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.
— J.D. Burke (@JDylanBurke) April 3, 2017
— J.D. Burke (@JDylanBurke) April 3, 2017
- 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.
Thank you Jannik! pic.twitter.com/WuzVgzfRET
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) April 2, 2017
- 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…
— TSN Radio Vancouver (@TSN1040) April 3, 2017
- 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.
— J.D. Burke (@JDylanBurke) April 2, 2017
- 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.
— Ben Kuzma (@benkuzma) April 3, 2017
- 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.
Thornton’s left knee bends back in collision with Chaput pic.twitter.com/elSfBFatio
— Kevin Kurz (@KKurzNBCS) April 2, 2017