Photo Credit: Kelvin Kuo - USA TODAY Sports

CanucksArmy Post Game: The Unhappiest Place on Earth

Puck Drop

Things got off to yet another rocky start for the Canucks on Wednesday night in Anaheim. Less than three and a half minutes into the opening frame, Brandon Montour opened the scoring for the Anaheim Ducks. Finishing a give-and-go with Jason Chimera, Montour’s shot found it’s way through the traffic in front going up and over Jacob Markstrom.

The goal continued a disturbing season-long trend of giving up not only the first goal but doing it very early on in games.

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Four minutes later the Canucks were shorthanded, as Derrick Pouliot was handed a four-minute double-minor for high-sticking. The Canucks came out unscathed as Markstrom fended off Corey Perry and the Ducks power-play.

The Canucks had their chance to tie things up before the end of the frame, as Michael Del Zotto rang a shot off the post after Reid Boucher did a nice job winning a puck battle down low. Moments later, Nic Dowd did the same, as the Canucks managed to generate some late period chances.

2nd Period

The second period didn’t exactly get off to a banner start for Sam Gagner and the Canucks. Gagner was sent to the box for interference, after stepping into Ondrej Kase well after the puck had left.

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Fortunately for Vancouver, Adam Henrique was sent off for slashing Brandon Sutter just over a minute into the Anaheim power-play.

The goalless drought continued in the second, crossing 180 minutes, the equivalent of three full games.

After making a nice save off Rickard Rakell thirty-seconds earlier, Markstrom gave up his second goal of the game. With the ink still wet on his contract after his Olympic performance for Canada in Pyeongchang, Chris Kelly turned the puck over on the forecheck (with a cross-check) and set up Chimera in the slot.

Once again the Canucks best chance to get on the board came late in the period. After Jake Virtanen nearly broke in on a breakaway, the Sutter line came over the boards for the Canucks best shift of the game. Spending their time in the Ducks zone, the trio spent the period’s final shift working the puck down low, and generating a few looks on net.

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3rd Period

Off to a better start in the third, the Canucks appeared to have some jump looking to get back in the game. With their best look coming from an unlikely source.

Once again it was Virtanen skating the puck deep into the Anaheim zone after the puck came loose in the slot both Alex Biega and Brendan Leipsic had clean looks. Neither was able to capitalize; the dry spell continues.

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With Hampus Lindholm in the box for cross-checking, the Canucks had a chance to capitalize on the momentum built early in the third. That was until Markstrom took a rather selfish, though if we’re being honest, a weak penalty. After getting tangled up with Jacob Silverberg earlier in the game, Markstrom stepping in front of Silfverberg as the Canucks started to break out, sending him to the ice.

Hey Markstrom… Let’s Go!!!

With two minutes and twenty-seven seconds left in the games, Markstrom was headed to the bench for the extra attacker. The only problem, was the Ducks gained possession at their blueline, Markstrom had to scramble back as the Ducks shot at the empty net. Narrowly missing, the Ducks were called for a questionable icing call as it appeared Markstrom moved to play the puck.

With the faceoff in the Anaheim end, Markstrom once again made way to the bench for the extra attacker. Any hope of a comeback was lost when Alex Edler was called for interference on Perry with one nineteen to go. Though it was clearly interference, Perry did his damnedest to make sure everyone knew doing a barrel roll as he went to the ice.

Daniel Sedin was not a fan of the antics, or just wanted to get a headstart on the showers, as he earned a ten-minute misconduct ending his night.

The Canucks were shutout for the third straight game, as this one ended with a score of 3-0 after Montour added another goal with 42.4 seconds left.

The Numbers

Quick Hits

  • 212 minutes and nine seconds. The Canucks are just twenty-two minutes away from setting a new franchise record for futility as their goal scoring woes continue. Life without Boeser hasn’t been much fun as the Canucks have dropped four straight since his injury.
  • Nikolay Goldobin squandered another opportunity tonight as the started out the top line alongside Leipsic and Horvat. Requiring waivers next year, it really is now or never for Goldobin as the Canucks begin to look forward to next years roster decisions.
  • Prior to tonight’s game, news broke that Erik Gudbranson was being shut down for the year and headed for surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder. An injury that’s injured the big defencemen since November, something the Canucks were well aware of prior to extending him on a three-year, twelve million dollar contract. Despite showing some positive signs lately in his underlying numbers, it’s yet another curious and highly suspect decision made by the Canucks regarding Gudbranson.


