Cory Schneider Gets Bounced, Canucks Get Pushed to the Brink

The cold, harsh reality is beginning to sink in.

It all feels kind of silly now, sure, but heading into Game 3 between the Sharks and Canucks there were legitimate reasons for optimism, and belief that the series wasn’t lost quite yet. We expected a tight series coming into it, and that’s what we were getting; the Canucks were down 0-2, but they were definitely in both games, and certainly didn’t look overmatched. A few bounces here and there, and the series score easily could have been flipped.

While Game 2 had ended in a disheartening fashion, there were positives to be taken from it. It looked as if the beast inside Ryan Kesler had been awakened, the Sedins were starting to get something brewing, and the team’s penalty killing unit had seemingly made an adjustment which held the opposition’s man advantage in check.

But then Game 3 happened, and that optimism now seems like something from the distant past. The Canucks were soundly beaten by the Sharks on Sunday night, really getting outclassed throughout. With the 5-2 loss, the team has now been pushed to the brink and reality is beginning to sink in.

Rather than just saying they all suck, let’s try to rationally make sense of the entire situation, and figure out what went wrong.

I have a few remarkable stats for you to kick things off:

a) Dating back to the start of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, the Vancouver Canucks have 20 goals in their last 15 playoff games combined.

b) The Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks have played 6 times now this season. The quickest the Canucks have scored on the Sharks in any of those 6 contests came in Game 3, when Alex Burrows scored 11:07 into the 2nd. Think about that for a second. They’ve been playing catch-up against them all year. And to top it all off, they have managed just 10 goals combined in those 6 games.

As has been the case with the coverage of this team all year long, much of the discussion surrounding this game will have to do with the goaltending situation. After playing two very strong games, Roberto Luongo was sent to the bench as the team deemed that it was Cory Schneider’s turn. Obviously this raised a few eyebrows given how well Luongo had played to start this series, but it has been made clear all along that the team’s brass has picked Schneider as "their guy", and that they will give him every opportunity to make this "his team". The goaltending decision for this game had little to do with the present situation that the team finds itself in, and more to do with the future outlook. 

And yet I still thought that Schneider played a fine game through 40 minutes, keeping the team in it as his predecessor had done in the previous two games. Unfortunately for him, things fell apart in a hurry after he gave up a brutal goal to Logan Couture just 1:40 into the final frame. It was a goal that can only be described as a "back-breaker". Just 9 seconds later, Patrick Marleau made the laughable duo of Edler and Bieksa look silly, as he split them en route to scoring a sweet goal of his own. Schneider’s night ended roughly two minutes later, after a Couture bomb on the power play – that he had little chance on, by the way – got by him. 

Sure, it may have been a different game if he hadn’t given up the mcsofty that made it a 3-1 game, but I honestly hadn’t really seen anything from the team that would have given me any confidence that they were even capable of scoring a second goal. I’d describe the offensive effort by the entire team as hapless, and discombobulated. I’m sick of seeing people lay the blame on things that don’t deserve it. This team can’t generate any sort of sustained meaningful offense at 5v5, and its secondary scorers have already gone on vacation. That’s the problem.

The most disappointing line was Kesler’s, without question. After his successful run down the middle in Game 2, he slotted back in there once again, centering Higgins and Hansen. They were given every opportunity to succeed; they started the majority of their shifts in the offensive zone, and their most common opponents were the plodding duo of Brad Stuart and Scott Hannan. Yet they did not create a single scoring chance.

Quite frankly I would have forgotten about Kesler’s existence in this one were it not for his early run-in with Marleau (where an errant high stick nearly took his head off), and more prevalently, the way the team was misusing him on the power play. I thought that having him at the point with the man advantage was a bad idea to begin with. The fact that that particular formation generated a power play goal in Game 2 did nothing to change my mind, either. At some point you’d like to think that the coaching staff would put down their hard liquor, and realize that putting your most dynamic player farther away from the net in a stationary position probably isn’t the best way to utilize him. Maybe that light bulb will go off in the summer, when they’re all distributing their resumes throughout the league. 

