Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports

CanucksArmy Post Game: An Avalanche of Goals

Puck Drop

Fresh off an All-Star MVP, Brock Boeser rejoined the Canucks for a date with Nathan MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.

The Canucks would go up early on in this one. After turning the puck over, Thomas Vanek made a nice defensive play and sprung Bo Horvat on the breakaway. Horvat would finish the play with a snapshot beating Johnathan Bernier, 6:36 into the period. The goal is his first since returning from a fractured ankle, suffered December 5th against Carolina.

With just over ten minutes left the Avalanche would apply some pressure off a two-on-one but were unable to beat Jacob Markstrom. The Canucks would reward their goalie with a 2-0 lead with 8:15 left in the period. Sam Gagner draws a defender and nicely screens Bernier as Micheal Del Zotto picks the corner high stick side.

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2nd Period

The second period was a busy one and a parade to the penalty box for both teams, as they combined for eight minor penalties in the period.

Troy Stecher would start things off just 2:05 into the period with a tripping penalty. The Canucks would manage to kill it off, but coming out of the box Stecher would go directly to the bench for a change. This left the Canucks outnumbered in their own zone.

Erik Johnson’s shot off the right wing deflected up, as it fluttered towards Jacob Markstrom he head-butted it out of the air. A now out of position Markstrom was helpless at J.T. Compher buried Colorado’s first goal of the game.

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2:02 later Tyson Barrie pinballed a shot on net. The initial deflection was sending the puck wide, but Gabriel Landeskog who had body position on Troy Stecher to Markstrom’s left, had it bounce off his shoulder and in to tie this one up at two.



The Canucks would head to a powerplay of their own at 7:43 after Nail Yakupov got in Jacob Markstrom’s crease. He would be sent off along with Michael Del Zotto after the pair exchanged some friendly face washing; Yakupov picking up the extra penalty for goaltender interference.

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The Canucks powerplay threatened with some nice movement in the second. Colorado was clearly attempting to take the threat of Boeser’s shot away which allowed the Sedin’s some room to go to work on the right side. But despite the chances they came up empty.

After Thomas Vanek took a slashing penalty at 14:45 Colorado would take the lead on Landeskog’s second goal of the game. A hard cross seam pass by Mikko Rantanen deflected off his foot and on net, Landeskog roofed the rebound.



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The teams would exchange penalties late in the period, with Dominic Toninato sending the puck over the glass at the twenty-minute mark giving Vancouver the man advantage to start the third.

3rd Period

Starting on the powerplay, Vancouver went up five-on-three after Nikita Zadorov cross-checked Henrik Sedin behind the Colorado net.

The Canucks would finally cash in on the powerplay, as Daniel Sedin snapped Henrik’s centring pass over Bernier stick. Bernier looked slow to react high-stick similarly to the Del Zotto goal in the first period.



The pace of the second period would carry over into the third as Daniel Sedin and Mikko Rantanen both hit posts nearly giving their team the third-period lead. A Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser near 2-on-0 highlighted the third-period chances, they broke in after Bo Horvat picked off the puck on a Colorado breakout. From there it was Jacob Markstrom’s chance to keep the Canucks in this one, with just over a minute left in the game Markstrom made a game-saving cross-crease save off a 2-on-1.


Overtime lasted just 67 seconds, as Sven Baertschi took Brandon Sutter’s pass on the right wing. Coming in on forward, J.T. Compher who lost his gap just enough to allow Baertschi to load up a shot Brock Boeser would be proud of for the win.


The Numbers



Quick Hits

  • Despite the win, the Canucks need to improve their play at five-on-five as they had just 32.67% of xGF
  • Coming into Tuesday, the Avalanche had dropped two straight after rattling off ten straight wins.
  • Brock Boeser’s 43 points heading into the All-Star break were equal to Loui Eriksson’s point total as a Canuck. Eriksson has played 102 games for Vancouver, Boeser has played 46 this year.
  • Nathan MacKinnon entered Tuesday’s game just three points shy of his career high 63 points in just 48 games so far this season. He left the game and did not return after taking the worst of a second-period collision with Alex Edler.
  • After being linked to Canucks in the off-season as an NCAA free-agent, Avs rookie Alex Kerfoot made his hometown debut playing his first game in Vancouver.
  • With one goal in 19 games as a Canucks (two points in 35 games this season), Nic Dowd made way for Brendan Gaunce’s return to the lineup.

  • thorsten029

    A Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser near 2-on-0 highlighted the third-period chances, as they broke in after Bo Horvat picked off the puck on a Colorado breakout. From there it was Jacob Markstrom’s chance to keep the Canucks in this one, more contribution go to visit my web site http://www.dragon-apotheke.net/

    • Bud Poile

      Since Sutter returned to the lineup the team has gone 3 and 3.
      Overtime winner in Minny.
      Assisted on Sven’s O/T winner tonight.
      Scored against Edmonton 9 days ago.
      Taking the defensive faceoffs against the league’s best and owning the circle.