  • grickbeil

    How does Gudbranson’s injury make their decision to sign him a worse one? They would have had to disclose the injury in the event of a trade – do you think that would have helped his value as a rental with one good shoulder? Instead they signed him to a reasonable contract (although CA obviously disagrees) which, if he can continue his improved play with a rehabbed shoulder, will make him a valuable d man for us or a far more tradeable asset. You would rather have tried to move him as an injured rental for peanuts? At this point any Canucks news including Gudbranson automatically means whining from which ever CA author happens to be writing at the time.

    • Ryles

      The obvious answer is let him walk for nothing. Not invest 3 more years into a terrible defenceman who doesn’t put up points or defend well. PLUS hes missed 82 games in 2 years.

      • truthseeker

        It’s interesting that when one writer here suggested that simply walking away from him was a viable and logical option, the crowd here pretty much shht all over the idea.

        Personally I think the “not throwing good money after bad” argument is a completely logical one and made excellent sense in the Guddy situation.

        The only thing we can hope for now is that he somehow plays his way out of being as bad as he is and regains some kind of value. In the end it’s not the worst contract ever and over all probably won’t have much of a negative impact on potential moves the team might make.

        • bobdaley44

          He’s played pretty well the last few games. My question is besides him and Edler where’s the physicality? Im thinking without them opponents would just dominate down low against them. What a scary D we would have Tanev, Stetcher, Pouliot, Hutton and Biega. That strikes fear.

          • truthseeker

            Tanev has never needed “physicality” to get the job done defensively. And opponents never dominate down low against him. He dominates them. Physicality is great if it’s combined with great positional awareness and natural defensive ability, but the later two are far far more important in playing the position. Guddy doesn’t seem to bring much awareness to his play so his physicality is pretty much meaningless.

          • Holly Wood

            Tanev is not the player CA thinks he is. Sorry truthseeker but he does not dominate any on ice situation, he reads the play well, is fairly quick to pucks, and is willing to block shots that’s it. No offence what so ever. Kind of a media darling. He might warrant a high first or a low 2nd pick at the draft

          • truthseeker

            nonsense. The guy makes amazing plays every single night that prevent quality scoring chances and goals. He’s a defensive artist. His breaking up of plays is every bit as beautiful as ovechkin’s goal scoring. I think there are a lot of fans who fail to see defensive artistry and lump Tanev in with other guys who don’t score that much but have NHL jobs thinking that he’s like them. I would say you’re missing an entire aspect of the game because you’re looking for points as the main criteria. And his shot suppression numbers back me up on this. He’s an outlier compared to virtually every other player in the league.


            The average number one D has a shot suppression rating of 6. Tanev is a 9. Last I checked there was only one other D man in the entire league that had a 9. One of the Lightning guys I think. Everyone else….everyone….all those guys you think are better D men than Tanev, they are all behind him defensively.

            Vancouver fans do have a habit of overrating their players, but in Tanev’s case, strangely enough he is actually underrated in a big way by canuck fans.

            So yeah…you’re completely wrong on this. He does dominate shot suppression like virtually nobody else in the league. I suggest you pay more attention when he’s playing. Watch all the little things he does. It’s amazing. Every bit as enjoyable as watching Boeser score goals.

    • liqueur des fenetres

      It’s like going to a new car lot and instead of buying the new Audi S4 paying the same price for the one parked next to it with a massive dent in the front. Sure, they may be able to put it back together and no one will ever know someone backed into it going 50 km/h but why take the risk? Or maybe Benning’s also a master surgeon now?

    • Dirty30

      Vey was a sop to WD. And under other circumstances, Vey might have turned out okay (not great, but okay). Vey’s career basically ended when JB traded another 2nd for Baertschi, from whom this team has received good, but not great, value in games.

