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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports

CanucksArmy Post Game: Da hockey Gaud

Puck Drop

There’s been quite the hype train this week in Vancouver, starting on Saturday when Adam Gaudette’s season at Northeastern came to an end. The speculation came to an end rather quickly with the Hobey Baker hopeful putting pen to paper and turning pro.

Thursday night, Gaudette made his pro debut against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers. Starting out on the 4th line Travis Green looked like he was going to ease Gaudette into the lineup, in an attempt not to overwhelm the twenty-two-year-old centre.

I didn’t take long for Gaudette to hit the ice, and all in all his first shift was a successful one. No, he didn’t score, but he looked the part and was involved in the play.

Jacob Markstrom was the star of the show early on in this one, making a pair of big saves early to keep the Canucks from falling behind.

Markstrom kept the game scoreless until 8:27 of the first when Connor McDavid reminded us of why he’s the best player on the planet. McDavid turned on the jets and made Sam Gagner appear to be standing still as he flew around him, avoided Michael Del Zotto and beat Markstrom.

After twenty, it was still 1-0 Oilers.

2nd Period

With the Canucks being ravaged by the flu, quarantine protocols were in effect. It worth noting Sam Gagner is said to be one of the sick Canucks as he appeared flatfooted on the first-period goal by McDavid.

There wasn’t much going on in the second period, to the Sedin’s did have their moments. Heading into what could be the final handful of games for Daniel and Henrik, it’s worth taking the time to appreciate what they’ve meant to this city and franchise. The future Hall of Famers are the best the Canucks have to offer throughout the history of the franchise.

The lone goal of the period came off one such Sedinery. Tho Daniel’s one-timer set up by Henrik was stopped, Gagner scored his third goal in the last four games. Once again making a great read off the Sedin’s, finding himself wide open with the rebound right on his stick.

The game stayed tied at one, headed to the third.

3rd Period

The Canucks came out and took the lead early in the second. Exactly two minutes into the period, Derrick Pouliot took a heads-up feed by Nikolay Goldobin coming right down main street. From there, Pouliot showed good patience to wait out Cam Talbot going wide left and firing the puck into the open cage.

Jussi Jokinen picked up a second assist on Pouliot’s go-ahead goal, making him the Canucks third-leading scorer in the past dozen games. Is that a compliment to Jokinen who came to the Canucks with just a single goal on the year, or an indictment of the Canucks barren offence? I’ll let you decide.

Bo Horvat nearly squeaked one past Talbot short side, but Andrej Sekera was there to pull it off the line with Goldobin looming over him. Team Tank catching a break, possibly keeping the dream alive?

Alas, it wasn’t to be, this is the closest the Oilers would get to tieing the game up.

The Canucks hot streak couldn’t come at a more inopportune time, with the season lost the only thing left to hope for is the dream of Rasmus Dahlin. With the Canucks picking up a few wins down the stretch, the odds of the team picking first overall for the first time in franchise history grow smaller by the day.

The Numbers

Quick Hits

  • In his NHL debut, Gaudette was predictably sheltered. Playing on the fourth line Gaudette saw 10:39 of ice time, tho he did lead his line in minutes. He had three shot attempts, one hit, and one blocked shot.
  • Tyler Motte was third among Canucks forwards play  18:03, a full four minutes more than either of the Sedin’s. Anyone still think the Sedin’s are coming back? There’s been some talk of a reduced role; what does that look like? They’re already playing third line minutes with the team littered with injuries, does that mean they’re not the first unit power play?
  • Jacob Markstrom continued his strong play as of late, allowing just one goal and stopping all ten high danger shots he faced. His 97.2 save percentage was 6.7% above his expected numbers. He also had a loft 2.42 Goals Saved Above Average, meaning a league average performance would have seen him allow 3.42 goals against.
  • truthseeker

    I don’t know what’s more entertaining, seeing the canucks win a relatively fun game, or knowing how it makes the self loathers feel.

    The only thing that could make this even more satisfying is if the canucks pass teams like Detroit and Montreal and then that position ends up being the one that wins the lottery.

      • truthseeker

        Who’s satisfied with mediocrity?

        I’m certainly not. I guess I can imagine some people who are, but I certainly don’t know any. Can’t think of a single poster here who is satisfied with the state of the canucks.

          • Dirk22

            Happy go lucky? The guy who can’t help but drop f-bombs and c-bombs here on the regular? The guy who is getting ‘satisfaction’ from seeing fellow Canuck fans PO’d? Think you may have a different definition of happy go lucky. I don’t think this guys all there.

