Canucks Army Postgame: Nashville Prey

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.

Highlights

Quick Hits

chart (5)

G41Shots

[Canucks.com Recap] [Official Event Summary]

[Faceoff Report] [War-On-Ice Stat Pack] [NaturalStatTrick Stat Pack]

  • 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:
predswhy

  • 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:

siiiiiiigh pic.twitter.com/3SsuAxVaj1

  • 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.

Conclusion

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.

    • Cale

      The problem is personnel, not coaching. Vancouver is not a playoff threat this year, and trying to be one will make it harder to address the glaring issues with this club.

    • Yea, those darn coaches from av’s final years when he got fired, to torts, to willie. Lets keep recycling coaches like the oilers, thats surely the problem (sarcasm).

      Come on the team is old and slow, it needs work and has issues and we knew this roster had problems coming into the season. This is nothing new.

      Also winning the corsi battle against the best nhl team 5 v 5 ? That should be at least one positive.

      If the leafs did that all we would be hearing about is a moral victory.

  • Mantastic

    Those shot charts open up some old mental wounds. It used to be the scratches that kept them on an old team of mine. Everyone loathed the clipboard.

    Just curious what part of the game they represent. There are only 3 goals on Nashville’s and none on Vancouver.

  • Mantastic

    I thought the Canucks looked dangerous and in charge for a good portion of this game, penalties excepted. Not sure what else to say. I’m a little drunk. At this point they can’t buy a goal. Hopefully that’ll change soon. Since the Rangers game where they blew us out in the first period I feel like we’ve been scared and offensively ineffective. Did this one brutal game change our season? Sure hope not. Cheers.

  • Darryl

    This is all on OWNERSHIP. If you think the Kessler trade was hot garbage because of the lack of prospects in the deal? That was OWNERSHIP. Ownership’s priority is playing two playoff games a year. The clueless fanbase not seeing the writing on the wall that we will be a bottom 10 team for some time is disappointing.

    OWNERSHIP drafted Virtanen 6th overall. Virtanen will at best be a third liner. He has never scored at a rate that says top line talent. OWNERSHIP has a boston model delusion that will not go away. Our scouts who have drafted terribly for OVER 10 YEARS and is still employed. They have been drafting ‘two way players’ forever. Think Virtanen, Horvat and McCann are all projected as second or third line players. Why can these scouts not be focused on skill players.

    OWNERSHIP thinks the team was not tough enough in 2011 or 2012. The real problem is not goaltending, or toughness. It is scoring, which no one talks about or addresses. Why? To draft scoring one needs to draft skill players very high in the draft. That means finishing outside the playoff ATM.

    The canucks are well oiled business but OWNERSHIP has turned the team from a winner to a permanent PR campaign. I cannot see this change unless more people stop going to the games.

    Sorry for the rant.

    • OMG. A rant after my own heart.
      The fan base has to ask if the ultimate goal is to make the playoffs annually or to win the Stanley Cup. In a cap world, these two goals are never aligned for long. Even Stanley cup champion organizations like Boston, Chicago and LA will have their down cycles. And these are teams which generally draft well. Imagine us being able to compete with out inept group of pro scouts (other than the fine work done in Sweden).
      As an organization, we need to draft skill over 2 way players. You can almost never trade for the former and you can always sign in free agency the latter. Heck, at this point I would even advocate selective tanking in good draft years to accelerate the rebuild. Imagine how much brighter our future will look with a McDavid to replace the aging core…

  • Darryl

    Excellent article Canucks Army friends.

    When is someone gonna write up a post on how horrible this team is this season? Things were all bright and shiny was Bonino was scoring goals, the Kesler trade looked amazing, and Ryan Miller didn’t look washed up. But now this “healthier team in many years” is coming back to down reality, regressing to the mean – if you understand, I want to see some articles.

    They corsi and fenwick #’s are horrific, in fact, when was the last time they are this horrific. They’re bottom 1.3 of league in 5v5 goals for and against. You mentioned their scoring chance differential.

    This is a really bad team. How on earth can Benning be a buyer. Buying for what? Extending a possible 1st round playoff series to 7 games instead of a sweep? While those 3 extra games will make Aquilini$$$ happy, they’re not gonna fill the seats in Vancouver. when will this new regimen understand we don’t want to make the playoffs, we want the sloody Stanely Cup. Or we want to build a team that can get us there.
    This current team is so far from Stanley statistically speaking, that all the top prospects in the NHL couldn’t help them.

    This team needs to rebuild. They need to hold on to their picks (did you hear that Jim “I like to trade high picks for replacement level players” Benning).Or trade Valuable assets like Kesler for plugs like Sbisa/Bonino. I mean, Anaheim had some of the leagues top prospects and a 10th over all picks. Canucks got ZERO in the Kesler trade. There is no way any Cnaucks fan should trust Benning. No Boston fan trusted him after the Seguin trade, that’s why they were more than happy to let him come to Vancovuer. Now we’re stuck with this guy who’s managed to make a team that drafted 6th over all worse in a 6 month timeframe. That my friends, is a miracle.

    • Fortitude00

      Benning was not the Gm of Boston when they traded Sequin. Benning was part of the management team that worked with Sequin with his off ice issues. Staying out late at night partying and showing up late for team work outs. Sequin thought he was bigger then the team and needed to mature. He also was stuck behind a couple centers and was not going to get playing time due to his work ethic.
      As far as the Kesler trade he was handcuffed because he was given one destination Kesler would go to. Benning came into a situation with numerous NTC’s and needs time to make changes. I don’t know if Benning will be a good GM but he certainly can’t be held responsible for anything bad this team has done.
      Benning made three acquisitions this year to help the team score more goals and give this core a chance to prove their worth.
      I am pretty sure they sold this group to the fans because they were hampered by the NTC’s and will try and move a couple this deadline and this offseason. I am sure the rebuild has started, why else would Benning try and trade up to acquire Reinhart last draft?

  • Mantastic

    Free.
    I
    I
    I
    I
    Fall!
    This is really starting to remind me of last year! No one can play together, passes are in skates, out of reach or right in the slot to the opposition?! That Power Play down 2-1 had to be the worst of the season.

    I was hoping Hammer coming back was the answer, but scoring .66 goals a game wins nothing!

  • WTF

    A lot of posters are being real mean. Where is your loyalty to the boys. They are trying. It will take some time. Nashville isn’t chop liver this season.

    Every team has an off year or too. Jim Benning and Trevor are stocking the team with great prospects. You just wait and see to quote Sarah Palin, “You betcha”.

  • andyg

    After these pathetic last three games, the total inability to actually make an effective entry into the zone on the power play (let alone set up, let alone score), and the generally boring play I’m totally on board for team tank for this deep draft. We have no chance at top three but top five is still within our grasp. Actually if we can suck for two more years we potentially would have a fairly talented group of prospects come up in a few years time.

  • andyg

    It is time that management starts to talk about that dirty word. (Rebuild)

    I hope they do not try to fix this.

    No more selling the future just to make the playoffs.