Canucks Army Postgame #3: Meet The New Boss…

It may have been only the third game of the season, but tonight’s tilt had all the trappings of a classic mid-season snoozefest. Neither team brought their best effort, with the Canucks in particular going through long stretches where it looked like they were just going through the motions. Even a late-game slapper from Chris Tanev wasn’t enough to inject passion into his affair, as the Canucks suffered their first outright loss of the season and fell 4-2 to the Jets.






  • Brock Boeser made his season debut tonight, after sitting for the first two games. He had an assist on the Canucks’ first goal and was -4 in shot attempts in just over 11 and a half minutes of even-strength ice time. He didn’t blow the lights out tonight but he certainly flashed potential. There was much hand-wringing over Travis Green’s reluctance to get Boeser in the lineup, but in theory, there’s not much to be upset about. If he can get in 50-60 games this season, he’ll be just fine.
  • The goal Boeser assisted on was Daniel Sedin’s 188th goal at Rogers Arena, making him the all-time leader in that category over former teammate Markus Naslund. Both Sedins looked good tonight (at least compared to the rest of the team,) and the power play was clicking better than we’ve seen this season.
  • Alex Edler left the game with an apparent lower body injury in the first and did not return. This meant we got to see Erik Gudbranson take regular shifts against top competition, often on his off-side. He did not fare well, finishing a team worst -9 in shot attempts.
  • Chris Tanev let out an uncharacteristic lazer of a shot to beat Connor Hellebuyck top-corner and put the Canucks within one late in the third. It seems like every offseason we hear about the work Tanev is putting in on his shot, and it looks like maybe it’s finally paid off. He’s currently tied for the team-lead in goals, because the first few games of the season are always a little weird.
  • Anyone talking about Travis Green’s new approach might want to pump the brakes. Brandon Sutter led all Canucks forwards in even-strength ice time, and the Canucks struggled to score yet again. It felt like Willie D all over again, even if there was more line-matching.  He also described tonight’s game as possibly the best of the season, which is… interesting, to say the least.

  • Aaron Tam

    Baertschi set a record for most minutes played without a stick at rogers arena on a Thursday. Pretty interesting stat. I wonder what it implies about his shot suppression abilities when playing with horvat but not with granlund. Intriguing

  • Charlie y

    Hmm, I missed the first period but I saw pretty good intensity and thought the team gave a solid effort. It was faster and more aggressive than I had to get used to last year, and while quality of shots wasn’t great, there was some volume that might have done the trick if the Jets goalie wasn’t covered in glue. Checking and puck retrieval also stuck out as positives to me.

  • crofton

    So they got Boesser into the game, even got him on the PP. I didn’t notice what position he was playing when they scored on the PP, but I did notice later…playing on the point? We’ve all heard of his great shot….but from the point? I’m gonna bite my tongue now.

  • Gregthehockeynut

    Heavy trap team rolls into town and keeps the Canucks mostly on the perimeter where they lose a few too many puck battles…this is a recurring theme since 2013ish…

  • IBTurner

    Despite the score this game could have easily gone the other way. Not sure if you were watching the same game as me but Tanev’s goal was more like a knuckleball than a laser. I thought the tempo was very good in the third period. How many times did the Jets ice the puck during that period. Good puck control down low in the third also, but few good shots. I like Green’s post game pressers, he will push back on the reporters when he feels the need. Seems very calm and analytical.

  • truthseeker

    Yeah not a great game at all. How many times will Dorsett get the puck in the offensive zone and rush himself to an unnecessary turn over when he’s got plenty of time to do something. That is simple lack of talent.

    Sedins looked good. And the usuals like Horvat and Virt were putting in the effort but it just all seemed like one big mess. Others looked like they didn’t care to try.

    Just sloppy play after sloppy play. Disappointing.

    • canuckfan

      Dorsett gave up on his check on the second goal. He should have kept on him rather than turning away which ended up having the puck passed into the slot for the second goal. Can’t take any short cuts he has to play hard the full 60 minutes. Not completing checks in the NHL will on most occassions result in a goal against.

  • Killer Marmot

    He also described tonight’s game as possibly the best of the season, which is… interesting, to say the least.

