Photo Credit: Vincent Carchietta - USA TODAY Sports

CanucksArmy Post-Game: Matinee Loss in the Big Apple

I hope you lot didn’t enjoy yourselves just a little too much on your Saturday night. It would be a cryin’ shame if you slept in, a little under the weather, and missed a surprisingly entertaining hockey game.

The results might have left something to be desired if you’re a Canucks fan; the on-ice product was more than worth the price of admission.

Apparently when you mix the Canucks pace-oriented, attack offence with the Rangers counter-attack system in a Sunday matinee, you get one of the most entertaining hockey games of the season.

Loui Eriksson started the party, beating Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist cleanly from the slot. Henrik Sedin created the goal by forcing the Rangers turnover at the blue line and finding Eriksson in stride, who made no mistake, continuing on his hot scoring pace since returning from a knee sprain earlier this month. Eriksson has goals in three of his last four games and points in five of eight games since returning to the Canucks lineup.

On another Rangers turnover, this time much deeper in the blue shirts zone, Jake Virtanen collected the puck and roofed the puck past Lundqvist to double the Canucks lead and put them in firm control of the hockey game with little over half of it left to play.

The Rangers didn’t have their legs for most of the hockey game, and to the Canucks credit, they pounced and made them pay for their mistakes at every turn. It was looking pretty damn good for the road team.

With just over two minutes left in the opening frame, though, Rangers winger Jesper Fast injected some life into his teammates with a deflection goal at the top of the Canucks crease.

And just 19 seconds into the third frame, Markstrom gave them another little push, letting a Michael Grabner shot get through him for the Rangers tying goal. It’s the type of goal that Markstrom can’t let through him but consistently does on an almost game-to-game basis. And Markstrom’s reaction immediately after the goal suggests he wasn’t thrilled with giving that goal up either.

Far from deflated from the soft goal, the Canucks responded exceedingly well. Less than a minute later, Sam Gagner potted a goal from the slot that was setup by a Thomas Vanek feed. In the celebration, Gagner tripped, which is to say that he was all too happy to find the back of the net.

The Rangers turned the pressure dial up another notch, though, and with the Canucks sloppy in back-tracking through the neutral zone completed a crafty passing play that led to a Jimmy Vesey goal in the slot. That knotted the game at three and secured three-on-three overtime.

It was an exciting overtime, as they often are. The Canucks controlled the run of play, as the Sedins especially took minute-plus forays into the Rangers zone. But they couldn’t convert on any of their opportunities, which meant the game would be settled in a shootout.

In the seventh round, Vesey beat Markstrom, and that was enough to secure the Rangers victory. Suiting, since it was a Vesey goal that sent the game into overtime.

Markstrom stopped 17 of 20 Rangers shots. Lundqvist stopped 29 of 32 Canucks tries.

The Numbers

Quick Hits

  • The Canucks should have won this hockey game. Canucks head coach Travis Green said afterward that he wasn’t disappointed by today’s effort, and he shouldn’t be. The Canucks dominated the flow of play at even strength whether you’re looking at shot attempts, expected goals or the good old-fashioned eye test. This was their game to lose. Unfortunately, with his patented soft-goal a game, Markstrom helped them to do just that — lose. Otherwise, Markstrom was fine. But in a game like today’s, where the margin between a win and a shootout loss is that wafer-thin, that’s what cost the Canucks a point.

  • There’s a world of difference between Markstrom cost the Canucks a point, and Markstrom is bad. I had Nick Mercadante from Blue Shirt Banter and Hockey-Graphs on the Nation Network Radio show on TSN 1040 yesterday to discuss, among other things, the Canucks goaltenders. If you’re picking which of the Canucks goaltenders has been better, it’s Anders Nilsson, but just barely. They’re both in the top 15 by a lot of the goaltender metrics he tracks to analyze the position. It’s fair to give Markstrom a tough time for today’s game, and most rightfully are doing just that, but we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that he’s been mostly good. It’s just the constant stream of soft-goals that make his performances so frustrating, fair or otherwise.

