Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas - USA TODAY Sports

CanucksArmy Post-Game: Howlin’ at the Moon

Tonight’s game was a big one in tank nation as it had massive implications on the draft lottery. Before the game, the Vancouver Canucks were up by six points on the Arizona Coyotes.

Without further delay, let’s dive into this cellar dweller Sunday night special in Arizona!

At the 10:23 mark of the first period, there was a total of six shots on goal between the teams and the Canucks were held to only three controlled entries. On the other side of the pond, teams this bad are threatened with relegation; in the NHL, the league rewards you with a shot at generational talent. With Brock Boeser out, the Canucks are in prime position to take advantage of the system and stock up on those lottery tickets!

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After 20 minutes, Arizona more than doubled up Vancouver in shot attempts with 25 to the Canucks 12. Perhaps the nine turnovers by Canucks blueliners in the defensive zone had something to do with that? Alexander Edler was the only defender to escape the first-period mistake free on his 11 touches.

Below is the Zone Exit Chart from the complete game. As you can see, lots of red. 19 fails by defenders in the defensive zone tonight — way too many.

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On the positive side, Canucks head coach Travis Green has been trying to clog up the neutral zone all season to create lower event hockey; it’s safe to say, mission accomplished in the first period tonight.

Second Period

Coyotes capitalize on the power-play following Derrick Pouliot’s second penalty of the period. Oliver Ekman Larsson walks into one and blasts the games lone goal past Jacob Markstrom.

After 40 minutes, Bo Horvat was putting together quite a game. He was leading the team in controlled entries with five, shots with seven, primary shot contributions with nine.

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There were signs of life in the Canucks as they were only slightly out-shot at 5-on-5, 16-14 at even strength. However, at all strengths, Arizona managed to direct 25 pucks at Jacob Markstrom compared to Vancouver throwing a total of 14 at Darcy Kuemper. After two, all-strength shot attempts were 51-28 for the bad guys.

Third Period

The opening 11 minutes of the third period looked much like the first period. Two counter punchers refusing to attack, looking to capitalize on mistakes. It was boring; it was ugly; it was exactly what we thought it would be. But then, things started happening!

Erik Gudbranson made back to back stops on odd-man rushes against which led to a counterattack of odd-man rushes for the Canucks.

Love that fire from Markstrom, who’s clearly still dialled in and remains as competitive as he’d be if this team were contending for a playoff spot.

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The game opened up in the final eight minutes of the third period with the Canucks pushing the pace of play. The Canucks cranked it up a notch and generated 31 total shot attempts compared to Arizona’s nine in an admirable effort to tie the game at one. Despite a handful of late scoring chances, Darcy Kuemper had the answer to anything the Canucks threw at him, and the Canucks late push would come up short. Kuemper would finish the game with 26 saves, including a last-second doorstep royal road pass from Leipsic to Daniel Sedin one time attempt for the shutout. Kuemper was the difference maker tonight and the games first star.

So a Canucks-Coyotes game not including Boeser wasn’t entertaining, aw shucks! The game wasn’t high in entertainment value, but there are still a few positives to hang the bucket on. Let’s take a look in the quick hit observations.


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More lottery tickets? Yes please! at least for most people.


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Quick Hits

  • Bo Horvat had a strong game leading the team in controlled zone entries, and 5-on-5 shot attempts with 7 of each while totalling nine primary shot contributions. We saw Boeser maintain his pace when Horvat was out due to injury and now we’re seeing Horvat do the same without Boeser. Not that there was much doubt, but it’s certainly a good sign that both players are individually capable of generating offensive opportunities.
  • Brandon Leipsic continues to create offence, making the most of his opportunity on the top line and second power-play unit. Leipsic played 20:31 tonight and tallied another five primary shot contributions at 5v5 and added another five on the man advantage for a total of ten. No points today, but he continues to create shots and earn Travis Green’s trust.
  • Alex Edler and Erik Gudbranson finished with a positive share of shots and were both well above their personal average controlled zone exit rates. There have been signs of Gudbranson’s game improving lately, let’s hope this trend continues.
  • Ben Hutton struggled tonight, he had a team low 23.53% controlled zone exit rate and only contributed one shot attempt in his 15:13 of playing time tonight. He managed to break-up a handful of plays in the neutral zone which kept his shot share of 45.45% respectable, but to stay in the lineup; he’s going to have to be much better with the puck.

  • The_Blueline

    important win in view of the draft. they’re (probably?) not gonna lose them all so against the Yotes was an important one.

    Leipsic sure looks like he can play in the top 6. looks like he would make Baertschi available for a trade. do I hear a 1st rounder?

    • Holly Wood

      It would be hard to imagine anyone trading a first round pick for a under sized winger that averages 30 points per year on a bottom feeder team. His trade value is likely a second or a third rounder. I can see the Canucks moving on from him, just not expecting much in return.

      • Dirty30

        If Baertschi was traded for a bad contract then they could ask for a higher pick — they gave up a second round pick to get him, showed he could contribute, so why not try to get extra value if they can?

  • Canuck70

    A great result! The Canucks now sit with 59 points with 69 games played. Ottawa has 57 pts, Buffalo has 56 and Arizona has 55. Two of them have played less games then Vancouver. Of their remaining 13 games, the Canucks play VGK, Anaheim, and Edmonton twice with the remaining games against Arizona, LA, Columbus, St. Louis, Chicago, Dallas, and San Jose. I see no reason to believe that Vancouver will win any of those remaining games. They will take last place and have the best odds to win the lottery! Take that, Bettman! I am still cheering for my team in hoping that they will lose each game with the end result being an overall win at the draft. Here comes Rasmus Dahlin!

