Canucks Army Postgame: Canucks Show They Certainly Don't *Lack* Guts

Dimitri Filipovic
October 25 2013 09:27PM

Say what you will about the Vancouver and their performance during the 7-game roadtrip (and about people who begin sentences with "say what you will.."), but a 5-1-1 record all things considered is more than impressive. Especially considering the way they capped it off against the Blues with a 3-2 overtime victory. The operative term here is "gutsy", which I'm sure you'll see bandied about on your Twitter timeline, deservedly so.

Read on past the jump for a recap of what went down.

The Story

"Obviously given everything I've just mentioned, it's easy to see why the Blues are considered to be heavy favourites to take care of business in this game. However, let me just say that I wouldn't exactly be stunned if the Canucks put up a better fight than you may think they'd be capable of.. it's sports, and sometimes when something seems to be way too good to be true, it usually is. I'm just sayin'".

That was from the preview of the game which I posted this afternoon. As someone who has followed a variety of sports very closely for years now, I tend to get spooked when everyone and their grandmother talks about how lopsided a game is going to be. I wouldn't have put money on the Canucks winning or anything, but I just put it out there that I could definitely envision a scenario where they surprised people with their showing. I'm glad they made me look like I kinda sorta know what I'm talking about.

At the bottom of that preview was also a recommendation for a bet that would give you 6-to-1 if Ryan Kesler scored a goal and the Canucks won. Well.. he scored two of them (including the power play tally in OT that won the game), giving him 7 on the year now. That means he's now on pace for 44 goals, which would certainly make me (and many others) look silly were it to happen. I was fairly vocal in my opinion that he was more of a 25-goal guy this preseason, pleading with people to temper their expectations and settle down.

Obviously I didn't anticipate that he would be routinely playing in the mid 20's per game, with 54 shots on goal in 13 games to his name. I also didn't expect him to play with the Sedins at 5v5 like he has over the past handful of games. He has been ridiculous, and it's hard to even imagine what kind of shape the Canucks would be in right now wihtout him. I think it speaks to the mentality that has accompanied being a Canucks fan for life that I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop with him. But for now, there's nothing we can do but enjoy the ride..

Before the game I joked that it would be awesome to see John Tortorella pull a Gregg Popovich and send his stars home, conceding the loss in this one. I thought the Sedins actually had their least effective showing of the season in this game heading into the overtime period. I can't remember them generating fewer promising scoring opportunities than they did here, failing to ever really even sustain pressure with the puck possession we've come to expect from them. Hard to blame them though since they played 24 and 25 minutes respectively tonight after having topped 25 minutes last night as well. They must be exhausted. Plus, they played a part in setting up Kesler's winner with just 15 seconds left to go.

What followed the goal was one of the more bizarre endings to a game I've seen in some time.. as soon as Kesler scored David Backes went after Daniel Sedin (while Barrett Jackman went after Kesler), and a scrum ensued. Backes, ever the classy gentleman, finally received some penalty minutes with his misconduct and roughing penalty after it seemed like he could do as he pleased without the worry of a whistle throughout the game.

He blatantly went after Tom Sestito following a whistle in the 3rd period, and went down like a sack of potatoes to draw a penalty on Bieksa (which led to the 1st goal for the Blues) late in the 2nd. I'd love to hear what was going through his head when he went after Daniel on that play, but I doubt we'll here from him since he probably had to rush home to check on Kelly following the conclusion of the game. After all, Ryan Kesler is in town..

As for the newcomers, Pelletier and Archibald, I thought they were as effective as you could have hoped for in their season debut. That 4th line along with Yannick Weber actually had a couple of decent shifts, which pretty much instantly makes it the best showing from a Canucks 4th line that we've seen all year. Burrows is set to come back so we'll probably see one of them get sent back down, and I hope it's not Archibald, who I think has the potential to be a very serviceable depth forward at the NHL level.

The Numbers


Image via Extra Skater .

As you see by the shot attempt totals the Canucks were actually more than holding their through, oh I'd say, the first 30-35 minutes of the game. After that their heavy legs decided to really show, and by the end of the game you could tell they were just trying to hang on for dear life.

Which brings us to Eddie Lack, who was once again very solid. He stopped 22 of 24 shots he faced, and is surely showing both the Canucks brass and their fans that he can be relied upon to spell Roberto Luongo from time to time and avoid forcing the 34-year old to start more than somewhere between 60 and 65 games. 

As for the power play opportunity situation, the Canucks only drew 2 of them again in this one (one of which was a 4-minute minor that drew blood on a high stick). I highly doubt that the league is "against them", but it's hard not to take issue with the 2 infractions they were whistled for themselves late in the 2nd period when they're not getting any of those calls themselves. 

