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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports

CanucksArmy Post Game: The tank broke

Puck Drop

With the Team Tank out in full force, Ryan Kesler and the Anaheim Ducks were in town Tuesday night.

The Canucks opened the scoring halfway through the first. Sam Gagner made a great read, curling back behind the net anticipating the shot. As he got lost in coverage backdoor, the rebound came right to him

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The Ducks didn’t appear to be a particularly inspired group Tuesday night in Vancouver, especially considering they’re in a fight for their playoff lives.

Despite the lacklustre Ducks effort, the didn’t give up another goal in the period. The score remained one-nothing Canucks after twenty minutes.

2nd Period

After the Canucks dominated possession to the tune of 68% of shot attempts in the first, it was the Ducks controlling over 76% in the second period.

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Despite the utter dominance on the shot clock by the Kesler’s Ducks, the Canucks held onto their one-nothing lead until the seventeen-minute mark of the second.

It took a weird one for the Ducks to get on the board, as the puck took an odd bounce right into the slot leaving Jacob Markstrom helpless behind his net. Andrew Cogliano had a head of steam and pounced on the puck, burying it into the open net as Markstrom tried desperately to make a diving save.

3rd Period

After the Ducks second period pushback, the pendulum once again swung the other way. In the third period, the Canucks kicked down the door and took over the game on the scoreboard.

Doing his best Tyon Barrie impression, Alex Biega ripped a shot from the point that managed to elude traffic and find it’s way behind John Gibson.

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Brandon Sutter takes a lot of heat, and rightfully so, but he’s made some nice plays as of late. Non were likely sweeter for Canucks fans to watch than his goal tonight as it came at the expense of Ryan Kesler.

Sutter beats Kesler coming down the right side and makes a nice move to pull the puck to his backhand, sending Gibson sprawling. Tho he didn’t score initially, Sutter followed up the play and scored with Gibson helpless face down on the ice.

Sutter later added an empty net goal, cracking double digits for the year.

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The Canucks win doesn’t come as welcome news to many; these are mean nothing games. The ramification these points have could be felt for years as the Canucks picking up points, not only hurts their chances of drafting first, every spot the move out of the basement is another spot farther they can fall in the draft. Finishing at the bottom is every bit as much about guaranteeing yourself a top-four pick, and the first pick of each subsequent round as it is a shot at Dahlin.

The Numbers

Quick Hits

  • The story of the week is the Canucks signing of 2015 5th round pick Adam Gaudette. It’s been a steady climb to prominence for Gaudette since he was drafted, culminating in a season that sees him as a Hobey Baker front-runner as the NCAA’s best player. Expectations for Gaudette have reached peak levels as he turns pro, as good as Gaudette is the expectations are out of hand in my opinion. He’s a good player and Canucks fans should be excited about him, but the talk of the town has been “Is he better than Kesler?”. If the barometer for success is a 40 goal, Selke winning player, he’s being set up for failure. Gaudette deserves a chance to be Gaudette if he carves out a career as an NHL player of any sort the pick is a resounding success. I’m always of the mind it’s better to under promise when it comes to prospects, as we’ve seen with Jake Virtanen the burden of expectation can be a very heavy one.
  • With five games to go, the Canucks sit in 28th place. Five points out of 31st, but only two out of 30th. The dream of a guaranteed top-five pick and the second pick of every other round is still alive.


  • argoleas

    In terms of tanking it almost looks like every tanking team is refusing to tank. Even in Buffalo, Eichel is going like “ah… no.” Some very good teams have fallen to them in the last few days.

  • TheRealPB

    There is no denying that it’s better in the long term for us to have a stronger draft position. I find it very hard to watch the games; how do you actively cheer against your squad? At least the Tank Battle is a very real one — who would have expected Arizona to beat Tampa Bay (handily at that) or Buffalo to beat Toronto? We’re now back in 4th last but at least Ottawa and Arizona have a game in hand on us. It’s sad but we still need to lose even though it’s against everything I believe in to cheer in the moment for that loss.

    Also makes me truly believe that without the catastrophic losses there’s no way we’d be bottom of the league as CA and other pundits like to snidely remind us. When you lose a third to half of the season of Horvat, Boeser, Edler, Gagner, Eriksson, Baertschi, Sutter, Granlund, and Stetcher how are you going to recover? We still wouldn’t have been great but given how lousy Anaheim, LA, and the other bubble teams are it’s hard not to imagine that we would still be in the playoff hunt. That’s not in our long-term interests most likely but if the goal this season was to develop a few young players at least you can say that some of them took a real positive step forward. When I look at some of the other teams about to miss the playoffs I wonder if you can say the same. That Oilers game last night was pathetic, squandering a 3-0 first period lead on the way to a 7-3 blowout with some vintage Vanek goals.

