Photo Credit: © Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

CanucksArmy Postgame: Sunk

California is a great place, but it hasn’t been kind to the Canucks this season. After Thursday’s loss to Anaheim, the team entered the shark tank hoping to regain some of the confidence that carried them over the past few weeks. It might be too soon to say, but this team is beginning to show some shades of last year. Goaltending was solid, but the Canucks failed to score a goal. Sound familiar? The Canucks were shut-out 5-0 tonight in San Jose.

The Statistics

Shots: VAN 41 – SJS 31

Power play: 0/5

Penalty kill: 4/4

The Game

48 seconds into the first period, Tomas Hertl pushed his way behind Ben Hutton and was able to tap in the Sharks’ first goal past Jacob Markstrom.

The Canucks’ power play certainly did the team no good tonight, unless you’re the San Jose Sharks. On the power play with five minutes left in the second period, Daniel Sedin lost a battle to Hertl, who then sprung Logan Couture on a short-handed breakaway. 2-0 Sharks.

Couture sealed the deal with an empty-net goal with 1:30 left in the third period. 3-0 Sharks.

Just kidding. Chris Tierney added another empty-netter with 31 seconds left. 4-0 Sharks.

For some unbeknownst reason, the refs then decided to award a penalty shot to San Jose with seconds left in the game. 5-0 Sharks.

Game Notes

It’s a running joke that Jacob Markstrom needs to allow one soft goal before fully getting into the game. Tonight was no exception. After Couture’s goal in the first period, Markstrom was solid for the rest of the game. He did everything he could to keep the score close, but unfortunately for him, he got no goal support.

Loui Eriksson made his return to the lineup after missing 12 games with a knee injury. He was a penalty killer and played 5-on-5 with the Sedins, as per usual. Overall, he had a very good game and was arguably the Canucks’ best player tonight. He was second in TOI amongst forwards with 18:16, and he was tied for first on the team with five shots on goal. Eriksson has been an easy target for criticism since, well, his very first game in a Canucks uniform. However, do take a look at this as it’s something that needs to be reiterated more times than it has:

After a poor performance against Anaheim, the Canucks’ penalty killing was far more sound tonight. The power play… not so much. Not only did the Canucks go 0/4 tonight, but they allowed a short-handed goal which eventually killed any chance of a comeback. There was absolutely no momentum generated on the power play, and that may have something to do with the first unit consisting of Sedin-Sedin-Vanek-Gagner-Del Zotto.

Speaking of the power play, I can pinpoint a few deployments that certainly raise eyebrows. First, Sam Gagner. When he was with the Blue Jackets, he earned the reputation of being a power-play specialist from playing around the net. With the Canucks, he’s manning the point. Why not give him a chance and put him closer to the net? He’s shown he can excel there and, to be honest, the Canucks have nothing to lose. My next point is with regards to Thomas Vanek. As we’ve already seen in this short season, he’s got an incredible shot. Rather than making him the net-front presence, why not put him in a position where he can shoot?

The power play is in dire need of a change. Whether it be personnel-wise or making systemic adjustments, something must be done if the Canucks want to see any improvement.


  • Acronix

    Really missed watching virtanen tonight, would like to see the likes of younger players even Goldobin but can’t see that happening. The penalty shot at the end was the biggest joke of a call I’ve seen in a while frustrating game to say the least.

  • NeverWas

    Huge nucks fan but these last 2 games have been hard to watch…not even worth the price of the illegal free stream I watched it on. Just a couple goals, that’s all I ask.

  • Cageyvet

    Pouliot was a bright spot tonight. The powerplay needs 2 defensemen on the point, and my vote is for Pouliot, Hutton, Del Zotto and Edler can hold a spot until Stecher gets back. Everybody else stops screwing around up high and set up the net traffic that opens up the high slot and point shots.

    The Sedins continue to frustrate me with their lack of effort, it’s not footspeed, it’s not bearing down and engaging in all facets of the game. I felt that tonight, with Loui playing well, and in other games where Jake was prominent, that I wished they had better linemates to take advantage of their hard work.

    I hope the twins can pick it up. I have been on the side of this being their last year, just for the good of the franchise and allowing the youth to arrive. I was just hoping for a decent year from them with reduced expectations, and so far they’re barely holding their own.

