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Vancouver Canucks at Los Angeles Kings Post-Game Recap: Stopping The Skid In Style

The Rundown

The 2018/19 season wasn’t supposed to be about wins and losses, but as the Vancouver Canucks entered Saturday’s matchup against the Los Angeles Kings—the last stop on their customary California road trip—it was difficult to focus on anything other than the team’s record. The Canucks arrived in Hollywood with an ugly eight-game losing streak hanging over their heads, but even that lengthy skid hadn’t managed to drop them to last place in the Pacific Division.

Who occupied that position in the standings? The Los Angeles Kings, led by Canuck-coach-in-exile Willie Desjardins.

The Canucks couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to snap the streak before it hit nine games, but that hardly guaranteed anything.

Alexander Edler made his long-awaited and desperately-needed return to the lineup, and Reid Boucher made his season debut with the big team. In a surprise move, Troy Stecher was scratched in favour of Alex Biega. Derrick Pouliot and Tim Schaller also came out of the lineup. Jeff Paterson provided the details, and a bit of an explanation for Travis Green’s decision:

 

Jacob Markstrom versus Cal Peterson was the goaltending matchup to start the game.

 

1st Period 

After a touching tribute to Willie O’Ree—who looks terrific at the age of 83—the stage was set for the Battle of the Pacific Basement.

The teams traded a couple of mediocre chances in the first three-and-a-half minutes of continuous play, and both squads looked tentative as the game’s opening minutes wore on without any events of significance.

The first real scoring chance for either team came just past the six-minute mark as Anze Kopitar drove the puck toward the net before dishing it to Alec Martinez—who missed the net from ten feet away. Jacob Markstrom—sporting the fanbase-dividing ears on his mask once again—didn’t even have to make a save.

 

Two more chances for the Kings ensued on the following shift, and the Canucks began to look like a team under siege. Bo Horvat’s line, with Antoine Roussel and Sam Gagner on the wings, took to the ice looking to change that. After Roussel tried and failed to set up Gagner with an Elias Pettersson-style off-the-endboards pass, the pseudo-top line got a few pucks on net, but were unable to score.

Jake Virtanen was on the receiving end of a big hit for once as Dion Phaneuf caught him with his head on a skyward puck as he crossed the blueline into the Kings’ zone. Shotgun Jake got right back on his feet, and presumably took a number for future reference.

The Canucks’ next bit of sustained pressure came the next time Horvat’s line had a shift, and the moment they left the ice the Kings turned it around and almost scored—but Markstrom was there to deny several chances in close.

That led to a few more minutes of tentative play in which the most exciting thing to occur was the appearance of Hockey Night in Canada’s old school graphics. Most of the shots came from the outside, and neither goalie faced anything particularly challenging until the period’s end.

 

Some nice passing by Virtanen resulted in the puck back on his stick as he burst toward Cal Peterson, but the puck skipped on him. Seconds later, Virtanen and Phaneuf collided once again at center ice, but this time it was Phaneuf who ended up on his butt despite initiating the hit. As the play continued, the Canucks were caught with too many players on the ice, and the Kings finished the period on an abbreviated powerplay that generated an open shot for Tyler Toffoli—but Markstrom once again stood tall in net to deny the scoring chance.

 

The shots were 9-8 in favour of Vancouver as the first intermission commenced.

 

Intermission Highlight 

How could it be anything other than those baby blue HNIC blazers? They somehow made even Nick Kypreos look mildly classy, and that’s saying a lot.

 

2nd Period 

Los Angeles began the second period with just under a minute left on their powerplay, but the Canucks were able to kill off the remaining time. Dustin Brown had an opportunity in close shortly after it expired, but Jacob Markstrom stymied him on the tight angle shot.

Having had enough of Jake Virtanen, Dion Phaneuf took a big run at Alex Biega right in front of the benches, but Biega was able to avoid the worst of it with a quick manoeuvre.

Biega made another nifty move in his own zone to set up a breakout, and the resultant offensive zone time saw Virtanen forecheck hard to force a turnover before faking a slapshot and sliding a beautiful pass across to a streaking Adam Gaudette—who finally buried his first NHL goal to put Vancouver ahead 1-0 at the 5:12 mark of the second period. Nikolay Goldobin picked up his team-leading twelfth assist of the season on the play.

