Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports

CanucksArmy Post Game: A desert dog in the phonebooth

Puck Drop

I don’t know if flow would be the word to describe tonight’s game, but it was certainly played with some pace. At least this was the case when it came to the clock, with nearly seven full minutes of uninterrupted play to start the game.

With the Canucks already shorthanded, Oliver Ekman-Larsson drew a second penalty in thirty-seconds sending Darren Archibald to the box for tripping.

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It was Ekman-Larsson at the center of things again as Alex Edler blocked his point shot. Edler then batted the puck out of mid-air, and out to the neutral zone, where Brandon Sutter pulled away on a breakaway. Putting the Canucks up 1-0.

Or so we thought. The referee signaled a goal; the red light went off, and everyone was celebrating. That was, until the goal was reviewed. The replay clearly shows the puck never went in the net, but instead fluttering along the crossbar.

To add salt to the wound, while still with the extra man, the Coyotes flipped the script and lit the lamp themselves. Jacob Markstrom made a spectacular save off a rebound, but was unable to do much to stop the game of pinball going on in the Canucks crease.

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The disappointment was shortlived. With just 15.1 seconds left in the first frame, Jussi Jokinen got on the board for the first time as a Canuck. Doubling his season goal total taking a nice touch pass from Brendan Leipsic in front of the net and roofing it 1-1.

2nd Period

The second period started with a bang as Erik Gudbranson lowered the boom on Christian Fischer.

After a sloppy change, the Canucks found themselves chasing a three-on-one, which saw former Canuck Brad Richardson ring it off the post.

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Tho the game was close on the scoreboard; the Canucks were being outshot 20-9 at the halfway point. Despite Arizona being on pace for a 40 shot performance, there wasn’t much going on concerning entertainment value tonight.

With three minutes left to go in the second, the Canucks received the Bronx cheer from the fans, putting just their third shot of the period on net.

Nick Cousins, and Henrik Sedin both took minor penalties late in the second which carried over to the third.

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3rd Period

After starting the period four-on-four, the teams were back to even strength when Tyler Motte nearly gave Vancouver the lead. Parked almost on top of Darcy Keumper, Motte sailed the puck well high of a wide open net just missing his first goal as a Canuck.

Sam Gagner deftly redirected Ben Hutton’s point shot on goal with his back to the net, before Ekman-Larsson dragged the puck around Jokinen in the high slot. With a pile of traffic in front of him, Markstrom did well to make the save and hang onto the puck.

The majority of the latter half of the third was played predominantly in the Vancouver end of the rink, but Arizona wasn’t able to produce much in the way of high danger scoring chances.

With the game appearing to be headed for overtime, Derrick Stepan seemingly out of nowhere put the Coyotes up with 57.9 seconds left.

The Arizona point shot hit Michael Del Zotto in the slot and fell right in the lap of Stepan, who set up on his forehand was able to beat Jacob Markstrom for the game’s winning goal.

The Numbers

Gudbranson had a banner night exiting his own zone according to the D-Keeper.

  • The Canucks had 49.64% of the expected goals at 5v5
  • Arizona controlled over 60% of 5v5 shot attempts
  • There were just four high danger shots on the night, only one being by the Canucks

Quick Hits

  • Jacob Markstrom continued his strong play against the Coyotes, coming into the night he was four and one, with 1.78 goals against and a .946 save percentage.
  • Jake Virtanen’s good play of late continued tonight, he’s been consistently physical and more engaged which has resulted in more opportunity for the former sixth-overall pick. He had a game-high six hits and has 11 in his last two games. Hits aren’t exactly an important stat, but for a player like Virtanen, they carry some weight as he tends to be playing “his game” when he’s physical. He was a -3 on-ice shot attempts at 5-on-5, but was third in total on-ice shot attempts for.
  • Despite being one of only four Canucks with an even or better shot attempt differential, Nikolay Goldobin was parked by Travis Green in the third period. He played just 7:49 on the night, with all the current, injures and the Canucks having just one call up left for the year, it will be interesting to watch how Green handles the young winger. He will require waivers next season, and the Canucks need to know what they have in Goldobin.

  • TD

    Wasn’t able to watch the game, but heard a bit on the radio. They were saying Goldobin and Boucher didn’t do much and need to do more while they have this opportunity. That didn’t seem to be the message in the write up. Any comments from someone who saw the game?

