Canucks Army Postgame: Moral Victory Shmoral Victory

GIF via the Score

In case you missed Wednesday night’s game in Anaheim and are wondering how it went for the Canucks, I think you can use John Tortorella’s reaction above as a pretty reliable guide. It sums things up fairly adequately. Just extrapolate it into nearly 3 hours worth of self-deprecating viewing, and you’ve got yourself a good synopsis!

We’ll sort through the wasteland following the 9-1 defeat just past the jump. If you’re not sure whether you should click or not, I promise that this right here is the last time you’ll see the terms "moral" and "victory" next to each other (as that was probably the only thing beaten into the ground more than the Canucks on this night).

The Rundown All of the Bad Things that Happened

When you give up 9 goals, I guess you can expect that this section would feature a laundry list of things.. and, well, it does. For the sake of brevity let’s run the mess that led to the result:

It’s hard to make excuses for what happened when you lose by 8 freakin’ goals, but I still feel the need to point out that the first period was littered with unfortunate bounces from Vancouver’s perspective. Ryan Kesler rang iron on the first shift of the game just a few seconds in. A simple dump-in hit the stanchion, got by Jason Garrison, and went right to Jakob Silfverberg who set Cogliano up for the opening goal. Yannick Weber and Kesler both badly fanned on nice opportunities with a chance to the game on a 1st period PP.

The Canucks had a 20-11 shot attempt advantage with just a couple of minutes left in the opening frame, but couldn’t get out of the period without conceeding a PP goal by Teemu on a nice little tip-in. Whatever could’ve gone wrong, went wrong.. so we thought. But then there was so, so, so much more to come.

Like, for example, the Glen Gulutzan feature that ran during the 1st intermission. What on earth was that? I know that Sportsnet tapes and preordaines these things well in advance but I still find it comical that they ran that considering the state of the team’s PP. Gulutzan’s sole job on the team is to manage that unit, and I’m putting it nicely when I say that it’s a complete and utter mess. Kevin Bieksa in front of the net, and Alex Edler not being able to sniff the top unit. There’s thinking outside of the box and then there’s.. whatever that is.

Corey Perry scored off of Dan Hamhuis’ stick early in the 2nd – one of a couple own goals for the Canucks, en route to a particularly forgettable night for Hamhuis – signalling an early shower for Eddie Lack. Lack came into this game with a 2.12 GAA and .924 save % in his first 18 NHL appearances while saving the team big-time with all of Luongo’s injury woes, so I think some perspective is in order here. These nights happen occasionally to the best of ’em.

Unfortunately, the timing was crappy, because it meant that Joacim Eriksson was thrust into a pretty miserable situation. He wound up giving up 5 goals on 31 shots, but as crazy as it sounds to say it things could’ve gone a lot worse given the way the team in front of him played. It was about as listless as it gets, and he made a couple of real nice stops. I was under the impression that Luongo would potentially be back for tomorrow’s game, but they were talking on the broadcast about how John Tortorella was trying to encourage Eriksson by letting him know that he’d get another (more fair) chance tomorrow v. Phoenix, so I guess we’ll see?

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Then this happened in the 3rd period:

Ho boy. As if Paul Devorski’s performance recently hasn’t been embarrassing enough, he was caught on camera by our good friend The Stanch. What a fudging packhole. I quite frankly still don’t understand how Tom Sestito and Jannik Hansen were each given fighting majors with nothing going up on the board for Anaheim.

The result was a 7 minute 5-on-3, on which the Ducks scored 2 of their 6 PPGs for the night. Following all of the carnage, the Canucks have now fallen to having the 3rd best PK in the league (behind Pittsburgh and New Jersey). In case you needed more evidence that we should just burn the tapes, Chris Tanev took a minor penalty for just the 4th time this season. 

All of the Good Things that Happened


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.. Um, there were a couple of good things (relatively speaking of course).

a) David Booth’s showing. He was particularly awesome in the 1st period, with one memorable sequence in which he ran down Nick Bonino and dislodged him off of the puck (without taking a penalty), before going back down the other way and nearly scoring. Him and Santorelli combined for a handful of really dangerous chances, and Booth ultimately wound up setting up the team’s only goal (a PPG by Kassian) with a hard drive to the net. He was also on the ice for 24 shot attempts for, and only 5 against at 5v5. Impressive.