          • logicseeker

            Spot on – kid is an absolute fruitloop with a filthy mouth who needs to be muzzled and punted into touch for good. But hey, he doesn’t even care about hockey, the playoffs or spending any money on sport whatsoever… yet posts contradictary drivel on here 24/7 stating otherwise, lol what a f””king no life illogical loser.

          • Defenceman Factory

            And yet logicseeker you named yourself after him. Why don’t you demonstrate at least a shred of integrity. List out all the user ids you have posted under, pick one and stick with it.

            I don’t condone and won’t defend the use of vulgarity but many of truthseeker’s posts are more interesting that the mindless negative bleating put up daily by WiseCanuck and the Linden Fanboy Freud.

          • truthseeker

            hahaha….nice…

            That’s how stupid this guy is. That he can’t even put that together in his head before he posts. It’s hysterical. Thinks he’s being clever, and actually has the nerve to call me illogical! He must be a 13 year old boy or something. But even that is pretty stupid for a 13 year old. I can’t even imagine what a waste of life this guy must be if he’s an adult.

            And yeah Dirk…I drop them when they are deserved. I don’t suffer fools. Ever. And I don’t believe they deserve respect when they continue to make the same tired arguments that have been proven logically unsound many times over. Should I respect a global warming denier when every single argument they make has been debunked but yet they still keep making them? Sorry…but no. They deserve nothing but scorn. He’s a bully. And I bully bullies. And I expose them (him) for the weak little snowflake he really is.

            I won’t accuse people of multi accounts because 99% of the time it’s probably not true. But with this f…ing loser it’s so obviously true because he lacks the intellect to even try to change his writing style. Why should I show him any respect? What’s he done to deserve it? I’m going to insult the f..k out of him because it’s fun. It’s fun to know that while I spend my 3 minutes writing this and then doing other stuff…he’s fuming over it and making new accounts and just being a loser.

            And yeah Dirk…if the self loathing fans who constantly look at the team glass as half empty and always think the sky is falling and never acknowledge anything positive unless it’s so obvious they know they’d look stupid if they didn’t (Boeser), are upset when the team wins, then yeah…that gives me a chuckle. You think I’m supposed to support other canuck fans simply because they are canuck fans? Give me a break. I don’t go in for herd mentality.

          • sloth

            lol Dirk it just never stops for you eh

            truthseeker keeps it real and you wanna complain about silly swear words? yeah maybe this is a nerd site (that’s lost its edge…), but it’s still a hockey blog, and if you can’t handle a little profanity you probably need to choose a different sport to follow. or at least a different team, because i think a strong command of the f-bomb forms an important foundation of every long-suffering canucks fan’s vocabulary…

            maybe try edmonton? looks like they’re still racking up sweeet “pick value” while canucks continue to bleed it away late-season… sighhh

            back to my tree

    • canuckfan

      Good to see another win looking forward to see where we pick with the lottery and the odds given the bottom teams don’t really stand a chance look at last year. We still have a chance and in my mind a better chance to win the lottery after all isn’t it our turn?

  • TD

    I don’t know if the Sedins are going to come back, but I think the sheltered minutes has helped them this year. Starting with the fall of 2013 when Torts overplayed the Sedins, they have been stronger in the first half than the second half. Torts often played them over 20 minutes a night. They started strong and had lots of points leading to Gillis resigning them for the 4 x 7 mil contract they are finishing this year. They faded badly in the second half. The past three years have been similar as they have been relied upon to play too many minutes against the best competition as there was not enough other scoring. This year Green gave them limited minutes to start. The minutes increased with injuries, but they have still been sheltered in minutes and zone starts. They play more minutes when behind as there isn’t enough other offence in the lineup. On nights like tonight with a lead, Green sends out more defensive players to try to preserve the lead. Whether on purpose or simply as a result, their more limited minutes has them having their strongest second half for years. At 37, they are amongst the oldest players in the league and are the oldest players to play together. As a huge Sedin admirerer, I’m happy to see them still producing. If it means they play more limited minutes at 37, that’s ok with me.

