Canucks Army Postgame: The end of the #EmbracetheHate Era

zack-kassian-admiring-the-tampa-bay-lightning-2004-stanley-cup-celebration

Typically, the type of 5-2 loss that the Vancouver Canucks suffered at the hands of the lowly Edmonton Oilers would be grounds for a whole lot of eyebrow raising, and head scratching. But not on this particular night. 

Not when we came into Saturday contest knowing what we did — the Canucks were dressing Mike Zalewski, as good a sign as any of their abundantly transparent ulterior motivates, while the Oilers were surely going to do anything and everything to send a Former New York Islanders Great off into the sunset with a relatively meaningless victory in the final game of the season.

And so it came and went, Game 81 of the campaign, with just one more life-sucking contest left to be played tomorrow night. Before we get to that, though, let’s get to Ryan Smyth’s big night as he was gracious enough to take some time from shedding an immense number of tears to whore out for any type of garbage goal possible.

The Rundown

There’s really no ideal to place to start discussing this one, so let’s just jump right into it and see where we get. First off, there was a good shot of Ryan Smyth crying prior to the contest:

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.. and then as the game got going, he continued to cry..

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.. and, as you probably could’ve guessed by now — he continued to cry some more..

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Before all was said and done, he even wound up sneaking in a few more tears just for good measure.

Consider yourself lucky I’ve gone ahead ahead and compressed the 1821821821082190289102910 (rough estimate) number of times the camera either panned to Smyth on the bench, on the ice, or into the stands to talk to his family for you.

OK, I’m done now. 

All jokes aside, I’ve got to say that I’m pretty reasonably fond of what Ryan Smyth was able to do on the ice in his hey-day, and I definitely do respect what he accomplished as an NHLer. It was also pretty neat to see Henrik Sedin shock the world by bringing to an end the #embracethehate era. While these things can surely become a bit much in a hurry, I do get the basis of them and I’d imagine we’d be looking at it slightly differently had the roles been reversed. Like, you know, that time Trevor Linden and the Canucks slogged through a 7-1 defeat at the hands of the Calgary Flames back on April 5th, 2008?

I mostly used all of that as a thinly veiled stall tactic to put off talking about the Canucks in this game, because there really isn’t all that much to say given the circumstances. Jacob Mark5trom’s final line (a .773 save percentage) doesn’t look pretty, but it’s not like the guys in front of him did him any favours, either. 

The biggest culprit was Alex Edler, who had himself a doozy of a game (even for his own lofty standards). On the second goal against, Edler casually took a little stroll in the defensive zone as Jeff Petry was allowed to waltz in and bury one. After having sat in the box to serve a double-minor for cutting the man of the night with a high stick, he promptly came out of the box and had a puck bounce directly off of him and into his own net. 

If you wanted to show someone one highlight that fully encompasses the 2013-14 season for Edler and the Canucks, you can’t go wrong with that one. Even if it was technically a play which didn’t result in Edler receiving a minus for his efforts.

The Numbers

Fenwick chart for 2014-04-12 Canucks 2 at Oilers 5

EV fenwick chart for 2014-04-12 Canucks 2 at Oilers 5

If you’d like to dig through the underlying numbers from tonight’s game yourself, they’re right here, so be my guest. 

One quick thing I did want to get to: Zack Kassian had yet another fantastic night, as he continues to be one of the lone bright spots amidst the burning pile of garbage around him. He was on the ice for 19 shot attempts for (v. only 8 against), put his playmaking on display with this glorious pass to set Shawn Matthias up for a goal, and even wound up fittingly getting credit for a cheap rebound goal in the dying seconds. 

He continues to haunt the Edmonton Oilers. 

The Conclusion

The final game on the slate comes tomorrow night at 6 PM PST, and it’ll be back at home in the not-so-friendly confines of Rogers Arena v. the Calgary Flames, and reigning Hobey Baker winner Johnny Gaudreau. 

What’s on the line? 

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Thanks to their efforts over the past couple of games, the Canucks have put themselves in a nice little position to get a strong pick in this June’s draft. The Hurricanes play in Philadelphia against a team that’s already locked up their playoff position, in case you’re wondering. But really it would behoove the Canucks to finish off this Greatest Tank Battle properly.

  • andyg

    Had Gillis and Spaghetinni just forked out a couple of extra million for Erhoff, Salo, Rome, torres, given Coho a few more minutes on the ice they could have saved themselves most of the pain and saved even more millions. But the Canucks have always been alergic to doing the smart and logical thing.

    I bet Torres, Erhoff, Salo, Rome, Coho and many others are laughing their heads off right now.

        • Here’s a fact for you. A team without the players those Canuks let go, one playoff victory in 2 years and no play offs this year.

          Also, no credibility whatsoever…in other words, the Canucks are the leagues biggest joke this year.

          I’ll remind you again come the end of this season how the Canucks are not going to go to the play offs. Or are you one of those who have a difficult time seeing the forest through the tree?

