Arizona Coyotes vs Vancouver Canucks Post Game Recap: Gaudette Awakens

The Rundown

Tonight, the Vancouver Canucks finally returned home after the city played host to the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. After a brutal schedule to begin the year, tonight was the first game of a 6 game home-stand, and their first opponent was the Arizona Coyotes.

Elias Pettersson remained out of the lineup, as did Josh Leivo. However, Adam Gaudette was recalled from a short 3 game stint in Utica and had his best offensive opportunity with the big club this season, as he started the game as the center on a line with Sven Baertschi and Jake Virtanen. Jakob Markstrom got the start in net over Thatcher Demko, and the Canucks looked to bounce back after a poor game to end their most recent road trip.


1st Period

A very slow game for both of these teams as Star Wars night began at Rogers Arena. The first 7 minutes of the game saw only 2 shots, both for Arizona. Vancouver didn’t look like they were ready to play after 4 days off.

The 1st period churned along, and a whole lot of nothing happened. Seriously, the Canucks didn’t have a shot through the first half of the period, and the Coyotes only mustered 4. Nothing monumental for fans to cheer about.

As the teams neared the 15 minute mark of the period, the Canucks still didn’t have a shot on goal. One could argue this period was almost as bad as Hayden Christensen’s performance in Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith. The Canucks just looked out of sorts.

It took the Canucks 15:30 minutes, but Gaudette finally took a shot that Darcy Kuemper stopped with the blocker. To their credit, the Canucks held the Coyotes to 5 shots throughout their shot-less streak. Was just a tight checked hockey game through the first period.

19 minutes in and the Coyotes received the first power-play of the night after Alex Edler made a lazy attempt to poke the puck and tripped up Christian Fischer. The uneventful period came to a close with the Coyotes still on the power-play, and no score to report after the opening 20 minutes. The Canucks needed to find a way to up their game if they wanted to generate any kind of offence, because they looked awful in the first period. This period was probably one of, if not their worst period of the season.

2nd Period

Something actually happened to start the 2nd period, the Canucks killed off the remainder of the Edler minor penalty to drop the Coyotes power-play to 0 for 1. Unfortunately, the Coyotes scored the first goal of the game 1:30 into the middle frame. A puck bounced away from Chris Tanev in the corner and the Coyotes took possession. Eventually, Richard Panik was fed in front and wasted no time, as he sniped it over the shoulder of Markstrom for the first goal of the game.

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The Canucks wasted little time, and a minute later they tied up the game. After his earlier gaffe, Tanev intercepted a Coyotes outlet pass, and fed Baertschi. Baertschi made a great move to create space against Jakob Chychrun and snapped a shot under the arm of Kuemper and in.

5:30 into the middle frame and the Canucks had another great chance. Antoine Roussel worked his way into the near corner, then fired a beautiful pass across the ice right to Brandon Sutter, but Sutter whiffed on the chance and the game remained tied at one.

10 minutes in and a furious sequence of play ended in another Coyotes goal. Nikolay Goldobin received a great outlet pass from Erik Gudbranson and came in on Kuemper, only to be hauled down. There was no call on the play and the Coyotes came back the other way. A shot on goal bounced off Markstrom’s shoulder, off Nick Cousins and trickled into the net. Canucks head coach Travis Green challenged the goal, and claimed there was goaltender interference, but the goal stood. Both plays were questionable, and honestly can’t believe the referees missed this. Sucks that on Star Wars night, it seemed as if the NHL’s war room in Toronto acted a bit like the empire…

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The Canucks looked to have lost a bit of their mojo after the Coyotes 2nd goal of the game. The next 5 minutes looked eerily similar to the first period.

17 minutes into the period, and the Canucks received their first power-play of the game after Gaudette worked his way in front of Alex Galchenyuk. Galchenyuk hauled down Gaudette, and the Canucks went to work.

The Canucks power-play peppered Kuemper with 6 shots, and a shot that rang off the crossbar but couldn’t beat the Coyotes goaltender. Goldobin looked especially dangerous on the power-play, with 3 to 4 grade A scoring chances, but couldn’t put one home.

Right after their power-play, and with just 30 seconds to go the Canucks broke through and tied up the game. The Canucks never relinquished the pressure they earned off their power-play, and they were rewarded when Gaudette went to the net and put home a rebound off a Ben Hutton shot for his 3rd goal of the year, and his 1st goal in his 1st game back from his short 3 game stint in Utica.

