Canucks Army Postgame: Oops.

There are some games when everything goes perfectly right – all your stretch passes become tape-to-tape breakaways, all your shots from the high slot go bar-down, all bounces off the back boards land flush on someone’s stick, all your defensive reads are perfect, and all your opponents are just a step out of position. Well, the Dallas Stars had one of those games tonight. The Vancouver Canucks did not.

The game was over before it really could get going, as Dallas capitalized on seemingly every single chance they had, potting six goals before the game was even halfway finished, en route to a 6-3 win. Read past the jump for a recap.

The Rundown

Things started going sideways basically as soon as the puck dropped. After a short burst of Canucks pressure, the Stars broke out of their zone and made their way down the ice. Ryan Garbutt sent a centring pass towards Cody Eakin, but Alex Burrows deflected the puck into his own net, giving Dallas an early 1-0 lead.

Jannik Hansen had a chance to tie the game soon after on a shorthanded breakaway, but unfortunately he’s also Jannik Hansen, so he couldn’t beat Kari Lehtonen with a backhand deke. This proved to be costly, as Erik Cole was allowed to walk into the Canucks’ slot and fire a shot past Ryan Miller to give Dallas a 2 goal lead.

Tyler Seguin added another goal for Dallas a minute and a half later, as Chris Tanev crashed into Ryan Miller, preventing the Canucks netminder from even attempting to make a play on the puck. Dallas took a 3-0 lead into the intermission, and things weren’t about to get better for the Canucks. The Stars two more goals in the first minute and a half of the second period, giving them a 5-0 lead. From there, it was just garbage time. Eddie Lack came in in relief of Ryan Miller, the Stars added another, and the Canucks managed to shovel these three past Kari Lehtonen:

Game over, Stars win 6-3.

The Numbers

G05 v Dallas

Courtesy of NaturalStatTrick.com

It’s tough to draw any sort of meaningful conclusion from this game since so much of it was just garbage time. The Stars got a couple of fortunate bounces, made no mistake on the grade-A chances they generated, and effectively ended this game early. What resulted was Vancouver just toying with a totally disinterested Stars team, carrying a 65% Corsi on the night.

Both Twins and Radim Vrbata added to their scoring totals, and were dominant from a possession perspective too. Daniel and Vrbata were on the ice for exactly zero shot attempts against at even strength, and Henrik saw just one against Vancouver. It was pretty thorough domination on their part, but it was helped by the Stars not caring for a good part of the game too.

It’s probably best to just file this game under “we must have done something to piss off the hockey gods” and move on. Most of Dallas’ goals against were either 5-star scoring chances that all teams give up over the course of a 5-game stretch, or just dumb flukes. How many times has Chris Tanev ate it and taken out his goalie leading to a goal? Not many. It’s not something we can reasonably expect to keep happening going forward. Neither is Alex Burrows scoring on his own net, neither is Ryan Miller catching the puck with the knob of his stick and batting it in after making the initial save. It happens. Oh well. On to the next one.

The Conclusion

That “next one” is Thursday in St. Louis against the high powered Blues. They’ll be without Paul Stastny, who’s injured, but are still a strong club even though they’ve slumped somewhat to start the year. It’ll be another big test for the Canucks, as they look to avoid going 0-3 against the non-Alberta clubs. Hopefully Vancouver got all their bad luck out of the way tonight too.

  • Chungus

    The Stars used their speed vs the Canucks and created some chances and got lucky. The Canucks created some chances and Lehtonen made some pretty wicked saves. His break to Hanson and Vrbata made a sick toe drag in the slot and tried to roof it, but Lehtonen stayed with him.

    The continuation of last year was the own goals and goalies Like Bishop and Lehtonen looks like Hall of Famers. St Louis better be better!

  • Chungus

    I somehow recall that when torts was fired that some people said that all Linden would do was bring in a new era of mediocrity. Because we all know how smart Trevor was for firing someone who had the balls to say it as it is, which was that the team was stale. Well after a couple of wins over their crappy peers from alberta, the Canucks now can’t seem to beat even the middle of the pack teams.

    Oh how wrong you were again, die hard fans. LOL
    We all know that torts must be getting the last laugh now. The only upside is that when even brain dead richoes stop going to see the games, at least the scalpers can die off.

    You brought in a mediocre player and now your team is also mediocre. See the science in that?

