Vancouver Canucks vs Minnesota Wild Post Game Recap: Lost In The Wilderness

The Rundown

The Vancouver Canucks arrived in Minnesota tonight for the last game of their second 6 game road trip of the season. The team had gone 1-2-2 over the past 5 games and wanted to try and win their last game to feel good before they head back home. In their way, the Wild looked to beat down on a weary team in the midst of their first slump of the season. Richard Bachman would get the start in net, and the Canucks needed to play their hardest in front of a netminder who hasn’t played since late October. 


1st Period

A great first 5 minutes for the Canucks see them push the pace and keep the Wild off the shot-clock, but the good times don’t last much longer than that and the Wild see Charlie Coyle receive a great flip pass from Jonas Brodin and making Bachman look foolish to give the Wild a 1-0 lead.

The faceoff right after the goal, Darren Archibald would hit Jordan Greenway with a high stick to send the Wild to their 1st power-play of the game. It would be late in the man advantage, but the Wild would strike again. Bachman would come out of his net to play the puck, but he passed it right to Mikko Koivu who promptly deposited the puck into an empty net to make it 2-0 Minnesota 7:30 into the game.

Bachman would make a nice breakaway stop on Koivu a few minutes later, as he tried to salvage his confidence and give the Canucks a chance to win, and the Canucks would get a power-play opportunity a little over halfway through the period when Nino Niederreiter interfered with Erik Gudbranson. The Canucks power-play was downright putrid, and they would see their power-play and any hope of building momentum vanish.

Bo Horvat decided he’d had enough and tried to get the Canucks going when he threw a huge hit on Matt Dumba. It seemed to have done something when a minute later Elias Pettersson would draw a penalty as he drove to the front of the net. Brodin took the penalty, and the Canucks would attempt to tie it up late. Again, the Canucks power-play looked lost and they would see their power-play drop to 0 for 2.

Bachman was saved by the refs 18:30 minutes into the period when he couldn’t hang onto a rebound but the play was blown dead. That play summed up his period, and the Canucks would see themselves down by 2 as they tried to rebound in the latter 2 periods.


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2nd Period

Only 40 seconds into the second and the Wild would get their 2nd power-play of the game. Ben Hutton tripped Eric Staal right at the Wild’s bench, and Minnesota would strike again on the power-play. Niederreiter would deflect a Koivu pass far side past Bachman a minute into their power-play for the 3-0 lead.

The Canucks counter attack almost led to a goal, but after a nifty Pettersson drop pass Michael Del Zotto would put his shot off the crossbar just like he did versus the New York Rangers, and the road team would still trail by 3.

Would take a couple minutes, but the Canucks would get another power-play opportunity when Goldobin would be interfered with by Jordan Greenway. 6:30 minutes had gone in the period before Horvat got the first shot on goal for the Canucks. The first shot would end up being the first goal as the puck would squeak by a surprised Devan Dubnyk to make it 3-1.

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36 seconds later and the Wild would regain their 3 goal lead. Eric Staal would come in and try to make a pass across the ice. Gudbranson would block the pass, but Staal would grab the puck back, skate around the goal and bank the puck in off a sprawled Bachman to make it 4-1.

The Canucks woes would sadly continue, as around the 13-minute mark the Wild would score again. Dumba wound up and fired a cannon of a shot past Bachman, who got tangled up with Del Zotto, and it’d be 5-1 for the Wild.

Goldobin would draw another penalty late in the period when Mikhael Granlund was forced to interfere with him in front of the net. Canucks would get their 4th power-play and do nothing with it. The boys trailed the Wild by 4 as they got ready for the 3rd period.


3rd Period

A positive note in a game full of negativity, this team didn’t quit. The Canucks came out with pace and energy and got some pretty quality chances to kickstart themselves in the final frame. A notable chance from Adam Gaudette would be stopped, and quickly after Brendan Leipsic would be hit up high by the stick of Eric Fehr to grant the Canucks their 5th man advantage. Unfortunately, the early momentum was erased by another poor power-play, and the Canucks still trailed by 4.

5:30 minutes in, and it’d become 6-1 for the Wild. Staal makes a great pass across the ice to Jason Zucker, and Zucker’s fantastic wrist shot beats Bachman on the glove side.

26 seconds late it’d be a quick strike goal for Vancouver. Markus Granlund would fight his way to a rebound and put it home to make it 6-2.

Some more good pressure from a Vancouver team that trailed by 4, and they’d receive their 6th power-play after Zucker put the puck out of play in his own zone. This one was probably the best run power-play of the game for Vancouver, but they can’t put another goal past Dubnyk.

That power-play was the last real chance for either team, as this game coasted to the end. A tough way to finish the road trip as the Canucks lost to the Wild 6-2.


