Photo Credit: Canucks / Twitter

Vancouver Canucks vs Chicago Blackhawks Post-Game Recap: A scary affair

The Canucks took on the Chicago Blackhawks in the only NHL game scheduled on Halloween this year.

The home team was able to walk away with a 4-2 win after an unlikely goal-scorer potted the game-winning goal in the middle of the third.

Given that it was Halloween, none of our writers were available to complete the post-game report. There has been feedback from many readers in the past asking for some sort of post that allows discussion in the comment section despite us being unable to cover the game in depth. With that in mind, this post-game will be very brief.

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1st period

The Blackhawks were able to open the scoring as Brandon Saad picked up his third goal of the season.

Shortly after that Shotgun Jake took centre stage on social media as Jake Virtanen scored his fourth goal of the season:

The first period ended with Chicago holding a 9-6 shot advantage.

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2nd period

A minute and five seconds into the middle frame, Captain Serious put the Blackhawks ahead with a powerplay tally:

Virtanen’s great night continued with a fantastic defensive effort and then picked up his 5th goal of the season

That is a good pass by Gudbranson to Markus Granlund, who feeds Virtanen for the goal.

After two periods, the Blackhawks led in shots by a 19-14 margin.

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3rd period

Troy Stecher was hit by Brandon Manning in the 3rd period and did not return for the remainder of the game.

Brendan Gaunce scored on the great shot to put the Canucks up 3-2

Great to see that Gaunce was able to pot a goal in his first game up from Utica. He followed that up with an assist Antoine Rousell’s insurance goal:

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With that goal, the Canucks were able to secure a 4-2 win over the Blackhawks and push their overall record to 8-6-0 and end the month of October in first place in the Pacific Division.


Images: Natural Stat Trick

Hope everyone had a happy and safe Halloween!

  • Kneedroptalbot

    A solid effort by the team tonight. Alex Beiga played really well tonight, Markus Granlund was rock solid all over the ice tonight. A very versatile player.

  • Kootenaydude

    Perhaps we should trade Boeser for a quality RHD and draft another good forward at the draft. Virtanens release looks better than Boesers!! Hit those thrash buttons folks, but what does this team really need? Boeser is the invisible man these days. Can’t even score with Pettersson.

      • Kootenaydude

        Boeser can’t shoot the puck like he did last year. I record and watch almost every game. I rewind and check all the good and bad plays. Pretty much watch the game twice. He has lost his killer release. The one that kept goalies guessing. The one that won him the accuracy contest. Perhaps most people don’t notice, but it’s the truth, and the truth hurts…..doesn’t it?

        • crofton

          With your multiple viewings….are you able to see the tape on his hand when he’s on the bench? Or that apparently he is playing through a (mild) groin injury? I wonder if either or both of those has anything to do with his shot release and goal production.

    • truthseeker

      Like who? Boeser won’t bring back a similar age similar talent D man. D is more valuable than a winger like him. He would most likely only bring back an older D (good quality) D man or unproven prospect. Neither of which would be worth it in my opinion.

  • Dank22

    “That is a good pass by Gudbranson to Markus Granlund, who feeds Virtanen for the goal.”

    OMG! Something positive written about the CA whipping boy… and it wasn’t a backhanded compliment. I am in complete shock.

    Seriously though, it makes it much more enjoyable to come here without always having to read the same tired narratives… like a constantly nagging gf. Way to go Biecher!

    I’m sure you can pull up all sorts of metrics to say EG is the worst defenceman of all time, but I have noticed that he’s been making those tape-to-tape passes a lot more this season. I think he and Hutton have done an admirable job eating up those 1st-pairing minutes with Tanev and Edler out.

    • truthseeker

      It’s pretty obvious Gudbranson has been playing much better this season but he still has a tendency to look pretty bad on many plays during a game. Quite a few plays in this game I was shaking my head at him getting beat or making a bad decision with the puck. Having said that, the good thing so far this year is he does seem to be creating more opportunities and helping set things up better than I’ve ever seen him do before. So at least that’s something.

      I hope he continues to turn it around. I’m not much of a fan of his but I’m also not looking for him to fail. Considering the injuries to the top two, I think the whole D is doing very well.

