Canucks Army Postgame: The Post-Luongo Era Begins

Dimitri Filipovic
March 04 2014 10:07PM

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 6.26.04 PM
Photo via Josh Gold-Smith

I've been indulging in House of Cards lately, blasting through it on Netflix like it's nobody's business. There's a particular scene from Episode 1 of Season 2 - don't worry, this isn't a spoiler I promise - that Tuesday's Canucks game in Phoenix made me think back to. It involved Frank Underwood eating ribs at Freddy's BBQ Joint, and it went something like this:

"Freddy, was their something different about these ribs this morning?"

"Well.. tried a new butcher. Slow-bleeds his hogs. It ain't legal, but I don't know if I'm going to go back to him. Went out to his shop, and he's got a room in the back where he does it. Sound-proof."

"Why sound-proof?"

"Because of how they scream. They can smell it coming. You stick that pipe in their throat, next ten minutes is hell. Bust your ear drums. Now.. the humane way to do it is to make it quick. Bring out a bucket of slop like it's feeding time and.. *bam*.. shovel right to the base of their head. There's no screaming."

The Canucks lost 1-0 to the Phoenix Coyotes, in the final game before the trade deadline. They're bleeding out as slowly as possible, and all we can hope for right now is that there's a tasty meal at the end of it all waiting for us. Until then we'll continue to scream.

The Rundown

Yep. I'd say that bird's eye view of a goal mouth scrum from the 3rd period is as good a way as any to sum up what we witnessed in this one. That, and GILLISBERG!

The Numbers

From our good friends over at Extra Skater:

Fenwick chart for 2014-03-04 Canucks 0 at Coyotes 1

EV fenwick chart for 2014-03-04 Canucks 0 at Coyotes 1

Don't let the final possession numbers deceive you, because as the charts above show, the most valuable player for the Canucks on Tuesday night was the Ghost of Score Effects. 

Despite leaving the first period down 1-0, the Canucks actually went into the intermission having a 10-8 advantage in fenwicks, having been the better team through the opening 20 minutes. But after that, the wheels really fell off in a big way. The Coyotes attempted 18 shots to just the 7 from the Canucks in the 2nd period, as the battle between myself and sleep was far more spirited than anything we were witnessing on the ice. 

The Canucks dominated the final 15 minutes or so of the game from a possession perspective, attempting 14 shots to just 5 by the Coyotes, but most of it was pretty harmless. Mike Smith had to stop just 23 shots on the night, and I'd venture to guess that the Canucks were hard-pressed to get up to 5 legitimate scoring chances all night. The struggle is real. Apart from Ryan Kesler ringing iron on a screened wrister in the 2nd period, Smith got to chill back there; knowing him the shoutout was bittersweet, because he didn't even get a chance to flop around at all. 

On the other end of the ice, the one goal Lack gave up wasn't great, but he stopped 31 of 32 shots and was definitely the hard luck loser. Following the goal I tweeted something to the effect of "Eddie Lack clearly can't handle the pressure of being the number 1!" and some people appeared to take it seriously, for some reason. I was joking. 

Lack will be fine; he's a good young goalie, his future looks bright, and don't listen to any talking head that tries to put this gibberish about things changing for him following this trade. If he continues to stop pucks, he'll be fine and there will be no problems. So far so good, despite the ultimate result. 

Brad Richardson didn't come back to the game following the first period, and all we know is that he's listed as "day-to-day" at the moment. Maybe he should be somewhat insulted that nobody is wondering whether it was actually a precautionary move to avoid injury prior to the deadline, as opposed to an injury. For whatever it's worth he missed practice prior to the Heritage Classic, so I wouldn't be shocked if something flared up on him in that 1st period.

Things aren't good in Vancouver right now, despite Sportsnet's continued claims that they're "in a fight for a playoff spot". They've scored 8 goals in their past 8 games. Top Sixtito played 12:44 (and somehow, I don't have an issue with it, because it's actually kind of weirdly entertaining and he was one of the more active guys out there). Who are we kidding?

