Canucks Postgame: Get off of my back you scary monkey!

Chris Higgins can’t help but smile tonight. (Image via Jeff Vinnick)

As the Vancouver Canucks went into Philadelphia to take on the Flyers on Tuesday evening, all the talk around here was about percentages, unsustainably bad luck, and being long overdue. All of that held particularly true for Chris Higgins, Ryan Kesler, and Dan Hamhuis, who have been having their play called into question because of things that tend to happen over the course of an 82-game season. Unfortunately for them, it came at the start of the season with the team struggling against good competition.

Some of that will surely die down after Thursday night’s win, as the Canucks kicked off their 7-game road trip with a much needed two points thanks to a late flurry, line juggling, and some fortunate bounces.

Read on past the jump for a quick recap of the game.

The first period of this one was an U-G-L-Y one all the way around, but particularly for the Canucks; the Flyers held an 18-11 advantage in unblocked shot attempts directed towards the net (Fenwick) after 20. The home team took a lead roughly halfway through the opening frame when a horribly ill advised change left the Canucks defense scrambling, allowing Tye McGinn to bury an easy one.

The period was salvaged by a lucky bounce that took place just 10 seconds after McGinn’s goal. The puck took an unexpected hop off of the boards and bounced out right in front of the net waiting for Ryan Kesler to put it home. All of that sure did make Steve Mason look silly (real hard to do, I know). After 1 goal on 19 registered shots on goal this season, I’m sure Kesler will gladly take it though.

If you know a friend that didn’t get to watch the game tell him/her that it was basically Version 2.0 of this one:

The 2nd was a much better period from a possession and scoring chance perspective (4-to-1 in their favour after being outchanced 5-to-1 in the opening 20), but all the Canucks had to show for their troubles was Tye McGinn’s 2nd goal of the game. There was a lot of talk about the goal being waved off due to a hand pass by Claude Giroux, but they counted it.

Speaking of Giroux.. where on earth was he in this one? That was just his 2nd point of the season, and quite frankly, I could probably count on one hand the number of times I even noticed him tonight. The $66 million man will get his fair share of criticism for what’s going on in Philly, and while it’s not all on him, he needs to be significantly better than he was in this game.

One silver lining from that McGinn’s 2nd goal was this fantastic tweet which made me chuckle (man oh man, do I love some good wordplay):

The last time the Canucks were trailing in the 3rd period on the road and failing to generate any sort of meaningful offense – which was in Calgary on October 6th – John Tortorella broke up the Sedins, and juggled the lines. It worked that time, and it worked tonight as well. The new look top line of Higgins-Henrik-Kesler tied the game up following a wicked pass from behind the net by the Captain to Higgins, who must feel a million times lighter with that gigantic monkey off of his back. 

I’d also like to personally thank Higgins for making me look like I know what I’m talking about:

Then, with just a couple of minutes left in the game a sequence where some brilliant plays by both Henrik and Dan Hamhuis helped sustain pressure in the offensive zone led to Kesler’s 2nd goal of the night. I’m sure we’ll see the Sedins reunited on the top line in Buffalo on Thursday, but on this night, the move worked perfectly for the Canucks and made Tortorella look like a genius.

Things are about to get progressively tougher in the coming weeks (both during this road trip, and when they return home), so it was nice to see them salvage the game and pick up two much needed points on a night where the team as a whole was nowhere near its A-game.

There will be more to come on this one sometime tomorrow morning/afternoon, so stay tuned.

  • andyg

    Not a pretty win, but at least Kes and Higgins got off the snide. Lou has to get better, we all know he struggles early, but it seems like he can’t find the puck on almost every shot. Also the defense is getting worse and worse, I think they have to bring back Corrado and replace Stanton. Corrado like Tanev brings a calmness to a pairing, unlike Stanton that made one of the worst passes across the middle, but was lucky because the Flyer was offside. Wonder if Torts will split of the twins until Burrows returns? There seems to be a lack of passing outside the twins…. Also, Booth and Schoeder,! Will you please hit the net on point blank shots, this is not a skills competition!