    • Chungus

      The Goalie Controversy of the Week could be a steady feature on here.

      The September goalie power rankings were probably

      1. Miller

      2. Lack

      3. Markstrom

      4. Eriksson

      5. Cannata

      After the preseason, there was a merit-based argument (apparently) that Lack had usurped Miller as #1 on the totem pole.

      A couple of weeks into the season, perhaps Markstrom has now moved into the #2 spot ahead of Lack while Miller has a tenuous grasp on #1.

      This feature would practically write itself…

  • Chungus

    not surprising the Corsi is so far in vancouver a favour. The canucks owned the pick and the play for a lot of the game (even before this ‘garbage time’ bloggers are in love with). The problem was that when the Canucks did make defensive mistakes they were brutal and dallas simply managed to convert on their chances. There would be a much different tune being sung if our miller had stopped a couple more and lehtonen didn’t stand on his head. Yes we lost 6-3 but I’ve seen us win and play much, much worse.

  • Chungus

    Calm down people, don’t start judging this team on one very weird game. Why do people either love to hate this team or love to annoy the fans? It’s really sad to see people put so much effort into hate.

    GCG!! 🙂

    • Chungus

      The Canucks swept Alberta and lost to two teams that look good to make the playoffs.

      The team is exactly where they should be…situated in the axis of mediocrity where a fleeting run of good or bad luck will determine whether or not they make the playoffs.

      The only reactionary ones on here are the delusional Canuck fans that believe this is better than a mediocre team.

      We are all Canucks…

      • andyg

        Just to be clear: “mediocre” means ordinary, average; in terms of the Western Conference (based on last year) that means positions 5-10. 4 playoff positions, 2 not. If that’s your position on the Canucks’ chances this year, I agree with you. They will need a strong bit of bad luck to miss the playoffs, and a good streak of good fortune to miss out on facing a top team (LA/CHI) in the first round.

        Unless you think that mediocre means something other than what it does…

        • andyg

          Just to be clear, mediocre would actually mean somewhere in the 11-20 boat in the NHL.

          As I am sure you agree, the Western Conference has a disproportionate number of elite and above average teams (i.e. the top 10 or so teams in the NHL).

          So, for example, if the Canucks are the 15th or 16th best team in the NHL (smack dab in the axis of mediocrity) and pretty much play at their true talent level, that could very well only be good enough for 10th or so in the Western Conference.

          For the record, I had the Canucks at 8th in the West in NM00’s preseason predictions (behind LA, SJ, ANA, CHI, STL, DAL, MIN), though I qualified it by noting it depends on how many teams with better young talent (COL, EDM) take a step forward.

          And, of course, a team like NAS or PHO may punch above their weight as they tend to do on occasion.

          In sum, your bastardization of ‘mediocre’ is unsurprisingly delusional since Western Conference teams inherently have a more challenging task.

          Unless you think that ‘mediocre’ means something other than what it does…

          • andyg

            The had some percentages in their favour (their team save percentage in particular will almost definitely drop) and Statsny is a not insignificant loss.

            I’m not sure that a step forward from their young talent (particularly MacKinnon) is going to make up for those other two things…

          • andyg

            Why, when I disagree with you, am I delusional? Why can’t I just be ill-informed, overly optimistic, or just plain wrong?

            As you well know, when I have found an opinion I hold to be incorrect or unsupported, I correct that belief. You yourself corrected me on a point about the effects of a coaching change on overall team performance. I looked into your assertions, found the argument convincing, and then publicly agreed with you on the same forum & thread. That suggests the opposite of “delusion”, does it not?

            If your arguments have weight to them, surely they are capable of supporting themselves. Ad hominem attacks & character slurs are beneath you. Present an actual argument (as opposed to opinion) and I will weigh them. If I find them convincing, I will change my viewpoint.

  • andyg

    Not a surprising result. The Canucks don’t have the horses to compete in this conference. I’m not sure what the plan is here but it seems like they added a couple of decent players and thought they had a short term fix. A fix that would let their prospects develop.

    Well, we lost Kesler and added some players – none of these new players are close Kesler’s talent level. The new players (Bonino, Vey) are close to what we already had on our 3rd lines. Vey might turn into a player but Bonino isn’t a 3rd line centre. Vrbata is a good finisher but is older now much like his linemates. The band-aid fix isn’t working.