The Conclusion

At least we have tomorrow to look forward to, in which the Canucks could very prominently feature in all the trade centre specials on Sportsnet and TSN. It's quite possible that Ryan Kesler will be on the move (and there may be others), which means that there could be some new shiny toys on the way. The team will get worse in the present if that's to happen, but that's okay. As long as there's a long-term goal, and a plan, and some things to get even remotely excited about moving forward, then we should all be satisfied.

We'll have lots of coverage surrounding all of the fireworks tomorrow, so make sure to check back here. We'll be running a live chat, and if you'd like to come by and talk it all out with us, that'd be swell. If you just want to sit on your couch with your laptop out in silence, not making your presence known with a comment, that's okay too. Just remember that "the more, the merrier" always applies to these sorts of things, as people tend to feed off of each other in sparking more sustained conversations. I hope to see you guys then.

If not, we'll be back on Thursday with coverage of the game in Dallas.

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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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#1 acg5151
March 04 2014, 10:19PM
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So this is how the Canucks as we know them end..... with thunderous applause.

I'm gonna miss Lu.

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#2 NM00
March 04 2014, 10:20PM
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#firegillis

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#3 ?
March 04 2014, 10:39PM
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acg5151 wrote:

So this is how the Canucks as we know them end..... with thunderous applause.

I'm gonna miss Lu.

Love the Star Wars reference.

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#4 BrudnySeaby
March 04 2014, 11:50PM
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@NM00

#firetortstoo

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#5 jFR
March 05 2014, 12:03AM
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Trade anyone on this team as far as I'm concerned. They play only about 8 mins of hockey a night and it's clear that they are a lost cause. I thought Torts was the guy to light a fire under this team, but they have just crumbled. It's embarrassing to watch when after the Coyotes score in the first and you know at that moment the Canucks will be shut out

I was born in Winnigeg and grew up a Jets fan, but became a Nucks fan after they left. I really haven't followed, but I will root for them now. The players and the city will appreciate making the playoffs and have a party. The Canucks are doom and gloom. The trade deadline will be the highlight of the year.

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#6 NM00
March 05 2014, 12:09AM
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@jFR

If Gillis finally gets gassed, THAT will be the highlight of the year...

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#7 NM00
March 05 2014, 12:17AM
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If Gillis had done NOTHING in 6 years as GM except keep the core he inherited and accept gifts from BC natives, the Canucks could have the following:

Sedin/Sedin/Burrows Raymond/Kesler/Grabner Pyatt/Santorelli/Hansen

Hamhuis/Bieksa Edler/Salo Mitchell/Garrison

Luongo/Schneider

And that's assuming Gillis set every single one of his draft picks on fire...which, actually, he might as well have...

#firegillis

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#8 Andy
March 05 2014, 12:34AM
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@NM00

This, a thousand times over.

#firegillis

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#9 Kypreos
March 05 2014, 01:36AM
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Gillis made the right choices and time to move on. Luongo was a cancer and so is Kessler. Torts calls it the way it is and for some fans it is hard to accept. Suck it up.

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#10 Johnny
March 05 2014, 02:54AM
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Kyp, How can you say Gillis made the right choices, he traded Hodgeson 2 years ago today at a time when the Canucks were on a tear only to stumble their way into the playoffs and get outted in 5. We let key and valuable players go for nothing, and replaced them with nothing... Gillis inherited a good team and his additions to tinker with the dynamic of the team never panned out. Infact, His only good move was acquiring Erhoff and that was 6 years ago.

We got shafted in the Ballard and Booth trades, Hodgeson' deal was just god awful timing and left the city in shock, Schnieder should of gotten us a bigger return, and now this, this is a year to LATE!!!!!!!!!!!

Given Gillis' track record in drafting, I am not at all convinced hes the person for this job of retooling or rebuild or whatever the hell is happening in that front office because they clearly have no direction in what their doing.

