Canucks Army Postgame: Without a Whisper

Returning from a brief, albeit successful two-game road trip, the Canucks looked to right the ship at home in their 90’s Flying Skate jerseys.

Before puck drop, the stars of the Canucks 1994 Stanley Cup Final team were honoured with a ceremonial puck drop et al. Trevor Linden, Greg Adams, Cliff Ronning, Gino Odjick and Kirk McLean were the esteemed guests and their appearances marked the highest point in tonight’s contest.

The Canucks quickly jumped ahead of the Maple Leafs 1-0 on a Daniel Sedin wrister, glove side past James Reimer. From that point forward the Maple Leafs were in control of this hockey game. Vancouver hemorrhaged shots to the Leafs AHL roster, before surrendering three consecutive goals and the game itself.

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Vancouver eventually answered in the dying minutes with a Sven Baertschi goal, but it was far too little, far too late. With a pair of empty net goals, the Maple Leafs won this game by a score of 5-2.


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Quick Hits

  • Getting doubled on the shot clock by a team with Colin Greening on their second line is never a good thing. Only one of these teams is actively tanking and they took it to the one that wasn’t. Connect those dots.
  • Is Willie Desjardins a terrible, or even bad coach? I lean towards no. Is the roster he to work with terrible, or even bad? A very definitive yes. For some reason, though, much of the criticism today was levied on Desjardins. From personnel, to systems and back again. Can’t argue he’s not trying, though. By the third period, Desjardins had made two substantial adjustments to today’s game: playing Radim Vrbata with the twins and changing their breakout on the power play. 
  • Big-time congratulations to Henrik Sedin for appearing in his 1141st game as a member of the Vancouver Canucks. That number is good for first place on the franchise leaderboard. 

  • If you want to dive into some of Henrik’s best moments as a member of the Vancouver Canucks, check into Jeremy Davis’ article from earlier today where he highlights them all in kind.
  • It was revealed in the second intermission that Alex Burrows would be willing to waive his NTC if the Canucks approached him. 
  • The score might not suggest as much, but I thought Ryan Miller had an excellent game. Miller was only in net for three of the Leafs five goals tonight and you could hardly blame him for most, if not all of them. To Miller’s credit, he’s been great for most of the season and just can’t get any run support for the life of him.
  • Was definitely happy to see Yannick Weber back in the lineup. He brings so much more than many of the options the Canucks usually have ahead of him. Tonight wasn’t his night though. The Canucks attempted just the one shot with Weber on the ice surrendered 12 attempts – good for a Corsi For of 7%.
  • At the crux of the Desjardins criticism was his player deployment. More specifically, the overuse of Linden Vey. Hard to argue with why, when you see that Vey’s line controlled 60% of shot attempts on the night and looked like the Canucks most consistently threatening threesome at even strength for much of the game.
  • According to, the Canucks had a 33% chance of making the playoffs going into tonight’s game. That number is now at 32%. 

  • mgg

    You would expect the Vey line to control possession with a ZS% of close to 90% at 5v5. On the other hand the Horvat line had a ZS% of under 30% at 5v5.

    Which line has the better chance to score – is it really the Vey line? I find it weird to look at results and say it made sense when maybe it would have been more in favour of the Canucks if the hottest line over the past month got the usage the Vey line got. And that’s the head scratcher.

    I understand wanting to keep the Baertschi-Horvat chemistry but using Baertschi and to a certain degree Vrbata in a defensive role when these two (Baertschi/Vrbata) are on the team for offence seems counter-intuitive. Since the return of the NY trip it seems that the Vey line has been moved into an offensive role and the Horvat line is stuck in a defensive role.

  • Ca-nuckle head

    They definitely looked like the less talented team on the ice yesterday. What I was blown away by was their in ability to make a break out. They kept just throwing it off the boards to clear the zone and turning it over at center. Then anytime the defence skated the puck out they promptly put the puck into one of the forwards feet causing another neutral zone turnover. Not surprised to hear Weber had a corsi for of 7%. Hard to generate chances when the other team has the puck the whole time. What happened to the possession game, this was all just dump and chase without much chase.

    I totally came on here to vent about Willie D but everyone has done that already. When line deployment is coming up so often on here, papers and TV there has to be an issue. I am all for rolling 4 lines especially when your middle 3 are all basically 3rd lines anyways but when there is a chance to get your top line an extra shift and your down a goal it just seems silly not to.

