Photo Credit: Jerome Miron - USA TODAY Sports

CanucksArmy Post Game: Boucher Does Dallas

Puck Drop

Ashton Sautner made his NHL debut after being an emergency recall with Chris Tanev once again out injured. The rookie got the usual treatment from his teammates, falling victim to the usual first NHL game shenanigans.

In what could be a swan song for the Sedins, tonight’s game marked yet another milestone in their careers. Daniel Sedin played in his 1300th career game tonight. It’s just another notch in the bedpost in what’s been a pair of Hall of Fame careers for the Twins. It’s been a difficult final stretch of the season for the Canucks, but we should all strive to give the Twins their due in these final two weeks. They ushered in the best era of Canucks hockey the franchise has ever seen and re-wrote the teams record books along the way.

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Jacob Markstrom got the start and was strong early on. Despite the Stars disappointing season they still boast some elite NHL talent, and they put Markstrom to the test early in this one.

After the team traded penalties early in the period, the Canucks got their first full power play with four minutes left in the period. With Stephen Johns in the box for tripping, it was the Star who managed to open the scoring. Jake Virtanen tried to get out of a tight spot along the boards he passed to Alex Edler at the blueline. Edler was unable to handle the pass and caught flatfooted could only watch as Mattias Janmark pulled away on a breakaway.

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Just thirty seconds later, still on the power play, the Canucks responded. Reid Boucher deftly redirected Jussi Jokinen’s slap pass, past Kari Lehtonen tieing the game up at one.

2nd Period

Five minutes into the second saw Tyler Seguin narrowly avoid serious injury, as Darren Archibald’s skate came up and caught him in the face. Thankfully Seguin was ok and didn’t miss a shift.

There wasn’t a whole lot going on in the second for either team and despite a lack of whistles, it wasn’t the most exciting hockey to watch.

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Approaching the nine-minute mark, the unscathed Seguin was off to the box after getting his stick up on Boucher. With Boucher cut, the Canucks had a four-minute man advantage. The power play had its chances, highlighted early by Bo Horvat hitting the crossbar, followed later by a Jake Virtanen wrap around that went through Lehtonen and out the other side of the crease.

But it took until, literally the last second of the power play for the Canucks to take their first lead. After knocking down Troy Stecher’s shot, Nic Dowd rang a shot off the post. The puck pinballed behind Lehtonen off his skate and trickled across the goal line.

2-1 Canucks.

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3rd Period

The Canucks went to the power play for the fifth straight time early in the third but were unable to extend their lead.

After killing off a delay of game penalty by Tyler Motte, the Canucks extended their lead. Virtanen picked up a dump in that went all the way around, and threw a shot on net. Despite the innocent looking nature of the shot, the puck found its way through Lehtonen giving Vancouver a 3-1 lead with nine and a half minutes left.

Michael Del Zotto and John Klingberg traded penalties, but the game remained tied until the final minute of the game. With 40.9 seconds remaining, Tyler Motte scored an empty net goal.

His first as a Canuck after being acquired at the trade deadline from Columbus in the Thomas Vanek trade. Since joining the Bluejackets, Vanek has four goals and nine points in thirteen games.

The Numbers

Quick Hits

  • All three of Reid Boucher’s goals this season have come against the Dallas Stars.

  • Our own Cam Davie once again has his “The Flow” shirts for sale, with proceeds going to the Make A Wish BC/Yukon. They’re great looking shirts, and it’s a great cause. If you can, brighten up the final few you weeks of the season in style!

  • 2015 fifth round pick Adam Gaudette saw his Hobey-Baker calibre season come to an end on Saturday. It’s expected Gaudette will go pro and forego his Senior year at Northeastern. The hard-working centre has been a big talking point and a bright spot for many in another tough year. Similar to Boeser last year, it seems likely the Canucks will dangle burning a year of his deal and a couple NHL paycheques in front of him to get him signed. Going back for his senior year means he could become a Free-Agent next August, the Canucks need to get him signed now.

  • truthseeker

    well…good on them for getting some lucky bounces. Nice win. Hopefully they string a few more together and end this season on a high note.

    Must be super frustrating to be a Stars or Flames fan right now. Not to mention a member of the team.

