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Photo Credit: Bob Frid - USA TODAY Sports

CanucksArmy Post-Game: Regicide

Canucks Dismantle the Kings 6-2 in front of the Rogers Arena Faithful

This game was over almost as soon as it started, and for once, it was the Vancouver Canucks on the winning end of that equation. And oh, how convincingly they won this hockey game.

People were still in the process of finding their seats while Loui Eriksson scored. Twice. In fewer than four minutes of game time. By the time people were leaving their seats for refills on the beverage of their choice at the first intermission, the Canucks had a 4-1 lead over the Kings with contributions from Thomas Vanek and Sven Baertschi.

The Canucks were just getting started. Brock Boeser scored his first goal since January 6th on the power play to cushion the Canucks lead. Anze Kopitar got the Kings back on the boar barely a minute later but to little effect. With the Canucks earning a two-man advantage not-long after as a result of Kings centre Trevor Lewis throwing a questionable check on Brock Boeser, the Canucks capitalized quickly. You guessed it — Boeser.

With the Canucks getting all their goals out of their system in the first two periods and the Kings having little give at all on this night, the third period played out with little action. The Kings thought they’d scored a third goal on the night, but a coach’s challenge for goaltender interference overturned it in short order.

Jacob Markstrom stopped 30 of the Kings 32 shots.

The Numbers

Quick Hits

  • There were a lot of great performances tonight, and they all deserve their due. If I had to pick one player who really moved the needle for the Canucks from start to finish though it’s Bo Horvat who gets my vote. What a game. Horvat had two assists, two shots, won 75% of his faceoffs and was on the ice for four of the Canucks six goals tonight. Not too shabby, eh? If there was ever any doubt about how valuable to the Canucks a healthy Horvat is, tonight should put those to rest.
  • The only player who gave me a moment of pause when I reflected on the Canucks best player from tonight’s game other than Horvat was Loui Eriksson. He’s awoken from his December scoring slumber with a vengeance. Two goals in just under four minutes is a pretty special feat. Eriksson added an assist, another two shots for a total of four on the night and was also on the ice for four Canucks’ goals.
  • Brock Boeser hadn’t scored since January 6th, but I’d honestly thought he’d been playing some of his best hockey in that stretch leading up tonight. And then, boom! Two goals and Boeser made it look easy. According to Corsica.Hockey, Boeser had ten shot attempts tonight, too, so he earned each of those. Sure, they were power play goals, and they aren’t usually quite as meaningful as the five-on-five markers, but Boeser did draw both of the penalties that led to his goals, so there’s that.
  • Jacob Markstrom didn’t have to win this game for the Canucks singlehandedly, but he was there when the Canucks needed him. The Kings had over 2.5 expected goals according to Corsica.Hockey. Markstrom kept them to two. There was one cross-ice feed in tight by the Kings that Markstrom slammed the door shut on in the third period that was an especially good save. Not bad.
  • truthseeker

    Beauty game. Nice to have one of those to show them what they are capable of. And yeah Horvat looked good. Some of those face off wins were so clean and so huge.

    Best moment of the game was Boesers second goal. That was hilarious. The whole sequence. Getting hit, refs telling him he has to go off, winning the draw clean, holding to allow him back on, passing him the puck directly, shot, goal. In what? a couple seconds? Talk about “making a team pay” for a penalty. That’s the text book definition right there.

    Whole thing was fun to watch.

  • Holly Wood

    Nice to see another team back on their heels after a couple early goals. Canucks showed some class by not trying to run up the score or run after Brown for that elbow on Dank. And thanks to JD Burke for acknowledging Bo’s work in the face off circle. I was under the impression that although he loves possession stats he didn’t recognize the value of faceoff wins.

    • Bud Poile

      He doesn’t when the center dominating the circle is Sutter,which happens most every game.
      Something about a Benning prejudice and/or no clue that a team’s defensive structural strength revolves around a sound defensive specialist up the middle.
      Eriksson up and over half a PPG.
      Hope the team goes on a healthy run here so the Benning haters are once again forced to zip it.

      • LorneM

        Sutter is barely a faceoff specialist dude. He’s at 52% or something close to that on the season. Also I’m sure if Sutter set up multiple great chances, had a couple points, and won 75% of the faceoffs he took; then JD would mention that as well

        • Bud Poile

          72.2% DZS%.
          Sutter’s predominantly taking defensive f/o’s and was 59% last night.
          Bo was superb last night but his DZS% is 52%.
          The team is defensively gifted with both Bo and Brandon back.

          • DJ_44

            The team is far better off with Bo back, and Sutter if only because Gagner is no longer trying to play center in the defensive zone. “Gifted” is beyond a stretch. I would say mildly competent.

