Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara - USA TODAY Sports

CanucksArmy Post-Game: Beantown Beatdown

Canucks Bounced 6-3 in Boston

Tonight, like most night’s in Boston for the 2000s Canucks, is one to forget. The Canucks were outplayed, badly, in almost every phase of the game, and when the Bruins weren’t up to the task, they did the job for them, committing costly mistakes to take themselves out of the game early.

You’d never guess it looking at the score, but there was a point when this game wasn’t just within reach for the Canucks, but they appeared to be in the driver seat. It lasted all of about three minutes, reaching its peak with a Derek Dorsett goal early in the first period to give the Canucks a one-goal lead. Anders Bjork tied the game for the Bruins about 30 seconds later, though, as a poor read by Chris Tanev left the Bruins rookie open in front of the net with all the time in the world to bury his chance, and he did.

Shortly after the opening volley of goals, Erik Gudbranson threw a questionable hit right into the numbers of Bruins forward Frank Vatrano, and suffered a boarding major and a game misconduct for the trouble — he had to fight Tim Schaller afterwards, too. The Bruins made the Canucks pay on that power play, scoring three times on the extended man advantage. That was the game, really.

Canucks head coach Travis Green pulled Anders Nilsson after David Krejci’s 4-1 goal for the Bruins, closing the book on a burgeoning goalie controversy, for now. It was just halfway through the first frame, but Nilsson had faced 17 shots at the time he left the game.

The Bruins were effectively in cruise control from that point, and there was very little the Canucks could do to change that. Vancouver surrendered another goal in the second period, again to Bjork. Though, to their credit, they also had a pair of their own, as Thomas Vanek and Bo Horvat both found the back of the net.

The final score read 6-3 Bruins. Anton Khudobin stopped 26 of 29 Canucks shots. Nilsson stopped 13 of 17 Bruins tries and Jacob Markstrom 16 of 18.


Quick Hits

  • Let’s call a spade a spade. That Gudbranson hit on Vatrano, and the five-minute penalty kill it forced on the Canucks, cost Vancouver the game. This team is not good enough to kill off a five-minute penalty. The Canucks surrendered three goals trying to kill off that major, for anyone keeping track, and Nilsson was chased from the net in the process. It’s been a bad season for Gudbranson. He’s currently at 38% by five-on-five shot attempt ratio, which isn’t just bad, it’s below replacement level. Gudbranson’s numbers in transition are ghastly. He needs to be better. It’s as simple as that.
  • Gudbranson might have some extra time to think about how to improve his game. The Department of Player Safety already has a disciplinary hearing planned for Gudbranson.
  • This wasn’t a great night for Nilsson, obviously, but I’d hardly blame him for the disastrous first period the Canucks played. I’d have given him a chance on, maybe, one of the four goals he surrendered. Otherwise, it was just bad defensive breakdown after bad defensive breakdown. The Canucks surrendered 2.6 expected goals by the time Nilsson left the net, and that was little over ten minutes into the game.
  • I’ve been the lead member of the Play Alexander Burmistrov club, and even I have to admit, tonight was not a good one for the cause. Burmistrov was out of positioning and caught chasing on the triggerman on two of the Bruins three first period power play goals. On the one play, he over commits to the far point and leaves the slot open for the Bruins puck carrier, and on the other, he flubs an opportunity for a shorthanded breakaway and never really recovers to find his man in the defensive zone. By the second period, Burmistrov was on the outs of the Brock Boeser-Sven Baertschi duo, and Bo Horvat was back where he started the season. Burn the tape, Burmistrov. Just burn the tape.
  • Bo Horvat, speak of the devil, was a rare bright spot tonight for the Canucks. Horvat had a goal and regained his spot alongside Baertschi and Boeser. The Canucks need Horvat to get going, offensively and defensively, and so far this season the results have been mixed. Hopefully for the Canucks, this is a sign of things to come.
  • Ben Hutton struggled tonight defensively. He was on the ice for four goals and didn’t look great on any of them. Hutton’s been great in transition, but some of his work below the goalline could use improvement. Needs to be more engaged physically and be willing to take the hit to make the play. Didn’t see a lot of that tonight.
    • Nuck16

      I was critical of the Gudbranson trade at the time because we traded 2 players that didn’t need to be protected (expansion draft) for one that did and I got laughed at because we only had 3 dmen worthy of protecting), but in the end we ended up losing Sbisa because of that trade, who is having a nice start for Vegas…so now look what that trade cost us to get a guy who was 2 years away from UFA…and that 2nd pick we sent off was actually a higher pick than Dahlen. That’s what happens when you have management in rebuild denial. You make those prospect and a pick for an established player trades at the end of your rebuild when your prospect cupboards are over full and you’ve go nowhere to put them.

      • Canucks Realist

        Forget Sbisa, the bigger picture here is two-fold.

        1. Gudbranson was an epic fail even before the trade, remember, this guy was a top THREE pick who has amassed a whopping 12 goals and 49 points in 339 NHL games…and is a career MINUS 65… yet he is hard to play against?!!!!!!!!!

        2. Benning called him a foundational player… then tried to off load him back to FLA when he realised the league is all in on D men with offensive upside and speed who can jump into the rush and help score. You couldn’t make it up…another absolute disaster from the worst GM in the league.