  • I’m not sure it’s just a coincidence that the Canucks played one of their best games of the season (results notwithstanding) without Brandon Sutter and Erik Gudbranson out of the lineup. The Canucks dominated today. And the Rangers top line never really found their legs, too. Just a thought, but the optimal Canucks lineup when both of them are healthy might not include either of them.

  • The Sedin line with Loui Eriksson was the Canucks best line today. Eriksson had the opening goal, and in overtime, it was the Sedins who had full control of the puck for minutes at a time. Eriksson is a great match for the Sedins. He sees the ice well and can really hound the opposition for the puck when his feet are going. The Canucks controlled over 53% of the shot attempts last season together, so I’ve always felt comfortable in assuming that their lack of offence was always more a luck thing than a poor fit. That they’ve maintained a dominant shot share together and scored as often as they have proves that was more likely than not the case. Tonight, the trio had a +13 five-on-five shot attempt differential. Not bad.
  • Jake Virtanen played one of his better games of the season alongside Markus Granlund and Brendan Gaunce — sidenote: that trio has the makings of a great shutdown line. Virtanen led the Canucks with five shots and both teams with nine shot attempts. And one of those attempts found their way to the back of the net, too. All the same, Virtanen played the fewest minutes of any Canuck at even strength. I’m starting to wonder if there’s anything he can do to prove his mettle to this coaching staff. To date, I’m skeptical.

  • Today makes 83 straight games without a goal for Brendan Gaunce. That’s… not ideal. Gaunce had a chance in the slot to score and give the Canucks a 4-3 lead with just a handful of minutes left in the game, but was stoned by Lundqvist. The chances are coming. Gaunce’s individual expected goal and shot rates are all on the rise from last season. To the eye, he looks better offensively too. He’s engaged in the play and he’s even winning the odd puck battle with, gasp, speed. I have to think the goals are going to come. Eventually.
  • DJ_44

    I agree with JD for the most part. I really liked the Gaunce-Granlund-Virtanen line. Gaunce played really well, and, in my opinion, drove the play on the line. He is good at what he does. He was robbed by Lundquist in the third.

    Gagner, despite his goal, was not good. Neither was Burmistrov. Sutter, Vanek and…Goldobin? Sure, why not.

    While the Sedins with Eriksson were boarderline dominant int he first two periods, the Sedin’s slowed in the third, and it would be nice if Daniel thought about backchecking once in a while. Eriksson is starting to heat up. He is very, very good hockey player. The puck follows him, he wins battles everywhere, and he is really smart.

    I do not like Green’s delployment in OT. No to Gagner, he does not pass the puck. No to the Sedin on the ice at the same time. Play Sutter-Virtanen; Bo-Baer; Boeser – Granlund.

    Overall, a really good game for the Canucks. Heck, even Hutton and a really good game.

  • Brent

    Daniel needs to get one point against the islanders. Then at least another point against the Leafs so we can rub it into the HNIC panels face. Although, this years panel isn’t that bad, but hey, lets do it anyway.

  • TD

    Entertaining game that you could blame Markstrom for the loss with the weak goal, but he hasn’t let one in for a while so the “patented soft goal a game” comment seems quite snarky. In in fact the last weak goal was let in by Nilsson a couple of games ago when he left that soft one in on the short side seconds into the game.

    The Canucks need to find a couple of bigger players that can hit and stand up for their teammates that aren’t a drag on the team. They got pushed around a fair amount including Kreider pushing Hutton into Markstrom. That’s how goalies get hurt and the Canucks allowed it to happen with no push back.

    • Roy

      LOL. We need some goons that can actually play hockey, yeah that exists. Or the referees could officiate so we don’t have to let slack-jawed high-school-esque shenanigans constantly mar a great game of skill and athleticism? All that stupidity would melt away if the reffing weren’t so bush league.

      • truthseeker

        Yep…NHL needs to actually call penalties. I don’t think it’s so much that the refs don’t have the ability, but more the “game management” that the NHL wants to keep the league “entertaining”.