      For me, the situation is simply that GMMG tried to win and failed and it cost the team. GMJB tried to turn the team around quickly and failed and it also came with a cost. The big difference between those two situations is that the former gave us exciting winning seasons and no future, while the latter has built a bit of a future but we get tedious losing seasons as a result.

      And unless some miracle happens, like some team needs to dump a Christian Ehrhoff puck moving D for a salary dump etc, this process will be slow, painful, tedious, frustrating that all the complaining in the world won’t change one bit.

      The bigger consideration is that every Canadian team that is doing badly is a major threat to the league’s bottom line no matter what Bettman wants to believe to the contrary.

  • Punisher

    In the words of the late great Chris Cornell – “I’m headed for the bottom…. and I’m going ……down.” 31st is looking eminently achievable.

    Still way more watchable than Willy’s Megma s-show last year though. No where to go but up next year.

    But that Gubrandson extension…..

  • Smyl and Snepsts

    Hutton and Pouliot were absolutely horrible. Pouliot was a turnover machine and Hutton is of no use unless he is skating with the puck in open ice. Then he can make a nice pass. He cant defend the rush. He cant get the puck back in board battles. He has no shot to contribute offensively. Ivery much doubt he will be on the team next year. As for the hate for Gudbranson I am impressed with what he managed with a wrecked shoulder. I have had 2 of them and it takes very little impact for a lot of pain and he was still hitting and physically involved. Pretty damn hard to move someone with one good arm. I would take 1 of him over 3 Huttons.

  • wojohowitz

    Rookie coach…clueless…lost the room…control freak…it`s his mess…only three more years…what are the players saying…get me out of here…the twins happy to leave…wait for Horvat and Boeser to start saying that…the rot starts at the top…Jacob Tremblay is a Canucks fan…everybody laughs at the joke.

  • LTFan

    My comment is – the players appear to work hard – they simply are not good enough. For the frustration most of us following the team can hope for is the #1 pick overall. While I had high hopes for Coach Travis Greene, I’m not so sure now. Gallant was available last year and in hindsight it might have been worth the money to have hired him. Who knows for sure what he could have done with this group?

    • canuckfan

      Look at the players who are injured and those who are playing. Gallant would not have been able to get anymore out of the team than Green. Gallant has a much better roster to work with. Look at their goaltending alone. Before the injuries hit the Canucks they were doing well, even with the number of bad goals that would be scored on the first few shots. This year is done and went as many had predicted so how could this be put on Green even before the year started the Canucks were predicted to be at the bottom with a healthy roster. But they were having success with the healthy roster… and then the injuries hit.
      As a Canuck fan I have been happier watching this years Canucks than last year. They have been a lot more entertaining and yes Brock has a lot to do with that.
      Now I am hoping for the number 1 pick in the draft odds increase as we drop in the standings some of those who are playing now are getting a good look as to whether or not they will be playing in the NHL in the future. Goldobin and Bouchier if they were not playing for Canucks would be seen as great prospects, but now they are in NHL they don’t look like they belong and as new prospects move from Junior they will move down the depth chart. Maybe Goldie goes to Russia if so gook luck to him as he hasn’t shown anything since his first shift as a Canuck. Hope he works his ass off this summer and comes to camp ready to challenge for a spot if he doesn’t then likely will be playing his last NHL games this year.

  • Green Bastard

    OK, everyone, especially writer Jason MacDonald, should relax a bit about Eric’s shoulder injury. I know all the rest of the reasons why signing him was stoopid. But to imply that re-siging him with this injury is a “highly suspect decision” shows an apparent lack of knowledge of a torn labrum. About 12 years ago, Drew Brees had a torn labrum, 360 degree version, with rotator cuff damage as well, on his throwing arm! Probably FAR worse than eric’s tear, and certainly FAR more at stake with an NFL QB’s throwing arm. Since Drew’s repair, he’s gone on to throw for 4000-5000+ yards per season for 12 straight years since the operation, and at least one superbowl win. And no, he didn’t switch throwing arms. Do we think maybe, eric can recover from his labrum repair?

