Canucks Army Postgame #21: The Lone Goal State

As far as losses go, this one wasn’t so bad. The Canucks went toe-to-toe with one of the best offensive teams in the league and were more or less able to match their intensity for the majority of the game. They came away from tonight’s game with the lead in shots and scoring chances. Unfortunately, “close enough” rarely is, and the Canucks fell to 8-11-2.

STATS

chart (12)

chart (13)

RECAP

What the hell is Jayson Megna doing on a line with Bo Horv- Oh, he scored? He scored. On the first shot of the game, no less.

After Megna opened the scoring for the Canucks at 5:01 into the first period, the Canucks and Stars traded chances fairly evenly, with Vancouver edging out Dallas on the shot clock 12-10. There were also some fisticuffs provided by Luca Sbisa and Antoine Roussel. 

The Canucks kept pace with the Stars for most of the second frame, but it was Dallas that came out ahead, with goals from Radek Faksa and Esa Lindell. The Canucks can place the blame for the first goal on a blown icing call, but the truth is that Ryan Miller would probably like that one back.

The Canucks struggled to keep up with the Stars’ attack through the first half of the third, but came roaring back in the final eight minutes. Unfortunately, Antti Niemi turned away every last shot the Canucks could muster, and the Stars held on to win the game 2-1. 

GAME NOTES 

– At first glane, Jayson Megna didn’t exactly look like the best fit to replace the injured Sven Baertschi on the Horvat-Burrows line, but they didn’t miss a beat, producing the Canucks lone goal and the majority of the team’s scoring chances as well. Megna was 4th among Canucks forwards tonight in CF% with 59% and has probably earned himself a spot on that line until Baertschi returns. 

-Alex Burrows has looked like a different player these past few weeks. Burrows has always been strong defensively even as his overall game has eroded, but the offense appears to have returned since being placed on a line with Bo Horvat. He had a game-high four shots on goal tonight, and he’s added another dimension to a line that had previously struggled to generate zone time and created the lion’s share of it’s chances off the rush. 

-Is there a hockey stats site that tracks broken sticks/60? Because Alex Edler must lead the league. He looked as though he might have a chance to tie the game midway through the third, only to see his stick explode. So it goes. 

– Erik Gudbranson had a rough night. He came out ahead in terms of shot shares, but he looked flat-footed on a couple of occasions, in particular when he threw the puck out directly in front of Ryan Miller and nearly cost the Canucks a goal. He did redeem himself a little when Hutton made a bad play upon entering the Star’s zone at the blue line with the goalie pulled. Gudbranson picked up the turnover and quickly got the puck moving the other way, but overall it wasn’t a memorable night for either member of the pairing. You have to wonder if that situation is benefiting either party. 

– Troy Stecher continues to be a shot-generating machine. He had four tonight, and he continues to look like a seasoned pro at the ripe old age of 22. He’s looked astoundingly mistake-free for a rookie, and he currently leads all Canucks defensemen in shot-attempt differential. I don’t know how you could justify taking him out of the lineup when Chris Tanev returns.

-When a former Canuck moves on, it’s always a little strange. Guess we’ll just have to get used to it.

  • DJ_44

    Good write-up.

    The Canucks were more than competitive tonight and probably deserved at least a point tonight, but that don’t mean nothin’

    I like Chaput more and more for overall skill, speed, defensive responsibility and faceoffs….now he needs to show some finish. I also think Granlund is progressing all over the ice….he is noticeable and seems to be in the right spots.

    Guddy had a average game…and Hutton is improving but he still seems to be fighting the puck.

    And….for all the crap Sbisa has taken…..he has looked solid and steady…. there was one rush out of his end in the 3rd …up the left side where I thought he was going to throw it cross ice ….. surely to be intercepted ( and the Dallas arena’s low camera angle make it perfectly clear)…….but then….. the simple high percentage pass up the left wall for a easy zone entry……this type of decision is occurring much more often then not these days….well done Luca.

  • chinook

    Gudbranson-Hutton and Sbisa-Tryamkin were good. Stretcher-Edler not so much. Stretcher messed up in the d-zone but on offence is great getting shots on net. Elder counts 3-steamboats before he gets the shot off, unless its a one-timer when he fans or breaks the stick. Why is he on the PP?

  • Steampuck

    You’re absolutely right about Burrows. I ripped him after the Detroit game for looking like a shell of his former self. But a lot of that zip seems to have returned. He’s been a dynamic player since he moved onto Bo’s wing. Are we starting to see a trend where Horvat makes the players around him noticeably better? That might be worth digging into by the season’s halfway point.

  • Steampuck

    Also: I loved how Stecher wanted the puck in the final minutes–and his veteran teammates were more than happy to get it to him. You want guys who want to step up. He seemed to be determined to develop a legacy as a Stars killer…

  • 51Geezer

    Merkin-topped gasbag John Garret pompously announced “Miller has found his groove now”. Minutes later Miller whiffed on a shot my granny would have caught in her dentures and Garret blamed it on Sbisa and Tryamkin. What an ass.

        • crofton

          Yup. Frankly I think John and John have spoiled us. I can’t think of another pair of “home team” colour and play by play guys that are as fair and even as these guys, not to mention knowledgeable. And better than most network (not tied to one team) guys as well.

  • Bummer!

    I was hoping to get on a bit of a roll here. At least our guys are trying. E for effort. Last night was a bit of a turning point for me. A win would have put us right back in the hunt. This loss puts us back to three below .500. The hill climb continues.

    We are now at the one quarter mark of this new season, and well below expectation. Well below my expectation anyway. We have to string some wins together, and that’s all there is to it.

  • crofton

    It would be very interesting to hear the rationalization for the non-icing call that led directly to Dallas’ first goal. Calling it would have seemed the correct call, and not calling it changed the game. Not suggesting any officiating conspiracy, but it was poor throughout the game and both ways.

    • DJ_44

      I agreed at the time that it was missed call. However, I have to admit that I may not be aware of the subtleties of the hybrid rule.

      Did the puck rebound off the end boards, past the faceoff dot prior to Gudbranson getting there? Does this matter? Perhaps someone can chime in who knows.

      It doesn’t help that the same linesman waived off two icings subsequent to the goal that were cut and dry (the most obvious being Stecher in the last 10 seconds of the period).

  • wojohowitz

    Once again the Canucks play down to the level of their competition. The Stars did not play well and should have lost except for Uncle Antti who looked like an all-star right up there with Peter Budaj.