    • You can say the same thing about most of the other teams at the bottom of the list, though. Where would Arizona be if Raanta had started the season healthy and they hadn’t lost ten of the first eleven with .800 goaltending? How would a fully healthy Ottawa squad have done? Buffalo’s been missing their #1 defenceman for this entire calendar year and according to Man Games Lost, has had the worst injury luck of any team in the NHL this year.

      Injuries happen every year. Last year’s Maple Leafs are a crazy exception, not the rule. Good teams have the depth to sustain losses, and keep winning, while bad teams go on seven-game losing streaks when they lose a key player.

      • TD

        That’s true, almost every team needs their top players to be healthy to compete. Look at Tampa over the past bunch of years. They’ve been a playoff favourite, had injuries and not made the playoffs and have returned as a favourite. Toronto has stupid depth both from some good moves and from sucking for so long. Rumours were that Toronto wanted Dylan Strome figuring he would be the big center they were looking for. Marner was the consolation prize when Arizona picked Strome. That worked out well for the Leafs so far.

    • apr

      This team also looks very different if they have kept Miller. Markstrom’s season reminds me a lot of Hellybuck’s last year as first year full time starters. Noone saw Hellybuck’s seson coming, definitely not the Jets who spend a boatload to bring Mason in. I’m not saying that Markstrom is as good as Hellybuck, but with a year as a full time starter under his belt – I can see him doing much better next year, When he’s on – he does look like a legit starting NHL goalie.

  • Super Pest

    Now, to tank properly, you take Sutter out (“tweaked his groin; lower body injury) and put Gaudette in ? Oh, and take Gagner off the Sedin line, and get Dowd in there. Oh, and get Nilson some starts. Damn it! No more back-to-backs? Why now? ?

    • Nuck16

      Gagner is looking like the Sedin long lost triplet. Typical Gagner with a strong season finale to generate false expectations for next season…might mean we can trade him for something though.

  • Holmes

    Freaking ridiculous. I would have been OK with a win if the goals were from guys like Virtanen and Goldy because that would have meant something to the long-term viability of the team. But Sutter with two to get him to double digits? Bravo. Gagne with his ninth? Don’t care. This team sucks in so many ways. Hey Markstrom…this is garbage time. Your worth is already established. What a clusterf*%&*

      • Holmes

        Yeah, I am. Their individual success is counter productive to the team’s long-term success. And any argument suggesting that finishing strong will have a lasting impact of the fortunes of the Canucks….please. Canuck players will be off for five months. Think an extra couple wins now stays with them?

        • truthseeker

          What if the 28th spot is the one that wins the lottery? What if it’s the 27th spot and if we had only won a couple more games we would have got the number one pick?

          Think a couple extra loses guarantees them first overall?

          And this “falling out of the top 4” thing really doesn’t matter this year because there is hardly any agreement on draft positions 2 to 10. No player from 2 to 10 is clearly better than any other in the way that number one is so clear cut.

          You’re getting your panties in a bunch for nothing. Just relax. They’ll finish where they finish and the lottery will be exactly what it is. A total lucky fluke for whatever team wins it. That includes the worst team beating 82% against odds to get it.

          • Ser Jaime Lannister

            LOL are you really playing what ifs….yikes! And to clear up some of the draft for you, Dahlin / Svech/Zadina (top3) are NHL ready next year, two wingers are top line potential.

          • logicseeker

            another day, season long over, yet here she is again like clockwork – the ultimate yank loser flapping his gums about nothing as usual – even though he doesn’t even care about hockey or the playoffs?!Talk about no logic, what a no-life lil f$ggot she truly is. *spit*

          • truthseeker

            and an anti g slur to boot!

            you really are garbage aren’t you?

            I love that I have you so rattled you’d do something like this. This is why I never want an edit button for this site. I want all your vile ignorance on full display.

          • truthseeker

            You know Ser Jaime….I’ll admit I do hate what if’s. But in this case there is precedent over the last few drafts. So it’s a valid point in a lottery situation.