Advanced Stats

Both photos courtesy of naturalstattrick.com


Wrap Up

There wasn’t a lot of good in this game for Vancouver. They looked like a team that played the 6th game of their 2nd eastern road trip of the season.

Bachman did not provide adequate goaltending tonight, and that was unfortunately expected. There were some goals he had little to no chance on, but even the way he played throughout was poor. He didn’t look comfortable, couldn’t control his rebounds and looked lost for a majority of the game. Simply put, he looked like a goalie that hadn’t played in weeks.

I loved the heart this team showed, even as they got pounded tonight. For as brutal as they played at times, they always kept trying to get back in it and put their best foot forward when they could. For a team that looked lifeless a majority of the game, they found ways to put in some good shifts even when they trailed by more than 3. It was unfortunate but they didn’t have the legs to compete with the Wild tonight.

Horvat scored and put himself into a tie for the league lead in away goals tonight. He continued to impress and found a way to breathe some life onto the bench all while taking critical faceoffs at all points throughout.

Lastly, it was nice to see Gaudette get an assist on the power-play, as he’s been the guy I’ve seen learn the most from Horvat so far this year. 

That’s all she wrote for the road trip. The Canucks went 1-3-2, but hopefully, lessons were learned along the way for Travis Green’s squad.

  • Kanuckhotep

    If you can still be a fan after this contest then you admirably grasp patience and understanding. Nobody has really mentioned Demko’s injury directly impacting the Canucks in having to go with their #4 goalie on the organization’s depth chart and Bachman had a bad night. Another key injury. Have seen so many of these disasters right at the end of gruelling road trips, are nothing new and will be soon forgotten. I think 26 of their last 41 games will be at home and getting everyone back(finally) should tell a much different story than the most recent ones.

    • DJ_44

      I think Bachman is the organization’s #5 goalie behind Kulbakov, however Kulbakov is on an NHL contract. If Neilson’s injury lingers any longer, bring up DiPietro for a couple. He is signed to an NHL contract. Vegas did similar with the kid from Kamloops last season.

    • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

      The importance of those 26 games may very well mean little to the team in the standings if they continue to sink under the weight of the injuries. But that is likely a good thing for teamtank no? Either way, so long as they keep showing try and give night in and night out, the scoresheet results mean little to me personally.

  • Matty T

    “Bachman must play” said the windowlickers – well, I have NEVER seen such a disgraceful debut between the pipes, it was an aberration. Send this bum and his .700 SV percentage to Kalamazoo, or better still, Katmandu. Epic fail.

    ‘Gretzky 2.0’ Petterssen pointless, listless and USELESS again for a fourth straight game, minus four the last four games, he’s been found out and needs to be pressed-boxed like Bowser. You can forget that Calder dreamers, boy in a MAN’S league as advertised.

    So it’s deja vu – .500 hockey and sinking like a stone, 30th in the league in GA, 31st in penalty minutes, bottom third in PP and PK… still, call up MINUS 11 Juolevi, the 6th overall saviour or 2 goal Dahlen the two struggling AHLers.

    Yep, the Golf Course awaits, again, what a suprise eh… get your excuses in early Christmas turkeys…

    • Gino's 3rd Cousin

      You have some serious issues. No one wants or needs you here. You come across as a guy who has never played the game and doesn’t know what he’s looking at when he watches it. I would be careful with all that negativity in your heart. It could lead to some serious health problems.

    • truthseeker

      geezus you’re such a f…king stupid c….t.

      “debut”??? Bachman’s played 48 NHL games you stupid motherf…ker

      “aberration” noun – something regarded as atypical and therefore able be ignored or discounted
      So what you’re saying is his performance was atypical and usually he would be good. lol
      What a stupid f..king c….t you are.

      I told you you were a stupid human being.

      His save percentage is .793 in the NHL this season and .903 lifetime. You can’t even get that right you f…king dumb c…t. lol.

      You really aren’t very smart are you? You know it too. You know how f..king stupid you are. Yet there’s nothing you can do about it. You keep getting caught out, and you can’t really figure out why because you lack the intelligence to see your mistakes before you make them. Feeble minded little c…t.

      You know the solution right?

    • Reality Man

      Simple solution – tear it down and replace with quality. Steve Yzerman is available next season as GM. Joel Quinneville is looking for a gig as head coach.

      The draft is in Vancouver, so accumulate as many draft picks as possible, clear out the garbage and away we go. It ain’t rocket science here. Time for change. #loseforhughes

  • canuckfan

    Pettersson is going to be fine all this close play will help him as he will think of ways to break the coverage. Power-play is missing a three key pieces Elder, Sven and Brock. With Edler being out we desperately need a couple of defenders who can be effective on the point.
    Schedule is not going to get easier so if players are feeling worn down because of all the road games they have another road trip coming up as soon as they get laundry done at home. They need to move up in the standings to get a more favourable schedule. The young prospects are now seeing why fitness and strength is so important in the NHL it is not just for the riggers of the game along the boards, it is about game after game battles with not enough time to recover in between games.
    Might have had a chance tonight if we had a goalie that could make a few stops at important times during the game.

