With heavy hearts, the Vancouver Canucks played host to the Philadelphia Flyers. Just moments before tonight’s game started, the Canucks honoured the late Pat Quinn by unveiling a section of Abbott St. to be renamed as “Pat Quinn Way”. They then upped the ante with a tear-jerking ceremony for the Irishmen with a St.Patrick’s Day inspired opening ceremony, which featured several familiar faces – of note was the time and space shared by Pavel Bure and Trevor Linden during this ceremony… both left unharmed.
The Canucks played a fast-paced game, with open ice and scoring chances aplenty throughout tonight’s contest. It wasn’t until the third period though that they were rewarded, with a pair of goals from Alex Burrows that were enough to pull away from the Flyers and secure the victory.
Read on for more, on the other side of the jump.
- With tonight’s victory, the Canucks have all but ended any hope the Flyers might have been able to pretend they had of making the playoffs. Going into tonight’s contest, they were sitting at 0.1% chance of making the dance. Vancouver, on the other hand, is sitting pretty at a nearly 90% clip – this, before tonight’s victory.
- Chris Tanev had a remarkably strong night. His presence was Gandalf vs. Balrog-esque at the blue line, letting none pass with anything even resembling a clean entry. The sturdy defender also posted a strong night where territorial play is concerned, leaving well in the black where Corsi For% is concerned.
- Eddie Lack had another stellar performance tonight, shutting out all but one of the Flyers chances tonight. It’s just another in a lengthy stretch of great games for Lack, who has an even-strength Sv% of 92.58% since taking over for Ryan Miller on Feb. 22nd. It looks even better when you look at his adjusted Sv%, which is 93.93%. Can I be that guy and utter those infamous words: goalie controversy? Well, likely not, if for no other reason than it’s a terrible look for everyone involved to have a goalie lose his job to injury.
- [Editor’s note: JD had to run at this point, so the rest of this postgamer is by Rhys. Direct all relevant complaints towards him.]
- Three of the Canucks four forward lines won the even-strength shot attempt battle tonight, led by yet another incredibly strong night from the “fourth” line. Still, Vancouver lost the overall shot attempt battle by a very narrow margin. How? Well, the Higgins-Richardson-Dorsett line was absolutely drilled.
- It’s not like they were tasked with shutting down Claude Giroux either. Dorsett played the majority of his team-high 13.4 even strength minutes against either Chris VandeVelde’s line or Nick Cousins’ line and lost those matchups handily.
- Dorsett’s been a weird case this season. In years prior, he was a super-premium 4th liner with sparkling underlying numbers relative to his role. He took tough deployments and managed to break even playing in a roster spot that’s usually occupied by guys who just can’t do that. His points are still there but he’s being crushed defensively. Maybe being The Ultimate Warrior all year has worn him down to the point where a spell in the pressbox would restore some of his effectiveness. After all, it would be a mistake to take Ronalds Kenins out of the lineup to make room for him right now.
Barring a spectacular meltdown, which is still possible though unlikely, Vancouver just has to continue picking up points against non-playoff opponents to get enough to make it to the dance. They’ll continue their hunt in two days’ time when local boy Ryan Johansen and the rest of the Columbus Blue Jackets pay a visit Rogers Arena as they play out the rest of their disappointing 2014-2015 season.