Vancouver Canucks vs Anaheim Ducks Post Game Recap: Trouble On The Pond

The Rundown

The Vancouver Canucks packed their bags and flew down south to start their first California road trip of the season. Tonight, the Canucks would go against one of the few teams with more man games lost than them, the Anaheim Ducks. Vancouver saw Anders Nilsson return to the team off of IR, but it’d be Jakob Markstrom who’d get the start tonight for a team that looked to bust out of a 6 game losing streak.


1st Period

The Canucks knew they’d need a good start against a tough opponent, regardless of all the injuries, and they didn’t get the start they’d hoped for. Elias Pettersson would take the 3rd minor penalty of his young career after he tripped Pontus Aberg, and the Ducks would get their first power-play of the game 2 minutes into the first period.


A good job by the Canucks penalty killers saw Anaheim fall to 0 for 1, and the next 7 minutes would be a fairly straightforward, back and forth game.


Right past the halfway point of the 1st period, the Ducks would strike. Ryan Getzlaf, the longtime captain of the Ducks would pick up a loose puck, put it through his legs and scoop it over an outstretched Markstrom for a beautiful goal to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead.


Canucks came back hard right after, with a strong shift from the Nikolay Goldobin, Loui Eriksson, and Pettersson line nearly rewarded with the equalizer, but Eriksson would shoot a puck off the crossbar.

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After that shot, right back the other way was Jakob Silfverberg of the Ducks, but he rang a shot off the post.


As the period started to wind down, Markstrom would have to make a fantastic save on Nick Ritchie to keep the Canucks in it, and he would answer the bell and stone Ritchie who was basically alone in front.

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The Canucks would see another one of their players hit the 2nd post in the period when Antoine Roussel came down the wing and put one off the bar and out with only a few minutes to play. Sam Gagner would get one last chance as the seconds whittled away, but the Canucks trailed the Ducks by 1 after 1 period of play.


2nd Period

Markstrom would be called upon early in the second period to help keep the Canucks in it, and he’d lunge across and make a big stop on Rickard Rakell to help the team settle in.


3 minutes into the period and Adam Gaudette would make a pretty nice play right at the top of the point, as he walked the line before he fired a shot towards goal, only to see it go over the net. Was nice to see Gaudette show some more offensive flair in his game. A minute after the Gaudette chance, Roussel would tip a puck on goal that Gibson would just get the pad on, and the Canucks would try to keep up the pressure. On the ensuing faceoff, Bo Horvat would win the draw to Gagner, who’d find Derrick Pouliot wide open, across the ice for the back door tap-in, which evened the score at 1.


The Canucks kept up the pressure, but around the 5:30-minute mark of the middle frame, Troy Stetcher got called for a pretty weak penalty for interference, and the Ducks would get their second power-play of the game. It’d take almost the full 2 minutes, but after multiple quality scoring chances were stopped by Markstrom, Ondrej Kase would fire a puck past the screened goaltender to give the Ducks a 2-1 lead.

As the game neared the halfway point, Stetcher would be on the receiving end of a hook by the stick of Getzlaf, and the Canucks would finally receive their first power-play of the game 9 minutes into the second. Good puck movement doesn’t lead to a scoring chance, and the power-play goes by the wayside.


Few moments after their power-play expired, Eriksson would take down an Anaheim forward to send the Ducks to their 3rd power-play of the game. While Anaheim had some quality scoring chances, none were better than Canucks forward Roussel’s short-handed breakaway, but Roussel couldn’t bury it past John Gibson.


Last scoring chance of the period came on a defensive lapse by the Canucks which saw Andrew Cogliano skate in alone on Markstrom. Cogliano isn’t just robbed once, but twice by the Swedish netminder to keep the game close. It’d be a 2-1 lead for the Ducks over Vancouver as the teams wrapped up the 2nd period.


3rd Period

The Canucks came out with a purpose, and great hustle to get some chances on Gibson to maybe get a lucky bounce or deflection. 2 minutes in, Michael Del Zotto would find that deflection, but it’d just trickle wide of the net. Great start by Vancouver gave them the hope they would need to claw their way back into this one.


