I feel bad for Eddie Lack…..dude gets no goal support and hung out to dry more nights than he deserves… pic.twitter.com/7sicxzKNXY
— Cory (@nine30shineshop) March 6, 2015
The Arizona Coyotes have gone full-Rommel, trading any asset with some semblance of value to ensure an uglier now that helps secure a brighter tomorrow. These Panzers are facing off with Buffalo’s Shermans in the ultimate battle for first pick between Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. They have the worst starting goaltender in the league. Their first line center in Kyle Chipchura – he of the waiver wire trip as recently as December.
So it is strangely fitting that the Canucks were shut out for the first two and a half periods of this hockey game. To Vancouver’s credit, they mounted a last second push to knot things up at two by regulations end, before dropping tonight’s contest in the shootout, 3-2.
There’s not a whole lot to talk about, but what little there is will all be covered, on the other side of the jump.
- Barry Trotz, your move. That could very well have been one of the most boring games I’ve ever witnessed. The goals were ugly, shots few and far between and open ice a complete non-starter. It was Dave Tippett style hockey at its finest. Worst of all, the Canucks have another two games against the Coyotes before seasons end. Oh joy.
- What is it with the Canucks and replacement level goaltenders? Among “qualified” goaltenders on ESPN, Smith’s Sv% is better than only Ray Emery and Viktor Fasth. In terms of even-strength Sv%, that list shrinks to just Fasth. In typical Vancouver fashion, he was made to look like a world-beater for much of tonight. Bizarre trend. No matter the coach or roster, it’s a time honoured Vancouver tradition. Like estranging starting goaltenders!
- Nice to see Chris Higgins find the score sheet again. Higgins last goal came in a 5-2 route of the Buffalo Sabres on January 30th. While the offensive results haven’t been indicative of a great season, Higgins underlying numbers have been impressive throughout.
- Take a bow, Dan Hamhuis. The Hammer was the leading possession player on both rosters tonight and registered 6-shots on goal. Not bad. I’ve noticed that Hamhuis has been turning the corner of late and it’s nice to see the results follow.
- The only reason the Canucks had a chance tonight was Eddie Lack. The Canucks were surrendering more than a shot-per-minute in the final 25 of tonight’s hockey game. And through it all, “The Stork” held the fort. Can’t blame him for either of the Coyotes goals tonight. Both were, dare I say, Coyote ugly… I’ll show myself the door.
If back-to-backs are considered scheduled losses, I have to think that games this late in the season against the Coyotes should qualify as scheduled victories. Alas, it wasn’t to be tonight. Have to hope Vancouver ups the ante against a considerably more difficult opponent on Saturday night, as they visit the San Jose Sharks. See you then!