    On a positive note, Hutton looks pretty good even with the added time and assignments. Not sure what his fancy stats look like but thought he performed well

  • Steampuck

    “The Canucks quickly jumped ahead of the Maple Leafs 1-0 on a Daniel Sedin wrister, glove side past James Reimer. From that point forward the Maple Leafs were in control of this hockey game.”

    Um, no. The Canucks scored early in the second, against the flow of play in the first, when they were grossly outshot and outchanced by an AHL team.

    This was a terrible game to watch. Boring. Slow. Full of botched plays. That Canucks PP in the first period when they couldn’t even break into the Leafs’ zone: I almost stopped watching then.

    But what was up with all the hate towards Corrado? A number of guys seemed to instigate stuff with him. Behind the scenes stuff we don’t know about? Just curious.

    Also: could the Canucks never ever do another retro jersey night? Those never seem to end well.

    Even after last night’s train wreck, the Nucks are still firmly in the playoff race. Bad performance notwithstanding, I still see this team as taking it right down to the wire.

    • Ca-nuckle head

      Yeah there has to be another level to the thing with Corrado. Looked like they were seeking him out for some reason. Was interesting reading about his separated shoulder from the playoffs.

  • mgg

    Uhh Weber is bad m’kay

    Seriously, he is the cause of a goal against in every game he plays in. If you slapped Sbisa’s name on Weber’s jersey maybe people would finally hate him enough.

  • mgg

    I haven’t liked Hughson and Simpson since last year’s playoffs against “19 year old Sam Bennett’. But yesterday they were spot on. In the 1st period when the Canucks had a man advantage Hughson said the Canucks PP wasn’t good and it was predictable in that they always enter on the left side. I couldn’t believe it when the Canucks circled in their own zone a couple of times to get in place for a left side entry. The problem was the Leafs were expecting it and broke up the play. Later in the game Simpson questioned WD’s deployment in situations where the Canucks could have an advantage (rolling out Vey’s line rather than the Sedin’s against a tired Leafs line after an offside.) The Sedin line has scored 47 goals, the Horvat line 32 and the Vey line 10 yet WD keeps trotting out the Vey line time after time. The bottom line is that it’s probably relatively easy to outcoach WD.

  • Dirty30

    1. The WD – Vey love affair needs to end.

    2. Put Etem with Baertschi and Horvat … you would have a young, strong, fast, motivated and talented second line no one could complain about.

    3. Put Virtanen with the twins. Size, speed, skill all complement the quiet and meticulous play of the Sedins. Excellent learning experience.

    4. McCann, Vrbata and Hansen become your 3rd line.

    5. Burrows, Vey, Dorsett are your 4th line.

    Its not ideal but it starts to develop the youngsters a little differently.

    And while I will get 101 thumbs down for saying this: Stamkos is the wrong guy for this team at this time. You will have between 24 and 26 million dollars on your first line … and maybe a good second line of Horvat et al backing it up.

    And then a long, long, long, drop to your third and fourth and a D that is almost non-existent … Tanev, Hutton, Edler … Hamius … oh god …

    Miller will be taking 60+ shots a game on a good night.


  • Marvin101

    Horvat is now a minus 27 and dubiously leading the league in the minus department. Benning talks about the young players being needing a taste of the playoffs for their development but Horvat is NOT developing as a two way player.

    Combine a meddling owner with a rookie president, a rookie GM and rookie head coach and the results are pretty predictable.

  • TrueBlue

    I think it should be clear to even the most myopic Aquilini, the Canucks are not making the playoffs. A week ago the math was tough but doable, if everything turned around immediately. Now it’s pretty clear they’re not turning things around in time.

    So, stop trying so hard! Get rid of the vets who are slowing the team down, let the kids have room to learn and make mistakes without the pressure of having to win. Even more so than picking up good draft picks, I’m concerned from here on about how they work to develop players like Virt and McCann. Moving Virt to the second line and Hansen to the fourth is a great start, but IMO McCann could use another winger who can score.

    Now let’s get rid of some slow/old players and bring some more kids up from Utica to get this rebuild underway for real!

  • Marvin101

    That was a terrible game – and yet it may have been my favorite game of the year due to all the great storylines!