      • Fred-65

        Gudbranson has extremely limited mobility ….. he’s not “light” on his skates, it holds him back and at 26 I don’t believe he will overcome that. He has the physic but not the mobility to make the hit or the play. IMO Tryamkin his a better skater than EG. To often opposing forwards can wrong foot EG. But I will say I believe the team does benefit from his toughness ( if that’s the word) and is respected for it, especially since the Hamonic incident. Word travels fast around the players

      • Holly Wood

        Saad caught both Guddy and Stecher flat footed in the first period. I would suggest it had to do with neutral zone coverage that was adjusted between the 1st and 2nd. Good use of video

        • Holly Wood

          Just had another look at Saad’s first period goal. Two men deep leaves Gaudette as the high guy. Gaudette is late picking up Saad at Chicago blueline, then Guddy makes a bad read that pulls him to the middle of the ice, giving Saad a lane to the net.

    • Cageyvet

      You’re not alone on that.

      Interesting game, Markstrom and Virtanen basically kept the team in the game until they got it going. So many high quality chances for Chicago in the first half of the game.

      Petterson with no points but could have had 3, the kid just makes things happen. Finding a way to get results with a depleted squad, hard to complain.

  • Kanuckhotep

    Depth is a nice concept but when you combine it with the kind of hustle that the Canucks have been showing so far you get positive results. Secondary scorers stepped up on All Saints Eve and Jake is using the tools they drafted him for. He DOES have a great shot. Gaunce I’m very proud of because I’ve always stood by the kid when many others didn’t. He and the Bulldog as call ups have had NHL experience and reasonably know the drill. The VC are actually very fun to watch now and Chicago is no slouch team to beat. Marky Mark was great again tonight.

  • kermit

    What I liked was the way Schmaltz assisted on Virtanen’s first goal, Toews assisted on Gaunce’s goal, and Brandon Manning decided to get it done himself and put it in his own net. Poor Corey Crawford probably wondered which team he was playing for.

  • Defenceman Factory

    Nice to see the Canucks power up in the 3rd after a mediocre effort through much of the first two periods. Kudos to Markstrom for holding them in it. Even better to see Jake get some bounces and bury a couple of his chances. Gaunce with the game winner, awesome. Gaudette is starting to dial it in and is bound to get one soon.

    Pettersson is always a threat but did struggle a bit in his own end. Gudbranson has been exceeding expectations this year but mostly because expectations are pretty low. There were a number of shifts where the Canucks got pinned in their own zone with Guddy and Pettersson both on the ice. Just doesn’t seem a good use of Pettersson’s skills for him to have to collapse down to help the D. It didn’t help that Goldobin took the first two periods off but Pettersson just won’t reach his immense potential without better puck moving Dmen than Gudbranson.

    I didn’t think the Canucks deserved the win but a couple bounces and a couple saves and they pulled it off. Last year they just didn’t get these type of wins.

  • TheRealPB

    The Canucks looked slow and disorganized the first period and a half until the PP in the second. From then on they matched and then surpassed the Blackhawks with speed and a pretty tenacious forecheck. If Markstrom hadn’t kept them in the game until then it would have been long over.

    I have never understood the certainty in CA that Virtanen will never amount to more than a 3rd line energy player. There’s no denying that it will take some time for him to realize his potential, but the sense that his ceiling is so low has never made sense to me. His shot remains outstanding, his release fantastic, and his ability to drive play seems to get better and better. His speed, size and skill is there; I’m still not sure what he’ll end up as, but I don’t think the notion that the doesn’t have enough hockey sense is nearly accurate. The goals were nice quick efforts, but I was more impressed by a couple of his other plays last night; in particular one play where he gained the zone with speed to back off the d and then made a fantastic cross-ice pass on the fly right onto the stick of his line mate whose shot got stopped. His puck retrievals and d-zone coverage are much better and he is way more judicious in picking when to throw a hit. With all the attention on Pettersson, Boeser and Horvat, it feels like it’s opened up space for Virtanen and Hutton to make significant strides.

    Gaudette had a great game too. By the third at least, the lines were all clicking together; I thought switching Boeser and Eriksson was a really good move.

    The non-call on the hit to Stetcher’s head was unfathomable. It wasn’t malicious but it was careless and right in front of the referee. What on earth are they thinking? We’ve had injuries before but this is really ridiculous.