 

Sam Gagner put the Kings back on the powerplay with a tripping penalty just over a minute-and-a-half later. It took the top unit a grand total of 16 seconds to tie the game, with Anze Kopitar making a nice behind-the-back pass to Drew Doughty at the point and Doughty wiring it home. The downward spiral of the Canucks’ penalty kill continued.

 

With nine minutes remaining in the period, Virtanen forced another turnover—this time, courtesy of his old friend Phaneuf—and Markus Granlund set up Loui Eriksson in front, only to have Eriksson ring it off the post. The next shift saw Alex Biega jumping into the play to receive a Reid Boucher pass, and he drew a hooking penalty on Kyle Clifford in the process to give the Canucks their first powerplay of the game.

Elias Pettersson uncharacteristically stumbled along the halfwall to start the powerplay, but when he got the puck again he initiated a tic-tac-toe sequence that went from Bo Horvat below the goal line to Sam Gagner in front of the net—and Gagner made no mistake in beating Cal Peterson to put the Canucks ahead once again.

 

For Gagner, who has spent the majority of the season with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, it had to be a cathartic moment.

 

Heading into the last TV timeout of the period, Antoine Roussel just about jammed in another goal after an offensive chance that was once again sparked by Biega jumping into the play—earning coach Travis Green back a little credit with fans after his controversial choice to scratch Troy Stecher.

The Canucks wouldn’t make it out of the period with a lead, however, as rookie Matt Luff sprang away on a breakaway and deked Markstrom out his jockstrap to pot the third goal of his career—and Luff’s third goal in three games.

 

The score remained knotted at 2-2 as the period concluded, with the shots at 23-14 in favour of the Canucks.

 

Intermission Highlight 

This meme:

 

3rd Period 

Four minutes passed before the third period saw its first official shot on net, with both teams in desperate not to lose and playing it careful. The Canucks received the first real opportunity to move ahead as the pressure of Elias Pettersson forced Jake Muzzin to clear the puck over the glass, and the Canucks went on the powerplay with just over 14 minutes remaining in the period.

The top unit didn’t even get a chance to set up before the Kings broke away on a shorthanded rush that resulted in an Alex Edler interference penalty and some extended four-on-four play. Neither team was able to capitalize on the extra ice, nor were the Kings able to score on the brief powerplay that followed—though they came close in its final seconds as Jeff Carter just missed.

Just past the halfway mark, Pettersson showcased his hockey sense in forecasting a Dion Phaneuf turnover and deftly slipping into a seam between the Los Angeles forward to intercept the puck, granting him a clean angle at the net. Pettersson rifled an absolutely lethal wrister over the left-handed blocker of Cal Peterson, and the Canucks were ahead 3-2 on the unassisted marker. Unassisted, that is, unless you count Dion Phaneuf.

 

The Canucks tightened up the defense thereafter and did their best to limit Los Angeles’ shot attempts. Markus Granlund nearly widened the lead after another brutal turnover—a gift from Tyler Toffoli, this time—and the wind really seemed to be taken out of the Kings’ sails.

Travis Green and his squad smartly adopted a 1-4 forecheck for the remainder of the game, until Edler knocked the puck over the glass with his glove and the Kings went to the powerplay with 2:51 remaining in the third. Los Angeles predictably pulled the goalie to give themselves a 6-on-4 advantage, but that just allowed Tyler Motte to zip one into the empty net from his own end to seal the victory.

The Kings kept Peterson on the bench, and Adrian Kempe did receive a nice chance on net that Markstrom kicked out with his pad. The Canucks took a couple more shots at the empty cage, but the score remained 4-2 as the final buzzer sounded.

Mission accomplished.

 

Wrap Up 

The Canucks snapped their losing streak at eight, and that’s really all that matters. This wasn’t the most exciting game the team has played by any stretch of the imagination, but by tomorrow all people are going to really remember is Elias Pettersson’s Alex Burrows-like slump-buster—and the fact that it came courtesy of a Dion Phaneuf turnover is just the icing on the cake.

The Vancouver faithful can finally breathe a sigh of relief, and the Canucks don’t have to return from a road trip on the verge of a double-digit losing streak. The first goals of the season for Adam Gaudette and Sam Gagner provide even more reason to celebrate.

