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Canucks Army Postgame #71: Only 11 To Go

It wasn’t too long ago that the Canucks were accused of playing down to the Oilers in their multiple meetings each season. These days, it’s the other way around. After scoring 7 goals in two consecutive games, the Oilers managed just two tonight. They’d only need one.

From a process standpoint, we can be happy with losses at this point, but it’s still a little depressing to see how easily the Oilers willed themselves to win this one. After putting up just 13 shots through the first 36:42 of the game, all it took was a solo effort by Connor McDavid and a single power play goal to put this one out of reach for the Canucks.

If this is what the next 12 games have in store, things could get ugly.

STATS

HIGHLIGHTS

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GAME NOTES

  • The Canucks were dominating possession even before the Oilers took the lead, and would continue to do so for most of the game. They never really looked close, though. They just couldn’t generate the quality looks the Oilers pulled off. That’s not to say there weren’t some positive takeaways. Markus Granlund had one of his best games as a Canucks playing on a line alongside Bo Horvat and Sven Baerstchi, which was easily the Canucks best of the game. Granlund alone had seven shots on goal, and generate a couple of the Canucks’ best scoring chances.
  • With Granlund moved off the Sedin line, Willie Desjardins promoted fourth-line centre Michael Chaput to the twins’ right flank. That’s exactly the type of move that’s bound to draw the ire of Canucks fans, but the line actually played quite well. They conceded only two shot-attempts on the entire night at even strength, and kept play in the offensive zone for most of the night. I’m not entirely sure what Desjardins’ was trying to accomplish this late in the season pulling that move, but given that Chaput has centred the Canucks best possession-driving line as of late their may be method to this madness…
  • At least, until you consider that Reid Boucher has been the Canucks’ best possession player since he joined the team in early January. Somehow, with the Canucks in full “play the kids” mode, Boucher was demoted to the fourth line after two shifts and played just 10:44 on the night. Given how badly the Canucks needed a goal, I’d have much preferred to have seen him get a chance on that line, even if only late in the game.
  • We got a brief taste of a new-look powerplay unit in the third period tonight, featuring the Sedin twins, Bo Horvat, Markus Granlund, and Troy Stecher. They even abandoned the 1-3-1 formation for a moment. Why it’s taken 70 games to experiment is beyond me. The PP has been abysmal all season long and there’s a number of intriguing options that haven’t been so much as briefly considered. Why not give Boucher a look manning the point? Why not try Tryamkin out as a net-front presence? The team has absolutely nothing to lose at this point, so let’s hope the experimentation continues.
  • Somehow, in a game where the Canucks dominated the shot clock and trailed for the entire third period, Brandon Sutter was -11 in shot attempts. Sutter’s always been the type of player whose underlying numbers don’t always line up perfectly with the eye test, but lately Sutter hasn’t so much as even looked good. With the expansion draft looming, I wonder how palatable that contract is looking these days.
  • Larionov18

    The Sedins need to retire. They had a great run. They are just too slow now. The game has become about speed. Benning better not extend them. God bless them for the entertaining years they provided though.

    • Moneyball

      I was surprised that the sedan twins were not dealt at the deadline. How much longer in their contracts? They can still play but are not a first line anymore.

      • I am Ted

        Why are you surprised? If you don’t know the length of their contracts etc then how can you understand the options available? It’s fairly clear you’re too stupid to do 30 seconds of research and see their contracts expire after next season. I am also sure you’re too stupid to look at various other factors as well including: Canucks are retaining parts of 2 contracts next year so they can retain partial $ on 1 more contract next year; Sedins could be lifelong Canucks and have done enough to let them earn their path; they have no moves…etc etc.

        Money, don’t forget to breathe. It’s important.

        • Moneyball

          Woooo, looks like your off your meds today. Someone should let you know it’s just a game and also a business. The smart move is to dump the aging sedins while they still have some value and start rebuilding. That’s not possible with the twins sucking at the Canuck teet.

