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Photo Credit: Kirby Lee - USA TODAY Sports

CanucksArmy Post-Game: The Hangover

The Rundown

The Canucks limped into yesterday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights losers of six straight with goals in only three of those games. And in those rare moments when the Canucks have scored, their goaltending has fallen apart behind them.

That didn’t bode well, especially considering the Canucks had to step into T-Mobile Arena, where the Knights own the best home record in the entire NHL.

The results? Well, they were about as predictable as it gets. With that, let’s get into another ugly effort from the Canucks, one that saw them drop a 4-1 decision to the Golden Knights, good for a seventh straight loss.

Puck Drop

It didn’t take long for the Golden Knights to put this game out of reach. Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault beat Jacob Markstrom just under four minutes in, and his teammate Cody Eakin batted one out of mid-air less than a minute later. That put the Knights up 2-0 less than five minutes into the game.

The Canucks well-documented scoring struggles such as they are, it seemed like a foregone conclusion at this point that they weren’t going to storm back. Even Canucks head coach Travis Green admitted as much after the game.

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare sent that point home with authority, sending a wrist shot home in the slot after a blown coverage low in the Canucks zone. It’s a goal that Markstrom probably should have had, but that’s par for the course this season.

You’d think that a deficit like that would light a fire under the Canucks, but they tripped out of the gate in the second frame, and hardly mustered much if any offensive pressure. Tomas Tatar added to the Knights lead with just five minutes left for just his second goal with the Knights and his first at home.

Brandon Sutter scored for the Canucks in the third period, but that was about all that the Canucks had left in them.

Quick Hits

  • With yesterday’s loss, the Canucks are 30th in the league, tied with the Arizona Coyotes. Both teams have 59 points, but the Coyotes have a game in hand. The Coyotes play the Buffalo Sabres today, so here’s hoping it goes to overtime. If the Sabres win, that puts the Canucks in 31st place. It’s all looking up Vancouver.
  • Jake Virtanen had one of his better games of late, and that’s saying something because he’s really starting to put it together. Last night, the Canucks controlled over 70% of the shots with Virtanen on the ice, and he alone had two shots and seven attempts. Hell, at least somebody’s trying.

 

  • Nuck16

    While watching our rebuild Nucks get dismantled by the expansion Knights…I had a thought about the expansion draft. Important since we have another one coming up and since Betman says the expansion draft rules will stay the same for Seattle. I think it’s rather unfair that every team in the draft is treated equal. I think it would be much more fair, for example, to keep the current protection rules in place for the 16 playoff teams, but then for the non-playoff teams, they can protect 2 additional players, and the 5 teams at the bottom of the standings are exempt. Thoughts?

    • That just seems to incentivize poor play and bad asset management. You may also end up in a situation where the playoff bubble teams who know they’re not likely to progress past the first or second round intentionally throw the last few games of the season in order to get preferential treatment in the expansion draft – not a good look.

      • Dan the Fan

        No playoff bubble team is ever going to throw games just in order to lose a slightly worse team in the expansion draft. In 2012, the Kings were the #8 seed, beat the Canucks in the first round and went on to win the cup. As long as that dream is alive, teams aren’t going to be worried about losing a Luca Sbisa-level player.

    • truthseeker

      Honestly I don’t care. Expansion teams should have good players to choose from and I don’t begrudge Vegas at all. In fact I’d love to see them win the cup. It would be an amazing story. As for non playoff teams giving away less…no…I don’t agree with that either. But then I don’t believe their should be a draft at all. Every player should be a free agent right from the beginning.

      Teams at the bottom need to make better decisions. I’m not in favor of things that reward failure. Like worst team getting the best player. If there has to be a draft then honestly I’d rather see the team closest to the playoffs get the number one pick or have an even odds lottery for the whole league. So the stanley cup champ has the same odds as the worst team for the number one pick. That would be fair.

    • Kootenaydude

      If I was an owner I wouldn’t allow Bettman to give a new franchise the same opportunity as Las Vegas. A top 4 defenceman is too much to give up. They have all year to find the best players. They don’t have another team to contend with when it comes to picks. Let them do their homework and find picks after teams get to protect 4 defenceman. The existing teams have spent a fortune evaluating prospects. Putting them through the system. Having most of them fail to even make the NHL. Then some rich Americans come in, writes a fat cheque and steal your top 4 defenceman. No risk whatsoever choosing players ,because unlike prospects or draft picks, they have already proven themselves as NHL players. Am I the only person that thinks an expansion team shouldn’t be in first place during their first season ?!?!

      • Defenceman Factory

        Can’t argue Vegas got a good deal but as an owner how much of your $20+ million share of Seattle’s payment are you willing to forego to give them less in the expansion draft? The owners have voted with their wallets.

        The expansion rules make no movement clauses very difficult to deal with. They will also make moving a player with an NMC almost impossible over the next couple years.

