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Photo Credit: Canucks / Twitter

Vancouver Canucks vs Montreal Canadiens Post Game Recap: An un-Swede Finnish in Montreal

The Canucks squeaked out a win over the Senators in OT last night as Elias Pettersson netted his first hat-trick, as I’m sure you’ve heard. It’s been a big 24 hours for the young Swede, as the rookie was also named to his first All-Star game today. EP and the Canucks travelled to Montreal today to take on a team that might be one of the league’s biggest surprises this year.

For Montreal, Shea Weber is 2nd in all situation TOI since December 1, having taken over the top pairing role from Jeff Petry. Petry, who played well in Weber’s absence, has thrived in a reduced role, leading all D-men in goals in December.

Thomas Tatar has been especially and surprisingly productive for the Canadiens, given his 60CF% while carrying a 48% offensive zone start rate.

Notably returning for the Canucks was Brandon Sutter, who slotted into the third line between Granlund and Virtanen. He replaced Josh Leivo, who left 10 minutes into last night’s game, suffering from back spasms. Leivo was placed on the IR to make room on the roster.

Michael Del Zotto also found his way into the lineup tonight for the first time since December 4th, replacing Derrick Pouliot. Del Zotto has played 21 games for Vancouver so far this year, carrying a CF% of 53.4 and a SCF% of 52 at 5-on-5.

Jacob Markstrom drew the start against surprising 2019 All-Star Carey Price.

1st Period

The returning Sutter and his linemates took their first shift a minute in against Montreal’s prolific Domi, Byron, Drouin line a minute into the game. While they pinned the puck in Montreal’s zone for a bit, Byron was able to move through the zone with speed and earned an uncontested high danger scoring chance off against Markstrom.

As the game began to open up, Elias Pettersson anticipated and picked off a pass from Jordie Benn to Brett Kulak. Pettersson earned himself a breakaway skating effortlessly away from the defenseman and made move to cleanly beat Carey Price only to put the shot wide, crashing into the left post.

Aside from a few one-and-done rushes from Pettersson and Boeser, Montreal controlled the play for the first six minutes of the game until they took a hooking penalty at 6:03 to send the Canucks to their first Power Play. Tatar took a hooking call on Pettersson who made a slick past through a crouching Weber to Sven Baertschi. Baertschi was sitting on the doorstep but was unable to get his stick squarely on the puck to get the shot off.

Vancouver’s top unit had no problem getting their power play set up off the opening face-off, but struggled to get shots through and onto the net. The second unit took the last 25 seconds of the power play but was unable to ever get set up.

Jordie Benn opened the scoring with a slap shot from the slot at 11:50. Joel Armia, another off-season acquisition for Montreal, this time from Winnipeg, worked over and stole the puck from Stecher. He then fed the puck up the boards to Kotkaniemi who threaded a pass under Baertschi’s stick to Benn. Benn used Pettersson as a screen and the puck may have grazed #40 as Markstrom looked surprised by the shot.

The Canucks took an unnecessary, off-puck penalty at 13:06, leading to a number of good attempts for Montreal and an even better save from Markstrom while the Canadiens had six men on the ice for the delayed call. Schaller hooked Drouin as he entered the offensive zone leading to the extended opportunity with the extra man. This, however, was the most threatening portion of Montreal’s power play, as they were missing Brendan Gallagher, who left after blocking a shot from Hutton at 11:10.

Montreal seemed content to let the Canucks work the puck around the outside during the few times the Cancuks were able to set up in the offensive zone. Gallagher would return around the 18 minutes mark for Montreal.

Vancouver finished without a shot on goal in the final 11:46.

2nd Period

Both teams got off to a rather uneventful start in the second period. Montreal had a number of decent attempts but had trouble putting the puck on the net. The Canucks had their first shot since 8:14 into the first period 3:18 into the second as Gudbrandson fired a harmless slapper off Price’s legs.

Jay Beagle had a prime one-time opportunity a minute later from inside of the right circle in the slot as Schaller fed him the puck from the corner. Price, unfortunately, was already on top of his crease and made a tidy five-hole save.

Elias Petterrsson got tangled up with Jasperi Kotkaniemi with 14:25 remaining in the second. It appeared Pettersson and Kotkaniemi were exchanging pleasantries when a light hook from the young Finn led to the two getting tangled up. Kotkaniemi’s unpenalized (correctly, according to Travis Green) interference with Pettersson led to the first time All-Star folding one knee awkwardly as he hit the ice. He remained down and was tended to by a trainer for a few minutes before skating and walking off under his own power.