    • DJ_44

      No need to write much morel these were most of my take-aways from tonights game.

      I won’t even bash Hutton for the first goal; although he still struggles with forwards coming off the boards, with and without the puck, down low, Ben played okay.

      I also shake my head at the dochebag twitter community regarding the lack of respect Loui receives. If you watch the game, he is easily a top six on any team in league.

      Time to sit Daniel for a couple of games. I agree that it is lack of effort that the Sedin’s are displaying, probably out of frustration. I remember a retired pro saying that it is not necessary the legs abandoning you so much as it is the hands start to go. I can see this in both Daniel and Hank this year.

      We may have a gem in Poulliot. Sure, it is early days, but he appear to be a much more natural version of Stecher in the defensive zone (does the same thing in a much quieter fashion) with a way bigger offensive upside.

      Radical suggestion: sit Daniel and Hendrik, and put out Loui – Granlund -Virtanen; slot in Gaunce on the Sutter line.

      • Holly Wood

        the hands are the first to go, that quote belongs to Lanny McDonald. I don’t think its lack of effort by the Sedin’s, its that the games has been speeding up while they have been slowing down. Real Rusty is spot on when he says the league has had 10 plus years to develop a pk to play against the twins cycle game on the pp. All good things come to an end

    • Bud Poile

      Stetch and Tanev are RHD.
      The lack of organisational depth at this position has just been showcased.
      Trade or an injured Guddy and there’s only the Bulldog remaining.

      • Yank Canuck

        The latest bone this dumb old dog can’t let go of… the elite 2011 Canucks only had three RHD – Bieksa, Salo and Tanev, and as usual Sami was oft injured playing just 27 reg season games while Tanev was a newbie and played just 29 reg season games and a mere 5 in the playoffs… believe that team won the Presidents Trophy and made it to game 7 of the SCF so a complete non issue. Run along now Yank, tail between legs.

          • Bud Poile

            Alberts and Ehrhoff played the right side.
            Ehrhoff,Tanev,Bieksa,Salo and Alberts makes five RHD.
            The current team has four RHD and the top two are out.
            Ehrhoff and Bieksa -two RHD-had 77 points between them.
            This team’s entire D-corps will be lucky to score 1/3 of that.
            Crofton is correct.
            Back under your bridge,Dud.

        • Holly Wood

          while they played the right side, both Alberts and Erhoff shot left. But then so did Robinson, Savard, Lapointe, Awrey and everyone one else on the Habs D back in the 70’s. The clamoring for right handed D has gotten real fashionable in the last few years. It wasn’t that long ago that left hand shots had a sizable majority and I haven’t ever heard a theory on that

          • Quadra Canuck

            Exactly… retard Bud is whining that there are no RHD, then she uses two LHD playing on their offside as an answer to the expertly proven point from 2010/2011!!!… an utter clueless trolling tw@t

  • wojohowitz

    Henrik has zero power play points this season and his five points in 17 games projects to a 25 point season. He should be on the end of the bench watching rather than setting a really bad example for the young players.

    • Roy

      Pure class, as usual. The Sedins are getting used to playing less and aren’t to blame for the worst structured power play in the league. Go learn how to talk proper hockey and don’t come back for a couple of years.

      • DJ_44

        It is not unclassy to suggest that the Sedin’s role be further diminished by not having them on the powerplay, or having one or the other. I am not aware of a PP structure that does not involve a player running it from somewhere around the half boards, even if it is just to play catch with the PP QB at the point. You want to know why the Sedin’s cannot constantly cough up possession on the PP? The PP only has to pressure Hank and he does not have the quick hand to move it effectively. He may fire it backhand along the boards but the usually results in Daniel losing battle on the end wall.

        It is what it is. I have huge respect for the Sedins. But time is cruel and unforgiving. A lot more options open up for the PP structure and execution without Daniel, Hank, or both.