          • I am Ted

            Again, your stupidity astounds. How difficult do you think it is to move the Sedins (or as you put it, sedans) with NMC, keeping them together and another full year on left on their contracts? Yes, you should deal vets and turn them over when they’re older and the team is a tire fire. However, there are many special circumstances to consider. Wow. You make NM00/JD Burke aka Butthole Burke seem smart.

  • TD

    I don’t think Boucher would be good with the twins. He looks slow and not very good defensively. I don’t think that would work well with the twins. I think Boucher needs to play with players that will open up space.

    As for Chaput, he was the Memorial Cup MVP a while back and is still young. His energy and drive is the type of player the Sedins need. Maybe in an offensive role he will find the touch he had in junior. If not, what have the Canucks lost. This is time for experimentation.

    While I liked Granlund with the twins, Bo, Baer and Granlund didn’t look bad as our potential first line next year.

    Tonight’s game is the problem with only following the stats. They dominated the shot clock and hit a couple of posts, but the team lacks the pure talent that puts pucks in the net. McDavid gets a bit of room and scores, Draisatl moves the pucks nicely and Letestu scores. In the end, we were beaten by their talent. Hopefully it won’t take the Canucks a decade and 4 first overall as well as a bunch of other high picks to rebuild.

  • I am Ted

    Coilers have 1 game breaker and he did it for them again today. He’s an amazing player and the Coil lucked into him after being mostly irrelevant for 20 years or so.

    Canucks looked good but, as usual, did not convert. Hit several posts and came close…kinda how the season has gone. It’s nice to see them compete and then losing. Lots of young prospects and adding a few more would be great.

    Go Canucks Go!

  • Some time ago I posted a comment calling the Oilers a one man show. This has expanded to a two man show. Off course Connor Mcdavid is a star, but also Cam Talbot. This guy has been outstanding. Just goes to show how important good goaltending really is. Without him, Oilers would not be in the hunt for a playoff spot.

    We could have won last night.

  • Dirty30

    At least there was some change and the score was only two-zip … could have been much, much, worse.

    I don’t get the line combos and deployment but it’s a start on testing what works. I’ll take baby steps over no steps as it must be hard for WD to realize his systems just aren’t working.

    Either put Sutter in LTIR or sit him for ten games, play him for one and then expose him in the draft.

    Difficult as it may be, transitioning from the Sedins now is an absolute must. They have sheltered this team from some harsh realities and likely from making hard decisions. I hope Trev lets JB loose to make the best deals and picks he can at the drafts. He can’t fix everything overnight but I believe he can move this team forward even if it’s not a contender for a while.

  • Rodeobill

    Granlund is better with the sedins, and boucher looked good on the horvat line, but what the hey, like you said play with different stuff and get stuff sorted out for next year. Chaput has looked better this while and hasn’t taken as many bad penalties. Tryamkin and stecher looked good again and I am really excited to see them grow into their skates on this team. I enjoyed this game, just wish they were a little more physical and could have got at least one goal, but I am not gonna complain about the loss as we needed that too.

    • DJ_44

      I disagree that Granlund looks better with the Sedins. Chaput looked very good. Banging, crashing; the line played well. They are too perimeter and need to stop looking for the cross ice pass.

      Granlund looked great with Bo and Sven, and Sven had a good game. I am disappointed that Boucher does not get more of an offensive chance. His release is unbelievable. But where? The logical spot is where Sven is now.

  • clutch fan

    Was really hoping to be able to give Willie a thumbs up this game for committing a little more to the future and finding out what we have in some of the relative unknowns in the line-up. Unfortunately, he wasted yet another opportunity to redeem himself here. We need look no farther to find WD’s player mismanagement than Boucher, who looks like he could be effective in an expanded offensive role- great shot- but how will we know with Willie’s hesitation to play him?
    I know most people think it doesn’t make sense to fire WD till end of season, but it could be that keeping him around for this crucial part of the schedule is more of a risk to the future of the club (in that we won’t really understand the talent we have on the team).
    I also wonder why Willie doesn’t have the guts to criticize a veteran to the media when they obviously under perform (we have seen numerous terrible outings from veterans this year that are far more egregious than any Tryamkin performances), but he is fine to criticize a youngster like Tryamkin. It just looks off and maybe a little like dressing room politics somehow.

