Canucks Army Postgame: Dead in the Water

Hosting a San Jose Sharks club on the second half of back-to-backs – a team that lost just last night to the Calgary Flames – provided the Vancouver Canucks with as good a chance as any to pass their marine-animal competitors in the Pacific Division playoff chase. The Canucks were well rested and had finished their last contest with an offensive surge the likes of which their fans haven’t been treated to in months. The stage was set with opportunities aplenty for the Canucks to get back on track in what’s been an otherwise uninspiring 2015.

And, oh, how they disappointed. Whether you believe in “momentum” or otherwise, there’s no denying what little the Canucks could have hypothetically gained from their last contest failed to carry forward into this one. Their offense inept, their defense permissive and their special teams a complete non-factor, Vancouver limped lifelessly to a 5-1 loss at the hands of their Southern Pacific counterparts. But hey, we did out-hit the Sharks… 

All that and more, on the other side of the jump.

Highlights

Quick Hits

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sharksnucks

[Canucks.com Recap] [Official Event Summary] [Face-Off Report] [Canucks Post-Game Show] [War-On-Ice Stat Pack] [HockeyStats.ca Stat Pack] [NaturalStatTrick.com Stat Pack]

  • This was a night to forget for Ryan Miller, sure. I’d hardly place the blame for tonight’s loss firmly on Miller’s massive shoulder pads though either. Was his positioning terrible on the first goal? Absolutely. A certain amount of credit is due here to Matt Irwin, though, who launched the perfect shot from an imperfect angle for a post-and-in goal. The next three goals were all deflections, one of which went off of Nick Bonino’s stick. As a matter of fact, the only goal I take issue with would be the final tally by Andrew Desjardins. That said, it was in waning seconds of a blowout game and I think Miller had made like most Canucks fans at that point and had checked out mentally. 

  • Even when times were good (and oh, how they used to be) I maintained that the Canucks were at best a playoff bubble team. This prophecy is fulfilling itself on a per-game basis, with the Canucks looking every bit as old and hapless as their roster might have indicated they were all along. The Canucks are just entering the home stretch of their schedule and it doesn’t look like the competition is getting any easier, or less hungry. Eight of the Canucks next ten games are against teams either currently in the playoffs or directly behind Vancouver in the Western Conference race. This could get bad before it gets better… Especially if Chris Tanev is out long-term. standings
  • It’s been a pretty rough stretch for Bonino. The snake-bit centre has six-points from December forward and is looking less effective on a nightly basis. Taking a step off the negativity train, though, I thought Bonino generated some great scoring chances in the second period. A twist of fate here or there could’ve seen the maligned centre register at least one goal. Tonight Bonino had three shots and at least two great scoring chances.
  • Much of the talk leading up to tonight’s contest centered on the availability of Evander Kane and the Canucks rumoured interest in the troubled winger, rather than the game itself. Not hard to see why. The Sedins may have lost their fastball, but are still solid first-line talents. Alex Burrows and Radim Vrbata have been great this season as well. Not a single one of those Canucks forwards is under thirty years old and all of them lack the physicality and general nastiness with which Kane plays. This is a team desperate for secondary scoring, youth and physicality in their lineup. Kane could provide all of this. If the price is right, might be worth looking into.

Conclusion

The Canucks wrap up their home stand on Saturday night against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

  • I was at the game tonight, my first of the season.

    I was embarrassed by the Canucks fans at this game. The lower bowl was half-empty, and fans were booing by the end of the first period. They were booing *hard* by the end of the second period. Other than the boos and the (deserved) heckling of the refs, the arena was a tomb.

    The Canucks didn’t have a great night, but they weren’t terrible. They were fine. They played OK. The Sharks are a good team and played well. The Canucks absolutely didn’t deserve to be booed, and they unquestionably didn’t deserve to be booed after one passable-but-not-great period. I hear Vancouver fans are considered among the worst fans in the league and this reputation is *definitely* deserved. Also, interesting that no one in the bottom six was a positive possession player because from the stands, the Horvat/Dorsett pairing with either Kenins or Matthias was super noticeable all night and seemed to be pushing play into the offensive zone pretty well.

    A question about the game: What the heck was with Henrik’s unsportsmanlike conduct penalty? From the stands there was no indication at all of what the justification for it was.

