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Canucks Army Postgame #76: Thank God For Brock Boeser

Brock Boeser scored his second goal in three games tonight, in his home-ice debut. He played 15:51, had three shots, and even played regular minutes with Henrik and Daniel Sedin on the man advantage.

That’s fantastic news, because the Canucks were terrible.

For the first 40 minutes, they weren’t just bad, they were mind-numbingly awful. They spent large chunks of the first two periods hemmed in their own zone, getting absolutely rag-dolled by the Ducks, and looking on hopelessly as their goaltender faced repeated five-alarm chances courtesy of the opposition. Thanks to the magic of score effects, the Canucks appeared to finish the game within spitting distance of the Ducks in shot shares, but that’s only because the team’s fate was sealed before the first commercial break.

Ryan Miller was nearly chased out of the game in the first minute and a half.

And then, like a perfectly-coiffed angel, Boeser descended upon Rogers Arena, and for a brief moment, gave Canucks fans some semblance of hope for a brighter tomorrow.

The final score was 4-1, but easily could have reached double digits if not for the continuing stellar play of Ryan Miller. That’s not what Canucks fans will remember, though.

They’ll just remember the goal.

STATS

HIGHLIGHTS

GAME NOTES

  • It honestly cannot be understated how badly tonight’s game needed that Boeser goal. Tonight’s tilt was borderline-unwatchable, even by this season’s standards. Boeser’s play tonight was really the only positive. He was one of only five Canucks forwards to finish in the black by shot shares, and looked comfortable at even-strength and on the man advantage. For a team that desperately needed PR victories, getting Boeser inked and into a few games, and him looking as good as he has, is a potentially job-saving turn of events. I’d say Jim Benning’s job is safe for at least another year based on the good will he’s managed to garner in the last few months.
  • I’m not entirely sure what’s to be gained by keeping Brandon Sutter in the lineup this late in the season. He’s clearly hurt, and played yet another forgettable game in what’s been a string of terrible performances over the last third of the season. He was -7 in even-strength shot attempts, and spent most of the game in his own end. Don’t let the assist fool you, he was abysmal tonight, as he has been for the past 30 games or so.
  • So much for the luxurious defense. The Canucks allowed 39 shots tonight, with 10 coming from high-scoring areas. The Canucks gave up the middle of the ice willingly and often tonight, and the “structure” that was being raved about early in the season is nothing but a distant memory at this point.
  • Operation “Play The Kids” is still a work in progress. Boeser played over fifteen minutes tonight, and Sven Baertschi led all forwards in time-on-ice, but Nikolay Goldobin played just 10:45 tonight. It’s a little disappointing considering that Brandon Sutter (18:53) and Michael Chaput (17:23) were second and fourth respectively in ice-time tonight.
  • Speaking of Chaput, while his usage has been questionable throughout the season, he’s actually been one of the Canucks’ best players by shot shares down the stretch. He’s been in the black in terms of puck-possession metrics regardless of whether he’s played as a fourth-line centre or at first-line right wing. With that in mind, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Canucks bring him back next season. As a cheap depth player, the Canucks could do far worse
  • Bud Poile

    Sutter now has 34 points on the season,leading the team in fo%.
    Led the team in takeaways,no give aways,second on the team with four hits behind Labate,Tree and Bulldog with 5 each.Edler,Hutton,Horvat,Hank,Bartcheese and Goldy wih zip,nada,floating.
    Find a new whipping boy.Plenty of candidates.

    • DJ_44

      I imagine he is out for dinner with Edler, discussing his cap hit and NTC the Canucks are stuck with for another two seasons, or reviewing the cap hit recovery schedule he burdens the Canucks with when Luongo is forced to retire …… LG is right where he should be.

  • mgg

    On ice time. Ever since Shore joined the team and chose #42 the boxscore is mostly incorrect for time on ice between Baertschi and Shore. Again last night Baertschi has been credited with shifts he has never played.

    The boxscore always has some mistakes over the season, but the most surprising must have been the recent one in St-Louis recording Shore and his #42 in the penalty box when it was Skille who wears #9.