Horvat won the face-off stemming from back-to-back Canadiens’ icings, but as Tanev fed the puck back to Boeser, Drouin read the play. The Canadiens winger pressured Boeser, knocking the puck off his stick. Boeser, stuck in no-mans-land, allowed Domi to get the puck up ice to Drouin on the breakaway and the former Lightning player beat Markstrom cleanly on the blocker side 8:24 into the second period.

The Canucks struggled to get anything going through the first half of the second. They had an odd-man rush and a couple of distant slapshots, but unfortunately, these led to next to zero sustained pressure. Vancouver looked especially flat after the departure of Elias Pettersson, a feeling they shared with those watching the game back home.

As we moved into the back half of the second it appeared as though Carey Price and the rest of the Canadiens were happy to let Baertschi, Virtanen, Gudbrandson, et al. fire away from the blue line into his waiting glove.

This continued even as Horvat and Eriksson had a two-on-one. Bo fired the puck right into Price’s glove as Mike Reilly took the pass away from #53. Horvat made up for this lob as he nearly beat Price from the slot on the turnover from Armia in a prime location with 2:43 remaining in the second.

Carey Price certainly did his part to keep the Canucks to one-and-done opportunities.

In terms of shot attempts, neither team effectively pulled away from the other in the second period, as the Montreal finished with a slight 1.2% lead in CF% with 50.6 versus the Canucks 49.4. However, those final in-close opportunities for Horvat, Sutter, and Del Zotto helped Vancouver pull away in xG by the end of the second, 1.81 to Montreal’s 1.56.

VAN @ MTL Second Period Corsi

VAN @ MTL Second Period xG
charts courtesy evolving-hockey.com

3rd Period

With Elias Pettersson’s absence confirmed to start the third, the Canucks should have picked up where they left off at the end of the second. Vancouver unfortunately, lines at this point having been run through the blender, struggled to get going again in the third.

Their first push to climb back from a two-goal deficit came when Danualt took a tripping penalty at 3:10 in the third. Boeser nearly beat Price blocker side, but instead knocked the stick out of his hand.

With Pettersson absent, Boeser double shifted on the power play. The young forward would end up finishing with eight minutes of time with the extra man. Their first power play of the third would fizzle out with 23 seconds left as Baertschi took an interference penalty on the draw. Travis Green offered his comments suggesting the call was a “joke.”

Max Domi finally reached peak-Domi and took an offensive zone penalty on the power play, cross-checking Markus Granlund into the boards. This 4-on-4 matchup opened up play a bit, but the Canucks continued to struggle to get anything going. The dysfunction was especially palpable when Hutton, with all the open space 4-on-4, allows, somehow collided with Stecher in the offensive zone.

The referees finally discovered their whistles as Granlund picked up what can only be described as a “soft” interference penalty on Kotkaniemi with 11:20 to go.

In a bright spot in an otherwise dull period, Markstrom made a beautiful save on a Domi-Drouin 2-on-1. He continued to keep the Canucks in the game when they otherwise were not.

A Michael Chaput penalty led to another near-miss for Boeser, this time beating Price’s glove but off the inside post. Sutter provided a nice screen in front, which is something the Canucks should look forward to with his return from injury.

The Canucks failed to score on their fifth power play of the night as the Canucks received a gift in the form of a too-many-men penalty against Montreal when both teams botched their changes. The barrage of fruitless outside shots continued.

Vancouver played the final 2:30 or so with a sixth man, but all the Canucks got from that was a Sutter shot in close off the leg pad of Carey Price and a Granlund shot right into his chest protector.

Wrap-Up

It’s a tired narrative, but the Canucks looked flat before they lost Elias Pettersson, and especially so after he departed. While Horvat, Boeser, and Sutter tried to put the team on their back, it was flashbacks to last season as the Canucks did not have the depth to keep up with Montreal.

You have to believe Travis Green didn’t anticipate needing nearly twenty minutes of Brandon Sutter on his first night back since October, but the pivot stepped up on both the power play and penalty kill, logging 4:00 and 1:56 respectively as part of his 19:10 total TOI. Unfortunately, time-on-ice was all he contributed.

We all certainly hope the Pettersson injury is minimal, but for a team that’s still a contender in a relatively soft division, a lengthy absence would exacerbate a lack of scoring depth and could be a sour note on an otherwise exciting season.

Rough night for the Hutton-Gudbrandson pairing. Photo courtesy hockeyviz.com.