          PS, you guys aren’t going to the post season because your team, GM and owners F&*ked up and you guys all paid or it. when failure teaches you a lesson…try to learn from it.

      • Thanks for the info Dilton, but the nucks are going to lose even more money and fans now and in the future. They’ve already lost all their credibility.

        They wouldn’t be over the cap if they got rid of some of their useless core. Oh but wait, do you think the season so far has been marvelous?

        They are out of the play offs, they can’t even beat the Oilers, they fired their useless GM and they will eventually scapegoat their new coach and they hired a new president who’s never won anything.
        Did I forget to mention that the team has also checked out?

        Let’s see…fork out the money and have a team with Erhoff, Rome, Torres, Coho, salo = second round and once to the finals.

        Save the money and keep all the usless core of the Sedins, Kesler, burrows, Edler, Luongo = one playoff victory in 2 years and no playoffs this year.

        Now I see how wrong I’am

        • How could they get rid of their “useless” core?

          They spend to the cap every year… They don’t cut costs on players.

          “Can’t beat the Oilers”. Eh? You mean the part where we won the season series. It is a low bar, and no more meaningful than any other team… But it is one of the few bars the Canucks have been able to pass.

          So one hand, you complain that they fire a new coach… On the other, you say the team checked out? If they didn’t check out thanks to the coach, maybe it was because of a lack of faith in the GM? Oh wait.

          Fork out the money as opposed to whom? Torres is a nutcase that gets suspended too much to be worthwhile. Rome? LOL. Ehrhoff is decent, yes… But he has a Luongo contract. You really want another one of those?
          Hodgson was recently demoted to the third line for the Sabres. Ya, the historically bad Sabres. You can stop pretending he would be a solution.

          I do see how wrong “you’re”.

          • Mantastic

            You pointed out the real problem. That’s the problem. They don’t cut costs on certain players. They don’t trade certain players when they should.

            You sound like the Sedins and Edler and Burrows held a gun to the owners head and demanded a contract.

            You really don’t get it do you? The evidence is right there in front of your face in the last two years and you still refuse to smell the coffee.

            You should get on your knees and thank Rome for taking out Horton the series may have ended at 5.

            You can thank Torres for taking out other players, seeing as how the Canucks can;t even beat anyone the legit way.

            Erhoff is decent. Now i won’t say he’s a Ore but your PP is at the bottom of the league now. with him, near tops. Please try and do some simple math.

            As for beating or not beating Edmonton, don’t get too attached to what teams are lousier than the Canucks. It’s a tired tired excuse.

            Last thing, do you ever wash your homer glasses or do you just prefer to live in a land of make believe?

            PS- Your team without Erhoff, Rome, Torres, Salo and a few others are not going to the playoffs this year. But you don’t have to accept that. We’ll keep this a secret between you and me.

            So Austin, who do you think will start in goal for the Canucks in this years playoffs?

          • Big Cap

            Good comments 10# Kamloops 3),I totally concur.I thought Gillis was an idiot not resigning these players.All where big impact players.Torres and Rome, where the only real physical players the team had.Erhoff, was the P.P quarterback,lead the team in + – and the Sedins(teams) best years where the two years he was here.Salo had that great shot,and when healthy was another force on the P.P.Gillis spent the last 3 years of his tenure running around trying to replace what he once already had.He never could.Hence the crash and burn.Losing two top ten goalies for basically nothing was just the icing on the cake.

  • Brent

    You were a little heavy on the criticism of Smith’s emotions. I always find it nice to have someone wear their heart on their sleeve. Even though he is beyond his best before date, you can’t fault him on his work ethic, and I am sure he was a great leader in the dressing room. I suspect he didn’t really want to go, but likely saw the writing on the wall – no new contract for you Ryan!

    Nice of the Canucks to come out and shake. Classy.

    I am starting to think that it is Edler and not Burrows who is having the most cursed season ever. So much for trading him.

    However, what terrified me the most was hearing Linden specifically mention “the Boston Model” in his interview with Ron McLean. WTF!? Looks like Rhys and Botchford may be right, it’s “Boston time” in Vancouver.

    • Is the Boston model such a terrible thing? I don’t think he means the rough and tumble, bully model as much as their depth and general organizational philosophy.

      Ya, Smyth has every right to be emotional. Playing his last ever professional game of hockey in the town he loves… It is more impressive to me when a “manly man” cries than does not.

      • Brent

        Well he did continue his statement talking about how important Thorton was to the Boston game. Now Thorton isn’t a terrible player, but I really don’t think he is where we want to go. Sure a great possession game is where it’s at, but I am worried that is not what he was talking about. And I am worried this is parroted from the owners. And it also explains the 2 year contract for Sestito, which I really doubt Gilles would have been keen on.

  • Wow! We are actually most likely to pick 6th. That is a very successful tank, if I may say so myself. Our odds for 6th were in the single digits as late as last week.

