Hopefully, you caught the early start time and are reading this before all of your buddies have told you the score. The Canucks gave Jacob Markstrom a game off and Anders Nilsson occupied the net. He was brilliant. Not to be missed was Antoine Roussel getting into the lineup as well to face his former team… he wouldn’t disappoint.
Most of the game was end to end, not a lot of scoring chances and both teams were hesitant to put their team down a man. Also not lost in this game was the stellar play of one Bo Horvat. Is there anything this guy can’t do? He backchecked, he won faceoffs (obviously) and heck he scored a beauty of a goal. All in all, it wasn’t the most exciting game which was a shame and the Dallas Stars took away a victory after scoring two in the third to beat the Canucks 2-1.
BUT… let’s see how it happened.
Early on Nikolay Goldobin feeds Elias Pettersson for a 2 on 1 chance but is denied. Dallas would take a delay of game penalty at the 18-minute mark and Vancouver hit the PP. Brock Boeser skyed a shot and at that point, there still were no shots on net for the Canucks. The Canucks would get another penalty but just like the first one, no one put the puck in the net.
Roussel put himself into the game and took a slashing penalty but Anders Nilsson and the Canucks PK stood strong and killed it off. Nilsson would then make what looked like a bomb of a save which led to this:
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) December 1, 2018
Great hands, great patience, and the Canucks take the lead 1-0.
Jason Spezza would put one post and out close to the end of the period but no dice. Nilsson again is bombarded with shots and holds down the fort. Nothing doing for Dallas and the period ends.
The period was looking like Mom and Dad promising us we were getting a new puppy but we were nowhere near a pet store but then we all forgot that SPCA shop that has the best puppies and Bo Horvat got us that fluffy dog.
Shots: VAN 6 – DAL 6
PP: VAN 0/2 – DAL 0/1
Anders Nilsson would again start the period with a big stop. He’s been good to start giving up little to no rebounds. Elias Pettersson, as he does so often, springs Brock Boeser for this:
— Vanessa Jang (@vanessajang) December 1, 2018
I’ve looked through every book and instruction manual and nowhere did I find a section that had Boeser being denied there. One thing that separates Nilsson from Markstrom: no ears, no fears.
Horvat had the puck and had to hustle back after losing and made a massive backcheck to regain possession. Michael Del Zotto reminded fans he was playing and took an unobstructed 50-footer which was stopped easily, tell us something we don’t know.
Canucks go back on the PP with an Alex Radulov trip. The Canucks PP looks like a Jackson Pollock knock-off painting; looks messy and isn’t worth much at all.
Adam Gaudette upended Gavin Beyreuther which led to a fight which ended up being broken up before anyone could call it a fight. Stars go on the PP to end the 2nd.
SHOTS: VAN 17 – DAL 17
PP: VAN 0/3 – DAL 0/2
Nilsson again starts things early but denies all who enter. Horvat continues to have a dominant game with three shifts in the first three minutes of the 3rd. Jason Spezza puts the Stars down early with a tripping call and the Canucks go back on the PP.
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) December 1, 2018
They wouldn’t score.
With 9:41 to play the inevitable caught up with the Canucks:
— J.D. Burke (@JDylanBurke) December 1, 2018
coach's challenge for Vancouver
— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) December 1, 2018
THE VERDICT: good goal, meh.
Not much going on in the final frame but the anticipation of a Pettersson offering was building. Jake Virtanen had his fair share of chances today but he still couldn’t find the net.
Again, you know who was good? This guy:
— J.D. Burke (@JDylanBurke) December 1, 2018
As the game was coming to a close, the Canucks started in deep in their own zone and Jamie Benn decided to take the lead on this play:
— Sportsnet 650 (@Sportsnet650) December 1, 2018
JPat knows what we’re all thinking:
anyone remember the 1-0 lead?
— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) December 1, 2018
Canucks pulled the goalie shortly after with a few minutes left, Boeser would take a penalty on the empty net attempt by Dallas but it wouldn’t be enough. The Canucks lose to the Stars 2-1.
FINAL SHOTS: VAN 25 – DAL 27
FINAL PP: VAN 0/4 – DAL 0/3
BRINGING THE HEAT
Pretty easy to game plan for the Canucks with a shot selection like that.
- Bo Horvat scored his 11th of the season and only his second goal on home ice this year.
- Anders Nilsson was impressive for most of the game and he can’t be faulted too much for the two goals that got past him. Today’s game presented his 3rd-best SV% of the year out of eight games with a .926 outing. He deserved better, plain and simple.
- Pettersson had the moves today but couldn’t find the score sheet. Both he and Brock Boeser had a few chances on the PP but it looks like a trainwreck right now and it doesn’t feel like it can be salvaged anytime soon.
- Vancouver has 2 wins in 14 games. They took a few to OT but all in all, they’re losing. Even Dekey Pete can’t fix this team by himself. The boring Minnesota Wild will most likely be a challenge, as well.
- Back to the PP discussion; it is so predictable and even with two elite shooters the distribution just isn’t on point. Travis Green has to find a way to make it relevant again because it’s falling fast.
The Canucks played another Willie Desjardins inspired game and at the end, and it showed. They don’t have the big horses to force out opponents top players and once again, a pretty good goaltending effort was wasted. It wouldn’t surprise me if there was a minor shakeup before the next game against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.
This team needs healthy bodies but they need players to step up and take charge. Bo Horvat and Elias Pettersson can’t do it all. This one isn’t quite forgettable but it wasn’t one to remember.