  • TheRealPB

    That’s now five games in a row that we’ve played somewhere between poorly and looked terrible (Anaheim). We were marginally better yesterday than against the Ducks but again the PP is now so bad that I’m feeling deja vu to the late 80s when crowds would yell “refuse it” when we got an opportunity. We now squander any momentum or flow from the game when we go on the PP. That second goal was a joke — Sedins get outmuscled on the boards and then no-one has the speed to get back because everyone’s already committed to the crappy static PP “strategy”.

    It’s great to have young guys with some speed and skill. It’s great to work them into the lineup. It’s great to have a new coach who has better systems and better in-game adjustments. But it all goes for naught when we can’t even gain the zone in a PP or give up 3 goals against on the “man advantage”. I continue to be just astounded that we cannot somehow seem to hire decent special teams coaches. How does this happen through multiple management teams and head coaches as well as various personnel?

    Also, we’ve been wondering what it would look like when the Sedins finally suffer from serious decline. We are there right now and it isn’t pretty. I get what Green is trying to do — shelter them during the games and give them PP time. But at this point can we honestly pretend that they deserve the ice-time, either on the PP or even strength? 10 minutes a game is fine, but at this point there’s no way you re-sign them for more than about $2 million each and even that’s a legacy salary. I think there’s a real case for them to retire at the end of the year and not drag down their spectacular careers. If the season turns into this (and not the ten games before which were really promising, with strong structured play against some very good as well as mediocre teams) then there is no point in playing Gagner, Vanek, Burmistrov or even the Sedins ahead of Gaunce, Virtanen, Rodin, Goldobin or Boucher.

    • Dirk22

      You really think the power play coach is the problem? Same guy used to be in charge of the best pp in the league. I bet Rasmus Dahlin could fix it up.

      You’re right about the Sedins – you would think the power play would be their forte but that hasn’t been the case for years. Would be a bit sad to see them go out like this.

      • Roy

        Do you watch the games? The structured passing through the neutral zone is so easily picked off you can practically hear the opposing players laughing. Granted, the Sedins lack the speed, so they should really be the second line unit, and have the first line be Horvat’s – they should gain the zone and if they get a whistle, plug in the Sedins. Others in these comments have mentioned switching Gagner with Vanek. There – in two sentences I have improved the power play. So how is it the players’ fault and not the coach, again?

        • DJ_44

          So, you are saying the Sedins are fine on the PP, except for zone entry. So they should be on the second unit (because the second unit doesn’t need to enter the zone?). The Sedin’s are the second unit PP. Zone entry does not work because they do not enter the zone fast enough to option the defenders at the blueline.

          Hoping for an offensive face off and a Hank faceoff win does not seem like a viable option.

          80% of the problem with the PP (both units) is zone entry. Loui will help because he is good with the puck and great in the battles, but the Sedins cannot be charged with entering the zone; which basically means do not play them together, or at all.

  • Yank Canuck

    Instead of crowing about squeaking by teams like the Caps and Pens, who simply cannot get up for games against the Canucks, the real issue here is highlighted in these massive Pacific Division games… the abject inability to beat your DIRECT DIVISION RIVALS – especially the three powerhouse Cali teams who are happier than a butcher’s dog to feast on the Canucks year after year.

    Two games, 1 goal scored and NINE against with the LA Kings and Vegas to come… bye bye Benning, it’s been truly awful watching you destroy my once GREAT club while our own Division rivals just rack up their playoff points on us!

    • canuckfan

      Benning has not destroyed the Canucks he has been putting a good group of players for the future. The last bit that has been left over from 2011 will soon be gone. It was fun to see the team do well at the beginning of the season but now we are seeing what was predicted. It might be an idea to sit the Sedens for a game either it will show that we need them out there or the team is better without them.
      Now that we are getting players back and are having a number of players sit time to make some adjustments and beef up Utica and give these almost good enough to make the lineup the chance to work on their game so that they can stay in the NHL lineup.
      Time to go back to watching the 2018 draft class as we were all doing until Canucks got some wins.
      Canucks were pushing but that second Sharks goal was a killer no more power play time for the twins they just can’t keep up.
      Would like to see the proposed Granlund, Eriksson, Jake line could be fun to watch all three are good defensively and can score.