  • Rayman

    So we are becoming Oilers 2. a few good forwards and no good young defence. and we are keep winning, so our chance to get no.1 defenceman is almost done…

  • wjohn1925

    One of the big differences I noticed in this game was structure. With the dearth of talent on the Canucks it’s amazing that they can outplay the talent rich forwards of the Oilers, but for the Oil, it’s one guy or two trying to do all the work on the attack, whereas for the Canucks they play much better as a unit. Given all the changes it’s a credit to Green that we can still be competitive, but the players seem to understand and play within the system. Also, regarding defense. Edler has been a real force and I’ve been impressed with the growth of Stetcher. Watching this game made me less concerned about the draft position. We have a lot of young guys even on defense (Sautner and Pouliot) who look like NHLers and maybe we need one elite D-man, but we have players on this team who understand what it means to play and commit to a system and with a steady flow of prospects, I am quite optimistic that the team is moving in the right direction. Look at the Oilers! Wow, the compete level was pretty pathetic and their on ice communication seems to non-existent. Only McDavid seems to be going, but he leaves all his line-mates behind.

    • Rodeobill

      Unless someone makes an offer we can’t refuse for him, I am quite happy to see Stetcher being in our top 4 core going forward. He plays hard every shift, and is consistent every game, and looks good in both ends.

  • Break The Canuck's Curse

    If the Sedins can produce with Gagner like they are now next year then it would probably be a good idea to bring them back but I think they need to let some others go to do that

  • Burnabybob

    A week ago it looked pretty likely that the Canucks would pick no lower than 5th, which probably would have given them either Boqvist or Tkachuk. They need to get back on track and start stinking it up out there. Wins at this point in the season are totally counterproductive, especially against teams like Edmonton that have no incentive to win, so can’t even be used as a metric of the younger players’ development.

    • liqueur des fenetres

      Green’s coached the team to 40 losses plus an additional 9 OTLs so far this season, you’d think he’d have figured out how to lose the last few games by now.

    • Hack-smack-whack

      If there were Canuck players not playing to win, that would make the decisions this off season very easy to make. I wouldn’t want those guys on my team going forward.
      Yes I want best odds at the draft, but you can blame oilers, ducks and stars for the recent results, not the Canucks.
      I’m happy to see Gaudette in a competitive winning game for his Intro to Vancouver.

  • tbone

    Just a thought….let the Sedins retire but hire them as instructors for training camp and as instructors at Utica…..if Canucks are in playoff hunt Jan. 1/19 bring them back for that run…that’s a “Nashville bump” (Fisher) at the trade deadline

      • Cageyvet

        Hey LAKID, you spend a lot of time here calling the Canucks the worst team in the league. Your Oilers couldn’t beat us the first time we played, when the Canucks were healthy, and couldn’t win the last matchup when half our team is injured, what does that say about your team?

  • Cageyvet

    Yeah, a bunch of losers who criticize winning because our players actually tried. We’re only winning because we’re seeing crap efforts by the other teams, what to you want, get that player off the ice because he’s trying to win? Wake up, the roster is paper thin, management can’t do much more, the loaded with skilled forwards Oilers team only scored one goal, that’s on them, not us. The lottery could well go to teams that are not even bottom 10 (again) and all this angst is for nothing. The lottery system sucks, but even getting Dahlin isn’t going to do anything but make us another loser team like the Oilers, wasting top talent, if the team around the talent doesn’t know how to play to win.

    • Kanucked

      Do you see any light at the end of this tunnel?

      Not sure what you’re advocating. Better coaching?

      I would hope adding Dahlin to the prospect pool would bring hope.

      • Cageyvet

        Yes, I do see light at the end of the tunnel, prospects in the pipeline and a team that, while not great, plays hard for the coach and hasn’t packed it in at the end of a crappy season. I’m as hopeful as everyone else that we get Dahlin, and that would be massive for the organization, but the reality is you have to finish last 5 years in a row statistically to get the first pick just once.

        All I am advocating is not dumping on players for playing with pride and effort, the mark of an actual professional. What should they do when their opponent sucks worse than them, start firing pucks on our own goalie? This board is full of people who are the most pessimistic, sad-sack individuals I can imagine. I appreciate those who add to the conversation without automatically taking the most negative position and remain fair in their comments. It’s easy to be Chicken Little, I’m just not sure there’s any joy in that. What should we do if we don’t get Dahlin, fold the franchise ffs?

  • DJ_44

    Tyler Motte was third among Canucks forwards play 18:03, a full four minutes more than either of the Sedin’s. Anyone still think the Sedin’s are coming back?

    It appears that Tyler Motte is now the new CA whipping boy. I find it amazing for a site the actively promotes playing the youth, they don’t like Motte.

    Not a mention of the excellent job the Sutter line did on McDavid. It was a hard match most of the night. No mention of why players get ice time.

    The reality is the Sedins and Gagner are outmatched as soon as they no longer have possession. Gagner’s lack of effort on the McDavid goal was just brutal. But Motte actually having the skating ability to stay with McDavid through the neutral zone is work the snark?

