Vegas Golden Knights vs Vancouver Canucks Post Game Recap: Struck Down In Their Castle

The Rundown

After a pretty rough offensive showing last game against the NHL’s cellar dwellers, the Vancouver Canucks hosted the Vegas Golden Knights who had been on a bit of an upswing since their defenseman Nate Schmidt returned to their lineup. The Knights were going to be a tough task for a Canucks team that has struggled to play well in the opening frame. Vancouver came in with only 1 first period goal in their last 7 games, meanwhile, the Knights scored in the opening 5 minutes in all 4 contests against the Canucks last year. This one had the potential to get away from Vancouver early.


1st Period

The Canucks had some trouble with the Knights early on in the game, as they struggled to keep pace with Vegas’ speed. 3 minutes in, and the Knights pressure turned into something, as Alex Biega was called after he interfered with Daniel Carr. The Knights went to their 1st power-play of the game.

The Canucks penalty kill was up to the task, and they wouldn’t have to kill off the full 2 minutes. Tyler Motte came onto the ice and created some havoc short-handed when he came down the wing and applied pressure onto Marc-Andre Fleury. This forced the Knights’ Colin Miller to take him down and take a penalty, which terminated the Knights power-play with 26 seconds left on their man advantage.

After the 26 seconds of 4 on 4 action, the Canucks started their 1st power-play of the night. The boys in blue were able to create a couple of nice chances, which included a dangerous Bo Horvat one-timer, but they couldn’t get one past the Knights red-hot goaltender, and both teams would see their power-plays drop to 0 for 1 early on.

The Canucks started to heat up around the 8-minute mark of the period. The line of Brendan Leipsic, Horvat, and Sam Gagner hemmed the Knights in their own zone for over a minute, which led to a Vegas icing. After the icing, Nikolay Goldobin, Elias Pettersson, and Brock Boeser all stepped onto the ice. They didn’t get a great start to their shift, but just under 10 minutes in we’d see some magic. A play eerily similar to the Canucks road win versus the Los Angeles Kings, Pettersson stole a Vegas pass and enter the Vegas zone. Unlike the Kings game, he was mauled to the ice, but as he fell he fed a no-look behind the back pass to Boeser in the slot, and Boeser hammered it home to give the Canucks a 1-0 lead.

The Knights were pesky, however, and 14 minutes into the frame the reigning western conference champions responded. After a good shift that followed a Canuck’s icing, William Carrier had the puck bounce off his skate and in to knot the game back up at 1.

Jake Virtanen, who was demoted to the 3rd line at the start of the game, got a great chance with just under 5 minutes to play in the first. After he received a pass, he chipped it by Nick Holden and came in on a breakaway. Marc-Andre Fleury stood tall and forced Virtanen away from the goal with an old-school poke that kept the game tied at 1. That was the last great chance of the period, but a fantastic opening frame for the Canucks against a team that came in notorious for strong early starts.

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2nd Period

Another rough start to the period for the Canucks as they’d be down a man 2 minutes into the period when Carr created a quality scoring chance. Carr took the puck and try to wrap it around Markstrom, but Markstrom made the stop with his pad. However, Troy Stecher hit Carr up top with his stick and gave Vegas the man-advantage. On the Vegas power-play, Max Pacioretty was fed in a prime scoring area by Riley Smith. Pacioretty made no mistake, as he deposited the chance past Markstrom’s blocker to make it 2-1 Vegas 3 minutes into the middle frame. 

4 minutes into the period and the Canucks received their 2nd power-play after Holden held Loui Eriksson in the neutral zone. The Canucks fired 4 shots on their power-play, which included great chances from Pettersson, Horvat and a few bombs from Boeser, but they can’t put one past Fleury and their power-play dropped to 0 for 2.

The game slowed down for the next 5 minutes, as both teams fought hard through the second period. Our next quality chance came off the stick of Motte, as he rushed down the wing and got a few good shots on Fleury, but Fleury stood tall.

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Last notable event of the period was a huge hit thrown by Biega on Carrier, but the Canucks couldn’t get a shot past Fleury in the middle frame to tie it up. Not for lack of chances, however, as they outshot the Knights 24-20 but trailed by 1.


3rd Period

Another poor start plagued the Canucks to start the 3rd period, the only difference was that Vegas struck. A minute in and the Knights saw a rush into the Canucks’ zone end when Pacioretty beat Markstrom short side to make it 3-1 Vegas.

The Canucks didn’t back down, and their resiliency paid off with a goal 3 minutes into the frame. Horvat rushed down the far side and placed a shot perfectly off of Fleury’s pad. The rebound kicked right to Alex Edler who put it home to make it 3-2 with his first goal of the season.