            And let’s be clear here, I’m not saying I think the 27th pick is the one that’s going to win. So hopefully you weren’t thinking that’s what I meant. Sorry I even have to say that but given a lot of the intellectual level around this place I just can’t be sure.

            In my opinion I think you’re giving a little to much weight to the gap between the wingers and the next set of D. You didn’t even mention Tkachuk and some rankings have him higher than the other two.

        • Rayman

          yeah. u are so right. we have no defencemen and this might be our only chance to get a good nhl defenceman. and what is Canucks doing? winning and picking up garbage points! throwing away 1st pick!

          Green starts saying exactly same things WD used to say before he got fired….sad.

      • TD

        I think his point was about the youth succeeding. It’s hard to cheer and not cheer at the same time. Most of us are fans and want the Canucks to win while also recognizing the benefits of losing. If Virtanen or Goldobin had a hat trick and the Canucks won, we could see the future of the team succeeding, which would have some balance against picking lower. I don’t think anyone sees Biega, Sutter or Gagner as the future core of a championship team, so the Canucks won thereby lowering their chance at a high pick and did so without seeing good things out of the potential future.

        The same thing happened against Dallas. Goals by Motte, Dowd, Boucher and Virtanen. Most fans are hoping for Virtanen to succeed, but think the rest won’t be core players in the future. Virtanen’s goal should have been saved. It would have been better if scored off hard rush to the net, not a long distance bad angle shot.

        If they beat the Oilers on Thursday and Gaudette scores a hat trick, the fans will at least be able to celebrate Gaudette’s success and his future with the team. If they win with goals from Jokinen and Dowd, we lessen our chances at a good pick and there is no development for the future.

    • argoleas

      At this time, it’s not Goldy or Virtanen goals that I’m looking for, although I will gladly take them. It’s about how they play and learn the game. Good Jake progress this year, and Goldy’s play away from the puck has gotten better over the last month. This bodes well for both next year.

    • Sandpaper

      You do know that Motte has 4 goals this season, right.
      If Benning didnt trade Vanek the masses would have been screaming,”he shoild have taken anything”.
      A no-win situation for Benning with this crew of hindsighters.

      • Freud

        From Jeff Veillette:

        “Unrelated, Tyler Motte is well on his way to having the worst career possession numbers of any NHL player since we’ve started counting them (in the bottom 50 for guys who have played as many minutes as him already)”

        If Vanek had no value, then why did Benning not recognize that and refuse to sign him? What was the point? He had a better chance to put Rodin in some good situations and then flip him for something.

        Let’s also not forget Benning was targeting Motte when he was discussing Hamhuis with Chicago. Typical Benning, unable to recognize value at all.

  • tempest

    This game was like a cruel joke. Not one of the players involved in the scoring figures to be a core piece of the future and the Canucks likely pick further back in the draft as a result.

    You can’t ask the players to quit playing, just as the team can’t blame me for being disappointed with a win like this at this time.

    This is when a win is actually a loss.

    • liqueur des fenetres

      Think about it, the Canucks pick a guy that can step right into the line up next year, and who’s spending time in Utica or sees his role on the team diminished…

  • wojohowitz

    It reminds me a bit like it`s training camp where the veterans know exactly what to do to keep their jobs whereas now it doesn`t matter. A motivated Gagner winning puck battles in the corners and as someone tweeted 5 goals in 6 games, or Sutter finally hits double digits or Jokinen playing like he`s ten years younger.

    I don`t get the Gaudette vs. Kesler comparisons. It`s just a cheap media ploy to generate interest and should not even be mentioned on CA. The Selke is an elite trophy honoring the best two way player in the game, like comparing Gaudette to Patrice Bergeron would be ridiculous. Who`s a hardworking two way center who can fill in as a number one when needed? Bozek in Toronto? Turris in Nashville? The Nuge in Edmonton? That`s Gaudette`s upside.

    I can`t get past the trade Edler/Tanev narrative. This team only has two quality defencemen and trading either would be a disaster until they are replaced. Edler played 30 minutes last night. Can Pouliot or Stecher do that? Hutton might be the guy if given the chance. I actually expect Edler to get a raise and an extension.

