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Canucks Army Post-Game: Sharks Bringing the Tank

This game had the potential to get ugly in a hurry. By mid-way through the first period, the San Jose Sharks put two past Ryan Miller for a commanding lead.

Playing his first game against the Canucks since they dealt him to the San Jose Sharks, Jannik Hansen figured prominently in each of Tomas Hertl’s two goals, though he earned but one assist for his trouble. Those goals were less than two minutes apart, and it seemed at the time that Vancouver had either lost control or was in the process of losing control.

Those quick goals in succession appeared to light a fire under the Canucks, though. They controlled 37 shot attempts to the Sharks 25 from that point onward, and Sven Baertschi eventually scored to put the Canucks within striking distance of a tie. With the net pulled and all of the Canucks best offensive players on the ice (a rarity this season) they almost knotted things at two, before Patrick Marleau hopped on a rebound in the slot and lobbed a hail mary for the empty-net goal.

Ryan Miller stopped 22 of 24 Sharks shots, and Martin Jones stopped 29 of the Canucks’ 30 tries.

Stats

  • I was lucky enough to be in the arena for this game. Seeing the Canucks roll out the Jannik Hansen tribute video and the reaction from the Great Dane and the crowd was classic. Great to see a player acknowledged for their time and dedication to the franchise. Watching Hansen throughout his career was a real treat, and his development as a leader and someone who held himself and his teammates accountable really endeared himself to everyone involved. No matter how poor this franchise’s fortunes, Hansen gave it his all. Whether that meant sticking up to Nazem Kadri and making him pay for laying a dirty hit on Daniel Sedin or standing in there with the media after tough losses. We can talk about how good Hansen was as a player for the Canucks and still is for the Sharks. He had the best Corsi percentage among skaters on either team tonight and chipped in with an assist. He’s always been a great middle-six option that could slide seamlessly throughout the lineup when necessary. I reckon I’ll remember him just as fondly for his contributions elsewhere, though.

  • I have to wonder what’s going through Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins’ head when he’s benching Nikolay Goldobin for Jayson Megna and Alex Biega. I’m sure he sees the writing on the wall. He can’t feel great about his job security right now, so I’m sure he’s doing what he can to win, and in his mind, that’s a winning move. At this point, though, wouldn’t it work in his favour to just go along with management’s edict for a younger lineup? The team’s going to keep losing no matter what Desjardins does, realistically, so why not show that you can keep up with the franchise’s stated direction? And if you think management is happy with that lineup choice, well…

  • Speaking of Megna, the Canucks signed him to a one-year contract extension for reasons that escape me. To his credit, Megna had a decent game. Almost scored on a breakaway in the first and didn’t have any glaring errors afterwards. Credit where due, I suppose.

  • Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Ryan Miller was great again tonight. The Sharks scored as many goals as the expected goals model on Corsica.Hockey suggested they should, and that makes sense, because Miller didn’t really have a hope in hell of stopping those two goals.
  • Ben Kuzma reported during the game that should Olli Juolevi’s season with the London Knights conclude before the Canucks’ or Comets’ seasons, he won’t be joining either club. This is because they want him to “get stronger” ASAP. I call bull shit. I watched Juolevi check one player’s stick today and box out another simultaneously to prevent an opposition goal. He seemed plenty strong there. Maybe he’s hurt? If not, this doesn’t make any sense. He’d probably be among the Canucks’ best players from the defensive zone as is.

  • Joe Thornton left today’s game early with an ugly knee injury and didn’t return. If it’s as bad as it looks, that’s terrible news for the Canucks. The conditions on the fourth-round pick San Jose dealt to the Canucks as part of the Hansen trade becoming a first-round pick are simple. If they win the cup, that’s a first round pick. Without Thornton, I just don’t see that happening. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious. Even if there weren’t those conditions on the pick, you hate to see someone get hurt. Here’s to a speedy recovery.

  • TD

    J.D., how do you figure Goldobin’s development would be improved by the coach allowing him to play an uninspired perimeter game without any consequences. I get that you want him to play and develop, but I think his benching was part of that development. He will be of no use to the Canucks in the future until he learns to play in the dirty areas. He can’t lose pay or perks as they are contractual, the only thing a coach can do is bench a player in order to affect change.

  • wojohowitz

    Goldobin should be in Utica comparing notes with Virtanen. His first thought on being traded was; What about my car and his second was; What about my hair. The Boesers and Horvats of this world are the exception – not the norm.

    Signing Megna at this time is a public relations disaster. He and Willie are practically tied at the hip and management should know that. This signing leaves the impression that Willie might be back and he is poison for ticket sales.

  • DogBreath

    I was at Friday’s game and came away with a few impressions. If Goldobin played with the same inspiration as Biega, we’d have a star. Instead, he floated and didn’t contribute in any meaningful way. If his car/hair continue to be his focus, he and JV can compare stories in Utica about their cup of coffee in the NHL.

    Second, it was only one game, but Molino looked good. He was quick to get around the ice and strong defensively. Could be a good depth player if he can maintain this. If so, smart pick-up by Benning (and not the disaster that CA seems to think the signing is).

    Next year the Canucks can’t even play the ‘if everything goes well’ card. They’re building a baseline of good young talent. They’ve done to bring a high volume of decent young talent in, but they still lack high end talent. Boesser has done well in his short time, but he’s no saviour. Vancouver fans need to dial their expectations way back.

    Finally, not sure why Vancouver fans still don’t get the Megna deployment. All players are intentionally not treated equally. There’s the veterans, the fillers and the prospects on the team. The veterans have a track record of success so they get cut some slack. The Megna’s, Chaput’s etc are fillers, are very replaceable and aren’t viewed as the future. The prospects need to learn and earn their way on to the team because they’re here for the long term and are a key part of what the team is to become. They need players who earn their success by being solely focussed on this (ie, Bo, Stecher, Boesser etc), rather than on Ferrari’s, their hairstyle and Justin Bieber.

    • Locust

      It is not the Vancouver fans that don’t get it – it is the flip flopping CA writers that don’t seem to understand you cant fill a team all with 19 year olds, gotta have a few cheap depth players.

  • Naslund

    Put any young skilled player with “Neverpassthepuck Sutter” and you will make them look ineffective and destroy their confidence. Whether it’s Goldobin, Boucher, or Boeser, wingers go to Sutter’s line to look bad and ultimately incur WD’s wrath.