The Hutton-Gudbrandson pairing struggled in comparison to their peers, allowing absurd shot rates in heavy time against Montreal’s top three lines.

Michael Del Zotto looked serviceable in his first game back in thirteen. The defenseman logged 12:07, primarily against the Canadiens’ third (Kotkaniemi) and fourth (Chaput) lines and the Weber-Mete pairing.

Markstrom played well, but in a surprise to all of us coming into the game, Carey Price was the best All-Star on the ice tonight. After pitching a shutout against a depleted Vancouver squad, maybe he deserves the All-Star nod for Montreal after all?

  • Bud Poile

    The coach failed yo clue in and realise after the Matheson slam down that his team is going nowhere fast without Elias.
    Designate somebody talented enough within the team or acquire a league player that will take on the task of playing with and providing retribution/protection for the franchise’s future.
    It’s open season on Petey.
    Boeser was the only Canuck that provided any pushback.
    So,lose the game and lose what’s left of your credibility.Way to go,coach.

    • Holly Wood

      The hook and the entanglement looked innocent enough and it happened right in front of the back official. Unfortunately knees don’t like to be bent like that. Hopefully he can avoid surgery but it will be tender for a while. As far as someone with skill riding shotgun on his wing, that player does not currently exist on the roster. Jake may be the closest to that but him and Boeser both play right, plus I don’t think Jake has that in him at this point. I thought Pettersson got drilled once in the Ottawa game but no push back. And please no comments from the snowflakes on here that believe protection or pushback has no place in the game.

      • Defenceman Factory

        Obviously the key to the Canucks success is to have someone beat the crap out of a skinny 18 year old Finnish kid for some thing that might have been a penalty. Not agreeing makes you a snowflake. Or did I get that wrong? Was someone else supposed to get beat up? Cause clearly beating up someone will mean no one touches Pettersson ever again. The hockey gurus have spoken.

        • Bud Poile

          The skinny 20 year old superstar the franchise is critically dependent upon needs some help.
          He’s being systematically run at and taken out.
          Pretending human predatory behavior no longer exists in the NHL means continuing to throw him to the wolves.
          His knee could have been seriously injured and that is potentially two major injuries in 38 NHL games played.
          This will continue until he is seriously injured and then the franchise will have a lot of time to think about helping him.
          Coach Green and all these excuses are hollow sounds of denial that aren’t helping Petey.
          “He’s in a league full of big men and he isn’t a big man.”
          “There’s no reason to go to a gunfight and bring a knife. Bring a gun.” Brian Burke speaking about Petey on Tim and Sid.

        • Holly Wood

          Yes you got that wrong.No where did I say the young fin needed a tuneup. Read it again, after I mentioned “ it looked innocent, happened in front of back official” I felt it was it was clear I was ok as it’s just part of the game. A little farther along I mentioned someone riding shotgun with him. But ya if you don’t believe push back or protection are part of the game and are required then……….you just might be a snowflake

          • Defenceman Factory

            My response probably wasn’t the best fit to your post. I have no problem with team toughness but the notion of the fear of retribution protecting players is fool hardy. It’s not that I have any big issue with fighting it’s that it doesn’t actually work. The most feared and successful lines in hockey do not include a retribution provider. The fact the topic is even being discussed in regards to a skinny finnish kid is ridiculous. Snowflake maybe but that is certainly preferable to the yellow piss stained snowbank nonsense Poile is spouting.

    • Nuck16

      It was an illegal play that resulted in a serious injury. Intent is not supposed to matter. Lots of players get suspended when there is no intent to injure. You are responsible for the outcome of your actions and when you do something against the rules and it results in a serious injury, it should be reviewed.

      • truthseeker

        See now THIS is a legitimate argument.

        I’m afraid the NHL will probably just view this as an extension of “regular” play. Basically they don’t enforce clutch and grab because they’re too afraid of having a whole game of penalties when they don’t realize the only way to get clutch and grab out of the game is to have a period of absolutely brutal to watch hockey for a few months or however long it takes to soak into meatheads.

        Problem with this one as well is that clutch and grab plays are seen as minor incidents (2 mins) and the player safety people are for sure not smart enough to see what you said. That the injury is a direct result of an illegal play even if it was minor. They’ll do nothing about it.

        As for these idiots on here calling for retribution etc…..well….they’re just idiots.

      • DJ_44

        An illegal play is not the standard for discipline, nor is intent. However this was a hockey play…just because it was a penalty (although not called) does not, nor should it, raise it to a suspension.