    • Cageyvet

      They weren’t particularly noticeable, and have to crank it up a notch, but they had company tonight. Half the team was sub-par, but I don’t disagree that they need to do more to earn a regular spot. I’d keep playing them, it’s garbage time, and we are currently dressing Jokinen and scratching Dowd, they’re not taking opportunity from anybody who has more potential to improve than they might possess.

      • Holly Wood

        It must be tough to be in Green’s shoes. He dresses the young guys to see what they will bring , then throughout the game becomes unimpressed with their game. If Dowd and Jokinen dress next game that will tell us a lot.

    • canuckfan

      Goldobin needs to be more is becoming a theme. He thinks so much of himself doesn’t think he needs to show any effort. The trade for Hansen is even so we didn’t lose anything I won’t be upset if he is traded or goes back to Russia. So much promise ….

    • I’d package Boucher and Goldobin together and roll the dice on a reclamation project like Dal Colle. They lack drive and intensity that Leipsic has brought. I can’t see either player making an impact here given what they’ve shown and with Pettersson, Dahlen and Gaudette on the way, there won’t be space for them.

  • crofton

    Not sure why Goldobin got benched. Boucher, the Canucks’ savior according to many here, was invisible. (ok just some) Pretty lack-luster effort by pretty much the whole team, but Del Zotto? he needs to go

  • Ragnarok Ouroboros

    That was not a very good game, and yet the Canucks could have won it. Virtannen missed a completely open net which would have made the difference. In general, if you paid for a ticket to that game you did not get your money’s worth.

  • argoleas

    Boucher and Goldobin will need to be much, much better. Maybe they should each drink a case of Red Bull before each game. Each needs to show me Leipsic/Virtanen levels of effort and hustle.

    • Jamie E

      Boucher is simply too slow a skater to ever LOOK like he’s hustling, even when he is. Goldobin, despite his obvious skill, is a lazy, cherry picker – in other words the kind of player all coaches hate.

  • Sandpaper

    Of the 2, Boucher and Goldobin, Boucher was definitely the better player. Goldobin just doesnt have what it takes, IMO. He turns puck over regularly, is weak with the puck, doesnt appear to put any effort into skating, stick-handles into traffic(& loses puck), poor defensively….need ig go on.
    Can not see him back next season.

  • Canuck70

    Vancouver’s play made Phoenix look like a playoff team. No-one could pass well or pick up a pass tonight. I was dissapointed in Markstrom on the Phoenix winning goal. He was not ready. He failed to anticipate the shot and dropped into a butterfly. The shot went top shelf and he barely moved on it. He seems to rely on his size to stop pucks. Positionally he is not sound. Too many shortside openings and easy goals this year. What about coming out to cut off angles against shooters? Jonathon Quick and Carey Price would both have come out to aggressively challenge the shooter instead of remaining deep in the net and leaving gaping holes to aim for. From what I have seen, notwithstanding injuries, this season’s biggest concern has been goaltending. I’m looking forward to seeing Demko and then Dipietro. Hopefully beginning next season.

  • Rodeobill

    If there is ever a year to have a chance to win the first overall this is it, as I don’t think we will do as bad next year (unless we don’t resign the Sedins). Injuries, trades, and poor goaltending have left us in a good draft position.

    I have to say, I like what I’ve seen from Liepsic and Motte, Archibald too. They are all playing hard for a spot next year. Liepsic has perhaps been our best guy since coming, hope it isn’t just a streak.

  • DogBreath

    “hits aren’t an important stat”. The game is physical. Hitting is an important part of the physical game. The playoffs are physical and you need these types of players in the playoffs (one day …). This site denigrates physical players and match-up players because, other than counting hits, there are few tools to quantify the physical game. Similarly, of course, shut-down players stats lines aren’t going to be great – their role is to stop the other teams best players, which is typically a defensive assignment!

      • Freud

        If a certain skill, such as hitz, does not put you in a position to outscore the other team, maybe the skill isn’t that important.

        If you create more room for yourself and your teammates through hitz, you’ll have a greater chance to create scoring chances through shots at the net while reducing the other teams shots at your net.

        If only there was a way to track that and maybe compare it with other players deployed in the same manner…..

        • Jamie E

          Anyone who watched Michael Ferland crash like a wrecking ball through the Canucks D the last time they were in a playoff series knows that strong, physical play is still both important and highly coveted – especially come playoff time.

  • Kootenaydude

    Markstrom flops around the ice like a seal. Not much precision in his game. Kind of reminds me of Corey Hirsch when he wore the Canucks jersey. Leipsic was beaten to the puck after Horvat won the faceoff. A mistake that caught the Canucks the game.