Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin -- USA TODAY Sports

Canucks Army Game Day 44 – Canucks @ Canadiens (Pettersson’s World Edition)


The Canucks are back again today after a win last night in Ottawa. Vancouver is in Montreal today to take on the hometown Canadiens so there should be a fair amount of Canucks fans in attendance. The last time these two teams met was in November and the Canadiens spoiled a perfectly good game from both Jacob Markstrom and Elias Pettersson and came away with a 3-2 road win.

Tonight is the opportunity for payback. Oddly enough, Tim Schaller was in the lineup for the last game too so maybe there is some foreshadowing (OOOooooo) or not. This is the second-last game for the Canucks on their World Junior road trip with Toronto being the final stop on Saturday.

Feasting on the East Coast teams would be a great way to ring in the New Year before returning home.

Let’s Do This!™


SNP / SN 650 / 4:00 PM


Sven Baertschi hasn’t looked out of place since his return back and with Josh Leivo’s injury last night in Ottawa, there will no doubt be some lineup changes. Sven could be reunited with Bo Horvat or he could ride the fun bus with Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser. The big question is if Tim Schaller stays and Nikolay Goldobin sits yet again.

Brandon Sutter may be a game-time decision and could put Markus Granlund on the wing with Jake Virtanen. Decisions, decisions.

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Jacob Markstrom will once again start for the Vancouver Canucks and will be backed up by Mike McKenna. Next game though, you’ll have to wait and see…

Lines are still to be determined as Josh Leivo has been placed on IR and the Canucks haven’t had a morning skate.

Canucks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

LW C RW Forwards
Antoine Roussel

Rating: 71.8#79 LW

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Bo Horvat

Rating: 76.1#44 C

Loui Eriksson

Rating: 71.1#94 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 72.99#31 FL1
Josh Leivo

Rating: 73.0#51 LW

Elias Pettersson

Rating: 77.7#34 C

Brock Boeser

Rating: 82.5#3 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 77.74#3 FL2
Sven Baertschi

Rating: 74.0#40 LW

Markus Granlund

Rating: 70.7#150 C

Jake Virtanen

Rating: 71.8#79 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 72.13#13 FL3
Tim Schaller

Rating: 70.4#105 LW

Jay Beagle

Rating: 67.9#189 C

Tyler Motte

Rating: 69.3#108 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 69.22#29 FL4
Alexander Edler

Rating: 75.6#22 LD

Chris Tanev

Rating: 72.0#55 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 73.79#21 DL1
Ben Hutton

Rating: 70.6#107 LD

Erik Gudbranson

Rating: 68.8#103 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 69.69#31 DL2
Derrick Pouliot

Rating: 70.3#114 LD

Troy Stecher

Rating: 71.9#58 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.09#16 DL3


Andrew Shaw is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

The Canadiens most likely won’t shake anything up after a win on New Year’s Eve.

Carey Price, he of injury-plagued career, is scheduled to return tonight to face the Canucks. Oh good. Would be a great night for the Canucks power-play to get some big shots from both sides.

Canadiens lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

LW C RW Forwards
Tomas Tatar

Rating: 76.2#22 LW

Phillip Danault

Rating: 75.4#48 C

Brendan Gallagher

Rating: 77.8#21 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 76.49#19 FL1
Jonathan Drouin

Rating: 75.4#49 LW

Max Domi

Rating: 73.6#68 C

Paul Byron

Rating: 75.5#36 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 74.80#12 FL2
Artturi Lehkonen

Rating: 74.7#33 LW

Jesperi Kotkaniemi

Rating: 73.8#62 C

Joel Armia

Rating: 72.0#74 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 73.49#7 FL3
Kenny Agostino

Rating: 73.3#47 LW

Michael Chaput

Rating: 67.9#190 C

Nicolas Deslauriers

Rating: 70.6#95 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.59#17 FL4
Mike Reilly

Rating: 71.1#93 LD

Shea Weber

Rating: 79.4#10 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 75.24#16 DL1
Jordie Benn

Rating: 72.2#64 LD

Jeff Petry

Rating: 77.0#19 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 74.58#8 DL2
Brett Kulak

Rating: 72.2#66 LD

Victor Mete

Rating: 71.8#59 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.98#10 DL3


  • One of the newest additions to Canucks Army was already dropping some heat last night. The Canucks didn’t fare quite as well as Växjö but they got the same output from EP40. Thanks, Alex!
  • Pettersson’s hat-trick was pretty special and it will be only a matter of time before he puts back another. His last 15 games don’t have him in the Top-5 in scoring, although Connor McDavid obviously is, Pettersson’s 20 points are tied for 11th best overall. His SH% is a healthy 28.1 in that time and along with five of his seven GWG, he’s finishing games too!
  • Why stop now? Pettersson is lethal at 5v5. He has an iSH% of exactly 26%. Our Jackson McDonald pointed this out the other day via Reddit but he’s still getting it done. How is that possible?
  • Nikolay Goldobin is still sitting 10th on the Canucks in CF% with 48.1, not great but when he’s on the ice he’s ahead in the shot game more than most. The assists can’t be discounted too much IMO as his setup game is pretty impressive and has netted results.
  • Jacob Markstrom has only faced the Canadiens four times in his career and his numbers aren’t stellar. He does have a win to speak of and a .911 SV%. Other than that, it’s not good. His game has changed a lot from even November so it will be interesting to see what Markstrom shows up tonight.