 

Advanced Stats

 

Gameflow from Canucks at Los Angeles November 24, 2018 (Courtesy of naturalstattrick.com)

 

Heatmap from Canucks at Los Angeles November 24, 2018 (Courtesy of naturalstattrick.com)

 

Top Performers

 

Elias Pettersson

Pettersson busted the slump with a near-prescient display of hockey sense, and he added an assist to nudge his totals above point-per-game status once again. Combined with his usual array of impressive defensive plays, another multipoint effort made Pettersson the difference-maker the Canucks needed to end their losing streak, and he’s already proving himself to be a clutch performer. 

Jake Virtanen

Shotgun Jake set the physical pace for the Canucks through his frequent clashes with Dion Phaneuf, and it’s fair to say that his constant pressure on the Kings defender had something to do with Phaneuf’s eventual game-losing turnover. Virtanen didn’t add to his goal total, but instead showed off his playmaking abilities with a few quality set ups, including the primary assist on Adam Gaudette’s first NHL goal.

Alex Biega

Travis Green inserted Biega into the lineup to bring energy, and that’s exactly what he did. Biega’s hustle and willingness to jump into the play were infectious, and they resulted in a number of chances on goal. He played a major role in Gaudette’s goal despite not earning an assist, and certainly got the most out of his 15 minutes of icetime.

 

Next Game 

The Canucks complete the second half of a home-and-home against the Kings as they host Los Angeles at Rogers Arena on Tuesday, November 27—with a start-time of 7:00PM PST.

  • crofton

    Thanks for the very quick post game. Much appreciated in part dues to CBC and SN’s cutting to Laine and the Leafs results. A little post game of the game we watched should have been in order. And Phaneuf hasn’t gotten any smarter.

  • truthseeker

    Happy they got that monkey of their backs. Jake’s pass on Gaudette’s goal was fantastic. Nice to see him get his first. Hopefully it frees him up mentally and more start going in. EP getting points is always satisfying, but his defensive game is just outstanding as well. I’m thinking the canucks will send a rookie to the all star game for the second year in a row. Hopefully he can repeat Brock’s success and earn himself some extra pay.

    Not pretty, but at least they eventually figured out how to hold a lead. Not too late to get this season back on track and climb back up the standings.

    • Rodeobill

      Jake was a forecheck machine this game, and best of all, I am starting to see an element of his game that I didn’t before, one that could be a huge difference on where he plays in the line up. He is starting to use and set up linemates. Usually, JV clips are rushes and goals by him self. This game was forecheck, retrieve, and set up line mates. If he starts to figure it out how he played this night, he might live up to his draft potential yet. Not only that, but I think a little of Roussel is rubbing off on him too. Nice guy Dr. Jekyll Jake is good in interviews, but on the ice he needs to let out Mr. Hyde.

      • truthseeker

        When he’s at his best he most certainly brings a dimension that not many else on the team provides. Having him become a “work horse” type player, would really complement the depth. Horvat already provides that at the top of the line up. Having JV be another one is a pretty appealing thing. Combine that with the “skill” players and there would be a lot to like in the next few years.

        I like the way Jake plays the game though. Really don’t want to see him bring the cheapness into his game. He plays a good strong physical honest game. I do like the work ethic Roussel brings but could do without the nonsense.

  • Braindead Benning

    It’s great to see the team win against the worst team in the league but I cannot see the justification of that shaller signing… What has that guy done besides 1 game he had a couple of points ???

  • Kanuckhotep

    Thanks, Phanuef, for helping us out tonight. Petey wouldn’t miss munching on an extra large pizza like that one. Slotting in Edler and the Bulldog was good for the club tonight and Biega always hustles hard anyways. Looks like Schaller is in Green’s doghouse. Maybe it’ll help him. Wasn’t the Nefertiti bust tonight but a “W” is always welcomed. Canucks need a rest now and LA needs to start a rebuild.

  • Cageyvet

    The result was good, but please put MDZ back on the bench. Also, switch up the zone entry on the powerplay, it’s been read and turned over at the point at least once a game for the last few games. I know it’s coming, and clearly the pros who do the advance scouting for the opposition are prepared for it.

