Vancouver Canucks vs Arizona Coyotes Post Game Recap: Drying Up In The Desert

The Rundown

The Vancouver Canucks finished up their mini road trip tonight down in Glendale, Arizona as they squared off against the Arizona Coyotes. The Canucks came into the game in first place in the Pacific division but were without Brock Boeser, Alex Edler, Elias Pettersson, Chris Tanev, Sven Baertschi, and Jay Beagle to injuries. Another gutsy effort would be needed for the Canucks to return home with a full 4 points on the road trip. Michael Del Zotto would slot in for his first game in the past 9, and the Canucks would see the return of Alex Biega and Darren Archibald after being recalled from Utica in the past 48 hours. Anders Nilsson would start the latter half of the back to back.


1st Period

The Coyotes wouldn’t be afraid to test Nilsson early in the game, forcing the big Swede to make a solid stop just a minute into the hockey game. It didn’t get much better for the road team, as 4 minutes later Loui Eriksson tripped Alex Galchenyuk and put the Coyotes onto their first power-play of the night.

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The Canucks would showcase their brilliant penalty kill throughout most of the season, and suffocated the Arizona attack. The Coyotes would fall to 0 for 1 on the power-play. The Coyotes would keep pressing with the better of the scoring chances, with Nilsson being forced to make a couple more saves, none bigger than a blocker save on former Canuck Brad Richardson.


A few minutes later, the Canucks would have what turned out to be the best scoring chance of the first period. Bo Horvat corralled the puck by the benches and came in on a 2 on 1 with Eriksson. After giving Eriksson a beautiful pass, Horvat could only watch as Loui was robbed by Arizona goaltender Darcy Kuemper who would keep the game tied.

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30 seconds after the Canucks chance, the Coyotes would cause a scramble in front of Nilsson’s net, but couldn’t put the puck past him. On the play, Vinnie Hinostroza would be called for an interference minor, putting the Canucks on the power-play for their first opportunity. The Canucks power-play would come close when Derrick Pouliot hit the post with a one-timer, but they dropped to 0 for 1 on the power-play. The teams would head into the intermission deadlocked at 0’s.


2nd Period

Just like a couple nights ago in Vegas, the Canucks would surrender the first goal in the hockey game not long into the 2nd period. After another early scramble in front of Nilsson, Alex Goligoski would pick the puck up, dance around Michael Del Zotto and put home the backhand shot to give the Coyotes the lead only 43 seconds in.

The Canucks would answer back less than 2 minutes later. Adam Gaudette would win a faceoff back to Troy Stecher, who would wind up and take a shot from the point which would be deflected home by Darren Archibald. Gaudette would get his first point in 11 career NHL games, Stecher would see his point streak extend to 4, and Archibald would score in his first game of the season.

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A couple minutes after his shot was tipped home, Stecher attempted to score one of his own with a great wrist shot labeled for the top corner. He beat Kuemper but was just a touch off as he rung the shot off the crossbar and the score remained tied at 1. After the scoring chance, Derrick Pouliot would take an interference minor after a collision with Dylan Strome. The Arizona Coyotes would try to retake the lead with their 2nd man advantage of the game. Again, the Canucks penalty kill was strong, and the Coyotes couldn’t muster up a goal as their power-play fell to 0 for 2.


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The chippiness in the game amped up just a bit when Antoine Roussel and Clayton Keller get entangled a few minutes later. A scrum would ensue, but the only extra minor penalty would be given to Roussel. The Coyotes would go back to the power-play for the 3rd time in the game. Just like the previous 2, the Canucks penalty kill was rock solid and killed off the Coyotes power-play.


The physical play would carry to the end of the period, the last of which being some pushback from Kelle who tried to lay the boom on Erik Gudbranson. Keller would be on the wrong end of the collision, and was slow getting up with only 20 seconds left before the intermission. The score would remain tied at 1, and the Canucks would head into the 3rd with a chance to escape with at least a point if they could keep up the hard work.


3rd Period

The Canucks needed to have a better start in the 3rd period than the prior 2, but the Coyotes would be the aggressors to start the frame with Hinostroza deflecting a puck on goal forcing Nilsson to make another great save a couple minutes in. 2 minutes after the Hinostroza chance, the Coyotes would score to retake the lead. Pouliot was stripped of the puck for a 2nd consecutive game and was forced to watch Keller come on in and slide the puck underneath Nilsson to make it 2-1 for Arizona.

