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Photo Credit: Canucks / Twitter

Vancouver Canucks vs Florida Panthers Post Game Recap: Loui Lu-y

That’s right, a Vancouver legend, Jared McCann, returns for his third time to Rogers Arena since that fateful trade. Josh Leivo returned from the IR for the Sunday afternoon tilt, sliding in on the fourth line with Goldobin on the LW and Granlund at C. Oh and, as you read in our pregame thread, the all-time winningest goalie for both squads, Roberto Luongo, returned to Vancouver for what is likely his last start at Rogers.

Vancouver hit the ice coming off a brutal 4-3 loss at the hands of Arizona in the desert. There was a dubious non-call when Nick Cousins interfered with Markstrom as a puck trickled through or the preceding trip of Goldobin just prior, take your pick. But those were in the second period and the most you could say about the effort from Vancouver is that the team battled back after every time they let Arizona take the lead. That is, until Panik finished things off in sudden-death OT.

1st Period:

McCann would get the first opportunity of the game for either side. One minute and twenty-five seconds into the game, he got a sweet feed from Frank Vatrano who was battling on the boards. McCann was right on the doorstep and tried to shove the puck in low, but Markstrom, who entered the game winless in his last three, stuffed him with the right leg. This created a beauty of an opportunity on the counter, which Roussel was unable to convert.

This prime-location shot would be the most dangerous opportunity Florida would have in the first, as the ice slowly tilted further and further in the Canucks’ favour.

With 13:30 to play, Yandle inexplicably cleared the puck towards his own net and bounced a puck right off Luongo’s leg pad straight to a streaking Boeser. Last-year’s rookie sensation went glove hand and was robbed by Luongo, who was drafted just months after Boeser was born. Yandle would again fail to clear the puck 35 seconds later. Boeser interrupted the clearing attempt and fed the puck to Horvat in the slot, but he fired high.

Last time these two teams faced off in Miami, Vancouver walked away with a 3-2 and a concussion to their freshman phenom who got thrown down by Mike Matheson. The Florida D-man would be the center of attention for Roussel, Beagle, et al., which unfortunately led to Virtanen taking a roughing penalty with 10:34 to go. The home fans weren’t particularly happy with their guy being the only player to get a penalty coming out of the scrum, but it was much ado about nothing as Florida was unable to mount any serious attack on the power play. Their best opportunity was spoiled when McCann took out Edler at the blue line.

Enter the Canucks power play.

They opened up the man advantage with a Baertschi-Horvat 2-on-1. On their next opportunity, Edler would fire one low to the front with Boeser crashing, but the puck trickled away from the winger. Edler would follow with with another point shot, this time into Luongo’s chest protector. The puck would drop in front for another good opportunity, but Horvat was unable to get the deflection or capitalize on the rebound. The second unit, featuring the returning Leivo, failed to generate any momentum.

Boeser, Horvat, and Baertschi had a gorgeous 3-on-1 with just under three minutes remaining. Boeser elected to keep it and fired the puck off Luongo’s mask. The dazed goaltender was able to cover the puck as his defending players wiped out the other two Canucks.

In events that effected neither team, human punching bag on skates Micheal Haley squared off with Gudbranson. I’d give a slight edge in calling this one for Gudbranson who got an elbow in during the scrap as well.

2nd Period:

It would turn out that fight would put the Canucks in a bit of a sticky situation, as Tanev would head off thirty seconds into the second. With Gudbranson still in the box, Vancouver was down to one right-handed defenseman. Pouliot would flip to his off hand for a bit to help fill the gap.

Florida got caught making an awful change and took a too-many-men penalty with sixteen minutes remaining in the second. The ailing power play sought to pick up where they left off in the first, but had trouble getting set up. It was too-little, too-late when the second unit finally got things set up with 0:25 remaining on the power play. Twenty seconds of sustained zone time yielded zero shots from this unit and the Canucks special teams yet again failed to capitalize.

Florida finally registered their first shot of the period as McCann lobbed a puck at Markstrom from what was essentially the blue line. The Panthers hadn’t mounted any real resistance to the Canucks, but as has happened often times this season, the Canucks let their competition hang around.

Luongo made a nice glove save on an Eriksson shot, but that was one and done. With 11:20 to go, Stecher got a puck into the high slot and off the goaltender to Horvat who couldn’t put it away and so half way through the game, despite doubling the road team up in shots, the Canucks were tied with the Panthers in what could have been any body’s game.

Gone are the days of a dynamic Florida offense. As we saw with the Barkov and Huberdeau injuries in years past, this team seems to have trouble balancing itself with injured players, this time missing second-line center Vincent Trochek. This was a game waiting to be taken and yet the Canucks seemed unable to really take control from the road team playing way no identity.

And finally, a turn for the better.

After winning a face-off, Bogdan Kiselevich made a lazy pass that trickled out of the zone to Mike Hoffman. The former Senator brought the puck back into his own zone and opted to attempt to hoist the puck back through the middle. Loui Eriksson showed off some good hand-eye coordination and batted the puck out of the air. He drove the net and circled around, the veteran waiting and waiting for his shot when finally he was able to tuck it behind Luongo, who had just run out of rotational momentum. It was his first point and goal since scoring in a 5-1 drubbing of the St. Louis Blues in late December, a stretch of nine games.

Some highlights as the period wound down:

  • In a sequence causing horrible flashbacks for most Canucks fans to Boeser’s season-ending injury, Hutton was checked into an open door on the bench by Nate Bjugstad, but he emerged relatively unscathed.
  • Virtanen would have a second scoring chance streaking down the right side. The first was saved by Luongo, the second was fired into the side of the net.
  • A failed Micheal Haley drop pass led to a shot just off the post for Josh Leivo
  • The rebound found its way to Markus Granlund, but Luongo made yet another glove save. This solicited a bevy of Luuuuuu‘s from the crowd.
  • Tyler Motte was robbed by a quick whistle after he nearly snuck one past the Florida goaltender

While the Canucks were leading by a considerable margin in even-strength expected goals heading into the final period, they led by only one on the score board.

metrics courtesy evolving-hockey.com

3rd Period:

Thankfully for the Canucks, it was a busy third period.