    The Canucks outshot the Jets 32-20, and the Corsi chart above speaks for itself. Most of the time you’re going to win such games.

  • Rodeobill

    They had trouble with outlet passes tonight and puck battles. Jets D looked really good even without Buff, especially Meyers and Trouba. I would have liked to see JV on more shifts in the third as sometimes it felt like they were “protecting” a two goal deficit and they should have been taking some offensive risks to try to even it up. Gagner looked like he had a rough game. It was still an OK game, and had the MDZ skate goal not gone in, who knows how it would have ended. I am happy to watch even losing games if I feel they did well. I thought Guddy didn’t do as bad as his numbers say. I wonder if Pouliot comes in next game for Edler.

    • Braindead Benning

      And their still on their ELC rather than signing Del Zotto and Gagner… not saying their crap players but I think above mentioned fits the criteria of going forward both salary and a higher level of youth movement… what a complete waste of assets at the most critical times

    • Bud Poile

      Sutter has a 58.5% faceoff win record and Guddy has been very consistently stable.
      McCann wasn’t wanted here but if we’re playing that game there’s Jagr and Nealy to really whine about.

      • Braindead Benning

        McCann wasn’t wanted because they didn’t handle him properly… Ryan Kesler had one of the worst attitudes (along with Hodgson) in his young years but they got a handle on Kesler and he turned out fine. I”m sorry but Gudbranson is a great team
        Player but at the cost of McCann and a 2nd is plain DUMB…

        • truthseeker

          Kes turned out fine? hahaha….Kes bailed on the team because he’s selfish. I mean whatever…it’s his right to do whatever he wants…but please…don’t try to play like the guy “turned out fine”. That’s just total nonsense.

          McCann was the one whining when picked by the canucks and had a garbage self entitled attitude the entire time he was here.

          This trade may work out in favor of the panthers in the future, based on performance…or it may not…a couple of games doesn’t make him a success yet. But regardless, getting McCann out of vancouver was not the worst thing Benning has ever done.

          • Dirk22

            1. Kesler is a top 5 center in the entire franchise history. Attitude aside, you can’t take away his role on the best team in franchise history.

            2. McCann wasn’t traded for Gudbranson (for the millionth time).

            McCann and the 33rd pick in a deep draft were traded for Gudbranson (as well as losing a 4th for a 5th). To put it in simple terms for you imagine trading McCann and a prospect along the lines of Kole Lind (except better) for Gudbranson. That’s a pretty significant omission we regularly see with the Benning apologists around here.

        • Bud Poile

          Jagr was there when the Canucks chose Nedved.
          It has as much more relevance as MaCann or Forsling to this organisation’s history.
          That’s WTF,Brain dead.

          • johnno

            Learn to construct a sentence man, you sound drunk.

            Five teams passed on Jagr and 19 out of 21 passed on Martin Brodeur in the same draft. In fact, Nedved leaving worked out ok for the Canucks as we ended up with Craig Janney and then Hedican, Brown and Lafayette who played key roles in taking the powerhouse Rangers to game 7 of a legendary SC final. Senile old fans would forget this though.

      • Dirk22

        If you want to compare the Guddy trade to Neely that’s fine….bit of a hyperbole I’d say but both bad deals that set the team back. Losing a promising center/wing and another top prospect (33rd pick that could have been any one of Mascherin, deBrincat, Kyrou, Girard, Hart, Asplund, Raddysh etc) for a guy they probably won’t even sign is a terrible move for a rebuilding team.

        Saying that Forsling turned into Sutter is another disingenuous take, Bud – we’re not into fake news here, remember. Forsling turned into Clendening who was a mere throw-in in the Bonino-Sutter trade. Don’t forget the trading down of picks too.

        For what? A winning environment? A competitive team that sells tickets? The 11,000 fans at the game last night disagree (even the official attendance had them under 16,000).

        • Missing Kes

          So true, you can buy a ticket outside the Rog for the same price as a KFC bucket deal at present. Not even that would get Special Bud through the doors though!

          Worrying times, and it won’t change until Benning is gone and a decent product is iced, like we had under Gillis and Gilman with years of sellouts!