      • And yet, the Canucks’ overall record with Sutter in the lineup winning all those faceoffs is terrible.

        It’s almost like you can prove anything by cherry-picking small sample sizes.

        • Bud Poile

          You Sutter/Benning haters are hilariously ignorant.
          Sutter is a perennial NHL defensive f /o leader . Those that think one of the league’s finest faceoff men is a detriment or of no merit your Benning hate is so strong you’ve become blabbering ignoramuses:

          “A good player,” Green said (of Sutter) Monday. “He has a lot of intangibles that maybe aren’t on the highlight reel at the end of the night. But from the beginning of camp, I’ve matched him up against top lines as much as I could to see where it’s at.
          “It’s nice as a coach to have a guy you can put out against top-end guys who are very dangerous.”
          Ben Kuzma
          The Province
          “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. I thought there were times our team did a good job and there were times where we missed those guys.”

      • Lets put an end to this “faceoffs win hockey games” nonsense because you keep bringing it up and it’s not a matter of opinion – it’s something that can be easily and objectively measured.

        The best team in the NHL by both regular season and playoff success over the past decade has been the Pittsburgh Penguins. Over that span, they’ve lost more faceoffs than they’ve won. A look at the other top teams by wins, both regular season and playoff wins, shows zero correlation between faceoff wins and game wins.

        What about games where teams dominated in the faceoff dot? Over the past few years, teams that have won over 60% of faceoffs in a game went on to win the hockey game… 50.8% of the time. No correlation there.

        Individual performance? There’s no correlation between faceoff wins and corsi – if you think winning faceoffs leads either to getting more shot attempts, or to preventing shot attempts against, you’re wrong – it doesn’t.

        Over large sample sizes, faceoffs simply *do not* lead to better performance on an individual level or a team level. Full stop.

        • TheRealPB

          Amen to this. Sutter is a decent 4th line (maybe 3rd line) player. But the notion that his face-offs lead to anything other than temporary possession is simply nonsensical. I’d buy it more with Horvat (at least in getting the puck to start a power play) but both the eye and stat test fail when you look at Sutter’s impact on games. Defending Benning shouldn’t mean you need to go all in on Gudbranson and/or Sutter; defending either based on their play weakens anyone’s case for JB.

          • To be fair to Sutter, I don’t think he’s in the same class as Gudbranson. The team gave up too much to get him, and signed him to a contract that he’s not really worth, but he’s still a useful player. He’s a 3rd-line centre with some real skills and some noticable gaps in his game. That’s a player you want, just not a player who is “foundational”.

          • Dirty30

            Amen indeed.

            The problem is not Sutter as a player, it is the unfortunate narrative by Benning that Sutter would be a “foundational player” for this team. If JB could erase two words from his past (other than “sign here” on Sutter’s contract) I’m certain there would be less ‘Bud’ and more reality in the discussion around Sutter and Benning.

            I’m no fan of Benning, but I don’t agree with firing him at this point in the redevelopment of this team. If Tuesday’s Trader Jim shows up, getting Dahlen and Goldy then I’m all in for letting him loose. If we see ‘Oh God we got Guddy’ Benning then I’d prefer knowing that there is a voice of reason behind those kinds of deals pulling him back from the brink.

            Neither Sutter nor Benning are operating in a vacuum. If I had to choose between Sutter and Gagner, the latter would be made available for a bag of pucks. If I had to choose between Sutter/Gagner and Erikson, I’d throw in the bag of pucks to move him.

          • I can deny it, though!

            It’s the obvious intuition. Why wouldn’t starting with the puck lead to better outcomes? But it doesn’t. It’s really counter-intuitive, but it is in fact the case. There’s no statistically-significant difference in outcomes – goals scored or goals against – whether you come up with the puck or not.

          • crofton

            @ goon…you’re certainly entitled to your opinion, but I doubt there is a player, coach or GM out there that would say…”let’s lose the PP/PK face-offs, they are statistically unimportant and we would prefer to waste 20-30 seconds or more retrieving the puck”. I go with that

          • Tedchinook

            It’s funny to stats oriented people arguing against winning faceoffs being significant, because it’s essentially saying having possession of the puck isn’t important. Which goes against everything they normally support. It’s so counter intuitive that I think more in depth analysis is required.

          • Except it doesn’t generally lead to possession of the puck for more than a few seconds, or any other positive outcome. If it did, you’d see a correlation between faceoff wins and puck possession (there isn’t one), faceoff wins and goals (there isn’t one) and faceoff wins and game wins (there isn’t one).

            This isn’t some ephemeral quality like “grit” or “leadership”. You’re saying “input X leads to output Y”. Both X and Y are measurable, and there’s no evidence whatsoever that X leads to Y.

        • Holly Wood

          Goon….. if you fail to understand the importance of winning face offs that tells me you have never played, never coached, never managed hockey at any level. But keep on posting stuff , it gives me an opportunity to scratch my head.