What made the team’s inability to field their most effective five man unit while on the power play even more infuriating was the fact that San Jose’s power play was just so darn good. They made the most of their 7 opportunities by generating 13 scoring chances, and 3 goals. And this came after a very strong performance by Vancouver’s penalty kill which effectively stifled them in Game 2. I distinctly remember Thomas Drance writing about how the Canucks needed to adapt, and avoid taking ticky tack penalties in his Game 1 recap, because this unit is scary good. Then Dale Weise happened. Again.

After days of pleading with the coaching staff to put Zack Kassian with the Sedins, the fans got their wish.. in the third period of a game that was out of hand. I thought Kassian was one of the lone bright spots yet again, as he continues to show an inherent ability to create plays for his team out of seemingly nothing. You’d like to think that we’ll see that line a lot to start Game 4, but who really knows. While Alex Burrows scored a sweet goal off of a one-timer – in large part due to the brilliance of Henrik – he has seemed off all series. Tonight wasn’t an exception, despite the goal.

I’m really not quite sure I even have words for Kevin Bieksa’s performance in this one. I actually do feel bad tearing into him, because he’s most likely hurt. I’d expect to learn of some debilitating injury that he has been playing through, which will require surgery as soon as the Canucks are eliminated. It’s the only possible explanation. His night featured a litany of reckless turnovers, horrible timing in getting over to help his defensive partners, and just a general inability to bring anything useful to the table. I continue to insist that him being paired with Alex Edler should be outlawed. While he spent a large chunk of his night paired with Alberts, surprise surprise one of the odd shifts that he spent with Edler resulted in a goal for the Sharks where the both of them were made to look foolish.

Let’s end this on a positive note: at least Tom Sestito got a cool experience that he can tell his grandchildren about, right! I wonder if he’ll throw in the part about how he got to play over a vastly superior player that could have actually helped the team in their attempt to win the game. Probably not.

Scoring Chance Data

A chance is counted any time a team directs a shot cleanly on-net from within home-plate. Shots on goal and misses are counted, but blocked shots are not (unless the player who blocks the shot is “acting like a goaltender”). Generally speaking, we are more generous with the boundaries of home-plate if there is dangerous puck movement immediately preceding the scoring chance, or if the scoring chance is screened. If you want to get a visual handle on home-plate, check this image.

Scoring Chance Totals:

  1st Period 2nd Period 3rd Period Totals
Canucks (EV) 3 (1) 1 (1) 3 (3) 7 (5)
Sharks (EV) 7 (3) 8 (6) 11 (4) 26 (13)

Individual Scoring Chance Contributions:

Individual Chances Taken Chances Assisted Chances Total
Derek Roy 1 2 3
Daniel Sedin 2 0 2
Henrik Sedin 0 2 2
Mason Raymond 1 0 1
Dan Hamhuis 1 0 1
Alex Burrows 1 0 1
Zack Kassian 1 0 1

Individual Scoring Chance Differential:

Individual EV F – A PP F – A SH F – A Total F – A
Henrik Sedin 2-5 1-0 0-0 3-5
Daniel Sedin 2-5 1-0 0-0 3-5
Alex Burrows 1-1 1-0 0-7 2-8
Ryan Kesler 0-3 1-0 0-9 1-12
Chris Higgins 0-4 0-0 0-2 0-6
Jannik Hansen 0-4 1-0 0-2 1-.
Derek Roy 3-2 1-0 0-4 4-6
Mason Raymond 3-3 1-0 0-2 4-4
Zack Kassian 3-5 0-0 0-0 2-5
Max Lapierre 1-2 0-0 0-0 1-2
Dale Weise 0-2 0-0 0-0 0-2
Tom Sestito 0-2 0-0 0-0 0-2
Dan Hamhuis 3-4 1-0 0-5 4-9
Jason Garrison 2-2 1-0 0-11 3-13
Alex Edler 0-6 1-0 0-5 1-11
Kevin Bieksa 0-8 0-0 0-2 0-10
Frank Corrado 1-3 0-0 0-0 1-3
Andrew Alberts 2-4 0-0 0-1 2-5

External Resources

  • I’m the Bandwagoner series writer but I really think that AV is gone this summer. Something needs to change and I still like Gillis as GM.
    Is it possible that Gillis has his hands tied by how much AV knows about the organization? The in-house stats, nutritionists and sleep doctors and the stuff we don’t even know about. If Gillis thinks the nucks have a competitive advantage, letting AV go lets at least one other team learn everything.