Vancouver will be in tough against the Canadiens again tonight. The win versus the Sens had all the makings on paper of a great game but it just didn’t feel like a 40+ shot kind of game. The Habs aren’t the Senators which means the Canucks will have to be disciplined offensively and not squander away chances for a team that gives them away just a bit less than the Canucks do.

The scoring will have to flow from more players than the Pettersson line and depending on the structure of lines tonight, that may not be as big of a problem as I thought.


This is becoming uncharted territory here. Still wonder what a healthy Pavel Bure would have fetched if he wasn’t screwed around.

  • “Carey Price is scheduled to return tonight”

    Canucks have been running into hot goalies at an alarming rate. It seems like everyone has something to prove, playing against the Vancouver Canucks. Markstrom will need to put up another great effort. I also want to add that my confidence in Jacob is growing by the day.

    The clutching and clawing for points continues. Colorado, Dallas, and Anaheim are all fighting for that last wildcard spot. Even the hapless Oilers are only 3 points behind us. Canucks need to make hay while the sun shines, and that time is now.

    Go Nucks Go!

      • I just saw your comment from a few hours ago in the Goldobin thread and I responded but I’m just going to cut and paste what I just wrote, except I updated some stats for the Slovaks:

        Not sure what you’re getting at. If you are referencing Canada’s elimination from the WJC, you’re not quite getting my point in my other comment. As it stands, the WJC is a bunch of ice hockey juggernauts (i.e. Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland, USA, Czech Republic, Slovakia) and a bunch of lesser hockey countries (i.e. Switzerland, Denmark, Kazakhstan). It’s clear that Denmark and Kazakhstan are out of their league in the WJC. By eliminating those two countries, it leaves 8 countries which is the perfect number for a quarter/semi/final tourney format. Even though the Swiss have a more notable professional hockey league (NLA) than Denmark and Kazakhstan, it’s still not in the same level of professional / club hockey as the other 7 countries.

        I never said that the Swiss are “pushovers”, those are exclusively your words, not mine. But if you were to power rank the the remaining countries (Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland, USA, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Switzerland), I can guarantee you that Switzerland will be dead last on every list. If you look at the number of drafted players by country, you will find the following:

        Canada – 6,090 players
        USA – 2,405 players
        Sweden – 697 players,
        Russia – 620 players
        Finland – 439 players
        Czech Republic – 435 players
        Slovakia – 169 players (of which 35 players have played 200+ NHL games)
        Switzerland – 76 players (of which only 10 have played 200+ NHL games)

        Based on history (WJC results, NHL draft picks, etc.), you will see that the other 7 countries would be significantly more competitive in an 8-team dogfight. Even lesser country like Slovakia produces NHL players at a higher rate than the Swiss.

        • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

          I would firmly agree with everything you said. Thanks for the reply here btw (I havent checked back on Halen and my discussion in the Goldy article since earlier this morning).

          I would agree that the tourney format would be greater for fans if it was only the top 8 teams as opposed to 10, but at the same time, how else can teams 9-12 or whatever (the Germanys, the Swiss, the Khazaks, ect.. get any better unless they face the top competition out there right? This argument has been given time and time again, but I just don’t know if I buy it completely. I say that cause when you look at the womens tourney (s), for more than 20 yrs now, its been Canada & the US as 1 & 2 and the rest of the female hockey playing world as ridiculously distant 3rds. I havent seen very much ‘progress’ on their parts from regularly having their butts handed to them with 10-0 scores year in and year out at the hands of the americans & canadians.

          Admittedly, I was being a bit of an a $$ in my Swiss comment to you only cause I obviously misinterpreted your comment.

          Thanks again for responding. Enioy the game btw Go Canucks Go

          • I can’t see how having smaller, less hockey-centric countries can compete. It’s like saying Canada can be a better soccer nation but participating more in international play. Getting better international competitors is more of a factor of culture change and more resources towards youth. For Canada to win at the Winter Olympics, we had the government dump tons of money into the Own The Podium program. I don’t see a reason for smaller foreign nations to do so in ice hockey. In anything, if you want to be more inclusive and fair, make the tournament bigger and include more Japans, Belaruses, and weaker teams so they can play each other. The current field is 4 juggernauts plus a lamb for slaughter in each division. It’s embarrassing, I hated watching the Canadian fans cheer at the Danish game because we knew we were going to destroy them, it was merely a matter of how much. That’s one thing that I will respect Bettman for, his insistence on league parity via the salary cap has made the game a lot more fair and interesting to watch.

  • Norwhereman

    Petey is now a target. He was roughhoused in Ottawa. Dzingel punched him twice in the head when he was without a stick and took a holding penalty. When players do that they need to be buried.

