Canucks Army Postgame: Penalties Not Killed

Going into tonight’s game, the Canucks were 1-2 in the pre-season. With the Canucks roster being trimmed further today, tonight’s line combinations seemed more realistic and probable for the regular season. The newly-formed like of Baertschi-Horvat-Rodin looked excellent tonight, but penalties were the biggest factor in tonight’s game.

Having lost to San Jose in overtime last week, the Canucks wanted revenge. However, tonight’s game ended in similar fashion as they lost 3-2 in OT, once again.

The Statistics

Tuomo Ruutu, Anton Rodin: 1G

Joe LaBate, Bo Horvat, Olli Juolevi: 1A

Andrey Pedan: 17 PIM

Miller: 17/20 saves, 0.85 SV%

Shots: VAN 28 – SJS 20

Face-offs: VAN 40% – SJS 60%

Hits: VAN 28 – SJS 16

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Game Summary

The game was off to a physical start as Sharks defenseman Dan Kelly threw a hard hit on Chris Tanev. Andrey Pedan took exception and dropped the gloves two minutes into the first period.

PTO invite Tuomo Ruutu (the younger brother of former Canuck Jarko Ruutu) opened the scoring a few minutes later. 23 year-old Joe LaBate was given an assist.

The Sharks’ Matt Nieto tied the game at 1, but the tie was broken after Anton Rodin finished off some good plays by Olli Juolevi and Bo Horvat. The line of Baertschi-Horvat-Rodin looked very good tonight, so there is definitely potential that the combo could carry on the the regular season.

Kevin Leblanc scored the only goal in the second period to tie the game at 2. Derek Dorsett got cut up in a fight with Alex Gallant, but then came back in the third and had this oh-so-close backhander that hit the post.

A scoreless third period mean’t 2-on-2 overtime. Similar to their game last week, San Jose’s OT goal was a result of a poor line change.

Game Notes

– Derek Dorsett, Alex Edler, and Chris Tanev wore the ‘A’ tonight

– Olli Juolevi had a much steadier game than last. He assisted on Rodin’s goal and had a diving play to prevent a potential goal. Not surprisingly, he looked more comfortable on the ice after getting his first-game jitters off his back. Yes, he fumbled slightly on his assist, but it was a high-risk, high-reward situation that would’ve looked stellar if it weren’t for the SJS player’s skate.

– Joe LaBate was very noticeable tonight. He is a very physical player who has played his heart out this pre-season. He will most likely be sent back to the AHL, but he certainly made his case to be one of the first forwards for a potential call-up.

– Troy Stecher looked good once again tonight. He had a very ‘Denis Savard’ spin-o-rama moment in the second period, and he finished the game with 24:44 TOI.

– The Canucks’ best line by far was that of Baertschi-Horvat-Rodin. They had several excellent shifts, and it definitely looks like there is some good potential there. Possible 2nd or 3rd line for the regular season???

– Penalties were the biggest problem in tonight’s game – the Canucks were 4/6 on the penalty kill and 0/5 on the power play.

Player of the Game

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Horvat had a great game, highlighted by his no-look, behind the back pass to set up Rodin’s goal. He had sparks of nifty puck-handling and strong puck protection. He is a much stronger and faster player now than in his first NHL season, and that was apparent tonight. As centres usually are, he was the focal point of the very impressive Baertschi-Horvat-Rodin line. He had 1 assist, 3 shots on goal, won 53% of his face-offs, and led the forwards with 22:27 TOI tonight.

  • wojohowitz

    I`m seeing the same Willie we saw last year. He has no ability to adapt during the game. What`s Dorsett doing on the ice in overtime? Juolevi gets 20+ minutes proving what – he will be an OHL all-star. Stecher gets 24+ minutes proving what – he`s too good for the AHL. Who gets the fewest minutes, less than eleven? Sheppard, Labate and Pedan. Sheppard I understand – he has not done enough but Labate and Pedan are the two guys ready to play a tough physical game and stand up for their team mates. Here we are still in the pre-season and already I`ve seen enough of Willie.

      • LTFan

        By my calculations that means he only got about 5 minutes in each of the the 2nd and 3rd periods. He should have received more time on the ice to see how he does.

        I like WD but it isn’t important to win these games, it is important to give players such as Pedan an opportunity to show if the they have the ability to play in the NHL. IMO some are not being given the chance.

    • TheRealPB

      You realize this is the preseason, right? Why wouldn’t you give a long look to two top defensive prospects? Juolevi actually had the second lowest minutes played of a defenseman — Pedan would’ve had more if he hadn’t sat for 17 minutes of penalties (and looked good standing up for a teammate after that hit). You need to get off this obsession with toughness and knee-jerk reactions to the play in the preseason. Other than the first line (whose numbers were inflated by six minutes on the PP) Desjardins basically rolled four lines and none of them were particularly higher than others. Labate got a regular shift and also got to play on the PK. What more do you want?

      Also in terms of the Forsling situation, you’re right that it’s likely going to look like a bad trade moving forward as he’s challenging for a position right now and there’s a chance he’s passed Pokka on the depth chart. Still it’s a gamble that looked like a good one at the time — Clendening is a former 2nd round pick who seemed much more NHL ready (and has carved out a career as a tweener)

  • wojohowitz

    hummm…from Bob McKenzie;

    It’s too early in training camp to say Gustav Forsling is going to make the Chicago Blackhawks’ opening-day roster.

    But it is fair to say the 20-year-old Swedish defenceman is one of two young Hawks who have given management and coaching staff alike some “wow” moments in training camp.

  • Canuck4Life20

    I only got to see the highlight package but it sure looked like Horvat, Rodin, and Baertschi were flying out there. If they can continue this type of play they will give the Canucks a legitimate second line. If they start the season together though, where does Virtanen fit in?

  • Cageyvet

    I was at the game, and Pedan looked good, his skating has improved and he was physical.

    I thought that despite the game-winner against Edmonton that got so much attention, Rodin was very average but got better as that first game wore on. In the last 2 outings, he just keeps getting better, he hasn’t hit his full stride yet, I’m sure, but he has great vision on the ice and definitely has some finish.

    Stecher and Labate were again solid, it was Dorsett’s best game to date, and Etem still fails to move the needle, although you do see the effort.

    Ruutu was excellent, but is there room for him? Not at the expense of Gaunce, who was good again.

    The rest of the fill-ins are expendable, but I’m looking forward to Rendulic in Utica. Sheppard, Megna, Zalewski are all on the outside looking in based on play alone, never mind contract and waiver considerations.

    Not a bad game at all, lots of positives, but the more I see of this team the more I’m convinced we need to keep Gaunce around, and probably Stecher.

    The rest may intrigue, but with Granlund’s play I can only see either Etem or Burrows being unseated as an incumbent, and their status may preclude that. There isn’t a ton of wow factor with this team, but unquestionably there’s more depth and competition in the bottom end, and it’s the young, cheap kind with some possible upside. That means no more need to spend money or assets on Prust and Dorsett type acquisitions, which can only be a good thing.

  • Cageyvet

    Fun to read the smarmy and incorrect responses to which Savard..

    From wikipedia: The “Savardian Spin-o-rama”, which is a quick pivoting turn with the puck done in order to evade opponents, was coined by sportscaster Danny Gallivan and named after Serge Savard, and not Denis Savard (who was adept at the same manoeuvre) as is often thought.[1]

    From the Habs SB nation website: Danny Gallivan coined the term “Savardian Spin-o-rama”, and he was of course talking about Habs legend Serge Savard. He was one of the first d-men to truly utilize the move as an effective way to maintain possession, all the while creating an offensive zone scoring chance.