  • Mabell

    Man, tough game. Tough game to watch.

    Does anyone else wonder why the Sedins haven’t been split up. Spread the wealth?

    This series is an absolute disaster. I actually feel bad for all parties involved. It’s like the earth opened up and swallowed the team whole.

  • As usual the Canucks fans have no clue. The team is just plain bad, and like a sick dog, should be put down for the sake of mercy. At least the Grizzlies sucked year round and they didnt yank anyones chain by choking in the playoffs like the canucks do. It’s even more crueler than not making the playoffs, but something its delusional fansters deserve.

    Every year its the same old choke, 43 years later and their fansters still believe. It’s embarrassing for anyone who live in Vancouver or B.C.When they choke, the consensus among fans is that it’s NEVER anyones fault, everything is OK and there’s always next year, go canucks go. You know their fans have no idea what hockey is, let alone winning.

    In very playoff the Sedins dissappear, along with Raymond, leaky Lu, Buorroghs, Alex Error, etc, the list is long.After every loss the Sedins comment on how they ” played well enough to win” and how ” we need to do this or that” Uh, it’s time to put up or shut up Sedin. Dont TALK about doing, go and DO it. It’s like theyre satisfied with losing…content with a loss because they played ” pretty good”. LOL

    The sedin sisters can do only one thing, which is score goal in the regular season when the games are lose and easy, come play off time, they activate their powers of invisibility. They cant score, they dont hit, they dont fight, they dont kill penalties, theyre uselss on the PP, the fall down like bowling pins on the slightest nudge. They are so USELESS, yet they get keep getting the ice time. Now thats what I call “accountability. If you are useless , you get more ice time. It’s no wonder half the other guys have given up trying.

    Then there’s Alex Error. This guy I swear plays for any other team except his own. You dont need opponents when you have team mates like Alex Error.Bourroghs, again, loves to miss the net or shoot backhanded shots into the golies glove. Raymond..completely useless..I’d trade him for a donkey.

    But of course, as much as the team sucks, you can only blame the team so much…cause its not them that put the team together. That would be the infinitely stupid Gillis nd AV.One cant build a team cause he doesnt know squat, and the other cant coach. AV loves to destroy chemistry, if a line is doing well, let’s mix it up and kill the chemistry, then, come playoff time, he acts surprised when his lines show that they HAVE NO CHEMISTRY. Gee, I wonder why AV?

    Bottom line, the fans keep paying for turd, and turd they shall get and deserve. I’m so glad I washed my hands of those clowns 20 years ago. I watch the Canucks only because now i get such a kick out of seeing them lose, and seeing the same pathetic looks on their fans faces. 43 years later and they still dont get it…they still buy into the pipe dream the canucks sell them.

    Oh but dont worry fans, there always hope. LOL. And two presidents choice cups. LOL
    Only in Vancouver do they support losers. I guess it takes one to know wonder they burned the city down a few years back. LOL

      • Mantastic

        No matter what you say fanster, 43 years of sucking proves me right and you wrong. Do you enjoy your team choking year after year? Oh course you do. It’s never any ones fault that joke of a team always loses. In fact, the pleasure is all mine, as when I have to deal with all you fanster type who, during game nights, cause traffic gridlock and accidents all cause you want to get to garbage motors place to watch them choke. And every time they lose, it’s as if the gods have sided with me.

        I’m here because I wnt this joke of a team and its management out of the city, theyre worse than the grizzlies. At least the grizzlies dont yank ppls chains and waste time only to fo course , eventually choke. Does the truth hurt? It’s not my fault they suck, the management sucks, and the fans suck. Maybe youre one of those “dreamers” Maybe you believe that if you gave the Sedins 15 more years, they may actually do something in the playoffs, LOL. Yeah, and I’m the king of England. You got no one to blame but fansters like yourself for your team sucking, due to your support of losing and its losers. Maybe the world has gone tipsy turvey, why support winners when you can support LOSERS?

        You fansters go and pay hundreds of dollars year after year to keep a losers alive and then you have the nerve to turn around and even question their crapulance?

        If you are such a fanster than why are you supporting suck a suck ass team?