      • crofton

        Not much has anything to do with scheduling, except, it seems, if you’re Vancouver….then it’s let’s pile on. I guess the good part is that 2 of the worst road trips of the season are done and let’s get back to some winning ways at home. Except they really haven’t been great at home. They need to change that.

  • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

    Green starting Bachman for this game and not the Islanders contest in back to back road games mon-tues was a poor decision to say the least. Marky could have used the rest Tuesday when Bachman starting was most warranted.

  • Burnabybob

    This was bound to happen. Long road trip, tons of injuries to key players, and a roster that isn’t very deep to begin with. The good news is that they are still only a game below .500.

  • TheRealPB

    The only saving grace is that while we struggle through this extended period of road trips and the walking wounded of injuries, the rest of the division is absolutely terrible too. With the exception of Arizona, just about everyone else has been playing at 500 or below. It may still be better for us to miss the playoffs and get a strong pick but it’s likely that we’ll get better not worse when the injured return.

    • Freud

      Let’s stop looking at the randomness of results and look at the evidence.

      There is no evidence this team will get better with the return of the injured. The evidence actually suggests the opposite.

      The underlying 5 on 5 numbers for this team improved significantly with Edler and Sutter out. Addition by subtraction.

      Goaltending masked the very poor possession numbers this team had early with Sutter and Edler playing significant minutes.

      Goaltending is now letting down a stronger team.

      • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

        Good comments. I also noticed and heard both JPat and Kuz talk end of last week (after the 2 OT losses but before this weeks 3 str8 Ls) that the team was arguably stronger and better with Beagle/Sutter out as both did not know where exactly to slot them as the kids taking over at that time were doing a better job in their place.

        Unfortunately, this past week happened and many things changed… Horvat clearly looks tired offensively due to his massive amount of time focussing on faceoffs/defensive responsibility, Goldobin doesnt seem to be clicking with anybody really. Pouliot needs a proper press box benching for a few games and the team desperatepy needs Baertschi (at the very least) back asap in order to take the pressure off EP40 who has been stymied lately as the offence has dried up.

      • TD

        The Sutter and Beagle injuries have caused the Nucks to overplay Horvat and Pettersson. The long road trips are hard enough without the extra minutes. They could moth use a couple sub 15 minute games to rest up.

      • TheRealPB

        This is not about randomness of results. Why are you focusing on 5v5 numbers when the most significant impacts of Edler and Sutter are clearly on things like the PK and face-offs? Horvat looks dog-tired, especially when he has to take every single face-off and have extended shifts in the d-zone. Edler’s place on the PP and PK is being taken by Pouliot and Del Zotto, neither of whom are up to the task. The Canucks beat some very good teams earlier in the season and the injuries have clearly caught up with them. Your argument makes zero sense simply focusing on Edler and Sutter — are they the only ones out with injuries?

        This team has for significant chunks of time been without its top two wingers, its top rookie forward, its best two defensemen, its 1A goalie, it top two defensive centers, and a number of others. There is no team in the league where you could subtract half of its lineup and not expect it to do poorly.

        And you’re not addressing my actual point — which is that the rest of the division is playing like garbage. Nice try on the Sutter and Edler slag though.

  • wojohowitz

    I had the thought during the game that Pouliot looks like he`s stick handling a hand grenade thru a minefield – that was some ugly work. In hindsight who makes more sense Pedan or Pouliot? Both made bonehead passes but at least Pedan was big, tough and game.

    • jaybird43

      Wojo, yes Pouliot looks not very good, perhaps a 7th or 8th defender on a championship team, but … Pedan’s played 13 games in the toughest league in the world. Pouliot: 159. I’ll take Pouliot and give away the 4th rounder, every time.

  • Reality Man

    Tumbleweeds :-p Great to see the cheerleader trolls and anti-CA whiners punted into touch today. Hopefully they have been flushed for good by the Nation, the site is better for it.

    Trainwreck of a game and Bachman should never suit up in the NHL again. What was it an expectant, rabid fanbase was told again…

    “I like our goaltending, I like our defence now and I like our centre ice. I can’t wait until the season starts.” – Benning


    • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

      Seeing Bachman in the crease was a bit shocking really. I guess I’d gotten used to seeing either Marky or Anders in the net the last couple yrs (6’6″ & 6’7″). Bachman looked abdolutely TINY in there ?. Guess we’ve been a bit spoiled lately with how much net our goalies take up spacially. Bachman reminded me of Tommy Soderstrom back in the day.