My one issue with Tortorella coming out of this game is why he didn't utilize the Higgins-Santorelli-Kassian combination more throughout the game. He started the game with Richardson on that line, but by the 2nd period Kassian was back up there and they were back to getting up to stuff. I really like that combination and think they have a chance to be effective. Kassian needs to stay out of the penalty box, and getting into a fight doesn't exactly help with that. Burrows' return to could put a wrench in those plans, though. Oh well.

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Dimitri Filipovic writes about hockey on the internet, and is the Managing Editor of Canucks Army. You can follow him on Twitter @DimFilipovic, and email him at dimitri.filipovic@gmail.com.
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#101 Surrey Bob
October 28 2013, 04:47PM
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@Neil B

EXCUSES EXCUSES EXCUSES. Thanks for number 33

#33- The achievements of other teams in the league are not true achievements, because what this and what if that were different, than things would be different...DUH.

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#102 Surrey Bob
October 28 2013, 04:49PM
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@Nolan

Thanks for EXCUSE # 34

34- Anyone who doesn't like the Canucks must be a fan of another team. ( Even if the leafs have won ONE cup and the Canucks have NONE )

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#103 Surrey Bob
October 28 2013, 05:00PM
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Just when you think the EXCUSES woulndn't get any longer, the fanboys will always find a new one. Thanks fanboys! LOL

1- The canucks aren't bad...compared to really bad teams like Buffalo and the Jets. 2- Luck plays a major role in any championship...and the Canucks have just been unlucky for 45 years. 3- The Canucks came within one game of winning the cup, even if they didn't score ONE goal in the 7th game. 4- It doesn't matter that the team has been a loser for 45 years, it's different management, so what counts is the current year, so that means that failure is always relegated to one years time. 5- We can't draft well because it's too HARD. And teams who have won a cup or two with real stars have been sucky for a period of time...so it's better for the Canucks to be mediocre forever than to try and do something in the draft. Besides, it's too hard. 6- We need to keep the core even if they haven't done anything for 13 years, because if someone hasn't done anything in 13 years, they will most likely do it on the 14th year. 7- You must be an Oilers fan if you say the Canucks are mediocre. 8- All we need is a center, this and that ans this and that. That's all we need. 9- Coaches don't matter, if monkeys coached every team in the NHL, their would still be a cup winner every year, even if the Canucks will never be that team. 10- Coaches don't matter, so let's keep AV, cause he's the BEST coach we ever had here in suckville. 11- The coaches can't play, it's up to the players. So if the players fail, than trade everyone who's gotten the least amount of ice time while keeping the useless ice time hogging core. 12- It's never the goalies fault or the teams fault. It's the Boston Bruins fault. 13- It's Shanahans fault this team is useless. 14- It's the refs fault this team is useless. 15- It's Bettmans fault this team is useless. 16- Forget about hiring winners, we'll take our chances with unproven hacks, especially in the GM position. 17- You can make an opinion about the Canucks so long as you doesn't call the team what it is...MEDIOCRE and a 45 year FAILURE. 18- The Canucks played well enough to win, even though they didn't. So we are all winners cause we are all Canucks. 19- There's always next year, cause real fans keep coming back for more pain and misery, like some sick sadist. 20- The Canucks don't deserved to be bagged on because they been 45 year failures. They deserve praise and celebration. 21- The Canucks don't lose, the just can't win when it counts. 22- The Canucks have good draft picks and potential stars...all YEARS away from playing in the pros. Refresh for the next 45 years. 23- True fans support the team even if the team is below average, cause the organization will build a winner for its fans because it cares...just not in the last 45 years. 24- I'd rather the team not win the cup if it means the team won't have the two nicest guys in the world, the Sedins. 25- The Sedins are not invisible in the play offs, it's that the other teams check the too much and too hard. 26- If the Sedins or Kesler scores, all credit to them. If they don't score, then it's the other players fault. We need more support. 27- A true fan knows how much they spend a year on players , on food, on foot care etc, everything is important except the fact that the team can't win when it counts and hasn't won a thing in 45 YEARS. 28- The Canucks have never won the cup, so it's best to imply that " LUCK" has a huge part in winning it, that way, it diminishes the victory for real winners and lessens the failures of the Canucks. 29- Going on a lucky run to the finals is good enough for me, who needs to win the cup? 30- Anyone who faults the Canucks for their failures is a poopy-head. We can still win with mediocrity, you'll see. 31- Talk about things other than the Canucks having NEVER won a cup so as to deflect attention away from that fact. 32- use math to falsely hype up and make EXCUSES for the Canucks. #33- The achievements of other teams in the league are not true achievements, because what this and what if that were different, than things would be different...DUH. 34- Anyone who doesn't like the Canucks must be a fan of another team. ( Even if the leafs have won ONE cup and the Canucks have NONE )Excuse