  • andyg

    Well for all you overly sensitive weeping Canuck fans, this was another comeback win against a really bad team. They could have saved time and effort had they NOT been down in goals to begin with. And now as I suspect the usual Canuck protocol is to celebrate this like it was 1969 and delude themselves into thinking that they’re some kind of hotshots comeback team. But oh wait, come a game against a good team when they’re down like this and when it counts, the Canucks chances of a come back will be slimmer than Lindsay Lohan arriving to work on time.

    The thing about the Canucks is that they are always too quick to forget about their mediocre and undisciplined play and they are just one more play off round away from getting exposed and embarrassed again. But I’m sure Gillis will be happy he team came back to beat a real crappy team. After all, don’t the Canucks and their fans always love to compare themselves to the worst teams in the league?

    the question is, will the Canucks ever learn their lesson come the post season? After all this time… highly highly unlikely.

      • jung gun

        Hey Hard Dick City, you realize when attempting to mock someone you should be able to form a sentence that is actually coherent right?

        Don’t get too excited thinking about KOBRA’s holes there Timmy, I know that’s two more than you’ve seen in awhile

        • DCR

          You’d know about holes wouldn’t you, 5minutesinyourass? What, the Canucks didn’t give you a one cent raise for all your shilling? Don’t be sore just cause you have to shill for the Canucks, homie.

          Keep on deluding yourself about the Canucks, come the end of this season, you’ll be wrong again.Then again, your pea brain isn’t bright enough to understand logic, just false hopes and dreams. Hey, failure isn’t able to convince you. If I were you I’d start thinking about what excuses to say when the Canucks choke again this post season. LMFAO

          • DCR

            I would know several things about holes actually, yes. Its obvious by your hostility you have never been in one, and have only come out of one once, and your Mama still hasnt forgiven you for it.

            Get a grip on your life and loosen the grip on your tiny willy. Youre chokin yourself out Chucky.

            Do you even read what you write? What the hell are you even talking about. You must be the most pathetic trash talker I have ever had the pleasure of embarrassing.

            You can’t spell. You lack any cognitive skills….you are easier than your Mom on the night of your conception.

            Aint Life $hitty in Hard Dick City…

          • DCR

            Yes, you still believe the Canucks are a good team. And I’m the who lack cognitive skills? LOL

            You embarrass me? Look who keep replying to me cause your all angry and whinny and can;t take criticism of your below average team.

            Wow, you can spell cause you said so. I guess I should believe everything anyone says on the net cause they said so. LOL. I should believe what you say just cause you’re a delusional twat who shills for such a below average team.

            Well, hey, don’t get mad at me cause you only get 4 cents per shill comment, be mad at yourself for picking a weak ass team like the Canucks.

            Life must be delusional and painful at 5minutesupyourass. Hey, I’ll remind you again come the end of this year when your Canucks choke again. Get your best excuses ready, kid.

    • You do know the Canucks are an average team, right? They were above average when they went to the finals and they are below average now. You can see how it all adds up by subtraction? You see all those players the Canucks traded or gave away after the finals? Well, isn’t it obvious that if what you have left over from that is mediocre, it’s easy to conclude that what you got rid of was the best part of your team and what you have left is what you should have gotten rid of.

      You should put your money where your mouth is and go to a bookie and bet all that you have that the Canucks will win the cup this year. Why be so hostile to ppl who state the obvious truth? Go on and bet everything on the Canucks, see how far you get.

  • Meanwhile Roy’s Av’s are rolling along with six straight. Now I’m not saying all past winners are going to run a good team but who would have thought that a former winner in Roy and Sakic would make such a difference? The passion, the pride the mind for the game. No, we don’t like that here…we prefer to do the opposite of a winning formula. We got Gillis and AV. Surely those two guys are going to bring the cup here. I mean, who wants past winners on a franchise? That’s such an outdated mind set. The Canucks like to do things there way. Bring in people who have little to no passion or pride for the game and sit back and expect glory. Yes, I’am sold! Let’s and the keys to the city over to Gillis as well! This team isn’t mediocre, it’s a great mediocre team!

      • pheenster

        That’s funny coming from a chump who proudly pronounces his habitation in the armpit of Vancouver. The same place that had the most number of convicted rioters during the SCF.