        Look at it another way.. a player is checking a puck carrier, the player stick gets in the skaked, the puck carrier goes down hard and separates a shoulder. Illegal play…no intent…. But suspension worthy because of an injury? Nonsense.

        • truthseeker

          I know…I get that. It’s a difficult non black and white issue.

          The key words in your example are “puck carrier”. EP was not the puck carrier. This happened away from play and had no reason for being other than the frustration of the Montreal player. The more accurate analogy would be this:

          A player skates across the ice and behind a player totally away from the puck and randomly trips them with his stick for no reason and that player falls and gets injured. Not worthy of a suspension? Nonsense.

    • steviewire

      His MRI isn’t scheduled until the morning. You should phrase your statement as “I predict his MCL is torn and he is out for the year”. Otherwise you run the risk of coming across as a pathetic loser who makes up lies to get attention. Cheers!

        • Puck Viking

          Sweet comment.. in your world predicting an injury makes someone a loser?? so what does that make you for making this comment?? Once again the biggest troll at canucks nations crawls out from under his moms bed to lash out and spread his misery to the rest of the world. I have some tissues for you if you want? Maybe a hug?

      • Rusty bucket

        Guessing by the mechanism of injury (knee flexion with tibial external rotation) it is likely an MCL strain with potential involvement of ACL and meniscus. It wasn’t grade 3 as he was able to walk off on his own. Likely grade 1 or 2 MCL +\- ACL and meniscus. MRI doesn’t always provide a clear picture of the integrity of the ligaments, especially if it is not completely ruptured. A combined approach of an objective exam and imaging will be used. Considering the mechanism is on video, should be an easy diagnosis even without imaging.
        Hopefully just a grade 1 and we only lose him for a few games

    • truthseeker

      The self loathing loser strikes again. Can’t keep his mouth shut until he knows for sure. This way the self loather get’s to feel “right” and all proud of himself if EP is seriously injured. Such a pathetically disgusting attitude.

      • Puck Viking

        if anyone is self loathing its you.. you are a full on tard.. how does predicting an injury make me proud to see a player is hurt.. get a life.. tyours is a self loathing attitude.. now go back to your moms basement and cry like you do every other day.

  • LACANUCK

    I’m going to start by saying that the NFL has only offensive and defensive players for a reason. When you get tackled the chances of injuries are greater! Therefore, if you play a wide receiver on offense and he gets tackled, then he plays defensive back and tackles another player, his chances of getting hurt increase.

    The tackle on EP was not a major but seriously shows the lack of seriousness the NHL puts on player safety. Sure the Canadian that was beat, tackled EP and bent his knee backward tapped him and said sorry. 😀 What a sweet boy!

    Everyone watching saw it happen except the ref’s that are paid to police and watch. This game could have gotten out of hand, the NHL needs to treat refs like players. You missed a blatant call, you are suspended with a fine.

    Pretty sure they will pay more attention, when their pockets get fleeced, BUT then the NHL has to find another linesman or ref to do that game… then it gets expensive and a hassle. Unlike hockey teams that have to do that. NHL is a joke about player safety and I like Stu… liked him better when he was the Grim Reaper.

  • TD

    Green is an idiot and someone should have gone after their star players. I care both about the act and the result. That should have been a penalty and it caused a player to be injured. That should lead to further discipline. Interference is interference. How many times have we seen a player hit a player who doesn’t have the puck and they are suspended for the interference. What’s the difference. Right now, I wish the Canucks had a true bonafide goon to go with a half dozen tough and nasty players. Every time something like that happens, you unleash the team and get retribution. Pathetic.

  • Rayman

    Another team went after the best one in Canucks and instead of doing something about it, every Canucks said it was innocent act. Yeah, right. How soft can you get?

    Well, at least we’ll get the better draft pick this year. but it still sucks.

  • Kanuckhotep

    Even more boring than this game was is discussing the missed call involving Petey. Kotkaniemi wasn’t trying to injure Petey but it was clear and blatant interference. Same old same old visually challenged officials. Just getting numb to this nonsense now.

    • Bud Poile

      I don’t know his true intentions.
      Only the guilty party knows what ran threw his head prior to the infractions/injury.
      Petey gets hooked.Penalty.
      Kotkaniemi grabs his jersey.Penalty.
      Kotkaniemi pulls/throws Petey down and injures him.Penalty.
      The puck is nowhere near Petey and yet there are three rapid infractions resulting in a take down and injury.
      It is a certainty Elias was not innocently “tangling up” legs for his benefit.Pathetic explanation and cop-out.
      There are plenty of players coming that won’t enjoy Petey schooling them so provide some deterrence and protect your meal ticket,Green.
      Petey is not some 200 lb. plumber that commanded zero attention playing third line minutes,Travis.