            Dowd certainly helps; I would prefer Gaunce to Gagner.

          • @crofton – obviously, last night was not average. If last night was average the team would have been first place in the NHL before Bo and sutter went down with injuries, instead of on the playoff bubble.

          • Bud Poile

            There’s no sense hiding it,” said the Canucks’ head coach. “Those guys play a lot of minutes and take a lot of big faceoffs (Green said when they were both in the lineup, Horvat and Sutter took 78 per cent of the team’s defensive zone faceoffs.

            “I feel comfortable putting them out against any line and they played against the top two lines on the other team for (over) 20 games. To replace those guys, it just doesn’t happen.”

            Ed Willes Van Sun

  • defenceman factory

    Well that was a pleasant surprise. Having Horvat back makes this forward group look okay. With the young guys on their way there is hope for the future. Still work to do on D so hopefully the trade deadline and draft deliver some promise.

    After a 5-0 loss to the Sabres things are pretty ugly over at oilers nation. A flames fan left an unflattering comment on the game report along with the link below. Just knowing LAKid opened that link makes me smile.

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/91/dd/4e/91dd4e33030400e652f540b8249b11af.jpg

    • truthseeker

      Yeah the oilers really are a basket case. Great to see. And I can honestly say that even though they are the better team at the moment, I would not trade franchises with them at this stage. Their situation is a total mess. Thank everything we didn’t end up with Lucic. As bad as Eriksson has been, he’s still been better than him. And he has the kind of game that will age better because at least he can be defensively sound and his body should stand up given the game he plays. They are no closer to having a good D core, and those top heavy contracts kicking in for McDavid and Draisaitl especially…are going to punish them hard.

      • Dirty30

        I was trying not to gloat so didn’t post what I had written — but you nailed the main points. We may rightfully complain about Benning, but Chia hasn’t turned out much better, even when taking over a team loaded with top picks and gifted McJesus.

        • Freud

          What seems lost on the people gloating about Chiarelli’s Oilers is he and Benning believe in managing teams the same way. You know, the Boston model.

          Bad contracts to old players only because they once played on your former team, size over speed, defensive defenceman over good defensemen, trading futures for bad defenceman, trading away good young players for garbage because they’re immature… Good times ahead.

          • Canuck4Life20

            Name one player that Benning has signed from his former team. Name one good you player that has been traded away for garbage because they are immature. You can’t fraud.

          • ringmaster

            oooooh Eriksson plus he tried to sign the Looch, plus you could also count Miller although he was technically just an unconsumated crush. As for the immaturity part, there’s a rumour that that could apply to McCann, possibly even Lack although garbage didn’t come back in the Lack trade.

          • Silverback

            Elaborate please. The way I see it, the only bad contract on the Canucks is Ericsson. Everything else is mostly short to medium term a d easily managed.. Perhaps you can take your hate for Banning and try to channel it towards something positive. Like look more closely at the prospect pool and oh, how about Boeser the Calder candidate? As well as 6–7 quality prospects coming up in the next couple of years. Your old and tired narrative is getting repetitive as well as boring.

          • InternetRookie

            JB also signed tank commander Matt Bartkowski. He loved the kid in Boston, causing him to sign him here…. He’s got a better shot at ice dancing. Great skater that can’t do anything useful with the puck. His mom is more missed here than he is!

      • Roy

        Wow, you really are a mouth breathing Neandertal. Horvat comes back from injury, but should risk: concussion, broken hand(s) and god knows what else to conduct an utterly pointless assault on a fellow athlete because someone did something stupid. Slap Shot was a movie, you know this, right?

        • Holly Wood

          I must be a Neanderthal because I fully believe Horvat or another Canuck should have addressed that right then and there. Horvat came back from a foot injury, sticking up for a team mate is what you do when it’s needed. Opinions are like arseholes, every one has one.

          • truthseeker

            Problem is…it never works. “sticking up for a guy” always comes after the cheap shot has been made. It never prevents them. Add to that, hockey players are a bunch of moronic meatheads in most cases, and aren’t “intimidated” by anything. They’re too stupid to care that someone “responded”. They’ll be back out there on the next shift doing their dumb sh….

            Nothing will ever change until the players start giving a sh…. about each other. They don’t. Most classless athletes of any pro sport. They don’t care if their colleagues get hurt so they never use the PA to pressure the league to institute the only effective solution. And the league doesn’t really care if the players aren’t going to care.

            Heavy fines and heavy suspensions. You watch how fast guys clean up their act when a hit like the one on Boeser costs a guy 20 games and a 1/4 of his salary. But hockey players are taught to hate their opponent right from childhood. Listen to the mic’d ups and how they talk to each other. All the time they waste after a whistle pushing and shoving and being morons. The problem is a lack of respect and “responding” like you’re talking about only continues the moronic cycle.