Not so thankfully, it started with a great save from Markstrom on Nick Bjugstad and a (sick) deflating goal from Frank Vatrano. Just when you thought the home team was getting read to pull away, they let a flailing Florida team tie it up in the third. If the Canucks want to consider themselves a potential playoff team, efforts like this won’t do. A better team would have capitalized on the solid play of their goaltender, as Luongo had put up a dandy to this point.

Vancouver was lucky that Florida is, in fact, not a better team.

The top line rallied for a couple good opportunities after the goal, including  a kneeling one timer that just missed Boeser’s stick. It wouldn’t be the forward pair of Horvat and Boeser that has been labouring since Pettersson went on the IR that helped the Canucks go on top, rather the D-pair blender (see below) created a Stecher-Hutton tandem that gave the home team the lead. Stecher fired low into Luongo’s pillows, Lu kicked it out to the far side to a waiting Hutton, who buried it in a wide open net.

D-pair blender courtesy hockeyviz.com

The second goal created some significant pushback from the Panthers, who finally decided . The Canucks held on by a thread with this one goal lead until the 17:40 mark. With the offensive zone face-off, Boughner pulled Luongo. The Panthers won the face-off, but Eriksson made a great read and broke up a pass. He then tapped the puck up the ice, away from retreating Panthers players, to Boeser moving up the wing. Boeser fired it into the empty net to stretch the lead to 3-1.

The Panthers and Canucks then traded shots off the post, with Virtanen notably mis-firing on an empty net.

Eriksson found Beagle for yet another empty-netter. The Panthers won a board battle deep, but were unable to clear as Eriksson made another good read. He flipped the puck over to Beagle, who managed to not Virtanen it.

Markus Granlund wrapped up the scoring as Motte walked through a number of Panthers before feeding the puck over to Granlund. Florida’s defense watched Granlund skate untouched to roughly the same spot Eriksson scored from and he fired one over Luongo’s shoulder.

Recap:

Don’t let the score deceive you, this wasn’t a 5-1 game.

Markstrom was good when he needed to be. He didn’t see significant pressure until the third period, but he allowed the Canucks to hold onto their slim lead for long stretches both at 1-0 and 2-1. With his 18th win of the year he moves one closer to his career high of 23 set last season, that he’s likely to eclipse in the next month or so. He nearly got caught wandering twice, and nearly potted a goal of his own with the empty net and a three one lead.

For Florida, this is certainly not the way Lu would have liked things to go in what may have been his last start in Vancouver. Unfortunately the rest of his team ghosted him like they did Gerard Gallant.

It was Loui Eriksson’s first multi-point night since November 10th (yes, November) and his first three point night since a November 8th 8-5 win over Boston.

Leivo played well tonight in limited minutes, had a number of decent opportunities in his first game back from the IR. Brandon Sutter and his line had zero points tonight while receiving roughly 18 minutes of ice time, each. What’s remarkable is that Sutter’s Zone Start Rate was 42.86, compared to his linemates who both ended up at 50, meaning an equal portion of their starts were in the offensive and defensive zones. This doesn’t bode well for Sutter who was arguably the second worse player at even strength for the Canucks tonight, behind one Erik Gudbranson.

via @evolvinghockey

It’s never good when the team’s worst player from an xGF per-sixty ranking and third worse player from an xGA per-sixty ranking is on the ice for nearly a third of the game. The lack of depth at center behind Horvat and Pettersson is pretty glaring when you look at Sutter as your second line center.

When you look at the defense, I think the two best takeaways are:

  1. Things are looking better since the Hutton Gudbranson pairing was broken up. I thought Hutton and Stecher played serviceably tonight
  2. Gudbranson was at his best tonight fighting Haley and sitting in the box for 1/12th of the game

Up Next:

After a tough loss against Arizona, the Canucks found themselves barely on the other side of things against an at-best mediocre Florida team.

They’ll take on a reeling Edmonton team at home later this week. Edmonton is having such a tough go in a post-Klefbom world, they’re working Manning and Petrovic into the lineup as perceived upgrades. McDavid was sick for their skills competition earlier this week, so you wonder if he’ll be 100% for the Wednesday night matchup.

  • Larionov18

    Jared McCann’s play makes it look like a less bad trade. Still though the 2014 draft was Benning’s worst. Hopefully Demko can bail him out because it does not look like Jake will. Jake would be a decent late round first round pick…but 6th.

    • Alex Gable

      Yeah, when I look at McCann for Gudbranson, it seems like a “devil you know vs. the devil you don’t” situation. I think 14, third pair minutes a night is about the best-case scenario right now.

      • TheRealPB

        The reality is that big d who can skate, hit and supposedly have offensive upside are still given a premium value in the NHL, much more so than slight centers who have a good shot but not much else. McCann never looked as good as he did in his first season and Gudbranson hasn’t looked as good as he did with Campbell beside him. Every now and then you see a flash from either that make you think there’s more — McCann snaps a quick shot or hustles after a play, Gudbranson makes an effective outlet pass or defends well. But overall they are not more than bottom-pair/bottom-six players. This is why I feel like the continued outrage about the trade is misplaced — it’s like people are still lamenting the potential of a young prospect, a high 2nd and a high 4th for the unrealized potential of a Gudbranson and a mid-fifth. But the reality of the trade is that you have two middling players in Gudbranson and McCann, unrealized prospects on each side in Ang and Candella, and a completely wasted pick in Mascherin (the player the Panthers took when they flipped the Asplund pick in the Pysyk trade) when they couldn’t sign him. For what it’s worth, Asplund, the pick taken in that 2nd round spot has pretty much bombed. Sure, people will say “but we could have had DeBrincat or Girard” but there are fifteen other teams that didn’t pick either of them given the opportunity. It is way past time to let it go on the Gudbranson (and Sutter) trade(s).