    Yeah it would be good for the canucks to get Gaudette in like they did Boeser last year. More for the sake of getting him signed. If he does well, then bonus.

  • Brent

    “His first as a Canuck after being acquired at the trade deadline from Columbus in the Thomas Vanek trade. Since joining the Bluejackets, Vanek has four goals and nine points in thirteen games.”

    Well at least we got some draft picks as well.

  • Rayman

    We need a top defenceman.
    And they are winning. FOR WHAT??

    We can end the season with high note ONLY if we can get the FIRST DRAFT PICK!! Which is a defenceman we can use RIGHT AWAY! like NEXT season!

    It’s really hard to watch&support a sports team which can’t even think one season ahead…

    • jaybird43

      You are aware tgat the bottom spot only has an 18.5% chance of getting the #1 pick? Your desperate tone makes it sound like the old days where worst tank = #1 pick.

      • DogBreath

        or put another way, if you look at finishing in the bottom 5, your odds look like this:

        Finish in 31st place, there’s an 81.5% chance that someone will pick ahead of you (and pick Dahlin).
        Finish in 30th place, there’s an 86.5% chance that someone will pick ahead of you (and pick Dahlin)
        29th place there’s an 88.5% chance that someone will pick ahead of you (and pick Dahlin)
        28th place there’s an 90% chance that someone will pick ahead of you (and pick Dahlin).
        27th place there’s an 91.5% chance that someone will pick ahead of you (and pick Dahlin)

        C’mon people. No one in management is stupid enough to want to lose enough to get those low odds. Despite how it seems sometimes, everyone (including players and management) is playing for their jobs and pride. Most or all of these guys are insanely competitive and is a big reason they beat out approximately 1.7 million other people to make it to the NHL in the first place.

        • If you finish in 31st, you get the highest odds of picking first – 10% higher than if you pick in 27th, and you also cannot pick any lower than top-5, while if you finish in 27th, you can fall much lower.

          Given that wins at this point in the season have *zero* value, while losses significantly increase the odds of a high draft pick, losses are the only sensible course.

        • liqueur des fenetres

          On the one hand the guy making $4M+ probably could care less who the team drafts and in what position. But on the other hand, that same player is probably much less focused going into these final games, looking not to get hurt, probably already thinking about the summer vacay and they new boat he’ll be buying…

          • You can’t ask players to tank. It has to be management. Shut down every player with even a minor injury. Don’t bring Tanev back – he’s done for the year. Is Horvat nursing a minor ailment? Scratch him. Give your players time to recover, play your players who are on the bubble, lose games while also achieving some positives.

    • DJ_44

      This sums up the idiotic understanding of tanking, what is meant by it, and its effect on the the draft lottery.

      Players play to win, for pride, for their careers, for everything. The Canucks management have done everything they can do as far as tanking; shutting down everyone with a hint of an injury since before the TDL.

      Finishing last results in a less than 1 in 5 chance of picking first. It is a lottery. It is luck.

      What if the Canucks do not win the lottery, but the team one or two places ahead of the them in the standings wins?…… if only they would have won two more games.

    • DeL

      When I read the s#*!t that comes out of some A#*!#%es typing about tanking it makes me want to puke. This person(!?) has obviously never played organized sports because if they had they would know one never plays to lose they play to win, and if one did their team mates would not be pleasant toward them.

    • truthseeker

      nope. don’t care. would rather win. They’ll be a good player in the draft at any position from 2 to 15. They’re all pretty much the same aside from the number one. If we get lucky and win the lottery then bonus. Getting all bothered about a few percentage points is just unnecessary stress. It’s a lottery. It’s luck. The difference between 18% and 10% is 8%. It’s virtually nothing. jaybird is exactly correct. DJ is exactly correct.

      If we lose and get a higher percentage then fine. We get a couple extra sets of numbers. Can’t hurt. But I will not cheer against the team to get them. I don’t ever want to be a self loather.

    • truthseeker

      I don’t really follow these kids at all aside from checking out their basic numbers, weight, height etc….

      But I really don’t see how this kid is ranked behind any of the other prospects aside from Dahlin and maybe the russian kid. But he’s a winger and personally I think the very fact that Bouchard is D makes him more valuable. Hopefully a) other NHL teams disagree, b) the canucks like him and want him as their first option (after Dahlin) and c) he falls to us wherever we happen to pick.