The Canucks would trade chances with the Coyotes, but the dogs of the desert would again have a higher quality scoring chance with Brendan Perlini deflecting a shot on goal, forcing Nilsson to make a great blocker save to keep the Canucks down by just one goal.


Nilsson was forced to make another good save after a second Pouliot turnover in the game, doing what he could to keep his team in it. The boys would finally start to respond with some shifts in the Arizona end of the playing surface. The Canucks would see Jason Demers take a hooking minor penalty, and the Canucks went to their 2nd power-play of the game with the intent to tie it up.


Not even 30 seconds into the power-play, a goal would be scored. Not a power-play goal, however, as former Canuck forward Brad Richardson came down on the Canucks, would follow the play and bang home a rebound to give the Coyotes a 3-1 lead while shorthanded.

The Canucks power-play wouldn’t be able to get a goal back and fell to 0 for 2. A few minutes after their second failed power-play, they’d be given a 3rd when Pouliot was drilled head first into the boards by Hinostroza.


With the game winding down, head coach Travis Green decided to pull Nilsson to make it a 2 man advantage opportunity. Right as he did, the Canucks lost possession of the puck and watched as Lawson Crouse shot a puck from his own end down into the Canucks vacant net, giving the Coyotes their second shorthanded goal of the night, and 4th goal of the game. The Canucks would fail to convert on their power-play, ending the game 0 for 3 as they fell to the Coyotes 4-1.


Advanced Stats

Both photo’s courtesy of naturalstattrick.com


Wrap Up

For most of the early portion of this season, the Canucks have been a team that’s been able to come back while they played hard in 3rd periods. Tonight was not one of those games, as the team seemed to run out of gas in the final frame in Arizona. Horvat was held off the scoresheet, and the lack of offensive firepower reared its ugly head. A couple of players to single out tonight for a variety of reasons, some good and some bad.


Anders Nilsson: A well-played game from Nilsson tonight, despite the 4-1 outcome. He had numerous saves in this game to keep the Canucks in the game despite the numerous defensive lapses. After the injury bug struck the night before, Nilsson had to know he’d need to be great in order for this one to be close, and he was. I hope Nilsson doesn’t come out of this game feeling any less confident, because games like this are just the reality of the team in front of him right now.


Derrick Pouliot: Probably fortunate Edler wasn’t able to play tonight, or he’d be up in the press box instead of the ice. His giveaway last game in Vegas was pretty awful, and another horrendous giveaway tonight leads to the game winning goal. Yes, young defenseman make mistakes and need to be given the freedom to do so, but there needs to be a line crossed with Pouliot. We’ll see how Travis Green handles the blueline in the future.


Adam Gaudette: In his limited time on the ice, he’s making it count. Finally able to get on the scoresheet with an assist on the Archibald goal, he looked strong and had some moments showcasing his offensive talents. With all the injuries, I’d hope Gaudette sees some more ice time but he has to earn it from Green. It’ll be a tough task, but with a strong night on the dot, winning 57% of his draws and cracking almost 11 minutes of ice time, he’ll find a way into Green’s good books soon enough.


Nikolay Goldobin: On the other end of the forward spectrum, Goldobin was looked upon to be a weapon for the Canucks coming into the year, and after a strong opening 2 games has gone pointless in his next 9. Tonight, he didn’t look as strong as games prior, and the team needed someone like him to step up and put some goals on the board. He had a couple chances, but Goldobin is someone who needs to produce offense to stay in the league, so the hope is that he will soon.


The Canucks couldn’t pull out a second win on the road trip. Too many injuries to overcome, and on the second night of a back – back in 2 different cities, the boys just ran out of gas.

  • Sandpaper

    Not sure why Keller wasn’t assessed an interference penalty, he went to hit a player who never had the puck, close to the boards, could have been a dangerous play.

  • truthseeker

    That Keller “hit” on Guddy was hilarious. Someone should tell him, never lead with your face. I don’t think Guddy even knew he was there until after he felt it. The way he turned and looked at him was like, huh? what did you just do?

    I’ve really liked Virtanen’s play the last few games. He’s been working hard and creating things. Green should up his ice time along with Gaudette’s.

    • Jamie E

      I have NOT liked Virtanen’s game recently. I think nick-naming him “Flyby” would be more apropo than “Shotgun”. I’ve officially given up on hoping he will ever look like Top 10 pick and I am quickly giving up hope that he will be a useful bottom six player either.