5 minutes in, however, and the Canucks would send the Ducks to their 4th power-play of the game after Pouliot covered the puck with his glove in the Canucks crease. Vancouver would face their biggest test of the night. They were able to kill the penalty off… barely, but in the end, it’d be Adam Henrique who squeaked a shot short side on Markstrom to make it 3-1.


58 seconds later, the Canucks would respond with a goal of their own. Jake Virtanen would move up to the Pettersson line with Goldobin and it’d pay an immediate reward, with a shot by Virtanen going off Goldobin’s foot and in to make it 3-2. (Goal was initially given to Virtanen, but changed to Goldobin after the game)


9 minutes into the period and Markstrom found the form he had through most of the night, as he made another fantastic stop on an Anaheim shooter, but a few minutes later a brutal turnover by Pouliot led to a pretty passing play which Kalle Kassila finished off into an empty net to make it 4-2 Anaheim.


The Canucks would get their 2nd power-play of the game 14:30 minutes into the period after Ritchie got caught up in the play going after Roussel. Wouldn’t take too long before the Canucks would capitalize when Goldobin fed Horvat with a sweet dish in the middle, and all Horvat had to do was tip it home. That he did, and it was 4-3 with under 5 minutes to go.


There were so many chances for the Canucks late in this game, but they wouldn’t find a way to beat Gibson, and the Canucks would see themselves lose their 7th straight game to a final score of 4-3.


Advanced Stats

Both photos courtesy of naturalstattrick.com


Wrap Up

Another loss for Vancouver, and a loss that felt way too familiar with how the season has started to shape up. Some good, some bad, and some average down below.


The good in this game was Nikolay Goldobin. Goldobin has really started to come around, even during this losing streak. With 2 points tonight, Goldobin has gotten 11 points in his past 10 games, and even with some games where he didn’t look great has really found himself. While Pettersson, Horvat, and Virtanen have all had big years so far, it’s nice to see Goldobin start to establish himself as a legit scoring winger in the NHL. If he becomes a consistent threat, look out… The Canucks could have the makings of a legit top 6. (Woohoo, optimism)


The optimism shown above didn’t last long, because watching Derrick Pouliot play was an eyesore. Pouliot is the bad tonight, even after he scored a goal tonight. Pouliot’s confidence has gone down the drain, and it showed because he was an absolute wreck in his own end. His strengths should be his puck-moving prowess and offensive instincts, but his breakouts were non-existent, he couldn’t seem to make a strong first pass out of the zone, and while he scored tonight, he hasn’t been able to produce for a large part of the season.

It’s good for Pouliot I’m not in Canucks management, or he’d be on his way to the east coast to suit up for Utica pretty quick. (I don’t see him being claimed…)


Markstrom was well on his way to having one of his best games recently, and then he lets in yet another stinker at a crucial point in the hockey game. He made multiple great saves to keep the boys in it, only to see a softie get by him when the team trailed by 1.

I feel for him, but don’t think he’s going to fix what seems to be a mental hurdle. In other news, Demko started his first game in the AHL since suffering his concussion in September. Both Markstrom and Nilsson should take note of this.


Tough game for the boys, their next chance to break the losing streak will come in San Jose against the Sharks.

  • Kanuckhotep

    Let CA readership figure out which two blue liners won’t be signed for next year. Hmmm. Giveaways in the D zone horrendous. Agree on the soft goal(s) comment. But Demko won tonight, Nilsson is back and Edler is close. Another exciting effort but the Canucks just don’t have the depth to match their hard work ethic right now.

  • Blind Side

    Everything always circles back to Benning and his management group. So far they have shown a complete inability to put together even an AHL level defence for the Canucks.

    On the left side of the defence we have an aging Edler, perhaps a what you see is what you get Hutton, hopefully a star in Hughes, maybe a surprise in Rathbone, maybe a grinder in Brisebois and maybe something in McEneny. If, if, if we are lucky, all this will produce three left side defenders in a few years. Will this be good enough?