We discussed in the pregame about how this could be a short leash, 1-game audition of sorts for Booth, and following this outing it’s damn near impossible to envision him being taken out of the lineup for anyone tomorrow night. As is always the case with Booth though, anything is possible and we need to take it on a game-by-game basis so that we don’t get ahead of ourselves.

b) Alex Edler laying out Corey Perry early on, while we all still had the ability to smile:


c) This screenshot from by Mark Hamilton made me laugh. That’s probably not an optimal formation, I’d say. The Canucks may’ve lost their claim to the top PK unit in the league, but they now have the league’s top PIM player on their team; Tom Sestito, with 49 in the past 2 games, now has 152 on the year which is 43 more than Antoine Roussel.

The Numbers

The Booth-Santorelli-Weise unit was very effective, but when your 4th line is the team’s focal point, that’s a bad sign:

Image via Extra Skater

The Conclusion 

Fortunately for the Canucks and their fans, this loss won’t get to marinate for too long with a game against the Coyotes on the schedule tomorrow night. The Coyotes are currently battling with the Wild for the 8th seed in the West (4 points behind, 3 games in hand) but Mike Not Jonathan Bernier Smith has been a trainwreck of late. Meanwhile the Canucks head home following Thursday night’s game for Calgary, Edmonton, and Nashville so that’s as good a chance of any to help clear the mind of this performance.

  • Mantastic

    Good lord you are quite the reactionary bunch.

    This is the same team that the groupthink apologists have been defending since the summer.

    This is the same general manager that the groupthink apologists have been defending since the summer.

    Considering the teams with which they are battling, they have a solid chance at making the wildcard.

    Isn’t that what you rubes want?

    To be good enough to get lucky?

    Take a breath, stretch your brains and at least attempt to be rational…

      • JCDavies

        Yes I do.

        The Canucks have as many wins as losses, goals for as goals against and perfectly middling possession numbers.

        Delusional Canuck fans were warned that the cap crunch would preclude Grabovski & friends last summer.

        Delusional Canuck fans were warned that expecting more from the 10/50/31 core was a bad bet.

        Delusional Canuck fans were warned that locking up the Sedins before the season played out was poor cap management and lo and behold there will be little, if any, money leftover to upgrade the roster for 2014-2015.

        What reason do I have to be humble?

        The pretentious one has spoken…

        • Derian Hatcher

          You have many, many, many reasons to be humble. Many. However, in your cave perhaps being an ignorant idiot is reason enough to boast and display false bravado. I don’t think anyone sees you as pretentious….more like annoying…you are Spider from Goodfellas (as I’ve mentioned before).

          So, keep on being you. You’re good for a laugh but that’s about it. πŸ™‚ I used to feel sorry for you but now I just enjoy picking apart your moronic posts πŸ™‚

          I would love to see all of these delusional fans you keep mentioning. I think a lot of people on these boards had lowered expectations. Just because they don’t post doom and gloom doesn’t mean they’re delusional. I am sure most posters here have lives and don’t live and die with the Canucks. Sadly, I don’t think you have much else going on in your life. May I suggest a hobby or making a friend? Perhaps a fulltime job will prevent you from being so idle. Let us know how we can help.

    • JCDavies

      I love how NoMind00 likes to make up things so he can say how you were wrong and he was right. If Idiot00 had any command of the English language, he’d be able to see many had a realistic idea of what the Canucks are. What ShatForBrains00 can’t fathom is that we acknowledge it, accept it and still cheer on the team. Crazy talk, I know!

      NegativeMoron00 is a great source of entertainment for me any my pals. We actually laugh out loud at his posts. All I can say is high school had to be the best 10 years of Whiner00’s life! πŸ™‚

    • JCDavies

      This is what we are — panic-stricken… er I mean we are all Canucks.

      I do recall agreeing with you about Gillis. I still think the guy is an overrated slobo. Not sure what some ‘Nucks fans see in his management style that screams “winner”.

      Booth had his best game in a month and well what good did that do the team?

      Santo, who I was hoping would continue to be a revelation, is showing why Winnipeg. Florida and the Preds gave up on him.

      Richardson is about what you might expect from a 4th liner playing 3rd line minutes.

      The Sedins aren’t the Sedins anymore… or they are the Sedins but not the same Sedins.

      Burrows hasn’t scored a goal, Kassian is north south in a bad way and Big Sexito is playing bigger minutes than he should.


      • JCDavies

        Gillis happened to be the GM when a bunch of players from previous regimes hit their stride.

