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Photo Credit: (Canucks / Twitter)

Vancouver Canucks vs Buffalo Sabres Post Game Recap: The Vitriol-free Version

The Vancouver Canucks came into this game reeling a bit after giving up a shootout loss to Edmonton, in Edmonton. They entered tonight’s game with only two wins in January. Markstrom played well in Edmonton, but was out-dueled by the KHL import Mikko Koskinen, who has been better than most anticipated for Alberta’s probably-not-a-playoff team.

Speaking of reeling, the formerly hot Buffalo comes into tonight’s game having won only two of their past ten and only one so far this year. Prior to their win on Wednesday at Calgary, center and captain Jack Eichel hadn’t logged a point since December 27th at St. Louis.

For the Canucks, Thatcher Demko made his first start in Vancouver since March 31st of 2018. He’d end up getting his second straight win and the first star of the game as the Canucks took the win in a high-energy game against the Buffalo Sabres.

1st Period:

Travis Green was trying to set the tone when he had the Canucks open the game with Jay Beagle lined up against Jack Eichel.

Moments later, Loui Eriksson made a great stick lift a minute in to prevent a shot from Sabres player driving through the left circle.

On the Sabre’s next opportunity, Tage Thompson fired over the net from the high slot. Then, Buffalo narrowly missed a tip over the net by Johan Larsson on a feed from Okposo into the slot. As we’d see often tonight, Demko stood confident and tall, again.

Sabers winger and former St. Louis Blue Vladimir Sobotka had an on-the-rush, cross-royal-road pass to Jason Pominville blocked, but the puck ended up back on his stick. Demko stuffed him with a strong, athletic kick from the leg pad. This opportunity came off a broken play because the Canucks botched a change, leaving them with one defenseman on the ice. Buffalo was able to sustain extended offensive zone time, the Canucks allowed a couple of cross ice passes, which opened up their defensive structure. Ristolainen’s foot then redirected a Sobotka pass to Evan Rodrigues’ waiting stick after he worked off of Derrick Pouliot. Rodrigues scored on the backhand to put the Sabres up 1-0.

The Canucks were still waiting on their first shot as Buffalo had thoroughly out played Vancouver on their home ice in the first ten minutes. Josh Leivo would put the first tally on the shot clock for Vancouver as he worked one through traffic from the blue line with 10:30 to play.

courtesy hockeyviz.com

The home team really started to get things going as Motte, Beagle and Eriksson exited their own zone with 8:50 to go. This line generated a decent opportunity from the point for Stecher and a close wraparound attempt from behind the net for Beagle. The top line was able to follow their lead, coming out on the next change, with Edler tying the game at 1-1 at the 12:12 mark of the first. Horvat worked the puck in low, behind the net. He pushed past Rasmus Ristolainen to make the backhand feed along the far boards to Edler and the Canucks got a bit of puck luck with the puck skating along the ice through a couple sets of skates and past Ullmark.

The Canucks would ride that momentum with Derrick Pouliot single-handedly bringing the puck into the offensive zone and playing keep away from Rasmus Ristolainen. When he beat the defenseman, Pouliot fed a slick backhand pass behind Ristolainen and Rodrigues to Sven Baertschi who was waiting below the hash marks, staring at a wide open net. Baertschi buried this shot, giving the Canucks a 2-1 lead they would carry into the second

Vancouver went to the power play shortly thereafter, with Demko heading to the bench for the extra man with 3:30 to play and Okposo heading off for hooking. Leivo saw some time on the top unit, heading out with Horvat, Baertschi, Boeser, and Edler. Unfortunately, it was nothing doing on the power play for the Canucks. Gudbranson would take a penalty reaching in on Eichel in the defensive zone to close out the period.

2nd Period:

The Sabres opened the second with 1:43 left on the Gudbranson penalty. Demko made a sprawling save following a huge stop on a Jeff Skinner attempt on a rebound stemming from a botched a glove save. This happened a few times tonight for Demko and might be something to keep an eye on as he gets more playing time.

Demko wasn’t quite so lucky when Kyle Okposo snuck one through the five hole. The Canucks would block a couple of point shots before Larsson and Girgensons worked the puck below the net against Pouliot and Gudbranson. They kicked the puck out front to a waiting Okposo who picked his spot and beat Demko cleanly between the legs.