    On the right side we have an aging Tanev, perhaps a WYSIWYG in Stecher, perhaps a valuable player in Woo and a grinder in Chatfield. This is definitely not good enough.

    After years of draft picks, free agent signings and trades, this is the best that Benning can come up with. Should we expect better in the future? I doubt it.

    Hmmm, a high octane offence backed by a poor defence, resulting in a losing record. Now where have we seen that movie before?

    • truthseeker

      Great D is hard to get. Where did they have an opportunity to get a great D player where they obviously missed it? I can’t think of a single instance. When they picked D in the draft they went for whomever was the highest ranked option where they were picking. Teams don’t trade great D men without getting D back in return.

      What you’re saying sounds like the typical complaints often heard like, “the canucks need a center” or the canucks “need a D man”. Meaninglessly obvious statements that provide no context. Of course they need those types of players. What team doesn’t? If they never had the opportunity to get a top flight D man then how are they supposed to have one?

      • Burnabybob

        The biggest weak point in the Canucks’ prospect pool appears to be RHD. Assuming they pick a forward in this year’s draft, they should just make RHD the priority in later rounds. They can also help shore up the defense with free agent signings and trades. Just as an example, Rathbone might be a good trade chip, given that he is a LHD, is small, and plays a similar style of game to Quinn Hughes. They can also hopefully off load some of their veterans in the next couple of years for prospects and draft picks.

        • DJ_44

          Rathbone is not small. He is 5-11 to 6-0 and 195 as a 19 year old. The kid is solid. We do not want to trade him yet; he will be a find out of the later rounds.

        • truthseeker

          Maybe. Never done it so I don’t know. But you didn’t need “other words”. My point was clearly made. Good D is hard to come by. Simple as that.

          The cockroach must have used all his user names to thumb you up on this one….lol.

      • Blind Side

        They had the opportunity to work the draft in a similar fashion to Toronto. They could have aggressively traded veterans, both those on the team as well as those acquired through free agency, for draft picks.

        Yes, Benning has added some very good forwards in Pettersson and Boeser, full marks for that. But, he has created a mess on the back end. A mess that he won’t be able to solve easily due to all the big contracts he has handed out to older players.

        The issue here is time. If Benning continues the pattern he has shown so far in developing the defence, the forwards might be hitting their peak years while the defence is still floundering. In other words, the Edmonton Oilers scenario.

        • timmay

          Sergachev, McAvoy, Chychrun, Fleury, Cholowski (BC native), all young stud D plying their trade in the NHL and were up for grabs in the draft from 2014 on – Benning landed NONE of them.

          Hanafin, McDonagh, Shattenkirk, Seth Jones, PK Subban, Karlsson, Hamilton, all top D available via trade – Benning landed NONE of them.

          Too think this joker Benning was a D man himself. Clueless. Absolute disgrace.

          • truthseeker

            So you’re taking a shot huh cockroach. OK.

            Sergachev was at the time of the trade, a prospect with zero NHL games and it cost TB a 53 point center. Did the canucks have a center like that to give up at the time? So you’re saying basically, they should have traded Horvat (the only thing the canucks had of near equivalent value to Drouin) for Sergachev. You’re a f..king idiot.

            Sergachev, Chychrun and McAvoy were all ranked lower than OJ by a majority of sources. You’re a f…king idiot.

            Fleury was about 50/50 with JV in various rankings. I put a premium on D over wing so I’ll give you that one.

            Cholowski wasn’t even on the map. To suggest that the canucks should have taken him over OJ is so f….king ridiculous that you just lost anything you may have gained by the Fleury suggestion. F….king idiot.

            Hanafin and Hamilton were traded for each other. So no getting a D without giving up pretty much another equal value D. Did we have a young D the caliber of either of them to give up for a trade? Right….we didn’t. You f…king idiot.

            Why would Benning have traded for playoff rental D men on the older side like McDonagh and Shattenkirk? You f…king idiot….lol..you really didn’t think those two through did you.