    1. Corrado returns: and looks good (and perhaps better than our four headed monster of replacement level depth D); not undeservedly, disses current management and coaching; reveals played injured and didn’t recover until Xmas; praises Leafs for smart plan to return him to health; gets pummeled by Canucks and disses them postgame as easy to frustrate.

    2. Craig Simpson and HNIC think RGW not real good: all kinds of hilarious; impossible to dispute the criticisms.

    3. Team Tank absolutely dominates Team Playoffs Or Bust: delicious irony that a team angling for last place, comprised of AHL scrubs and replacement level players, destroys the Canucks; 35 million roster destroys 70 million roster; Canucks out coached to embarrassing degree in home rink (what else is new).

    4. Leo Komarov is a superhero superstar: at least judging by HNIC’s fawning coverage and his treatment by the refs; the guy was begging for penalties, but the refs realized his supreme greatness and let him do whatever he wanted.

    5. Derek Dorsett, mentor, space-maker and warrior extraordinaire: really showed his value last night (0!), taking the dumbest penalties you will ever see.

    6. Aquilini’s revenge: Friedman reveals Aquaman is up to his old tricks, says Benning knows it’s time to blow it up but Mr. Meddler won’t accept reality; going after Stamkos hard (hopefully Stammer didn’t watch last night, unless he likes roasting marshmallows on tire fires he won’t want to come here).

    7. Fan base pulls a 180: after winning two games and arguing team is good, fans begin to accept reality that Canucks are one of the worst teams in the league; whiplash inducing how quickly opinions change based on single game results.

    8. Sedins still classy, still get no respect: get mugged by plug and refs watch but swallow whistles; its kind of a running joke by this point.

    It’s time to rebuild. Tear it down to the studs (Sedins, Edler Tanev, Marky, maybe Hansen, and the young guns) and build this team back up. Everyone but the core, old and new, is more hindrance than help moving forward; get rid of them.

  • Tuned the nucks game to 2nd fiddle last night in favour ofnba slam dunk/3point skills contest!

    Desjardins man affair with Dorsett reached the stupid point again with needless penalties,and being a dead anchor offensively for whoever has to play with him.

    Certainly agree the 1st unit pp has been totally unproductive since 2011 when Kesler was with the twins and Salo manned the point. Time to get Horvat out there with the twins and shop for a real pointman?

    But again with Willy/Hammy and Burr we are in tough. We moved Higgins out,its time to clear those 3 as well

  • wojohowitz

    The media only sees the owner interfering with management but bringing in Stamkos would do two things. He would sell tickets and he would bring back the buzz this market has not seen since the Pavel days.

    • Dirty30

      Do you honestly believe that Stamkos will look at this team and think “Sure, I can play for the money” and watch his career head for the basement?

      This team doesn’t have the pieces to build from the top down, they need to build from the bottom up.

      Goal — Markstrom, Demko … All good.

      D … Imagine Edler/Tanev as your 3-4 and Hutton/Sbisa as your 5-6 … Now imagine what your 1-2 need to look like.


      Gaunce-McCann-Hansen/Burrows or?

      But it’s D where the money needs to go ..

  • wojohowitz

    I forgot how much I hate those ugly jerseys.

    Pretty sure that #21 is Jyrki Lumme not Greg Adams. He wore #8.

    Hansen is starting his rapid decline. May be best to trade him ASAP before he ends up worthless like Higgins,Prust,Weber,Vrbata & Burrows.

  • wojohowitz

    Oh, I forgot!

    9. RGW decided to juggle lines after two years of having them carved in stone! Improvement?

    I remember when the team was playing poorly for a couple minutes, AV would bring out the line blender to instantly change momentum. That’s the kind of thing a good coach does to change the flow. At least it only took 140 games for RGW to figure that out?

    Straws, grasping…

  • gdpsports

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but if WD is fired, TG becomes the next coach? That’s a very good thing, right? If so, what are we waiting for? He’s obviously committed to the organization and developing players. If that’s the direction Benning and Linden are focused on, then better to make the move now than later.

  • TrueBlue

    The last two wins looks so stupid now. Perpetuating the idea of being a playoff team.

    I agree with those who say we’ll probably be in the playoff mix right up until the end. The NHL has done a really good job at creating a system in which an insane level of parity is maintained right up until the last few weeks. Smart business on their side… the really good teams stand out, and everyone else takes turns stepping on each others’ faces to stumble towards a playoff spot.