      • TD

        I’m not asking for a goon, but when Shea Weber is in front of his goal, players like Kreisler don’t do what happened today. One of my favourite players of all time was Jerome Iginla. He was a top goal scorer that no one took liberties with because he was tough. The era of the goon is over, but some toughness spread throughout the lineup is valuable. I think we all know the refs will never call most of the stuff after the whistles.

    • Locust

      Funny how CA never ‘goes after’ the anal-lytics darlings when they suck (Hutton) yet even when Sutter, Guddy or Dorsett don’t play – they get douchebagged.
      Maybe it’ll change when a couple of the contributors complete puberty…..

  • defenceman factory

    Virtanen is a real conundrum. 1st shift he was out with Sedins and has a dangerous giveaway with a poor cross ice pass. He then gets demoted and has a good game, 5 shots, a goal and some other chances. Coach doesn’t seem to like him much, no overtime and Hutton in the shootout before Virtanen. Seems vindictive because it doesn’t make sense for any other reason.

    Sedins had a good game but that doesn’t make it a good idea for them to play in overtime. I wonder if any other team has ever put their two slowest players out together. They are very good at keep away but didn’t come close to a scoring chance. Luckily they didn’t cough up the puck because, just like last year, they would give up a breakaway or 2 on 1.

    Gaunce is an adequate NHLer especially if you are more interested in corsi than actual goals. Hard to figure, every trip to Utica he puts up points but can’t buy a goal with the Canucks.

    Rangers gave Boeser no space today and did a good job keeping him off the score sheet.

    Overall a good effort by the Canucks, an entertaining and winnable game.

    • DJ_44

      I do not think he was demoted at all. Green mixed up teh lines at the start, maybe to get everyone skating, then went with the ones he liked. I thought Jake had a good game and had a good ice-time throughout the game. On a line with Granlund and Gaunce suits his game, and compliments the other two. You can see the development in his game, and Jake seems nothing but happy (as does Green) with the way he played.

    • Holly Wood

      Ahhh, Jakes giveaway, where he tried to whack a bouncing puck on his backhand back into the middle. Yes he should have tried to keep the puck on the wall. I seen that and cringed, thinking he was headed to the pine if Rangers score. Does seem like TG holds him more accountable than others ie. Troy Skechers ill advised pinch that went the other way for the third goal. If that was Jake he’d be scratched next game. Down the road he will be all the better for it but he really drove the play today and really like him with Granlund

  • Class of 2011

    Watching the game made me realise how much i miss AV – the most successful Canucks coach ever. His teams are always fast, exciting and win… alot. Miss him big style.

    In hindsight it was a foolish kneejerk reaction to can AV soon after the Boston final and with only Brock Boeser to show for it in five years of turmoil and the lowest attendances since we moved from the PC, I believe we should’ve held course, let GMMG/LG and AV and re-focus on drafting a solid young core to add to those key pieces like Horvat, Tanev, Markstrom and Hutton who are still key pieces from that time to this day… after all, the standings and poor drafting ever since don’t lie… do they?

  • TK Smith

    I must sincerely thank you JD. Your gratuitous swipe at Gunderson and Sutter won me money, again. Unfortunately, you have become such a boringly predictable caricature of a hockey blogger that I doubt I will find anyone willing to bet against your obligatory snarky comments.

    It really is laughable to use Jason Brough to support your stupid comment. When that juvenile was on the radio as part of the Kurtenbloggers I listened as they made fun of Joseph Cramarossa’s name when the Canucks claimed him on waivers. No comment on his value as a hockey player – just infantile stuff about how they were definitely going to call him Joey Red Cream. I turned off their show before they got to the fart jokes.

    Please consider studying Daniel Wagner, old Harrison Mooney postings or any other hockey blogger in Canada that regularly produces entertaining comments and analysis without having to grind a personal agenda into the reader’s face. I still believe that you really can produce better work if you would could just get over your pathological need to build up your fragile self confidence by cutting down others. The omnipresent bitterness cannot be good for your health or personal relationships. Just think of the positive example you can be to your staff of CA writers if you strive to turn out some snark free work.