            Seth Jones cost Johansen. A 70 point number 1 center. Jones was a good up and coming young D man, but talent for talent wise at the time of the trade, was inferior to Johansen. There were still questions about his ability to defend. Regardless, again, did the canucks have a 70 point number one center to give up in a trade you f…king idiot? Not even Horvat would have got that deal done.

            Who’s next. Ahhh…P.K. Cost the preds arguable the best defenseman of his generation. Did we have anything close to the best D man of his generation? No…we didn’t did we you f…king idiot. But hey…I’ll throw you a bone here because you’re failing so miserably. Let’s say the Habs would have taken Tanev for P.K. So what does that do….replaces one excellent D man with another. We gain some offense from the position but lose some defense. So it’s a neutral move. That doesn’t help us build our D. You f…king idiot.

            Karlsson? The sharks gave up Tierney and DeMelo. Did we have a NHL caliber 25 year old center and 25 year old D man to give up in a trade that the sens would have taken? How about a prospect like Norris? The first round pick next year? You f..king idiot.

            It’s really not surprising you chose an intellectually challenged character as your user name. Pretty great that you decided to use it in this response too! lol. Fitting.

            Seriously….how does it feel to get so thrashed so often? Out of all your points you had MAYBE one that was reasonable….lol. By all means though cockroach….keep trying. This is like wiffle ball for me though. You’re really a stupid human being….lol.

          • Holly Wood

            To Timmay… thank you Captain Hindsight. To Truthseeker… you hit that one right out of the park. I used the Jeff Foxworthy style while reading your post. Don’t know if you needed to call him stupid though.

    • Kootenaydude

      Actually Mister Blind side it’s not that bad. Next year we will probably have Hughes, Hutton and Juolevi on the left side. On the right side Tanev, Stetcher and hopefully a UFA. Meyers from the Jets is a UFA next year. They won’t be able to keep Trouba and Meyers. Beiga and maybe Edler as extra skaters. Fit Hutton is a lot better than fat Hutton. He’s been playing rarely well lately. He definitely belongs in the NHL. I guess I forgot Gudbranson. Not too sure where he will be next year. I can happily say goodbye to MDZ and Pouliot though. Hopefully we get a prospect or two out of them.

      • Defenceman Factory

        I agree the situation isn’t as dire as some might profess. I’m not convinced however there will be any UFAs next summer that would sign a reasonable contract and be much help at RD. Given Guddy’s better play this year I don’t see Myers as much of an upgrade. He is not a top 4 Dman. Finding another top 4 RHD is going to take a substantial trade or a hidden gem at the draft. Given the time frame the sooner the better.

  • 51Geezer

    I mean this to be helpful, Cole: The use of the past simple tense throughout is best.
    A better grammarian than I said this; ” The intoxicating appeal of speaking sonorously of the future now past from a past farther past makes Nostradamuses or Amazing Kreskins of many an ink-stained wretch in the present.”

  • Murzyn's Meats

    Once again the compete level was great and the game was, for the most part, entertaining.
    I agree with the write up on the good and strongly agree with the write up on the bad.
    The Markstrom softies are not even surprising me anymore but still frustrating. He shows flashes of brilliance but it’s just not enough to get the job done.
    And here I thought scoring the opening goal for the Canucks would give Sbi…Pouliot the confidence he needs to stop handing the puck to the opponent on a fricken silver platter. A healthy scratch is long over due.

    • Nuck16

      Marky is a backup goalie, a good backup goalie though, but not a starter. Nilsson on the other hand has the tools to be a starter calibre goalie if he can find consistency.

      • Given that Nilsson and Markstrom are the same age, have played a similar number of professional games, are of similar height and builds, and have virtually identical numbers over their careers (.907 sv% for Nilsson, .908 sv% for Markstrom), how do you figure this?

        • Nuck16

          Marky is more consistent in that he plays up to his potential on a more regular basis, but up to his potential still means letting in soft goals on a regular basis. Nilsson on the other hand is rock solid when he’s playing up to his potential, but he has struggled to find that zone far too often, but he’s showing signs that he could find that consistency…like in the World Championship and that stretch of starts he had before his finger injury.

