But hey, did you see
Mario Lemieux Josh Ho-Sang out there?
What a game.
I had a friend who flew to Vancouver for the first time this week. She got to sit down two rows above the ice and watch a Vancouver Canucks game, for the first time, not at Gila River Arena (she’s a nice Coyotes fan).
I thought it would be fun to ask her a bit about her experience at the game.
What did you see? I asked. Who stood out to you at eye level?
I got a text at 7:24: “Jayson Megna = good Canuck.” (This was bad analysis, as she admitted not long after.)
Then: “Luca Sbisa = very very V E R Y bad Canuck.”
Some waiting. Then: “I think Sutter’s having a rough night.”
Ultimately, she gave me a few takeaways from her perspective. The Sedins looked gassed – we knew that. Brandon Sutter had the kind of game that made fans cry about his trade and contract and raise that dead horse from its grave to beat it again. Nikita Tryamkin blew his coverage on the second goal, but Jayson Megna’s turnover was the real sticking point.
The Canucks had no business losing that game. They looked bad – when have they looked consistently excellent this year? – but the Islanders were a disjointed team that struggled to cleanly enter a zone or properly shut down a play headed back towards their end. They won on a talented goal scorer, an awful Canucks turnover, and the virtue of Thomas Greiss standing on his head.
A point is a point, and Troy Stecher deserves all the credit in the world for forcing overtime with 19 seconds left in the final frame.
For a game that could have been an easy win, though, the Canucks sure made that extra point pretty hard.
Troy Stecher fakes, takes and scores.
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) March 10, 2017
- I’ve done like three recaps this year (because I have a new baby and a newfound disintrest in watching Pacific Coast games when I could be catching up on sleep), but I’ve pointed out positives for Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi in I think all of them. They are the future of the Canucks; maybe they aren’t the new Sedins, but they’re very, very good. Horvat finished with a positive shot differential logging massive minutes, and Baertschi got himself a goal. I don’t think they’re anywhere close to the problem in a loss like this.
- Reid Boucher, eh? I don’t think he ever got a fair shake in New Jersey, for whatever reason. Maybe because he’s short? Whatever the case, I think he was a workhorse for Vancouver. The team faded fast in the third period (minus Stecher in the final seconds), but he was always buzzing around the net, trying to put the puck in. And hey! It even worked once.
- Ryan Miller had a garbage game for him, but he cleaned it up enough in the third period to keep the team in it enough to get the extra point. Baby steps, baby steps.
- Possession! Say what you will about Corsi, but the team that puts the puck on net more often than the other team gives themselves the most optimal chance of taking home two points. The last recap I did, Vancouver took 18 shots all game. This one, they took 39 – and while I’ve got some things to say about the third period (we’ll be getting to that), they put themselves in a position to hopefully succeed with their offense in the first two frames.
- Troy Stecher, duh. Although he may have caused New York’s third goal, he capitalized in the final seconds to equalize and earned the team a point in a game where, had they walked away empty handed, heads probably would have rolled.
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) March 10, 2017
- We’ve gotta love Brock Boeser, but Anthony Beauvillier still kind of stings as a missed opportunity. He was a Canucks Army favorite leading up to the draft, and his goal in the second period certainly showed that he would have been an impact player – probably as soon as this year.
- Ryan Miller had a garbage game.
- So did the defense.
- So did Jayson Megna. Kid’s gotta stop getting consistent ice time. I don’t care if he’s a workhorse – so is Reid Boucher. Only difference is that Boucher gets results.
- That third period play was atrocious. The Canucks have made a pretty bad name for themselves in the Desjardins regime of fading in the final frame – only usually, it comes when they’re playing to protect a lead. This game, they were outshot 13-7 in the final 20 minutes. BY THE TEAM THAT ALREADY HAD MORE GOALS. Against any other club (translation: an actual playoff contender with actual cohesion on the ice and an actual polished product) would have wiped the ice with Vancouver over that kind of play. I know it’s a rebuild, but that part was unacceptable.
The Numbers, Nerds!
It blows my mind that Willie Desjardins openly knows his job is on the line and puts the Sedin twins – one of which had an uncharacteristically poor game – out together for the overtime period.
I’ve always given Desjardins the benefit of the doubt. I’ve had bigger fish to fry with how management handled the roster; how was Willie D. supposed to ice a winning team when he was being given the wrong pieces to do that?
He’s been overplaying the Sedins this year, though, and it’s showing. They’re only effective if they aren’t completely gassed.
He’s been overplaying Jayson Megna. He’s been struggling to put up good special teams results (although I did like the final Canucks penalty kill in the third period quite a bit, considering). He’s been using youth recently, but it’s hard to tell exactly how much of that has been because he actually wants to – and how much of that has been the mumps, trade deadline, and other maladies.
Anyways. Here’s a fun picture my friend sent me of her seats at the game. She said you guys were all real nice people, so thank you! Sorry you guys lost another game.