The Canucks pressure almost led to the equalizer 6:30 minutes in when Leipsic hustled hard and stripped Fleury of the puck behind the Knight’s goal, but he hit the post on the wraparound attempt and the Canucks still trailed by 1.

All the hard work finally paid off, and the Canucks eventually tied up the hockey game! Another hard-nosed play from Horvat started the play, as he dug the puck from behind the goal line from the Vegas defenders. Gagner found the puck and threw it cross-ice to an open Boeser who redirected it off Fleury and in. It wasn’t officially ruled a goal right away, but after a quick review the call on the ice was a good goal, and the game was all square with a little over half a period remaining.

12 minutes into the game and the Canucks got a great opportunity after Alex Tuch interfered with Edler behind the play. The Vancouver power-play had 7 shots through 2 power-plays up to this point and looked on track to give the Canucks the lead.

However, disaster struck the Canucks, and the Knights scored on the Vancouver power-play. Smith would somehow get a breakaway, but Ben Hutton made a great play to disrupt the chance after he hustled hard on the back-check. The puck rolled to the corner, and the Canucks 2nd power-play unit all seemed to overskate the puck, as each skater waited for someone else to collect it and send it up ice. This mental lapse led to a 2 on 1 chance for the Knights, and Smith eventually fed William Karlsson for a tap-in 13:30 minutes in…

Ultimately, the late shorthanded goal was the difference maker. The Canucks never found their stride in the last 6 minutes, and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-3… The Canucks 10th loss in their last 11 games…


Advanced Stats

Both photo’s courtesy of Naturalstattrick.com


Wrap Up

This loss hurt as a fan who watched the game and was impressed with how the boys fought throughout. However, what an awful goal to give up when you’re tied late in the 3rd period. Absolute embarrassment from Goldobin, Leipsic, Markus Granlund, Eriksson, and Hutton to allow that play to develop as it did. A couple of other points from the game down below.

Brock Boeser came out with a vengeance tonight. It was a blast to see him break out like he did tonight. A terrific performance, and he’s got 6 points in his past 3 games played to prove he’s still the player that lit the lamp last season.

Elias Pettersson’s pass to Boeser on his first goal was another highlight reel moment in a rookie season full of them. He’s just so good, and it was a pleasure to watch him put on a show. He was worth the price of admission tonight. Hard not to gush about him.

Jake Virtanen and Adam Gaudette both had moments tonight where they looked great on the rush. Virtanen’s breakaway chance was a thing of beauty but ultimately couldn’t make the move quick enough to beat a top-tier goaltender like Fleury. Gaudette had a couple of nice looks throughout the hockey game, and I saw his shot handcuff Fleury on a few occasions. Been a while since we’ve all had a chance to #shotgunjake, but Virtanen could’ve had a few tonight with the way he played.

On the injury front, Edler didn’t play the final 4:30 minutes of the game after he took a nasty hit from Ryan Reaves. The Canucks have lost their past 2 of 3 with Edler in the lineup, they absolutely can’t afford to lose him again for another long stretch. I hope he’s back in time for Saturday. Also, this hit was truly awful. If this doesn’t get looked at by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, then they’re not doing their jobs.

A rough loss for the Canucks tonight, but overall a strong effort. The game came down to poor mistakes at the wrong time, and the team couldn’t overcome them. 

EDIT: My tense use lately hasn’t been up to snuff. I went back and re-read/edited the article as of 3:00 pm PST Nov. 30/2018. To all who’ve been offering constructive criticism and supported not just my writing, but the writing of all the staff here at canucksarmy.com I’d like to personally say, thank you.

  • canucker

    long time reader, first time to post. Good effort by the boys tonight, entertaining, and we are getting closer to a high pick for next year! I just hope the morale stays high with canucks and the effort stays there.

  • wojohowitz

    Leipsic is probably toast after that performance. I`m don`t know why Green likes Granlund`s game so much. He`s gritty but his work on the PK is weak and he`s not a particularly effective center – but Green likes him.

    • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

      Agreed, even in a 4th line role almost exclusively all year, Granlund is still underwhelming to say the least. Not enough ‘try’ with him.

  • Kanuckhotep

    Edler plays for the Vancouver Canucks, dude, and the league just doesn’t care. It’s true. Fifty years following these guys will tell one that. There’d be an immediate crucifixion staged if you did this to a Leaf, Hab or Bruin. Wouldn’t lie to you.

    • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

      Similar to the outdoor game when Crosby got “accidentally on purpose” beaned in the head by that Washington Capitals player.

      I read the other day that Canucks havent been the recipient of a single double minor/major penalty so far this season… Would be nice to see Brockstar & EP40 absolutely torch another team for a few goals on an extended PP.

  • 51Geezer

    Once again…
    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.”
    I suggest that when you review your piece you replace every “would” (and “it’d”) unless you are writing about the future.

    • Hockey_Warrior

      See, this is what happens when a writer bows down to these nameless, faceless nobodies like 51 Geezer and Goon who seem to get a kick out of pulling Cole up on his FREE work.

      Grammar and editing is the job of CA staff and NOBODY ELSE, so all you sad grammar police need to crawl back under your rocks and mind your own… don’t like it, DON’T READ IT.

      Doing a great job Cole, take NO notice of these clowns and don’t let the [email protected] grind you down.

      • 51Geezer

        I read Cole’s work because I enjoy it. I am not getting kicks from insulting people.
        It is my impression that (most) CA writers are learning their craft, and can benefit from constructive criticism. I apologize if I offended you, Cole.

        • That’s the spirit in which everyone who has commented on Cole’s writing has made such comments. I’ve made those comments too, as have several other people – all have been polite, and constructive, and all have gone unheeded. It’s disappointing.

          Ignore Hockey_Warrior. He’s our resident troll. He made another account (roughly his 50th) so he could upvote his own comment and talk about how his dad thinks he’s cool. He’s sub-human colostomy bag who exists only to spew filth all over the comments section – don’t take any notice of him.

        • Wanda Fuca

          I didn’t think your comments were offensive or insulting; replacing every “would” as used here is good advice for anyone who aspires to become a writer. As for the first comment under yours, disregard. This has become a toxic site, with rampant trolls hurling their garbage and complicit or apathetic admins condoning it by their silence and refusal to take action. Disgraceful.

          • pheenster01

            ‘toxic’?! a bit like your twitter page then Chrissy. You hardly ever come here since being outted and humiliated so your ‘opinion’ is actually as empty as your words bro. This site has never been more popular or fun to be a part of. Love it or in your case… leave it.

      • Darcy 19

        I was actually saying the same thing to my dad who is an English tutor and he agreed. Surely it’s not the job of commenters to criticise the writing here. Dad said it’s just small-minded people trying to feel better about themselves by belittling others. I totally agree with that.

        • truthseeker

          Give me a break. It’s not “small minded” to expect a basic level of skill in any endeavor. This idea that everything is “valid” just because someone chooses to do it, is absolutely ridiculous.

      • I am Ted

        HW, why don’t you shut the hell up and die. People can express their opinions so shut your goddam mouth. You’re pretty mouthy from behind your screen

        I’m sorry but if you’re trying to become a professional then fix your grammar issues. Seriously. That asshat, Butthole Burke, can’t even spell his last name (hence why he uses the J.D.). Now this Cole character who has an ok article here but it loses marks for having that idiot Butthole in the body of the composition. Stop referring to that doche, please.

        Otherwise, CA is decent enough to visit IMO 🙂

      • It’s not people trying to purposefully bring me down. Most of these commenters are trying to help me fix a fundamental flaw in my post-game recaps that can’t continue if I want to become a professional writer (which, I do). I understand there will be trolls who purposefully come out and try to bring me down, but these folks aren’t part of that crowd. I’ve also received great support from the CA staff, who have lived with these errors as I try to fix my fundamentals and improve my work.

        Now, in saying this I do appreciate your attempt in trying to keep me upbeat and positive about the work. I don’t hate the content that I’m churning out, I just hate the number of grammatical mistakes I seem to miss on an unfortunately consistent basis. I’m not looking to be the Derrick Pouliot of the writing world, trying to be the Quinn Hughes.

        • I am Ted

          So are you also going to stop using that moron, Butthole Burke, in your pieces? I understand he probably did you and other bloggers a ‘solid’ before he left but the sight of him is sickening (and he’s kinda ugly). He is a weasel and dragged this site into the muck. I will be done with this site if I have to keep seeing references made to him.

    • The sad thing is, I’m not trying to ignore any of you and have gone back to the comments to re-read and try and figure out why I’m missing all of these. To all of you who have been offering constructive criticism, I don’t want to make it seem like I’m ignoring you guys. I do wish to fix these issues, and the fact I’m still missing these issues through my edits is nothing short of bothersome. If it’s truly as simple as removing ‘would’ from the vocabulary that I’ve used throughout, then I hope to have these pieces ironed out in short order.