  • Burnabybob

    Not just the knee, but it looks like Pettersson’s ankle also got seriously tweaked. I just pray that it isn’t serious. The Canucks seem plagued by freak accidents like this- like Boeser falling into the open door last year and cracking a vertebrae. I just pray that Pettersson’s injury isn’t serious.

  • Hockey Bunker

    Hopefully not serious though sometimes things don’t show up on scans. fingers crossed.
    And I’m waiting to hear some dinosaur commentator blame Pettersson for not expecting to be tackked. Probably Saturday on a panel or Coach’s Corner.

  • 51Geezer

    “It’s a tired narrative, but the Canucks looked flat…”
    It sure is tired. When I hear it, I hear “lazy”. If that is not was is meant, then let us hear “uninterested”, “unmotivated”, “non-committal”, “suffering from the flu”, “exhausted due to lack of sleep”, etc. The Canucks looked lazy to me last night, and the laziness was evident in their reaction to EP’s injury.

  • TheRealPB

    Montreal is a way better team than Ottawa and it showed.

    I can’t believe people are getting after the Pettersson injury as if Kontkaniemi is some kind of meathead goon. They were throwing far more targeted hits on EP in the Ottawa game. I understand Green’s perspective — a guy who played nearly a thousand NHL games — way more than some on here. You see guys jostling like that all over the ice all the time — then they got tangled up and it was a freak injury. To say that we should now staple a goon on his wing is dumb. Does having Lucic or Kassian make McDavid safe from injury? Hopefully it’s not too serious (it doesn’t sound like it from Green’s comments).

    • Bud Poile

      We are not talking about stapling a goon here but you are.
      This is about deterrence and the recognition of reality.
      There was no jostling.Pete was hauled down resulting in his injury.
      Kassian provides deterrence thereby freeing up the ice for McDavid.
      It’s called the fear of retribution.The entire planet revolves around it and always will.
      Roussel will provide the temporary solution if the plumber coach can give up some goals to protect his super star.

      • LTFan

        Bud – I have watched the incident a number of times. IMO Jasperi Kotkaniemi was not trying to injure Pettersson but impede him from going up the ice. That is interference and the back referee should have called a penalty. The fall and twisting of EP’s leg was one of those things that can and does happen. Very unfortunate for sure. The reality is if there is a player on the ice who is a “deterrence” and comes in and attacks Jasperi Kotkaniemi, that player will get at least a 2 minute penalty and maybe more. The Canucks are still in the game as the score was 1 – 0 for Montreal at the time. The Canucks are trying to win the game as well.

        • canuckfan

          Revenge did happen in the third period when Granlund punched Kotkaniemi in the face on some of the replays after the game commentators called Granlunds actions a butt end in the face. Granlund saw he could give this guy pay back and took his opportunity. I am sure both players at the time knew what the hit in the face was for.

      • DJ_44

        Once again, you demonstrate a lack of understanding about how fearful professional players are of on ice deterrence. They are not. It has been established that if a player does not want to fight, they do not have to in today’s game.

        Kassian provides no deterrance. He provide a physical presence that can create space. McDavid is still targeted (not in a dirty sense). If the team had such a player, Pettersson would be seriously targeted every time the opposing team wanted a power play.

        • Bud Poile

          Once again,It’s not about fighting.
          It’s about the protection of assets by instituting fear of retribution.
          You’re having a difficult time grasping an age old concept that will always be.

          • DJ_44

            No. I understand your concert. The concept has little relevance in today’s NHL. Retribution (for a hook no less) is by violence….which, unless you advocate crosschecks to the head…is thru fighting. Most professional players are not fearful. The ones that antignoze certainly are not…ythey have no reason to be since they do not have to accept a challenge to fight.

          • TheRealPB

            Please show me any evidence that such deterrence actually works. Even in an earlier era, having Semenko on his wing didn’t stop other players from taking a run at Gretzky. The better skill players figure out how to avoid them when they can — the Sedins for the most part were able to other than egregious acts like Keith’s elbow on Daniel. Tell me how Tom Sestito was a bigger predictor of the Sedin’s success than Burrows or Klatt or Hansen any number of the far more successful wingers on their line. There is a basic logical fallacy in your entire presumption. Matheson acted out of a moment of frustration which was not about to be changed by the threat of anything. Martel wasn’t deterred by the fact that Gudbranson broke Hamonic’s face any more than the uppercut he received shortly after the shot on Stetcher. Most NHL players aren’t total idiots and the ones that are (Wilson, Torres, Cooke, Linseman, etc) do not get deterred by someone else maybe going after them. The only real deterrence would be actual economic penalties from the league or a change in culture.

