Photo Credit: Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports

CanucksArmy Post Game: Lightning strikes twice

For the second time in less than a week the Vancouver Canucks faced-off with Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning. This time in Tampa Bay, as the Canucks continued their four-game road trip.

Puck Drop

On the first half of back-to-backs, Canucks head coach Travis Green gave Anders Nilsson his first start since January 21st. Despite the layoff, Nilsson got off to a solid start.

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At 13:37 Tyler Johnson was called for slashing in the Canucks zone. The Canucks created a decent chance on the delayed call; Henrik Sedin found Thomas Vanek in the slot. Vanek put a slapshot on net, which went off Andrei Vasilevskiy and out of play.

The Canucks power play had some good control and was able to set up. But the best chance nearly went to Tampa Bay, when Alex Edler bobbled the puck at the blueline and almost gave up a shorthanded odd-man rush.

Later in the period, Vancouver had chances to open the scoring. Sven Baertschi nearly sent Bo Horvat on goal, but Horvat couldn’t quite reach the pass as he fought off a Tampa defender.

Brock Boeser and the Sedin’s nearly scored on a backdoor feed to Boeser. But ultimately the Canucks couldn’t capitalize.

With five and a half minutes left it would be injury then insult. Chris Tanev turned his back as he went down on one knee to block a Victor Hedman point shot; it hit him square in the back.

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Just ten seconds later, with Tanev unable to get off the ice Hedman had another shot blocked. This time it deflected to the corner, where Nikita Kucherov was able to walk right into the slot. Kucherov found his own rebound and the chipped the puck up and over Nilsson’s left shoulder to open the scoring.

Before the end of the period, the Canucks lost another big-minute defenseman.

Fortunately for the Canucks, both were able to return in the second and finish the game.

2nd Period

Due to a Boeser holding call with ten seconds left in the first, Tampa Bay started the second period on a power-play.

Mikhail Sergachev’s point shot was deflected by Tyler Johnson in the high slot, and Yanni Gourde left all alone in front beats Gudbranson to the rebound. 2-0 Tampa Bay.

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The Canucks nearly got within one just 22 seconds later. Henrik Sedin from behind the net found Daniel to the right of Vasilevskiy’s crease. Daniel unloaded the puck in one motion, Vasilevskiy got his helmet/shoulder on the puck just keeping it out.

A few minutes later Loui Eriksson nearly scored over Vasilevskiy’s right shoulder as well. After his chance, Eriksson went off on a change. The Canucks kept possession deep in Lightning territory. His replacement, Jake Virtanen to Vasilevskiy’s left had a bang-bang chance of his own. No dice.

With 6:20 left in the second, Tampa Bay went up 3-0, on a beautiful knee dropping one-timer by Adam Erne. The cross-ice passes to set it up weren’t bad either.

The period would finish 4-0, after some lackadaisical play in the Canucks own end led to a turnover. Yanni Gourde darts behind the Canucks net, feeds the puck to Tyler Johnson who proceeds to feed Stamkos a point-blank one-timer.

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3rd Period

Just over five minutes into the third, Dan Girardi carelessly got the stick up on Daniel Sedin. Sedin was bleeding, leading to a four-minute double minor.

After nearly giving up a shorthanded goal to Brayden Point, the Canucks finally got a goal of their own. Off the zone entry, Alex Edler finds Brock Boeser in “the spot”. Boeser lets the one-timer go, taking a deflection off Andrej Sustr and in.

The Canucks would add another from Sven Baertchi, as score effects set in.

But ultimately these goals weren’t enough, the Canucks were on their heels much of the night. For the second time in a week, the Lightning showed the Canucks why they’re at opposite ends of the standings. Victor Hedman added a fifth goal, putting this one to bed.

The Numbers

  • Canucks 5v5: 47.32 xGF%. 44.21% CF%
  • Anders Nilsson gave up 2 goals on 5 high danger shots
  • The Canucks had no goals on 3 high danger shots
  • The game overall expected goals were 2.58 to 2.27 in favour of Tampa Bay

Quick Hits

  • The Lightning’s speed and skill up front caused problems for the Canucks attempting to exit their zone all game long. Their relentlessness on the puck caused plenty of bobbles and turnovers in the Canucks zone.
  • After taking a seat for nearly three weeks, Anders Nilsson recorded his 7th straight loss.
  • Adam Erne scored his 4th career goal in his first game of the season.
  • The Canucks struggles in their own zone were highlighted tonight. Particularly their ability to exit the zone, even with their full complement of players on the blueline.
  • Reid Boucher played on the fourth line alongside Nic Dowd, and Jake Virtanen after being called up today.
  • The Canucks are off to Carolina tomorrow. Recently signed Darren Archibald could make his season debut.

  • Beer Can Boyd

    No more Gudbranson. Enough is enough. I’d take a 3rd round pick just to get rid of him. There is no doubt that the team plays better when he is not in the lineup.

    • canuckfan

      If signed there is no way he is worth more than what he makes now free agency if he gets signed it will be well past the July 1st all I can say will be interesting to see what other teams are willing to pay. Yes he is a good person and likely a good team mate but the game and the league are about getting wins. Wish him the best and thanks for the limited service but time to move on. I have defended him many times but the evidence in game action shows he has a hard time in his end. If any one from Toronto asks Gudbranson is the next Chris Pronger…I only wish

  • Rodeobill

    Had to have a bottle of wine to finish watching that one, so get ready for some disjointed footnotes!

