Photo Credit: James Carey Lauder - USA TODAY Sports

CanucksArmy Post-Game: Grounded

What’s life like for the Canucks in a post-Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi landscape? Not good. The Canucks haven’t won a single game without Horvat in their lineup, and tonight’s loss might have been their worst yet.

In total, the Canucks opponents have outscored them by a margin of 13-4 in the three games since Horvat’s injury.

The Jets opened the scoring little over a minute in as Dmitry Kulikov beat Jacob Markstrom with a fluttering shot from the point. It was a throwback to the Markstrom from the first month of the season; the one that let in the soft goal early almost every game.

To the Canucks credit, they responded well and put up a good fight right to the end of the opening frame. Brock Boeser (who else?) evened the score up, too. It was his first night playing with the Sedins, and both brothers combined to set him up in the slot.

In the second, the disparity in quality between the two teams came to the front. The Jets speed was too much for the Canucks to handle. Matthieu Perrault finished a tic-tac-toe passing play in the slot and sent the puck past Alexander Edler and Markstrom’s gloves. Great try, Edler.

Nikolaj Ehlers doubled the Jets lead not long after. Nic Dowd, who the Canucks acquired last Thursday, got burned by Ehlers to draw a hooking penalty, and the Canucks kill faltered (one area you know they miss Brandon Sutter in immensely) surrendering the Ehlers goal.

The Canucks didn’t muster much in the way of a comeback in the third. They surrendered another great passing-play goal to Josh Morrisey in the slot, and Markstrom gave the puck up to Perrault for the fifth Jets goal.

Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck stopped 25 of the Canucks 26 shots. Markstrom stopped just 19 of the Jets 24 tries, meanwhile. According to TSN’s Jeff Paterson, Markstrom owned that it wasn’t his best night, though. For whatever that’s worth.

The Numbers

Quick Hits

  • This was a night for Markstrom to forget. The first goal, as he aptly points out, is one that he has to stop. Ideally, he wouldn’t give the puck to Perrault in the slot either for the fourth. The Jets had just over two expected goals tonight; they scored five. It almost accounts perfectly for the two that Markstrom should have stopped.
  • The Nic Dowd acquisition hasn’t exactly gone to plan through two games. On Saturday, Dowd didn’t win a single faceoff and was a possession anchor. Tonight, Dowd was one-for-three in the circle and tied for the lowest on-ice shot attempt differential on the Canucks with Michael Chaput at minus-five. Dowd also took the penalty that led to the Ehlers. It’s early. The sample size is small. Still, it’s hard to ignore how poor he’s been in the first two games.
  • I’ve been in Alexander Burmistrov’s corner most season. I don’t think he’s a great player — not by any stretch — but he absolutely is one of the Canucks best 12 forwards. There are only four Canucks forwards who’ve left in the black by Corsi for, and he’s one of them. That’s before you account for tonight’s +11 performance, too. I have no idea how they can healthy scratch him with Sutter and Horvat out of the lineup. One has to think that after a performance like tonight’s that he might have bought himself another game.
  • Speaking of Russians who’ve found themselves in the press box, do you think this Canucks team could use Nikolay Goldobin in their lineup? In the last three games, the Canucks have scored just four times. That’s barely over a goal a game average. Goldobin isn’t going to save the Canucks season, but as a prospect, he’s best known for scoring goals. If not now, when is he going to get a chance?
  • Is it starting to feel like last season? The way the injuries are mounting up, it’s starting to feel like it. I’m a fan of Chaput as a 13th forward. I’m not sure I’m as keen of Chaput moving ahead of Burmistrov, Goldobin, Reid Boucher, etc. That reminds me a lot of Willie Desjardins style deployment. If the results start to follow, well, wouldn’t that suck?

    • grickbeil

      Our current point total has us on pace for 85 points. Last year we had 69… that’s a 16 point swing which is huge. Even using the rates presented by Ryan for game 31 we were on pace for 74 points last year at this point, still a difference of 11 points. Still a big difference. I’m not saying I like an 85 point team, but there is a big difference between where we are now and where we were last year points-wise…

      • Puck Viking

        With all the injuries we currently have I expect us to fall apart over december and january. I wouldnt be surprised if we are the 3rd or 4th worst team at the end of the season.

        • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

          I couldn’t care less if we lost all 82 games this year. I only care about the young guys/prospects getting the opportunity to swim &/or sink. So far, not too good that TG is electing to ice lifer AHLers over younger kids with considerably more offensive upside. Typical coaches though….always ruining the fun of the game in the name of winning. Remember waaaay back last year when Babcock just let the kids play and learn to be more defensively responsible on their own (and not by sitting their butts in the pressbox). However, look at EDM for an example of how that same strategy can be disastrous….