    We are good at the regular season, you must admit.
    We have either had a division championship or a top 10 pick in each of the last six seasons. One third of those regular season’s, we were the NHL champions. That is quite the accomplishment.

  • Big Cap

    The “Boston Model”??? Typical Canucks, always a day late and dollar short. There is NO way this team will replicate the Bruins style or success.Cant you come up with your own style of winning???

    The Canucks best players cant even kill penalties or block shots without major backlash and career worst seasons.

    There are way to many guys on the wrong side of 30. Are they magically gonna all change their mind set to play “Bruin Hockey”?? No chance! Even when Torts comes in its a massive overhaul that these players cant adapt to.

    Terrible Defence and weak goaltending will not allow them the “Boston Model”

    Good Luck Vancouver, its gonna get alot darker before things improve.

    At least you’ll always have ’82 ’94 ’11. Haha!!

  • Once again, the Vancouver Saboteurs have done it again, lead by Edler himself.

    Can someone tell me why that clown is even still on the team? Hahaha!

    Ok, on a serious note, I’m actually looking forward to a nice relaxing summer. Does anyone here know who the worst driver in BC are? yes, it’s the Canuck fans!

    The streets of the lower mainland are already clogged but during Canuck home game nights, there are hundreds of morons who do nothing but drive like dolts, cutting ppl off, speeding recklessly, tailgating people, causing accidents…and all that just to go see their overrated team choke out.

    But it doesn’t end there. Come the post game, where the dumb-dumbs file out with their long faces and then proceed to drive home angry and drunk on the left lanes listening the radio crying over the loss while pissing every other driver on the highway off.

    Ah, this is going to be a nice quiet summer in the lower mainland.

    • Big Cap

      You’re team is the greatest team in the history of all sports.

      There’s not one player in the NHL that doesn’t want to come and play for your team.

      There’s not a waking moment I don’t worship your Vancouver Canucks.

      If I were prime minister of the Country I’d declare that everyday be Canuck Day.

      Are you happy now?

      Now let us all hold hands together and sing “We are the world. We are the children.”

    • Big Cap

      Calm down there, buddy.

      Nobody was even trolling you. In fact, no one was even talking to you until you decided to throw a hissy fit for no reason.

      Are you looking for someone to troll you because you need attention?

      You’re like the guy in high school no one ever talks to who jumps out of nowhere trying to make anything his business and looking for a black eye. Jezus, Calm down man!

  • Big Cap

    I THINK YOU’RE GONNA WANT TO HEAR THIS!
    I THINK YOU’RE GONNA WANT TO HEAR THIS!

    Pleased to inform you that because this was Smyth’s last game and seeing as how this game doesn’t matter or have any impact on the American teams, I thought it would be a wonderful gesture to give the Edmonton fans what they deserved, a win.

    You’re welcome. Sincerely, G.B.B.

  • DCR

    Gillis made lots of mistakes, but I don’t see trading Coho for Zack as one of them.

    Just look at this season, Coho’s played his way down to the 3rd line on the Sabres, while Zack’s been improving.

  • Brent

    What a disaster of a season! I still can’t believe that the last 4 months have happened. I do believe that with a group of young players, good FA signings and a new coach that will inspire… Not despair the players, especially the D.. There is a chance for a turn around. Man it’s a long offseason!

      • Brent

        – Lottery is no good if teams don’t develop players

        – The diamonds are always dull before you polish them

        – Detroit has great experience with diamond polishing

        – Canucks treat the draft like a brothel – what you choose is what you get.

          • andyg

            – no, that would be all Canadian teams, the exception is not marked for death sans playoffs.

            – this is a Canucks site so it’s disposably obvious

            -new blood is needed but not transfusions

            – the team is on dialysis, Core players cannot be saved, transfusion of new blood is a must.

          • andyg

            You were talking about not developing players.Dumping them in as 18 year old’s. That is the Oilers.

            All our 18 and 19 year old’s are in junior where they belong. ( then to Utica)

            If you want to replace the core with youth then that will be a 2 to 4 year process.

          • andyg

            This is true and it is the norm to bring the 1st overall straight in. It should depend on the player. Yakupov could have used some development
            time in a lower league!

            So it doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do.

          • Mantastic

            -Ppl have waited for Cancuks development of diamonds

            -problems is, they waited for 44 years. Lumps of coal do not polish themselves.

            – we are hereby authorized to conclude that the office of diamond polishing for the canucks is manned by no one for the last 44 years

            -therefore, we should not expect a diamond to come out of canucks dimanond farm for the next 44 years.

            -once bitten, call me shy. 44 years bitten, call fans retarded and the canucks thieving liars.

  • Brent

    @Brent….there’s still great scoring talent available at #6 like Nylander, Ehlers, Kapanen and bigger scorers like Ritchie, Perlini and Virtanen. shouldn’t be much of a worry there.

  • andyg

    “Comments are moderated. Pretend your mom is reading over your shoulder.”

    This sentence is written above the section where comments are written. Reading some of what is written here I don’t believe it to be true.