  • Nuck16

    3 apples by Tanev and 1st star…like I said last week, it’s a travesty that Tanev and never been given a legitimate shot on the PP…he deserves that, I believe he would adapt to that role and flourish in time. Edler must lead the league in unforced errors in the offensive zone (blocked shots, misfires, and intercepted passes).

    • bobdaley44

      Edler’s playing in the high twenties. Guess Green’s seeing something you’re not. Guys one of the only physical defenders on the team and he’s got skill. Don’t think he’s a problem. Be nice if he could play down the lineup but until they get some help he’s gonna log some minutes.

  • canuckfan

    Sutter is a valuable member of the Canucks for those who do not give him credit look at the teams record when he is not in the lineup. He knows his role and plays it well and gives it all every game.

    • TheRealPB

      In the last three seasons Sutter has had two injury-plagued and one healthy one (20, 81 and 29+) game seasons. In those three seasons the Canucks have finished…well, we know how they finished. So how does this argument make any sense? The Canucks failures cannot be laid at his feet but by the same token neither can their success, simply because we haven’t had any success…

      • It’s also weird to give Sutter credit for the Canucks playing better when they got their #1 centre and #1 defenceman back from injury close to the same time. Methinks Canucks improved play rests more on their shoulders than it does on his.

        The Canucks are certainly a better team with Sutter in the lineup than out of it, but he’s not a game-changer.

    • Nuck16

      comes down to what we gave up to get him and how much we’re paying him. Nobody is saying he’s not a contributor when he’s in the lineup and playing his game. $3.5 per would be a nice number.

    • Rodeobill

      Sutter is valuable to the Canucks. It’s not that he just wins FOs, but when most the team is healthy a better than average shutdown line can stymie the top offensive line of the other team. In the same manner just having Boeser on the ice opens up more for his team mates by drawing the focus, the Sutter line can on a good night confound the opposition’s top scoring line.

  • TheRealPB

    Enjoyable game, especially since we were able to overcome a lot of weird bounces in the second and make a game of it in the third again. Really liked the Gagner-Virtanen-Gaunce line, they seemed pretty effective. No offense to Dowd but he needs to stay a spare forward. And please replace MDZ with anyone but Pouliot in particular will do.

    • Rodeobill

      I was thinking the same thing, that line looked good and rarely got hemmed in the D zone. Lot of good looks for that line. MDZ isn’t terrible like Bartowski or Spisa, but I agree that Pouliot is better. Stetcher had a couple rough shifts this game, but for some reason I believe he has always been the kind of guy no one ever bets on to make it, so he does whatever is necessary to improve and succeed in spite of that. You can see he takes ownership for his mistakes, doesn’t point the finger elsewhere, and doesn’t back down from a challenge (even a Matt Martin sized one). This summer after facing Lucic and Martin he put on muscle and trained boxing, for instance. The kid does what it takes and refuses to get defeated and you can see it in how he acts.

  • myshkin

    looking at the cf%, there is a real difference between the older and younger players with the younger guys having a way higher number. is this the young legs or are the younger guys hard wired for possession from their development?

  • Nuck4U

    The PP looks good and the Sedins now with Boeser and Horvat produce there. But I see how the other teams PK over plays Boeser. Though he’s such a smart and skilled player he makes these incredible cross ice or one time passes out to Henrik etc. If they had a worthy shot being so well set up by Boeser they could score.

    Why it’s really important to see players like Petersson and Gaudette who can wire it and odd it play with Boeser on PP. Add in a more competent D then Edler like OJ the pass and shot through options increase instead of slow passes and blocked shots.

    Imagine how many more goals would occur with players that have high Hockey IQ and the ability to pass and shoot quickly.

    So looking forward to a PP that has Boeser on left wall, Horvat net front, Petersson right wall, Gaudette slot roaming and OJ high top blue line.

    • Rodeobill

      I’ve see Boes make that through traffic pass to Henrik almost every PP, But Hank isn’t a shooter, it just goes back to edler and repeat. I wonder if Hank and Danny changed spots on the PP if Danny could control/distribute as well as Hank and get the one time off when the pass comes through from Boes?

  • crofton

    One thing I quite like lately and especially last night, is the improvement on the PP. Last night it was a threat in a variety of ways…the one-timer from Brock, Horvat taking the pass down low and pivoting to the front of the net , the point shot, the slap pass. It’s becoming reminiscent of the President’s Cup teams pp, they would gladly almost ignore indiscretions from the other team to get on the PP and score. A good PP is a great deterrent to the Marchands, and Gudas’ of the league, especially post season when an idiotic flying elbow can lose a series.

    • starapotheke51

      I feel great setting them out against any line and they played against the best two lines on the other group for (more than) 20 amusements. To supplant those folks, it simply doesn’t occur. I thought there were times our group worked admirably and there were times where we missed those folks… !!!!!!
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