These are trying times in Canucks-land. The Canucks took what their head coach described as a step forward last night, in a loss to the Montreal Canadiens in which they surrendered seven goals. And if you watched the game or looked at the underlying data, you’d find that it isn’t such a far-fetched notion.
Sure, the Habs scored seven goals, but Corsica.Hockey’s expected goal model suggests they should have barely potted two in all situations play last night. The obvious inference then is that the Canucks just needed a save. That’s been a running theme of late. Neither one of Jacob Markstrom or Anders Nilsson seems interested in taking the starting job and running with it. Both have had a hand in helping the Canucks surrender an average of over five goals a game in their last seven, and are both on their way to sub-league average save percentages. It’s getting ugly.
Canucks head coach Travis Green doesn’t have an obvious answer to this problem, and his options aren’t plentiful. I certainly wouldn’t want to throw Thatcher Demko into this mess, and I bet the Canucks share that sentiment up and down the organization. For better or worse, Green has to find a way to make it work with Markstrom and Nilsson. At least, that’s what I think.
What about you?! What do you think the Canucks best course of action is to fix their goaltending woes before this season veers into disrepair if it’s not already at that point.
Last week I asked: Assuming you can only play three of Burmistrov, Dowd, Chaput or Goldobin, who do you play and where do you play them in the Canucks lineup? Or, alternatively, do you look to the Utica Comets for reinforcements. Hell, if you want to get really creative, Ryan Carpenter is on waivers today, so that’s an option, too.
I thought Chaput played better against Calgary then he did against Winnipeg, but so did most players. I’d leave him with Jake and Brenden as the fourth line. Dowd as 13th forward because has not come as advertised. Poor in the dot, taking penalties, crushed in possession stats, but albeit only two games with a new team…
Boucher and Goldobin had some success in Utica, so call him up, and put Granlund on that line.
Sit Gagner and his three year contract.
Send Dowd to the pressbox or Utica. He will clear waivers.
Other than your fourth line, you have a decent balance of vets with younger players.
The fourth line should be let loose to find their game. Sure, might be a gong show, might be something interesting.
Watching Gagner out there makes me nostalgic for the Linden ‘double-shift’ Vey glory days … isn’t Mason ’20 goals a season’ Raymond available? Right now I’d offer Kyle Wellwood a Mats Sundin contract just to keep Gagner off the ice!