        Now that the core he inherited is over the hill, he’s being exposed for the terrible GM he has always been.

        I fully agree that the team has a number of guys playing a slot too high.

        That’s what happens when the youth continues to be ignored in the name of every last point in the standings…

  • pheenster

    After the 7 minute 5-3, they should have just pulled the goalie and let the Ducks score as many goals as they wanted. It would have been worth the inevitable suspension, and the final score might even have been lower.

  • JCDavies

    I’m also a little scarred by the general disaster that this California swing has been (i.e. the opposite of Jenny Scrivens’ feelings about leaving the west coast for Alberta). But I don’t quite understand what BLOW IT ALL UP is supposed to mean. Trade everyone? Play terribly to hope for a lottery pick? Isn’t the wiser course to try and actually improve on what we have? I’m not saying that’s at all easy — clearly not, given cap restrictions, current contracts, etc. But really, what the hell does BLOW IT ALL UP even mean?

    As crappy as things have been and as (hopefully) better they’ll become with the Alberta AHL franchises on the horizon, it’s not like blowouts don’t happen to far better teams than the Canucks. I think the Blackhawks lost 7-2 to the Preds earlier this year. Yes, those Predators…

  • JCDavies

    If MG can make a “hockey deal” to improve the club, I say go for it. If not, I would prefer the Canucks wait until the offseason to make any major moves. I’m legitimately worried that MG is going to go and do something stupid now. Dale Tallon should make sure that his phone is charged.

    • JCDavies

      I fear this. But really, we’ve needed to make a serious hockey move since the summer. I’m just hoping that the Scneids move wasn’t his version of a “hockey deal”. I’d have thought at least on piece to help NOW would have came back then. I just don’t know what we have that we can turn into an upper tier player aside from a couple of prospects, which everybody seems to have.

      Oh well, it was only one game. Every team gets blasted from time to time, even the Hawks. Which makes tonight even more of a statement game than the Kings in my mind.

      • JCDavies

        Agreed, I also would have welcomed bigger moves in the summer but, for whatever reasons, they didn’t happen. Now, I’m just hoping that, after the last couple games, there isn’t a knee-jerk reaction. Everybody knew at the beginning of the season that, if they were going to compete for the cup, the Canucks needed to add a couple of pieces. Whatever plans MG and Co. had for the club in December, they should stick to them.

  • The Benevolent Orca

    It was a bad game people. Relax with all the blowing the team up comments. Remember last month when the team was winning. Patients people.

    If the team continues to fall in the next 2-3 games, then yes, time to make some moves.

    Bring in some youth to play with the aging vets to give them some experience. Time for Horvat, Gaunce, Jensen, and Shinkarik to get a couple games experience.

  • Derian Hatcher

    OK let me first start that I am an Oilers fan…(insert laughtrack and joke here), and would cheer for almost anybody but the Canucks. That being said, with the current state of the joke franchise that is the Oilers, I would gladly take the one-ice and off ice product that is the canucks (yes even Gillis) and send you our franchise to watch night after painful night. We dont have defense, we have no goaltending (unless Scivens saves the day), we have NO team defense. We have forwards who regularly turn the puck over at the blue lines. We have forwards who could not find their man in the d-zone with a map and compaas. We have a head coach who comes across like he’s smarter than everyone else even though I’m not sure what he has ever won (maybe a marathon cause he’s a fitnss freak). I could go on and on about the front office, the scouting, the President of Hockey Ops, the owner who resides in your fine city (hey…if you see him tell him that the hockey team he owns is in a shambles). I could go on and on, but I am confident that you can see that while you may not be thrilled with your team at the present time, there are those that long for the toughness of bieksa or (can’t believe I’m saying this) the passion and accountabiltiy of your head coach…I am going back to put my head in the oven…thanks for listening.

    • JCDavies

      Thanks man. Our 2 teams don’t exactly love each other, so it’s not expected that an Oilers fan would come here and say nice things. Cheers.

      It’s got to turn around for you guys soon…surely the misery can’t last much longer. Hopefully Kevin Lowe can get the boot though.

  • pheenster

    Ppl are going to react to this game as a defensive nightmare — and it was! — but this team’s inability to score is becoming a sad joke. And the impact it has on the team is immeasurable. They can’t score their way out of trouble anymore, and if they don’t find someone who can play second line minutes with Kesler then it will be a very shory first round exit.

