Canucks Army Postgame #58: Banking On It


The Canucks and Blues faced off in an uncharacteristically entertaining and high-scoring game tonight thanks to sub-.900 performances by Jacob Markstrom and Jake Allen. The Canucks made a game of it, but couldn’t match the Blues’ attack, falling to 2-4 on their six-game road-trip.

Given the general manager’s comments this morning, maybe that’s a good thing. With tonight’s loss, the Canucks inched further away from the wildcard picture and closer to being seller’s at this year’s trade deadline.


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  • One of the biggest surprises of the last week or so has been what a great fit Markus Granlund has been on the Sedins’ wing. Granlund’s physicality is an underrated element of his game, whcih he showed off on the set-up on Henrik Sedin’s goal tonight. He’s not exactly tough in the traditional sense, he doesn’t hit or get in scrums, but he is hard on the puck, and uses his lower-body strength to maintain possession. That’s part of what’s made him such a good fit since he was bumped up to that line in the wake of injuries to Bo Horvat, Brandon Sutter, and Sven Baertschi. 
  • Jacob Markstrom looked uncomfortable tonight. He let in a pair of ugly bank-shots in off his body and nearly let in another stinker when he let a point shot trickle through his pads midway through the second period. Fortunately, the ref blew his whistle early and the goal was not counted, but still, Markstrom’s struggles tonight coupled with how much the Canucks have chosen to ride Ryan Miller this season are enough to make you wonder how the Canucks’ will approach their goalie situation this summer.
  • What Jayson Megna has done to endear himself to the Canucks’ coaching staff remains one of hockey’s great mysteries. Megna played 15:28 tonight, skating primarily on the Canucks’ nominal second line with Loui Eriksson and Brandon Sutter, and even spent time on the Canucks’ first PP unit. That’s pretty astounding given that better players in Bo Horvat, Markus Granlund, and Jannik Hansen haven gotten so much as a whiff of first-unit time. 
  • The inexperience of the Canucks’ young defenders was on full display tonight, with all three of Stecher, Tryamkin, and Hutton getting danced at times by the blues’ forwards. Still, each had moments of brilliance as well, with Traymkin in particular looking great on a couple of sequences. His interception of a Jay Bouwmeester turnover led directly to the Canucks’ first goal, and he had a couple of great rushes tonight as well. It should be noted that Tryamkin’s looked much more comfortable and his play has improved significantly since he’s been moved to the right side. 
  • Sportsnet ran a fantastic featured on ex-Canucks goaltender Corey Hirsch and his struggles with depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder during the second intermission. Hirsch also spoke about his issues with mental illness in the Players’ Tribune yesterday, which made for an entertaining and enlightening read. Hockey culture has been known to romanticize “toughing out” your struggles, but Hirsch serves as a reminder that there’s nothing romantic about suffering.
  • Steamer

    Look up ‘stubborn’ in the dictionary & you’ll see WD’s trademark ‘stache’.
    WHY sit Gaunce after arguably his best NHL game? Please God, make Megna go away. ANY of Grenier, Valk, Archibald could not possibly be worse and may indeed be better. Why not at least try? Oh yeah, stubborn…
    Think the prospect of WD at the helm for another year is gonna make anyone want to buy tickets? Good news? Only 434 more games for Erikson!

  • LTFan

    IMO a good game and the Canucks played well. Markstrom had one of his poorest games in some time. For sure, at this time, Miller is the better of the 2 goalies. Markstrom needs to play more games to eliminate some of the mistakes he made in tonight’s game.

    Making the playoffs is rapidly fading.

  • Laxbruh15

    Sutter’s actually turned into a middle six to second line player in terms of shot suppression. If he was used primarily in defensive zone starts and on the pk, he could be useful in a more specific role. He’s still generally a liability but it’s kind of interesting that he’s developed so quickly considering that the anaylsis is a summation of two prior season’s as well. I don’t know how each season is weighted though.

  • Rodeobill

    Markstrom was rough tonight, but that between the legs back pass Sedin goal was classic.

    Starting to appreciate Skille more as a good bottom sixer, he can really carry the puck up the ice, he just cant seem to bury it.

  • clutch fan

    Well, that is a lot of losses since around the all start break. This is “get er done” time and we haven’t even been close to consistent enough, it’s hard when you don’t have a legit first line…

    but that means we need to….

    Play Gaunce, play Subban, give Grenier another shot for Gods sakes… play Markstrom more… we need to see what we have in our guys…

    Start talking with other teams about trading vets and get picks/prospects if possible… doing nothing will be a massive, massive failure for this organization…

  • Bud Poile

    Goaltending is a large issue with this team. Mediocre teams have to have excellent goaltending to compete and win.

    Miller provides that,Markstrom does not and Demko needs another year of professional hockey in the AHL.

    If there are no realistic offers for Miller he has to be retained.

    • Braindead Benning

      Man are you so wrong in so many ways!!!

      Goaltending has been the most consistent part of this team at this point this season and now in Buds “World” it becomes a large issue because JM had an off night….

      We all know that if Markstrom was a JB acquisition he would be the second coming of Patrick Roy himself.

      BTW…. did you really enjoy as a fan when the team won 2 presidents titles and went to game 7 of the finals?

  • Bud Poile

    Markstrom is playing close to his career averages of 2.91 GAA .906 SV %.

    Benning signed him to a two-year deal.The organization’s thinking was he would come into his own at this age and excel. Listen to Benning’s interview today on 1040.

    Miller has been very consistent and so has Markstrom-one excellent,one fair to middling.


