Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin – USA TODAY Sports

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The California road trip concludes this evening when the Canucks head down the highway to visit the Anaheim Ducks. Vancouver is coming off a win which should have been a lot more convincing than it was and the Ducks have been sitting idle for a day after they crushed the Maple Leafs Friday night.

Anaheim is hanging around the playoff picture and burying the Canucks keeps things safe in the race to the top 8. The Canucks DO have Nikolay Goldobin now, so that could change some things.


Loui Eriksson hit the jackpot and tallied a multi-point night against the Kings which means he’s safe in the Top-6 (like it matters). Goldobin gets the Brandon Sutter/Jayson Megna combo and from the early looks of things, it’s alright.

Richard Bachman just may get the start today. Willie Desjardins is an absolute enigma so I don’t even know here anymore.

Vancouver Canucks lines courtesy of

Ryan Kesler is the Ducks #1 pivot according to DFO which means either Ryan Getzlaf is banged up or his talent just isn’t that good anymore. The Ducks will not have Joseph Cramarossa as he is now a Canuck and I’d just love to see him rub it in their faces.

Jonathan Bernier most likely will start again for the injured John Gibson.

Anaheim Ducks lines courtesy of



  • Ice time has been a factor for the Canucks all year: some players get lots of it and it’s unwarranted and some get none and its a travesty. Eriksson and Goldobin would be the current argument but Willie has confused us for 3 seasons now. I’ve given up trying to figure out his riddle and it has to be close to the time that Linden and Benning do as well.
  • We’re due for Ryan Miller to implode. He’s played too much. Please, someone, save him. You know the stats, you know the starts. I’m begging you, please give him rest.
  • Henrik Sedin proved last night that passing is as good as scoring. His attempted pass which deflected off of Drew Doughty was the pinnacle of who Henrik is. A pass first mentality is eating away at this team and the young guns are proving why. We need to see what the next step is but the Sedins have to realize they need to say it, not the coaches.
  • I don’t want to make this the Goldobin game thread but he was some kinda awesome, even if he only played enough to average more ice time than Anton Rodin this season. His speed gives me hope this team can still become great again. Even if only for a night.
  • I have been told Who’s Your Daddy will not be performing the anthems tonight. You’re welcome!


People sure are mad right now. Like, a lot of people.


We couldn’t possibly think last night’s performance could be repeated, right? If the deployment of forwards is any indication, the solution will come when it’s already too late. There are bright spots on this team but coaching is keeping them from shining. Somehow, the Canucks do win this.


I had a great article planned for this week about how Willie is a great teacher and that his tactics in the AHL got him to the NHL level and with patience, he could really build this team. After seeing newbie Nikolay Goldobin’s ice time last night against the Kings, I scrapped that idea.

Honestly, why does he not trust anyone that didn’t play for Medicine Hat or is a bottom-six forward? It just doesn’t make sense. This guy is going to dig his own grave and he really didn’t have to. I wonder where the Canucks would be with Dan Bylsma?

    • defenceman factory

      always 90four generally has a pretty positive spin to things.

      It’s fair to say that when you win 4-3 after being up 4-0 your win should have been more convincing. I think everyone on the Canucks would agree.

  • Ronning4ever

    a) Any insight as to why he’s been so Chaput/Megna crazed? I noticed that Megna is their best guy at drawing penalties…which would be great if they had a power play.

    b) Willie will obviously play some new players. Cramarossa and Goldobin got the nod right away while Boucher has sat. Maybe he feels that Boucher and Goldobin just don’t properly know his systems yet?

  • Pat Quinn Way

    @ Always90four

    ” I wonder where the Canucks would be with Dan Bylsma?”

    Are you being serious? I sure hope not, because they are screaming for Bylsma to be fired in Buffalo even louder than we are for Willie D in Van.

    No surprise either, considering the Sabres are fifth worst in goals scored in the East and way out of the playoff picture, despite having top end talent like Eichel, Kane, Okposo, Reinhart, O’Reilly and Ristolainen on the team.

    I also read that the slow, boring style of play, bizarre line shuffling and deployment is even more derided than here.

    Obviously there’s a valid reason why Pittsburgh fired Bylsma for underachieving despite winning one cup with such an ultra-elite team…

  • Buula

    Good writeup, I would love to see the article that I’m sure someone at CA is planning on who would be Willie’s Replacement, Linden and Benning can’t be happy if he keeps up what he’s doing.