With 16:44 to go in the second, Travis Green rolled the Beagle line back out against the Eichel line in the Vancouver zone. Again, Beagle & Co. were able to work the puck out of their own end. Green was looking to get the Canucks going defensively as at this point they were being thoroughly out-chanced by the Sabres. Shots on goal were 16-5 in favour of Buffalo and attempts 35 – 24 favouring the road team.

courtesy evolving-hockey.com

At the 7:15 mark of the second, Jake Virtanen got into a bit of a shoving with Jeff Skinner and Sam Reinhart, leading to two minutes of 4-on-4 play. This after a beautiful save from Demko on a Skinner backhander, coming from a smooth pass from Reinhart following the controlled entry from Eichel.

On the 4-on-4, Hutton got a shot in on the rush, leading to Pilut and Boeser attempting to trakc it down in the corner. Pilut would make an inexplicable drop pass to the front of the net that would sail past his likely target Ristolainen, right to Horvat driving the net. Horvat made the feed to Boeser who still hadn’t been tracked down by Pilut, on the doorstep and suddenly it was 3-2 Canucks.

The roller coaster would continue with things shifting back a bit in Buffalo’s favour as they had a number of extended opportunities in the offensive zone, but with teams trading chances at both ends. The Buffalo edge would culminate in a Sam Reinhart backhand goal to tie things up, as Demko wasn’t able to react quickly enough on the cross-ice pass from Sheary. The former Penguin who rejoined his former AGM, Jason Botterill, in Buffalo this offseason, made a rocket pass across the ice after coming off the bench and gloving down a high feed from Eichel on the opposite blue line.

Demko and Ullmark each made a couple of big saves in the final five muntes to close out the period tied, 3-3. Demko showed a flash of confidence and composure making a dandy save with 1:28 to go when a shot from Dahlin on the left point skipped up off his leg pad and he calmly snagged it out of the air with his glove.

Josh Leivo got bumped up to the top line with Horvat and Boeser. That combination line generated a number of quality chances as time wound down in the second period.

3rd Period:

Following the precedent of previous periods, again, Beagle squared up against the young Buffalo captain. Baertschi nearly scored in close on a pass from Horvat as he alternated shifts with Josh Leivo, appearing to get the majority of the shifts starting with a faceoff in the offensive zone. The Horvat line would get the lion’s share of the offensive zone starts as Travis Green and the Canucks looked to put away the Sabres in the third and avoid OT, which hasn’t been kind of late.

Demko over-committed on a Risolainen drive to the net, but Gudbranson would bail him out with a blocked shot as the goaltender attempted to make a diving save. The rookie goalie would make a huge stop on a Rodrigues one-timer coming off a drop-pass from Sobotka below the hash marks on the right circle. Demko followed that monster save up with a strong push back across the crease for a kick save on Sobotka, who picked up Rodrigues’ rebound and fired it at the net.

Demko’s mask came off on the sequence and again, Beagle would take the defensive zone face-off against the Eichel line, generating a 2-on-1 the other way. The Sabres would counter the spoiled odd-man rush, but the Canucks would shut them down. Tanev brought the puck out of their end and slid the puck to Leivo who fired it on net. The rebound worked its way to Beagle, who got the puck in behind the net to Leivo. Leivo played keep-away from Bogosian and dodged the poke check from Ullmark to get a backhand feed to Loui Eriksson. Eriksson buried the shot into a wide open net with Ullmark stuck in the VH, over-committed to the poke check.

Even though they were being out-chanced at a ratio of 6:4 and out-shot 28-20 at this point, the Canucks found themselves with a 4-3 lead and fourteen minutes left to play. Leivo nearly made it 5-3 on the breakaway after Pilut mis-played a bouncing puck with 7:55 to go. He went forehand-backhand, but Ullmark stuck with him and got the leg pad out there to make a save to keep the Sabres in it.

Green’s favorite matchup led to a Sabres power play when Beagle got his stick stuck in between EIchel’s skates 13:30 into the third period. Demko made a fantastic glove save on another Dahlin one-timer from the right circle. The Sabres would regroup with Eichel, then Dahlin, then Skinner bringing the puck through the middle of the ice, but again, Demko made an arm save on a Skinner backhander. The rookie goaltender did everything he could to help the Canucks’ special teams effort, even having a conveniently timed equipment issue that allowed the penalty killers to regroup. Beagle exited the box with 4:30 remaining in the third.

As Buffalo was mounting their final push, Troy Stecher blocked a point shot from Jason Pominville forcing Buffalo to regroup when the puck caromed out of the zone. The Sabres pulled Ullmark with 90 seconds to go. Buffalo worked the puck around the outside a number of times, but had trouble finding a clear shooting lane or putting a pass for a shot on the tape. They seemed to continually misfire the final pass in a number of sequences.