    Great to see Jake have another impact game, he was noticeable all night. Goldy also had a strong game, and Eriksson has regressed again to a very mediocre NHL’er.

    Edler was a welcome addition, but somehow we still managed to hand the Kings a completely unhindered breakaway. Oh well, at least it’s not 2 on 0, we saw that recently. Something is off with the team’s structure still, but it’s improving.

    We won’t win two in a row again until we get the positioning sorted out with our defensemen. They are wandering a little too deep into the offensive zone (as in leading the rush right into the corners, not just a slightly aggressive pinch) and today’s teams shove any turnover down your throat with a quick transition.

    LA is having a garbage year, and we still looked susceptible on the back end. There’s still a lot of work to do, but I’d start with putting MDZ on the bench again. During the 4 on 4 he was so slow to react and get to loose pucks it was painful. Edler-Stecher, Pouliot-Tanev, Hutton-Gudbranson works for me. Tanev is your best security blanket for Pouliot, and the other two pairings have had some success. If you hate Pouliot, then throw in Biega, but I still have hope that Pouliot’s game can develop.

      • Winger Petey

        Yah, it must be a barrel of laughs watching a game with this miserable schmuck.

        Mind you this is the same clown who told us…

        “I love Tryamkin, and have high hopes for Pedan.” – Cageyvet

        “Pouliot is dripping offensive skill on a team begging for a dynamic point man.” – Cageyvet

        “Gudbrandson is NOT a mediocre player.” – Cageyvet

        Sign this guy up to run the D rofl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • North Van Halen

          I feel like the guy that goes to the magic show and the magician uses every one else as a prop but me. I want to be the one thats sawed in half!!!

          Do my quotes next, do my quotes next, do my quotes next!!!!!

        • Cageyvet

          Nice to see you found a new username, loser. Based on the response, perhaps not my best analysis of MDZ, but I watched this game with only half my attention. Still, tell me he’s been good this year, I don’t think so.

          Love the quotes with no context, as given the total crap we have had, you would think I could be forgiven for salivating at a defenseman like Pouliot who looked like he actually recognized the offensive zone and wasn’t bemused by crossing that blue line.

          I’m happy to amuse you with my quotes, as I’ve said many times, I’m one of those you can hold accountable as my username doesn’t change. Tryamkin may yet pan out, by the way, he chose to leave, if you recall.

          The only quote here I don’t remember is the claim Gudbranson was not mediocre, I’d assume like the rest it was pretty early in his tenure. Halfway through last season and ever since I’ve been on record as having given up on Guddy and happy to trade him. My opinions of players change, based on their play, I don’t just mindlessly spew the same drivel every day as you do.

          In any case, I know you will never be held accountable for comments you made a year ago, unless we refer to all your aliases. I bow to the wisdom of the masses in perhaps a poor assessment of the game, rarely do I get that kind of a trashfest so I’ll give that credence, but comments from you are always laughable.

          By the way, my most recent take on the D as a whole, if you like looking this up so much, would be that we have exactly 2 top 4 dmen and they’re named Edler and Tanev, and zero top 2 dmen. How I feel about the rest at any given time is just splitting hairs combined with the optimism of being a fan, something you proved long ago you are not.

  • TheRealPB

    Good win, though LA looks like complete garbage and have a disastrous next four or five years given all the ironclad contracts to players over 30. The ‘heaviness’ of LA looks like the weight of these crappy contracts for underperforming vets. Eriksson may be our overpaid vet, but he’s the only one outside of Beagle who is and the only one with a lengthy contract to boot. At least we’re 20th in salary as opposed to 6th for LA.

    Pouliot deserves a seat in the press box, and for more than just that one game. I think MDZ does too — it would be good to see the Taner-Edler top pairing resumed, Hutton-Gudbranson as the second, and Stetcher with eventually Pouliot again. MDZ can sub in. Biega had great energy but I still thought he got overwhelmed at times.

    Not enough credit on the PP goal to Goldobin for his excellent work in retrieving the puck when Pettersson initially bobbled it; I was sure it would get cleared off the left boards but Goldobin hustled to keep it in. Goldobin continues to build his game.

