Canucks Army Postgame: Dead and Barrie’d

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“My god, it’s worse than I thought…”

After the fireworks on Wednesday, it was time to get the Second Trevor Linden era underway. The Canucks clearly aren’t in win mode anymore, as the team sat Jason Garrison and Eddie Lack in favour of Frank Corrado and *gasp* Jakob Markstrom, and responded in turn with another loss, their 34th of the season. Fortunately, piling up the losses is probably good for the long-term health of this franchise as every point in the standings avoided brings Vancouver closer to a potential future top-6 centre.

So in the grand scheme of things, Thursday’s 4-2 loss to the Avalanche isn’t the worst thing that could have happened. Read past the jump for more.

The Rundown

There seemed to be a lot of just going through the motions at times for the Canucks. I mean, you can’t really blame them because it was an entirely meaningless game and it would benefit the franchise to lose games at this point so they can get a better draft position and consequently be in a better position to win the Stanley Cup in the future. Both teams were fairly even early, but then the Sedins picked up their play and started to hem the Avalanche in on some shifts. Henrik would break the ice too, deflecting a Dan Hamhuis point shot past Semyon Varlamov to make the score 1-0:

The Avs responded later in the period, as Nicklas Jensen made a horrible turnover at the offensive blueline, sending future Canuck Paul Stastny in all alone on Jakub Markstrom. Stastny fired the puck through Markstrom’s 5-hole to tie the game at 1-1. As awful as the Jensen giveaway was, I thought he had a pretty good game riding shotgun with the Sedins, and made a really good play later in the game to help set up a glorious chance for Alex Edler. It’ll be interesting to see how Jensen plays when he’s removed from the Sedins though. He does have a 58.2% Corsi on the season, but also a nearly 70% offensive zone start rate and all of his 5v5 time spent with either Henrik or Kesler. Unlike a guy like Zack Kassian, Jensen has been given every opportunity to flourish offensively, which is funny since Kassian has been a more prolific scorer than Jensen at every level of hockey.

Paul Stastny would score once again early in the third period to give the Avalanche a 2-1 lead. With the Canucks standing around and puck-watching in their own zone, Stastny was able to pounce on a rebound in the slot and hammer one by Markstrom.

The Avs lead was short-lived however, as David Booth was able to chip a puck over Varlamov for his 9th goal of the year:

For a moment, it looked like Vancouver was in danger of losing out on a valuable 0 points in the standings. Fortunately, Victoria, B.C.’s own Tyson Barrie saved the day for #tanknation as he jumped in on a 2-on-1, threw a beauty of a move on Alex Edler, and fired a shot under the arm of Jake Markstrom, giving the Avs a 3-2 lead that they would hold on to. John Mitchell added a powerplay empty netter to give Colorado a 4-2 win.

The Numbers

Fenwick chart for 2014-04-10 Avalanche 4 at Canucks 2

EV fenwick chart for 2014-04-10 Avalanche 4 at Canucks 2

Keeping this short and sweet since none of this really matters any more, but the Sedins were pretty dominant tonight. Henrik posted a game high 79.2% Corsi, while Daniel was a close second at 76.9%. Interestingly enough, they looked fresh at the end of the game after playing only 17 minutes and starting 93% of their shifts in the offensive zone. Huh, it’s almost as if a coach could maximize their effectiveness by deploying them like that every night.

I thought Markstrom was fine, despite a poor 0.888 save percentage. The three goals that were scored on him were really talented players in grade-A scoring chance areas, so some nights some of those are going to go in. But, we’ll see if this is a continuation of a trend or if he shows improvement. We’ll have to wait for next year to see that, though.

The Conclusion

Vancouver currently has the 7th overall pick in the NHL entry draft if the season were to end today, and could potentially move as high as 5th if they lose out and Calgary wins out, and as low as 11th. There will be some pretty intriguing names available in that range, guys like Nikolaj Ehlers, Willie Nylander, Kasperi Kapanen, Anthony DeAngelo, and Nick Ritchie, but for my money there’s a bit of a drop-off in talent after the Reinhart/Bennett/Draisaitl/Dal Colle group (Ekblad, as with all defensemen, carries proportionately more risk than a forward). It would certainly benefit Vancouver to move as close to this top-5 group as possible, just in case one of those top-4 forwards slides.

We’ll have far more draft content once the regular season is completely over, as well as a bunch more fun stuff on the Army. I don’t know if I’ll get the chance to recap another game this season, so if I don’t, I’d like to thank you guys for reading these recaps and making this disappointing year enjoyable. We look forward to seeing you when the Greatest Tank Battle of the season happens on Saturday, as the Edmonton Oilers, veterans of eight consecutive tank battles, roll in their Panzer division on Saturday night. See you then.

