Photo Credit: Isaiah J. Downing

For the second consecutive Saturday, the Vancouver Canucks found themselves playing beyond 60 minutes. But unlike last week, the club managed to emerge as 3-2 shootout victors. Playing its second game in as many nights, the Canucks got out to a great start against the Colorado Avalanche and kept the game close the rest of the way – relying on goaltender Jacob Markstrom for some overtime heroics and Bo Horvat for some timely offence.

The victory may have come at a cost, however. The Canucks lost defenceman Alex Edler after only five shifts after he blocked a shot in the first period. Playing the remainder of the game with only five defenseman – at altitude, no less – the Canucks battled hard and found a way to leave Denver with two points.


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After the opening shift of the game, the Canucks controlled the majority of play early on. Vancouver forechecked relentlessly and Loui Eriksson drew an early tripping penalty against Nikita Zadorov. With the Avalanche defenceman serving his time in the penalty box, Eriksson finished off the power play he started with a neat stick side shot off the rush.

Eriksson’s goal continued his hot play of late, after what could only be described as a slow start to his Canuck career.

But the biggest first period developments for the Canucks weren’t the results on the scoreboard. The club would finish the frame with only four defensemen. Alex Edler blocked a shot and left the game, and Luca Sbsia was felled by a Blake Comeau crosscheck to the back. Whlie Sbisa would return for the second period, Edler would not come back.

Down a defenceman to start the second, Vancouver began to surrender some of its early territorial advantage to the Avalanche. Midway through the frame, after a Ben Hutton turnover in the neutral zone, Carl Soderberg drove down the right wing and generated a rebound that fluttered in the air briefly before Mikhail Grigorenko batted the puck in to the gaping cage.

Knotted at one to begin the third, the Canucks’ current resident driver of offence Bo Horvat made a brilliant individual play to put his team back on top. Driving down the left wing (and making Francois Beachemin look rather slow in the process), Horvat found a trailing Alex Burrows with a great pass for a one-timer that beat Calvin Pickard low. The assist was Horvat’s team-leading 15th point of the season (and Burrows’ fourth goal).

Jarome Iginla would get the Avalanche even with a point shot that went off the leg of Brandon Sutter. Sutter attempted to block the shot but only succeeded in deflected it past a committed Jacob Markstrom.

Tied at two after sixty minutes, the teams headed to 3-on-3 overtime. The Canucks lack of team speed was exposed early and often by the young legs of the Avalanche. The Avs registered five attempts on goal in the first 2:22 of the extra frame. The Canucks would get a late man-advantage (including on an extended delayed penalty), but would fail to score – sending the game to a shootout.


MacKinnon (COL) – No goal

Granlund (VAN) – GOAL

Rantanen (COL) – No goal

Erikkson (VAN) – No goal

Duchene (COL) – No goal


-Jacob Markstrom had himself a fairly strong night. He wasn’t called upon to make any particularly “big” saves in regulation, but he regularly used his size and positioning to his advantage. He also had a few trips outside his crease.

The Canuck netminder also had a scare early in the second when Nathan MacKinnon lost his footing and slid under an unsuspecting Markstrom. Both players emerged from the encounter none the worse for wear, however, which was good news for Vancouver as Markstrom made two incredible saves off the sticks of MacKinnon and Matt Duchene, respectively, in overtime.

Did I mention that Markstrom didn’t make any big saves in regulation? He was simply saving them for overtime. He also stopped all three attempts in the shootout

-The Sedins, by possession metrics, were the Canucks best line on the night. Daniel was tied with Horvat as the top Canuck possession player at 50% CF. But the twins hardly seemed threatening tonight, a disturbing trend of late. They had plenty of zone time, but few solid chances. Perhaps they miss playing with Jannik Hansen, or maybe it’s the effects of age (or some combination of both), but the Sedins need to find a way to produce offensively. In the dying seconds of overtime, Henrik kept waiting for the perfect pass instead of just putting a puck on net. That play seemed to sum of up the twins’ night.

-Bo Horvat continued his ascendancy towards becoming the Canucks’ top offensive centre. The speed he displayed on the rush and then the vision to find Alex Burrows trailing behind the play at the end of it was sublime. When we discuss the future of the franchise, we throw around names like Hutton, Boeser, Stecher, and Tryamkin. But the player who engenders the most hope is Horvat.

-Aside from the first ten minutes of the game, the Avalanche carried the majority of the play. Credit to the Canucks, however, for limiting the Avs’ scoring chances until overtime with only five skaters on the blueline. 


Tuesday, November 29 vs Minnesota. TV: SNET; Radio: TSN 1040

  • Roy

    Horvat, Eriksson, Burrows and Markstrom. All did what they should. Defensive cough-ups aside, there was strength in offence and the crease. Granlund in the shootout was icing on the cake.