            Want proof that suspensions and fines work? Look no further than the NFL. A far more violent sport than hockey and they don’t fight or waste time with pushing and shoving and face washes after every whistle. They know they will be punished severely for that stuff.

          • Holly Wood

            Sorry truthseeker, gonna have to disagree with you again. I played with and against some real tough guys back in the day and can tell you we all had our heads on a swivel when certain guys were on the ice. Cheap shots against certain teams just didn’t happen very often especially after the whistle unless you were looking for trouble. That keeps most players honest in my opinion. I don’t advocate for one dimensional knuckle dragger or a Bertuzzi incident , but having some guys that have your back in your lineup makes everyone grow an inch. So if Members of the Army think I’m old school I am fine with that but I am disappointed to hear you think most hockey players are moronic meatheads(your words)

          • truthseeker

            Proof’s in the pudding. These guys are for the most part barely high school educated and conditioned from a young age to basically want to kill their opponents. I respect the game and I even respect the role that a physical player can have on a team, but it is just so obvious that hockey players are the least sportsman like athletes of any sport. When’s the last time you ever saw a opposing player help a guy up off the ice? Has it ever happened? I can’t even think of a single incidence. Common practice in Bball, or Football. And like I said, the NHLPA is so dysfunctional that you never even begin to hear about them pressuring the league for anything more than window dressing on player safety. That right there tells you everything you need to know about how they feel.

            They’d rather let a rat like Marchand, get a measly little 5 game suspension after a history of suspensions, for a pretty brutal blind side elbow that’s not far from a Bert incident.

            Do you really believe a rat like Marchand gives a f…..if someone comes after him? Plenty of guys have taken it to him because of the things he’s done. They’ve fought him and he “responded” and yet it keeps happening. Cause Marchand is too stupid to change his behavior. It’s in his character. It’s what he is. Just like Cooke. Just like Torres. Those guys don’t care about what you’re talking about. It doesn’t work.

            The enforcer didn’t work in the early days, it didn’t work in the 70’s or in the 80’s or in the 90’s…just ask Cam Neely and Paul Kariya. Guys get cheap shotted and the response comes after it’s too late.

            But what the NHL has never tried, is massive suspensions and fines. (Not to mention teaching kids actual sportsmanship in minor hockey.) Leagues that do that don’t have these problems.

  • Holmes

    Thought Bo was good, Loui, Brock, but Vanek? That guy has surprised me. For my money, he’s the best offensive player for the Canucks since Daniel Sedin was actually Daniel Sedin. Vanek (offensively) can do everything. Pass, shoot, tip ins. Plays the game like it’s fun. I’d rather they have him out there with Brock for the rest of the year then flip him for a third rounder. I would also sign him for a couple more years. Why? He makes the Canucks a fun team to watch and he’s showing Boeser how to play with some creativity

    • DJ_44

      Vanek should be flipped for anything above a fifth (or interesting D prospect). Full stop.

      I have been a fan of Loui. I like his game. He is very good in all areas. I like the idea of him playing with Bo. I cannot remember the last time a player correctly executed a 3 on 2 or3 on 1 by put the puck in the middle early so more options are open. Bo was great last night. Both ends of the rink. He drives the team; no question.

      • crofton

        I’d say he’s worth more…quite a bit more… than a 5th…especially at the TDL for any team looking for scoring, and aren’t they all? As much as I’d like to keep him for another year, he will return at least a 3rd, maybe more. And depending on what kind of contract he is looking for, I would try to re-sign him in the off season. There is no guarantee any of the Canucks’ prospects will be able to put up the approximately 60 points he is on track for this year

        • truthseeker

          Province mentioned Vanek had slightly higher points per game last year at this point, and brought back a 3rd round pick. He’s still a winger after all and the wing has pretty low value. Still…hopefully the market is a bit more dry for a scoring winger this year than it was last year and we can push that up into a 2nd round pick.

          Honestly a third rounder is for me is getting to the point where I’d rather just re sign him if there is a risk they can’t do the wink wink we’ll sign you again later. The percentages of a third rounder ever giving even a single season as good as what Vanek has given us are incredibly low. It’s only around 10% that a third rounder will even play 100 games in the NHL.

    • arjay

      Agree on Vanek’s value to the team but why not trade him at the deadline, get an asset and then re-sign him over the summer?

      He likes it here but a short term (couple of months) move to a contender could be seen by Vanek as a sign of respect for him…..especially if he knows the Canucks intend to revisit things after the season.

      Win/Win/Win.

  • Oilersnation is burning.