    Got a little bruise on my forehead in the shape of my palm watching them trying to get up ice. Glad BB got another tally, although he has nothing more to prove to me, I know he will be a part of our core ahead. Every time I heard them call erne’s name I found myself calling out loud to the TV “Big Ern!” Small comforts these days I guess. If Tanev doesn’t get MVP this year, I’m going to anger management counselling probably. Let’s all stop blaming the Sedins, they don’t break the game anymore, but they are far from the root of the problem. TB really has it all and will for a long time. Top notch forwards, top notch D, top notch vets, top notch rookies, top shelf goalie, Sorry, top notch goalie. I kinda missed guance this game. Look forward to his return with Arch. Also, JV should have been double shifting this game, he was one more shot away from a goal.

  • WiseCanuck

    You see blind boys, this is how quickly a GREAT GM (and coach) can turn a team around…Tampa didn’t even make the playoffs last year and you can add Boston, New Jersey, Colorado and of course VEGAS to the list of organisations that have turned their teams into outstanding contenders right away by making the right moves… Vancouver is nowhere near this under Benning after FOUR YEARS – therefore he has to go and so do any Canucks blowhard who want this joker extended.

    Also another great performance from Sergachev who is looking like Tom Brady quarterbacking the PP out there in his first season with the Bolts. Guys, it was like beer leaguers against Cup contenders out there. No better than under Willie D. Season over again, just like i told ya in pre season.

    • Dirty30

      You must have a very lonely and pathetic life. It must be terrible to wake up everyday as you and know your lack of purpose and meaning drives you to come here and try to make yourself feel better by these immature rants. You might try doing some gratitude practices or helping others. Doing what you’re doing here helps no one. Even going to the Tampa fan site and cheering their success is better than coming here and jeering our team’s effirts.

    • Bure Fan

      Nice post, I can’t understand how anyone wants to continue with LinBenning after watching that Bolts team steamroll us. They are faster, stronger, bigger on the backend with great goaltending, everything you need to contend and everything we don’t have. Aqua needs to hit the reset button asap, this is gettng embarrassing.

    • LiborPolasek

      Yzerman’s been in Tampa for 8yrs now, George Mcphee was long time GM of Washington and both NJ & Boston benefitted from the work of the previous regimes; context is important. Without hindsight, please indulge us with your genius on building a team in a cap era during this coming draft and off season. Using your favorite metric of hindsight, you probably knew by now that Vegas was going to be doing this well… pure genius.

    • truthseeker

      Someone made a comment on one of the province articles recently that Green’s approach to handling young guys can be summed up by “because that’s the way Al Arbour did it with me”….lol.

      I’ve mentioned before how I think he’s got some pretty stupid “old boy” ideas about managing people, but then I think every coach…even someone like Babcock, does the same thing.

      Overall I do like the changes that Green has brought and he’s been more good than bad, but his attitude towards handling players is frustrating from this fan’s perspective.

      • Every Canucks coach I can think of has had their idiosyncrasies when I comes to player deployment. I think Green’s done a good job overall, but at this point, when the season is already lost, why put Boucher in a position to succeed and see if he can impress you, instead of putting him in a position to fail? I just can’t see the logic behind it.

    • Ser Jaime Lannister

      Terrible coaching by TG tonight rookie mistakes throughout the lineup. Sedins/Vanek, slowest line in the league and defensive liabilities 5on5 playing against one of the fastest teams in the league…durp! LouiE 6 million dollars burried on the checking line now cause he cant score goals awesome! Boucher just doesnt have the speed for me to have much of an impact, and maybe try deploying JV with BO for a period not just a shift and see how that works out, we know he doesnt have the hockey sense and are all praying he learns it soon…

  • Holmes

    Painful to watch these guys mail it in game after game. Green is losing his luster as well. A 28 game death march to a juicy draft pick is palatable if there is some effort and signs of improvement, but it’s tough to see either right now.

  • Good attendance in Tampa Bay, very few empty seats. Panthers game not so much. Both teams play in Florida and fans show up for one, but not the other. Explain that.

    As for the game itself, we got beat by a better team. Tampa is a very, very good team. (Even though they played a stinker against the Oilers)
    I pick Tampa to win the east. They are, what the Washington Capitals were a couple of years ago.

  • apr

    As much as it pains me to say this, perhaps its time for the Sedins to retire. Yes, they are still productive, but they simply cannot keep up to today’s speed. I don’t think the team falls of a cliff if they retire. They can do a short term and sign the Vanek’s of the world, or maybe even go big and sign Karlsson. But for me, it hurts my feelings a little bit that they are no longer dominant and are just content to be happy. No different than watching Tiger just happy to make cuts and not shank his chips instead of dominating. Its just not the same.

    • Ser Jaime Lannister

      Shouldnt pain you at all man if you want too see this team turn the page they need to go, its a game of SPEED now we have too many vets who defensive liabilities its pathetic. What was TG thinking playing Sedins/Vanek on a line against one of the fastest teams in the league…we were lucky they only got 5 on us. And what is with this BS with Loui E, guy hasnt scored the last two years and floats around, and now hes on a checking line for us with Sutter? We pay him 6 million dollars to score goals ffs, start benching him and set an example.

  • wojohowitz

    I`m sensing despair from both the players and the fans, as in; there`s no hope, what`s the point. The Canucks still have something to achieve and that`s getting to 69 points which vindicates Willie. Can they pick up 21 points in their remaining 28 games? Travis Green has been a major disappointment but maybe that happens a lot with rookies.