Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports

CanucksArmy Post-Game: Beginning of the End

The Rundown

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, and even then, you’re aware this is the final week that Daniel and Henrik Sedin will dawn the Canucks uniform in an NHL game. It’s been a long and storied career for the Twins, and the bittersweet news has energized the city in celebration of the most prolific scorers the franchise has ever seen.

Puck Drop

The energy was there before the puck even dropped, with skyrocketing ticket prices Canucks fans came out in droves for the second last chance to see the Twins play at Rogers Arena.

Even the Canucks got in on the nostalgia going with a throwback track as the team stepped onto the ice for the opening faceoff.

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The Canucks fell behind five minutes into the game, as Brandon Pirri playing first NHL game of the year opened the scoring for Vegas. The Knights had several of their top scorers out of the lineup, but it continues to be plug and play for the Knights with another maligned journeyman in Pirri.

The Canucks tied this one up before the end of the period, but just, as Nikolay Goldobin tied the game at one. Goldobin took a drop pass from Brandon Sutter and chipped the puck around Cody Eakin before beating Malcolm Subban. It was a particularly rough sequence for Eakin who also turned the puck over to Sutter just seconds before being victimized by Goldobin.

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2nd Period

Once again it took less than five minutes into the frame for the Canucks to fall behind, and once again it was Pirri lighting the lamp for the Golden Knights.

Daniel Sedin nearly put the Canucks up two-one with a one handed effort that Subban got his left pad on before Vegas broke up ice, and Pirri finished off the odd man rush burying a one-timer from inside the circle.

Four minutes later, it was three-one. As Thomas Tatar missed his attempt to deflect Shea Theodore’s point shot, it found his foot and then the back of the net.

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With just over seven minutes left in the second, Ashton Sautner scored his first NHL goal bringing the Canucks within one. Or did he….

Vegas challenged for offside, and upon further review, Derrick Pouliot’s skated was lifted as he came across the blueline putting him offside. The call took away Sautner’s moment, a goal which was set up by some vintage Sedin play down low in the zone before breaking the cycle and making a play in the slot. Initially, Sautner appeared to break up the Twins play, but he spun and wired a shot top shelf past Subban. But alas, it was all for not because someone skate was an inch off the ice 40 seconds earlier…..

Pouliot was almost the goat once again in the second as he had a close call on a near own goal, which was so close it actually went to review to make sure the puck didn’t actually cross the line.

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3rd Period

The third started off different, but really the same, at least in terms of the result. 54 seconds in, Alex Edler holding. 59 seconds in Troy Stecher delay of game.

With the two-man advantage, Vegas again scored less than five minutes into the period. This time William Karlsson picking his third point of the night and 42nd goal on the season.

44 seconds later, it was the Canucks turn to head to the man advantage. Tatar was off to the box for a rather blatant goaltender interference call as he sent Jacob Markstrom sprawling into his own net.

The Canucks like the Knights just a few minutes earlier made no mistake with the man advantage. As future Captain?, Bo Horvat pulled Alex Edler’s point shot rebound around Subban to his forehand, bringing the Canucks within two.

There was a buzz in the building all night despite the lopsided score, and when Daniel Sedin’s second assist was announced in the building the crowd erupted. The Rogers Arena faithful spent most of the night looking for an excuse to get loud about the Sedin’s, and they got their chance.

From the Canucks started to get the comeback going. With 11:39 left in the second, Brandon Sutter got them within a goal. Jussi Jokinen blocked a point shot, and from there Brendan Gaunce made a beautiful pass as he button hooked to Sutter who made no mistake on his backhand.

Just over two minutes later, Nikolay Goldobin potted his second of the night for his first career multi-goal game. Should Subban have stopped this one? Absolutely. But Goldobin has been earning the breaks as of late and the production is coming. For about a month now his underlying data has been trending the right way, and his increased effort level has clearly been noticed by Coach Green.

Goldobin deftly tipped Alex Biega’s point shot back towards the net, catching Subban off guard and unable to get his pad planted against the post.

After tieing the game, the Canucks came in waves, pouring on the pressure and feeding off the energy in the building. This was by far the most fun I’ve had watching a Canucks game in a long time, everyone in the building and on the ice was aware of how emotionally invested everyone is in these final few games. You could hear it in Shorty’s voice as he called the game, you could feel it in the stands and see it on the ice. The fans showed up ready to go, and the Canucks put on a show late in this one.


With Jake Virtanen in the box for hooking, the Knights believed they had won the game. It was immediately waived off for goalie interference, but the “Situation Room” at NHL HQ called for a review. The call on the ice stood, as seen on the replay Pirri makes no attempt to get out of the way and Markstrom is unable to make the save.

After a back and forth overtime saw Goldobin have a chance at the hat trick and Virtanen go end to end, it was Markstrom with one final huge save to send this one to the shootout.

The Shootout

With everyone and their dog calling for the Sedin’s in the shootout regardless of their history, Travis Green called an audible and sent out Nikolay Goldobin and Sam Gagner. After four shooters, it was still 0-0, as Green tapped Daniel on the shoulder followed by Henrik as his next shooter.

Daniel came close hitting the post, and Henrik in typical Sedin shootout fashion looked awkward and nearly did get a shot off. But it was smiles despite Shea Theodore winning it in the fourth round.

This was all about Daniel, Henrik, and their first of two final games at Rogers Arena with Canucks fans, teammates, friends and everyone else in the building and watching at home.

This wasn’t the final goodbye, there’s one more Thursday night. There wasn’t a dry eye in the building or at home (at least my home) as this one wrapped up.