    • Sir, please watch Luongo during the playoffs against the Hawks, then watch Luongo during the finals, then watch Luongo against the Kings the year later, then watch Schneider against the Sharks.

      If that is contending to you, then you don’t know what contending really is. In hockey, there is an unwritten rule. We don’t celebrate 2nd place, 5th place, Presidents trophies or anything other than the cup.

      Contenders are just pretenders unless they win the cup. No one wants to hear how good of a loser someone is compared to another loser.
      A 27th place loser is no different than a 29th place loser.

      • Torts is a smart guy, he knows what a cup team looks like. My guess is that through the course of the year, he and Gillis had arguments as to how inept the team was. Torts being the realist while Gillis being the delusional dreamer.

        The fans got all over torts about the way he played the players but did anyone here think that using them they way AV did was going to get them any further? We must remember that the cup run was invariably a fluke. With Salo and Erhoff and Rome and Torres etc, this team was essentially only good for going past the first round. They could never get past the Hawks and in the finals, they were exposed by Boston.

        the likely scenario is that torts straight up told Gillis that his team was not good enough as it is, and lacked depth, to put it mildly. Gillis being the delusional twat that he is, had an opposite opinion and wanted his players played. Torts most likely said “ok, you don’t believe me, I’ll play your players and I’ll prove it to you!”

        When Gillis realized his group couldn’t cut mustard let alone gas, he tried to throw torts under the bus like Av by blaming Tort’s coaching style, because let’s face it, blaming the players meant Gillis head was on the block, as it was Gilils who is/was responsible for personnel. So Torts kept playing Lack because he had no other choice, and he wanted to show the owner and Gillis how utterly wrong his perception is.

        Ask any guy on the street ” who would you believe, a man who’s coached a cup winner, or a G.M. who’s never won anything let alone have the experience as a G.M?” and they’ll tell you the former. Gillis was way in over his head and making it up as he went along. Gillis never wanted Torts here because it meant that he couldn’tt con Torts like the owners. And Gillis knew that Torts would expose Gillis and his team for what they really are…suspect at best.

        If Linden and the owners get rid of Torts it would send a clear signal to the rest of the league that the Canuck’s are nothing short of a circus, where the show and bottom line is more important than winning. If that doesn’t seal the franchise’s fate for life, I don’t know what will. They won’t even be able to convince even the worse players to come play here.

        • argoleas

          For now my money is on Torts staying for at least one year, all things being equal, in the same vein like Keenan when Burke took over.

          I dont know if what you say actually transpired, but I think that there is no question that somewhere there was a decision to try to play the top players all out to see if they can get results, which they did, before the tank ran out in January.

          I still remember Burke’s high praise for Keenan when he was hired, only to be followed by the turf not much later after that.

          Expect the same scenario if the coach does not mesh with new team trust. Otherwise, who knows.

          • Mantastic

            The thing about Burke is that as experienced as a GM as he is, he really hasn’t won anything when you take a critical look at his career. The Ducks team that won the cup when Burke took over was essentially there before Burke came along.

            So Burke was guilty of lucky timing as much as Gillis is…only Burke’s luck resulted in the cup whereas Gillis luck resulted in a shameful and painful series to Boston. since then Burke hasn’t done anything of note, and the teams he left behind, in Van and Toronto, are bad for all to see now. I bet Calgary won’t be any better.

            Another bad Canuck asset is George Mcphee. Pat Quinn also has never realized the cup and could not adapt to the times.

            Keenan as bad as he acts in Vancouver did in hindsight do them a favor. He cleaned house. Problem was, cleaning house meant doing something Quinn and the fans never wanted to do, which was to get rid of the country clubbers like Linden and Lumme and Mclean. The problem was that a team like Vancouver does not like to change, even if it means winning. the team revolted, headed by Linden, and it was basically a civil war in the locker room.Fans may blame Keenan all they want but if Keenan had not arrived, you guys would have been treated to another decade of the Linden era.

            Vancouver fans need to get real if they ever want to win a cup here. Linden I’m afraid is no more than a playmate poster. All window dressing and no substance or experience. If fans truly believe that Linden will bring them to glory, then they need to get out their VCR’s and watch the Linden years again without the rosy glasses.

            Torts is not the problem. the guys n the ice are the problem. Their management and system is the problem. Those are the real problems.

      • It’s nice that you can string together words that mean essentially nothing. If you think that being Buffalo and being Boston is the same thing since both didn’t get the Cup last year, it must make for pretty poor viewing of any season. Why are you a fan at all if that’s the case? Do you tune out any year that the Canucks aren’t a favorite (which would mean almost every year)?

