— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) March 4, 2015
You have to imagine Jacob Markstrom envisioned a more triumphant return to the big leagues. Surrendering three goals on his first four shots, the towering Swede did nothing to ease concerns about his delayed transition from AHL stud to NHL regular. Down three goals less than 10-minutes into tonight’s contest, Vancouver had quite the hole to dig themselves from.
Mounting a second period push, the Canucks were able to drag this game back into the realm of respectability. A pair of goals from Henrik Sedin made things close, drawing the Canucks within a goal of their razor-toothed, ocean-dwelling counterparts. The comeback came to a screeching halt thereafter, with a Daniel Sedin turnover resulting in a Matt Nieto goal from the slot. Two empty-netters later, the Sharks left Rogers Arena on the winning side of a 6-2 final.
I thought when Markstrom let in three goals on the first four shots he faced, that really put the Canucks in a hole.
— Jason Brough (@JasonPHT) March 4, 2015
- After tonight’s .250 Sv% performance there will be doubts about Markstrom’s ability to make the jump to the big leagues, and rightfully so. This season wouldn’t be an exception to the rule. For the entirety of his professional career, Markstrom has been a dominant goalie in every league aside from the NHL. Failing to parlay his brilliant campaign with the Utica Comets into a full-time gig with the Canucks would be more of the same. By that same token, I have to caution against overreacting to tonight’s performance. I wouldn’t give Markstrom, Eddie Lack, Ryan Miller or Dominic Hasek a chance on the first two Sharks goals. The third? Well, yeah, the rebound control could have been better. But again, the defense in front him leaves much to be desired.
Jacob Markstrom before this season: dominant AHLer, unmitigated NHL disaster pic.twitter.com/PVvtWPXpeF
— CanucksArmy (@CanucksArmy) March 4, 2015
@ADanielWagner Yeah, it’s not really his fault. If Lack had started, Markstrom would be in goal right now.
— Harrison Mooney (@HarrisonMooney) March 4, 2015
- So, about this whole Linden Vey… thing. I can’t reasonably expect coaches to hold themselves accountable to any sort of meritocracy where lineups are concerned. It’s not realistic. Yes, they all have favorites. Move along, nothing to see here. By that same token, this Vey thing is getting out of hand. Despite getting prime, first-unit minutes alongside the Sedins, Vey hasn’t potted a single power play goal since November 30th. Not one. Vey is also posting a -7.7% SF Rel. in this span, which would suggest that he’s a drag on the most important component of an efficient man advantage: shot volume. Vey had nearly 5-minutes in power play time tonight. Wrap your head around that one.
- Stick-tap for the captain himself. With his two-goals on the night, Henrik is now the first Canuck in franchise history to hit the 900-point mark. According to the Sportsnet broadcast, Henrik is also the third fastest Swede in NHL history to reach that mark. With 15-goals on the season, it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility that Henrik hits the 20-goal mark for the first time since 2009-10. Not bad, for a 34-year old.
- Tonight’s game was easily the best of Brandon MacMillan’s time as a Canuck. The waiver wire regular was banging and crashing, forcing turnovers and playing a pivotal role in several extended forays into the Sharks zone. MacMillan also caught the Sharks – along with the entire Canucks fan base – by surprise with an impressive bull rush to the net, a la Shawn Matthias. Might have a legitimate fourth liner in this kid if he can put together more games like this.
- Not sure whether to file tonight under injury or growing pains for Frankie Corrado. Didn’t look especially awful tonight, but posting a -2 GD in even strength play in relatively soft deployments isn’t overly flattering. Then again, his D partner for the night was Luca Sbisa.
These aren’t your father’s Sharks, sure, but they’re still a good team on the whole. Better than their record would indicate, and with a dangerous to-6 I am sure. I’d hardly file tonight’s loss under “panic time”. Besides, the Canucks will have as good an opportunity to bounce back as any, facing the
tanking Arizona Coyotes on Thursday. We’ll see you then!