The Golden Knights hung around to shake hands with the Twins and show their respect, reminiscient of Jarome Iginla leading the Flames back on the ice to shake hands with Trevor Linden as his career wound down.

The Numbers

Quick Hits

  • The Canucks put just 19 shots on Malcolm Subban Tuesday night, but down in the third controlled over 60% of shot attempts and had 70% of shots on goal.
  • Brendan Leipsic made his return to the lineup, playing 16:34 mostly alongside Adam Gaudette and Jake Virtanen.
  • As we wind down on the season and the career of two future Hall of Famers, it’s refreshing to see all the good feelings and positive energy around the Canucks this week. The teams’ outlook may not be any better, but coming together to celebrate the franchises’ all-time best is something we all appear to be able to get on board with. I’m going to savour these last two games, and put most everything aside other than enjoying the farewell sendoff we’ll see for Henrik and Daniel.
  • Thursday night is going to be an emotional affair as the Twins play their final home game, I’ll be attending the game and doing something a bit different for the recap. Look out for that, and I hope you enjoy what in a way will be my goodbye to the Sedin’s. If you have any thoughts or stories/memories to share, feel free to do so with me @JHamilton_87 on Twitter, I’ll try to include what I can in these final recaps as we bid adieu.

  • Rodeobill

    I love to see the respect from the Knights. That’s what it’s all about. Looks like 3rd from bottom is the best(?) we can do. JV and Goldy looked really good tonight, and I can see Sutter stepping up into the big brother role more and more. If we played every game like we did in the third we wouldn’t have to consider tanking. Jim Benning with a classic hockey interview in the second intermission, and gives the exact same answers for all three or four of Murph’s questions Look at it then , with the kids, yadda yadda. lol. Gaudette didn’t look bad, but he looks better at center, but whatever, play around with this stuff when the games are moot. Felt bad for Sautner, that would have been a beauty of a story to tell, and what a shot.

  • canuckfan

    Gaudette has looked not bad I hope he gets a goal before season end but wouldn’t be the end of the world if he didn’t. If he has the drive others say he has he will go into the off season to be a man on a mission to become stronger and faster. With the Sedins retirement announcement it has taken the heat off him to produce.
    I like the way Green has made the Canucks fun to watch again putting the team on the attack rather than playing defence at all costs including the power play as we saw under Willy.
    Sutter is a foundational player and can play what ever role the coach asks. Jake and Goldobin look good together and with Gaudette being able to watch Sutter when he replaced him on the line hope he drank that all in and saw that he needs to drive the play and these two guys will go with him, and once Goldie picks off where the puck is going to be when Jakes drive at the net always ends up in a rebound and is there to pop it in his goal total will rise, or even Gaudette seeing this whoever just be there for the rebound or is Jake so fast he leaves all others in the dust.
    Once Brock and Bo are reunited it will be tough on other teams to figure out who to cover Bo’s line or Goldie and Jake’s.

  • LTFan

    Said by Jason, one of the best games in a long time. Everyone was into it, the players, coaches, fans and play-by-play announcers. Entertaining hockey again. Thank you for the positive write-up Jason, refreshing to read on CA.

    • Giant-Nation

      Nice to see Goldfingers scoring I thought he might just go quietly into the off season and was wondering if his nhl career was already flickering out. Good to hear the underlying data suggests he’s trending towards a full time position next year. I’m sure Gaudette is still soaking it all in, at least he is going to know what it will take to make the team next year. If we keep climbing the standings we might be the New Jersey of last year!

  • Pat_Quinn Way

    It’s clear from the lack of interest today that the fanbase is already over the Sedins and I frankly couldn’t be happier – much like the commenters these fluff pieces are OTT and an epic bore.

    Guys, as you are showing here it’s time to move on. I always said it and i stand by it – the twins have held this franchise back, as results from 2011 on have overwhelmingly shown us. The game is now about speed, transition and youth and finally we get to see a brand new Canucks team reborn, hopefully in the mould of Pittsburgh, Nashville and the incredible Vegas Knights.

    I hope you are all as excited about the future as i am – I admit i was NEVER a fan of the twins (outdated) style of game or their personality, both aspects were BORING and ultimately failed to deliver us a Stanley Cup – the ONLY thing that matters.

    Your kings are dead… long live the (new) Canuck kings! Sincerely, PQW

  • apr

    I’ll never understand the notion of holding the Sedins in high reverence while at the same time wanting the team to lose every game. Last night was great, but it would have been amazing to see Daniel or Henrik bury one of their shootouts.

    Anyone else having nightmares that it will be Edmonton, Sabres, and Yotes having first three draft picks? This market loses it with Jake; imaging if Benning had third pick and chose Strome. There is not enough digital ink on how useless the Yotes have been managed.

    • truthseeker

      Don’t really care if the Oilers win the lottery. It’s not the end of the world. It’s not like they know how to win anyway. Plus it’s just another expensive mouth to feed come contract renewal time. If he ends up being a player then that’s another 8 million plus. In a way that would be a great thing. The Oilers will never have the depth necessary to go far.

  • Ragnarok Ouroboros

    The Ashton Sautner goal called back was a travesty. The poor guy is an AHL call up, who knows if he will have much of an NHL career, and the call back his goal because someone lifted their foot while crossing he blue line. The NHL is an entertainment business, and what is more entertaining than a player getting his first NHL goal with assists from two future hall of famers who are retiring in two more games. All these offside reviews that result in goals called back is just bad for business. If a lineman makes a mistake and a goal is scored due to an offside then so what, mistakes happen; live with it. I feel bad for Sautner, and his goal should not have been called back. It’s ridiculous.