Whoa, Canucks were so bad there’s a military coup under way pic.twitter.com/Taaq6oOBTb
— petbugs (@petbugs13) January 28, 2015
Facing the leading horse in the Presidents’ Trophy race is hardly what I’d call easing back into the routine. With the Anaheim Ducks winners of seven of their last eight, this is doubly true. Making matters worse, the Vancouver Canucks did little to help their cause. Poor goaltending, worse decision making and bad penalties crippled the Canucks early and their inability to generate anything offensively drove the final nails in their coffin. When it was all said and done, the disinterested Canucks dropped tonight’s contest with the Ducks by a score of 4-0.
There’s not a lot to chew on, but we’ll make the most out of what the Canucks did offer on the other side of the jump. There’s serious potential here for more talking points than there were shots for Vancouver in the final two frames, so that’s something.
- Maybe the Canucks took this “All-Star break” thing a little too seriously. Maybe they’re still in break mode as we speak! One could certainly make a case for the latter of those points. Even when the Canucks had interest in contributing to the shot count, I’d hardly say their play was inspiring or their offensive chances plentiful. What little in the way of threatening offensive play Vancouver mustered generally ended in a post or a missed net. There might not be an easier shutout in Frederik Andersen’s career.
- At one point I literally asked aloud “wait a second, is Chris Higgins playing tonight”. My roommate reassured me that was the case and I went on with my business. In nearly 15-minutes of ice-time, Higgins logged a doughnut in the shot column and registered just a single hit. Higgins’ impact on the game was non-existent at best. That said, he wasn’t necessarily a liability either. Higgins was a 50% Corsi on the night and was only on the ice for the Ducks first goal, which hardly falls on the players.
- This was a night to forget for Ryan Miller. I’m going to chalk this up to a case of the regression blues catching up to Miller, who’d posted back-to-back-to-almost-back shutouts in three games not long before the break. Miller’s Sv% was .870 on the night. Not good. And those three goals on 23-shots? Well, I’d say two of them were pretty ugly.
- There’s not many positives to glean from tonight’s match if you’re a Canucks fan. If I were to pull my hammy stretching for one though, it would be the play of Frankie Corrado. The kid logged over 16-minutes and looked the part of an NHL defenceman for all of them. What I find especially encouraging with Corrado is his unreserved play, both with and without the puck. Usually young defencemen are tentative to the point of passive in their early years, as they struggle to gain the trust of their coaches and linemates. I’ve seen no such signs of this from Corrado, who was playing just his 22nd game tonight.
- The Canucks last two periods were bad. Toronto Maple Leafs bad. I’m talking seven shots bad. The second period may look the worse of the two on paper, but when adjusted for score it’s the third when the wheels really fell off for Vancouver. Quite frankly, this lines up perfectly with what I saw. Even with Willie Desjardins pulling Miller with the score 3-0 and over four minutes of hockey left, Vancouver did next to nothing offensively.
Vancouver has a few days off now, and, well, it will be literally impossible to look worse against the Sabres than they did against any team this season. Evil Genius Tim Murray has assembled the single most brazen tank job in recent memory, and the Sabres may very well be the worst hockey team in recent history. At the time of this writing, Buffalo has lost twelve games in a row, and possess a minus-81 goal differential. It’s a game that the Canucks cannot lose. They just can’t.
Stranger things have happened though.