With forty-three seconds to go we ended the game how we started it, Beagle v. Eichel. Eichel won the draw but the puck trickled back into the Buffalo zone. Eichel tried to force a pass through to Dahlin, but it was broken up. Tanev recovered the puck and sat on it until time expired giving the Canucks a much needed “W”.

Wrap Up:

After a slow first ten minutes for Vancouver, the game felt like it could go either way. Both goaltenders made some remarkable saves in what proved to be a relatively wide-open game. Few watching would have been surprised to see the total score for either side climb above five goals.

As far as the advanced stats were concerned, the Canucks were out shot and out chanced, but I think the pace of the game tells the story better. I included a number of hockeyviz’s shot tide charts above to that effect. While the tide seemed to bounce back and forth an equal number of times, it does appear that Buffalo generated more from their opportunities. Demko’s play kept the Canucks in a game where they weren’t necessarily out-played, but were definitely onthe lower side of a tilted playing surface.

With as much as we saw Beagle out there against Eichel’s line, we surprisingly saw more of Josh Leivo than all but four other forwards. I’d wonder, given his recent play and the need for more depth scoring if the move to the Horvat line comes again Sunday.

courtesy evolving-hockey.com

Ultimately, Travis Green chose to shut down Buffalo’s top line and take his chances against the other three.We frequently saw him play the Horvat line off of and immediately after the Beagle line, which resulted in a number of chances for Vancouver’s top unit against tired or changing Buffalo players.This was a particularly interesting development because as recently as the 5-1 win against Florida (also at home) the Sutter line had been deployed in this role. We’ll see if this trend continues Sunday against Detroit.

Stecher had another strong game on Vancouver’s second defensive pair. It looks like Edler and Tanev drew the same matchup as the Beagle line and Stecher and Hutton drew everyone else. Pouliot got strapped to Gudbranson and those two spent the majority of their time out against Buffalo’s third line. They were on ice for two of the goals against. After not scoring for essentially an eternity, Ben Hutton nearly had a second goal in three games tonight. No surprise this breakout comes after the pairs were shuffled. He and Stecher have looked like a strong tandem these past three games.

If you want to know how Demko played, a Cmd+F “Demko” might tell you. He contributed immensely to Vancouver’s win tonight and, while he’d like to have the Okposo goal back I’d think, he showed off the excellent patience, athleticism, and puck tracking abilities that make him a top goaltending prospect at various points tonight. It’s certainly exciting to see the young goaltender excel in his new role.

Fun Fact:

Speaking of new roles, after a rough first two starts, the Swede shipped out to make room for the young gun has settled in with Ottawa. In his last four starts Nilsson is 3-1, with a .946 Sv%.

Up Next:

The Canucks will be taking on the Detroit Red Wings in a Sunday matinee before packing things in for the All-Star break. Detroit hasn’t played since last Tuesday and has won their last two games, albeit against the Minnesota Wild and Anaheim Ducks.

 



  • TheRealPB

    True to the headline — vitriol-free since five hours ago! In all seriousness, that was a great and pretty accurate recap. After a disastrous start (and there’s been a few of those where the Canucks can’t even muster a shot on goal or a zone entry for half the first period) they really came on, especially the grinding lines. I thought Eriksson has put together probably his best stretch of games in a Canucks uniform the last ten or so. And despite the couple of nice plays, for the most part that Pouliot-Gudbranson pairing looked horrific (any time I feel the need to defend the Gudbranson trade or signing or even think it’s a wash I should go back and look at footage like these extended sequences from this game where they can’t clear the zone with any competence). Leivo was all over the ice making great plays — should have had a goal but for that brilliant save by Ullmark. I think in pretty short order we’re going to see Demko start to really shine; his technical play still has some rough spots (especially handling the puck and his glove side) but he’s so positionally sound, so big and especially seems so calm, I think he’ll really take off.

  • truthseeker

    Nice 2 points. Good to see Bo and Brock shake off their mini slumps. Now JV needs to do the same. And I think you’re right RealPB, Eriksson has looked much better recently. Hopefully he can keep this good offensive play going. He’s shown this at times before and then kind of disappeared so it’s a wait and see.

    Great to see Demko playing a solid game too. Benning’s been far to conservative with him in my opinion, and I personally think he’s way behind where he should be. But he’s here now so hopefully Green works him in more than just sparingly.

    And nice to hear Nilsson is doing well so far in Ottawa.