    I don’t expect an overnight change in your attitude but at least you could try, eh? In the meantime I guess I will wait to read your take on the Grey Cup game and how Jim Benning, Willie Desjardins and Lucas Spisa were responsible for the Stamps or Argos losing the 2017 Snow Bowl.

    • Dirk22

      Here’s what Wagner had to say about Gudbranson in his quarter season report card:

      Gudbranson – D (lowest grade on the team FYI). Gudbranson has seriously struggled this season but has been trending upward recently.

      …oh and Sutter got a C.

      They are poor performing players that are (and potentially could be in the case of Guddy) occupying a sizeable bit of cap room for the next few seasons. What would you like these authors, Wagner included, to do – lie to you? If it’s the snark, just relax or go read some Ian McIntyre – I’m sure he’s got some fluff pieces up right now on the ‘unprecedented’ future the Canucks have in store.

      • TK Smith

        Dirk, your making my point for me. Wagner wrote an evaluation of the team and its players without resorting to vilifying specific players. Then the comment section disagreed with some of what he wrote by using reasoning and avoiding gratuitous sarcasm. Wagner didn’t need to lie or inflame to produce an entertaining product. It really is possible to engender debate without constantly slagging selected players over and over again.

        Your Iain MCIntyre comment is symptomatic of the problem at CA. It’s all ‘if your not with us then your against us’. If JD writes a piece that takes a swing at injured players it is trenchant comment, but if McIntyre writes an article extolling the volume and progress of Canuck prospects then its a puff piece. The CA thin skinned reaction to McIntyre’s old column containing a poem about not appreciating the constellations because you have only focused on the science of stars was a well presented antidote to their set of opinions that rely so very heavily on analytics. The CA reaction to I.M was telling in that even a gentle rebuff of their desperate adherence to elements of a spreadsheet was taken as a personal attack on their manhood.

        Wagner can interact with his readers and not be afraid of his ego being diminished. PITB writers have actually apologized to their readers when they have crossed a line in their articles. JD chooses to not directly address any comments that take him to task for his incessant need to criticize specific players. JD’s silence and then the predictable appearance of commentators such as “Roy” who use ad hominem attacks to defend JD only fuels the suspicion that he posts under pseudonyms to provide weak retorts. Wagner has greater credibility as a blogger because he produces good content, creates genuine discussion, engages with his readers and has the courage to admit when he is wrong. I am asking JD to note these qualities and to endeavour to incorporate them into his writing and set an example as the editor-in-chief of CA. I agree that CA and PITB have different aims but the the actual PITB product is something that JD et al can learn from.

        • Roy

          So why don’t you take your long winded, frothing conspiratorial diatribes to PITB and not subject us to your disturbing assumptions. For the record, I made observations to critique you – not “defend JD” – there isn’t a single ad hominem in my post. Here’s one though: you’re an obsessive simpleton. And your paranoid hypothesization that writers on this site would stoop to post under pseudonyms is eye-wideningly embarrassing. I have been accused of using pseudonyms myself and also being one. This is probably the saddest argument in these hyperbolic comments sections. “You must be fake because you agree with X” or “you must be fake because you don’t agree with the hive-mind eye-test yokels.” Rest assured I’m not a bot, my IP does not originate in Russia, and I don’t know anyone at CA. And, as a long-time professional writer, I can assure you than no one who writes for money cares in the slightest what you or the other blubberers constantly whining think. They look at the number of comments and say, nice. They look at ad revenue and site stats and they know darn well that the more critical they are, the more hits they get, you dummies.

    • Roy

      Is this for real? Nice meltdown. This post is a caricature of the comments section. I would characterize the critique of players on this blog as mild. No one is “pathological” and to accuse the write of “having to grind a personal agenda” is so extra and disproportionate. I think you first need your diaper changed, and then you really have to take a step back and consider why you are this unhinged about a hockey blog.

      P.s. Sutter and Gudbranson are mediocre. Wagner and Mooney are kitschy and cute and they definitely know their pop culture, but they don’t understand the game like the writers on this site do. This meltdown isn’t just embarrassing, it’s ignorant.

