Canucks Army GDT #68 – Canucks @ Jets


I have to admit that I figured I’d be catering Wednesday’s Canucks/Jets preview around John Tortorella’s firing, and what we could expect from Interim Head Coach Mike Sullivan’s 1st 7th game as the bench boss. 

But at least for now, that’s not the case. John Tortorella is still hanging around by a thread, with the Vancouver Canucks trying to gather themselves (and their chicklets, after having their “teeth kicked in” for the second time in days).

They’ll try to do so in Winnipeg, against the Winnipeg Jets and their raucous crowd, in a matchup between two teams tied for 10th in the Western Conference at 68 points. Let the Evander Kane fawning, and Ondrej Pavelec(tric) jokes begin!

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 4:30 PM PST


The Canucksarnage

The final 20 minutes of Monday night’s game were awfully difficult to process. So difficult, that I chose not to. Instead, I simply chose to run with a recap of the first 2 periods, which saw the Canucks paste the New York Islanders en route to a 3-0 score. That alternate world was a far happier place.

But it has been a full day now, and we should at least address what went down in Rogers Arena during that 3rd period. Let’s do so pictorially, because there were some great images circulating online as the collapse was unfolding before our very eyes. When soaking these in, just remember that a team without 3 of its 4 more gifted players (John Tavares, Thomas Vanek, Michael Grabner) managed to score 7 goals in 18 minutes and 29 seconds. “IT WAS THREE TO NOTHING!”

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic
GIF via Schneider’s Teeth

.. it can only go up from here, right? RIGHT?

LINEUP NOTES: What is there to say? Eddie Lack starts again, getting right back in the saddle following the 6-spot. There was some thought that the team would turn to Jacob Markstrom, but Tortorella is on the record saying that the newcomer basically “isn’t ready” for this. I assume that means we’ll be seeing a whoooole lot of Lack to end the season, which I’m OK with. 

Despite being 26 years old, we need to keep in mind that he’s still a relative novice when it comes to the art of goaltending, and every start he gets should help him out moving forward. Unless the team continues to collapse around him to the tune of 6 goals against. Then we’ll see that smile and humour quickly dissipate, which would undoubtedly be a shame.

The Jets

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The Winnipeg Jets are a perfect little example of narrative the mainstream media will try to shove down your throat vs. actual reality. Back on January 12th the team fired Claude Noel, hiring Paul Maurice as his replacement (at least for the “interim”). The Jets came out of the gate going 9-2 in Maurice’s first 11 games behind the bench.

This prompted the talking heads to yell “Paul Maurice has done a phenomenal job! He has gotten to Ondrej Pavelec, and fixed all that ailed him! The Jets quickly need to lock Maurice down and give him a deal as the team’s coach moving forward!” at us.

While I don’t think that Noel was a good coach or anything, the idea that Paul Maurice – a coach whose capabilities I’m also dubious of – was capable of coming in and magically fixing a team that pretty clearly has legitimate flaws across the board, was a rather foolhardy one. 

Why? Well..

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Ah, the ol’ PDO high. That’ll make anyone look good. But as we could’ve guessed, it could only last for so long. They’re now 2-3-3 since then, and Ondrej Pavelec is back to being #PAVELECTRIC. In 50 starts this season, Pavelec has given up at least 3 goals 27 times. He has a .902 save % on the year, which is somehow worse than his .906 and .905 from the previous two seasons. How long are people going to continue raving about this guy’s “raw ability”, and just acknowledge that he’s not good at all?

The Numbers

Canucks Jets
5v5 Corsi For % 5.18 (10th) 49.0 (20th)
5v5 GF/60 2.10 (19th) 2.34 (12th)
5v5 GA/60 2.18 (14th) 2.57 (25th)
5v5 PDO 99.6 (20th) 99.3 (22nd)
5v4 GF/60 4.65 (27th) 4.80 (25th)
5v4 SF/60 58.0 (4th) 51.4 (14th)
4v5 GA/60 4.73 (4th) 5.95 (14th)
4v5 SA/60 39.6 (1st) 48.7 (13th)

Gameday Reading

Wednesday’s game in Winnipeg will be the 1000th of Henrik Sedin’s illustrious, HOF-bound NHL career. For someone who has been around since the day he and his brother were drafted, that seems like a staggering figure, but we’re here. Henrik becomes the 287th player in the league’s history to hit the milestone (and interestingly enough, Matt Cooke became the 286th just the other day). From what I can tell, there are only 27 other active players in the club. Some of them are shells of their old selves by this point, and then there’s Jaromir Jagr.

Anyways, I’ve attached a fun little 7 minute compilation video of Henrik’s ’09-’10 Art Ross campaign. Some of these highlights make you smile because of how amazing they are, and at the same time make you want to weep because of where we are these days:

One last note: Elliotte Friedman’s 30 Thoughts were released today, and he devoted a large chunk of it to what’s happening with regards to the love triangle between the coach, GM, and owners. When Friedge speaks, we listen. I’d recommend giving this a read if you somehow have yet to.

  • andyg

    Dear Francesco,

    While I respect that you are a businessman first and foremost and you may not have accepted that the contracts of your general manager and coach are sunk costs, there is a simple solution to improving your product while gassing the people responsible for this disaster.

    Simply fire Mr Gillis & Mr Tortorella while keeping the player payroll $4 million below the salary cap for the next 4 years while the organization rebuilds.

    A swift response to this matter would be appreciated…