Photo Credit: Bob Frid - USA TODAY Sports

Canucks Army Game Day 31 – Canucks Vs. Predators (Goldobin’s Return Edition)


Welcome back to the latest Canucks challenge. Tonight, the Canucks take on one of the hottest teams in the NHL, a team Vancouver used to be able to contain, the Nashville Predators. It’s been a long time since 2011 and since then both teams have gone in different directions. Most recently the Canucks have won just once in their last 13 games, real talk. As for the Predators, they’ve 6-4 in their last 10 games and have won their last two games.

It’s anyone’s guess as to how this could shake down but even Canucks fans that have followed this team closely know, special teams will make or break them.

Let’s Do This!™


SNP / SN 650 / 7:00 PM




Jay Beagle is back, Erik Gudbranson is back, and unless Travis Green has a vendetta against Nikolay Goldobin, he’ll be back in the lineup too! Newbie Josh Leivo might be best served with Bo Horvat and Jake Virtanen if Goldobin returns but the coach has been somewhat unpredictable during the string of losses.

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Jacob Markstrom has been off for a few games so it’s unlikely he sits a third-straight game. This one is his to lose.

Canucks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

LW C RW Forwards
Markus Granlund

Rating: 70.8#151 LW

Bo Horvat

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Rating: 76.1#38 C

Jake Virtanen

Rating: 70.6#93 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 72.50#31 FL1
Josh Leivo

Rating: 72.7#63 LW

Elias Pettersson

Rating: 75.6#42 C

Brock Boeser

Rating: 81.5#4 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 76.60#5 FL2
Antoine Roussel

Rating: 70.6#103 LW

Adam Gaudette

Rating: 71.7#125 C

Loui Eriksson

Rating: 71.4#84 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 71.22#21 FL3
Tim Schaller

Rating: 69.2#130 LW

Jay Beagle

Rating: 67.8#189 C

Tyler Motte

Rating: 69.0#111 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 68.70#31 FL4
Alexander Edler

Rating: 74.8#28 LD

Chris Tanev

Rating: 70.6#89 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 72.68#26 DL1
Ben Hutton

Rating: 70.0#118 LD

Erik Gudbranson

Rating: 68.1#107 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 69.07#30 DL2
Derrick Pouliot

Rating: 70.2#113 LD

Chris Tanev

Rating: 70.6#89 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 70.41#27 DL3


Viktor Arvidsson is out until at least Christmas with a broken thumb while P.K. Subban is on IR with an upper-body injury. Kyle Turris and Filip Forsberg are also on IR with undisclosed injuries. The Canucks look pretty good in comparison but that’s been said before and well, we know what happens anyway.

With the Canucks playing some depressing hockey as of late… October, don’t be surprised if Juuse Saros gets the net for the Predators before Pekka Rinne gets some of the harder teams as they move across Canada.

Predators lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

LW C RW Forwards
Ryan Hartman

Rating: 73.5#49 LW

Ryan Johansen

Rating: 76.8#35 C

Kevin Fiala

Rating: 76.4#26 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 75.55#25 FL1
Eeli Tolvanen

Rating: 73.7#44 LW

Calle Jarnkrok

Rating: 73.1#75 C

Craig Smith

Rating: 75.2#48 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 73.99#19 FL2
Miikka Salomaki

Rating: 69.0#133 LW

Colton Sissons

Rating: 72.5#96 C

Austin Watson

Rating: 73.0#57 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 71.50#19 FL3
Frederick Gaudreau

Rating: 70.4#105 LW

Nick Bonino

Rating: 72.1#111 C

Rocco Grimaldi

Rating: 73.0#56 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 71.83#5 FL4
Roman Josi

Rating: 82.1#1 LD

Ryan Ellis

Rating: 80.3#8 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 81.17#1 DL1
Dan Hamhuis

Rating: 72.1#68 LD

Mattias Ekholm

Rating: 77.5#11 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 74.78#7 DL2
Matt Irwin

Rating: 71.6#84 LD

Yannick Weber

Rating: 69.9#94 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 70.74#22 DL3