        • Braindead Benning

          OMG… PB, the trade was stupid at the time and is still bloody stupid just like your long winded post. So what that both players are duds… It did not make sense at the time and still doesn’t. The Canucks needed young players and draft picks and could have done better if the meathead did his homework. Who cares about McCann or the slug!!! Debrincat was right there and still scored 60 after McDavid left… I was screaming for that pick and the meathead traded it

          • TheRealPB

            You must have a long list of meatheads to scream at over the Debrincat pick. Are you mad at TO, EDM, BUF, CBJ, STL, PHI, TBL, and FLA for passing on Debrincat? Are you mad at Montreal for trading the pick used to select him for Andrew Shaw? So many braindeads for you to be mad at…

        • Braindead Benning

          It’s not “way” past the time to let it go… Both Sutter and Gudbranson were bad trades that could have easily been filled by signing UFA … You should even know that ..lol

          • Defenceman Factory

            No one believes the Sutter or Gudbranson trades were “good” trades. Just like no one believes the “retool on the fly” was the “right” strategy. However the assets given to Florida in that deal haven’t panned out for them either. It is just time to stop whining about it.

        • I think it’s time for certain people to realize that Benning isn’t operating in the same way since he refocused from “retooling on the fly” to “rebuild” (Spring 2017). Sure, some of Benning’s earlier trades were infuriating but since the Gudbranson trade, Benning is net zero on draft picks, has picked up a few good prospects (e.g. Dahlen, Goldobin, Motte) or made some inconsequential trades (e.g. Subban/Dowd, Holm/Leipsic, Chaput/Kero). The only trade since that seems to be a true bomb is Pouliot but that’s what can happen in a reclamation project. The Sutter and Gudbranson trades happened in 2015 and 2016 respectively. That was 2-3 years ago, it’s time to move along people.

          • TheRealPB

            Do you list the Pouliot trade as a ‘bomb’ because he’s a pretty poor player? Because as trades go, giving up Andrey Pedan (now in the KHL) and a fourth rounder that Pittsburgh subsequently flipped to Vegas in the Brassard deal isn’t something I lose sleep over. Draft picks are the sweetener for most deals in a hard cap era, I don’t know why we continue to worry so much about them.

          • The “bomb” reference is to Pouliot himself, not the trade. A failed prospect plus a mid-round draft pick for a 1st round reclamation project isn’t a huge cost for the expected outcome. But I was hoping that Pouliot would develop into a bottom 4 defender who would QB the PP. Instead, it looks like we have another Jordan Subban, just a better pedigree. I check out fan boards for opposing teams after trades and for trade rumours and Pittsburgh fans were really happy to get rid of Pouliot.

        • bobbert

          Another novel and no paragraphs, c’mon man reign it in.

          It is not past time to ‘let it go’ because the GM told us both guys were foundational and both are still part of the present and future of the Canucks so fans have every right to keep talking about them.

          Corrado, Hodgson, Dorsett, sure, old news. Guddy, Sutter and any present Canuck NO, it’s relevant – deal with it!

    • truthseeker

      I’ll go farther than that. At this point the trade is virtually dead even. At this point McCann wouldn’t be able to beat out any of our Centers (I’d much rather have Sutter than him at the moment). Guddy has been awful as well but no less awful than McCann has been as a center for them. Plus they didn’t retain the second round pick they got.

      Now…if you want to call it a “bad trade” for the canucks because Guddy isn’t a good player, that’s fine, but as a trade it’s been a push. If McCann were still here (playing like he is) he’d probably be in Utica as a depth call up at this point. I don’t use the words “bad trade” because that makes it sound like we lost the trade.

      If I trade you five penny’s for a nickel…that’s not a “bad trade”. It’s just shuffling chairs around.

      • Dirk22

        People bashing McCann or saying this trade was a wash/win need to realize that:
        A) McCann is only five months older than Gaudette
        B) McCann is on pace for more points than Virtanen when Virtanen is having a career year
        C) they also gave up a 33rd overall pick.

        My guess is that apart from when the Panthers play the Canucks no one has seen McCann play much the last few years. If you don’t think he’d be an upgrade on our bottom six you’re clearly just in this to defend a bad Benning trade. No ones saying McCann is a top flight player but you can’t be serious if you’re trying to excuse this trade…….again!!

        • 100%.

          Compare what the Canucks did to the following scenarios:

          1. The Canucks keep McCann, keep their 2nd round pick, promise the minutes that eventually went to Gudbranson to Tryamkin to get him to stay in North America. The Canucks now have McCann, Tryamkin, and whoever they took with their 2nd on the roster instead of Gudbranson. They are unequivocally a better team.

          2. The Canucks keep McCann, keep the 2nd, and make a trade with another team for an equivalent defenseman to Gudbranson who doesn’t have “top-5 pick” pedigree. They pay a B prospect like Jordan Subban or Cole Cassels and a third-round pick. They are unequivocally a better team today with McCann, whoever they got for the 2nd, and a third-pairing defenceman they’re paying $1 million to.

          3. They keep McCann, keep the 2nd, and pick up a 3rd pairing/replacement level defenceman off of waivers or sign one out of the KHL/SHL/etc. Given how bad Gudbranson is, said defenceman is almost certainly at least equal to him, they pay him less, and they still have McCann (on pace for close to 40 points this year), whoever they take for the 2nd, and more cap flexibility. They are unequivocally a better team than after the Gudbranson trade.