        • DCR

          Hey man, at least I went to school. After reading your post, we all know you didn’t. I don’t even need a witty comeback – you did all the work for me. Better safe than Surrey!

          • DCR

            Well, I got news for you boy. If I wrote my name as England Bob, would you then think I was from England too? LMFAO. Now I know why you cheer for the Canucks…it is inherent in you when you were born to believe everything you see and hear…much like your beliefs in the Canucks organization making hot air about how they want to build a winner.

            Do you also watch youtube and believe the comments you see under those videos? If so, I suggest you think back and ask yourself again…short or long yellow bus?

          • andyg

            Doesn’t really matter where you’re from. You still have no idea what grammar is and you confirm that with each and every post. Congrats to you!

            I actually walked to school back in the day 😉 I await your next feeble attempt 🙂

          • andyg

            Oh Teddy, that explains it. You were never wanted on the bus, that’s why you have anger and retardation issues.
            Now I see why you’re a blind Canucks fanboy…you’re retarded. That explains everything. By the way your grammar is not very good.

      • DCR

        I don’t think your pea brain can handle a thing called sarcasm, 5minutesinyourbutt. Better stick to what you do best, shilling for the Canucks and blind loyalty while waving your store bought Canuck flag. LOL

    • DCR

      Yeah, I used to read the comments because people had things to say. Negative posters would actually build and support their arguments rather than just spout the negative narrative.

        • DCR

          I expect both sides to support their arguments with facts.

          What I’m seeing from the negative side is the repeated argument that a 4-3-0 record means nothing, and the Canucks are guaranteed to lose everything, without considering the circumstances.

          Yes, they should have beat the Flyers last night, but they came back from 2-1 against a team fielding a goalie who’s been doing very well even though his team’s been losing. Mason’s still sitting with a .926 over 5 games even after last night.

          Right now, the Canucks may be better or worse than their record suggests. We can’t tell too much yet because the sample size is both skewed and small. The team’s been missing a top-six winger since the first game of the season, and last night they were also missing the top-minute defenceman.

          I would really suggest giving them 20 games or so before making any bold predictions. All we know now is that the pre-season changes were neither an absolute success nor an utter failure. The results came up somewhere in the middle, but we’re going to need a bigger sample size to see where.

          • jung gun

            Not all “negativity” is created equal, though…

            It’d be nice to have seen more games against the middle class.

            So far, the only opponent I’d categorize in the (approximately) 11-20 group with the Canucks is Montreal.

            And Montreal has the upside to be one of the top 10 teams by the end of the year.

            There’s little point in being swayed by a win against Buffalo tomorrow or a loss against Pittsburgh on Saturday…

          • DCR

            Oh I agree there are different kinds of negativity.

            I personally think you’re more negative than you need to be, but you at least make points and try to support them.

            Right now, I’d describe myself as cautiously optimistic and waiting for more data before I jump either way with a prediction.

          • DCR

            And I personally think far too many on here are groupthink homers that can’t accept the reality of where this organization currently stands.

            Case in point the wish fulfillment over Horton/Clarkson/Cullen/Gordon/Grabovski all summer…

            And round two may very well be coming up as people fail to realize that the cap increase will be dedicated to raises for Sedin, Sedin, Hansen, Tanev, role players (Kassian/Weise/Lack) or their replacements…

            Perhaps I’d be more “optimistic” if the Canucks didn’t have the worst collection of pre-UFA “upside” in the league:

            Sestito (26), Lack (25), Weber (25), Weise (25), Stanton (24), Dalpe (23), Schroeder (23), Tanev (23), Kassian (22)

            I see little point in getting swayed by the ups and downs of the season.

            This is a mediocre team and the evidence you seek is coming…

          • DCR

            45 years of failures? I actually thought you were much younger than that. Its funny that it happens to be the same length the Canucks have gone without a Cup. And ironically, neither one matters to me.

          • DCR

            Love you how get so angry when your team gets exposed and called out for what they are, 5minutesupyourass. If it doesn’t matter to you then why are you busy replying to me, son? And coincidentally 5minutesupyourass, nothing you delude yourself into believing matters to me either.