    Sooner he hits the road the better.

  • clutch fan

    Was really hoping to be able to give Willie a thumbs up this game for committing a little more to the future and finding out what we have in some of the relative unknowns in the line-up. Unfortunately, he wasted yet another opportunity to redeem himself here. We need look no farther to find WD’s player mismanagement than Boucher, who looks like he could be effective in an expanded role- great shot- but how will we know with Willie’s hesitation to play him?
    I know most people think it doesn’t make sense to fire WD till end of season, but it could be that keeping him around for this crucial part of the schedule is more of a risk to the future of the club (in that we won’t really understand the talent we have on the team).
    I also wonder why Willie doesn’t have the guts to criticize a veteran to the media when they obviously under perform (we have seen numerous terrible vet outing this year), but is fine to criticize a youngster

  • TheRealPB

    Unlucky not to win this one as the Canucks pretty clearly dominated — quite a few posts hit and the PP goal in the third came against the run of play. This also wasn’t the first time Chaput was played with the Sedins and he looked surprisingly good the last time too. I think it’s putting a Burrows-like player on their wing in the fact that he can retrieve the puck and is relatively fast. I don’t know that Boucher is the type of player who would work well with them. I think it says more about how solid Granlund has looked that they put him on the Horvat line more than the demotion for Boucher. I think this should be the time that we try out the younger guys on different combinations. And WD leaned heavily on Horvat, Baertschi and Granlund (who led all forwards with nearly 22 minutes of ice-time!). I think given how poorly Sutter has played for weeks it is ridiculous to play him 20 minutes, however, or Sbisa for 20. I really don’t understand the insistence on playing the Sutter line so much — it makes zero sense either for player development (when you have Megna/Shore and Cramarossa on the wings) or as a means of trying to win. The Sedins have actually looked much more effective when reduced to a 15-17 minute range, but pulling back their ice-time should lead to more minutes for a line of maybe Boucher, Granlund and Goldobin/Gaunce when they get back or Sutter. I’d even take Chaput. I just don’t get some of these choices, as much as I haven’t felt that the lineup or ice time decisions are the biggest problem for the team. Yet another good effort in playing out the stretch. Detroit wins again and we have better lottery odds, four points out of 29th now.

    • TheRealRusty

      Problem is… This is not 2011 any longer. Even with a speedy puck retriever like Chaput, the Sedins are no longer first line players and there isn’t a shooter on that line for it to produce any offense. Puck prossesion is great but the last time I checked the goal is to put up more goals than the other team. Can remember the last time that Daniel has generated 200 shots in a season. It’s the same old tired passing plays that the whole league had seen for the last decade, and unfortunately it is too predictable to defend against.

      I’ve been saying this for a while now and I will say this again. Split the twins up! Glad that some of the mainstream media is finally picking up on this angle btw. Bart/Bo/Granlund. Boucher/Henrik/Chaput. Daniel/Sutter/Goldobin or Ericksson. Cramarossa/Gaunce/Megna. A dash of speed/shooting and experience to each line.

    • Dirty30

      After a decade of futility you still haven’t won anything but one game. As well, you never built or developed a team you just kept being perennial losers until you lucked into drafting a generational player. And when you come here and insult players and fans you simply demonstrate what a loser you are, even if your team might one day be successful. May the septic truck of life discover your sunroof open one day soon.

    • Braindead Benning

      Ah yes the friendly neighbourhood village idiot from the North Pole has arrived…lol

      i think what is more laughable is the 3 first overall draft picks…Yakipov, RNH & Hall now Larson…haha what a joke !!! It took total luck for the team to land McDavid and if it were not him the stinking coilers would still be crap.
      I have a good idea?
      Why we play a game of fetch…I will throw a hockey stick covered in $hit and you go and fetch never to return….lol