          There’s simply no reasonable way of looking at the Gudbranson trade as a win. Gudbranson is a *bad player*, McCann remains a young player with lots of potential who is scoring at a decent rate this year, and there were several NHL’ers taken after 33rd overall that year that the Canucks could have picked. It was a *massive* loss for the team.

          • truthseeker

            Who said it was a win Goon?

            And he’s not “scoring at a decent rate”. He’s terrible. His GF% is 40. That’s awful. It’s worse than Loui Eriksson’s. Worse than Adam Guadette’s. Worse than Jay Beagle’s.

            I will admit that I was wrong about him being worse than sutter though. McCann does have better numbers than him in his 16 games compared to McCann’s 41. We’ll see if that holds.

            Having said that, I recently wrote a post saying I want Sutter traded so Gaudette can play full time as the third line C.

            And arguing who they “could have had” instead of McCann is just another illogical hindsight biased argument. Every team “could have had” a ton of great players they missed out on. It’s not even an argument.

        • truthseeker

          A) this is his 4th FULL season and he’s made virtually zero progress. Healthy scratched numerous times.
          B)Stupid comparison. You’re desperate for something to hang onto so you grab Virtanen who nobody has claimed is performing as well as expected. Not to mention that whole line of logic is a red herring. We’re not talking about JV. This is about McCann.
          C)Which the panthers used (via convoluted trades) on a player who went back into the draft 2 years later and fell to the 4th round. So basically they ended up with nothing for that 2nd round pick. Wasted. A total loss on their part.

          You need to realize your arguments are pathetic. My guess is you’re just being stubborn to try to salvage a bad argument you made ages ago rather than just admit it’s looking like the guy is total garbage.

          Unlike you Dirk…if he does turn it around and become a respectable player, I’ll be the first to change my opinion and reward the Preds with the “win” in this trade. But right now…it is even. No matter what lame scenarios your obvious biased opinions try to create. If you’re still trying to paint this as some huge mistake because we lost Jared f….king McCann…lol…then you’re clearly just in this to be a predictable Benning basher out to paint every single thing he does as the worst thing ever.

          • Freud

            Somebody hurt truthseekers feelings. They criticized his heroes.

            The guy who can’t figure out how to look up goal differentials has it all figured out. Then gets all worked up when he gets owned. So worked up the “Preds” now have McCann. Pathetic indeed.

          • truthseeker

            Oh…I figured it out cockroach number 2 and guess what I found…

            Jared McCann’s 40.82 Hahahaha……and for the other morons up there….because they seem to like to cherry pick other players to make their points…..Jake’s? 47.73

            what a bunch of dumb c….ts….lol.

          • McCann is way better player than you portray him to be, truthseeker. Personally, I hated the Gudbranson trade because I viewed McCann as a prospect with 2C potential (a la Bergeron). I would have kept him and would play him on this roster if we still had him. He hasn’t lived up to draft expectations but he’s way better than a Utica depth call-up. Let’s compare him to Markus Granlund since most commenters here would agree Granlund is a great bottom-6 complimentary center that we’d love to keep. Since last season (using averages):

            Points: McCann has a 0.40 PPG with 14 mins TOI. Granlund is 0.27 PPG with 16 mins TOI.

            Corsi/Fenwick: McCann is about 49% whereas Granlund is about 47%.

            CF% QoC: McCann and Granlund face about the same Quality of Competition at about 49% (if I’m reading it right on Corsica).

            Salary: McCann costs $1.25M and Granlund costs $1.475M.

            Haters gonna hate but McCann is putting up numbers like a decent cost-effective 3C.

          • Dirk22

            You should spend less time calling people names, talking about how good your arguments are or how ‘pathetic’ mine are and instead put some thought into what you are saying.

            Gudbranson by many metrics is among the worst defenceman in the entire league. His value could be replaced any day of the week on waivers. Trading a 33rd overall pick for what he brings would by itself be an overpayment (we don’t need to hear your tired ‘draft picks are overrated speech again’). You can talk about McCann’s worth all day but its a moot point. Remember though that this is a team, that with injuries, had Adam Gaudette as its second line center two games ago. It’s a team that just gave a 4 year contract to a 33 year old center to shore up the bottom six. It’s a team who gives Markus Granlund significant minutes. If you don’t think a 22 year old center on a 35 point pace is an upgrade to that I can’t help you.

            On top of all that, the fact that you couldn’t trade Gudbranson back for anywhere close to that return should tell you all you need to know about the trade. Last year it was reported they were offered a 2nd and 4th for him…..seems to be missing a key component, no?

            ps. you need to check your facts on (c) Panthers traded the 33rd pick and picked Mascherin at 38.

          • bobbert

            Why do you guys engage with this foul mouthed coward. Ignore and report this ignorant troll like i do, all he does is mouth off and cuss out decent posters. Time to flush this bad smell away, it’s beyond tiresome.

          • truthseeker

            Sorry Forever but you can’t just cherry pick whichever canuck you want who you know is worse, to compare him to. So he’s slightly better than Granlund. To me that just means we should probably try to get rid of Granlund then. Bring up Gaudette instead of him. I mean if everyone here is going to try to extend this argument past the position he plays and claim that “he’d be a better bottom 6 than…..” I mean hell….we could bring up bloody Gagner and have another player better than him.

            McCann is a place holder. Just like Granlund. A player that is necessary on a bad team but should be jettisoned as soon as there is a better option. But the thing is, Granlund as far as I’ve heard, has never been a problem in the locker room. In the case of McCann we have first hand player reported and player mother reported proof that he was not liked and was causing problems.

            Dirk…you keep harping on Guddy as if I don’t know he’s garbage. I’m not defending him. He sucks. I’ve said that multiple times. But because you don’t have an argument you have to keep painting a lie that I’m saying Guddy is good. Which he isn’t. Here…I’ll say it again…Guddy is the worst D man in the NHL. There you go. Get it? None of that changes the fact McCann is useless too.