  • young van fan

    I am in awe of the way Vegas and GM George McPhee have managed to build a legit Stanley Cup contender in just one season with every other teams cast-offs, no superstars and none of their draft picks even on the team yet. How are they so good while our team is so so bad four years into a major rebuild. So devastated after practically growing up at GM Place watching such a killer team team under Gillis/AV. Why can’t we be like Vegas man, it is soul crushing.

    • LAKID

      Because the Nuckleheads have Linden and Benning in charge and they signed a 7th defenceman to 4 Million and will likely sign the Olsen twins again @ 6 million. They have no goaltending and no coaching. They are in cap hell at the momentand have no talent. Nuff said?

      • Gino's 3rd Cousin

        Your “Olsen Twins” and “Sisters” references are not only unoriginal they are sexist. You seem to have an issue with women. Maybe you should look into that…you definitely need help emotionally and mentally.

        • Cageyvet

          He’s an Oilers fan, so it only gives him a few teams to look down on, but criticizing this team’s management is laughable given the history of the Oil wasting prime assets. You should have heard him in the summer, his team was going to challenge for the cup, it took 6 months for him to recover enough from the reality check to even show his face here. No class, no spine, no cup! Looks good on him, but now I just laugh, this is the only way he can even remotely feel good about his team.

      • Super Pest

        Even Bettman (🤬) said management’s message needs consistency. Go figure.
        Now I’m even agreeing with him 😔

        Three, count ‘em, no… four bottom five finishes in five years. Give this “competitive” “rebuild in the fly” an F’in break. Enough. Do the Sedins look competitive right now? Gagner? DJ MDZ? Where’s all this “depth” that was to ensure this wouldn’t happen again?

        • TD

          The future is in their prospects. Unless you win the lottery, your picks are a couple years away from playing and then you are adding 1 – 2 players a year. This sucks, I quit watching after the fourth goal, but it takes time to rebuild through the draft. I hope their picks work out, but even if they do the Canucks are a couple years away from even contending for a playoff spot let alone the cup.

        • Super Pest

          Geesh… looking at the Oilers does make me feel better in a perverse way. WTF? Is it all on Talbot? Trading Eberle? The Oil I just don’t get. Sadder than ‘Nuckland when you have those two superstars. What gives?

      • Green Bastard

        @LASKID… You know, things could be worse. A team could have Pete Chia, AND have to live in edmonton. I’m quite certain, as most oil fans are too, as long as Chia is signing Milan’s, trading Hall’s, banking on Talbot’s, the oil will always be mired in the lotto, for ever and ever amen.

      • TheRealPB

        It’s good that you can take time away from watching your playoff-bound Oilers to drop such pearls of wisdom upon us. Luckily you have great goaltending and coaching to be thankful for and I know you know all about 7th defensemen on big contracts (Russel). Again, your contributions are so helpful here.

    • Cageyvet

      Vegas was gifted far more than the expansion rules provided for by some truly lunatic moves by scared GM’s who gave away assets to protect depth players. Seattle won’t have it so easy, the league will learn from their mistakes and hold their ground much more firmly. Take a player, fine, but they got 2 players, or a player and a pick or three from so many teams. Benning is not given enough credit for moving those exposed assets instead of running scared, better to get a dice roll in Goldobin than just watch your team bleed multiple assets in a situation of your own making.

      • TheRealPB

        So true. All the extra picks for taking on contracts (a 2nd for picking Fleury, the Jets #13 and a third rounder for taking Thorburn, Shea Theodore for picking Stoner and not touching Vatanen or Manson, Karlsson, a 1st and a 2nd for taking on Clarkson, Tuch for not taking Scandella or Dumba, #15, a second and Bischoff for taking Berube, Gusev a 2nd and 4th for taking Garrison). It’s really unprecedented for any expansion team in any of the majors how much Vegas was set up to succeed.

    • Nuck16

      The expansion draft was very very generous. I would hardly call them cast offs when you had teams giving up 1st rounders to protect some of the players they couldn’t officially protect. The Canucks had to protect 4 players that they would have loved to expose had it not been for their no movements.

    • LiborPolasek

      Mcphee was a long time GM of the capitals prior to vegas; he obvously took advantage of the expansion rules and learned his lesson in creating the Vegas roster.

    • truthseeker

      It’s the NHL. It’s parity. I know everyone is all “sky is falling” in Vancouver but it really isn’t. Sure it’s not being managed very well at the moment but virtually every NHL team is only a couple of years away from a turn around no matter how bad they are if they make the right moves. But even more than the right moves is a coach with a good system who gets his players to buy into that system. That’s why Vegas is winning. They simply believe as a group in what they are doing. Talent is important but it is also over rated. Depth is more important than talent. Combine good depth with the “buy in” on a system that works well and you will have a winning team.

