The ice-cold Vancouver Canucks are in Dallas to take on the red-hot Stars in a matinee affair. Everything is falling apart for the Canucks lately while everything is coming up Milhouse for the Stars who have won five straight games. Vancouver’s last game against the Hurricanes was less than memorable but was summarized in what could be the most memorable quote of the season courtesy of Jacob Markstrom. It’s time for the Canucks to take a step back, focus on the basics and get back to the fun, losing hockey they were playing.

Let’s Do This!™






Nikolay Goldobin has been recalled from Utica. Brendan Gaunce, Markus Granlund, Sam Gagner, Chris Tanev, and maybe Brock Boeser are all out today. The line blender could be busy but Travis Green has been pretty good to keep lines mid-game the same.

Anders Nilsson has earned another start if only for the reason that Jacob Markstrom is mentally damaged right now and just needs a breather.

Vancouver Canucks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:


Don’t expect anything different than what you see below. The Stars are taking the NHL by storm right now and coaches don’t change those kinds of lineups.

Ben Bishop is rumoured to be starting today.

Dallas Stars lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:



  • Vancouver has lost four straight games and is 3-7 in their last ten games. Plain and simple, watch for those numbers to slide. It’s a bad scene with the Canucks right now but if we’re lucky, Darren Archibald could get a Gordie Howe Hat-trick today and that would be worth talking about. Radek Faksa is his opponent if this happens.
  • Alex Edler has started 2018 on the right note. His 11 points are good for 12th amongst defensemen in that same time. Edler hasn’t looked like a shining star but the stats don’t lie, he’s been one of few for the Canucks and anything that is positive should be celebrated right now.
  • Tyler Seguin owns the Canucks and not just as a Boston Bruin. Since the beginning of the 2015/16 season, Seguin has 3G/5A and 3 PPG and 1 GWG. If his name shows up on the scoresheet today, don’t be shocked.
  • On the flip side, Daniel Sedin is one point back of Seguin in those games. Daniel has a goal and six assists and four power-play points. With all the injuries mounting, both Sedins will be asked to shoulder the responsibility yet again.
  • Jake Virtanen is two goals back of Loui Eriksson’s eight tallies. One of these players is in the last year of his ELC making just under $900k and the other has torpedoed the Canucks salary cap with a $6 million hit until 2022. Jake still needs time to get his overall game where the coaches would like it but there is no way Loui should be getting the love he has. The trade deadline would be a great place to offload the big contract but no one in their right mind would see any benefit in doing so.


This is “the” low point in the Canucks season and there have been some low points to talk about.


There isn’t anything to suggest the Canucks have a big win in them today. Dallas is charging up the standings while the Canucks are freefalling to the bottom and yet another fifth-overall pick (let’s be serious, they won’t get first). Injuries galore and a team that does not look like it’s having any fun whatsoever. Sure, losing isn’t fun but you can play a winning game and still lose.

The Canucks need to go on a spiritual journey or something like Homer Simpson did because they need to find themselves.

I’m trying to say they’re going to lose.


Canucks lose by a number of goals (+/- 2)     Take the over. No reason, but it won’t be close.

Canucks Store “Flow” shirt references (+/- 0.5)     Again, take the over. This is a crime.


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  • Blind Side

    This is something I simply do not understand. The Canucks bring up players from the AHL and park them in the stands.

    Over the many years that I have watched hockey, I have seen players (of all ages) come up from the AHL and play with energy. The sudden promotion is exciting. They often play far above their usual level, and make surprising contributions.

    Especially with a team that is down and out like the Canucks, why not throw these guys out there to gain a small boost of energy? I think this is simple psychology. It’s certainly not rocket science. And, what difference does it make if they screw up? The team is a basket case anyway.

    The other side to this, is that young players like Goldobin should be piling up the playing minutes, not sitting watching. I have watched many NHL games. When I was young, I watched many NHL games. Didn’t make me a better player. Watching won’t make Goldobin a better player, either. He should be playing here or there, not watching.

    Hey, Travis, you’ve stuck to this linear, structured approach in handing out playing time. Maybe it’s not really working. Maybe it’s time to take a different approach.

    • fretallack

      First of all there are 2 comets playing in this game, over perennial healthy scratch biega, so green is basically doing what you’re asking. Secondly, the reason is doesn’t usually happen that way is there are people waiting in the press box to play, often young players as well. You can’t just bypass them with someone from the farm and keep them on ice forever.

      • Blind Side

        Ya, I came back here to eat my words. Canucks are up 3-0, so maybe the coach knows what he is doing after all. Sigh, I hate it when the coach is right.

        Also, of course, Goldobin likely played yesterday for the Comets.

        Goldy better play in the next game, though, or I’ll get back on my horse and ride off in all direction, once again.

        • Holly Wood

          Don’t worry about expressing your opinion on here. You should hear some of the other ones. I also believe there is a rush of adrenaline associated with a call up. Depending on the circumstances it can really boost a sagging group.

  • Nuck4U

    The first period sure went against the narrative in the article. Leading the way was Guddy, JV and Boucher saying all it takes is some finish to turn this blah around. Lots of game to go so hope the rest like Bo and Boeser pour it on.

        • argoleas

          Finishing this year at the bottom will be good for the team long-term. Grab more good prospects, including a stud PP QB, and more Kole Linds (in any position).

          Once Vanek is gone, expect Goldy and Boucher to finally be playing regularly.

  • TheRealPB

    The reason to love hockey; the unexpected. Though as the Stars announcers said, this is why you keep the bigger picture in mind — everyone has off (and on) days. Still, nice to see us get the win, even if the other team started their 5 day break a lot earlier than anyone was expecting.

  • Holly Wood

    Having Archibald in the lineup has given the team a boost. Little scrums at the tent had a few more Canucks today. A shot after the horn had Gudbranson challenge the shooter. Disagree all you want, but teams that stand up for each other are harder to play against. It may not win any particular game but over an 82 game season you better believe it goes a long way. Something the analytic crowd just doesn’t understand

    • Ser Jaime Lannister

      Physical play can lead too turnovers, injuries, frustration, intimidation and even momentum changes, Archibald is here to stay! Sam Gagner can gtfo hes not even missed.

      • argoleas

        My view of Gagner is simple: Any prospect that wants his job will take it. I expect that to be Gaudette. Now, next year, if Sedins do not return, then Gagner would be the 4th line center, but the same rule would apply: Any prospect that wants his job can take it. We are achieving that critical mass with incoming prospects that the depth is allowing for this healthy competition.

        Interestingly, this is also GM Benning’s view.

        And love for Archibald is bringing, and hope to see more next year.

    • TheRealPB

      Disagree about Gudbranson but definitely agree about Archibald. Finishes checks and brings a lot of energy and some decent skill. I would take him in the lineup over Gaunce and Gagner and if I’m being honest about this season probably Granlund too.

      • Holly Wood

        Unless you surround skill with sufficient toughness, the skill will disappear. Toughness is not necessarily fighting, but the willingness to fight if the situation warrants it. For example if your rookie goal scorer gets drilled in the back, somebody needs to get in the guys grill. Not next game or next year