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#104 PB
October 28 2013, 05:51PM
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@Surrey Bob

Excellent answer Surrey Bob! Just so that I can understand, can you walk me through the math again? I think you brought up the chances that different teams -- but of course not the Canucks who as you so assiduously point out have a zero percent chance -- have of winning the Cup. Let's forget about the Canucks -- could you please explain again since 29 teams have a 1% chance of winning the Cup who you see as being 71% more likely to do so? Again, I completely accept your premise that the Canucks have 0% chance of winning. Just explain for those of us not nearly as erudite as yourself who has this better chance. Is it an AHL team? A KHL team? Perhaps one from the British Hockey League.

With much respect,

PB

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#105 Nolan
October 28 2013, 06:43PM
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@Surrey Bob

Why do you watch/pay attention to the canucks if you hate them so much?

Is your life that pathetic? Seriously.

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#106 Surrey Bob
October 28 2013, 07:17PM
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@PB

Sorry, heard that EXCUSE before...from you. That falls under EXCUSE number 32. You got anything new, boy?

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#107 Surrey Bob
October 28 2013, 07:22PM
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@Nolan

Heard it before, kid. That EXCUSE falls under EXCUSE #31. You have anything new to add? No, just more of the SAME OLD EXCUSES.

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#108 Nolan
October 28 2013, 08:03PM
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@Surrey Bob

No seriously. Why do you spend so much time on a team you despise?

For the record, I don't make excuses for the canucks. I enjoy hockey, and I find it more favourable when I have a team to follow and root for. I don't give a rats ass whether the canucks win the cup or not - who cares it's just a game (sure it'd be nice if they did, but I have more important things in my life to really care).. Something to keep me entertained during the winter months... And I'm certainly not going to hop on the bandwagon to follow a winning team.

Should Gillis be fired? Maybe, probably, don't really care. Do I see some positive things happening so far this year? Absolutely. Do I think they'll win the cup? Doubtful, but it's pretty easy to guess who's not going to win.

Maybe some ppl just enjoy the game and like the Canucks (for whatever their own reasons are). Therefore it doesn't mean that they are 'fanboys', kool-aid drinkers etc.

What it does mean is that YOU, who apparently does not cheer for a team (excuse #34), spends his time watching and paying attention to the team and then goes and hangs out on the Canuck blogs spewing the same message over and over.

This is a clear indication that nobody loves you and that you are very lonely in your trailer park. I wish you the best and hopefully we don't read about you in the papers. Probably a good idea to stay away from bridges or tall buildings, medicine cabinet, etc. don't do it man, it's not worth it.

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#109 PB
October 28 2013, 08:09PM
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@Surrey Bob

Are you sure you know what the word "excuse" means?

Just to refresh your memory, here's what you wrote:

"Every team has a 1% chance at the cup this year. Your Canucks have 0% chance at the cup this year.

And yes, I see you're making excuses again. Read what I wrote. Canucks-ZERO chance. ZERO %. that's all you need to know Don, and I will be right again at the end of the season. I'll be sure to remind you, as you have a selective Canuck memory."

As I said, I am more than willing to stipulate to all that you suggest about the Canucks. Just asking you to clarify this excellent prediction you are making regarding the Cup winner this year. Just explain your fancy math as I'm sure we're all dying to know what exactly it means.

And enjoy the game! Clearly you're waiting for the drop of the puck, it's good to see you choose to follow the Canucks as closely as the rest of us.

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#110 Surrey Bob
October 28 2013, 09:16PM
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@PB

Same old Math excuse. You are quite mentally slow, aren't you? Refer to the list again. I'll make another list of excuses for you in case you're dyslexic.

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#111 Surrey Bob
October 28 2013, 09:19PM
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@Nolan

Same excuse , refer to list. You're not adding any new excuse. Maybe that is your new excuse.

excuse 35- If you run out of Canucks excuses, use the same old excuse over and over and try to make it sound like a new excuse.

Well done ,son. You've come up with a new excuse.

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#112 PB
October 28 2013, 09:23PM
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@Surrey Bob

Yes, clearly you are quite correct. I should have seen the excuse for the equation you started with some time ago. Enjoy the game!

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#113 Surrey Bob
October 28 2013, 10:00PM
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@PB

Excuses excuses excuses. Enjoy your team not winning the cup this year..again for the 46th time.

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