  • pheenster

    I agree with Geez, the nucks are completely useless in the scoring department. Frankly they’re just boring as hell to watch now, this season is the first in years that games have been on and I’ve just been like “meh”. At least blowing the team up would be something other than alternating between winning boring-ass 2-1 games and getting pounded.

    • Mantastic

      I don’t think there’s any need to blow it up but you do need to flip some key pieces and deal from your strength. Burr would’ve brought you a decent, young return at the last trade deadline (something like what Nash got for Erat would’ve been nice) and Edler for another young, NHL player(s). Hell, maybe Gillis could’ve dealt Edler and Schneider to Colorado for a package including the Col. #1 pick and that would’ve given us our #1 centre of the near future.

  • argoleas

    I was somewhat worried after the “moral Victory” they may come crashing down to earth, but no where, in my wildest dreams did i envision this. I have already deleted it on the PVR, and may record Marry Poppins over top if it, so it never sees the light of day again.

    I noticed Mike Gilles left his box before the end of the game. Was he phoning another GM about a trade? Or phoning Utica to see if they would switch teams for tomorrow night?

  • argoleas

    Ah indeed, my worry posting 2 days ago was exactly that I was worried that they would follow up that great moral victory with a lesser effort. Clearly I did not what I was talking about.

  • Mantastic

    It’s not about blowing this team up. But have you seen the “Sedinery” we’ve come to love in a while? Does Daniel Sedin even have “it” any more? I can’t see his game improving. He is getting knocked off pucks and getting next to no quality scoring chances out there.

    Yes, it’s been great to see the Sedins block shots. But that’s not why you pay them $6 mill per. You pay them that because they can score. And a goal before the game got out of hand would have made such a difference in the game.

    • Mantastic

      Yeah, I think Henrik is still a gifted playmaker but Daniel is not a top line player anymore. Don’t they make $7 mill now? Anyway, that’s why I thought they shouldn’t be getting a raise last contract but the hot start to the season convinced management to give them more $. I think it’ll be bite us mainly due to Daniel’s lack of ability to score.

      • JCDavies

        The good thing about a guy like Henrik is that he never was a speedy guy and he is so good because of the way he sees the ice/hockey IQ. He’s an excellent distributor. So I can see him being useful for several more years. Age isn’t going to affect that type of ability. I think he’ll be effective longer than Daniel.

    • Marsh

      The Sedins appear to be on a rope that keeps them with 3 feet of the boards in the offensive zone. What good is all the cycling especially when both Daniel and Henrik are behind the goal line – and nobody goes in front of the net or in the high slot? Really, the whole slot seems a care free area for the opposition, except when the Canucks fourth line is on. So its cycle, cycle, pass to the D, blocked shot.

  • Mantastic

    I’m disappointed that we didn’t lose 10-1. If we’re going to have our worst game of the year, might as well go for double digits!

    But seriously, as much as I hate to be negative, can we agree that this team, as currently constructed, does not have the ability to win the Stanley Cup? I’m not holding my breath for the trade deadline – seems like it’s mostly overpayments for rentals then. I feel pretty optimistic about the future with Gaunce/Horvat/Shinkaruk/Corrado/Jensen though. Hopefully at least one of them can crack the lineup next fall.

    • JCDavies

      Nat, you are welcome to feel optimistic about prospects, but then you’re in Oilers fan territory — only you don’t have the 1980s to look back on and smile.

        • JCDavies

          “the Oilers have an above average prospect pool”

          This is debatable. Pronman has the Oilers ranked 15th and Hockey’s Future (not that I put much stock in HF’s rankings) has them 20th.

          • Mantastic

            regardless, it’s still worse. old players + below average prospect pool or young players + average/below average pool, optimism for the future is a little brighter for one team than the other.

          • JCDavies

            Fair. But do you have faith that the Oilers can develop those prospects into NHLers?

            At this point, I have more faith that Colorado, who also has this: “young players + average/below average pool”, is able to turn prospects into NHLers. In my opinion, the Oilers need to show the ability to do this to have a “brighter future”.

          • Mantastic

            both colorado and oilers have a better development platforms mainly due to superior drafting. Oilers young players alone make the future brighter than the future of the canucks. what does colorado or oilers prospects have to do about the canucks prospects?

            i was questioning the bases of being optimistic on canuck prospects. a system that hasn’t produced a nhl regular in the past 2 seasons, not counting NHL free agent prospects.

          • JCDavies

            The Canucks haven’t drafted and developed an NHL regular since Mason Raymond.