    • canuckfan

      I am happy that Tanev isn’t going to play again this season, it just was not a good year for him as he had a target on him for the puck to hit every area of his body that is not protected. He and Edler are great players who have played some pretty intense games in the playoffs hope the team doesn’t trade either one of them. Edler takes an awful lot of heat on and off the ice and takes it all in and still wants to play for Vancouver. He is a Canuck and will be invaluable with the upcoming prospects of how to deal with the pressures from what is said in the press to what happens on the ice. Tanev is another player who will teach the prospects about what it takes to be a success from playing through nagging injuries to doing whatever it takes to stop the puck from going into your net. Edler and Tanev’s passion and love for the game will rub off on the prospects if there are going to be replaced just as the Sedins someone is going to have to take their spots on the team away from them. We have some good young talent but they will have to step it up and do what it takes to replace the Sedins, Edler and Tanev because these guys will not give it up without a fight as they know what it takes to play and stay in the NHL. Next year will be fun to watch the battles for positions no matter how entitled the prospects think they are these guys will not gift box a spot on the team. Those are lessons you just can’t teach. Sign the Sedins and keep both Edler and Tanev.
      As for the tank the lottery is random and finishing last does not mean you will pick first those days are over when they changed the odds. I trust our scouts will find a diamond in the rough and make the most of where ever we select.

    • Dirty30

      And in the Vancouver Sun there’s part of an interview with Kesler who mentions Gaudette’s game as a responsible player in all three zones and how few players do that these days. So even the guy to whom Gaudette is unfairly compared has noticed that he plays a similar game. What Gaudette’s career will be is a whole other story.

      So while there is some typical Vancouver media whoring going on, there is still the reality that Gaudette was a late round pick who made good in college and plays the game in a way that is somewhat rare in the league. Maybe he will have a positive impact on Goldy and Virtanen and improve their game. That alone would be worth the hype.

    • Ser Jaime Lannister

      Agreed Wojo, now Sam Gagner puts in an effort? Takes him 75 games to try? Get rid of that weasel already embarrassing hes on this team what a scrub.

      The Tanev/Edler narrative is simple, while this team bottoms out (which it has 4 years in a row now) we trade one or both to gain premium assets. We have had plenty of games where its been a massacre with Tanev and Edler both in the lineup…our D as a whole are under performing so changes need to be made.

  • speering major

    It was really difficult to see a playoff team in the ducks last night. They looked awful against the canucks of all teams

    I’m worried about the trade value of Tanev tanking also. I was hoping they move him for a first rounder and even possibly trade up to get a higher caliber D prospect. I really do still hope the canucks can get two first rounders and take two D.

    • truthseeker

      I think they’d be better off waiting on Tanev until next year’s deadline, or just resigning him. Unless they get a sweet offer that they can’t refuse at this draft.

    • Ser Jaime Lannister

      yeah sorry 4 outta 5 years of bottom feeding! Man wish you didnt remind me of that playoff series lol….nightmares of Michael Ferland punishing our players into the boards lmao!

      • Kootenaydude

        Set Jaime that 102 point season was the worst thing to happen to this team. It made the owners believe they had a contender. Instead of a rebuilder. I HATE losing to Calgary!

  • wojohowitz

    The odds in tanking;
    31st in NHL: 18.5%
    30th: 13.5%
    29th: 11.5%
    28th: 9.5%
    27th: 8.5%
    26th: 7.5%
    25th: 6.5%
    24th: 6.0%
    23rd: 5.0%
    22nd: 3.5%
    21st: 3.0%
    20th: 2.5%
    19th: 2.0%
    18th: 1.5%

  • Mbossy22

    Selfishly, I’d rather they tank so that we have a better chance to get Dahlin. However, players never tank and I get that and good for them. Still, it would’ve been nice it would’ve been more “exciting” if players (who are part of the future) scored …like Horvat, Virtanen or Goldy. Right or wrong, I think I’m not alone here.

  • Kootenaydude

    Why do I feel that every meaningless game this team wins will equal another year of unbearable hockey?! If we had young guys scoring these goals and points I might feel better, but Jokinen shouldn’t even be playing. He’s not part of our core. He’s not part of the future. Time for the GM to step in and tell the coach to play the kids and bench the vets. Boucher 9:40, Virtanen 11:29, Sautner 11:46 playing time, Jokinen 15:34 and Gagner 15:05. You people can preach that these wins mean something to the young players, but the young players that need more NHL time, are not getting played. Instead were playing guys that will help ensure we don’t make the playoffs for a long long time!!