      • East van canuck

        No no no… he skates like the wind and will be a top player in ten years, totally justifying his top FIVE pick over Ehlers and Nylander. Just like Juolevi will be a franchise top 2 D in ten years much better than Sergachev and McAvoy, Demko will be MA Fleury 2.0, Tryamkin will be backin Van and better than Chara at his peak and Petterssen will magically put on 40 pounds and destroy anyone who tries to check him ever again.

        It’s called bitter delusion from online windowlicker Canuck ‘fans’ with no sense of reality or humility. Nextttttttttt

        • Beer Can Boyd

          Nylander has spent his career playing with Matthews. Kasperi Kapanen is on that line right now averaging a point a game.Which Nylander has yet to do in his 3 years. Ehlers has 4 points in 10 games, which is the same as Jake. Yet Ehlers is playing on one of the best offensive teams in the league.Nextttttt…..BTW, you should probably go and have an exorcism or something. Your misplaced anger and psychotic trolling on this site is a bit frightening.

          • East van canuck

            Go away and stop stalking me you silly little man. There isn’t a GM in the league or any fan with a BRAIN that would take the bust Virtanen with his pathetic *38* points in 151games over Ehlers (166 points in 246 games) or Nylander (135 points in 185 games)… Now crawl back under your rock humiliated, you bore me.

  • Beer Can Boyd

    Never send Biega down again. Biega outplayed Del Zotto by a wide margin last night. I know he has troubles keeping his level of play up for extended periods of time, but every time he gets back in the lineup, he is an absolute spark plug. Perfect 7th defenseman to throw in to teach guys like Pouliot a lesson. At least until Julolevi, Hughes and the like arrive to take their spots.

  • Kanuckhotep

    Good to see Archibald pot one and Gaudette get his first NHL assist. Nilsson played well too. This was a classically forgettable end-of-a-road trip loss in October. Six guys who were in the opening night line up did not skate tonight and the injury bug caught up to the Canucks all key PP guys and our top D pairing. Again in it going into the 3rd period but no bounces tonight.

  • Rodeobill

    I am proud of the boys for most of this one. This game could have gone either way with a luck. Pouliot looks to have a few rough spots in the D zone these last few, but I like the fight they have. I wonder if our new secret MVP is Ian Clark? The goaltending has seemed to make significant and useful adjustments. Motte continues to win me over and Archie looks like he belongs too. Gaudette is still raw, but I see another gear in there sometimes. I think when he grows into that, there is no way he will go back down. All in all despite the score on this one, they all showed up to play. What more could you ask for down your first line and D pair? It just shows how much the depth they have right now has influenced things thus far. I wonder how much Green has to do with the outcomes too. Has he changed his style? Gained the focus and attention of the team? Got them more coordinated? Their team defense looks great. Shots are getting through, but not so many high dangers, and they seem to play things to the outside and fight the boards well. They just need to generate some better offense, and well, that’ll come!

  • As pointed out during the broadcast, Canucks gave up the first goal in 9 out of 11 starts. It makes it hard, always coming back from behind.

    Enough is enough! John Garrett has to grow his stache back.

    Don’t give up Loui, keep trying. It just has to start working again sometime. You did it before so you can do it again.

    Flames got schooled 9 – 1. Hahaha!

  • wojohowitz

    It`s quite informative when you take Edler and Tanev out of the mix. Hutton and Gudbranson were quietly good but can they do that consistently. Stecher and Biega can both play. Del Zotto and Pouliot – not so much.

  • Chris the Curmudgeon

    You single out Goldobin as a forward who needs to be better? How about first liner Brendan Leipsic? That guy was just terrible yesterday, can’t make a pass or a check and looked like he had no idea what was going on.

  • East van canuck

    WTF – another team the cheerleaders told us were easy pickings made us look like chumps last night with more speed, physicality and scoring nouce over 60 minutes. The desert dogs are howling at the moon yappers – we are just like YOU… wimpering!

    Yeh, remember when the ra ra brigade said Buffalo, Montreal, Colorado and Chicago were all worse this season… newsflash – they ain’t. This is what you get for overplaying injury prone players with no depth or parity to replace them and your farm team completely out of the loop half a continent away.

    Still, Juolevi is on fire at an AHL worse minus 8! and Demko is the next Pat Roy eh… class dismissed, tail between legs.

    • Beer Can Boyd

      Last time I looked, they were still above .500, despite playing only 3 home games, and with 6 top players out of the lineup.Way ahead of where anyone thought they would be at this point. Also, upvoting your own posts is really lame.

  • Rayman

    For a while, I really though we were going to miss Top pick coming draft.

    I guess I don’t have to worry about it. All though, Detroit and couple other teams are doing great staying on the bottom….