    I think management needs to go the rebuild route and pick up a couple of good prospects and deal our vets. We’ll have to keep the Sedins and a couple others but you need some vets around. You can still get good value for players like Hamhuis, Bieksa and so on. It’s time to make some bold moves, not a bunch of superficial changes and moving away better players and getting lesser ones in return (although McCann may prove to be a player making the trade a good one).

    • andyg

      Agreed, there’s not much that’s been shown in the first five games that wasn’t predicted already — we’re not as bad as the tar sands teams and we will have a hard time competing even with the middle tier ones. I can’t imagine how badly we could get killed by the really strong teams from CA or the central.

      I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how rejuvenated the Sedins seem by Vrbata, liked Kassian and Vey so far, and hopeful that we’ll see Horvat at least a little bit. What’s been most disappointing has been the D that seems really out to lunch injuries notwithstanding and the absolute lack of a 2nd line that seems to know what it’s doing is detracting from having a solid 1st and 2 better 3/4 lines. I still think getting something for Kesler down the road is a good thing but in the short term it doesn’t look promising at all.

    • andyg

      Four games in is hardly a time for bold moves. Trade deadline will be the time to make some waves.The style of hockey has been ten times more watchable then last year and it is nice to see the Twins look more Sedinish.
      I have liked what I have seen from Bonino and Vey. NMOO is right though, it will take a lot of good luck to make the playoffs.

      This team is in a rebuild and I am betting on another top 10 pick. Why not just enjoy the ride.

    • andyg

      Couldn’t agree more. I’ve been tooting this horn since this summer when I saw the bad moves made by the new regime. The bandaid is leaky and the fans know it.

      Time to rebuild.We don’t need to see another season of mediocrity to know this team ain’t getting close the the Stanley Cup. And realistically, that’s all Canucks fans want. A stanley Cup.

      • andyg

        You want to win the cup now after 44 years?

        We all know Canuck fans love wasting time.

        The band aid isn’t the problem. The problem is a full system infection starting from the top to the bottom and all that’s ever done are band aid solutions.

        Where else do you have a club and its fans and sports writers who hate winning so much, they trade off good players and fire good coaches?

        No, let’s keep Gillis and the Sedins and Edler and all the plumbers and let’s get rid of anyone who is any good and we’ll win, you’ll see.

        NAAAAAH… 45 years coming right up folks! Served the way you like it! Haha.

  • Chungus

    it’s been calculated that hockey is almost 70% luck now. the faster the game gets the more that increases. it’s a dumb game. chances created from fluky bounces happen all the time. i love watching it, but it’s pretty dumb.

  • Chungus

    I told myself I would give it 20 games before judgement, the Dallas game was just bizarre and best forgotten. I am concerned by the defensive gaffs though, and not just the D-men.

  • Chungus

    What’s really the downside of a crappy season this year? A high draft pick in a loaded draft? Yeah, i’m comfy with that.

    The cool thing about Vancouver is you don’t have to watch mediocre seasons. You can stay away and do other things. I’m predicting good pow on the North Shore mountains this year. There will be other things to do. Let’s all reconvene in late June when stuff really matters.

    • andyg

      Buy insurance for that bike and stop thinking that the rules road only apply to you and that everything should yield to you including pedestrians and maybe I won’t wanna run you over.

      LOL

      Funny how the mayor loves building bike lanes is the way to build a city…kind like the way the Canucks think Captain Mediocre is going to save their team.

      LOL

  • andyg

    I’m not saying this is why they lost, but I doubt the ice was very good. I can’t have been the only one to see Canucks players falling over left and right. Seriously, go watch the game again, you will see them fall over time and time again, while seemingly just trying to skate forwards or backwards even.

    They should have been better prepared for the bad ice, if that was the case.

    At the very least, I can’t have been the only one noticing that the Canucks were just falling all over the ice.

  • andyg

    driving over people in a car is probably not a good feeling. bikes are a mode of transportation, much like a car. don’t quite get the hate for unmentioned members of our specie and alternative modes of transportation they might choose to use. the bike is helping to revolutionize parts of the developing world where resources are scarce and need to be transported. just don’t get the hate. and who cares if the canucks are mediocre. they were real good for awhile and still don’t suck. a season for all things.