  • Drancer the Prancer

    For the fake CA accounts trying to praise Gillis (because he is an extension of “progress/analytics”) and rip Benning (because he is an extension of “old school/anti-analytics), this is the best collection of Gillis players he left behind in 2014. Looks pretty thin once we take out the players Burke & Nonis brought into the organization:

    Shinkaruk, Horvat, Kassian
    Matthias, Richardson, Schroeder
    Booth, Gaunce, Grenier
    Rodin, Labate, Biega, Jensen
    Hutton, Tanev
    Hamhuis, Corrado
    Garrison, Subban, Stanton
    Markstrom, Lack

    That’s after 6 years of managing and 6 drafts.

    Whereas for Benning after 3.5 years of managing and 4 drafts, this is what he would be leaving behind for 2020 (6 years after he started in 2014) if he is not extended:

    Baertschi, Petersson, Boeser
    Goldobin, Dahlen, Virtanen
    Eriksson, Gaudette, Lind
    Granlund, Sutter, Lockwood, Gadjovich
    Juolevi, Stecher
    Pouliot, Gudbranson
    Tryamkin, Chatfield, Brisebois
    Demko, Dipietro

    If you want to know why the “class of 2011” was so good, it’s because Gillis didn’t do anything noteworthy other than trade for Ehrhoff and get lucky Hamhuis wanted to play in his home province. This is what he inherited:

    Sedin, Sedin, Burrows
    Raymond, Kesler, Grabner
    Pyatt, Morrison, Hansen
    Bolduc, Ryan Shannon, Mike Brown, Jaffray
    Edler, Bieksa
    Mitchell, Salo
    Ohlund, Krajicek, Mike Weaver
    Luongo, Schneider

    A GM’s job is to leave the organization in better shape than he found it.

    Gillis failed spectacularly and Linden/Benning are cleaning the mess.

    Which is why the apologists at CA basically have to pretend that Gillis taught Sedin, Sedin, Burrows, Raymond, Kesler, Grabner, Hansen, Salo, Edler, Bieksa, Mitchell, Luongo & Schneider how to play hockey.


    • Dirk22

      I know you’re probably new to being a Canuck fan so I’ll give you a bit of a history lesson. When Gillis took over the Canucks in 2008 the team was at a crossroads. Nobody was pegging them as a franchise to be reckoned with over the next few years. Anyone who was actually a fan and paying attention knows this. If you want to dispute that go and find me any piece of evidence where the Canucks were being billed as the next big thing. You won’t. You think Nonis would have been fired if so?

      Anyways, back to the lesson. Gillis did inherit a core Sedins, Burrows, Kes, Edler, Bieksa etc. You can’t fault him for that. All of these players flourished under the Gillis regime. If you don’t want to give a GM credit for having players play well when they’re in charge that I’m not going to argue – we’ll just leave it at that.

      Gillis supplemented this core with players over the years: starting with Demitra, Sundin, Bernier (Funny aside: Bernier was a regular whipping boy while he was here. Looking back he scored 15 goals and 32 points as a 23 year old. Granlund did the same last year and he was lionized by the faithful. Anyways…perspective I guess). And then there was Samuelson, Ehrhoff, Hamhuis, Higgins, Torres, Malholtra all brought in on trades or good contracts. The simpletons on here like to complain about these contracts because obviously they weren’t cheering for the Stanley Cup run in 2011 – a team only made possible by the astute management of Gillis and Gilman. That won Gillis a GM of the year. Benning’s will come soon I’m sure once Eriksson’s contract expires.

      So did he leave a swath of prospects ready to compete for another cup? No – of course not. Hard to have the same draft record when you’re a perennial cup contender and you’re picking later in the draft though-as well as using draft picks to try to put you over the top. Anyways, that’s just common sense for most people – and why teams likes Pittsburgh, Washington, Chicago, LA don’t have the best prospect pools – but I know on here things need to be explained a few times.

      He could have drafted better for sure. He made some deals that didn’t work out (Ballard, Roy). The Luongo contract backfired on him. He shouldn’t have hired Torterella. There were mistakes. To not acknowledge the good he did is just playing up a narrative though isn’t it. If you’re that scared of analytics that you need to paint the entire Gillis era as awful that’s just kind of on you.