        • Freud

          Benning was also oddly acquiring large defensive defenceman like Gudbransen, Tryamkin, Pedan, Sbisa while successful teams were trying to find mobile puck movers.

          Now Benning announces he has discovered this trend and believe he should follow suit, all be it 4 years too late.

        • johnno

          Just saw a picture of the vastly empty rink on the Provies. Incredibly poor turnout, especially for an all Canadian match up. I have not seen it that empty since we moved from the Coliseum. There has to be serious change, it’s really not a laughing matter whether you go to the games or not!

      • Braindead Benning

        Agreed, he had done well… especially with the later picks… it just too bad many of the players he drafted are suiting up for other teams and contributing in the areas the team
        Needed NOW. Instead we have the likes of Erikssons, Gudbranson, Gagner, Vanek for example that do nothing besides take up cap space and further youth development…
        and like I said, nothing wrong with players as a whole, but there nothing but fringe players that can be had for free as in 3 of the 4 players mentioned

  • canuckfan

    Besides Dorset giving up on his check on the second goal 89 was coasting as I believe Laine was his check and 89 was no where near his check just comes across the blue line into the frame of the video as the goal goes in.

  • DJ_44

    Alex Edler left the game with an apparent lower body injury in the first and did not return. This meant we got to see Erik Gudbranson take regular shifts against top competition, often on his off-side. He did not fare well, finishing a team worst -9 in shot attempts.

    This is an interesting observation, considering Gudbranson plays the right side and Edler plays the left. Mostly, he went with two pairs, sitting Stecher (wrong choice). I get it is your narrative, Jackson, bash Sutter, Gudbranson, Benning etc., but Gudbranson had and excellent game last night.

    There was a bigger issue Edler’s injury: it meant Hutton had to play in the second pairing. He was brutal. He is barely a 6-7 defenceman in this league. There is not other way to put it. He was regularly turn-stiled (even in slow motion by Laine, once) and has little concept how to defend. At least Poilliot is rumored to have an offensive upside.

    Green can take his pick who to sit in favour of Burmistrov, but my recommendations are similar to last game:
    Dorsett (he is now top of the list), Baertschi, Gagner.

    Let Boeser carry the puck in on the Sedin PP unit. Please. With the Horvat unit, take your pick, as long as they get Bo the puck with speed they should be fine. If Edler can go on Saturday, rest him on the PP in favour of MDZ. If not, let Poulliot run one PP and MDZ the other.

  • Missing Kes

    Like i told you clueless mugs a few days ago Travis Green is just a younger clone of Willie D without the Calder, and last night proved it. Get used to it.

    In fact that Winterpeg team is exactly the kind of outfit the Canucks should be building under the clown Benning and the hard physical play they induce destroys injury prone wimps like Edler. A very useful asset to have in the Pacific.

    The fact that Chris Tanev and Bo are leading the team by example is also a wringing endorsement for the legacy of GM MIke Gillis… meanwhile ‘foundational’ Gudbranson and Sutter tell you all you need to know about how bad Benning is… some of you need to wake up and accept the truth. BENNING MUST GO!

  • I am Ted

    I thought Gudranson looked better than the noted -9. A bit of a surprise there. I think his game is improving.

    I think Benning totally blew the Forsling trade. The McCann trade isn’t as bad but that draft pick was a bit much. Anyway, it looks like Benning really will not deal with poor attitude players (I am sure he played a part in dealing Seguin out of Boston). This one might hurt a bit down the road.

    Canucks had an OK game and did fine for what they are – a team that will not make the playoffs. Their kids are not ready for primetime yet and the Sedins are playing well. I guess the rebuild continues to be on hold.

  • speering major

    What was Virtanens ice time? Barely noticed him in the third

    Hutton has looked awful all season

    Sven running around with no stick while the bench was right there was extremely annoying. Switch sides and grab a stick. Communicate.

    Paying Erickson 6 million for 5 more years is an absolute nightmare. He has been invisible 3 straight games on top of a disaster last year.

    The Sedins still look like they have their game down low but they missed an uncharacteristic number of passes last night and their skating is a more noticeable problem.