    I always want to ask CA why they repeat the mantra (not you, this was a great recap) that Virtanen has no hockey sense. Not only did he cause mayhem on multiple occasions behind their net by using his speed to disrupt the defense and get the puck, he also made more than a few great passes. And that setup for Gaudette, if that isn’t great hockey sense rather than just banging it at the net, I don’t know what is. So what is it that leads some CA writers to repeat the refrain that he has no hockey sense?

    And of course it’s fantastic to see Phaneuf as the one serving up the pizza.

    • truthseeker

      With JV it’s another area where his game has been improving. I think it was a fair criticism of him, aside from the fact many commentators seemed to imply that it is something he’ll never get over. As if hockey sense is some “natural talent” that can’t be taught, which is complete nonsense. Anything can be taught.

      It remains to be seen if JV can keep this up and continue his improvement, but you’re more than right. In a game like that with plays like he made, it shows he’s more than capable of processing the game at the NHL level. Given his tendency to shoot and create goals for himself, it looked really good on him to set up Gaudette like that. That was an assist worthy of any play maker in the game. Hope we see more of it.

      • kermit

        I had to watch the Kings broadcast last night, one of the roving mic guys interviewed assistant coach Dave Lowry during a 1st period break in the play and asked him how they intend to slow down the Canucks, specifically Jake Virtanen.

        I felt bad for Willie, he has that deer-in-the-headlights look when things are not going right. I was surprised when they hired him, maybe maybe management realizes that their problems are bigger than just coaching, and Willie is just a sacrificial lamb.

    • Murzyn's Meats

      I agree with all of your points, including what you wrote about CA’s general mantra on Virtanen’s hockey sense. That being said, occasionally I see Virtanen throw the puck at the net when a pass would have been a much better option, dump the puck when he could have easily skated it in, have a poor pass intercepted or peel off for an ill-timed line change. Well then, that must be bad hockey sense. What CA doesn’t seem to report on is that almost everyone on the Canucks, or in the league for that matter, has those very same brainfarts. Yes, frustrating to watch but definitely not limited to Virtanen.
      P.S. What he had going on with Phaneuf was a helluva lot of fun to watch. The kid had a great game.

      • TheRealPB

        I don’t disagree that Virtanen has had some dumb moments (and continues to) and some lazy ones as well. But it’s the absolute surety that Virtanen COULDN’T ever be better that confuses me. He has some real talent and always has — a great shot, excellent wheels, and as the broadcast mentioned many times last night, really good mobility for a big guy. CA always uses Raffi Torres as a comparable — I guess because he’s roughly the same size and scored at a similar (actually worse) rate in junior. But here’s where I think the problem of some of the prospect projection systems that CA has tried to implement is glaring — even with the weighting for eras, statistical measures can’t really account for the differences in the game nor for the actual playing styles. Torres was always a bull in a china shop and played in a pre-cap era and a pre-cap junior system a decade before Virtanen. These are really hard to compare at the best of times. But when I’ve seen Virtanen, for all of his errors, he just seems to have so much potential, in a way that I never felt about most Canucks draft picks. When I look at that draft class, I see a couple of sure fire hits — Nylander, Ehlers, Draisaitl, Ekblad, Larkin, Pastrnak — and a whole bunch of question marks. Virtanen falls into that category though trending up. Of those top ten picks in 2014, Virtanen is currently being outscored only by #2 (Reinhart with 13) and #3 (Draisaitl/McDavid’s great passes with 26). He is playing better than Ehlers and arguably Ekblad whose concussion issues are clear.

        • Dirk22

          “..the absolute surety that Virtanen COULDN’T ever be better that confuses me” – PB

          This has never been the argument and you know that, PB. Right from the start, pre-draft, it was that there were always going to be better options at #6. That obviously has held true. Find me one article that said he was going to top out in his third year. I could find you a dozen quotes saying something along the line of “it’s not that Virtanen won’t be agood NHL’er, its that he won’t be as good as so and so”.

          Virtanen has played way better this year no doubt which is great to see but to say he’s ‘playing better’ than someone like Ehlers after around 25 games as some sort of justification for the pick is laughable. If you want people to stop comparing Virtanen to the players drafted after him you need to stop with these meat-headed homer claims. Ehlers and Nylander are high level, high producing forwards who have both put up back to back 60 point seasons. When Virtanen gets close to those numbers on a consistent basis you can do the “I told you so” routine. 12 points in 26 games isn’t quite the point you’re able to do that.