          • The difference between career backups and elite starters is consistency. Every goalie who makes the NHL has the ability to turn in a fantastic performance and steal a game for his team. Every goalie who makes the NHL does this from time to time. Sure, Nilsson turns in the occasional show-stopping performance, but he hasn’t found a way to do so consistently yet, and he’ll be 29-years-old this season with over 200 professional games under his belt. He is what he is.

    • SuperTard

      Nillson has only played 111 professional games. Markstrum 193 as of today. Markstrum had his shot, now it’s time to give Nillson the net and see what he can do.

  • Burnabybob

    Even if the Canucks’ season goes down the drain and they miss the playoffs again, the play of Goldobin is a pretty nice consolation prize. He’s finally becoming an NHL player. Pettersson isn’t bad either, and Horvat continues to be a rock. #hopeforthefuture

    • Kootenaydude

      I agree Burnabybob. I was criticizing Goldy for his lack of effort and stupid cross ice passes. The passes that always end up in a giveaway. Well he’s only made one big cross ice pass in the last two games and it wasn’t intercepted. I think he’s starting to see he can’t just make it with talent. He’s playing harder than ever.

    • Defenceman Factory

      Yes Goldy’s play is turning a corner ad hopefully his compete level continues to improve.

      Equally or perhaps even more of a prize is Virtanen’s play. He still takes too many low percentage shots but he is seeing the ice better in the offensive zone and has done very well on zone entries and takeaways.

      • timmay

        Spare us the holier than thou psychobabble there Scotty Bowman…

        “The Canucks should also keep Leipsec ahead of Gagner.” – Defenceman Factory

        “There are young players that are ready for the NHL who will be stuck in Utica if Gagner is on the Canucks.” – Defenceman Factory

        Brutal. Humiliating.

  • Reality Man

    “This is a team we can turn around in a hurry.” Jim Benning May 23 2014

    “I like our goaltending, I like our defence now and I like our centre ice. I can’t wait until the season starts.” – Benning 2017/18

    Seven losses in a row, unacceptable – fire Benning, fire Green and clean house, this is a results business. End of story.

    • LTFan

      Reality Man – right clean house, get rid of everyone. Then what do you do? Well you have a clean house and that is about it. IMO your post offers nothing constructive. End of story!!

      • Reality Man

        LTF, it’s been FIVE YEARS pal, smell the coffee ffs, there are no more excuses! In no other job would this level of failure be tolerated after so long.

        Today’s NHL is a results business, a show me now league – WIN hockey games is the only mantra. Don’t believe me? here…

        “The bottom line is our goal is win games and to be competitive to make the playoffs. That’s what we’re here for.” Jim Benning Feb 14th 2018

        This GM is a joke, by his own admission he has failed. The coach HE hired has clearly lost the plot and the room after these SEVEN losses in a row so it’s simple – you reset, get rid and replace, you know like OTHER teams do, get me!? No-more=excuses.

        **Trolls get lost, hockey talk only, cheers**

    • LiborPolasek

      Can you recommend a GM that would meet your criteria because I can pretty much predict that you will be spewing the same talking point(s) when the next GM takes over. Overall the situation with the Canucks are not hopeless: the team is not any cap trouble and the building blocks are in place to be competitve moving forward. Nonetheless, PURE GENIUS !

      • Reality Man

        Hey smart-mouth, you checked the standings and Canucks playoff record since Benning took over kid?

        When we get a GM who impresses me like GMMG did during those wonderful glory years I GUARANTEE YOU I will be the first to laud him…

        Bottomline, I want a legit Stanley Cup contender in Vancouver again, and under Benning I know for a FACT I’m not getting that, so unlike many of you, i will NOT accept mediocrity, bury my head in the sand and live on false hope. Love it or leave it kiddos.

