Canucks Army Postgame: Failure to Ignite

J.D. Burke
April 22 2015 12:37AM

Count tonight's game as the most important of the year for the Vancouver Canucks - the fourth of its kind, all in succession. As the saying goes, the Canucks are an average team. They have the horses to play up to higher competition, but can be just as easily susceptible to letdowns at the hands of much lesser teams. One assumed all season that when the games really counted, it wouldn't matter who played the role of opposition. We would see their best, win or loss.

Yet the Canucks find themselves down 3-1 to not just the worst team to suit up for this post-season, but historically one of the worst to suit up for any. Should Vancouver fall to Calgary, it would be wholly fair to describe this year's iteration of the Calgary Flames the worst team to win any playoff series since the era gave us the possession metrics that have aligned so regularly with objective assessments of the teams we've come to watch and bemoan.

Lets break down how the Canucks found themselves in this hole, on the other side of the jump.

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Ryan Miller starts 2nd period of Game 4 after Eddie Lack allows 3 goals on 7 shots

Thomas Drance
April 21 2015 09:17PM

Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

He may not be 100 percent, but with the Vancouver Canucks' season on the line down two goals with 40 minutes to go in a crucial Game 4 against the Calgary Flames, it's Miller Time.

Ryan Miller replaced Eddie Lack at the start of the second period of Tuesday night's game, after Lack permitted three goals against on seven shots. You wouldn't necessarily say that Lack was at fault on any of the goals, but he did seem to be fighting the puck. 

Can the $6 million man stabilize the situation for a Canucks team that has been bleeding goals against since the series shifted to Calgary?

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Canucks' Brandon McMillan will play in Game 4; Sven Baertschi scratched

Thomas Drance
April 21 2015 08:06PM

Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

With Alex Burrows out of the lineup, the Vancouver Canucks have turned to... Brandon McMillan?

McMillan, and not Sven Baertschi, is set to play for Vancouver in the absence of Burrows in Game 4, and will play in a depth role with Jannik Hansen apparently getting a look with the twins.

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Report: Canucks' Brad Richardson out for Game 4; 2 of Vey, Baertschi, McMillan will play

Thomas Drance
April 21 2015 07:35PM

Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks center Brad Richardson, who has been holding down a third-line role for the Canucks in their opening round series against the Calgary Flames since returning from a nagging foot injury, will not be in the lineup for Tuesday night's Game 4, according to a report from TSN's Farhan Lalji.

The veteran center was not out for the warmup skate, and it seems likely that Linden Vey will replace him - and not Alex Burrows as was reported earlier in the day. Meanwhile it looks like Sven Baertschi will play (UPDATE: or maybe it'll be Brandon McMillan with the twins?).

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Report: Canucks' Linden Vey expected to replace Burrows vs. Flames in Game 4

Thomas Drance
April 21 2015 04:34PM

Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

Willie Desjardins is loyal to his players. Sometimes to a fault, as he himself has admitted.

With Alex Burrows out of the Canucks lineup for Game 4 with what's reported to be a broken rib injury sustained a Tuesday's game-day skate, it was assumed that recently recalled forward Sven Baertschi might draw into the Canucks lineup. That won't be the case though. 

Instead Linden Vey is expected to make his playoff debut in Game 4, according to Sportsnet's John Shannon.

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