  • DCR

    The saddest part about these trolls is that I bet they(especially Hard Puck City) are probably old enough to be a Drance and co’s father. These you-know-what’s have brought this comment section down to the same level as Team1040, it’s embarrassing really.

    Is there any way to ban them? Like it was said before, at least the cynics of before used to have some kind of legitimate argument to bring to the table. These people contribute absolutely nothing.

  • jung gun

    I think that the Canucks show potential to be a contending team in the playoffs. Our top six lacks chemistry, which if corrected lends itself to scoring prowess. People who say that the Sedins can no longer put up numbers are out of touch with the reality of excellent players. The Sedinery we see isn’t a style that wears and tears down the players using it, nor have they ever had blinding speed or incredible shots. So, there’s no reason to suspect they won’t be able to put up numbers in the 70-90 point range for the next few years, and remain in the top ten scorers of the league. A good line fit with them is difficult, and although it’s easy to resort back to Burrows, I think it makes more sense to have Kassian up there, because he can dole out punishment come playoff time; which will be even more intense if he has established chemistry with the twins. Our bottom six isn’t actually as bad as most people seem to be making it out to be. Higgins and Hansen would make superb third line wingers, or Booth and Kassian (like I said though, the latter should be on the top line). The issue is with our 3C. I don’t have a problem with Schroeder in that position thus far. He’s managed to maintain offensive sensibility (put up 9 points in 30 games last season on a floundering team that was obviously discombobulated) and be responsible defensively. He blocks shot, gets in passing lanes, wins battles along with the boards with his deft, soft hands. After him, Richardson is a great 4C who brings grit to the bottom six, as well as some finish. Put Santorelli to one side of him and you add a playmaker who is willing to grind out through most battles. Add Weise to the other wing and you have a combative fourth line that can make an impact with speed and aggression. Overall, I don’t think the team is poised to take the cup, but it’s not like the team is far below average now. On paper, at least, it still looks like a pretty solid team that is underperforming because the chemistry equations haven’t balanced out.

    • jung gun

      I agree with you, but I also agree with those who worry about our depth. I think we can build four solid lines (minus an ideal 3C) when everyone is healthy and un-suspended.

      A few key injuries suddenly give us a far uglier looking bottom six. Hopefully Utica can send us a useful warm body or two in the forward position when called on. Unfortunately, we remain in a waiver crunch, which is why we had Yannick Weber at forward.

      I think we are going to have to be prepare to waive (and potentially lose) or current roster player at some point to give us the flexibility to make the call-ups we will need to make.

  • jung gun

    We didn’t seem to get our legs until the 2nd, which is understandable. The Fenwick chart looks like 2 earthworms mating, like this could have went either way, which is the way I saw it. Nice to see the boys catch a few breaks and pull an early win out of the road trip. Lighten the baggage early on. We’re 2 and 0 when we break up the twins, I think it’s obvious we’ll see it more until it stops bearing fruit. I really liked watching them play apart. It’s brilliant when you think about the good it brings to our line-up. Just my opinion, flame away Hard Puck…LOL.

    • DCR

      What a homer whino. LMFAO. Always trying to get other people to see something that only exists in your poor delusional mind. All that money you spent on the Canucks must have been such a waste. I;d feel bad if I was you too…but I aint.

        • DCR

          Trash talking? I said the Canucks suck..and they do. Oh, do you have any proof to back up your claims to the contrary? No you don’t do you, kid? You try so hard to divert and draw attention away from the fact the the team you shill for is below average. You aint fooling no one here, son. Your team is BELOW AVERAGE. GIVE ME EVIDENCE THAT THEY ARE NOT. Show me the Stanley Cup or shut your 5minutesinyourbutt

  • DCR

    It was nice to see Kesler play with a pulse yesterday. If he plays lime that, the Canucks are a team that can sit at the big boy table. This season is really riding on not only his offensive production, but also his overall play on the ice.

  • andyg

    So is there a way to select someone’s profile and just hide the comments? I found that really useful on the old CBC comment style. People who didn’t contribute anything useful, you didn’t even have to see what they wrote. Right now I am thinking it would be useful.