  • Wise Canuck

    Looks like the wheels have fallen off the bandwagon in here as usual. Tumbleweeds…

    … ”and with the 6th pick the Vancouvers Canucks PASS on Nikolaj Ehlers” (and Larkin, Nylander, Tuch etc) and ‘proudly’ choose Jake Virtanen ffs.

    Also Nic Dowd… Benning BUST… he is woeful – send this bum to the AHL where he barely belongs… bring up Jimbo fave Meat McPotatoes instead.

    Benning must GO, he has had FOUR YEARS to add NHL depth after being gifted a 101 point roster, can’t you clowns SEE THAT?

    • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

      Here here! Kick JB and TL to the curb. I will add TG to this list in the future if he keeps coaching like Willie D with his incessant “200 ft game player” garbage repetition night in and night out. Brendan Gaunce and Michael Chaput are NEVER going to light the lamp, and neither of them have demonstrated much defensive “prowess” lately….so why the hell are they being played over Goldy and Boucher???? Unless TG’s masterplan is to simply lose games AND provide no room for the youngsters to stretch their legs and play.

  • Burnabybob

    Whatever else happens this season, it’s basically a success for the Canucks, based on the development of their young players. Boeser is a Calder Trophy candidate. Pettersson is leading the SHL in points. Lind is doing great and looks like a steal. Demko is doing well in the AHL. The team doesn’t have much depth, and cannot withstand the loss of someone like Horvat for long, but give them time.

  • Steamer

    Willie 2.0 = Green. No room at the inn for Goldobin or Boucher – I mean, all they do is score – instead we get Chaput & Dowd? Really Travis, you gotta be joking. Upside? As ‘Belisarius’ notes: RASMUS DAHLIN!

  • Chuckey

    This season we have seen first hand players such as Larkin, Pastranak, Tuch, Tkachuk and Ehlers skate rings around us, playing a key roll in racking up our losses.

    It really is sickening how good those guys are and that all were available to us. Not a good look on and off the ice, is it?

    • Burnabybob

      The NHL draft has always been a bit of a crap shoot. The upside is that Benning has also had some draft steals- Boeser was taken 23rd overall and would have gone much higher if people had known how good he would turn out. Pettersson looks like he could have gone 3rd overall.

        • Chuckey

          How on Earth do you come to that ridiculous conclusion? Hischier is already tearing it up in the NHL with the Devils heading towards the playoffs. Petterssen is in the SHL ffs, a soft Euro league with big ice and minimal physicality.

          C’mon man you usually post decent stuff, this is just laughable CA ignorance.

          • crofton

            Hischier has 20 points, which doesn’t even put him in the top 50. How is that “tearing it up” exactly? Oh unless you meant tearing it up pronounced teering it up

  • Beer Can Boyd

    The hindsight on display in these comments is incredible! Well done, all of you geniuses. That being said, Virtanen does look a lot like Mason Raymond when he rushes the puck. And Down can be put on waivers. Like, right away.

  • myshkin

    Winnipeg has an excellent team so losing the game with mediocre goal tending is not the end of the world. It’s a long season and the team is better to watch than last year. Considering that I hate Toronto, I’ll be cheering for Winnipeg and smiling at every Oiler loss.

      • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

        While I agree that Sutter is substantially underwhelming quite often. He does win draws and kill penalties. I feel like the biggest issue with a bunch of the players on this team is simply that they’re ‘earning’ considerably more $$$ for the skill set that they possess and what they bring to the table. Blame the dude who signed them to all that $$$ I say.

  • ned

    Can we please just ice the best team possible TG and company? Send Dowd on a one way flight to Utica. Bring Boucher to the big club, sit Chaput for a game and let’s see how we do.

    • Chuckey

      Oh no, we couldn’t do that. Prospects have to season for years like a cask of Jack Daniels instead of marinate for a short time and be thrown straight on to the hot coals. They then have to be stored and rested like prime rib while cheap rump steak like Chaput, Dowd and Gudbranson get suited up regardless of how bad they are.

      If this Petterssen kid is so good, call him up and let’s see what he can do in the show right now like Hischier. You know, sink or swim in the big kids pool for the team that owns him.

  • Flying V

    I can understand why Green wanted to get a look at Dowd after he was acquired. Hopefully Green can now join in with the rest of us and agree that he should be lower down the call up list. Send him down to Utica as a veteran presence and bring up Boucher.
    Chaput is exactly how I remember him: hardworking with limited creativity and zero threat to score. Combine that with the mistakes he made last night and he should be scratched. Learn from the press box, right Green?
    Put Goldy in and leave him in. At least if he makes defensive mistakes he has the ability to make up for it on offence.

  • Rodeobill

    The only real positives from this game are Boeser’s streak continues and Jake is getting more ice time and trust. when the bench gets shortened, he’s still on the ice and always looked dangerous. Gaunce looks good with him on the forecheck, but that line needs some finish, maybe Eriksson and Gaunce in the middle?