— Cody Nickolet (@DubFromAbove) February 1, 2015
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!
- 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.
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.
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!