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CanucksArmy Post-Game: The Best of Shotgun Jake

The Canucks had their undefeated streak ended in their last game, falling victim to a messy, stupid matchup against the Tampa Bay Lightning and the entirely-inhuman Andrei Vasilevskiy.

In an absolutely blessing of a gift from the gods, though, the team was delivered a complete shitshow of an opponent for their follow-up game on Thursday night, getting the downward-spiralling St. Louis Blues to finish off and show that yeah, this team may actually have turned the corner for real now.

This game had it all: a disastrous defense strategy in the opening period, an elite showing by Jacob Markström, and a two-point night for Shotgun Jake.

5-1 finish and a 6-1-1 showing over their last eight? Not too bad for the BC Boys.

THE RUNDOWN

Jacob Markström entered this game with a .904 save percentage in 25 games – and although he’s been reasonably effective over the last stretch of games, he remains frustratingly inconsistent on the year. Add in that he boasted a career .892 save percentage in all situations against the Blues, and an opening period in which Vancouver got outshot 15-5 could have gone incredibly poorly.

From the start, though, it was clear that this was one of those games where Markström was going to be totally dialed in. He kept the team in the game through the first 20 minutes, keeping the game scoreless and letting Jake Allen and Vancouver’s offense take care of the rest of the game.

St. Louis would get held to just three shots in the second period, but their bigger concern was the offensive onslaught they faced.

Although the visitors were able to kill off their first penalty of the period, an interference penalty for David Perron just over five minutes into the period gave Bo Horvat the perfect opportunity to capitalize on a beautiful power-play sequence to open up scoring. The once and future captain initiated a cycle play from the outside down low, then slowly moved to the net front while Boeser passed to Edler, then Pettersson – who was able to fire from the right point for a tap-in on Allen’s doorstep.

It then took, I kid you not, less than a minute for Jake Allen to implode on himself (in fairness, following a defensive implosion by the team in front of him). After Adam Gaudette’s shot from the low point got bounced back out in front, the 22-year-old followed through, pulled the puck across the crease, and managed to jam one in on Allen’s right side for the 2-0 tally.

Props to Gaudette for walking Joel Edmundson like that, but shame on Allen for that narrow butterfly and letting that one past.

In any case, the Blues managed to enter the third period down just two goals, but Vancouver really turned on the jets in the final frame with three goals for and only one Vladimir Tarasenko tally against. Frankly, we can forgive Markström this one:

Props to Jake Virtanen for having as many goals this year as Tarasenko, which says as much about how much fun he’s been having (and Canucks fans everywhere in the process) as it does about how absolutely turrible the Blues have been.

Case in point. Woof:

In any case, the Canucks saw St. Louis give it the old college try in the third, outshooting them 12-10 through the final 20 in an attempt to stop the bleeding. But between Markström’s night and whatever was happening on Jake Allen’s end, Vancouver took home a pretty decisive win to tide them over until they face Winnipeg on Saturday.

THE BEST OF THE TWITTERVERSE

If you aren’t absolutely howling at this, we’re on such drastically different wavelengths that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to reach you.

THE SHOTGUN

Brother Virtanen! #BlessUp

Finally, my favorite:

Girl, hit me up. I’ll be in Vancouver for the draft in June. Let’s do this.

  • At 17-17-4 right now the Canucks are 1 pt back of the last wild card spot though the whole league seems to have games in hand on us. They’re certainly making This year’s fun-to-watch ride more than interesting. One more 6 game road trip coming up and then most of the rest will be a Rogers Arena. Did I hear the crowd chanting, “Shotgun Jake, Shotgun Jake,” after his goal tonight?

  • Thanks for a fun and entertaining post-game write-up. Lots of smiles in Van these days! Just wanted to pass along kudos to two Canucks whom I’ve panned in the past and had little hope for in the present or future. Nevertheless, they are visibly playing so much better this year. Guddy and Louie. Solid contributions from them, among others.

    • Count me among those who had little to no hope for Louie that are happy to see him do better. Her’s still no where near worth that contract but that’s more on the management than him. Having said that, Louie is playing much better these days than any player we’d get in a trade where the Canucks would retain salary. He’s lost much of his offence but is proving to be a very reliable defensive player that is helping to mask our defensive warts. I suppose if upgrades to defense are either not available, don’t fit with the rebuild, or are too expensive then placing a heavy emphasis on team defense is here you have to go. Kudos to Travis Green for identifying that and putting guys like Louie in a role where he can be useful!

  • In fairness to the hate you’ve gotten on the site before Cat, your previous game day recaps sometimes dripped with sarcasm and thinly-veiled contempt for the team and at other points were based on games you hadn’t actually watched so maybe that explains the criticism…this, on the other hand, was a really good recap so my thanks.