  • TD

    Reading the first couple lines about how badly the Canucks were outplayed in all aspects made me wonder if JD watched the game or even read the stats he posted in the article. The shots were 35-29, but take away the worst 5 minute penalty kill I have ever seen and the Canucks outshot Boston during the rest of the game. If I read the Corsi chart in the article that JD posted, the Canucks led in Corsi 41-38.

    I don’t think the Canucks were great and they lack enough players with game breaking talent and goal scoring at the NHL level. But they weren’t outplayed in all aspects throughout the game. Poorly written article.

    It was a stupid hit by Gudbranson that cost his team the game. I don’t understand how JD’s focus was on his overall season and not the stupid hit. Maybe I missed something, but this article didn’t seem to fit this game.

    • crofton

      Add to that the inequality in refereeing. The night before Dorsett gets 2, 5 and 10 the 2 and 10 a result of instigating. Tonight….no instigator penalty? That would probably have significantly changed the PP, at least in time short handed. The PK was for s^&^, weren’t special teams supposed to be improved?

    • The_Blueline

      I agree. Base on shot metrics, doesn’t look like the Canucks were outplayed. No excuses for losing by 3, but they were not outplayed by all aspects.

      Guddy is terrible thou. Thinking that we have up McCann and he 33rd makes me wanna cry

      • DJ_44

        Gudbranson has been solid all season. Hutton on the other hand has little if any use. Get Holm up hear and quick.

        The reason for the poor PK last night, after excellent PKs for the first five games of the season? Gudbranson was not on the ice. Plain and simple.

        It is painfully obvious that Hutton was the weak link last year. This year is going to be worse.

        • Freud

          Of the 145 d-men who have played 70 minutes or more this season, Gudbransen is 142 in possession numbers. 99% of defenceman tilt the ice in their team’s favour better than Gudbransen.

          How do you explain the evidence contradicting your opinion of him being “solid”?

          Shot metrics don’t tell the story? But they are used above to justify Vancouver didn’t play a bad game last night.

          Perhaps your expectations are low for him, or perhaps you’re trying to justify Benning’s moves.

  • Canucks Realist

    Remember blowhards, every LOSS is a victory, because it means Benning is one step closer to being FIRED! That was a whole new level in ineptitude as the class clowns LInBenning watched on from the rafters in the Gaaa-den. What must they be thinking watching that trainwreck on skates THEY put together!

    Also of note, while we watched Gudbranson solidify the McCann plus pick trade on an expiring contract as one of the wrost ever – did anyone see just how GOOD Pastrnak and McAvoy were?… both passed on by the ‘draft guru’ Benning. I guarantee you we won’t see an end to end highlight reel like that from Virtanen! Chew on that one blind boys and apologists.

    • Moderated Post

      What’s intriguing about the missed Pastrnak pick, is that Benning must have known that Boston was likely to pick him, because he was a Bruins employee while Pastrnak was being scouted. So instead he jumps at McCann, then offloads him a year later. Was there some sort of gentleman’s agreement between Benning and Boston to not scoop their guy? Or did Benning forget his draft binder in his desk when he left the Gahdens for the last time?

    • Braindead Benning

      Indirectly he did cost the team the game… however in retrospect he cost the team in future prospects and salary cap space when you put it all together…
      it’s pretty much a rather stupid trade

        • Braindead Benning

          WTF… don’t paint me in the same brush as “Special Bud” or call me
          Weak lately…. i “will and always will”
          Have my same opinion about this stupid management, however, I have 2 small business to run so sometimes this become secondary

    • Moderated Post

      If Gudby was going to show some moxie and staple a Bruin to the glass I can think of about 5 other jerseys he should have picked. Vatrano?? Like, who even is that!

    • canuckfan

      The Canucks power play lost the game as they were making their comeback starting the third period they had a power play and couldn’t score and then had another shortly after couldn’t score then Bruins got one and scored and put the game away. You got to score when you get the man advantage or the game gets away from you.

  • Nilsson didn’t get much help.

    Also, I disagree with your assessment of Gudbranson. His game has been fine.

    Inconsistency in play is going to give Travis Green nightmares.

    Things will go better in Buffalo tonight.

  • speering major

    Did Hutton get a membership at the local weed shop? His play has been this way since training camp. It’s surprising because his strength was his poise and now he looks worse than sbisa night after night. I wouldn’t over react if it was a game or two but we are way passed that now

    I also found Boeser’s powerplay role annoying. Effective powerplays have shooters in a shooting position and they had Brock stationed in no mans land. The canucks have players that aren’t a shooting threat controlling the half boards

  • Steamer

    This team has the potential to make last year’s team look ‘not so bad’; D is a mess: Guddy can’t play effectively in this league & Hutton also looks in over his head. Even Tanev is making questionable reads – with 2 fragile giants between the pipes & sporadic – at best! – scoring, Canucks look a cinch to finish last…and pick 5th:)

  • Holly Wood

    The Gudbranson hit was bad, but that happens from time to time. They missed him on the pk because his he really is hard to play against. When he wasn’t there we had guys like Hutton getting their sticks lifted behind the net by Bergeron leading up to a quick goal. I tend to not get caught up too much in the Corsi analysis as some people do.

  • Braindead Benning

    This team needs to learn how to trap the middle zone… most of the goals are contributed from allowing opposing players to “sneak”
    Through the neutral areas and backing up to allow prime scoring opportunities

  • Burnabybob

    Vancouver’s defense looks pretty flimsy. They need to make that a priority for the 2018 draft. Luckily, it looks like 7 of the top 11 prospects are defensemen, at least according to early rankings.