Canucks Army Postgame #18: Lost, Overwhelmed

Embed from Getty Images

The Canucks looked like two different teams tonight. Through the first half of the game, they looked sluggish and timid, giving up the middle far too often and looking permissive through the neutral zone. In the second half, however, they were as good as we’ve seen them this season, and they were able to come away with the 3-2 win in OT. 

Astonishingly, the Canucks have seven wins, and have led for just 31 minutes at even strength over the entire season. What a time to be alive.


chart (10)

chart (11)


The Canucks appeared to have opened the scoring when Michael Chaput tipped an Alex Edler wrist shot past Louis Domingue midway through the first frame. The Coyotes challenged the goal, and it was successfully overturned on a questionable goaltender interference call.

After the Coyotes opened the second with  goals from Anthony DeAngelo and ex-Canuck Brad Richardson, first-line right winger Brandon Sutter put the Canucks within one off a beautiful no-look pass from Daniel Sedin. Daniel responded with a goal of his own shortly thereafter.

The third period solved nothing, so the game was headed to overtime. Partway through OT, Ben Hutton was sprung on a breakaway, and Dylan Strome just couldn’t catch him. Hutton couldn’t score on the play, but he drew a penalty shot, and made no mistake this time, putting the game away with a nifty backhand.


-Hutton’s had an up-and-down year so far, and tonight was no exception. He tied for the lead amongst Canucks defensemen in CF%, but also had a couple of ugly turnovers in the third period that nearly cost the team the game. That’s just how it goes with young defenders sometimes. Ben Hutton is 23, in his second year as a pro, and he’s already flashed high-end skill and hockey sense. Patience is key. 

-Hutton had only one penalty shot over the course of his college career, but he looked like a seasoned veteran tonight, deking out Louis Domingue and putting it through the five-hole on the backhand. You have to think that feels pretty nice given all the heat he’s taken over the past few days. 

– The rest of the Canucks defence had a decent night as well, with Edler, Hutton, and Stecher all launching 4 shots on net apiece. Stecher’s poise and confidence continues to impress me, and he’s been a natural fit with Alex Edler on the top pairing in Chris Tanev’s absence. He’s going to be tough to take out of the lineup when Tanev returns.

– How many players have seen a significant uptick in their goal production riding shotgun with Henrik and Daniel Sedin? Brandon Sutter was the benefactor of those Wonder Twin powers tonight, and that line was the Canucks’ best. Willie Desjardins has been criticized heavily in the past for playing Sutter, a natural centre, on the wing with Henrik and Daniel, but on the surface it makes sense. Sutter is fast and his shot is his best offensive asset. I wouldn’t advocate sending that line over the boards on a regular basis, but if Desjardins wants to give it a shot once in awhile, why not try it? 

– Former Canucks Army Managing Editor Dimitri Filipovic was a guest during the second intermission, and he killed it, to no one’s surprise. Dan Murphy deserves his share of the credit too, though. Dan has been a strong advocate for getting analytics onto the Canucks broadcast for years now, and he’s been instrumental in getting different voices like Dimitri, Thomas Drance, and Kevin Woodley on the intermission panel. Frankly, he’s still very underrated as a broadcaster. He’s simply one of the best in the business. 

-On a final note, tonight was the Canucks’ Hockey Fights Cancer night.  The players wore lavender jerseys with the names of who they were fighting for on their nameplates, in honour of all those that have fought, won, and lost their battles with cancer. Jannik Hansen showed up to the optional skate this morning with the name of a childhood friend on his back, in spite of suffering a broken rib against the leafs on November 5th. It’s little things like this that have helped cement his reputation as one of the foremost leaders in the Canucks’ dressing room.

  • Bud Poile

    Since the Canucks out shoot their opposition most nights there has been no lack of effort.The Canucks have out shot their opposition in all but one game in November-8 of 9 games.Add to that they are winning in the circle every night.

    The bounces came tonight and hopefully the floodgates will now begin to open.

    • Peezy F

      We are a statistical anomaly right now, it will only take a couple more players (ie. Eriksson and Baertschi) converting a few chances to do it. Can’t wait until Tanev is back in and we get Rodin in the lineup (hopefully sooner than later). He has a unique skillset to this team as a playmaking winger. Dare I say a markus naslund type skillset. Time will tell.