      Now I know you are just hearing about the Gillis era second hand as you obviously weren’t around for it but hopefully that helped a bit to put things in perspective.

      • Drancer the Prancer

        “I know you’re probably new to being a Canuck fan”

        And yet I know Ryan Shannon…

        Mike Gillis was the Chris Osgood of GM’s.

        The success was in spite of his contributions and it left a complete mess for the next management team to clean up.

        It’s too bad Sundin didn’t take that cap wizard Laurence Gilman up on his $20 million offer.

        The Canucks wouldn’t have had the cap room for the Sedins and Gillis would have been fired after 3 years instead of 6.


        • truthseeker

          Stop being stupid. His team signed players at way below the value they could have gotten elsewhere. Kes, KB, Hamhuis, Edler, all took far less than they could have made in free agency. He kept that team deep and powerful for a number of years. Yes, there was a cost the canucks are paying now but it was worth it. Those years of consistent winning were awesome.

          Mike Gillis wasn’t brought in to “build a team” he was brought in to keep a winning team together so they could have a shot year in and year out for deep playoff runs. For the most part they did that. Only a more powerful Hawks team kept them from winning more. He did what he was supposed to do.

          All you morons who try to compare or even worse, take a side in, some sort of imaginary battle between Gillis and Benning, are completely missing the point. There is no comparison to be made. They had/have drastically different agendas. And each of them did/has done some good things and some bad things.

          Geezus people on this site are stupid.

  • Cageyvet

    It was an entertaining game, but far from their best. If you watched the game, it was apparent that we were an Edler skate save away from losing in regulation. Sure, we had the most chances, but there were far too many giveaways to call this a great effort.

    Yes, it was a good game, but if you think this game was the poster child for improvement based on the absence of Sutter and Gudbranson, we see the game very differently.

    I liked the upbeat style of play, but it was a group effort on the lack of neutral zone tracking you mentioned, and there were some fire drills in our own end.

    JD, please, you rag on the Dorsett-Sutter-whomever line and trot out the stats to belittle their impact on the game. I’m not disagreeing that the Gaunce-Virtanen-Granlund line could be a good shutdown line, they could well be better than the Sutter grouping. But, if you’re going to discuss shut-down lines, possession and shots for need to be less of a concern, in favour of this stat – How many quality chances did the other team’s top line get?

    Not how often did they skate around with the puck taking low-percentage shots from the outside. Not anything but how many times did they stop Ovechkin from ripping his shot uncontested, or letting McDavid or Crosby blow by them. Shutdown line means that is their primary role, and should be the primary stat you use when judging them or others you feel suit that role.

    If you don’t have a stat for it, then make one, or use the eye test. You realize that on paper, the Sedins 3 on 3 look amazing, they control the puck for eons…..while creating nothing but a fear in the pit of your stomach that they are about to be burned with speed the other way. The same thing applies to the shutdown role, the paper view of the performance probably doesn’t tell the whole story.

    Your writeup overall I’m in agreement with, just help us feel that it’s not all prejudice against certain players that drives your analysis. Produce consistent stats. If the line with Virtanen can be a good shutdown line in your opinion, what makes you say that? How did the stats look? Is it based on potential you see via the eye test? Both?

    I don’t care, many approaches are valid, but let us know, and if it’s strictly based on possession and Jake’s shots on goal, then I’d argue it’s a skewed sample with the wrong emphasis. Nobody gets 9 shots a night, and while the best defense may be a good offense, if your shutdown line can’t finish effectively (few can) then it’s critical that they don’t give up Grade A chances to their opposition, as it should be the other team’s best finishers.

    One final note, on goaltending. Markstrom has been solid this year, worthy of his contract, and generally meeting if not exceeding expectations. He has, however, let in too many soft goals, while Nilsson has let in only a couple, and the last one he was shaking off the rust from his absence. He absolutely needs to play more games so we can have the true competition for the net we expected. I don’t know which of these two will hold up in the long run, but I want them both to get a chance to show us. Nilsson should get 4 of the next 6 games in my mind (assuming he doesn’t crap the bed) and let’s see if he can steal the starting job or not.