            No team has been as bad as this franchise in recent years.

            You are 100% correct.

            The Oilers have a reason to be optimistic.

            Even though it has to be acknowledged that the Oil may very well piss away years of ultra high picks as they have done this season.

            The Canucks, on the other hand, have zero reason to be optimistic about the near future.

            Resetting and old core is guaranteed not to work…

          • Derian Hatcher

            Here. We. Go.

            Hmmmmmm the Canucks haven’t put in too many draft picks lately but that can be said for many NHL teams. I will agree with my furry little friend by saying Canucks have been a bit weak in drafting/development. However, Ignoramous00, you need to compare your belief of how bad the Canucks are in comparison with the rest of the league. I sent out some hockeydb links to assist you. So, again, you’re a bit off here and just as stupid as everyone thinks πŸ™‚

            No team has been as bad as this team? What on Earth are you talking about, my hairy backed little friend?! Are you comparing teams in the NHL or different Canuck teams? The Canucks have been one of the better teams for the last decade. Again, stupidity reigns in your mom’s basement.

            Oilers have reason to be optimistic? Hmmmm. Impossible to predict but they seem to be in turmoil right now. I’d still prefer the Canucks to them but to each their own, eh SteamingCoiler00?

            Canucks – zero optimism? Ah yes, because you know what your talking about. I won’t even go on here.

            I do enjoy this exercise. It’s kinda fun responding to troll00 once in a while. πŸ™‚

          • Derian Hatcher

            Don’t tell NoMind00 that! He may have a stroke.

            Yeah, I PVRed the game and watched some of it. Most of that was in fast forward. We are all Canucks.

          • JCDavies

            I am not disagreeing with most of your points but I am not sure that the Oilers can have a brighter future without the ability to turn those prospects into a competitive team – something they haven’t had much success at.

            I used Colorado as an example because they were comparably ranked to the Oilers, they also have many young players and they have, so far, had more success at turning those young players into a competitive team.

        • JCDavies

          Um… says who? All their top prospects and their management couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again. How might they build an actual winner?

          Maybe one day we`ll see the fruits of this lose in Edmonton, but think about this: all their bottoming out might never lead that team to more than where the Islanders are, who are on year 28 of their rebuild.

          Meanwhile back in B.C., the Canucks are not in need of a major rebuild. This team needs to make a hockey deal. Now every team says that they need to do this, but of the 30 squads that call the NHL home, only a few are actually going to do what is necessary to make this happen.

          THE CANUCKS NEED TO DEAL ONE OF THEIR DEFENCEMAN — IN A PACKAGE DEAL — FOR A SCORING FORWARD. I don’t care about team depth on defence. Non of the Canucks defencemen are untouchable, though I doubt Hamhuis gets moved. We need someone to replace Daniel Sedin’s production.

          • JCDavies

            Completely agree. Daniel hasn’t been able to score for a while now. And by not score, I mean score at the rate a $7 million dollar player scores at.

            I still think Edler is the most desired – young, solid, very reasonable contract. I think Hamhuis is also another guy we could geta good return on and the same goes for Bieksa. However, our GM has given NTCs to half the roster.

            If we do manage to deal any of them then we have to get a young, top 6 NHL player. Not another prospect(s) only. Our GM’s critical moment was last season when he could’ve flipped a couple of players but he didn’t pull the trigger. Now most of our tradeable vets are locked in and we’re stuck with them. Let’s see if Gillis has any rabbits in his hat! Oooooooooooo wascally wabbits!

          • JCDavies

            Which is the point. Gillis has promised to never trade anyone. What leverage does he have? If he goes to trade Edler, how does he not look like a liar? Gillis has managed this team’s cap situation in an insane fashion.

            I agree that $7 million is too much for a slowly devolving winger. Just like $4.5 million is too much for a 3rd line non-checking, non-scoring, healthy scratched winger (with apparently great Corsi cheek bones). I mentioned this earlier and was told by all-knowing types that cap-value doesn’t matter when the puck drops. That however was never my point.

            Cap-value matters when you are evaluating the talent of a roster and how much is being paid for said talent. Now for the next three years, the Sedins will take up $14 million in cap space, but really they ought to be paid in $9 to $10 million range. They are now second liners. Hey, it happens. Remember how quickly it happened to Markus Naslund and Todd Bertuzzi. There aren’t many Teemu Selanne’s out there.