FINAL SCORE: OTTAWA 3, VANCOUVER 2 (SO)
We could be sad about this outcome, but let’s instead re-watch this insanely touching Alex Burrows tribute over and over again until we’ve lost all ability to feel anything.
Never drafted. Too unskilled. Too old to be a prospect.
Got a chance. Gave his all. Slayed a dragon.
Thank you Burr for 11 great years! pic.twitter.com/uc8ue0Hp6j
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 11, 2017
The game opened up with probably the most frustrating goal Jacob Markstrom will allow all season.
Sometimes, Markstrom can get out of position (although he’s significantly cleaned it up since working in Vancouver). Sometimes, he can hurt his own chances at making a save by getting too over-athletic with a first stop. Sometimes, he can come out too far and leave the net wide open.
Scoring opened on Tuesday night, though, with… a brain fart. Perfectly squared to the puck, Markstrom didn’t seal his butterfly tightly enough by just enough, and the puck slithered between his pads to trickle into the net for Cody Ceci to open up scoring a little over four minutes into the first period.
Vancouver would even up the score just three minutes later, when Chris Tanev took advantage of a prime screen by the mercurial Thomas Vanek to go five-hole on a goal of his own.
Vanek would help give Vancouver a lead late in the second period, despite the Canucks getting heartily outshot through the first two frames. He found a nice path through traffic on his own goal, firing the puck from the point on a wide-open chunk of net while Anderson struggled to locate the play.
Vancouver could only play with fire for so long, though, as Ottawa managed to even up the score early in the third period with a tally from Ryan Dzingel; neither club would manage to score again during regulation play, forcing first an overtime period then a shootout.
Vancouver ultimately dropped the game in the skills show, losing on a goal scored by the ever-excellent Mark Stone.
They got a chance to see old friend and peak shitheel Alex Burrows, though, and he got himself a nice little tribute for his troubles.
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) October 11, 2017
Thomas Vanek gets a lot of vitriol from members of the fanbase that love gritty, nose-grinding, blue-collar hockey. He isn’t overly physical, he doesn’t battle for pucks all that often, and he’s got a nasty habit of falling short in much-needed moments when there isn’t a goal to be scored.
The veteran was signed to inject some much-needed depth offense into Vancouver’s lineup, though, and that’s exactly what he provided tonight. He was an instrumental part of the first goal, screening Craig Anderson during what was otherwise a rock-solid game for the veteran starter, then contributed with a tally of his own to boot.
It’s frustrating that Boeser still isn’t out there with the team, but it is what it is. Bo Horvat has still been incredibly strong for the team, there’s no surprise there, and Erik Gudbranson deserves a little nod for recording four shots on goal on the night. Even Ben Hutton managed to get a little shot-blocking action, although seemed to be in a bit of pain after the fact. He returned for the third period of play, but that’s worth keeping an eye on.
It’s important to note, though, that Jacob Markstrom did not lose this game for the Canucks.
When all was said and done, the Canucks were handily outshot through three regulation periods and five minutes of overtime hockey, boasting just 28 recorded shots on goal to Ottawa’s 42. They failed to capitalize on a single power-play opportunity, and only found the back of the net once in five shootout attempts.
Markstrom’s first goal allowed was inexcusable by any standard, but every goaltender lets in an awful one now and again. His 40 saves on the night – including four against Burrows (one of which was an absolute monster of a recovery save after a brief misread), five against J-G Pageau, and a shocking six against Mark Borowiecki – kept the Canucks in the game, not the other way around.
Vancouver allowed Mark Borowiecki to take six shots on goal. Let that marinate for a little bit.