        Losers gotta support losers I guess.

  • Pile on time. Oilers Nation wishes you nothing. That’s right nothing. The one thing we have held onto is that we’d see Vancouver fail year after year in the playoffs. Always the bridesmaid never the bride. That will be this teams legacy. The RL non trade killed you. Heck the contract killed you. You deserve the misery. Nobody wears it better than Nuck fan. Looking forward to the riot after you lose to SJ in 4 games. Let the smashing begin you wannabe’s.

  • I listen to Team 1200 in the mornings on my drive to work. Every morning Pierre McGuire is on giving him thoughts on the night’s before game. Interesting is that today he compared the Canucks of today to the Senators of 2007 where they made the final and then quickly things fell apart after that.

  • Big Cap

    The Window has Closed! And, there’s not a lot in cupboards, either.

    Say what you want about being an “elite” team but the fact is, its clearly not. This team is gutless and has the worst Captain in the league. He is supposed to lead this team??? He and his brother need to be held accountable.

    This club had massively inflated stats over the past 5 years beating up on a weak NW division. looking forward, the Oilers are stacked, Calgary had 3 first rounders this year, Colorado has a young core with Seth Jones coming.


  • Big Cap

    You lost me at, “It’s even more crueler than not making the playoffs, but something its delusional fansters deserve.”

    Lol, “More Crueler.”

    Are you Michelle Therrien?

    • JCDavies

      The fact that you cheer for suck a choke team proves that you have lost any respect you may have had yourself. But hey, the two ” Presidents Choice Cups” are enough for ya.

      Did I mention that they have been sucking for 43 years? Half a century is coming up soon.But I’m sure they’ll win the cup before you hit the grave.After all, why look at a team on facts when you can do it just with blind hope?

  • Mantastic

    The psychological community says the schadenfrude we are seeing here points to significant self-esteem issues.

    So, good luck to all out Alberta fans who have visited us this morning….

  • IHeartHemsky

    If the Sharks win it all this year, would you still fire AV and/or MG? Not only would we have lost to the eventual winners, AGAIN, but if, of all teams, the Sharks were to win it, wouldn’t it prove that playing the long game, and not overreacting to a handful of playoff games was the way forward. Or are you more afraid of turning into the Flames….
    What choice do we have anyway? Changing AV doesn’t change much. Direction the team takes comes from MG. The biggest change we can make, without blowing it up, would be to trade Schneider. If Botchford is correct, we could get a lot from the Flyers for Edler too – we already have two other left handed D men for the top 4. Neither of those happens while MG is here.
    For all our similarities with the Sharks, they at least have a future – they can build their next team around Couture. We need a player like that.

  • Big Cap

    At some point, will the Canucks braintrust (and fans of advanced statistics) look beyond “possession metrics” and realise that the team as constructed doesn’t make things happen where it actually counts; on the scoreboard.

    All the zone possession time in the world means absolutely nothing if your shots come from the perimeter (with no screens or wingers moving in for a deflection), or worse when all that cycle time along the boards keeps the puck out of any danger areas.

    The Sharks have made a mockery of the cycle game; probably in part due to a Hall of Fame d-man (and Stanley Cup winning coach) on their staff.

    This really sucks to say, but it is high time that this core is changed up. Not blown up, but certainly some players (and not just the doghouse players, pending UFAs or goaltenders) need to move on.

    I’m looking forward to what happens between now and the draft. Until next year, fans!

  • IHeartHemsky

    Canucks playoff wins this year : 0
    Flames playoff wins this year : 0

    At least we get the 6th overall pick. But I guess you got an extra week of hockey. HAHA

    • KleptoKlown

      You know you’re a pathetic fan when you take pride in a high draft pick that can only be obtained through a horrendous season.

      Alberta’s motto “It’s ok that our teams are bottom feeders, because the Canucks lost in the 1st round!”

      Yeah, the Canucks failed at another cup…but at least they made the playoffs and had a chance.

      Even the lowly Leafs have more to cheer about than Alberta.

  • bazmagoo

    Still find it hard to believe the Canucks lost against the Bruins after being 3-2 up a few years. Not a Canucks fan, but I completely thought they had that series in the bag.