        THINK about it, all of you – five wasted years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • timmay

            Psst Holly Wood – according to my top secret ‘inside sources’, only four posters have ever used the phrase Captain Hindsight on here… apr, beers after, Holly Wood and…. BUD POILE, all confirmed ids of the Bud P multi troll.

            Off you go again Dud/Holly Wood – concussed, humiliated and tail between legs. You are absolutely fuming lol.

          • Holly Wood

            I use Captain Hindsight because I feel it says a lot about commenters that use the past to justify their opinion and yes I probably picked up that expression on here. As far as your opinion of me being associated with Bud or anyone else, I can assure you are 100% wrong. In fact I have posted twice this week requesting multiple users names fromthe same IP address either be exposed or punted.

        • LiborPolasek

          Expected response from our next GM…. PURE GENIUS !!! Side note: your writing style does seem very familiar and similar to other geniuses that had come before.

  • Nuck16

    The Shorthouse jinx still alive and well, ever since he said the Canucks were going to get the 11th win with a few minutes left in the Buffalo game up 3-1…7 games later still looking for that 11th win.
    Also, Shorty, Elias has already said he wants his name to be pronounce Peterson, not Petterson…
    And since I’m on a Shorty rant, stop talking about scores in other games that are being played at the same time, where it’s obvious that a lot of viewers will be PVRing the other games, like when baseball season was on…at least give a spoiler alert before hand.
    PS…love you Shorty!!!

  • LTFan

    Yes Markstrom lets in some that he would like to have back. On the other hand he makes some unbelievable saves and last night there were several great saves. IMO it is not on Markstrom that we lose these close games. The problem is the defence. Cole is right about Pouliet, he isn’t good enough and should be sent to Utica. When I look at the rest of the defence that played last night only Tanev and probably Hutton are top 6 D. men. EG and TS are still with the team as their is a shortage of NHL caliber RHD.men anywhere and none in Utica at the moment. Jet Woo is several years away from maybe being an NHL player. Tanev doesn’t look like he is at 95 to 100%. You rarely can acquire an RHD.man through a trade and the price would be, IMO, prohibitive. Not going to happen. So until our D. improves we will be in these close games but on the losing end.

    The forwards, in comparison to the D. are much better. So in conclusion, the D must improve in order for the Canucks to move up to being a playoff team.

    • Reality Man

      What part of “I like our D now” don’t you get? Benning is HAPPY with this Defence and he likes the the goaltending, just like he did last season… he said it himself ffs!

  • Kootenaydude

    Honestly I do not know what hooking is and interference. Eriksson takes a hooking call in the second, but he didn’t hook anybody. He swung his stick in to get the puck but there was no hook. Shortly after guys are getting up ended and tripped, but there’s no call. Then in The dying seconds of the game Goldobin gets “hooked” to the ice, but there is no hooking call. We have forwards walking right between defencemen and the defence can’t do anything about without taking a holding, roughing or interference call. It’s getting ridiculous. The refs are deciding too many games. Another short side goal on Markstrom says it all. His usual soft goal a game, but better than 3 soft goals like the other night.

  • tyhee

    I wouldn’t mind Pouliot heading for Utica, but doubt it is going to happen any time soon. Pouliot has been a regular in the lineup this season so there are others more likely to be sent to Utica when Edler returns.

    I’d like to see Markstrom get some rest so would like to see Nilsson get some fairly regular action. While Markstrom makes a lot of really impressive saves, I think playing 12 out of 13 games behind a defence leaking high danger scoring chances has affected his play.

  • Smyl and Snepsts

    Another game and the same refrain from me. Please please get rid of Pouliot. I would rather see Juolevi make rookie mistakes than see him keep proving he doesnt belong in the NHL

  • Rodeobill

    Each game, I pull for the win, and when we aren’t, I’m happy to see when they don’t relent. In the big picture, however, the rebuild is still only halfway there and management should not lose focus on this. Seeing which prospects develop into their potential is also very exciting, and unfortunately we also see some of them that don’t. Hutton, JV, Goldy, are really starting to figure out their games. One or two drafts with luck should put us in contention for years to come!