    • crofton

      Considering Bachman hasn’t played in the NHL in nearly 2 years, and hadn’t played a game in about 3 weeks until last night, it’s really no wonder he played as poorly as he did. Not to mention he is their AHL BACKUP. That’s AHL BACKUP. I hardly think he is who Benning was speaking about.

  • Smyl and Snepsts

    Please please get rid of Pouliot and Del Zotto. Would much rather see Juolevi get a chance and live with some young mistakes. He cant be worse in his own end. On the other hand i have all fay for Stetcher. As undersized as he is he has a fire in his belly and competes as hard as anybody. No use foe Leipsic. He is a give away machine. The stats people are going to hate this but lord do we miss Sutter and Beagle.

    • Matty T

      WTF – do you not know that Juolevi is a MINUS ELEVEN in the *minors* guy!? He is a defensive liabilty in his own end, the numbers don’t lie. Juolevi is nowhere near a shot in the bigs and it’s a total disgrace!

      This is the same crazy rhetoric that short-bussers like DJ, TD and RealP(le)B use when they tell us Bachman deserves games and half of the Utica Comets should be called up and played. Pathetic and embarrassing.

      • Smyl and Snepsts

        “Pathetic and embarrassing”. A perfect description of you and all your aliases. What a waste of air you are if you have nothing better to do than create multiple identities just to tell out to the internet “Look at me!” Go get a job and try and be a productive member of society. Your mother must be so embarrassed when she comes down to the basement to tuck you in each night.

          • Smyl and Snepsts

            Proven wrong and humbled and humiliated?? I do t know how you get that idea. If us minus is your measure then You must think Karlson is the worst player in the league with a minus on a powerhouse San Jose team as opposed to Juolevi being the top scoring rookie defenseman in the AHL on a Utica team full of rookies and emergency signings after they have been decimated by call ups and injuries. As for growing a pair, I have them already. Have the kids to show I know how to use them compared to you who only use yours for pocket pool if you can find them

          • jaybird43

            Wow Matty. You are free to of course passionately comment on the team, but you are incredibly rude. You’ve apparently got a lot of hate in your heart. Dr. Matty Spew.

  • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

    Nobody has mentioned that MDZ has not looked awful out there since slotting back into the lineup…I mean, he hasnt been tossing Pouliot Pizzas up the middle/stickhandling thru his own crease at least…and he’s been laying the body a bit here and there… (well, as much as hockey players actually ‘bodycheck’ nowadays)

  • Kanuckhotep

    Yzerman lives in Detroit. His family is in Detroit. He is a legend in Detroit. If Stevie Y is going to manage his next team where do you really think it’s going to be? There’s already been talk he’ll take over the Red Wings next year anyways. Dumb speculation to think he’ll ever come here. And Joel Q as a coach here? Good hockey man granted but that’s not happening either. Benning and Green are your guys for now, like it or not.

  • Rodeobill

    I actually stopped being frustrated after the first period and instead became almost fascinated as I watched as Bachman melted down on live tv. Ouch. He didn’t have a very good start this year down in Utica either. I wonder what’s up? Maybe realizing that he is a certain age, that magical hot streak is never going to come and he will never be much more than an AHL goalie? That’s what I’d be doing. I’d drop that ball probably too. (Hope he doesn’t read this post, sounds a little harsh after reading it again!)

    I think I figured out EP’s spirit animal, and it is the mosquito. It’s not like he’s burning full speed out there, it just when you think you know his speed and trajectory, your hand swats at the air in dead space, and he has already changed trajectories once or twice since you anticipated him to be at that space and time (space in time?), and then you spaz out and go Matheson on him, because you know if you don’t take care of him, you’re not going to get back to sleep.

    Also, not to be the party pooper of this poop party and throw a silver lining comment in here, but Guddy was one of the best D men out there tonight, maybe his best of the season. He stood out on several occasions as being more than competent at both ends, almost as good as Tanev tonight. Or maybe I was just hypnotized at how Pouliot is really starting to steal the limelight for mess ups lately. I don’t dislike him, but he has played a lot better in some games in the last few I watched. Goldy too. I wish they would put Jake up in Goldy’s spot on PP1. Also, is it me, or does PP2 look way better than PP1 these last few weeks?

    Also, our team has been so fun to watch this season because NO ONE anticipated them to show up as good as they have till now. It is good for me to remember those expectations and that they are halfway through rebuild mode. Enjoyable to watch certain players try out to be part of that team when it’s finished, prospects making adjustments and looking bonafide, etc. On that note. Gaudette looks promising and screams “I’m gonna be a decent middle 6er,” but in honesty, it looks like he’s still one or two tweaks off of getting there yet. If they swapped in MacEwen for Gaudette I think that would be an interesting idea.