  • “Surprisingly entertaining hockey game”
    It sure was. I don’t mind losing games when the entertainment level is this high. Fun and fast paced, end to end action. This is the way games should be played. We’ll win the next one if we keep playing like this.

    • truthseeker

      In my book shootout loses aren’t losses. They are ties. And yes, I don’t consider a shootout win a “win” either. I call it a 2 point tie.

      It’s a shame they couldn’t hold a lead but yeah, it’s hard to complain about the canucks in a game like that. This team’s mental fortitude is much higher than last years team and that’s a great sign. Might not be enough to get them into the playoffs but you never know. What I really want to see is a strong effort every game and this kind of attitude to survive til the end of the year. I’d call that a successful season.

  • kablebike

    What does the analytics indicate about Gaunce getting a goal before 2018? Is it some epic outlier or within an expected deviation from some mean or average? Honestly, park him in front of the net on the PP for a rebound or one off his body like last year to get him rolling.

    • Locust

      Gaunce needs to improve both his Corwick and Fensi numbers.

      If you subtract his CSIAB (cant score in a brothel) from his average HOS (hands of stone) you get a very high JBCA (jinxed by canucks army) which is his biggest issue. Going a whole year not scoring is not unusual to many that contribute here……

  • Bud Poile

    Ironic that some ‘fans’ have no accountibility understanding how this team was left a frigging shambles from full on ineptitude.Zero scouting,player development,player management or club management skills resulted in a complete Sedin era -Burke/Nonis asset supernova.
    The Gillis circle jerkers applaud each other while a potential dynasty was completely bungled.
    The team is rebuilt and competitive within just two down years.
    From talent waster/franchise destroyer to rebuilt,exciting hockey squad in record time.
    Ungrateful morons.

    • LTFan

      Bud – relax and take a deep breath. All the regulars on CA know that you support Benning 100% and Gillis 0%. You should move on from that comparison. Myself, I think Benning has done a pretty good job. At least now there are some prospects in Utica who have a good chance of playing in the NHL. Two years from now I expect the Canucks to be a top 10 team.

  • Rodeobill

    So great to see the Sedins so dominant again, and they definitely look good with Loui. I like Gaunce over Burmistrov so far if it comes down to a “one or the other” kind of thing. Boeser had an off night, and thats fine. Weird they played Hutton in the shootout over any other forward left. I like JV on that line too. Great game today.

  • speering major

    It’s nice to see the Sedins connect with passes and control play again. Unfortunately they are slower and that’s a trend that can’t be reversed

    Virtanen looks like he’s either lost out there or his confidence is shattered and he’s paralyzed with indecision vs just playing the game. He never seems to anticipate correctly or be assertive away from the puck. He just can’t read the play.

    I think for Jake to take the next step he’s going to need to be comfortable and confident within the system (which he doesn’t seem to be), then he can play within it instinctively and focus on moving his feet and anticipating the play. With his speed, size, and shot, he could be effective. At this point he looks lost out there

      • speering major

        Yeah he’s not a good fit for the Sedin line. He has potential. He hesitated, misread the play, then got torched for a goal. He also threw the puck away up the middle. He makes a lot of mistakes still and misses a ton of details. Yes he skates very well, is physically gifted, and has a hard shot. He does things well and has potential. Clinging to a 3rd or 4th line roll doesn’t get people excited about someone with Jake’s gifts. People want to see an effective player driving the play on a 3rd line, not struggle to justify the spot

        • Holly Wood

          Well Spearing Major, not sure what game you are referring to but here are the facts from yesterday’s game. Wingers on the ice for goals against were, goal#1 Boesser and Bartch, goal #2 Vanek and Gagner, goal#3 Eriksson and Sedin. So Jake did not hesitate,misread the play, or throw it up from his seat on the bench when any goals were scored in the Ranger game. Looks like you were not watching the game that close. So don’t say Jake misses a ton of details when it’s you that hasn’t any attention to detail. It’s easy for some fans to pile on the current whipping boy.

