Canucks Finish Off Road Trip with 1-0 Victory Over the Wild
The Canucks didn’t need goaltender Anders Nilsson to stand on his head tonight. They held the Wild to 29 shots, but only six of them qualified as high-danger chances. Nilsson was there to stop them all, though, backstopping the Canucks to a fourth-victory to close out their five-game road trip.
Nilsson's save percentage up to .949. Has only allowed one ES goal in 130 minutes.
— Jason Brough (@JasonBroughTSN) October 25, 2017
As the score might suggest, not a lot happened tonight between these two teams. It was like a throwback to the mid-2000s brand of Minnesota Wild hockey that I grew up watching. Then again, perhaps it’s the Canucks who are to blame given the pace they’ve played with this season…
— Sean Tierney (@ChartingHockey) October 24, 2017
Whatever the case, all it took was a Jake Virtanen snipe from the slot in the third to secure the Canucks victory. With just half a period remaining in regulation, Virtanen skated into the Wild zone, shot the puck into a defender’s shin pads, recovered the puck and used a quick release to sneak one past Wild netminder Devan Dubnyk.
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) October 25, 2017
The Canucks never relinquished that lead, securing the 1-0 victory and capping off an encouraging 4-1 road trip. Nilsson stopped all 29 of the Wild’s shots, and Dubnyk stopped 24 of 25 Canucks tries.
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 25, 2017
Another one in the ? in #mnwild
— Darryl Keeping (@dkeeping) October 25, 2017
"The guys in front of me probably blocked more shots than I made saves, it was a total team victory." pic.twitter.com/kkFLIVPF32
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 25, 2017
- Coming into tonight’s game, Nilsson sported the sixth-best delta save percentage, according to Corsica.Hockey. Delta save percentage is the difference between a goaltender’s actual save percentage and his expected save percentage. In this instance, a high delta save percentage is the goal. Have to think that sees another increase after tonight. The goalie controversy? Yeah, it’s definitely back on. The Canucks didn’t ask a lot of Nilsson, certainly, but he delivered on what was needed. The Wild scored 1.38 expected goals by Corsica.Hockey. In reality, they had none. Nilsson now has two shutouts in three Canucks starts. Jacob Markstrom doesn’t have one in his career.
Anders Nilsson currently leads the NHL in shutouts, and his crease companion Jacob Markstrom has yet to ever record a goose egg. #Canucks
— Grady Sas (@GradySas) October 25, 2017
- Big Tuna. The Canucks world found out tonight that this is Jake Virtanen’s nickname in the locker room, and hey, why not? Big Country always seemed so forced. Let’s stick with Big Tuna, who delivered in the clutch for the Canucks tonight. That’s been a developing trend for Virtanen. Coming into this weekend, Virtanen was pointless. Now Virtanen has points in three consecutive games. If he keeps playing like this alongside the Sedins, who knows, maybe he can score near a second-line pace. What a boon that would be to the Canucks’ fortunes.
LISTEN: Virtanen Post: "That's a big goal and a good end of the road trip for us" https://t.co/DfG791leVE
— TSN Radio Vancouver (@TSN1040) October 25, 2017
- This was, in my humble opinion, Derrick Pouliot’s best game as a Canuck. In the first frame especially I thought Pouliot had a couple of great looks on the Canucks one power play opportunity. Pouliot led the Canucks in five-on-five on-ice shot attempt differential, too, with a steady plus-seven mark; his transitional data was sterling as well. I’ve been mostly “meh” on Pouliot since he joined the Canucks, but his underlying results have been impressive throughout. The Canucks are leaving the ice with their heads clear above water by five-on-five shot attempt differential with Pouliot on the ice, and by a fair amount at that. Pouliot seems to be improving, if only slightly, with each passing game, too.
- Derek Dorsett led all Canucks forwards in ice-time tonight. Yeah, that one. The one leading the team in goals with five. Dorsett also came into tonight’s game with the third-worst Corsi For percentage on the team. I get that you have to play the hot hand, but this is getting a little wild. Dorsett is a career fourth-liner coming off of career-threatening neck surgery. Great story or not, there is no way he should ever lead your team in ice-time. Related, the Canucks were a minus-seven tonight by five-on-five shot attempt differential with Dorsett on the ice, and he took a hooking penalty in the final seconds of today’s game while helping defend a one-goal lead.
- We had Jeremy Davis on this week’s episode of Nation Network Radio on TSN 1040 AM to discuss Jake Virtanen, Canucks prospects, and yes, Ben Hutton. Davis advocated for Chris Tanev as the Canucks’ best option to pair with Hutton at even strength. Well, that’s looking like a “w” for Davis after tonight. This might’ve been the best that Hutton’s looked in a few games. You know, the Canucks might have something there.
Nation Network Radio October 21 Hour 2 https://t.co/jxkp1xXzNG
— TSN Radio Vancouver (@TSN1040) October 22, 2017