  • Holly Wood

    I am a Travis G fan and have been a Sedin fan for a long time, but last night there was definitely no in game adjustment by TG. The twins played 17 plus minutes of very lack lustre hockey last night, Eriksson looked fine so maybe TG thought his play would let him ride the twins a little harder. The erosion of their game is now upon us big time

  • TheRealRusty

    RealPB: what has it been now? 5 PP coach that we have gone through? It is not the lack of PP coaching but the personnel they have to work with… I have said for 3 years now and I will say it again. The league has had close to a decade game planning the Sedins and their tendancies on the PP. Neither Daniel nor Henrik are a threat to shoot. If you are going limited their 5×5 time and make it up with PP minutes then they need to be split up on different units to make it harder to game plan against.

    • defenceman factory

      From what I’ve seen this year splitting the Sedins up on the powerplay might work best if that means making them sit apart on the bench. They had a good run but the time has come.

    • Freud

      Once again, Dorsett and Gudbransen failing miserably to prevent or intimidate the opponents from attempting to injury their teammates. Apparently the team is overpaying them by a few million for a service they are not providing.

      • Bud Poile

        Neither were on the ice at the time of the infraction,which leaves the rest of the Canucks on the ice doing nothing.
        “Failing miserably” is what you do,Freud.
        Back you go with Dud under JD’s bridge.

        • Tom Selleck's Moustache

          “Neither were on the ice at the time of the infraction,which leaves the rest of the Canucks on the ice doing nothing”

          Uh, that’s exactly the point. It’s almost as if the deterrent argument doesn’t actually hold water…

  • Laxbruh15

    Wow, another game where the canucks handily outshot the other team and still lost. It’s almost like shots are inconsequential and scoring chances are what win games. And Guddy had a great game again, one of his best of the season despite starting 66 percent of his shifts out side of the offensive zone. While shutting down the other team’s best players.

    • Freud

      Uggg, counting shots arguments were settled 5 years ago.

      I’m not sure if you’re ignorant or lazy.

      Last night, “Guddy” played the fewest minutes 5on5 of all defenceman. Only Biega played fewer minutes overall. Green doesn’t even trust Guddy anymore.

      Guddy does lead the team in shorthanded ice time – and the team is 25th in the PK.

      He played the most minutes against Karlsson, Boedker and Hertl, they are not the Sharks best players.

      It was actually Edler and Pouliot who were matched with Couture, Thornton and Pavelski the most.

      • Roy

        Why do you think this isn’t obvious? Like, do you think it’s savvy or clever to point out that the best offensive defenceman and the best defensive defenceman are injured? DUH. It’s the clown college leftovers playing ineffective junior hockey – i.e., the lack of depth in skill that’s really the problem. With Tanev and Stecher, we’re back to being mediocre. How do you lack even the most basic critical thinking skills, posting utterly pointless naivete like this?

        • Bud Poile

          Tanev and Stetcher are this team’s two best defensive d men,Roy.
          PK not PP.Hello Professor Roy.
          With Tanev we were 3 games above .500.
          A healthy Stetcher makes us better not weaker.
          The basics are difficult for those without a friggin clue.

          • Geriatric Mushmouth

            “The basics are difficult for those without a frig*in clue”… yes aren’t they just Bud the Du(d)

            “The Canucks need players that can contribute out of the gate, particularly on D. I would take Liljegren or Heiskanen. Hopefully it’s a player that is close to NHL ready come September” – Bud the Du(d) bleating before last draft

            What COLOR is the sky in your deluded sad little world Y(A)NK…

  • Honey Badger Fan

    It always looks to me like the Sharks, Ducks and Kings look at us as an easy two points, there is no fear factor, just a sneer and a beatdown.

    Until a Canucks team is iced to combat this ‘easy win, it’s the Canucks’ mentality in our division there is no way we can make the playoffs is there?

  • truthseeker

    lol…..and here we see the typical self loathing sky is falling canuck fans. All it takes is a couple loses and they’re completely writing off the Sedins, the season, and everything else about the team. I’d tell you to relax but it would be a waste of key strokes.

    • canuckfan

      We all knew where the Canucks would end up in the standings at the end of this year. When the team had some success people started crapping on them for winning. Now they are going through a tough stretch again the team gets crapped on. The Canucks are building a team to compete that means building depth and takes time. Next year they will be more competitive