  • EP fan

    Just a physical coming together from two young players in the heat of battle with no intent. I have no issue with it and nor do Travis Green or Erik Gudbranson – the age of goonery and minders is long gone.

    Gudbranson post-game said he “for sure” considered getting in Kotkaniemi’s face but “it’s hard to say, you could, but usually that’ll end up as a 7 minute power play for the other team and that’s not what needed at that time”. – Sportsnet post-game

    • truthseeker

      No…it was a clutch and grab penalty that let to an awkward entanglement that could have been completely avoided. He should have been penalized and at minimum a league review with some sort of suspension. There was no reason whatsoever for him to have touched EP in that situation.

    • Bud Poile

      We all saw the “coming together” That sounds like a kumbaya moment of pleasure.
      7 GWG’s in 38 NHL games replaced by losing without your franchise player.
      Travis desperately wants those wins but he won’t protect the kid that actually leads the team doing just that.

    • EP fan

      I’ll trust my own judgement and that of our head coach who has 857 NHL games under his belt and a decade of hockey coaching experience under his belt thanks –

      “I’ve watched it a lot of times,” Green said. “It’s not a dirty play by their player at all. (Pettersson) gets hooked a little bit. Petey pushes back on him and leans back. Tries to give him a bit of a reverse hit and two young guys fall to the ice. It’s not a penalty.”- Travis Green

      • Bud Poile

        Two serious injuries in 38 NHL games.
        He’s covering his rear end.So was Gudbranson.
        Travis is negligent in providing a deterrent and protection.
        Let’s put Goldy up there- again-Travis.

      • kermit

        As frustrated as I am by the play, I also feel we should defer to Green on this. Kotkaniemi is a skinny 18 year old kid, he was just implementing the Montreal game plan of slowing Petey down. Yes he hooked him, but if you go to a live game, you’ll see that this happens a lot when it’s behind the play and the refs let it go. Like Green said, it looked like Petey threw on the brakes, probably because Kotkaniemi is one of the few players in the league he can actually push back against. The injury was just bad luck. If they did call a penalty, it would have been 2 minutes, and given the way the Canuck’s power play has been lately, it wouldn’t have made a difference. We’re going to miss him, the league is going to miss him, even if it’s just for the highlight reels, but I don’t think they’re going to implement a zero tolerance rule for their stars. Sid and Conner have had to fight through this for years.

        I really like the 5 on 5 match-up graphic, please keep using it.

  • wjohn1925

    As upset as I am with the hook and hold etc and, as fearful as I am that EP40 might be out for awhile, it’s hard not to notice the irony in how Canucks nation is responding to the ‘attention’ that Petey is getting. We now have an elite player and talent, like McDavid and Crosby etc. Players like that get hooked and held all the time away from the play. That’s simply the reality of being a great player among lesser players. I’m actually glad that Green doesn’t go down the Hitch route and start complaining about the extra ‘attention’ his star is getting. That’s simply the reality of how the game is going to be played. Opposing coaches tell their matching lines to impede, clutch, hook etc the game breakers on the other side. He already draws how many penalties per game? I have every confidence that Petey will learn to play through this, like Crosby has. Whining about officiating is a losers game (see Oilers’ strategy). If you really want to stop all this then the only solution is to tell Petey to become a more ineffective player and he will be left alone.

    • truthseeker

      It should be called every time.

      This garbage that slows the game down and makes it boring will never stop until the league gets serious about calling it. That means a painful transition period where for a few months or whatever we have games that will literally be almost constant power plays until the players get it through their meatheads that they can’t do it any more. In the long run it would be totally worth it. They should add in shots after the whistle too. Whistle blows and you shove someone? Gone. 2 minutes. Every time. No exceptions. Hockey is a joke with how much wasted time they have pushing and shoving between whistles. All of them too stupid to be “intimidated” by any one else.

      • Holly Wood

        It’s hockey not ice dancing. Physical play is part of the game. If you had ever played the game I’m sure you would be smart enough to understand what intimidation was and how it works. Your calling out players that they are stupid or meatheads makes me wonder why you watch hockey . See what I did there? And I used all my vowels.

        • truthseeker

          What I’m talking about does not take physical play out of the game at all. Muscling a guy off the puck when you have position is not “ice dancing”. Nor are clean body checks.