    • crofton

      The turn around in face off performance is certainly helping what is otherwise an anemic offence. Getting Sutter back is a big part of that, but I think Malhotra may be having something to do with it as well

  • Killer Marmot


    The headline seems pessimistic for a win, especially given that the Canucks for the most part outplayed the dogs.

  • DSP

    Liked watching this game. I was impressed with how well Sutter hustled and worked on both ends of the ice. Also who knew Hutton had such smooth moves on the PS.

  • apr

    I thought the Coyotes were rebuilding? Why the hell do they have Doan and Richardson in their line-up? And why oh why did they sign Gologiski for all that money and take a way from Tinordi’s ice time. Tinordi is such an awesome waiver wire pick up. Coyotes Army even did a whole article on him. And finally Strome is in the line-up. Yo-yoing him in and out if the line-up is stupid. Benching Chychryn for all those games is also stupid. Glad he played last night. Finally. This team is going nowhere. Cripes. Fire everybody.

    I wonder if there are blogs like that in Coyotes Army. I wonder if there is an Arizona Army.

    • Duh, it’s so simple. Goligoski has better points and possession metrics than Tinordi so he gets the ice-time. For proof, compare Tinordi and Goligoski’s stats at OwnThePuck. Tinordi doesn’t even show metrics! So he will have to sit in the pressbox until he has more points and better Corsi than Goligoski, then he can get into the line-up. Don’t you understand how analytics work?

  • Locust

    Is it just me or does Edler look like a big liability 75% of the time?
    Don’t think he wants to be here and it shows.
    Trade bait for pick and prospect or move him at the deadline….rebuild 101.

    • DJ_44

      Edler has the ability to make you nervous, and I have felt that since 2012.

      Overall, he has been very good this year, Although he will still whiff on a pass with the puck off the heel of his stick at times……it is part of his being.

      I think it was a CA writer last year when describing Hamhuis’ struggles through October, that in previous years when Dan got the puck in his own zone, you could exhale ….. “we got this” sorta thing.

      …….my lungs have never been fully empty when Edler gets the puck, but there is enough room for another breath. …….. now, I find myself getting the most oxygen with Stecher and Tryamkin.

  • DJ_44

    Good effort last night.

    1) Tryamkin: He is young and it is early, but comparisons to Chara are not outlandish. I swear I think his stick-reach extends from the goal line to the top of the circle along the boards.

    2) Burrows: Shooting, skating, competing

    3) Forwards in general looked better last night.

    Not so positive.

    They looked, at times 5×5 in their d-zone very passive ….. with AZ passing around the outside, and more worryingly through the seams. A bit scrambly at times.

    A note on Hutton. He was better last night, but as @JacksonMacDonald mentioned, there was good and bad. I would describe it as shakey……where in previous games it was terrible. He was best when he made the simple plays (it has done wonders for Sbisa’s game) ……. the neutral zone cross ice pass through six bodies, can best be described as low percentage ….. and it showed.

    Including @iMac’s tweet, I assume was meant to mock, but it was not out of place and should have been raised by all (if not for the anti-Benning agenda).

    When Tanev returns he may have to sit out games here and there (thats a positive). Let’s not have blinders on about Hutton. I am rooting for him, and want the best, however he has not been good and it is not Gudbranson…….

    Thankfully, Vrbata’s shots had magnets for the pipes last night. Everyone knows he is dangerous … I am thankful the Canucks did not bring him back…..9 shots (although I am pretty sure they must have counted the three posts as shots) ….. he wanted one bad.

    Finally, Markstrom. He was trying too hard at times and it showed (he was solid though)…. the win was perhaps the biggest for him and that is a big relief.

  • Friendly Neighbourhood Canucks fan

    Edler has been our best defenseman this season, let’s not kid ourselves here. Tryamkin and Stecher look pretty damn good. And Hutton is quite shaky, I am of the opinion this is a hybrid cause. Hutton just isn’t doing well enough in his own end. But Gudbranson sure as hell is making it harder. With some many missed passes, backing into his own net, he’s not been as good as he could be. When Tanev comes back, I wouldn’t mind sitting Guddy for a couple games here and there. Tanev with Hutton could be a great pair. As it is, glad to get the win.