    I think even more curious (maybe even a highly suspect decision), is that Jason MacDonald would: A) Not research even a tiny bit, what’s involved in this type of injury. And B) Not proofread his stories before hitting the “Post” button. I don’t really care ’bout proper english and grammar and all that shiznit, but if you’re gonna be a semi-professional writer and all, an authority on a subject, clean up your work before you post it.

    • liqueur des fenetres

      Gudbranson is forced to sign a bridge deal because he had a poor season in part due to injury. Management and player chart out a course for what he’s got to do to get that big pay day; be a cop out there. Big G steps up the physical side of his game and promptly gets injured, again. Maybe this guy is brittle. But you’re right, since he doesn’t have trade protection Benning can always trade him to the Lions.

      Which of Benning’s big signings haven’t been injured when putting pen to paper? Dorsett, Sutter even Miller I believe. If this injury wasn’t a big deal then they would have mentioned it at the time they announced the extension. Might have even been a great feel good story too.

  • Locust

    This must be the ‘creamiest’ time of year for CA, multiple starters injured, a tired and deflated team getting waxed game after game…..
    Can it get any better for CA writers (Vanessa and Cory not included)……

  • I am Ted

    ‘The unhappiest place on earth’. Really? Wtf. Get over yourselves. It’s a hockey game.

    The Canucks kept Gudbranson because they don’t have many better options and were not offered much for him? Does that make sense? Canucks have a bunch of D but not too many that can make significant impact. Guds isn’t stellar but does bring some physicality to the game and has been improving lately.

    Goldy seems to be a perimeter player and I’m hoping he realizes, sooner rather than later, that he has to get into the dirty areas more often.

    Tough to be too critical when talking Goldy considering the whole team is having offensive issues these days (but I do agree Goldmember needs to show more being a newer player and all). Honestly, maybe he isn’t the guy you want on the team if he isn’t willing to get his nose dirty and push the envelope.

  • Nuck16

    Well…if we do in fact finish 31st and even if we do the expected and get shutout at the draft lottery, one very nice thing we’ll have going for us is first right of refusal on the waiver wire.

  • Kootenaydude

    I think a lot of the whiners need a reality check. It seems they want us to win the Cup and get the 1st overall pick. These same people think were going to do well by barely squeaking into the playoff picture. It doesn’t work that way. These are stats from the teams that have recently won multiple cups.
    Pittsburg from 01/02 – 07/08 had 69,65,58,58 and 105 point seasons. They drafted 5th, 1st, 2nd, 1st, and 2nd overall. They drafted Whitney, Fleury, Malkin, Crosby, and Staal. Their lucky pick was Letang at 62nd overall. Even with these top picks including a couple generational players. It took 4 years of being bottom feeders to make the playoffs. The Canucks haven’t drafted higher than 5th. So how can they compete when we haven’t even tanked for 3 complete seasons. Next team Chicago. From 01/02 – 08/09…had 96, 79, 59, 65, 71, 88 and 104 point seasons. During that time 14th Seabrook, 3rd Barker, 3 Toews and 1st overall Kane. Lucky picks Keith at 54th and Crawford at 51st. Finally LA Kings. From 01/02 – 09/10….had 95, 78, 81, 89, 68, 71, 79, 101 points. Draft picks 13th Brown, 11th Kopitar, 2nd Doughty, 5th Schenn. No lucky picks. Besides the top picks that these teams received. Their draft choices generally sucked. These teams were at the bottom for a long time. The penguins had the best ever picks at the draft and still took them 4 years of being bottom feeders to become an elite team. The Canucks haven’t drafted higher than 5th recently. We haven’t even completed our 3rd terrible season. Yet we have a bunch of so called fans that are nothing but whiners. So what do you want people? A team the barely makes the playoffs year after year or a team that tanks for 4-5 years and then becomes an elite team eventually? Its hard to make a quick turnaround when the Canucks draft no better than 5th. So have a little patience. Rant over.