A much better period for both teams, but a great period for Gaudette and Goldobin. It didn’t look like they got a ton of ice time, but they were all over the place on the power-play and as the period came to a close. The young padawans looked to make an impact in the 3rd to help the Canucks bring home the win.

3rd Period

The first notable event of the final frame was courtesy of Markstrom. 2:30 minutes into the period, and Laurent Dauphin picked up the puck and made a great move on Markstrom. Markstrom didn’t give up, and used his long legs to stretch across and make the huge stop to keep the game tied at 2.

6 minutes in, and the Canucks found themselves short handed again. After the Canucks failed to clear their own zone numerous times, Sutter tripped up Panik to put the Coyotes back on the power-play for the 2nd time tonight.

The Canucks killed off the man-advantage, and better yet didn’t give up a goal on the shift right after. So this game remained 2-2.

As luck saw fit, the tie game didn’t linger for too much longer. The Canucks inability to clear the puck plagued them again, and this time the Coyotes pounced. Gaudette wasn’t able to clear the zone, and the Coyotes pressed right away. Galchenyuk made a great pass over to Conor Garland, who tapped it past Markstrom to give the Coyotes their 3rd lead of the game 10 minutes into the 3rd period.

The boys in blue didn’t let this goal get them down, and they were gifted a power-play when Derek Stepan carelessly struck Troy Stecher with a high stick to give the Canucks their 2nd power-play of the game.

The Canucks power-play looked great again, and had 3 quality shots towards Kuemper, but they couldn’t beat him on the man-advantage.

15:30 minutes into the frame, and the Canucks eventually found a way to break through Kuemper for the 3rd time. Baertschi started off the play by retrieving the puck from the Coyotes with a great fore-check. He played the puck over to Stecher on the far point. Then Stecher took a shot that bounced off a few bodies, right back to Baertschi on the backdoor who buried home the rebound for his 2nd goal of the game, and 6th of the season.

The Canucks kept up the strong play right through to the end of the 3rd period, but couldn’t take the lead. Overtime was needed to determine the outcome of this great battle.



It took over 4 minutes of overtime action, but in the end the Canucks were defeated. Panik came down the right wing and unleashed an absolutely beautiful shot off the near post and in to give the Coyotes a 4-3 win. Tip your hat where it’s due, it was a fantastic shot.


Advanced Stats

Both photos courtesy of naturalstattrick.com

Wrap Up

The Canucks started this game off with one of the worst efforts I’ve seen from this team all season, but finished regulation strong. They had a couple of nice chances in overtime but all in all wasn’t enough to overcome the loss of Pettersson.

Adam Gaudette had a roller coaster of a game tonight. There were times tonight where he looked great, and was rewarded with a goal for his efforts. Then there was the egregious turnover at his own blue-line that led to the Coyotes 3rd goal. The learning process for Gaudette has only just begun, but it’s nice he found a way to get a goal right after he was called back up.

Nikolay Goldobin was another player who was noticeable tonight, and I didn’t see many instances where he wasn’t engaged. Goldobin looked dialed in, and it was unfortunate he didn’t get on the score-sheet with a performance like this. Now if only he played like this all the time…

Finally, got to give a ton of credit to Sven Baertschi. To me, this was his best game since he returned from injury, and he was all over the place. The move he pulled to create enough space to snap his first goal in, and the fore-check to start the play that led to his 2nd goal, showed me a player who was willing to give it all for his team. 


The boys will take a quick 2 day breather before they return to action on Sunday, as they’ll attempt to break out of their 3 game slump.

  • Bendervîlle Tîgres

    Dreadful game strewn with errors from two perrenial bottom feeders who never seem to be able to raise their profiles in the league despite numerous high draft picks and rolling stock every off season.

    Bad management or the effects of a long losing culture?…

    • Bud Poile

      Long losing culture.
      Numerous high draft picks.
      As the loser you are go troll the Oilers fan base.

      2016 #4 overall Jesse Puljujarvi
      2015 #1 overall Connor McDavid
      2014 #3 overall Leon Draisaitl
      2013 #7 overall Darnell Nurse
      2012 #1 overall Nail Yakupov
      2011 #1 overall Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
      2010 #1 overall Taylor Hall
      2009 #10 overall Magnus Pajaarvi

  • Freud

    All those veterans and foundational players with multi-year deals doing another great job mentoring the young players.