            You’re seriously going to say McCann would helping the canucks more than what Beagle has brought so far? lol. Points aren’t everything Dirk. GF% 40.82 What good are those 35 point (actually it’s 33 point pace with 14 goals) if he’s a liability who lets in even more when he’s on the ice?

            Did I say they could get a good return for Guddy? There you go again creating your strawman arguments. You really should learn what a strawman and a red herring argument is so you stop making them. But I’ll play a long for a moment. You think McCann would bring back a young former top 5 pick D man at this point? Of any calibre? lol….yeah…exactly. Both of them are worthless at this point. Both teams ended up with garbage.

            uhhh…I did check my facts Dirk, that’s what “(via convoluted trades)” means. Did I actually need to spell it out for you? The asset the got from the canucks they used to get the asset that turned out to be a total failure for them. So that second round pick they got from us was a total failure for them. A rather lame attempt at spin, by you though.

            I may mouth off bobbert, but it’s backed by a sound argument. And if you think these self loathing cockroaches are making “decent” posts when they’ve all been caught out as full on liars, well…I don’t know what to tell you. You must have issues as well. I don’t suffer fools. Ever.

            Speaking of lies Dirk. Remember how you kept perpetuation the proven lie about “Benning ‘hemorrhaging’ draft picks” ? You know that absolutely awful CA article that was absolutely destroyed by a poster who went through and showed the net loss of like 1 or 2 picks over and only like 1 or 2 of your personal pet peeve 2nd round picks in the entire time Benning has been here? “Hemorrhage”? Hardly. More like tiny single drop of water.

            Anyway, I found it interesting that recently when Benning did exactly what you’ve been whining for over and over and over again, you know, “collect draft pick”, and traded Nilsson and got that extra 6th round pick, well, you were nowhere to be found. I mean…I’m not saying you needed to claim Benning the greatest GM in history, but seriously, no “Finally, a decent trade of a vet” type post? Give him a little credit for doing something you’re so obsessed about?

            See this is what I mean Dirk. You’re a self loather. Biased. You claim to be a fan of the team, but are never here when they are successful. You only show up when things are bad or to argue what you think are easy points about Benning failures. Try taking a little joy in the team from time to time. It’s nowhere near as bad as you think it is. Try being rational. There is plenty of legit criticism that can be given to Benning, but you really don’t seem to be able to separate that from your bias and you end up arguing irrationally.

          • Dirk22

            Truthseeker- I keep harping on Gudbranson because he’s sort of central to measuring this trade don’t you think?

            Nice essay. Love the part where you lecture about red herrings and then going on about how I lied about draft pick hemorrhaging and also how I didn’t acknowledge the 6th they got for Nilsson. I thought this was about the Gudbranson trade?

            The truth, truthseeker, is that I’m not surprised at you calling McCann useless – the reason I had brought up Virtanen earlier is that you clearly don’t think he is useless (nor do I) – I thought that by comparing their point totals you would see that it’s strange calling one player ‘useless’ as opposed to another with a similar statistical profile. That’s not a straw man as it relates to the argument about McCanns value. Like I said, I’m not surprised though.

            Question – If the Canucks were offered the worst defencemen in the league for say…Gaudette and Woo, would you make the deal? Now if Gaudette went on to become a bottom six – 35 pt guy max, and Woo never panned out would you say that trade is a wash?

          • truthseeker

            And so is McCann. Two parts make up a trade. The canucks would be no better off if they had kept McCann based on his play. So the trade is even. Evenly bad. But even nonetheless.

            A red herring is used IN PLACE of a response to a point. I responded directly to your points and then I brought up another. That’s not a red herring. lol. The fact I even have to explain this to you….sigh….Maybe you need to study up on basic logic. Go to the wiki page and start reading…I don’t know. It’s clear that you simply can’t process simple lines of thinking.

            This isn’t rocket science Dirk. Jake is coming from a WORSE place and improving. Jared McCann has been stagnant at the SAME level since he entered the league in terms of points. (and his GF% is actually way worse this season). So while they may look the same just judging by points, Jake has been trending in the right direction (granted very slowly) and making improvements, while McCann…not so much.

            Was Gudbranson the worst D man in the NHL at the time the canucks made that trade? Has Gaudette shown himself to be a self entitled locker room cancer that the other players don’t seem to like? Your analogy is flawed. Again, you can’t even formulate a logical line of reasoning. Here I’ll do it for you. The analogy you want is “would you trade Gaudette and Woo for a relatively young former 3rd overall pick who has a 50.70 GF% and a reputation for tough physical play and who looks to struggle slightly with possession being around 48%.”
            And that’s still not entirely accurate or logical because again….we aren’t factoring in Gaudette’s hypothetical attitude problem that would make this an accurate analogy.

        • TheRealPB

          Who did FLA pick with #33? Why has McCann been a healthy scratch this year? Gudbranson is not a good player and overall this trade was a lateral move which benefited neither team but you can’t be serious in rehashing this trade…again!!!

        • bobdaley44

          Here’s the thing Dirk, Mcann isn’t hard enough to be useful in the bottom six and not skilled enough to be in the top six. He’ll be in the KHL in a couple of years. Points? Who cares. Taking a flyer on a top three pick 6’5″ 220 lb right shot defenceman with some bite to his game wasn’t a bad gamble at the time. Especially on a team with no toughness and size. Did it work out for the best? Probably not but you lost little in the transaction.

          • Dirk22

            Granlund and Eriksson are in the Canucks bottom 6 right now – are they ‘hard enough’?

            It was a bad gamble because at the time of the trade the numbers suggested he was one of the worst defencemen in the league. Somehow GM’s are still intrigued by this guy because a) he’s big b) his game probably would have been very effective in the ’90s. c) he’s a good looking well spoken individual. This trade was bad from the get go. We’re here lamenting things such as the lack of defensive prospects coming through Utica right now when you have a trade like this ensuring that the Canucks would go two years in a row without a pick in the 2nd round. Connect the dots.

          • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

            “alleged” bite to his game.
            Quite literally everything positive spoken about the guy when he was traded for has been completely devoid in his game ever since.

            Just sayin’…

            Other than that, completely agree with you 👍

      • El Cid

        Dead even?
        I never had the privlidge between the three, who do do you feel is the best? Green Bastard’s Grandma,father or has the bastard mastered the skills taught to him?

    • Bendervîlle Tîgres

      Talk about small sample size (one game?) and homer bias (denial).

      22 year old McCann would competently slot into the 3 or 4C role on the Canucks over 30 year old Sutter (4 points and injury ravaged again), Leivo (4 points), Gaudette (7 points) and whatever other plug has filled in on lines 3/4 (Schaller, Gagner, overpay Beagle etc).

      Jared already has 17 points as a 3/4C this season, virtually the same as ‘career year’ Virtanen and he had a respectable 28 points in 68 games last season with a responsible plus 11 rating compared to Jake’s 20 points and Minus 11 rating in 75 games. McCann is developing very nicely in the tax-free Sunshine State.

      The trade was hands down a win for FLA, especially with the 2nd round draft pick thrown in by Benning for the career bust Slugbranson, who was a THIRD overall pick compared to McCann at a low end 24th and has some of the worst metrics in the league on D.

      McCann over Guddy every day of the week thanks, the evidence is overwhelming, as are the sour grapes here.

      • truthseeker

        One game? wtf are you talking about. It’s been 4 complete seasons of him being an absolute nothing in florida.

        I see you recycling the same stupid red herring as Dirk there, comparing him to JV. lol. Idiots think alike huh….

        Too f…king stupid to check to see that that second round pick became absolutely squat as they squandered it away.

        17 points so far! Whoopty dooo! And really….respectable 28 points huh? Is that why Florida healthy scratched him multiple times last season? Cause they thought he was “respectable”? lol.

        And is your reading comprehension also as bad as Dirks? Where did I say Gudbranson was a good player? Pretty much clearly said both of them are sh….

        Geezus..you really are a f..king moron. lol

  • Kanuckhotep

    A win is a win and I’ll take it. Three way tie for 8th over all in the conference and one point behind 7th. Not too bad at all. Can the Canucks keep the ball rolling against the McOilers and a now struggling BUF club? It’d sure help to get you know back and soon. I hope there’s no pathos in my optimism.

  • Killer Marmot

    If the Canucks want to consider themselves a potential playoff team, efforts like this won’t do.

    After a tough loss against Arizona, the Canucks found themselves barely on the other side of things against an at-best mediocre Florida team.

    Alex Gable is displaying CA syndrome. This is a remarkably pessimistic run-down given how the Canucks dominated every aspect of the game, especially physically with 34 hits! The boys were feisty tonight, and played hard. A joy to watch.

  • TheRealPB

    Wow, what did the Canucks do to earn this level of vitriol in your post-game writeup? It wasn’t a great game but it was nowhere near as close as you suggest. We significantly outshot and out chanced them in the first and second, they had some pushback in the third, but really weren’t that threatening. Luongo made some excellent saves to keep them in it and I’d argue that a pretty good defensive effort held them to far fewer shots than normal (I think they are about the third highest in shots taken in the league) as well as an otherwise fairly good PP off the scoresheet (though Vatrano’s goal was right as one expired). But your recap absolutely drips with bile and some unfair characterizations. Virtanen did not “Virtanen” on the empty net; it would be more accurate to say that he made a hustle play to beat out the icing, then made a tough shot on a sharp angle that still hit the inside of the post — as the commentator said, it’s too bad he wasn’t on his off wing for a much easier shot. Gudbranson didn’t have a terrible game, though I will agree that Hutton and Stetcher to me looked better and that was definitely a far superior game from Pouliot than you can usually get. The suggestion that Gudbranson was only good because he took that idiot Haley off and himself as well is kind of classic and uncalled for snark.

    I thought the main takeaways were that though I always am suspicious of the run-down rumors after a player leaves town, McCann really does seem to be a POS and while he might resemble Kesler in attitude, he has miles to go to match him in strength and skill (as evidenced by his healthy scratches despite FLA being down Trochek).

    And I’d also say that despite all the doom and gloom about the Canucks and their mismanagement and the signing of the Beagles, Sutters, Erikssons, and Gudbransons of the world, even if we rank 20th in the league, we’ve got the sixth lowest payroll right now, which will increase next year but on the basis of young players like Boeser coming into their first big contracts. I’d much rather that than LA, Detroit, Chicago or Ottawa who have tens of millions tied up in aged has-beens. Or even FLA, who were supposed to be rebuild darlings but look completely aimless. This is a team whose core players are in their supposed prime, outside of Barkov, Huberdeau, and Ekblad (Hoffman, Dadonov, Yandle, Trochek and Bgujstad are all in their mid-late 20s) but it sure doesn’t look much like it. Even those star players didn’t look particularly threatening for most of the game (and while you can rag on Sutter, I’d counter that his line was pretty effective at holding that scoring line for FLA under check, which MIGHT also have something to do with their shot metrics…)

    • Spiel

      PB, You have to remember that the Panthers employ a lot of “progressive” hockey minds. Therefore the Canucks Army staff conclusion is that the Panthers are a well constructed team with bad luck this season. I suppose last season when they missed the playoffs was also bad luck. But the one good season they had in 2015-16 was not luck, that was due to smarts.

    • Kootenaydude

      Boeser missed a wide open net in the 3rd. In a tight game like this. He has to make those shots if the Canucks are going to win. He’s supposed to be the goal scorer of this team. I honestly haven’t seen the great shot he seemed to possess last year. The release that confused goalies. I guess he doesn’t get the Virtanen treatment though.