    I’m optimistic about Bo, Grandlund, Sven, Virtanen, Brock, and a bunch of prospects in the organization but there are some serious issues with the current roster. They are going to need to find the intensity they had opening night vs the oilers to be competitive and keep the fans showing up

      • speering major

        I got curious and looked up his ice time. game 1 ice time 07:34 with 13 shifts. game 2 11:25 with 14 shifts. game 3 07:06 with 12 shifts.

        I thought Virtanen has looked better than most of the depth guys and they are trying to develop the prospects. I think heard Sutter is leading the forwards in ice time. Poor Green is going to give himself an ulcer trying to win games.

  • Doodly Doot

    Did Guddy look nervous holding the puck behind the net to start a breakout? Not good. Perhaps the breadth of his game is much more truncated that I thought/hoped. That said, the game generally was unexciting and disjointed from both sides, but the Canucks seemed to drive that style the most. Feels like a full step back from game one. Granny and Virtanen seemed noticeable again with Boeser showing glimpses of his latent potential. Really liked the effort to body one of the Jets off the puck in the Jets’ own end. For me, plays like that firm up his position on the starting roster game to game. I haven’t heard Greens post-game comments yet. That should be a fun listen.

  • Lots of empty seats at former GM place.

    We got the first goal, so that was good to see. Tanev had another good game, as did Gudbranson and Vanek. Vanek is getting lots of chances and plays the right way. It’s early, but I think he’ll do well for us. With Gudbranson, if he keeps playing like this, Jim Benning better open his wallet and re-sign this guy in January.

    Canucks are 1-1-1. That’s .500 hockey. So, we better beat the Flames on Saturday.

  • TheRealPB

    That was a pretty listless and uninspired game. There are some serious passengers on this team — less than five games into the season. The young forwards look pretty good if uneven — the young D not so much. Hutton has looked absolutely terrible. Stetcher hasn’t been much better. I actually think Gudbranson looks miles better than he did at any point last year — far more mobile and less out of position. He seems to gel with Del Zotto who I think along with Vanek have been better than expected. But Sutter is the least impressive I’ve seen since he got here, Gagner is invisible, Eriksson is playing like a decent third-liner, not a $6 million man. In fact I think that’s the biggest issue — we have a whole lot of money tied up in seriously underperforming vets. It’s not my money nor my draft picks and so I’m not in theory opposed to getting a bunch of guys who are supposed to be protecting the young guys while they develop. But then do it. It’s all well and good to show young guys how to be a pro off the ice, but you better start showing SOMETHING when you’re on it. And too many of them in that older cohort — Dorsett, Gagner, Sutter, Eriksson — are doing very little. We have $17 million tide up in those four guys alone, and $31 million if you include the Sedins. Or just a couple of million less than what Nashville is paying for a top notch blue line that’s in its prime.

  • Doodly Doot

    Here’s a positive take: with the way some of the expensive vets are playing out of the gate, the phone in Utica could get some action sooner rather than later. Still early though, and if the line juggling subsides, perhaps some consistency and actual trends may emerge. For good or ill.

  • Dinsdale

    On the first goal, did I see Boeser make a nifty play to the center of the o-zone after a Sedin (Henrik?) kept the puck onside along the left boards? That’s the sort of smart play from our young players that gives me hope going forward.
    …And take my mind off the depressing knowledge that Benning invested over $13 million for another two years on Eriksson, Sutter, and Gagner (and two more there after on Loui).

  • wojohowitz

    Reality kicks in and the honeymoon is over so how soon does Travis Green get nasty with his players. Losing to Ottawa without Karlsson and now Winnipeg without Byfuglien sets off the alarm bells. Green has already used the word `soft` to describe his lineup. I`m thinking Archibald and/or LaBate during the road trip.

    But Green has also pulled some Willie like moves that makes me wonder. Stecher with lowest TOI of all the defencemen? Stecher and Hutton are still a pair? Edler goes down so Hutton moves up? Guddy goes from looking great to looking terrible but still gets ice time. Boeser doesn`t dress and Virtanen gets 8 minutes? Torts played Gagner 13 minutes average last year and let him run the PP and it worked but now he gets regular shifts and it doesn`t work? Can Green figure it out quick or does he start the call ups?