  • The last time the Canucks won a game that mattered was just under a month ago. That game was against the Boston Bruins, remember that? Vancouver managed to score 8 goals that game and in their last win against the Kings, they tallied four. Those have been the high-water marks for goals scored and wins. Every game surrounding those has been a loss since then. Nashville is unlikely to offer up more than a goal or two tonight and the Canucks aren’t playing a style of hockey that suggests they can even hit three goals so expect another one-goal game at best.
  • Since November 1, the last 16 games for Vancouver have not been memorable. The PK has a 66.7% kill-rate in that time, the power-play is below 18% and somehow Elias Pettersson has 6G/7A in that time. Doom and gloom may be surrounding the rookie-phenom but he can’t be held down for too long. Keep hope, friends.
  • Nikolay Goldobin, he of the healthy scratchitis, has had a rough month as well. Even though he missed the last game as a punishment for his awful play, he’ll want to point out to Travis Green that his 3G/9A in 15 games is the least of the Canucks problems. His power-play presence has also been questionable; Goldobin only has five PPP in that time which is second-best on the team behind Ben Hutton’s six. But yeah, let’s scratch him.
  • Scoring first isn’t exactly the Canucks thing these days but Brock Boeser is one of a handful of players in the NHL to have done it twice at home this season. There might need to be a bit more effort put towards getting Brock the puck and with that focus, Pettersson can start to gain some space. Boeser’s shot looks like it’s ready to ride again but his teammates need to find better ways to distribute the puck.
  • The drop to the bottom of the standings is coming hot and heavy. There are four teams in the league that have fewer wins than the Canucks and three of the four have at least two games in hand. Jack Hughes seemed like a pipe dream towards the end of October but now, now most of Canucks Nation has subscribed to the NCAA feeds online to check up on a very possible Canucks draft pick. Amazing.


Fix the special teams or the Canucks are going to be on the losing end for the foreseeable future. Change it up, focus the final shot on Boeser instead of Pettersson. Work on screens more, heck, make Goldobin the centerpiece of the top unit. It’s frustrating to see the same setup trotted out each and every time with no effort to change. Every team is focusing on Elias Pettersson and it’s clear the Canucks have done the same thing.

This team has other options but they need to exercise them or it will be the same ending once again.


    • El Cid

      Yah Yah that’s the story Yah a win Yah that’s what the Knuckleheads need …a Win…. Yah Yah I see your NONpoint there backedup bob. Oh this could get Uglier and loosy goosie than a 3 way switch at Puckheads Mothers place just outside of Calgary.

    • speering major

      Edler was straight up awful on the PP last game

      It’s really a contrast seeing the Leafs move the puck around on the PP. Get the defenders moving. The Canucks looked stagnant and methodical. Get the PK moving and working until you find/create an opening

      I’d like to see Green try Leivo with Horvat and JV before Baertschi comes back

    • bmg01

      I couldn’t agree with this more…if teams are gonna take away the Petey and Boeser shots they have to have a defensemen who can actually shoot the puck. Enter Ben Hutton. He has been great on the second PP line so why won’t Green promote him?

  • Freud

    Management passed on opportunities to rebuild for the future in order to bring in older vets on overpriced contracts.

    They were brought in to create a winning culture, teach the rookies how to compete, protect the younger players, avoid injuries, create depth and assume the defensive responsibilities such as penalty killing.

    Fail, fail, fail, fail, fail.

    • Dirk22

      This is what I can’t understand – the fans who continuously defend this management’s actions (and inaction) are the same anti-tankers who think a “competitive winning environment” is more beneficial than increasing your odds of getting elite talent.

      You would think that after being the worst team in the league for the last 3.25 seasons these fans would turn on management because they have failed to deliver that type of environment, while at the same time making really no proactive rebuilding moves. Yet it’s just more excuses for them. While I’m sure we’ll get accused of trolling, I honestly wonder what it would take for this faction of fans to demand change?

        • Hockey_Warrior

          But you told us the rebuild was completed in record time and we were ungrateful morons Dud?!… could you clarify for us…

          “The team is rebuilt and competitive within just two down years. From talent waster/franchise destroyer to rebuilt,exciting hockey squad in record time. Ungrateful morons” – Bud Poile

        • Dirk22

          Most do understand – except for Benning and yourself who stated the Canucks will be among the elite by years 4 (last year) and 5 (this year).

          The W-L record isn’t my gripe. It’s the 4.5 years of incompetent management decisions that have actually spent assets to build this last place contender.

          • truthseeker

            Except they haven’t Dirk. And you keep repeating this lie over and over again as if it’s a truth. You’ll once again bring up “all those second round picks they’ve given away” when that’s already been proven to be a lie and you know it. Unless you think a net loss of 2 second round picks = “all those”. Which is clearly ridiculous. What else did they “spend”? Jared McCann? Whoopty Doo. And that’s if I give you the argument that Gudbranson is a complete zero, which he hasn’t been this season. A strong argument could be made, at least for this season so far anyway, that Guddy has provided more value to the canucks than McCann has for the Panthers. At the very minimum no worse.

            Criticize the FA signings all you want. Fair points to some degree, but the idea that they’ve “spent assets” is total bulls….. A straight out lie.