  • Killer Marmot

    Edler-Tanev and Hutton-Stecher are the way to go. Put your four best players in the first two pairings — it’s not rocket surgery.

    Yes, the Canucks have to cobble together a bottom pairing from underwhelming talent, but at least you can limit them to 15 minutes a night.

  • NeverWas

    Any advanced stats to speak of instead of your biased verbal diarrhea?? Do you know what those fancy graphs are/mean that were embedded into the article?

    Canucks win… move into a playoff spot and the write up is all doom and gloom. I dont get it…. can we get an actual fan with some actual analytical skills to write the post/pre games? Maybe? I’ll even just take one of those…

  • Captain Video

    It’s pretty shocking how gutless a coward Matheson is. Just a craven, sissy-assed punk who won’t answer the bell for his pathetic cheapshot and forced his teammate Haley to fight for him. I’d never want that milksop on my team, even in a beer league. Remind me to sleep with his wife next time I’m in Florida.

  • West Coast Hockey Fan

    Slightly off topic but what would people think of a direct trade with Dallas exchanging the often benched Julius Honka and the Canucks’ perennial dog house resident Nikolay Goldobin. Both players seem young, have a significant skill set, and have yet to establish themselves in the NHL.

  • DJ_44

    Gudbranson was at his best tonight fighting Haley and sitting in the box for 1/12th of the game

    Gudbranson played an solid game last night and was as good as the other members of the D-corp.

    Odd. Not one mention of the stupid (“processing the game at a high level”) lazy and completely unnecessary penalty that Goldobin took to effectively give Florida the opportunity to tie the game…… mid-way through the third period.

    • Tedchinook

      Another lazy penalty is right. Does anyone honestly believe this guy is ever going to get it? It’s absolutely time to unload him while his stats are still inflated from playing with Petterson.

      • TD

        I would only trade him if he had value. Otherwise, I am happy to see Goldobin get the same treatment Virtanen and Hutton have received in past years. Goldobin does lots of good things, but his gaffes are ridiculous and often end with the puck in the back of our net. Hopefully he will get it at some point.

      • Holly Wood

        I think Goldie May have run out of chances for now. Either him or Schaller need to be waived or traded by Wednesday if Petterrsson is back. Don’t think Goldie will slip through waivers, so something is about to happen real quick here.

    • Fred-65

      I have to say Gudbranson could be more effective if he could learn to play within abilities. Eric you are not the second cousin of Bobby Orr you have limited skill so for you sunshine it’s got to be give to your D partner or off the glass and out then change up. Unfortunately his hockey IQ is below par but he keeps believing in himself as a gifted player, Eric you’re not get used to it. His fight last night also proved that his general IQ is lacking and Haley is well above him in that regard. After on fight you’re basically out of contention for another fight. Haley new that and had the kahoolies to go after Gudbranson and thus save any more trouble for the night. The team wasn’t interested in busting knuckles on Haley … maybe to didn’t get the memo but it was Mattheson that needed the slap around the head. I shudder when I see Eric turn back on the play and try to make an astute move ….it usually ends up in our net. And last but not least Luongo. I cannot for the life of me understand when a Canuck player trys toscore a goal and Luongo makes a save some fans cheer to opposing goalie. Luongo treated this team like a jerk when he left town with his demands and refusing a trade to TO, plus I wish he hadn’t decided to play chesterfield rugby the night before game 7 in the SC and can I guess sympathise with his wife when she caught him at it … the city and some fans are very forgiving

  • Freud

    My favourite moment of the season was watching Gudbransen fight tonight, desperately trying to get Florida’s attention so they’ll try and bring him back. Then talking tough after the game. Incredible.

    Let’s get this done. The team’s slim chances in actually winning a trade is predicated on targeting the few GMs that are more archaic and dumb than Benning.

    • Braindead Benning

      Well you can thank both Mr.Katz and Mr. Melnyk for providing that… Besides Mad Mike I don’t think the NHL has seen more inept GMs since those wonderful islander days…

    • Bud Poile

      Benning trades Leivo,Motte,Goldolbin,Baertschi,Granlund,Sutter,Pouliot and Gudbranson all played in last night’s win.
      Benning prospects Palmu,Gunnarsson,Dahlen,Gadjovich,Lockwood and Brisebois are all Canucks prospects Benning acquired via trade.
      The slim chance is you ever doing any research.

  • Burnabybob

    The writers on this site seem confident that they won’t, but the The Canucks could totally make the playoffs this year. Far stranger things have happened.

  • Kootenaydude

    Guddy plays RHD and can punch you in the face. McCann not so much. Don’t tell me you’re not happy Guddy is on our team when things are about to get rough. Take away Guddy and we’re softer than Toronto. Who would you have rather had on the ice last night? McCann or Gudbranson?

  • Doodly Doot

    A short while ago I wrote elsewhere about how Green is taking the talent he’s been given and developing this into a team that plays with fiery spirit, for lack of a better term. I also argued that Goldy is the furthest away from that archetype on the team. Putting his obvious skills (and ‘numbers’) aside, his style of play has seemed to consistently support my assumptions. He’s a passenger. If he were traded, and it’s worth discussing, because there are guys in Utica chomping at the bit who at the very least would step in and provide the fire he lacks.

    One quick note about Botchford’s new Athletics article about Pettersson. I came across a link to it at Cam Robinson’s twitter page. I have no interest in reading it, but the graphic that accompanied the headline is worth mentioning because it stands out as moronic. I don’t know if was Jason’s idea or not, but depicting the young Swede as half-alien is juvenile banality. The young man is comes across clearly as one of the most intelligent, passionate and honest guys on the squad. In this case, I think it’s the media person who is from another planet. Sell subs to suckers!