      It’s only soul crushing if you let it be soul crushing. My suggestion is stop taking pro spectator sports so seriously. We are all just watching. We don’t play. We think it’s “our” team but it isn’t. We think it matters because it says “Vancouver” on the jersey but it doesn’t. It’s just a game. I really doesn’t matter that much. Once you learn that pro sports is really just a colossal waste of time, it’s actually much easier to enjoy it for what it really is. Which is watching talented people do something really amazing. No different than watching a great movie. And if they lose and it becomes tiresome then just turn it off. Just like a bad movie. Go do something more fun. Tune back in when they are better. It’s no big deal. It only matters if you let it matter. I want to see the canucks win but in the end I really don’t give a sh….. Honestly….If they never win a cup…meh…whatever. I don’t allow my self to care that much about something that in the end really has nothing to do with me. The guys on the ice win the cup…not us. We just tag along and pretend we are important because we happen to be in the same city.

  • argoleas

    Like that Virtanen may be finally putting it all together. Should be seeing good strides from him in the next 2 seasons. Who knows where the ceiling will be? To me, the Canucks patience with Virtanen while busting his balls constantly, is how a team should approach rebuilding. How many people wanted (and some who still want) to quit on this kid?

    I believe they have to take the same approach with the other kids, like Goldy, and Lip.

    • Super Pest

      Good story, Virt, but Hutton’s broken now… Top-two Comet scorers (Goldy/Boucher) come up and do not look like future NHLers 🙁
      What’s down there that could come up, besides Demko, next season? 🙁

      • Super Pest

        And JD… I know the pay is cheap, but where are the analytics to the write up?
        Please get Darryl on the job; this write up was as depressing as the team, management, and, perhaps, you?

      • Cageyvet

        That’s irrelevant, our best prospects may step right into this team, if not they will start in Utica and provide your answer midway through the season. Who’s in the pipeline matters, not where they are playing right now.

      • argoleas

        I would not close the book on Hutton or Goldy just yet. Hutton is facing adversity for the first time in his pro career, so let’s see how his summer goes and how he looks next year.

        I expect Gaudette to easily make the team, and possible that Dahlen and Pettersson could make it as well. Do not see any possibility of Demko moving up next season. Canucks seem hell-bent on following The Plan with him.

      • TD

        Goldobin’s performance in SJ caused him to fall down their depth charts and made him expendable in a trade. Boucher was waived multiple times last year. Many AHL scores can’t get it done in the NHL.

        • argoleas

          And that’s how Goldy may end up (probably a better bet he will), but I think its worthwhile to see for one more year. Saw some flashes that indicate to me there could be something, and I do not think a rebuilding team should be quitting this quickly on prospects unless its bursting with them. Canucks are not. So, IMO, one more year. It has to be with the team since he’s waiver-eligible next season.

          With Boucher, would have to agree. Tweener.

    • WiseCanuck

      Virtanen is an absolute bust pal when the likes of Larkin, Ehlers, Nylander and Tuch were ALL availabe to us, so put your rara skirt away idiot, the standings don’t lie… but Benning sure does

      The bottom line is our goal is win games and to be competitive to make the playoffs. That’s what we’re here for.” Benning

      “I like our goaltending, I like our defence now and I like our centre ice. I can’t wait until the season starts.” – Benning

  • Burnabybob

    People say that the Canucks finishing last doesn’t guarantee them anything.

    Not true. Finishing dead last guarantees the Canucks the best odds in the draft lottery. It also guarantees that they will pick no lower than 4th overall. Likewise, if they finish 2nd from last, they pick no lower than 5th. 3rd from last, no lower than 6th.

    It’s a drag cheering for your team to lose, but that’s really the best we can hope for at this point. The system incentivizes tanking as part of the rebuild process.

    • truthseeker

      When picks 2 to 10 are all virtually the same…it doesn’t really matter that much. And sure 18% is better than 12% in terms of the number one pick. But again…at 82% against getting the number one? It really doesn’t matter. The odds suck, and it’s just a convergence of luck that will determine who gets number 1. Just sit back….relax, and let it play out how it plays out. No need to cheer for them to lose.

  • wojohowitz

    The quote from a Vegas player was; There`s no cliques in the room – we are all in the same boat and are motivated to prove ourselves. A look at their roster shows 16 players between 25 and 30 years and 6 UFAs. Top that off with a veteran coach and a quality goaltender. Don`t expect much from them in the playoffs as hard work will take them only so far but then hardworking and talent kicks in. I don`t know who let 40 goal scorer Karlsson get away but he sure looks good now.

    • TheRealPB

      Karlsson was a 2nd round pick of the Ducks who never really took off in Sweden, started out ok in the AHL then stalled out again when he was traded to the Bluejackets, had two pretty underwhelming seasons the last two and now is benefiting from a resurgent Reilly Smith and especially the criminally under appreciated Marchessault — passed on by the Bluejackets and Lightning and inexplicably given away by the Panthers in the expansion draft (who also gave away Smith). Talk about asset management — 133 points between two players aged 26 and the Panthers netted…a fourth round pick…but I forgot, they are another one of the example franchises we should be following.