          So by your logic then, after 100 years of hockey all this “intimidation” should have worked by now and these types of things shouldn’t be happening. But the do. All the time. Even worse in the 80’s. The era of “intimidation”. Care to explain why they don’t seem to be effective?

          See what I did there? I actually used my brain to create a logical argument. Not one based on myth. And my vowels too smart guy.

      • Puck Viking

        overreacting to this comment too?? WOW everyone here is so shocked..

        Make sure to clean up your safe space so your mom doesnt get mad at you.. remember to stock up on some extra tissues its going to be a long season.

      • wjohn1925

        I completely agree that it was a penalty (hooking or interference). My point is that these things go on all the time (not like the dead puck era, but still). Canucks do this as well as every team. The issue is really that at some point, it becomes subjective, and different refs will call it differently, and the same ref might call it differently depending on the game or whatever. In this particular case, it was a clear hook from behind and ought to have been called. That being said, the elite players get targeted way more than fourth liners. That’s the reality of how the game is called. If you want to make it black and white, then you have to have it called any time a stick is horizontal and makes contact with the an opponent. Is this what we want?

  • Sandpaper

    Johnny Gaudreau, who is a good player, had Feel and riding shotgun for a few seasons, yet he still got slashed in the hands, causing injury and lost games, as a result.
    Ferland would have been the detergent guy, who many are saying should be out on ice with the star smaller player, yet, these incidents still happened.
    Elias, stopped as he started going up ice, causing a bit of a collision, both players go down, one gets hurt, not sure how any shotgun rider would have prevented That, unfortunate incident.
    Although a penalty for hooking should have been called, the Canucks had possession at the time, so the referee, would have had his arm in the air, until the Habs had possession and the incident would have still happened…very unfortunate incident.

  • Doodly Doot

    Looked like a team playing for the second night in a row near the end of a long road trip. They were a step behind most of the game. A good example of why NOT to play Markstrom in back-to-backs. Hopefully the team has the good sense to keep Pete out for the Leafs game, no matter if he ‘seems’ alright to go. This is a marathon. The schedule for the rest of Jan is super friendly both in days off and slightly lesser opponents… all at home. I hope the team takes out any ‘frustrations’ on the Maple Leaks third string goalie. For Pete’s sake!

    • Beer Can Boyd

      Except that Markstromm was far and away the best Canuck on the ice last night. You thought they should have played a guy whom they put on waivers that afternoon?

      • Doodly Doot

        You’re absolutely right Boyd. You have to play Markstrom in this situation for sure, but I’m just observing that this wasn’t an easy game to win for several reasons. With Demko coming, hopefully things will become solid in net for the rest of the year.

  • Sman Styl

    Did anyone else notice the one player who stepped up and went back at Kotkaneimi later in the game? Granlunds “soft” interference penalty was a butt end to Kotkaneimis face. I only saw it once but it looked like a pretty good shot. Not sure if it’s a good thing for the Nucks when Ganlund is the only guy looking to send a message but I’ll take it.

  • Freud

    Look at all the cheerleader on cheerleader crime going on here. There’s pom pom debris everywhere.

    Not surprised the usual ignorance is preventing the real question from being asked.

    Will the loss of Pettersson indeed show what the evidence shows? Pettersson, Boeser, Horvat and percentages have masked the fact Benning has assembled a bottom 5 team around these 3 players.

    We’re about to find out.

    • Kootenaydude

      Totally agree Freud. After Pettersson left, last nights game showed the lack of skill on this team. Goldobin might be a defensive liability but at least he has play making abilities. Something we don’t get from most of these forwards.

    • Beer Can Boyd

      The defense corps in particular. Edler would be a good 3-4 on most teams, yet he plays 27 minutes a night for the Canucks. What happens when he gets hurt again? Tanev, aside from being made of glass, has definitely experienced a pretty big drop off in his play lately, tons of weak turnovers, and zero offensive skill, except for the odd outlet pass. Anyone who thinks he’s bringing the Canucks a 1st round pick is hallucinating. This team has never had a real all star quality #1 defenseman, and until they do, we won’t see a cup in Vancouver. I never thought I’d say this, but sign Karlsson in the offseason. Still only 28, and he won’t cost us a young player, just $10 million per year for the next 5 years.

  • It seems like every second game or so, Canucks have to deal with a dirty hit, cheap shot, or questionable play. The league is unprepared to deal with it. Refs are looking the other way. That leaves Canucks to their own devices.

    Canucks have to rely on self help.