      In the end I’ll trust Benning with whoever he decides though. His team knows way more about this stuff than I do.

    • If I remember correctly, Bouchard bumped Juolevi from the 1st unit power play in London. He was also another reason why Juolevi got 2nd pairing minutes when the coach split his Top 2. Came in with a lot of hype and seems to be living up to it.

  • Sandpaper

    AlthoughVirtanen made a questionable pass on the shorty, Edler should be also at fauly on that play. He appears to be heading forward into traffic leaving no options for a pass to the point. Bad play moreso by Edler than Jake.

    • Rodeobill

      It was a rough play that resulted in a goal, but he got back in there right away to help out. He makes mistakes, but I’m glad Green is letting him play through them instead of benching him, he is making a lot more good plays than bad ones of late and has been one of the few watchable storylines toward the end of this season.

  • Holmes

    I do want them to lose out and tank. Better odds for #1 overall but the lower we finish, the better the slot in subsequent rounds. This has been a bad, bad, bad season. Add another bad in there by losing all remaining games – don’t care. I want the better slots.

  • Cageyvet

    I liked Sautner’s play, for what that’s worth. He used his body well to either throw a check, pin his man to the boards, or engage in front of the net. He was also fairly calm under pressure and didn’t make any serious serious mistakes. That’s a strong showing for a first ever NHL game.

    I also liked Goldobin’s game, he continues to show poise and playmaking ability in the offensive zone, and he’s not atrocious in the other end, leading me to believe we can work with him going forward.

    Motte hasn’t done much to impress, but as someone pointed out to me, he’s had limited opportunity and is in and out of the lineup to protect his waiver status. Still, he leaves me wanting more.

  • Beer Can Boyd

    I know this is hindsight, but Green should have declared Markstromm as his #1 right from the start off the season, and played him 3 out of every 4 games regardless. Last few weeks he’s been pretty damned good, playing in front of a team that allows a ridiculous amount of scoring chances. Nilsson plays well maybe 1 game out of 5. No reason to bring him back.

  • apr

    First we see Forsling and Pokke not being able to crack a pathetic Chicago line-up, and them we see Honka not being able to crack an even more pathetic Dallas D. Should Nucks have traded Hamhuis? Of course, even if it were for a draft pick. But drooling over other team’s prospects who can’t crack their team’s line-ups is a dangerous game. For all we know, if Kesler had waived for Pittsburgh – we may have gotten Sutter and Pouliot back – and Canucks Army would have been doing back flips for getting Pouliot..

  • Kootenaydude

    Terrible win for the Canucks. Good win for players like Jokinen with expiring contracts. Perhaps somebody could explain to me the benifits of winning meaningless games. I’ve watched 4 years of terrible almost unwatchable hockey. How can decreasing our odds for the best available draft picks help change this?

    • Defenceman Factory

      Overall winning these last few games doesn’t help the team and does reduce odds in the lottery and worsen draft placement somewhat. I don’t understand what people expect the players and coach to do, just quit. Should we have a system where teams can just forfeit games once playoffs are out of reach. People still want to watch hockey where the players are actually trying. There are a number of players who have contracts ending this season. Showing well now may impact their future earnings. Their teammates and coach aren’t going to tank a game on them for draft placement. Players aren’t going to let other players just quit.

      The Canucks don’t have any more extra players to sit anyone else out of the line-up and the line-up they are icing is pretty bad. Don’t know what else management could do to try and lose.

      The one small positive that might come out of playing hard these last few games is maybe the trade value of some players improves.

  • TheRealPB

    So hard to watch a game right now, 1) because I can’t watch and cheer against my team even if it’s in their best interests to lose and 2) because these games between non-playoff teams are god-awful. At the conclusion of the Canucks game they switched to the Jets-Preds and it was absolutely amazing. Imagine putting Ehlers and Laine out as your THIRD pairing in OT. Just fantastic. Though of course it’s to be expected that we’d suck; if I was a fan of Calgary, Dallas, Edmonton, St. Louis or LA, I’d be a lot more upset — their young players are supposedly in their prime and these years are being wasted. Perhaps none so much as Calgary given that they have like one pick in the first three rounds in the next two years!