    Yes there were lots of special teams play (especially in 3rd) but juggle the lines and put out the Golden boy, a breakaway and a goal, cmon!

    • janmoh

      My opinion is they keep Coach D next year until his contract expires. Next year will be a trying year too. It’s the following year that we can get excited about this team. Hire a new coach when the next talented players like Boesser and Juolevi come up from the AHL. It costs too much to keep paying fired coaches.

  • I feel like a man of divided loyalty. On one hand I want Canucks to win every game. I want our young players to grow in a winning environment. On the other hand, I need to accept tanking is part of a rebuild. This is hard for me. Tanking sucks, and is best left to teams like Edmonton.

    • puckluck

      There’s no issue. They tried hard but didn’t get there. Benning pulled the trigger at TDL, and playoffs are no longer the goal, its being “competitive” and developing the kids.

      The only problem is Willie hasn’t got the memo. Larsen playing over Mceneny makes no sense. Biega over Subban makes no sense. Megna over Boucher makes no sense.

      Whats worse, there’s no reason to play Megna over Virtanen, who should be called up. There’s nothing Jake can learn in the AHL thats going to top 18 more games in the show to end the year.

      • I am Ted

        Nope. Do not call up Jake the flake. Let him get prime minutes and learn the game in the AHL. You idiot kids want your shiny new toys – it doesn’t work like that. Jake’s game is improving in the AHL. It sounded like they had to start from the basics and move up with him. Jake can play all situations and learn. That’s what he needs. He doesn’t need to come here, play bottom 6 and watch the others get more time. Absolutely stupidity from fans that want him up now.

        No, I don’t like Willie but I give him credit for not playing guys, like Jake, who didn’t deserve it. I guess the same can be said for McCann. Those two should’ve gone back to junior last year so they could get their heads on straight and then work up the ranks.

        • puckluck

          “you idiot kids” eh? I guess you missed the interview with Stan Smyl talking about how kids like Jake should be allowed to make mistakes and learn up with the big club.

          And thats BS called on “deserve”. Megna has done nothing to “deserve” the total gifts of minutes in the top 6. There’s no reason not to put Jake in the top 9 for the rest of this season.

          • I am Ted

            Yep. Idiot kids. You read correct. Not all but it seems like the ones who whine the most are the ignorant kids.

            Like I said, I would rather see Willie go. However, I did like it when he made Jake a scratch because he he was in poor condition and didn’t have the basics down.

            Megna is not a fave of mine either and the main reason he is in is because of his speed. Canucks have some fast guys but their better players (Sedins) are not fleet footed. Anyway, I don’t see Megna back next year and hopefully Willie is gone too.

            I really don’t care too much about what Smyl has to say. However, I would love to get the link to the Smyl quote regarding Jake. Some kids should play through mistake but Jake didn’t even come to camp in shape. Honestly, I really question if that is what Smyl said about Jake – color me skeptical.

          • puckluck

            So… you agree WD is a problem…. Megna is a plug…dont care what Smyl says…. idiot kids eh…..

            maybe you can ask an idiot kid to help you use google and find it on your on champ! 😀

  • Steamer

    WD’s ‘reason’ for sitting Goldobin after his goal: “late in the 2nd is tough & he doesn’t know our systems.” Ok, #1) the kid just scored what proves to be the winning goal & is benched; #2) this team – & it’s ‘systems’ has been one of the league’s worst teams for the past two seasons – maybe it would be better if Goldobin & other new faces didn’t learn Willie’s ‘systems’?

  • defenceman factory

    What I find most frustrating about Willy is his unwillingness to adjust deployment during a game.

    I get the whole idea of easing in young players and protecting them to some degree. However when a kid works hard and is having a good game keep going with him. This in-game competition for minutes is a powerful incentive for young players. Obviously you can’t re-invent your lines every five minutes or sit your best players completely but Willy makes very few in game adjustments.

    Do not bring Virtanen back up until there is a new coach. Jake had some good games in his first year and sat every third period regardless. Put it all on Jake if you want but it was an approach that didn’t work. I seriously doubt it will work on Goldobin either.

    It is not true that Willy’s approach worked on Horvat. Injuries forced Willy to play Bo well beyond what he wanted to. The result of not being able to shelter Bo is the emergence of a young star.

  • Killer Marmot

    The Canucks are six points back of a wild-card slot.

    They are in the awkward situation of fighting for a playoff position after trading away two key players on the assumption that the season was over.