      • Bud Poile

        Rick Dhaliwal
        ‏ @DhaliwalSports
        1h1 hour ago

        Been told the #Canucks have called up defenseman Jalen Chatfield from Utica. That is 7 players from Utica in the Vancouver lineup. Troy Stecher suffered a head shot in a collision with Brandon Manning last night.

    • Canuck4Life20

      The idea that a player who is at the top of the league in zone entries and takeaways doesn’t have hockey sense is pure nonsense. Virtanen should be given a chance in a more offensive role. I would like to see him take Boeser’s spot with Pettersson and Goldobin. I think his defensive abilities, speed, and physicality would work amazingly with those two.

  • Beer Can Boyd

    A few observations. Canucks conditioning and up tempo style is paying off, as they took over the game in the last 25 minutes. Hard to find any player who had a bad night last night, but Biega, Gaunce, and obviously Virtanen stood out. Boeser is obviously still not healthy, but he fits in far better playing with Bo and Schaller than he does with EP. Petterssons line picked its game up considerably when Eriksson was moved back onto it. Lastly, I’m waiting for the resident troll to chime in with his usual post on how stupid the Canucks are for passing over Ehlers and Nylander for Jake. FYI, Ehlers has 1 goal, 3 assist and is -7 so far this year, playing on a stacked Winnipeg team, and Nylander is sitting at home, because some idiotic agent has convinced him that getting 60 points in a season while playing with Austin Matthews somehow translates to being worth 8 million per for a 5 year deal. Meanwhile, Jake looks better with every game he plays, and he’s still only 22. The 2 goals were great last night, but that crushing hit on Johnson was even better. And before I forget, MDZ had 11 hits last night. The Blackhawks had 12. Possibly his best game as a Canuck.

    • Macksonious

      “Petterssons line picked its game up considerably when Eriksson was moved back onto it.” ~ Beer Can Boyd.

      Good obsvervation. I’d like to see Eirksson with Pettersson and Goldobin play together for a stretch of games.

  • Gino über alles

    Virtanen sure looked like Bure when he was sprung on that breakaway for that first goal didn’t he? Because he was last on the backcheck and nowhere near his own end when the puck found him…

    I don’t know if he fell down or something but he was awfully lucky there, the goal definitely saved him from the doghouse. Overall he was pretty solid in his own end and very physical (again), if he continues that and can get you 20-25 goals a year then I have no issues with how high the Canucks drafted him as that’s a very rare combination to find in a top 9 forward. If he puts it all together (and it will still take time, his game takes more time than Boeser’s or Pettersen’s) then he could be awfully scary, it’s exciting to see.

  • Me

    Lots of highlights in the lineup, but a few lowlights too.

    In particular, Goldobin has been really irritating me lately. Both this game and last one he’s been guilty of really stupid moves on the power play. The Canucks enter the zone, someone passes to Goldy, he gives it away to an opposing player. One power play he did this kind of move at least THREE times, completely killing any chance the Canucks had to develop in the offensive zone. Every time they have to turn around, regroup, another 15 seconds runs off the clock. As it stands, I’d say the best penalty killer on every opposing team we face right now is Goldobin.

    Send him back to the minors. He has flashes of offensive skill, but that just doesn’t compensate for his shortcomings.

    • Defenceman Factory

      Yes Goldobin is a very frustrating player. He makes a lot of lazy plays that result in turnovers. On the other hand when he is going he is getting much stronger on the puck and in the board battles and defensive play. His talents are obvious and growing but his inconsistency is, as you say, irritating.

    • Cageyvet

      I disagree, he is still inconsistent but I also notice him on the powerplay because he maintains possession in the face of pressure well. He’s just trying to force the offence a bit too much, but we have more than enough room on the roster for him to get coaching at this level. He won’t learn any more in the minors.

      The pp really suffers still because of our D. Too many passes into the skates before, although that’s improving, but they don’t move the puck fast enough. I like Stecher, but he is too slow to fire it over to the other point and the options for the player taking his pass are already disappearing.

    • Macksonious

      Even though Goldobin can be frustrating at times, he’s created enough scoring chances to stay in the line up. Been a little bit unlucky with his point totals so far.

      Sending him down to the minors isn’t (or at least, shouldn’t be) an option because he’d have to clear waivers first. Too much upside to risk of losing him for nothing.