        Why don’t you go back and watch Cloutier and just about any goalie not named McLean or Brodeur to see what Luongo brought to us. We know about his struggles in certain games during the playoffs but it’s stupid and selective to look at that and not at all the triumphs he had. We didn’t lose the SCF because of Luongo or Schneider, any more than the past two series. What an idiotic comment.

        • Mantastic

          I think you should grow a brain if you think that because buffalo and Boston didn’t win the cup last year means your Canucks failures are justified. BTW, who won the cup last year? It sure as hell wasn’t the Canucks.

          Luongo’s “triumphs”? That’s a big claim there…what triumph? The fact that he couldn’t get the job done? That he won games against weak teams in a weak division? For every great save Luongo had you seem to casually forget the 10 lousy ones and the 10 weak ones he lets in.

          You didn’t lose the SCF because of your goalies? You sure as heck didn’t win the SC because of them either. Fact, no one showed up for the 7th game, including Luongo. Luongo will get his tires pumped when he stops leaking in bad untimely goals, something winning goalies do not do WHEN IT COUNTS.

          Brodeur had struggles…he also was good enough to win 3 cups. How many cups has your team won in 44 years? How many? Please come back and tell me about some of the other teams that have never won it so you can justify the failures of the Canucks. I have heard all the same old tired pathetic excuses. No wonder the rest of the league hates you guys. Canucks fans are truly arrogant, delusional, blind and have the most retarded excuses for their team.

          At least Edmonton, Calgary have been to the dance. The Canucks are still 44 year old cup virgins. Be a man and just admit that the your team has no real intention or desire to win. You arrogant Canuck fans always point your finger at everyone else and never at yourselves and then you sit there and wonder why you never win anything? Ha! Don’t talk when your team hasn’t walked the walk. Pride is for those who have won. Excuses are for those who lose.

          When your team gets a Cup lay then you can come and brag about what popping a cup cherry feels like. Other than that, keep quiet and try to be humble, nobody wants to hear about your first base cup triumphs… cup virgin!

          • Brent

            So cute. It’s nice to have non-Canuck fans on here. An actual fan would know that I’m talking about Canucks goalies (i.e. Richard Brodeur).

            Blah blah blah, Canucks haven’t won a cup yet. On and on. Come up with something original. Your original comments were that Luongo is no good and that the only measure of success is a cup.

            The only failure on here I see is someone who’s not a Canucks fan trolling a blog about the Canucks. That’s a real winner sir, a real good use of your time and energy…

          • Mantastic

            So pathetic. Blah blah blah, the same tired old ” just because we don;t win the cup …” excuses. Try harder for an excuse, pal.

            You have no credibility when if you think five Hole Mclean was a great goalie. You should get on your knees and thank Bure for scoring on Vernon during the break away instead of shooting it into his glove like Smyl did cause he’s the real reason why you guys went to he finals. Bure, finals. Bure traded, zippo. Try doing the math, Captain Delusional.

            Like I said…be a man and admit when you’re wrong. But hey, all team except the Canucks get measured on a championship except your Canucks….because YOU said so. So cute…how long have you been using that sad excuse? Actually quite a while, I’ve read your arrogant comments before.

            Mclean was a hero…errr..right. Your assessment is as credible as Mike Gillis was as a GM. One good save and a hundred bad ones.

            You probably think that Lumme was as good as Leetch and Linden was a Messier. Ha! Dream on, dream on! Ha! I love exposing arrogant Canucks fans like you for the crying lying babies that you are! Ha!

          • Mantastic

            Not even close to junk. Also not close to Luongo (neither was Brodeur for that matter) in abilities or regular season performance, but then the team that he had around him other than for the early-mid 90s wasn’t exactly stellar either.

          • Mantastic

            McLean was well below average in that era, to me, that means junk. I know most canuck fans hold him to a very high standard because of his heroic ’94 playoff performance but if he played on any other team, no one would have knew his name. no one outside the vancouver market would know anything about McLean

          • Mantastic

            Abilitites in regular season performance! HAHAHAHA! Same old Canuck excuse.

            If your goalie sucked, than it was the team’s fault. When your team wins a game, then all credit to the goalie. Ha!

            You also seem to lack math skills. Let me do some math for you.

            Before Bure – Linden and the Canucks = Suck.

            After Bure – Linden’s Canuck’s go to finals.

            After Bure got trade- Bure was still good.

            After Linden got traded = He sucked.

            After Mclean got traded = he sucked.

            After Lumme got traded = He sucked.

            After Quinn got traded = He sucked.

            Can you add that up? being a Canucks fan is one thing, but you are exactly like Gillis….making sh#t up as you go along.

