1 home defeat to Los Angeles following this goal from Trevor Lewis:

“I made a mistake at the worst possible time, when the game was on the line for us,” Halak said, per NHL.com. “I’ll take the blame for this one. It’s unacceptable to make a mistake like that, especially in the third period. We lost because of me.”

Next up is another goalie — Philly’s Steve Mason — who allowed three regulation goals, then another three in the shootout against Nashville in an eventual 4-3 defeat.

“The guys gave me two opportunities to win the game, and I couldn’t do it,” he said, per CSN Philly. “So I let them down tonight.”

The Preds actually out-shot the Flyers on the night and were the better team for stretches of the game, but Mason was largely outplayed by Carter Hutton, who turned in a save of the year candidate on Michael Raffl midway through the second period.

Finally, there’s Kesler, who took the brunt of a team-wide slump that’s seen Vancouver score just once in three games. The Canucks lost to the Coyotes 1-0 last night, capping off a terrible road swing in which they lost 9-1 to Anaheim and 1-0 in Los Angeles.

“We had a couple of good looks late in the game, but we’ve got to find a way to score,” said Kesler, per The Province. “It’s getting old. It starts with myself, Hank and Danny. We have to lead the way and we’re not getting it done. The power play was bad tonight. It’s one thing to not score, but we didn’t generate momentum. It pisses you off.

“The trip was horrendous. It was awful. I’m pissed off right now. I need to be better, we need to be better as a group. The way we played pisses you off.”

  1. imleftcoast - Jan 17, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    Kesler isn’t getting the blame. He played a good game, even by Tony Gallagher standards, and he’s taking every important faceoff. Daniel is a liability, and Henrik took a cross-check in the ribs from Handzus and left the game. Santorelli is reminding us why he was a bargain, and Richardson has disappeared. Hopefully, Burrows, Stanton and Luongo returning and playing Calgary can get them re-started.

    • imleftcoast - Jan 17, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      Hanzal*

  2. philafly - Jan 17, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    The Mason shootout stats are a bit misleading as presented here. The shootout went 7 rounds. This makes it look like he let in 3 straight and the shootout was over. It wasn’t until the 5th round he let one in.

    Big of him to take the blame. But this loss wasn’t his fault. It was just a tough game and someone had to lose eventually.

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