      • Ty Webb

        The lack of “proactive rebuilding moves” is starting to get under my skin. I’ve been more patient than most through this but I’m beginning to think Linden was onto something before he got fired. I think this is the last season of leash for a lot of fans. The Canucks are on pace for another high lottery pick and they have prospect depth. The defence needs a complete over haul, they need a goaltender, and they need just a touch more high end skill in the top 6. It’s time to start making moves to get this rebuild moving in the right direction.

    • LiborPolasek

      Blah blah blah !!! Perhaps indulge the sheep(s) with your genius of what you would had done with the benefit of HINDSIGHT and better yet name a replacement(s) as if you were the GM/Owner of the Canucks…

      • Dirk22

        Where to start. How about:
        – don’t trade any draft picks
        – try to acquire a net gain of draft picks
        – don’t trade for Sutter when you have to give them more assets for the same sort of player who does not make your team better (as has been proven)
        – don’t trade for Gudbranson when it costs you a recent first rounder and a high second
        – don’t sign players like Erickson for 6 years when you say you’re ‘rebuilding’
        – don’t sign Beagle/Roussel to four year deals when they’re over 30
        – trade Tanev two years ago when he had value
        – trade Hamhuis 3 years instead of waiting until the last minute to get him to waive
        – reclamation projects are fine but mix it up a bit and look to get draft picks.

        …that’s just a start but as if these things haven’t been discussed before on here. Are you new here?


    This is a tough game to stop a streak. I hope that the team plays hard, keeps the score close so they have a shot in the 3rd period. Losing close games will build character, while giving the team a chance to pick #1 at home! Last year enjoyed watching Brock develop, this year EP! Playoffs are a long shot for sure. Find enjoyment where you can.

    • pheenster01

      … and when someone whines on a hockey blog day after f-kn day likeyou do, they shouldn’t be reading it.get a life and leave already, you won’t be missed. ever.

      • Bud Poile

        In Goldy’s last five games played he has one assist,averaging 17 minutes of ice playing with Elias Pettersson on a PP that is MIA.
        In Leivo’s last five games played he has scored three goals on seven shots.
        He did that with an average of 12 minutes of ice time per game with fourth line minutes.

          • Bud Poile

            Goldy’s a great second liner with PP2 minutes guy – as long as he has players covering him defensively. More press box time if he doesn’t start getting it.

        • Hockey_Warrior

          So you are clearly throwing Goldy under the bus and want him in the press box Dud… but wait

          “The Canucks need players that can contribute out of the gate” Bud Poile

          Bad trade then Dud , he isn’t ready to contribute, who is to blame then Dud?

          • Hockey_Warrior

            No ban here Dud, posting great debate here for years now, but abusing CA site staff is deffo a ban according to site rules… so why are YOU still here little concussed weasel?….

            “Suck my dick,yoU prick. Had enough of the PQW and Jackson’s gong show of juvenile regurgutations” Bud Poile

            Fuc(k) off, get a f’m moderator ,Jackson. – Bud Poile

            “No,dickhead. Jackson has never had a clue what goes on here on his own site.” Bud Poile

            Run along Dud, tail between legs, you foul-mouthed cowardly moron.

  • Kanuckhotep

    Tonight: Pouliot is back in and Del Zotto is out. Goldobin is back in and Schaller is out. Despite misgivings about his 3 zone play Goldy still has too much skill to sit. Just quicken your passes, #77, and don’t telegraph. You don’t have the time in this league and certainly not against the Preds.

    • Nuck16

      I’m just happy MDZ is out. Pouliot deserves another chance…they should give him 3 games and if he sucks, go with the Bull Dog until we have another injury.

  • M Bossy

    The dailyfaceoff.com feature is probably my least favourite part of CA. It’s been inaccurate so many times. In regards to today’s article, the title literally announces Goldobin’s return yet the graphic has him scratched. smh.

    • Holly Wood

      In fairness to always90four. This site just copy and pastes the lineup from dailyfaceoff.com. It’s typically the lineup from each teams last game played, but yes there is nood need for it to be on here

      • Kootenaydude

        I like it. Shows all the numbers of all the players from both teams. Helps me analyze the game. I usually rewind goals for, goals against and penalty calls. Helps me make credible comments. I think a lot of posters here don’t even watch the game. Their comments are based on written articles ….. and posts from freakin years ago.

  • Nuck16

    TD has benched the Baer a couple times past 2 seasons, though maybe the first time was Willie…and when he returned he was on fire…so maybe there’s a method to his madness and has less to do with punishing him for bad play and more to do with inspiring him to take his game to the next level.

  • truthseeker

    With less than 20% odds of winning the first pick, Jack Hughes is a pipe dream no matter where we finish. It’s amazing how many here seem to think winning the lottery is a strategy.