  • RobG

    Couple of things

    1. Why does nearly every comment section turn into a tire fire over Benning and Gilles? For all the greif JD takes about beating the dead horse…. Their is a time and a place for those discussions, and the post game write up 6 years after the SCF is neither of those.

    2. Why is Virtanen’s rope so much shorter than everybody else? I sense a trade coming….

    3. Do the Canucks have a sport psychologist? If they don’t, they should. Markstrom’s penchant for soft goals lies directly between his ears.

    4. Why do people harp on JD for his constant bashing of Dorsett, Sutter, and Guddy. If it wasn’t those players it would be somebody else…. So like your constantly interfering mother-in-law or that annoying nephew who throws tantrums just to get attention just tone it out and ignore it.

    5. If the Canucks are in a wild card spot do they sell Vanek at the deadline? With the way he has been playing he would net a handsome return.

    • truthseeker

      1. Because most people feel the need to be extremists.

      2. I have this idea in my head that hockey people in general are not the best people managers. You’d think a coach would be, but these are mostly former player types who probably had no training in actual management. You get that sense when it seems like coaches play favorites. From the outside, very outside, so take it for what it’s worth, Green seems to like to “send messages” for the sake of sending messages. What trade? Virtanen?

      3. Makes you wonder doesn’t it? That should be one of the most important departments of any pro sports teams. And they should work hand in hand with the coaches about the players.

      4. I have no problem with being critical of a player. What I need is proof. I don’t consider possession stats proof as there is no direct correlation, (or nobody seems to want to show me if the is) between possession and team points or player points. Much his arguments against said players use advance stats to “prove” his point. I think people quite rightly rag on him a bit for that. Having said that, it’s pretty clear from every other perspective that those players have some issues in their games. Again, it’s the extremist thing. People strangely have trouble admitting that sometimes those guys do good things, and sometimes the don’t.

      5. I think they should. I’m all for making the playoffs and trying to have some success. But he’s an advantage they should use for picks. I’d probably judge it based on the level of return. So like, anything less than a second round pick or a good prospect, like the burrows/hanson trades last year, then forget it. Just keep him and see what happens. Getting a third or lower pick? What’s the point? He’s worth more to us short term than a 3rd rounder which almost never become anything.

      • RobG

        Thank for the thoughtful reply.

        Re Vertanen. He has all the right tools: big, strong, speed, good shot, and good hands. I think his short lease is a combination of lack of maturity and hockey IS. He nice mentioned attributes masks his deficiencies in junior and are easily exposed at the pro level and my hope that the Canucks have enough patience to see them through and not give up on him too soon but I have a feeling if he doesn’t turn the corner soon they are going to have to sell him while his potential is still high before he “is what he is.”

        I won’t argue that Sutter, Dorsett, and Guddy aren’t perfect but no player is. Stetcher, Hutton, and Edler have glaring deficiencies but they seem to have earned a pass based solely on low salary (Hutton and Stecher) and years of service (Edler). I guess its too much to ask that there be balance of both critizism and praise throughout the lineup.

        • truthseeker

          no worries!

          I see more good in Jake’s game than bad. Yeah the mental side of it seems to be an issue at times but he certainly does have wheels and the times when he uses his size are fun to watch. I heard an interview with Bertuzzi talking about how long it took him to really understand playing at the NHL level. My guess is that other GM’s don’t see much value in Virtanen. A)He’s a winger; that’s already pretty much the lowest value position for trading, and B) He’s not been that great so far. Frankly I don’t think his value could be much lower right now. True, it could sink to “is what he is” level like you said, but worst case scenario the canucks would need to do a pump ‘n dump like Gillis did with Hodgeson. Give him a run in favorable situations to inflate his value. I’d say best course is patience and give him more rope. He may still end up being that power forward we haven’t had since Bert.

          Yeah, Hutton’s play in particular has been disappointing. D is so valuable though that just what he showed in his rookie year makes me think the canucks need to give him a lot of leeway to find his game. Might hurt short term but I think the kid is a player. He’ll turn it around.