      • argoleas

        This is why #TeamTank supports ending up in last place, because that guarantees not just 4th overall, but then the 32nd pick, so we can draft another Kole Lind. As for 4th overall, if you are on the Defense bandwagon, then excellent choices there too. In fact there are such choices probably down to #10 spot. Dahlin is of course the best of them all, and he should be ready to step in right away. Now that would be a nice jolt to this D corps.

  • Burnabybob

    It will be a relief when this season is finally over. Hopefully next year at this time the Canucks will be in playoff contention and I won’t find myself rooting for them to tank, as I have most of this season.

  • myshkin

    i like the howling coyote sounds, it sure beats continually hearing the immigrant song.

    this is the 3rd straight year of a total team collapse after a decent start. is the team wearing out because the coach plays them too hard to begin the season or do the players get tired of looking over their shoulder and getting benched for any slip up or turn over? scoring 1 goal in 2 games against the poorest team in the league is not acceptable.

    • Giant-Nation

      Hi Darryl or anyone that can answer this question- how do you obtain stats like controlled entries are you paying for a service or can any fan gather this’s data?

        • Giant-Nation

          Wow okay that seems like a ton of pause/resume on the pvr when your tailing controlled entries from every forward and then breaking down controlled exits, fails and uncontrolled exits! Good work Daryl, this seems a bit tough though as the data is still prone to human error. I am using software recognition program for my daughters volleyball, it tracks players jersey numbers and gives you crazy stats, but i’m sure it isn’t perfect either. My question about tracking these stats pertains to my son as I would love to grab all these stats from his games if it was possible.

    • canuckfan

      This season I agree Canucks had a good start, but then the injuries hit and they hit hard to top players. When the players returned they started picking up but then so did the injuries again. Has Green been hard on the players I’m not really sure that I would agree he has been hard. No coach would put up with inconsistent play and players not giving it their all the full 60 minutes. He is trying to develop a team culture of hard work. It is too easy for players to lay back and just accept losing and go through the motions.
      I believe there will be many changes next year including no Sedins. I wish it wasn’t so but they don’t have the ability to keep up anymore and from that are finding themselves in the penalty box. Not sure if anyone has kept stats on how many times we have been scored on when one of the twins sits in the box, compared to how many power play goals they have been in on. If there isn’t more power play goals compared to goals against while they are in the box then they are not adding value and it is only going to get worse. They have been great for Vancouver and will be hard to see them retire but need to get prepared and quit being so sentimental.

  • Canuck70

    Baertschi goes to the tough areas and is is creative. Important attributes for a forward. Green has kept him honest and he backchecks well and he dishes the puck nicely. He is one guy I would trade only if an exceptional deal was available.

    • argoleas

      I basically assume that the Sedins are coming back, and almost certain that Pettersson will ride shotgun with them. So its a case of musical chairs. Just do not see how they retain both Baertschi and Granny. Now, most would say that the former is way better than the latter, but I see two somewhat different skillsets. Or maybe they find a way to offload Eriksson, which IMO they should almost at any cost (even retaining 50% of salary).

      The deal aspect is key too. Most likely, any Baertschi deal would be undervalued. But if they can get him to a cost-effective multi-yr deal, and he ends up with a healthy and productive season, then that would be a better time to entertain a possible deal. That goes for Hutton as well.

  • Beer Can Boyd

    Focusing on positivity today. Leipsic for Holm looks like another steal for the Canucks. With a healthy roster to start next season, and the addition of any/all of these players, things will be much better. Demko, Julolevi, Petterssen, Dahlin, Lind, Gaudette, Gadjovich, and in a dream world, Tryamkin and Rasmus Dahlen. We’re all hard on this team, but heres the list of Canucks who have missed significant time this year due to injuries: Horvat, Tanev, Baertschi, Sutter,Gudbrandson, Erickson, Granlund,Gaunce, Boeser, and of course, Dorsett. Thats 10 players missing of the roster you started the year with.

    • Beer Can Boyd

      I think we can all agree that this roster would look a bit more formidable. Horvat-Boeser-Leipsic, Sedin-Sedin-Petterssen, Virtanen-Gaudette-Bartschi, Sutter-Gaunce-Archibald, with Erickson or Granlund as the 13th guy. Or replacing the Sedins, should they retire. Defence is Tanev-Julolevi, Tryamkin-Stecher, Dahlen-Pouliot, Hutton as the 7th man, and Gudbranson preferably traded in the off season for a 2019 1st round pick to the Leaves. Demo and Markstromm in goal, and there it is. Your 2018-19 Vancouver Canucks

      • argoleas

        I presume you mean Dahlin, not Dahlen, for defense 😉

        If they get him, then I agree it is reasonable that Edler becomes expendable. Not sure they would be able to trade him due to NTC, but if they make it plain that he will not be extended, and give him a choice where to go, something could be worked out.

        Still do not see Benning getting rid of Guddy this early. He will be here for a while. As for Tryamkin, I just do not see him over here next season. Maybe the next one. But we shall see.

        Eriksson is proving to be a bit of a headache. I know he’s still effective in PK and even adds some offense, but he’s really just a very expensive and way older Granlund at this point. Rather keep Granlund. And I agree that Gaudette will snag the roster spot from Gagner.

        Off season will be very eventful for this franchise. Probably one of the key off-seasons in recent memory.