    There were two things missing Thursday: goaltending and special teams. Other than those small details, the Canucks were better than the Blues, who are 7-1 since Mike Yeo replaced Ken Hitchcock as coach on Feb. 1.

    “The players on this team played an unreal road game and I was awful,” Markstrom said. “I was just awful today. It’s not acceptable, especially when we play such a great game and score three goals in a tough building against a tough team. We play a good game like this, and then the poor play by me is very disappointing. I let down my teammates for sure tonight.”

    • Braindead Benning

      LOL again Bud,

      So what !!!

      Every bloody goaltender in NHL history has an off night once In a while during their career.

      Hell, even Miller has had few “bad” games you dumbass… check his stats and how he performed in St.Louis when he was traded….

      However, unlike yourself I still
      can give some credit to a clueless fool such as JB to get a veteran goaltender to mentor JM… albeit 3x the price

      • DJ_44

        I have been, and still am, a large supporter of the original Miller signing. I has been one of JBs best. With a starting goaltender, you get what you pay for. (3x the price? clueless fool?).

        That said, I am not necessarily in favour of re-sign Miller. That does not mean rush Demko, but unless he take a single year deal (he will probably get longer term offers), and the price is $3M-$4M, then saddle up Jacob and look for a solid backup.

    • Chris the Curmudgeon

      Markstrom’s SV% is .006 worse than Miller this year, his GAA is .02 better. That despite the fact that he has had to sit for longer stretches of time and occasionally looks a little rusty as a result (only 6 starts in 2017, compared with 14 for Miller). He played badly last night, but the two guys have been numerically mostly indistinguishable, just as they were last year, when their numbers were also nearly identical.

      These are facts, Bud. I know facts are out of fashion these days but you can’t just twist them to your purposes and expect not to get called on it.

    • tyhee

      I think Miller’s having a fine season, but this seems based in some alternative version of reality.

      1. You are trashing Markstrom after a bad game. Looking at, one will see, as of this moment:

      Miller Quality Start % .514 Really Bad Starts 5
      Markstrom Quality Start % .545 Really Bad Starts 1

      Earlier in the season, WD admitted to the press that Markstrom was outplaying Miller. His solution? Sit Markstrom for ages except on the back end of back and backs and ride the cold goalie until he got hot.

      Perhaps if Markstrom got some love from WD he’d have continued to be the better goalie.

      2. Some further stats:

      Miller GAA 2.65 Sv% .916
      Markstrom GAA 2.57 Sv% .914

      So, you’re trashing the goalie who has been handled in such a way as to go stale, praising the goalie who was ridden when he’d been cold, trashing the guy with the better GAA, QS% and RBS stats in favour of the relatively coddled vet with a .002 advantage in save %.

      At least you’re onside with WD.

  • DJ_44

    Markstrom had a terrible night. That is worrisome since it is a confidence thing with him. He seems to be trying too hard rather than let the game come to him.

    It was a good effort by the Canucks, who were the better team by far last night. The had no puck luck at all …thems the breaks. The second goal where the ref made no effort to step around the puck was brutal, directing the puck in the slot.

    Stecher gave him a long glare, but he deserved some verbal instruction as well. “Get out of the effing way!”.

  • Pat Quinn Way

    Just like the laughable statement that “the Canucks Defence is set for years to come”, which has now been dispelled on this site, it’s another myth that Miller has been any better than Markstrom this season. The numbers don’t lie..

    Ryan Miller
    15 Wins 16 Losses
    2.65 GA
    .915 SV%

    Jacob Markstrom
    10 Wins 11 Losses
    2.63 GA
    .910 SV%

    Factor in that Miller’s salary is double, he’s ten years older and needs to be regularly rested or his performances implode through fatigue, and I would hope some of you get the true picture.

    Personally, with playoff hockey under this regime a long way off, I would either give Markstrom a proper shot or sign another very good young NHL goalie and let them compete for the number one spot next season.

    Oh, and Demko is also clearly years away giving up almost 3 goals a game with a brutal .894 save percentage in the AHL!

  • apr

    Is it me or is Linden Vey playing for the Canucks but wearing a Jason Megna jersey. Unless the Canucks really like Gaunce and do not want to put him into situations to succeed in the hopes that LV does not pick him – I don’t understand why Megna is playing ahead of Gaunce.

  • Hockey Warrior

    Guys, don’t you GET that Bud/crofton (same person) is just a TROLL playing you like a piano? This lonely old fossil has found a formula – TRASH anything Mike Gillis, put it out there with bogus stats and rhetoric then watch YOU MUGS take the bait. WAKE UP FFS!

    Anyway, down to business, now that the playoffs LIE is officially OVER, the ONLY question that remains is WHY Benning and Willie are still in jobs?

    … Unless you armchair MUPPETS want them back next season of course, with a Benning ‘core’ of Miller(re-signed), Gudbranson, Sbisa, Sutter, Eriksson and the decrepit SEDINS (who i TOLD YOU were done). That’s the REALITY! What a DISGRACE.

    Well… DO YOU?

  • RIP

    “Markstrom’s struggles tonight coupled with how much the Canucks have chosen to ride Ryan Miller this season are enough to make you wonder how the Canucks’ will approach their goalie situation this summer.”

    Are you serious with this comment? Wow – Miller has been outstanding and Markstrom is not ready its that simple. Of course they rode Miller – he gives us a chance every night, Markstrom does not. The comment above is so misguided its not even funny – nice try though.

    Marstrom is not the goalie we though he would be this year, maybe in the future, but maybe not. Going into next year with a Markstrom Demko combo is a bad idea, and will likely ruin one of their careers.