    • asdf

      As a fan, I don’t owe this team anything. I’ve been a loyal paying customer all my life and if they put on a bad game, I’ll boo or luu as I please. i don’t need to be a “good fan” so that you can go somewhere and “hear” (i don’t know where you hear these things – like there are people who go around cities and judge how good the fans are?) that we have a good reputation. In other words, I care more about the entertainment value during the few hours that I paid good money for and when I don’t get that, I’m not happy. If you saw how empty the building was yesterday, you’ll agree I’m not alone in this view.

      And I have no clue how you thought Horvat, Kenins, Matthias and Dorsett were noticeable. They played Tortorella hockey pretty well though – dump, chase, board battle and out. Perimeter play all game (goes for everyone actually).

      Our pp2 consists of Bonino, Hamhuis(!), Vey(!!), Higgins (!!!) and Clandening. Sadly, Clandening of all people is the only player among that group that looked like he deserves some pp time.

      This team needs a trade or three. Or I think the fans will appreciate a bad season to draft a player that will actually help the team for the long haul after the sedins are gone.

      • This is entitled BS. The Canucks aren’t the best team in the league anymore, so you’ll boo and whine and complain? That is the definition of a fairweather fan, and personally I think it’s pathetic and embarrassing that Vancouver has so many of them.

        And what you’re saying in contradictory – you whine and boo and act entitled when the Canucks play a mediocre game, and then say you want them to be bad and lose a whole string of games? That’s nonsense.

  • andyg

    Alex Burrows was on the ice for 13:38 last night.
    His sometimes-linemate Daniel Sedin was on for 12:49.
    Linden Vey was iced for 17:07, including 3:46 on the power play.
    Derek Dorsett? 13:40.

    Isn’t the point of rolling all four lines keeping your good players fresh? Because if we’re doing that just so we can give a ton of ice time to our worst players, why did we waive Tom Sestito?

  • andyg

    We have been weighed and measured and have been found lacking. If we make the playoffs we are sure to be a first round casualty. Time to roll out the Panzers and tank for McDavid or a top 5 or 6 draft pick.

    • pheenster

      Can we stop with the “tank for McDavid” comments? The ownership, management, coaches and players made it abundantly clear that that isn’t going to happen, and even if they changed their minds we could lose every remaining game and still not catch Buffalo for 30th.

      So let’s move on from this line of discussion, shall we? It’s becoming tiresome.

      • andyg

        This draft is not just about McDavid. The top ten are worth tanking for. The hole first round could produce some very high end nhl talent.

        What would your solution be?

        • pheenster

          My solution isn’t relevant. Point is, the organization has made it perfectly clear that tanking isn’t part of the plan. It’s Benning’s plan that is relevant, so let’s see how that unfolds and comment on that rather than some armchair fantasy. Saying “I want them to tank” is kind of like a kid saying “I want a pony”.

  • Spiel

    Another no-show at home. Powerplay continues to be useless, yet there are no changes. Continuing on the same trajectory as last year.

    Benning needs to do something to shake up this team.

  • andyg

    Managers are trained to say what people want to hear. So look at everything else that they are saying.

    “We will make a deal if it makes us better and as long as it is good for the future”

    “We will not deal prospects or draft picks”

    Not his exact words!

    So he is saying that if someone screws up and we can steel something then we will do it.

  • Spiel

    The city is starting to check out on this team.

    Empty seats and seat sales speak pretty loud to the owner who we know is passing that message along to his GM and President.

    What’s your plan Jim and Trevor? Status quo won’t do.

  • Spiel

    Well in reference to JD Jerk’s tweet, Vey has a 52.1% CF since Jan 1. Not generating much offence but giving up only 47.1 CA/60. So it hasn’t all been a disaster with him.

    Also, it continues to amaze me how much weight you guys give to single game corsi’s. There is SO much variance and randomness clouding those numbers — you would think that that would be right up your alley.

    • J.D. Burke

      People get far too hung up on sample size. While I wouldn’t use any one game, or week, or month for that matter, to draw a lasting conclusion on one players ability to possess the puck, I can still draw on that sample to make a reasonable conclusion about his play in that timeframe.

      There’s leagues of difference between “this player is struggling to help drive play this week” and “this player is awful at possessing the puck. I am basing this on one week”.