          • Nuck16

            “When Virtanen gets close to those numbers on a consistent basis you can do the “I told you so” routine.”
            There’s more too it than just points. Jake’s speed gives him and advantage defensively also, and he intimidates with his huge hits. At the time of his draft, the Milan Lucic type o power forwards tyoes were in vogue.

          • DogBreath

            Good comments. IMO, what is unique about Virtanen vs others (ie, Nylander, Ehlers, Draisaitl, Ekblad, Larkin, Pastrnak) is the checking / strength / physical game he plays and the impact it has on the game. This gets somewhat lost in the world of statistical analysis as it’s harder to measure. As such its devalued and under-appreciated by the statisticians.

            At the beginning of last season, I was beginning to wonder whether he was entering bust territory. Green did great work in Utica and again last year with him. It’s still too early, but you can see that that investment in him may be paying off.

            Side thought … from the list mentioned above, Draisatl isn’t worth his contract, Nylander won’t be worth his and hopefully Ekblad’s concussions don’t derail him. Pastranak was a find in the late round, and if I’m not mistaken Larkin was too. With the context Jake’s not looking too bad at this stage.

          • TheRealPB

            Are we going to get into this again where you start in on me about comments I haven’t made? My point wasn’t that he was the best pick at that spot — objectively there were superior picks to be made including Nylander, Ehlers, and Larkin we could have gotten, a point I acknowledged. My actual argument was not about his draft position, it’s about the repeated claim that he has no hockey sense. I’m not going to trawl through the CA posts to find exact quotes but it’s a position that’s been often repeated here. My point isn’t that he was the best choice at that slot, it’s that a) it’s too early to be writing him off as a bust (much as it’s too early to be saying that some of the others are guaranteed to be world-beaters on a consistent basis), and b) that it doesn’t make sense to suggest that he CAN’T improve. Stop pretending I’m making arguments that I am not.

          • Defenceman Factory

            JD Burke was quite consistent in his view of Virtanen. He always hedged his bets by never definitively ruling out the chance Jake could be an impact player but it was clear he never expected him to. Here are a couple quotes from around the start of last season.

            A successful season for Virtanen is still probably a 20 goal, 20 assist year with great underlying shot numbers. That’s probably what peak-Virtanen will resemble.

            In the absolute best case scenario where almost everything goes right for Jake Virtanen from this point onward, I could see him developing into a player similar to what David Booth was in his all-too-brief prime before injuries rendered him ineffective.

            At the end of the day, Virtanen is the same player to me today that he was when the Canucks drafted him — someone with high-end third line upside who could develop into a player like Raffi Torres in his prime.

          • Dirk22

            If Virtanen puts up 20 goals, 20 assists on a consistent basis are you saying you wouldn’t take that?!

            What do you see Virtanen getting to? Will he hit Booth’s highest point total of 60? Raffi Torres hit 27 goals one year. Booth hit 30.

            You’re trotting out these quotes as some evidence Virtanen was never expected to be better. Truth is we would all be thrilled if he got to those totals.

          • truthseeker

            “…it was that there were always going to be better options at #6. That obviously has held true.”

            Always? So it was consensus that Jake was behind all those players? Nylander, and Ehlers? Nobody had Jake ranked higher than them? (what about arguably the best player in that draft…Pastrnak?)

            hmm…

            https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl-draft/the-top-30-sportsnets-exclusive-2014-nhl-draft-rankings-1-10/

            https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2106182-nhl-draft-2014-ranking-the-top-30-prospects#slide24

            https://www.isshockey.com/iss-releases-final-rankings-2014-nhl-draft-guide/

            Bob McKenzie’s list….

            You know…it’s OK to claim that there were other picks ranked ahead of him in some circles and that the canucks should have taken them, but to make statements like “always” is just revisionist history to fit your own personal narrative. Combined with your usual hindsight bias and you make it seem as if it were a universal truth which is demonstrably false. Try not to be so extreme and your argument will have much more weight.

          • truthseeker

            “…it was that there were always going to be better options at #6. That obviously has held true.”