    Management in Edmonton has to be feeling the heat. Angry, angry fans. Jim Benning and Trevor Linden never had to deal with anything like that.

    Good game last night. I’m happy for Ericksson. I’m happy Bo is back. I’m not happy about Boeser getting knocked around. This is so Canucks. Where is the comwave pushback?

    • Holmes

      Yeah, I didn’t like seeing Boeser take that beating with zero response from Canucks. May seem primordial to even want retribution but the environment calls for it. It’s not a fancy stat you can weigh or measure but defending your teammates is a team-building initiative. McLeod is on waivers. Would rather have him in the lineup over Guance.

      • argoleas

        Roster spots are at a premium, so I don’t want to surrender them to just a plug that can punch. This is where someone like Gadjovich will came in handy.

        • Holly Wood

          Gadjovich may be in the lineup within 3 years. Are you willing to wait that long. The days of having a fighter in your lineup have passed, but I feel there should be several guys on a team with enough stones to stand up when needed.

      • Ser Jaime Lannister

        Agreed, retribution is fully warranted when its the best player on your team. Coming to your teammates aid builds camaraderie and that is extremely valuable for a team to succeed, especially with a young group moving forward…you dont think EP at 170 pounds is going to be vulnerable playing in the pacific divison? I really hope JB tries to sign Ryan Reaves or Christ Stewart if available, because there will be plenty of more dirty hits to come thats a fact. Mcleod is not a great signing because his age and hockey sense, but i wonder if Canucks could get Maroon? would 3-4 mill 4 year be a an overpay?

  • jaybird43

    I really like Vanek. The problem with re-signing him is, I think, his market value with term looks something like $4mil per for three years. He’s an absolute steal at his current contract.

    Would that three year contract be a good one for the Canucks? Not too sure of that….

    • Cageyvet

      Vanek has been such a great signing, and while I’m tempted to keep him, the right move is to trade him. He will easily get a 3rd round pick, probably a 2nd if JB plays his cards right.

      I did not want Lucic, but flinched at the Eriksson deal as well, too much for too long and that’s when I still thought he’d be much better than he has shown to date.

      Still, JB’s signings, as others have pointed out, have been manageable, we haven’t suffered cap issues so the margin for error was there.

      Many of the deals that are criticized are so overblown. Sbisa…..too much, but not crazy money and he’s gone with no harm done
      Miller….not my first choice, but I was wrong, he was never the issue and was a pro. If you don’t think he’d have delivered more wins this year than the current goalies, I want some of what you’re smoking.
      Dorsett….did he overpay? Not really, clearly we miss what he brought to the team, he earned every dollar outside of the season and a half where clearly his health was the issue.
      Del Zotto…..2 years, depth signing, reasonable money, our defense is paper thin, where’s the problem?
      Wiercoch and Burmistrov……cheap dice rolls, didn’t care then, don’t care now
      Eriksson…..please hockey gods, make this right. Too many nights where he is invisible, and his defensive play doesn’t come close to what we pay for.
      Vanek….the opposite of Eriksson, thank you for something hockey gods, and maybe let’s give JB some credit here, best value for a free agent signing this year? Maybe.
      Gagner….I liked this deal, and now I wish we could exchange his term and dollars with Vanek and be trading him….for a 4th rounder…..most disappointing of the UFA’s because of the term, but with the injuries this year, we needed him to a degree. Not the worst move ever, but I’d take a young player in his spot every time.
      Gudbranson………the trade has been a bust, but seldom discussed is JB’s approach after. Signed him for 1 year at reasonable money and will flip him for something.
      Nilsson….up and down, to say the least, I feel vindicated in having more faith in Markstrom, but 2 years when Demko isn’t ready, as a backup, pretty minor move whomever they stuck in this role.

      Where are the boat anchors everyone seems to imply are killing us? We had the cap room to overpay the Sedins and sign a bunch of depth to carry us through as the kids find there way. Other than Eriksson, none of these contracts will pose a problem as we actually need to shift our dollars to the kids in a meaningful way in the next 2 or 3 years.

      We can afford to keep the Sedins, at whatever works. We can afford to keep Vanek, and even Gudbranson if you wanted, although I’m done with him. All I’m saying is that Las Vegas got stocked with GM’s bailing out of bad contracts, and I see JB with exactly one that is a problem…and at least that guy still takes a shift in the NHL, not all of them do. We have the flexibility to make whatever moves you want to make, give JB his due. If any of you were handed the GM job tomorrow, you could shake it up any way you liked. There are not a bunch of no move, long term, or gross overpays, and I see the future on its way. Whether JB stays or not, this is a team that a good hockey exec could shape without a ton of hardship, JB has done a lot of the spade work and stocked the cupboards without putting shackles on the team.