Noooo Eddie 🙁 pic.twitter.com/l5cxmptDwV
— Canucks Misconduct (@nucksmisconduct) January 14, 2015
We predicted a closely contested game earlier today, and for the first 50 minutes or so, our guess looked like it would prove accurate. But after another night of toothless offensive play from the Canucks at 5-on-5 and 5-on-4, things went to hell in the final 10 minutes, as the Nashville Predators pulled away late in the game. Vancouver fell to 0-1 on their road trip with a disappointing 5-1 loss to the NHL leading Nashville Predators.
Read past the jump for a recap.
- If there was any doubt lingering from early this season, I think a game like this really drives home the ugly fact that this simply isn’t that good of a Vancouver Canucks hockey team. They haven’t been able to control the shot clock all year, and they’re not manufacturing more quality shots than their opponents either. The Canucks are a bottom-10 team in scoring chance for percentage (SCF%), which makes sense considering that they have been one of the most inept offensive teams for the better part of the year.
- Even though the Canucks managed to out-attempt the Predators at even strength tonight, the Preds won the scoring chance battle 21-19 at 5-on-5. Add in the fact that Vancouver was unable to manufacture a single dangerous attempt on the man advantage while Nashville created twelve, and you get a pretty clear picture of why one team was able to outscore the other by quite a large margin.
- Seriously, guys. Come on:
- The Higgins-Bonino-Burrows line had a pretty poor night, and were rewarded with a whole lot of time on the bench. Each saw under 10 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5, were minuses in the Corsi column, and combined for just four shot attempts and two somewhat dangerous ones. Nick Bonino has two goals in the last two months, dating back to November 8th, which kind of stings a little more tonight considering that Mathieu Perreault potted four in a 8-2 Winnipeg Jets win tonight. From last June:
— Rhys Jessop (@Thats_Offside) January 14, 2015
- Eddie Lack was solid until the dying minutes, where he was brutal. That 3rd goal against was absolutely awful and cost Vancouver any chance at a comeback, but at the same time you can’t blame Lack for tonight. You need to score some goals at some point, and shouldn’t have to be trying to mount a comeback late. If you’re trailing after two periods, that’s essentially a death sentence in this league.
- At least Chris Higgins took out Pekka Rinne, which reminded the world that Chris Higgins is still alive if nothing else.
The Predators have been one of the best home teams in the NHL this year, so tonight’s result isn’t really surprising. Still, losing 5-1 sucks, and Vancouver will surely look to snap their 3-game losing skid against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. Between letting a high-end goalie go for relatively little, seeing their once impressive depth erode before their very eyes, and really only having one dangerous forward line left, you could make the argument that the Flyers are the Eastern conference version of the Vancouver Canucks.
At the very least, Vancouver hasn’t shackled themselves to a puck possession black hole like Andrew MacDonald for $5 million per season, but then again, Luca Sbisa’s contract is up for renewal this summer. We’ll see how the two struggling teams stack up at 4:00 PM PST on Thursday.