By Nick Farrar | 12 May 2015 04:17:50A few days after the Vancouver Canucks played the New York Rangers, a fan noticed something odd in the second period.
The Canucks trailed 3-1 and the Rangers were on the power play.
The fan asked a question: What’s a “power play” in hockey?
A short answer: a 2-on-1 power play is an opportunity to score, but it’s rare in NHL games.
A 2-1 lead would have been a pretty big deal.
But the fan had a question of his own.
Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa was the only player on the ice, so what was going on?
It’s one thing to be the first player to face off against the opponent’s first line.
It’s another to have to face them with your own line.
The answer came in a way that could have been confusing for most fans.
The lines are reversed.
When Bieksam is on the blue line, the Rangers are the top line.
When he is on his own line, they are the bottom line.
Both lines face the other team’s first-line, but Bieksap is on a penalty kill.
That meant the Canucks’ second line was on the bench, too.
The second line’s penalty kill wasn’t the only issue.
The Rangers had the puck in their zone on the second power play, so the Canucks were out of the zone in the neutral zone.
The result: the Canucks had the last two chances in regulation, including the first one, but missed the extra point.
The goal didn’t come without controversy.
While the Canucks won, Bieksai had his helmet ripped off in the process.
(He got stitches.)
“I was a little pissed off,” Bieks, a native of Finland, told the Vancouver Sun on Monday.
“They ripped it off and they were like, ‘You know what, don’t touch it.'”
But the Canucks made the right decision.
“That was a really tough thing for me,” Bieaks said.
“It was a hard thing to swallow because I was trying to play the game the right way.”
And for Bieksas teammates, the incident was the first of many.
“I know it’s tough when you have a teammate get hurt,” said Canucks defenseman Ryan Stanton, who was also on the team.
And it’s good to get your teammates to play better.”