  • Hockey Bunker

    The problem with hindsight is there is no time machine. You don’t get do overs.
    Is Benning better today at trading and drafting?
    Yes.
    What matters is the future and the future is looking brighter.
    If there is a rebuilding non-playoff team today which has never had a first overall pick that you like better please let me know.

  • Smyl and Snepsts

    More predictable writing. Crap on Sutter and Gudbranson and the team for not ” putting away ” Florida. Never give credit if the other teams goal tender is lights out.
    The team played great. Louie was hot or it would have been an early blow out.
    Looks to me like Goldobin is done. Never saw the ice again after the lazy penalty.

    • bobbert

      Yep – Goldy is another in a long list of reclamation projects that Benning keeps picking up like magic beans in hopes of turning them all into worldbeaters.

      There is a reason San Jose gave up on this kid, just like the Pens did Pouliiot and Fla did number 3 overall Gudbranson.

      Jimbo and Green just don’t have the smarts to turn *so many* of these lame first rounders into thoroughbreds. For every Sven there are too many Goldobin’s. Let him go to the K with his buddy Tryamkin and be done wth it.

    • Locust

      The writing on this site is borderline horrendous. JD brought them into the gutter and they’ve never had the will or fortitude to drag themselves out. Ryan did de-troll us, for a couple of days. I guess we should give thanks.
      Should be named Anti-Canucks Army.

    • Alex Gable

      You’re welcome to hand count the number of times I highlighted Luongo making great saves. He played well.

      Luongo can play well and Sutter and Gudbranson can play like garbage simultaneously.

      You must have also missed the points about Leivo playing well on his return.

      The commentary on Sutter wasn’t just that he was hot trash (he was), but that he’s overcast as a second line center, which is juxtaposed with the cost-controlled fringe 3rd line center they traded away for Gudbranson who blocked Tryamkin.

      • TheRealPB

        I don’t disagree that Sutter is miscast as either a ‘foundational’ player or a 2C. On this team when Petterson’s not injured he’s the 3C, a role in which he is really not miscast. I don’t love Sutter and I certainly don’t love Gudbranson, but I think your vitriol for both seems odd for this game. In what way was Sutter ‘hot trash’ in this game? He played in a straight defensive matchup against their top line. He had 2 shots, six hits, took a bunch of face-offs, played 18 minutes and the Barkov line had five shots between them and a bunch of minuses (mostly for the empty netters). Again, Sutter’s not producing a whole lot offensively, but to say that he was ‘hot trash’ in last night’s game seems unnecessary, inaccurate and over the top.

      • North Van Halen

        Blocked Trymakin?!?! You mean the sensitive defenceman that demanded ice instead of earning it then went home to Russia pouting about not being treated more favourably than anyone else?! Then once back home he was benched for having a bad attitiude?!?

        If you want that guy on your team instead of Guddy, stick with stats and save the snark cuz you have no clue. What you don’t want when trying to build a culture of winning is self absorbed prima donnas that think they’re place is gifted not earned. Everything about hockey is not on a spread sheet and JD Burke should not be your example of quality writing.

        • Holly Wood

          Your spot on there NVH. Nobody blocked Tryamkin but himself. He had tantalizing size but didn’t have the heart to play the NHL game. I would take Gudbranson any day over Tryamkin. To writers or fans that constantly bash Guddy, I ask that that you rewind after goals against to determine who and what errors led to a specific goal. His positioning is sound, his strength and reach are unquestioned. His inability to recover from teammates giveaways due to a lack of quickness is what I see as a problem. I have seen games where he is on for 3 against and his only mistake was being on the ice. Last week against the Leafs, he has Tavares well covered in front but Tavares gets a stick on a point shot. Markstrom rims the puck up the wall to a Leaf D that results in a goal. Hutton is on for those goals but who gets ripped? Study the video, you will be in for a bit of a surprise. Some players get a pass in this market, some get piled on.

          • Holly Wood

            Trevor Moore scores a highlight reel goal by walking around Pouliot, and breaking down the right side. Guddy plays the resulting 2 on 1 very well, giving Markstrom the shooter and taking the pass away. Result minus 1. That’s just one game where the results don’t tell the story. If you break down the results of most goals scored by any team you will notice it’s generally one or two mistakes combined with high skill by the offensive team team that lead to goals scored. If Guddy was any where close to being as bad as the defensive genius Darryl Keeping believes he is he wouldn’t be in the league. Keeping continues to bang the drum but I guess Travis Green doesn’t agree with him.

      • Holly Wood

        Alex, please take this as constructive criticism. JD Burke’s snark did not go over very well on this site. Do not attempt to emulate his style . Somehow your column attracted a lot of troll content.

  • Hockey Bunker

    Goldobin is a place holder. No future with team.
    If all goes well Dahlen or Gaudette or an as yet unknown draft or player obtained in a trade will take his place next season or after the trade deadline .

  • Rodeobill

    Both goalies tonight were on fire, right up until Granny’s goal with 10 seconds left anyway. Guddy did not have a great game, but I’m glad he was on the ice. as this game was about winning a moral victory and he definitely helped with that. The team’s response to Matheson was appropriate. Hard, challenging, in your face all night. No cheap stuff. He didn’t want to fight, not even Horvat when he challenged him. Haley and the rest of the team was there to support their team mate, and kudos to them. Guddy was there to respond to their response (Haley) and did that well. Matheson wasn’t going to go with Guddy, Rousell, Horvat, or anyone, and his true punishment is the badge of shame for having bullied a kid and not stood up for himself back. Case closed, good job on both sides, I love hockey and the camaraderie and drama it involves.

  • Holly Wood

    I do not recall any oh oh moments by Gudbranson last night except when I realized he was paired with Pouliot. On another note, I checked the exits and no one was leaving during his scrap with Haley. Funny , everyone was standing though.