    As an observer, I’d have to say that Mike Gillis should certainly go before AV. If he had anything on the table for Lou at the start of the season, he should have taken it and gotten rid of that contract.

    But let’s look at some of the other trades he’s pulled off in the last few years – Grabner for Ballard – pretty clear who won that trade. Hodgson for Kassian – Buffalo has won so far although Kassian still has plenty of room to improve. Two bad moves, one bad non-move is all it takes to sink a team in the modern NHL.

    And don’t get me started on the Sedin’s…..

    • Mantastic

      Look at the hard facts. Every game the Canucks beat Boston in the finals was by basically one goal. Every game they lost against boston they were raped. After the Rome hit the team there was no push back, the sedins sisters were even pushed around by the boston goalie. The sedin showed how tough he was when he punched marchands glove with his face. How can any team not love a captain like that?

      If you dig deeper though, you will realize that the canucks didnt even deserve to be in the finals. They were up 3-1 against the hawks..only to CHOKE all the way to the 7th game, in which Burrows fluke goal on a bouncing puck ended the series. Yes, they were going to choke again. Take the fact that they loss 2 years before that and if you add it up, they have really choked since the sedin sisters came here. I’ve never seen such acceptance of losing in my life. Even the country club days of quinn, linden, mclean, lumme look s omuch better than whats going on now.

      The canucks cant draft talent..ever. They dont and WONT develop young talent. They ship them off to other teams where they thrive and come back to bite Vancouver in their asses, which is totally justified. Why draft young players when you eventually ship them off to somewhere else?

      All the players are over rated. Luongos contract is the poster child for this fact. I thought captain kirk fivehole mclean was over rated but luongo proved to me that with the canucks, there is never a limit on crapulance.

      Who ever is in management, they must be clever schemers because how they get to keep their jobs after 43 years of doing nothing is truly lifes greatest mystery. Bure was their best player and look how they treated him? They want him to stay but they wouldnt pay him what he deserved. They pissed him off so badly he came out to say hed never play for them again. You kow an organization is turd when its best players comes out to say those things. Besides Bure everything elses on this team sucked.

      43 years of over rated teams, lying scheming management, delusional clueless fans, who by the way, STILL go out year after year to pay for loserdom. What’s wrong with the Canucks?

  • Nucksfan4ever

    To my fellow Canucksarmy readers, who are being rather unimpressively trolled today, let’s see this soon to be playoff exit as our trolling friends have grown used to seeing their own teams’ performance:

    we just locked up a waaaay better draft position than the Sharks! Suckerzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!!!!1

  • KleptoKlown

    All the losers on here are pathetic! Go screw yourselves. The Canucks made the playoffs while your teams completely and utterly suck. Edmonton was 23rd in the entire league while Calgary was 24th.

    Shut your mouths! Oh and Edmonton is a piece of crap city compared to beautiful Vancouver.

    • JCDavies

      Wow, you say a few hard facts and the fansters come out like bed bugs at the Ivanhoe Hotel on the downtown eastside.

      Edmonton has won multiple cups in the past. The canucks have won…NOTHING. The canucks have no more room for excuses, no more room for hope and certainly no more time. 43 years of futility leaves very little of room anymore excuses.

      The edmonton players are on vacation, the canucks are on the ice being embarrassed…and embarrassing their own city. Only the canucks can choke in the grandest sense. To come back down 3-1 against newyork only to choke the 7th game away, and then to top that off with their brilliant performance in Boston. The canucks deny a better team to get into the playoffs, only to ALWAYS choke themselves out in the play offs.

      but to be fair, were the canucks ever the favorites in any series? They could be rank 1 playing against the worst team and they would still CHOKE. Only their delusional fans think that two sissy sisters will bring them the cup. They couldnt even stay on their feet during a game, and they love wasting tiem cycling the puck round and round and round, wasting energy only to fall down and cough the puck up.

      The canucks love to pay good money for the sisters to disappear in the play offs. They cant check, they cant fight, they cant hit, they dont PK, they cant win face offs, they cant score on the PP, and they sure as hell dont score in the playoffs. So what are the Sedins good for? nothing. Yet Gillis and AV love to keep giving them ice time. Speaks volumes, doesnt it? What kind of an organization rewards losers? Bingo! You guessed it.