      • truthseeker

        That’s exactly the point. If the canucks put in a good effort every night and still finish near the bottom then fine, but that shouldn’t be about the lottery. The team we’re playing this very moment never took the “tank” route and their GM has won the most games in NHL history and has a team that’s been more consistent and deep than any in the league.

        I’ve always said the Preds are the closest team that I can think of as the “model” the canucks should be following. Sure they haven’t been perfect and haven’t won a cup yet, but they do give themselves a shot each and every year and haven’t suffered from the wild swings due to long term vets and cap problems.

        And all of this without the self loathing attitude of hoping for failure in order to get a chance at a long shot.

        Finish where you finish and make the best pick you can based on the information about the prospects you’re looking at. Hopefully you’ll hit more than you miss, because prospects are all a gamble too.

        I don’t know yet if Benning has the ability to do this. In some ways (drafting and young talent) he’s done very well. On contracts he’s been 50/50 in my opinion. He’s done well to get players like Horvat signed at good numbers and he’s not given up any NTC’s or NMC. Only Eriksson has a bit of a strong NMC on his contract. But I don’t like his term on some of the newer free agents and with this summer’s FA’s I think he went one player too many. Two of Beagle, Roussel, Schaller would have been enough. As for trades he’s more in the negative for me, but not by a lot. Some good, some bad, but he clearly hasn’t had the success that Pollie has had. But then you have to consider context. Benning has never had the depth and freedom to deal from a position of strength when making trades. Whether it’s having no forward depth to get a defender or vise versa, to having himself be handcuffed by Kesler type NTC’s. Right now I’m 50/50 on him as a GM. He’s done enough in my opinion to be allowed to see through this next stretch into next season.

          • truthseeker

            Fair point but that could be said about a lot of teams. A Vezina calibre goalie is like a number one elite center or top D man (except with a lot less trade value). Only a few teams have them. The types of players where ignorant fans say things like “We need to get a number one ______” ……as if it’s as simple as just “getting” one.

          • Bud Poile

            Markstrom played like Rinne tonight and vice-versa.
            Coming from behind near every game down a goal or two ,the team takes chances and then penalties usually creates losses.
            Vancouver has enough talent to win games and they work hard.
            Most any fan with a pulse knows the team can’t win games coming from behind most every night.
            You don’t need a Vezina finalist,but you just need a goaltender keeping you in the games-especially early on.
            We’ve seen that play out time and again,over and over – but not tonight.
            Again,Markstrom played like Rinne,was my point.
            The “ignorant fan” compliment was a nice gesture,but whatever.

          • truthseeker

            Relax….The “ignorant fan” thing was not a statement directed at you. Just a general observation of people who say things like “the canucks need to get a number one center!”, and then never provide any realistic way that can be achieved.

            And yes…I agree, it’s not necessary to have “the best” goalie in the league but at least good solid goaltending.

            I like Markstrom. I don’t complain about him much. Most nights we lose it’s not on him. But it is true he can be soft too many times and there does seem to be an issue with focus for an entire game.

            I suppose I just see him as a place holder until something better comes along. Like many on the team actually.

          • Darcy 19

            Just skimming through this thread over breakfast with dad n bro and we all almost spat our coffees out over these posts from bud poil…

            “Grant the Canucks a Vezina calibre goalie and the world is a lot rosier.”

            followed up with this a few hours later

            “You don’t need a Vezina finalist,”

            lol, dad says he thinks it could be some form of alzheimers, i would have to agree. i mean wt… too funny :-p

  • LiborPolasek

    Ditto on some. I am a long time reader that somewhat engages in the comment section. Question: would doing any of those things make the Canucks a team that will be able to beat and compete with the likes of Winnepeg, Toronto, Nashville and etc in the playoffs ? I can only assumed that a part of this management(s) plan for a soft and quick rebuild was to have a top two pick(s). But ever since JB took over he had never drafted higher than fifth and despite the lottery result he was still able to add EP & Boeser to this core. Sure there are misses but all GM’s have them as part of there resume. MAYBE with a hands off owner, lottery luck to reflect the standings and hindsight on the trades/signings the rebuild would probably be further ahead. I am as frustrated as most long time fans but there are some building blocks in place or coming that seems to indicate that it will be different starting next year ???? As for this year, I was just hoping for the team to continue to develope the core, be competitive and hopefully draft higher than fifth since the draft is going to be held in Vancouver. I do agree with others that the next few years will be very important for this management team. HOPEFULLY, the goaltending and defensive core will get some much needed overhaul for next season.

  • Killer Marmot

    Do not get your tail in a knot over a single healthy scratch. There are many reasons why this is done, not all of them having to do with a player’s performance.