    • Bud Poile

      Boeser,Goldolbin and/or Baertschi are never going to enforce disciplinary retribution for Petey.
      So,mgmt. and the coach aren’t addressing it or don’t care.

      • steviewire

        Yes that is true, they are not. Unfortunately tough guys with the hands and vision to play on that line are very rare. Unless someone like Gadjovich or MacEwen is able to step, up the only hope is to punish them on the powerplay like the Sedins did

    • Beefus

      Michael Ferland might be the answer to play on Pettersson’s wing. Rumour has it that he may be available from Carolina and I believe that he’s a UFA after this season.

  • DJ_44

    Nikolay Goldobin is still sitting 10th on the Canucks in CF% with 48.1, not great but when he’s on the ice he’s ahead in the shot game more than most. The assists can’t be discounted too much IMO as his setup game is pretty impressive and has netted results.

    One should also take into consideration that Goldobin has rarely been on the ice in the last 10 minutes if the Canucks are leading …… the game situation where one expects the other team to be throwing everything at the Canucks. Do you think there might be a correlation between that and semi-favourable shot metrics?

    • The NHL’s advanced stats show Goldobin is running a negative shot differential (Corsi and Fenwick) in all situations (around 47-49%). Even though he’s better than most Canucks, it’s still bad that he’s getting outshot on an absolute scale. But what’s worse is that when he’s on the PP, he has the 3rd highest TOI (111 mins) but the 6th high shot total (11 shots). On a shots per minute basis, he’s not shooting as much as other players on the PP, nearly everyone on the PP shoots more than him.

      • What bizarre claims to make.

        Corsi Rel is much more useful in evaluating individual play than absolute possession metrics, because absolute possession metrics are heavily influenced by teammate play and coaching systems. Corsi Rel tells you how a player performance relative to other players in the same system, with the same teammates.

        And of course Goldobin is shooting the puck less than his teammates on the powerplay, he’s playing the role of playmaker and dishing to Boeser and Pettersson. Were you concerned when Henrik never shot the puck because he was passing to Daniel and Kesler?

        • Actually, I was concerned about Henrik not shooting because that meant he wasn’t a threat to score. I’ve said it in the comments before. That means the goaltender won’t play the shot and expect the pass. Why make the PP more predictable? This is why I also love Pettersson, he’s a threat to shoot or pass so the goaltenders can’t cheat. It shouldn’t be a surprise that Henrik’s best season won him the Art Ross when he scored a career high 29 goals that season.

  • Kanuckhotep

    MONT, BUF and the Canucks are merging youth-oriented teams that are proving to be hard to play against, ergo my trepidation about facing off against the Habs this evening. These young teams scare me more than veteran teams but if they can solve Price and Petey continues to be, well Petey, we can stay in the hunt in the West. No cake walk here.

  • wojohowitz

    I`m seeing something alarming that was there in Jersey, Ottawa and now Montreal. The message these teams are getting is to play the Canucks using physical abuse, intimidation, head hunting and cheap shots and there will be no push back. Was that a pitchfork on Pettersson or a knee strain? I`m still seeing Bennett trying to run over Pettersson and now they are all doing it – even the rookie Katkaniemi.

      • DJ_44

        “almost threw him down”

        Again with the drama. It sucks he got injured; it was maybe an interference penalty for hooking. The rest was hockey. Hutton was right there; if it was egregious, he would have lumbered his head. The injury was more of a freak play where the blade catches wrong.

        • Bud Poile

          Another player that Petey schooled moments before.
          Hook him,grab his jersey,throw him down.
          No puck around ,just a hockey play as was his butt end to Granlund’s face and his dive.

      • steviewire

        If the refs called every obstruction penalty against a superstar, the Oilers would spend half the game on the powerplay. Hitchcock had a point about the Canucks interfering with McDavid when he didn’t have the puck.
        Green knew that play should have been a penalty but, he’s smart enough to keep his mouth shut. Referees hate being publicly called out.

    • Nuck16

      Interference resulting in an injury should be a suspension, but highly doubtful..maybe a fine.
      The Benn trip on Petey on the breakaway should have been a penalty also with a review. Try hacking a guys leg out going full speed into the boards…that would be 5 and game and a suspension. Going full speed into the post shouldn’t be any different…very dangerous play.

    • truthseeker

      typical self loathing canuck fan attitude. How bout just shut up and wait to hear what it actually is. but no….you’d rather make a stupid comment like that so you can feel good about yourself if it actually comes true.

      • Puck Viking

        You might want to look up what self loathing means.. its essentially everything you just wrote..

        Why dont you go cry some more?? How does your mom put up with your constant crying? She must spend a huge amount on tissues.

        A hockey player will miss time with an injury your life will never be the same.

    • Bud Poile

      Kotkaniemi with the dive on Granlund with eight minutes left.
      He becomes my number one target of hate after taking out Petey and then pulling this dive.
      Somebody grow a pair and punch this twerp out.