    • Kootenaydude

      No call from the refs on Petterssons concussion. No call on Baertschi s concussion. No call on Stetchers concussion. No call on Reaves dirty hit on Edler. No call on Petterssons latest injuries. Starting to see a pattern here. That pattern is incompetence.

  • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

    I don’t want to even bother addressing the incident itself. I want to talk about ‘team culture’. Specifically, perception of ‘team culture’, not only amongst a teams’ fanbase, but also around the league. I hate to bring up 2011, but IMO, this team has had a very poor ‘team culture’ by and large (yes, some nights exist that point to the contrary – see TB a few weeks ago), but for the most part, this team has been perceived everywhere far and wide as a pushover organization that the second the game turns up the physicality a few notches, this team turtles, turns its collective and individual backs, and always, always, always, gives the impression to its fanbase and the rest of the league that they desire no part of “rough and tumble” hockey.

    I hate that my love of the team has turned to contempt and eye rolling and even some nights and weeks, indifference when one sees the little things (sorry Loui) that occur here and there, collectively add up in one’s head to shaping an overall picture of a soft and gutless collection of hockey players.

    Again, I will be as crystal clear as I can here in saying that I am not speaking of retribution/revenge, decapitating an 18 year old kid on live tv.

    I’m speaking about hockey teams that are hard to play against. Teams that when the other players see the schedule, they know immediately that they’re gonna get bumped, they’re gonna get bruised, and they’re not going to have an easy night 90% of the time.

    Do I crave Boston Bruins hockey? HELL NO!

    Do I crave skilled players who are not afraid to slash, hack and whack other teams star players from the moment the puck drops, YES. But not only that, I desire a hockey team that stands up for one another, that have each others backs, that see a night like Ottawa the other day and absorb and process all of the attention Pettersson received that night (and others before that) and genuinely care, genuinely have those incidents register on their “give a crap” meter. Players that realize that even after their own players go down with “accidental” head shots (Stetcher), they realize that if they are perceived to be seeking retribution, they will be penalized….so then just go out and finish your checks, play hard, play physical, and just play that way all the damn time.

    The public perception of this organization has been eroded to such an extent ever since the 2011 SCF that incidents like last night now elicit responses from the fanbase as we are seeing last night on post game shows and today in print, online, and radio.

    What does it take to get players to care about one another and to actually desire protecting one another and to genuinely want to be a hard team to play against?

    Team culture…

  • Kootenaydude

    Green is more concerned about getting fined from the league for complaining about the officiating. Than he is about sticking up for his players. Petterrsson, Baertschi and Stetcher all took illegal hits. Green mumbled a few words and kept his tail between his legs. Replace this guy with Quenneville while we have the chance. At least he knows what a powerplay is supposed to be!

        • Bud Poile

          Jeff Paterson says he needed to see a response from both the Canucks and from officials on the Elias Pettersson injury, and it’s happened too many times already.
          https://www.tsn.ca/radio/vancouver-1040/paterson-canucks-officials-needed-to-respond-to-pettersson-injury-1.1236182

          “Unnecessary to hog tie him and throw him down the way he did.”
          “This is the Canucks meal ticket but the more Elias plays the better it makes the team and the better it makes ALL OF THEM. So,I believe there has to be some protection put in place.”
          “Kotkianemi gets away Scot -free (from retribution) and he gets away from the on-ice officials.It was the same thing with Matheson. It was a penalty at the VERY LEAST.”
          “There has to be some sort of push back…. and Travis Green put it on Pettersson a little bit.I thought Travis Green should have had the back on his own player….”
          “Give the guy a shot,let him know that what he did was wrong.”

          • Challister Court Canuck

            Stop trolling for attention. Elias is embarrassed by your utter drivel.

            Elias Pettersson says the awkward collision between him and Jesperi Kotkaniemi was an honest accident and that there was no malicious intent behind the way the Montreal Canadiens forward hauled him down.

            “He hooked my leg a little bit – I was going to reverse him or stop him – and it was an accident,” Pettersson told Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos. “We got tangled up, we both fell down and I got in an awkward position. It wasn’t a dirty play or anything. He apologized afterwards, which shows good sportsmanship from him. So it was really just unlucky for me and it’s nothing too serious.” – Elias Pettersson
            **Tumbleweeds**

          • Beer Can Boyd

            Which is why Jeff Patterson is a squeaky voiced talking head on an obscure radio station, with a blog no-one reads, and not the coach of the team. Ever seen him? I doubt he ever played sports in his life. I’ll trust Green, thanks Bud.