Canucks Army Postgame: Minnesota Wild, Vancouver Mild

For most of this game, it seemed like the Canucks would never score a goal against a real hockey team ever again. They gave up two goals in the second period, and a third after a controversial goal of their own was waved off. Thanks to some score effects, they were able to claw their way back in to the game in the 3rd, only to be unable to find the equalizer, dropping the game 4-2 to the Minnesota Wild.

Read past the jump for a recap, and do it quickly because there’s a football game to watch!

Highlights

Quick Hits

G49 v Minnesota

G49 v Minnesota2

[Canucks.com Recap] [Willie Desjardins Postgame] [Event Summary] [Faceoff Summary] [War-On-Ice Stat Pack] [NaturalStatTrick Stat Pack]

  • I was going to comment here about while the Canucks seem inept, a lot of their struggles are due to some unfavourable variance and that they’re not going to get shut out against every halfway decent NHL team from here on in. Instead, Ronalds Kenins and Daniel Sedin scored twice in 61 seconds in the 3rd period, making a game out of tonight’s effort after all. 
  • The Canucks actually managed to put three pucks behind Devan Dubnyk this afternoon, but the first was called off due to a controversial goalie interference call on Radim Vrbata. Personally, I didn’t actually think it was a bad call. Vrbata was entirely in the crease blocking Dubnyk’s path to squaring up to Alex Edler’s point shot, and the rulebook says a goalie has to be allowed to move where he wants. If the same situation happened to Ryan Miller, I would expect it to be waived off too.
dubnyk interference

Courtesy of The Score

  • The “it cost Vancouver the game” sentiment is silly too. An inability to generate any offense and giving up a 3-0 lead is what cost Vancouver the game. The best way to avoid situations like this is to not put yourself in a position where one call will influence the game one way or another.
  • Adam Clendening had a very nice Canucks debut. He looked mobile and active at the offensive blueline, and saw some time on the second pairing with Dan Hamhuis. He saw significantly more minutes than Luca Sbisa and Frank Corrado, playing 19:06 total and 15:09 at even strength. He was also a +20/-9 for Corsi, ranking second among Canucks D tonight at 69%. All in all, it was a very good game from the rookie, and hopefully the first of many as a Vancouver Canuck.
  • Finally, we have to talk about Zack Kassian. The mercurial winger was scratched in favour of Ronalds Kenins tonight, which at the time seemed insane (even though Kenins managed his first NHL goal, it still seems crazy because that whole line was a game low 20% Corsi, manufacturing only two shot attempts at even strength – one went in the net. The next lowest forward in terms of Corsi on the Canucks was Nick Bonino at 65%). Going in to the Sabres game, Kassian was one of only three forwards on the Canucks with a positive shot attempt differential since December 1st along with Chris Higgins and frequent linemate Brad Richardson. Even when he looks floating and disengaged and mistake prone, he’s a legitimately better option than Linden Vey, Derek Dorsett, Bo Horvat, and a totally unproven AHL depth player in Ronalds Kenins. Not just because of talent or potential, but because he’s produced better sustainable results.
  • The one scenario where this makes sense is if the rather loud rumblings about a trade are about to come to fruition either this afternoon or tomorrow morning, and the Canucks were holding him out of the lineup to preserve an asset. We’ll keep our eyes and ears peeled though.

Conclusion

The Canucks next game is on Tuesday when they play host to the rapidly improving Winnipeg Jets. But before that, there’s a fairly important football game to watch this afternoon. Enjoy the Super Bowl, everyone!

  • Bad Power play, bad refs, bad third goal…. No urgency until down 3 goals. I’m sure Coach Willie doesn’t even know what to do to get through to these guys!

    Valk was right at the break. PP is stale and predictable can’t even get out of the neutral zone.

  • wojohowitz

    I liked Kenins. He did not looked lost. In fact if he makes the team next year he will be an all-star – he`s Latvian.

    Glendening also looked competent and almost mistake free. The question with him is whether he can handle the grind. I guess the Hawks decided he could not.

  • Larionov18

    Nice article. Bo looks great at times but he does get hemmed in the dzone a lot. Still the canucks best face off guy. Needs better wingers is it on him? He is a rookie. Hope a trade is coming.

  • Fred-65

    I have to say the Canucks for most of the game looked old and tired, they play same old same old game in and out. Nothing fresh in their approach. Some youthful enthusiasm is desperatly needed….in a word they’re Stale

  • WTF

    It’s getting frustrating for the fans, not to mention the players. Thinking it’s about time to bring up some more prospects from the AHL to see what they can do. That and maybe a trade or two for draft picks. If we don’t happen to make the playoffs this year it’s not the end of the world.

  • acg5151

    It is irritating to me that this coaching staff is not giving Zack Kassian the benefit of the doubt. Just because someone played in the Hat and work real hard doesn’t mean that they are better. I really hope that when we do trade Kassian which will happen, that we get someone that Willie Desjardins will actually play.

    • Dirty30

      Doubt it will happen because WD really seems to be hooked on Vey who I think peaked in Junior. That is a blind spot with WD and it costs someone like Kass ice time … however, even as a huge fan of Special-K he’s starting to try my patience with his pouty attitude. Yeah, I think he’s been treated unfairly but now he’s acting like a four-year old and messing up his game as a result.

      • Ruprecht

        Kass decides to play hockey at any point, and this discussion ends quickly throughout the last couple of years. He’s his own biggest problem, not WD and Vey. The issues were already here before they came along.

    • Mantastic

      why would Kassian ever get a benefit of a doubt? he has never earned it. he’s a 4 year pro, who is still wildly inconsistent, what makes anyone think that he deserves a benefit of a doubt?

    • Fred-65

      Yep Stale is the word best used to describe the current roster. Game after game they pursue the same plays, the same style which does not produce results. Pearns is the coach I believe supposed to run the PP …… well it ain’t working ….rather than Kassian sitting or looking to make trades maybe the first move should be replacing him. Is the new D’man supposed to put that right on …. all on his own ….I don’t think so. Lets be honest 80% of the Canucks PP is spent on the right hand half board or the right corner If Vcr scored one PP goal each game we’d be far better off in the standing. Every one knows what they’re doing, the back door play has gone…the golaies around the league have figured that much out. This team looks like it needs some youthful enthusiasm to motivate it