  • Ragnarok Ouroboros

    I enjoyed watching the game with my dad, and seeing them get the win. He is getting old now and won’t see the Canucks win the cup in his lifetime, so every win I get to watch with him is good. Though a strong part of me was disappointed the Canucks didn’t lose the game and improve their draft position. I can’t believe how poorly Dallas and Anaheim played against a team with 7 important players out for the season, when they are fighting for their playoff lives.

    • TD

      Well said, I’m glad you got to enjoy the game with your dad. If anything, I would add Dallas and Anaheim looked bad against a mediocre team when everyone was healthy. The best a healthy Canucks team could hope to be is a bubble team. I guess Arizona and Buffalo fans could say the same after their teams beat Tampa and Toronto.

  • Kootenaydude

    Heres a couple stats for people regarding getting the highest draft pick possible. If you want a player to be a top 4 D or a top 6 forward. Heres your odds based from 1990-2013 by Scott Cullen. #1 draft pick 79.2%, #2 draft pick 87.5%, #3 draft pick 79.2%. Pretty good so far, but thats about to change. #4 draft pick 54.2%, #5 draft pick 62.5%, #6 draft pick 58.3%. Now if we keep winning and we lose a couple spots at the draft. Things start to get ugly #7 draft pick 41.7%, #8 draft pick 29.2%, finally #9 draft pick 29.2%. As you can see. If you’re not drafting in the top 3. It can be quite difficult to get an impact player. Winning right now does not benefit this team.

    • I think we need clarification on the definition of “impact” player. Are we talking “immediate impact” or just “impact”? Boqvist, Bouchard and Hughes are also expected to be “impact” Top 2/4 defensemen with PP QB potential, just not right away. As long as we land in the Top 7, we should get a 1st line LW or offensive defenceman that we need.

      • Ser Jaime Lannister

        That would be just “impact” as for this draft seems Dahlin Svech/Zadina are NHL ready which prob has alot to do with the wingers going 2/3 imo.

      • wojohowitz

        You got that right about the guy doing the picking. I`ve gone on and on about Juolevi being the first of nine defencemen taken that year and at the moment I`d rate about the sixth best available but here`s the other side of it. I rate Boeser to be the sixth best player taken in his draft rather than the 23rd pick and that is a phenomenal piece of work by Benning and to go one step further; If last years`s draft was held today Pettersson would go first overall based on what we have seen these past few months and that is an incredible piece of work by Benning – the best player in the draft being the fifth selection. How often does that happen?

        • WiseCanuck

          Bi polar wojo strikes again. Hischier and Patrick are already playing in the NHL and are on the playoff bubble. Middlestadt is now signed up to play by Buffalo after tearing it up in the WJC – Petterssen was invisible. Add Glass to the mix as the elite CENTRE we desperately needed (Elias is a small winger) and he goes nowhere near top pick you silly little man. Back in your basket mutt tail between legs.

        • Ser Jaime Lannister

          Dont think he would Wojo, Well have to wait on Makars potential, and if Pettersson doesnt end up playing C for us…that is going to hurt this rebuild.

        • speering major

          Brock goes 4th in a re draft at this point. Maybe 5th after Marner.

          It’s obvious taking Jake over Nylander or Ehlers was a mistake. That said, he’s better than Michael Dal Colle taken 5th overall and you might even take him over Bennett taken 4th overall. On top of that, if the canucks did better in the lottery, Benning could be a genius with Draisaitl or Eckblad. The same could be said for Taking Oli. At this point it looks like a mistake but way too early to tell for a D they drafted knowing the development would be slower. If they had lottery luck they could end up with Mathews or Laine and there is no mistake to potentially to be made.

          It’s far too early to give a final grade to Bennings draft picks but I would actually give him a B+ at this point. 2014 could turn out to be a home run draft even if Jake turns out to be a third liner. Demko is on track to become a #1 goalie, Tryamkin isn’t a write-off yet, and Gudbranson is an NHL defenceman that at least has some trade value. 2015 they stole Brock at 23rd, and Gaudette in the 5th. If guadette turns out to be better than Sutter, this draft is another home run. Brisebois as a chance to become an NHL D. You don’t get a #1 winger and a good #3 center every draft, especially picking 23rd. 2016 we took Petterson 5th which was higher than consensus and they were looking to trade down and still get him. In a re-draft he goes 1 or 2. Kole Lind taken in the second scored at the rate of Cody Glass who was rated higher than Petterson. Jonah made the world juniors and has some potential

          People can give Benning crap about his trades and signings but base on progression and results in drafting I would say he has done a good job and its definitely way to early to say he’s drafted poorly