  • Holmes

    Figured out Benning’s secret plan – play Markstrom – .897 save percentage, 50th worst in the league. Boys will play some entertaining hockey, the young guns can still develop but the team will be guaranteed a top 5 pick with angry Jake as their starter. Guy is awful.

    • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

      If Markstrom was on the Flyers, he would have been put on waivers a LONG time ago. He’s just not that good. Reminds me of the circus in net from ’03-’06 before we got serious about building from the net out and got Luongo. Hopefully Demko/Dipietro will be a significantly better tabdem than Markstrom/Nilsson.

    • LiborPolasek

      Ditto on the goalie situation and for a goalie that is 6’6″ he does a good job of playing small when in net. Last night Fluery illustrated the opposite, in which he would go out further to challenge a shooter (playing bigger) on a few occassions. Perhaps Markstrom can watch a few Hasek clips to better use some of that frame and athleticism he possess’. Atleast, the games had been closed, competitve and entertianing.

  • Hockey_Warrior

    Credit to the outstanding Vegas braintrust for icing a team as good as they are from everybody elses unwanted garbage.They are going to be even better when all the draft picks have marinated and are integrated into the bigs. Text book franchise building here.

    Guys, i’m not even going to comment on the Canucks after this one… I will let Benning speak to you mugs instead…

    “This is year 2 and by our 4th (2017-18) or 5th (2018-19) I hope and expect that we are right there with the elite teams in the league” – Jim Benning

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

    “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

    Keep waving those JB pom poms and making lame excuses you absolute laughers.

    • Gino's 3rd Cousin

      “Guys, i’m not even going to comment on the Canucks after this one.” Please follow this claim. Just stop. Go get some exercise. Make a friend. Hug your mom.

  • DJ_44

    Tough loss tonight. That short handed goal was just brutal, and a complete lack of game situation by all concerned (with respect to the initial chance). Liepsic has to see Hutton pinching (questionable but okay, since it was a poor back pass by Eriksson that started it).

    I actually have next to zero complaints on Hutton’s play these past 10 games. Everyone will get beat, but he has been consistently solid. Stecher has played poorly over the last 10, and over the last 5 especailly. He just cannot consistently hand bigger forwards down low or in the net. The third goal was all on him, from the panic icing to the next play. Stecher’s redeeming quality is he gets mad and tries extra hard to make up. However, he is not looking like a top 4 guy. The Canucks missed Gudbranson last night for sure.

    While unpopular, I have less and less time for Goldobin, and Liepsic for that matter. Bring up MacEwen, or Dahlen. Pump and dump on Goldy for a second or a third. Waive Liepsic as he will pass through.

    • pheenster01

      Never mind that snooze-fest recap, could you clarify these comment for us DJ…

      “I would suggest we are a lot further ahead than one year ago. Poulliot has been pleasantly surprising and can be considered free money”. – DJ_44

      “Poulliot is an NHL defenseman. Hutton is not.” – DJ_44

      mixed messages????

      • DJ_44

        PQW goes through comments over 3 years and this is what you come up with? How are those Winterhawks?

        Pouliot is an NHL defenceman. Trading a fourth was a worthwhile gamble, and they have received value. Has he struggled? Sure. Was he the one who should sit on Edler’s return? Yes, absolutely (based on recent performance).

        Hutton is what he is. I have been a massive critique of Hutton last season and the season before (well, half way into that season). It was entirely justified. He was absolutely brutal. I also give him credit where due, and it is reflected in the comment above (I liked his game yesterday). He is what he is, a bottom pair/replacement guy that, since he has committed himself to proper conditioning and simplified play, has become rather useful.

        He is better when he is playing with Gudbranson over Stecher, as Gudbranson can separate players from pucks and Hutton can pick up the pieces. That pair struggled last night, especially against hte physical Vegas forth line. Stecher struggled in a similar fashion and against a big physical Winnipeg team. It is an issue.

        • pheenster01

          Come again DJ…

          “Hutton is NOT an NHL defenceman” – DJ_44

          “He (Hutton) is what he is, a bottom pair/replacement guy that …. has become rather useful. – DJ_44 the two-faced, contradictory weasel.

          and how about this doozy DJ…

          “I do not think this Canucks team will be better served with a full re-build approach, since this approach has failed more often then it succeeded.” – DJ_44

          WTF!!! How is that working out for ya…

          • DJ_44

            and how about this doozy DJ…

            “I do not think this Canucks team will be better served with a full re-build approach, since this approach has failed more often then it succeeded.” – DJ_44

            I stand by it: the approach management has adopted has shown to be the correct approach. It was adopted TDL 2016. They are most definitely on the right track. They have the young talent now and for the futre that will allow them to be a sustained contender for a long time.