I wish someone would dig up the interview Gillis gave after trad ing Hodgeson of him gloating at the wealth of depth and prospects in his system, to the one he gave today where 'because of injuries, we established we cant compete' REEEEEEALLLLY, BRAVO Mr. Gillis it only took you a year in a half to realise your teams not good enough............ who hired this clown.

This franchise is quickly becoming embarrassing to cheer for, and alot of it has to do with our GM.

Fire Gillis

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#11 PB
March 05 2014, 03:32AM
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@NM00

Worse than the collapse is the thought of leaving the rebuild in his hands.

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#12 john
March 05 2014, 06:01AM
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Luongo is looking forward to Tim Thomas pumping his umm umm tires (on his SUV). Wow 3 years later, they were battling for the Cup, now they are team mates. How will they get along?

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#13 andyg
March 05 2014, 07:07AM
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NM00 wrote:

If Gillis had done NOTHING in 6 years as GM except keep the core he inherited and accept gifts from BC natives, the Canucks could have the following:

Sedin/Sedin/Burrows Raymond/Kesler/Grabner Pyatt/Santorelli/Hansen

Hamhuis/Bieksa Edler/Salo Mitchell/Garrison

Luongo/Schneider

And that's assuming Gillis set every single one of his draft picks on fire...which, actually, he might as well have...

#firegillis

What kind of salary cap would that take?

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#14 Rusty
March 05 2014, 07:19AM
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NM00 wrote:

#firegillis

#onlyifyougetridofNM000too

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#15 JFR
March 05 2014, 07:30AM
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NM00 wrote:

If Gillis had done NOTHING in 6 years as GM except keep the core he inherited and accept gifts from BC natives, the Canucks could have the following:

Sedin/Sedin/Burrows Raymond/Kesler/Grabner Pyatt/Santorelli/Hansen

Hamhuis/Bieksa Edler/Salo Mitchell/Garrison

Luongo/Schneider

And that's assuming Gillis set every single one of his draft picks on fire...which, actually, he might as well have...

#firegillis

First he couldn't have kept Luo and Schnieds..... And goaltending is his only credit because lack has played well and there are 2 descent goalies in the pipeline.

Grabner is the only guy that could help this team of that list. Booths contract was terrible but we didn't give up greatness to get him. What is awful is the drafting!

Gillis's philosophy in drafting has gone All Over The Place! He was drafting small quick guys, then overage college guys.... Now OHL and WHL guys. He never saw the post lock out grand from Interference/ grabbing to be coming and therefore guys like Schroeder are a loss. He can't play in the NHL. Teams like the kings and blues got bigger and tougher the Canucks stayed the same only with a Floppy reputation... bTW thanks AV

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#16 JFR
March 05 2014, 07:30AM
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NM00 wrote:

If Gillis had done NOTHING in 6 years as GM except keep the core he inherited and accept gifts from BC natives, the Canucks could have the following:

Sedin/Sedin/Burrows Raymond/Kesler/Grabner Pyatt/Santorelli/Hansen

Hamhuis/Bieksa Edler/Salo Mitchell/Garrison

Luongo/Schneider

And that's assuming Gillis set every single one of his draft picks on fire...which, actually, he might as well have...

#firegillis

First he couldn't have kept Luo and Schnieds..... And goaltending is his only credit because lack has played well and there are 2 descent goalies in the pipeline.

Grabner is the only guy that could help this team of that list. Booths contract was terrible but we didn't give up greatness to get him. What is awful is the drafting!

Gillis's philosophy in drafting has gone All Over The Place! He was drafting small quick guys, then overage college guys.... Now OHL and WHL guys. He never saw the post lock out grand from Interference/ grabbing to be coming and therefore guys like Schroeder are a loss. He can't play in the NHL. Teams like the kings and blues got bigger and tougher the Canucks stayed the same only with a Floppy reputation... bTW thanks AV

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