Canucks Army Postgame: More Like Post… Lame

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.

Highlights

Quick Hits

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[Official Face-Off Report] [War-On-Ice Stat Pack] [Natural Stat Trick Stat Pack]

  • 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. 

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  • 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. 

Conclusion

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.

  • Vanoxy

    The Buffalo game seems like exactly the type of game that this team will lose.

    They have had a history in recent years of showing up totally flat in games that they should dominate. (Ask Joni Ortio and the Flames)

    Not much to say about tonights game. But if they follow it up with a similar effort the bandwagon exodus will begin in earnest.

  • wojohowitz

    I take solace in one thought; Benning, Linden and Desjardins are seeing what we all are seeing and I have confidence that this management group has a clue and the moxy to make the moves that need to be made.

    Tonight the Canucks looked old, slow. small and soft.

    • Dirty30

      One can only hope they not only see it but do something about it. My belief is ownership is more interested in the cash in the seats for even 4 playoff games than to produce a viable alternative to this group.

      Everyone on the third lines is playing above their pay-grade and the top line is playing below … not a good combination for success.

      Nice that Higgins is not a liability, but Casper needs to be present on occasion.

      Desjardins needs to give up the boy-crushes and start assigning players on something other than potential and lunch-date memories from Junior.

      Bottom line: Sedins can no longer carry this team and the supporting cast just doesn’t have enough talent to step up … its looking like Coach Crazy may have been more astute than anyone gave him credit for.

  • Waffles

    Nothing in the post game write up about Kesler head-shotting Dorsett.. Did you watch the game or just write it based off the stats? It would have been nice to see Canucks Army’s opinion on it.

  • Chungus

    Canucks,

    Don’t tank. I want you to play to win. I want to see my team in the playoffs and giving it everything we’ve got. Who cares if it’s a first round exit.

    We have hypocrites asking for a tank; those are the same people calling out Zack Kassian on lazy play and not working hard enough. In the NHL you need to work for what you want. We need to send a message to the young guns like Horvat, Corrado, Kassian that an easy way out is not going to be given to them. If that’s what they want then this isn’t the league for them.

    Same for the fans that want to give up and pray.

    • Dirty30

      Don’t worry, Canucks won’t tank…their on-ice leadership are all on the wrong side of 30 who knows their chance of attempting a run diminish each year, so they will do what they can to try to make the playoffs. The flip side of that is the sad reality that we’re probably stuck with an elongated reset that will see us trending towards the lower end of the #7-10 seed in the conference for a number of years

    • Dirty30

      “We have hypocrites asking for a tank; those are the same people calling out Zack Kassian on lazy play and not working hard enough.”

      What we have are delusional Canuck fans that make up nonsense about two unrelated subjects…

      I’m sure a number of people aboard #tanknation would MUCH prefer an aggressive retool over a pure rebuild.

      NM00, for example, would much prefer to see the Sedins & Hamhuis on the next contending Canucks team.

      However, the time for a retool was after the SCF.

      We are well past the point where a retool is going to be enough barring a miracle.

      There are simply no valuable assets left to acquire the multiple impact players the Canucks need in what is left of the Sedin era…