    • Tedchinook

      What they didn’t seem to notice is that Motte was basically playing man on man against McDavid. Every time he was out there he followed McD all over the ice.

    • Hack-smack-whack

      I think Motte’s performance lately is a topic worth bringing up. I somewhat understand the negativity fans feel towards him as he is a reminder of what we “didn’t get” in the Vanek trade, but that is hardly fair to the player.
      I’m seeing a guy out there lately with good compete, good speed, and a tenacious checking game. Hard to say yet if there is any offensive upside, but there are things worth cultivating there.

      Fans need to be more objectively critical when looking at these young players, and not have unrealistic expectations.
      Remember how Kessler and Burrows started out?
      It took them 4 years to start consistently finding the back of the net, but they started with a great foundation of hard work, defensive awareness and tenacious checking. I think their efforts played a big part in the winning culture we developed here.
      This team needs top 6 talent, but also needs the right kind of support players that bring energy to the game. I could see a checking line of guys like Virtanen, Gaudette, and Motte being very effective, with the speed to create transitional offence generated by aggressive defensive play.

      Also goes for players like Goldobin and Virtanen, who lately appear to be playing better, even if the results aren’t consistently there yet.

    • Ser Jaime Lannister

      Agreed Sam Gagner played brutal as he has all year, Canucks absolutely need to get rid of him this off season. Ive enjoyed Motte on that checking line hes played fairly well. Now what happens to LE? We cant bury a 6M player on the checking line that ridiculous….

      • Killer Marmot

        We cant bury a 6M player on the checking line that ridiculous….

        Eriksson’s contract is signed and can’t be unsigned. Use him however it makes sense for the team, and never mind what he gets paid.

        • Ser Jaime Lannister

          Wrong, LE was brought in to provide offence hence the 6M price tag. Play him in the top 6, if he doesnt produce then bench him and set an example ffs he needs to be held accountable. Over 10 M on a checking line that doesnt produce offence? RIP

          • Killer Marmot

            It makes sense to hold a player accountable when he’s not giving his full effort, being careless, or not listening to the coach’s instructions. But benching someone for not producing 20 goals a season is pointless. All it does is hurt the team by not using him to best advantage.

  • crofton

    Great lead photo of Kassian welcoming Sautner to the NHL with a spear. At least it was north of the ‘nads. Sautner did not look out of place whatsoever.

  • Killer Marmot

    The Canucks hot streak couldn’t come at a more inopportune time, with the season lost the only thing left to hope for is the dream of Rasmus Dahlin.

    The odds of the Canucks landing Dahlin were never that great due to the lottery system.

    But the good news is that most draft rankings have four other defensemen in the top ten, meaning that the Canucks will almost surely be able to draft a solid defensive prospect this June. They might not get the best D in the draft, but they have a real shot at getting the 2nd or 3rd best no matter how matter how many games they win before the end of the season.

    • wojohowitz

      Larry Fisher`s latest top 15. I`m thinking Bouchard or Dobson.

      1) Rasmus Dahlin (LHD, Sweden, Frolunda SHL)
      2) Andrei Svechnikov (RW, Russia, Barrie OHL)
      3) Filip Zadina (LW, Czech Republic, Halifax QMJHL)
      4) Brady Tkachuk (LW, USA, Boston University NCAA)
      5) Adam Boqvist (RHD, Sweden, Brynas J20)
      6) Quinn Hughes (LHD, USA, Michigan NCAA)
      7) Oliver Wahlstrom (RW, USA, NTDP U18)
      8) Evan Bouchard (RHD, Canada, London OHL)
      9) Noah Dobson (RHD, Canada, Acadie Bathurst QMJHL)
      10) Joel Farabee (LW, USA, NTDP U18)
      11) Ty Smith (LHD, Canada, Spokane WHL)
      12) Bode Wilde (RHD, USA/Canada, NTDP U18)
      13) Ryan Merkley (RHD, Canada, Guelph OHL)
      14) Joe Veleno (C, Canada, Drummondville QMJHL)
      15) Barrett Hayton (C, Canada, Sault Ste. Marie OHL

      • Rodeobill

        I have a sneaky suspicion that even if we landed the 2-5 pick they would go for a D this year, and if that is the case, with so many good D in the top 10 and discrepancy between scouting lists as to which one is better, tanking the rest of the season does not make that big a difference. We should be in a position regardless to pick somewhere in the second tier and still have a crap shoot at Dahlin. I personally think if Zadina or svech is available there, you gotta take them