    These boxscores are used by the different stat website. A mistake here and there probably doesn’t have that much of an impact when the sample size is large enough but a too small sample size might lead to incorrect conclusions.

  • Rodeobill

    You know it’s been a shiddy game when…

    The first three shots go in.
    When…
    Biega and Labate are the only ones who look like they know what they are doing.
    When…
    John Garret’s “fresh” take is from a game a long time ago when we came back to beat the Ducks rather than anything that could be said about this game.

    What a gong show! I guess we do need to tank, and it does take time to learn and understand what the coach and team is wanting you to do, and our roster IS full of new bodies, but MAN! What a gong show.

  • LTFan

    This is a good summary of the game – the Canucks were awful. Only Biega and LaBate seemed to bring some passion to the game. I agree, take Sutter out as he is not playing well and it appears his wrist injury is now severely hampering his play. Mercifully there are only 6 games remaining. It has been a long season.

  • Locust

    I have been on the “trade Edler” bandwagon for six months ….. any new converts?

    Sutter has been playing hurt and should be shut down. CA writers can easily find another unworthy target.

    • Jamie E

      The only convert that matters is Alex Edler himself. He has a full no movement clause and has been vocal in the past about not waiving it. If you have any special ability to peer into the inner recesses of his soul and determine he has changed his mind, let us know. If not, the “trade Edler” refrain is tiresome.

      • Locust

        Peering …. peering …. peering ….. nope, still has the clause but as his play indicates, he is NOT enjoying himself and/or interested in being “in” on a rebuild.
        This is a business, these are professionals, just because he has it, doesn’t mean he wouldnt change his mind for a good fit. Only will play another year or two anyway …. I think he goes.

    • acg5151

      I have been saying trade Edler since the lockout season… I soured on him after the SCF on that play where his stick broke but I gave him a chance for a couple more seasons.

  • DJ_44

    I struggle to understand the possible reasoning for complaints about the “play the kids” drum CA continues to beat. How is Sutter’s ice time comparable to Goldobin? He is a winger, Sutter is a center (it is a subtly of the game, granted). Sutter kills penalties, Goldobin doesn’t. He will not really work with the Sedins….they need a worker, banger, and defensively responsible player. So….play him more than Boucher…with Bo?

    The reason why Boeser gets the ice time he does is because he is good. His positioning is remarkable……he reads the play both offensively and defensively and recognizes responsibility and danger.

    If you want to get Goldobin more time on the puck, play Larsen and defence, since he is the only one capable of making a first pass on time.

  • Bucko

    Well, there’s a benchmark for the Canucks. Ducks playing as well as anyone in the league right now, stoking it up for the playoffs. So are the kids ( Borvat, Baer, Granlund, Boeser, Juolevi) ever going to be at this level? Things that make you go hmmm.

    • DJ_44

      Just to understand this comment: last night’s game was suppose to be a benchmark…..coming home after a 5 game road trip…and two of the players you mentioned did not even play? You’re right….that insight makes one go hmmmm.

      • Bucko

        I’m saying, whether they played last night or not, does the next generation of Canucks have what it takes to get to a level such as we saw Anaheim at last night? I’m not sure.

  • I am Ted

    Yeah, Sutter does seem hurt but they probably won’t shut him down until they get some bodies back. I still don’t get the logic in playing D at forward – call up somebody already. I guess there won’t be a need when the new guy plays Friday. Sutter did not have a good line to start. I like Goldy and Boucher but they seem to be poor fits on a line with Sutter; these day need a passer and aren’t that great on D and are smaller – not much physical play there. They should be split up like they were.

    Sounds like Subban and a few others won’t be coming up this season. It’s too bad because I can see Subban, and others, being waived after September camp and being claimed.

    I was hoping to see Subban and Pedan play a lot of games this year to see what they can do. Pedan would bring a tough presence with no reluctance to throw down and push back – Canucks don’t do a lot of pushing back.

    Now is a good time to play the kids. Learn some valuable lessons now as opposed to when the games matter.