Canucks Army Postgame: When Irish Eyes are Smiling

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.

Highlights

Quick Hits

G69 v Philadelphia

G69 v Philadelphia2

 [Canucks.com Recap] [Face-Off Summary] [Event Summary] [War-on-Ice Stat Pack] [NaturalStatTrick.com Stat Pack] [HockeyStats.ca Stat Pack] [Willie Desjardins Postgame]

  • 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.

Conclusion

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.

  • Thefreshpots

    What a game! One of the most exciting games of the season.

    I think Pat Quinn is the most important figure in Vancouver sports history. Without him there would be no Bure, no Naslund, no Burke. Without Burke we wouldn’t have most of the core of this team. His fingerprints are all over the organization and we quite possibly wouldn’t have a franchise in Vancouver if it weren’t for him.

      • Vanoxy

        He also ran off to make a donation to the blood-bank right after the boxing lesson, even saving the nurse time by splitting his own grill open.

        The man truly never stops giving.

    • Thefreshpots

      What part did you think was over the top? Having his family there? Recognizing his contribution to hockey in multiple cities, multiple franchises, at many scales? Giving hall-of-famers and hockey greats the chance to come together to celebrate the life of a man who was so clearly beloved in so many places? Who was clearly pivotal in the careers of so many of some of the greatest Canucks including multiple captains? Ridiculous comment.

      Flyers, aside from Giroux and Voracek are terrible, Steve Mason is just as crappy as ever and their defense is awesomely awful. Pretty full victory for the win. Flyers show the difference between “heavy” (i.e. big strong fast talented team like the Kings or Blues) and “crashy/creaky” (any team that has Zac Rinaldo and Luke Schenn in the lineup).

      I hope Dorsett comes out when Kassian draws back in. Or if Willie keeps giving maintenance days I hope he rotates out Higgins, Richardson and maybe Matthias who is fading again.

    • Thefreshpots

      You’re right about him not wanting all the attention.
      He was a humble guy.

      But I think he would have appreciated it none the less.
      This was a chance for his griends and family to celebrate him… Sort of a Wake… A tradition started in Ireland.

      It worked on many levels, and Pat was smiling down on it, with a cigar and a shot of Jamiesons.

  • Thefreshpots

    It seems to me Dorsett hasn’t been the same since that elbow from Kesler. That crosscheck to the back last night that went uncalled seemed to take the wind out of his sails also.
    I think he’s playing hurt and could explain his demise.

  • Thefreshpots

    Honestly, I’m all for maintenance days across the board at this point. A lot of the team has played more minutes than they did last year and for many of them they’ve been faced by some serious competition.

    Think Matthias, Dorsett, Sedins and Hamhuis should all be looking at a game off here and there once we’re a little closer to locking up a playoff spot.