            This year is the transition.

            How are those Winterhawks doing PQW? Your defiance and disbelief at the Pettersson pick still echoes off of these wall. Live that one down.

    • You want to dump the team’s third leading scorer, who is on pace for a 50-point season and has sterling underlying numbers, for two guys who are scoring at a 50-point pace in the AHL?

      • DJ_44

        Yes. I do. I realize Goldobin has picked up assists, but he is getting prime minutes with Pettersson and PP1 time in Boeser’s absence. He has skill, but in my opinion, he does not play with the urgency or effort that is required. He does not have the type of skill the gives you a pass to give effort every play/ win every battle.

        I think he also does not realize (or is willfully blind) of when a dangerous play is developing. The shorthanded goal last night was a perfect example. He was the only weak side support with Canucks on the boards and two Knights. Rather that providing defensive support, he starts to blow the zone. It was brutal.

        His underlying numbers are incredibly deceptive.

        As for the call ups, it is for a reason. I want players that will compliment Pettersson and Boeser. MacEwen has the size, smarts, and hands to do just that. It is about fit and effort, and not the boxcars. Heck, as for a prediction, MacEwen would easily equal Goldobin’s numbers if playing on Pettersson’s left wing.

        • Chris the Curmudgeon

          Two Canucks lost a puck battle on the other side of the ice from him. That goal was not his fault. He’s been one of the best players on the team this year, and Green also clearly didn’t blame him since he was out there the very next shift. That goal is on Leipsic.

          • DJ_44

            Sure, a lot of dominos fell to cause the SH goal. Maybe it’s my bias. I want him to be good, I really do, but to call him one of the best players is a massive stretch.

            People see the highlight reels, but he is a three dress up as a nine (or a pair of sevens in this case). There is not a lot to his game, and the flaws and poor judgement is all too apparent. YMMV.

          • DJ_44

            Wow, a LOL.

            They are deceptive in a simple way; he plays with Pettersson who works very hard and will generate shots or shot opportunities. As Rasmas Dahlin said ….. give him the puck and you get an assist. Watch his play; the lost battles, the brutal turnovers; but do not get me wrong pump him hard and sell high.

          • Beer Can Boyd

            Statistics are not deceptive. They are merely statistics, math, numbers, which serve to quantify performance. This is why coaches and GM’s rely on them.

    • Gino's 3rd Cousin

      I saw that, but the entire unit broke down there. Hutton had the initial turnover and should have tried to tie up the passing option. He got caught puck watching and trying to make the intercept. Leipsic and Granlund (I think it was) also abandoned their zone before possession was gained.

    • TD

      Granlund and Leipsic should have won the puck on the wall. Either one of them rubs Smith out and they are away on offence. Moreover, Smith wouldn’t be able to break in on the 2 on 1. I’m done with Leipsic, he’s an offence guy who doesn’t provide offence. Granlund normally plays have decent defensively, but neither of them belong on a good NHL team.

  • Kootenaydude

    So if you smash a guy, who doesn’t have the puck, to the ice. There’s no call. If you gently touch him with your glove. It’s an interference call. I really consider the referees in the NHL a joke. No consistency whatsoever. Marginal Holding, interference and hooking calls always seem to happen when the refs try to even up a game. How is there no call on the hit from behind on Edler last night?

  • Dude Guy

    “Aspiring writer” You’do well to listen to the constant complaints about the tense issues in your writing. If you want to have a portfolio that you can use for anything more serious than a blog, please, think twice everytime you start to type “would”. “All the hard work would pay off” is just a unnecessarily long way to write “all the hard work paid off”

    • truthseeker

      Not to mention things like this…

      “The Canucks would get 4 shots on their power-play, which included great chances from Pettersson, Horvat and a few bombs from Boeser, but they can’t put one past Fleury and their power-play dropped to 0 for 2.”

      The idea from some here that “everything is wonderful” and nothing should ever be commented on, is unbelievably ridiculous. It’s not wrong to expect basic standards of writing even on a free blog. People aren’t grammar nazi’s for pointing out fundamental flaws.

  • birdie boy

    My only issue is with the hit on Edler, but more than the hit was the shot of reeves leaning over the boards smiling at the Canucks and no response Dear Mr Benning to much vanilla on that team another example of not enough nasty please fix it .

    • kermit

      I couldn’t tell if he was being smug or if he realized it was a dirty hit and was trying to laugh it off with his teammates. It didn’t seem like they were joining in.