            Always? So it was consensus that Jake was behind all those players? Nylander, and Ehlers? Nobody had Jake ranked higher than them? (what about arguably the best player in that draft…Pastrnak?)

            hmm…

            sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl-draft/the-top-30-sportsnets-exclusive-2014-nhl-draft-rankings-1-10/

            bleacherreport.com/articles/2106182-nhl-draft-2014-ranking-the-top-30-prospects#slide24

            isshockey.com/iss-releases-final-rankings-2014-nhl-draft-guide/

            Bob McKenzie’s list….

            You know…it’s OK to claim that there were other picks ranked ahead of him in some circles and that the canucks should have taken them, but to make statements like “always” is just revisionist history to fit your own personal narrative. Combined with your usual hindsight bias and you make it seem as if it were a universal truth which is demonstrably false. Try not to be so extreme and your argument will have much more weight.

          • Freud

            lol

            Dirk, you’re hurting a lot of feelings here.

            The siss boom bah crowd needs to make endless lies, justifications and rationalizations to keep themselves from feeling bad.

          • Dirk22

            truthseeker – the reason there was so much content put out in the lead up to the 2014 draft was BECAUSE Virtanen was ranked ahead of those guys by some people! It’s not like there were articles saying “Don’t draft Hunter Smith, draft Ehlers!”

  • Beer Can Boyd

    Ilya Kovalchuk, 3 years,$18.75 million. Makes Erikssons deal look like a Black Friday special. OMG, how would you like to be Rob Blake explaining that to the owner now?

    • Winger Petey

      Lol – So true EC.

      Papering over the cracks again Stephan. No mention of Elias being sub 40 per cent in the circle as second line centre, again. The last seven games read 30 per cent, 31 per cent, 39 per cent, 30 per cent, 38 per cent. Terrible – there is much more to being a centre than just potting goals… the kid needs to be played as a winger like Patrick Laine, as he was in Sweden and as he IS for his country. Don’t be fooled by Benning trying to save face.

      Take off the rose-tinted specs and tell the ‘whole’ story in a fair and balanced way please – or you will never get a paid gig like Drance and JD have! Class dismissed.

      • Dirty30

        And yet he gets the game winning goal on an incredible read that even the homer media couldn’t ignore.

        Watching Eriksson go up against Kopitar on some plays was like watching a Hobbit fight a cave Troll! I’m not surprised nor concerned that Petey is losing some face-offs during the longest road trip in the league.

        The winners write the history and Stephan did a great job of reporting what was important to the win.

      • Nuck16

        40% for Petey at this point in his career is very acceptable. He weighs 165. A 210 lb seasoned veteran should be embarrassed to lose a draw to him. He’ll be over 50% with 3 years experience and 15 more lbs. He didn’t take any draws last year.

      • Cageyvet

        Oh look, same narrative, same bosom buddy with other trolls (himself as often as not), and a new name that is oh-so-cleverly on topic for his rant.

        When you add in the magic quote stockpile for those who irk him, I’m leaning more and more to our resident troll being un-bannable because he’s part of the staff. Proof may be circumstantial, but there’s a lot more of it than what exists to support the contrary view.

        • Winger Petey

          Oh dear – Cagey absolutely fuming after being totally humiliated and soundly trashed by myself and the group. Now he’s stalking and whining about Area51 type conspiracy theories – love it!

          Hey Cagey, remember when you replied to my prophetic words on Vegas early last season..

          “You heard it here first folks, LV will make the playoffs. I can’t wait to hear his commentary when that doesn’t happen and it won’t.” – Cageyvet

          Off you go Mangey, tail between legs…

          • Cageyvet

            Waiting a while for you to pull out the mangy comment…..Hockey Warrior….lol. You’re pathetic, and I have no time to waste pulling out all your failed prognostications. That was early in the season and I had a boatload of company in thinking Vegas would come down to earth. You’re wrong so often you have to change your name to attempt to gain credibility, and worse, you’re incapable of admitting you’re wrong. Ah, what the hell, it’s just trolling, even you probably don’t believe half the garbage you write.

  • Edler is the stabilizing force back there, think hard before cutting him loose.

    Kings look big and slow, and maybe a little old. (That last part could just be Willie)
    Canucks look young and fast.

    Good game, good times.