    Edler needs to by Markstrom a nice Xmas gift to make up for the boneheaded icing that led to the goal (not to mention that somehow he, Tanev and two forwards let Tarasenko waltz out from the corner and weave through them for that goal). Luckily the Blues also had a pointless icing that led to the Virtanen goal. This game would have gone very differently if not for Markstrom, not only in the first but with numerous turnovers and grade A chances. You get away with sloppy play like that with the Blues, not with the Lightning or Jets so we’d better tighten it up.

    I was impressed with Pouliot right up to the point where he got walked in the third. Biega over MDZ, a thousand times. And when Baertschi comes back guaranteed that Goldobin sits. Invisible most of the game except for the play where he didn’t get it deep and Green was not about to let that go. I like the new edge that Hutton is playing with.

    • Fair enough, as long as it’s Schaller and not Goldy that gets waived. Gaunce > Schaller anyday. I’d still like to see the Goldy, EP, Virtanen line again sometime. It only lasted 2 games but I thought they looked great together. Also, that may have been Erickssons most effective game as a Canuck last night. Flying might be a bit of an exaggeration, but he looked great all night.

        • Have you watched any games that Schaller played in for the Canucks? Always behind the play, and hands of stone. Theres a reason he’s in the press box, and when Sutter and Sven come back, he’ll be on waivers. Those 123 goals from last year are an anomaly. 21 total goals in 205 NHL games. And Gaunce is on fire in Utica with 15 points in 16 games. Late bloomer, and still 4 years younger than the 1.9 million $ man.

          • He may be put on wavers but Gaunce will be plying his trade in the KHL next year. Slow, no toughness for a big man and couldn’t make a play to save his life. Wow 15 points in the AHL in the prime of his career.

  • Quite some time ago I decided I wouldn’t read artices by this writer because of blatant unfairness to Markstrom. When I saw she was doing a postgame writeup for the Canucks for the first time in a long while I decided to start reading it to see how much credit she’d give Markstrom for his recent terrific stretch of games in which he’d earned a 2.12 GAA and .923 save percentage, with the Canucks in that stretch of 8 games winning 3 games in which they’d been outshot, twice badly. (After this game his last 9 games have him at a gAA of 2.00 and save percentage of .928.)

    I learned that Cat considered that in his recent stretch he’d been “reasonably effective” and stopped reading.

    • You do realize that Marky has been streaky good in previous years then fallen thru the cracks, right? Ian Clarke seems to know when to take him out if play and he is also not getting the toughest matchups. Nilsson is keeping Marky honest by being a solid backup but don’t count those chickens just yet.

  • It would be interesting to know where we’d be right now if we didn’t got through the awful stretch of injuries. Our record this season has been outstanding when we’ve been relatively healthy.

    • Not sure why anyone would trash your comment. Where we would be is the unknowable, and there have been other factors besides health, but it’s very reasonable to assume we would be in a better, if not much better, position playoff wise.

  • How does the Eriksson contract stack up now, Canucks fans, vis-a-vis prime Chia pet Lucic’s contract? Comparisons between the two deals that once existed have now justifiably disappeared. Loui’s 30 goals seasons are probably in the rear view mirror from now on but he’s been providing sound veteran leadership and that which coaches love most: not costing your team defensively. Good on Loui and good on Green for utlilizing him as a favourable asset. Now let’s pass the Oilers in the standings once and for all.

      • 33 year-old Eriksson 7G 9A 16 P while playing a highly effective shut down role-18 minutes TOI/26 shifts per game in the last few games.
        Lucic with one goal on the season and 11 minutes of ice per game while looking like he’s 35 years old and in his last year in the league.
        Four more seasons to go with a six million dollar cap hit per season suggests this story will just keep on giving.

        • Canuck realist, AKA, PQW, Miss Burr. Your obsessive infatuation for all things Bud kinda reminds me of an 11 year old boy’s dreamy fantasy over Britt Spears. Bud must have spurned your advances with some pretty harsh words.

  • I like that set play that Virtanen scored on, multiple moving parts, there for tough to cover. Boeser scored with the same play. You have to win the face off and then every one take care of their job, but a sweet result

  • Any disdain I have for the Oilers is justified. They’re mishandling/abusing IMHO the best asset in pro hockey in McDavid. Connor is a consummate pro who never complains and carries a slug team on his back night after night. He sets a good example for all young kids to look up to, but what a waist he is on that team. I’m a huge fan of #97 obviously but outside of Draisatl, the Nuge and young prospect Evan Bouchard this organization are a bunch of Walking Dead zombies. Do you agree?