          • Mantastic

            OK, so when and where did you see him play? Because the 20 or so times I saw him play junior and the couple of times I saw him in the NHL, he was pretty lights out. Probably one of the best technical goalies of his time actually. Stick with the draft Manny, because you clearly have no grasp of the goaltending position.

          • Mantastic

            His name was “five hole ” Mclean. He stood up, if you could get the puck beside two of his pads the whole lower half of the net was yours. His five hole was larger than ten solar masses during the 7th game. That is “lights out” alright… lights out for the Canucks.

            If that’s technical for you…I cannot add anything more.

      • Mantastic

        Who’s ‘we’? I don’t know why people try and ignore the regular season and say it’s all about the playoffs. Always struck me as odd. I enjoy the regular season. I’ll watch playoff hockey if the Canucks are in and if not then I’ll watch a bit here and there. Playoff hockey is pretty dull. The refs let it all go and it’s a grab/scrum-fest. Goalies are always the playoff MVPs because nobody can score…the goals are all ugly. Playoff hockey has great intensity and it’d be great to see some decent officiating.

        Yes, Luongo had epic collapses here and there and Schneids had a couple of gaffs. It happens. They’d still outperform, overall, most of the goalies out there.

        • Mantastic

          Good luck with real officiating in the NHL. It’s never going to happen, never did, never will. the refs are worse today then they were in the past. They ref games like scorned women and widows.

          Back to luongo. When it comes down to it, Luongo could not get the job done. At some point you have to realize that when Johnny comes home with failing grades for about a decade, it’s time to accept that Johnny isn’t going to make the grade.

          Luongo should have never played in the 6th boston game. and after that meltdown, he should have never been in the net for the 7th. The momentum had swung so much by then in Boston’s favor. Whoever put Luongo in that game, whether it be Gillis or Av or even the owner Fettucine, it was a costly mistake that they will regret for the rest of their lives.

          Many mistakes. They sat around and let Boston take the initiative. They couldn’t bury Boston after Romes hit and spent the rest of the series apologizing for it. Burrows the idiot was the one who gave the Bruins the spark they needed with his stupid bite. the Sedins were pushed around by the rat, and they couldn’t even stand up for themselves, and no one else did. Sedin was also pushed around by Thomas, a goalie. On top of that, Luongo gave Boston another spark when he couldn’t keep his mouth shut when he asked for his tires to be pumped. for a guys who plays poker, you would think he could keep a poker face and shut up but no, he had to rile Boston up with those dumb remarks.

          Everything Vancouver did, team and coaching wise during those finals, is a classic textbook example of what NOT to do during the Stanley Cup Finals. Absolute disgraceful. I’m sure many Vancouverites were ashamed to be associated with a team like that. They were lucky that they even won 3 games at home by those one goal leads. they blew it and they know it. Gillis let go key guys and they are now dreadful an they know it. Sorry guys, torts isn’t the problem. But there will be a problem if you let him go this summer. Linden doesn’t know what it;s like to win. Blind leading the blind.

  • Safe to say Torts played Lack because the mastermind behind it was Gillis. Now that gillis is canned, in comes Markstrom. Guess Torts had to show Gillis how bad of an idea his Lack goalie dreams were. Can’t blame Markstrom though, the team has already checked out for the golf course a long time ago.

  • I don’t believe that we can make 5th, I believe 6th is as high as it gets for us.

    It also doesn’t mean that we have the “5th pick”. The draft lottery can shake things up, and we could even have the top pick. It seems like the most underwhelming top pick in recent years though.

    Also, you don’t think Markstrom could start the last game? I definitely do.

  • I’ll just be happy if the Canucks make 6th and don’t drop down due to lottery shenanigans (they’re only not-shenanigans if your team moves up, naturally).

    I just hope the Canucks don’t start trading picks or prospects away for veterans. That’s all I ask for.

    I remember when Gillis came in and said he wouldn’t do that, then went on to do exactly that.

  • @That’s_Offside:

    I just wanted to say that you’ve been a great addition to CA this year , great writing, good humour, and of course analytical approach. I really enjoy reading your stuff. I look forward to the draft coverage!

    I laughed out loud to the use of Jensen vs Kassian, and the Sedins playing time. I think Torts is trying to save his job. If Botchford is to be believed, it’s too late.

  • Brent

    Great game. Saw some good puck possession, a bit of Sedin wizardry, awesome corsi for almost everyone except Sestito (9%!), yet still lost! Perfect. Less embarrassing than the Anaheim game and no points. Calgary is playing pretty good so we could easily loose that one, but it will be hard to loose against the Oilers.

    Nice work Offside, look forward to reading you next year.