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Canucks Army Post-Game: Back on Tracks

Canucks Lose Control in the Third, Drop 4-1 Decision to the Blues

The momentum of history repeating wasn’t enough for the Canucks to best the red-hot St. Louis Blues tonight.

Remember last year, when the Canucks launched an improbable, futile and ultimately damaging run through California in the home stretch? The one where they won a series of three straight against Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose? It isn’t the Central Division’s turn, even if Tuesday’s game against Chicago and the first half hour of tonight’s was enough to make Canucks fans collectively fear history repeating.

In spite of the Sedins’ best efforts, that wasn’t the case. Henrik Sedin’s opening marker little over halfway through the opening frame proved the only goal of the night. The Blues responded not long after, with Magnus Paajarvi scoring the first of his two goals on the evening, starting a four-goal run for the home team.

To the Canucks’ credit, they kept this game relatively close, at least on the score sheet, until a disputed Paajarvi goal in the third made the Blues lead two goals and by all reckoning insurmountable for this year’s version of the boys in blue and green. Alex Pietrangelo added the empty netter for St. Louis with 2:35 remaining.

Stats

Quick Hits

  • Nikolay Goldobin made his widely anticipated return to the Canucks lineup tonight. Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins used him sparingly, with just 12:12 to show at even strength. It’s not what Canucks fans want to see, but given everything we’ve heard about the flu Goldobin suffered and the toll it took on his body, I think it’s fair and reasonable. This is a player who’s publicly stated losing 15 pounds over the course of his most recent ailment, so I’m fine with him not playing in a premier role. Of course, by that same token, I’d rather he was playing with a centre better suited to the offensive role Goldobin needs to play than Brandon Sutter is, but you can’t win them all. I thought Goldobin had an okay night. His timing looked off, and he definitely coughed up the puck on the odd offensive foray. Goldobin’s -9 Corsi For at five-on-five is ugly — no denying it — but I think you can’t expect much better when you’re skating alongside Sutter.
  • Speaking of Sutter, Tuesday’s starring performance against the Blackhawks apparently wasn’t the start of something. The Canucks spent huge chunks of time in their own end with Sutter on the ice, which isn’t necessarily anything new, but it does make me question why Desjardins is so insistent on continually using him as often as he does in the roles that he does. Take away Tuesday’s game and Sutter’s been an offensive black hole. So why then did Sutter play so much more than Horvat in the third period? We’ll never know. Good catch by Canucks Army’s own Jeff Paterson though.

  • I know I’m in the minority here, but I’m still not one-hundred percent certain that Bo Horvat is the Canucks’ best player yet. With tonight’s goal, Henrik is just two points back of the wonder kid after tonight. Is it possible, or likely even, that Henrik regains the scoring title on the Canucks by season’s end? Considering Horvat doesn’t have a great defensive track record in the NHL, and the Sedins are recapturing their own defensive game down the stretch along with the fact that Horvat’s on the receiving end of slightly better than average shooting luck while the Sedins suffer the opposite and it’s a conversation worth having. I’m not trying to take anything away from Horvat. The kid’s had a great season. I’m just not certain he’s better than Henrik Sedin… yet.
  • As I alluded to earlier, this was close-ish for much of the game. Things got really out of hand when the Blues scored a dubious goal in the third, courtesy an offside review that I’m confident they lose on most nights — let’s not pretend there’s anything consistent about the way this league officiates or determines what is or isn’t a goal. I’ve provided the video of the goal below. Desjardins was livid at the result of their review. Perhaps the most animated I’ve ever seen him. And I don’t blame him one bit.

  • Sven Baertschi on the penalty kill was an interesting little experiment. The Canucks used him for over two minutes tonight, interestingly enough. The rest of the season, Baertschi had played just over nine-and-a-half minutes shorthanded. I don’t know how I feel about it. Baertschi has the skills that would make one think he can handle that kind of role, and the fact that they’re playing him with Horvat makes sense too. I guess it’s one of those things I’ll file under interesting things to keep track of and see how it plays out.
  • When the Canucks chose to play Alex Biega over Joseph LaBate, I thought it an odd move. Well, I didn’t think of it as one — it was one! After a night like tonight, I can sort of see where the coach might be coming from. Maybe? LaBate was on the ice for three goals against and was -11 in 5v5 shot attempts. The worst part of Labate’s night? Probably when he challenged Ryan Reaves to a fight in garbage time and tripped into the boards. That was a bad look.
  • Rodeobill

    Tryamkin sticks up for others WAY more than he does for himself. That offside non-call was BS. They fought hard for this game and nothing seemed to work out and looked pretty frustrated by it all, but ultimately these games are next season try outs. I find myself rooting for the win when I am watching, but feel better looking at the standings if they loose. Also, Beiga still looked good at forward. Also did anyone else see that dude’s finger that Crosby slashed during intermission highlights!? I almost puked up a little in my mouth when they showed his finger dangling off by a chunk of skin! Sick!

  • wojohowitz

    One of the small pleasures left for us Canuck fans this season is watching Tryamkin explore his potential, like standing up for his team mates or his desire to score a goal. Maybe in a couple of years we will be asking; How come Tryamkin is not the captain or late in a game we will be asking; How come Tryamkin is not on the ice, or maybe we will be saying; Wait till Tryamkin gets him back for that cheap shot. His upside is that unlimited.