    They knew how the team needed a good start and led the way to no shots in the first 16 minutes.

    All the intangibles, pride, faceoffs, effort, aggressiveness, size and leadership on full display.

    All the rebuilding efforts eschewed to bring in the vets to create culture was well worth it. Who needs young defencemen when you have that much needed winning culture? Siss boom bah!

  • Rodeobill

    Should have played Gaudette in OT instead of Granny. at least one shift. It was a good game overall, but i really hope we stick with the rebuild. Lots of talk about playoffs, and if we make it that’s cool, but every decision should still be made with the rebuild in mind first and foremost. IMac taking about it not being fair to EP to be sellers if he gets us in the playoffs is bogus, if anything we owe it to him to find some competent help and keep building this team to be contenders for years to come. If a worthwhile situation comes up that makes the future brighter by letting go of Tanev, Eddy, or both you gotta do it still. I honestly see moving Edler as a better and more likely scenario as we have strong LHD in the pipeline in Hughes and Juolevi, and Edler probably has better market value for the return.
    Perfect situation tonight. Played hard and could have won, but still kept us a little further out of the danger zone of convincing ourselves we are real playoff contenders.

    • Holly Wood

      I can’t imagine how bad the defence would be without Edler and Tanev. Both are capable of playing at least 2=3 years . Some one please tell me who will play those minutes.

          • The Real PB

            The hypocrite troll strikes again…

            “Last year Marner, Tkachuk, Matthews, Nylander, Laine,etc. jumped straight from the draft table into making an impact at the highest level”. – Bud Poile

            ” The Canucks need players that can contribute out of the gate, particularly on D. – Bud Poile


          • Freud

            It’s rather simple minded?

            Your criteria for a good defenceman is they must be 33 years old?

            Any dman drafted in Benning’s first 3 seasons would be entering their 22nd, 23rd or 24th years next season. Far too young for an old dinosaur to believe can be effective?

            It’s rather simple. We’ll also ignore the fact Gudbransen, Sbisa, Bartkowski, Clendenning, Pedan, Pouliot, Larsen, Tryamkin, Wiercoch, Holm were and are huge busts. Emphasis on huge.

            We can then simply look at all the d-men passed on to select Juolevi that are currently playing top 4 minutes on strong teams.

            Finally, we’ll ignore Rielly is 24, Chabot is 21, Jones is 24, Werenski is 21. Josi was 23 and Krug was 22 when they put up 40 pts. Theodore is 23 and could have been picked up easily before the expansion draft.

            But we needed to protect Gudbransen in the expansion draft and had no room to protect Theodore? Would that be the rather simple answer?

      • Beer Can Boyd

        Because the next 2 years matter far less than the 5 after them when the team and its young stars should be peaking. By that time Edler and Tanev will be done. As for the next 2 years, my bet is that Edler re-signs, even if he’s traded at the deadline. Then theres Woo, Julolevi, Hughes and Brisebois to take up those minutes. Again, who cares if we make the playoffs if we’re going to get slaughtered by Winnipeg or Nashville in the first round? Its a long game.

        • Rodeobill

          not only that, but who else to we have to move who could bring back anything significant in value? Im not saying they aren’t valuable to us, but if they bring back MORE value in trade towards the future, you got to do it. They’re value will never be higher than it is now either.

  • Kanuckhotep

    Gee. The Canucks lost another video review. No goaltender interference and it wasn’t kicked in either? Like the non-call goon hits on Petey one finds oneself getting numb to TOR HQ not seeing the obvious and having us lose the coach’s challenge(s) virtually every time now. This kills all important momentum at crucial points in hockey games. Kudos, though to Baer and Gaudette for their efforts tonight. Come back soon, Petey.

    • tru north

      Only commenting on the kicked in goal … watch the players head after the puck went into the net. After beginning his celebration he immediately checks his far left/closest referee to see what the call on the ice is. This speaks volumes as I see it.

  • Burnabybob

    “Tonight, the Vancouver Canucks finally returned home after the city played host to the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. After a brutal schedule to begin the year, tonight was the first game of a 6 game home-stand, and their first opponent was the Arizona Coyotes.”

    The Canucks’ schedule is buttery soft for the rest of the month. Of the six remaining games before the All Star break, only one is against a team with a winning record (Buffalo).

  • wojohowitz

    How to reconcile a schedule that offers three games in four days and the team looks `tired` against a four day break that results in the team looking `rusty`. One or the other but not both.