    I sincerely wonder about Burrows. He is my favorite Canuck. Do we deal at the deadline? I knew he had at least two good seasons left; he was obviously dealing with an injury or its aftereffects last year.

    Anyway, good road win. Gritty and hard fought.

    • crofton

      I’d say if he plays as well as he has, and the Canucks are still not in contention, get some picks for him then bring him back next year, at a reduced contract. His leadership by example skill set is invaluable

  • GLM

    “But the twins hardly seemed threatening tonight, a disturbing trend of late… the Sedins need to find a way to produce offensively.” Henrik and Daniel have scored 7 and 8 points in their past 11 games. Idk how much more you can ask from two 36 year olds

  • Donald's Hat Trick

    Um, why wasn’t MacKinnon given a penalty when he took out Markstrom? It might not have been intentional, but it was still a dangerous play on a vulnerable player.

    • Whatthe...

      I was thinking the same thing. I understand why they didn’t but still think it should have been a penalty. He was out of control, lost his edge and ultimately it was his fault he took out the goaltender…pretty clear interference.

      Also, the cross check on Sbisa?

      Have to respect LaBate taking on McLeod as well.

  • DSP

    This was an exciting game to watch. Really could have gone either way.

    First period was almost all Canucks except for the first few shifts. Second was even. You saw Hutton have a not so great period, and Sutter make a mistake in his own end which is rare for him.

    Third I think the Canucks were just a little fatigued, but Markstrom stood very tall.

    OT was exciting as well with once again Markstrom saved the day, and Stecher who played a huge role last night and ate a lot of Minutes not only drew a penalty, but continued to want the puck and make things happen.

    The top Canucks last night:

    Stecher was over the top great the whole game and we got a total steal with this kid.

    Markstrom though he had a real rough 2nd physically, played solid all night and kept them in it making the saves when he needed to.

    Horvat once again showed that he is one of the hardest workers on the team and was strong on the forecheck, and set up the first goal.

    All in all we played really well and it was a great game to watch as a fan.

  • Foximus

    It’s great to see Horvat developing into a premiere player. He’s dangerous most shifts and making smart plays.
    I’m wondering what they could get for Edler at the trade deadline? He’s chronically unreliable for us. Another draft pick would be worth it.
    We REALLY need to develop a young top line and let the Sedins be the 2nd line. Is Horvat that #1 centre? Or maybe we get lucky at this years draft. Boeser looks like a player. We need offence out there. Hopefully Virtanen can get his game together in Utica and work his way back in. Next year is fine for that though.
    I’m liking Stetcher and Hutton though. Young guys learning but with speed and offence. Will be interesting if Subban makes an appearance this year.
    Fascinating year to be watching the team with all the question marks.

    • DSP

      What I like about Horvat is him not sitting back with his talent but always looking to get better. He has a great attitude about improving his game and wants to be the top guy for the team.

    • Bud Poile

      “I’m wondering what they could get for Edler at the trade deadline? He’s chronically unreliable for us. Another draft pick would be worth it.”

      Edler is a first pairing NHL d man with an NTC.

      If he was asked to waive it would be to a team of his choosing with the return of a Taylor Hall-type player. Pretty hard to thread that needle.

  • Fred-65

    One of the nice probably un-noticed addition is the play of Chaput and Megna. Both have fitted in almost seamlessly and add Chaput face off acumen has gone a long way to helping the Canucks in time of injuries. They’vre played up and down the line up and added the odd goal here and there

  • defenceman factory

    Canucks should not trade Tanev.

    The much improved play of Sbisa and emergence of Stecher and Tryamkin make Gudbanson expendable. He will want several years at over $4 mill after this season.

    Canucks have Joulevi and 4 other prospects in junior along with the Utica dmen. Tanev is exactly the kind of player to match with inexperienced offensive minded dmen.

    I like Guddy but he hasn’t shown as hoped. Is there rationale for writing the kind of contract Guddy will want?

    • JuiceBox

      Tanev has the most trade value of any Canucks player right now (other than maybe Horvat), if the right deal comes along I think the Canucks would have to seriously consider it. And by right deal, I mean one so good that Canucks literally could not say no.

      • Andy

        While Tanev is the most valuable, anything less than a virtual steal (Landeskog, Drouin+, Reinhart+, Toffoli, etc) works out to us losing value.

        Trouble is that while Tanev is good, he’s better than the market currently perceives him.

  • Rodeobill

    I watched this game with the constant feeling of aprehension that someone was going to get seriously injured, It looked like an exciting but dangerous game, until the fight strangely enough. Seemed to difuse it a bit.

    Tryamkin and Spisa look great as a third pair, and both are even starting to chip in with good offense too. Stecher was on fire last game. He was even defensively very noticable, and played better than Barrie last night IMO.

    Good level of effort from everyone, that to me is just as important as the win.