  • Hockey Bunker

    For the first ten minutes all the team skated like they were wearing hip waders trying to climb a sand dune. They were incapable of doing more than chip it out and dump it in. Thankfully it improved.
    Pouliot’s rush was fun to watch, the rest of his game not so much.
    Tanev’s positioning defending the rush all game was really great and Edler seemed to be getting a piece of players regularly.
    Leivo was really good and his puck handling stood out.
    Demko was solid and spectacular as required.
    Overall lots of passengers in this one, hopefully better on Sunday as need the wins to keep coming.
    What you notice most about this team this year is when they are going the defense is up in the rush attacking and that was missing for much of this one.

  • Burnabybob

    Glad to see the Canucks improving, but I have mixed feelings about them making the playoffs. Benning’s focus still needs to be on the rebuild, and where the team will be 2-3 years from now. I don’t want him to forego trading players like Tanev and Edler if he has opportunity, just because they’re in the playoff hunt. He could get a nice return on those players.

    • Kanucked

      Well said.

      While I agree with your pov; however, I think that it is more probable that Benning resigns Edler before the TDL. My hope that it is a very team friendly deal that has a limited no trade. That way, maybe we can trade him next year. I’m not sure we would get the same value as now, but maybe we get something back.

      • canuckfan

        I am confused as to why we would want to trade Edler and Tanev they are clearly our number 1 and 2. If Hughes is as good as everyone hope and moves into the number 1 then we just upgraded our whole defense with Edler becoming number 3 and Hutton number 5. We can be patient and build our defense having players who want to play their career here becomes a draw for free agents wanting to come to Vancouver for the team culture. We know that the draft can be a lottery with some of these drafted kids becoming a bust I do not want to trade a valuable asset just to get a draft pick that may or not become a player as Brian Burke says beer and girls have killed a lot of first round picks. Draft where you draft develope and hang on to those who you have developed into good player such as Edler. 3 years is a good contract he will be ready to retire, lots of hard miles on his body perhaps in his 3rd year we can have him as our spare defender going deep into the playoffs.

        • Kanucked

          Edler is a UFA at the end of the season, so the Canucks ability to maximize a “valuable asset” is by the TDL.

          You can still resign him (because he wants to stay) at the end of the season and do what you suggested.

          Of course there is risk in the draft. That’s why you want more picks. I am confident Brackett and Benning could draft an intriguing player with an additional first rounder.

        • truthseeker

          For me it’s not an either or proposition. I always depends on the return.

          I agree with you about draft picks and I think people around here really over inflate their value. Especially when suggesting things like trading Tanev or Edler for a single 1st round draft pick. That is such a huge risk when you have two guys who, especially like you said, if they slide down to a “second pairing” role, can still provide at least another 3 years of solid play. And like you said, they can easily be around for a “new young core’s” first few playoff “runs”.

          Having said that, the canucks would be stupid to turn down a great offer for either of them. If a playoff team came asking and offered up a top D prospect and a first round pick, then that changes the situation. Suddenly your odds of getting a real long term replacement for them have jumped up significantly. Yes, we’ll suffer in the short term but in that case it would be worth it, in my opinion.

          Benning should simply have a strong but fair price on his mind for both Tanev and Edler, and if a team is willing to pay it then fine. And if they aren’t then that’s fine too. Resign them and have 2 rock solid veteran D men for the next few years.

          I’ve said this a number of times here, but I won’t view not trading either of them as a “mistake” by Benning. Because it won’t be.

          • Kanucked

            What do you lose by accepting a first round pick for Edler?

            It’s funny how the counter arguments center on the fact that there is risk in getting back draft picks. Well don’t you think there’s any risk in signing a 33rd year old defenseman?

            For once, I would like the Canucks to sell high on an asset. Resign him in the offseason if we need to, but maximize value now.

            Knowing our luck, the Canucks will resign him prior to the TDL and he will be injured down the stretch anyway.

          • truthseeker

            https://www.tsn.ca/statistically-speaking-nhl-draft-pick-values-1.1119528

            You lose Edler’s ability for the next three years. Of course there is risk that he declines. But simple fact is he’s a player we know for certain can play in the NHL. And even when Edler plays worse than he has this year he’s still a pretty solid player. So projecting a decline for him still puts him as a good player. He’d have to have a career ending injury to become absolutely worthless. And the same kind of thing could happen to our hypothetical first round pick.

            Look at the chart in the article above. You have to weigh these things. You’re talking like all first round picks are the same thing. If we trade Edler to a contender we will get a first round pick from 16 down. The average there is a player with about a 3 to 4 rating. (feel free to calculate the actual average of all those spots if you take issue with that). So in all likelihood we’ll get a player who’s at best a depth player and quite possibly someone who might get a couple hundred games in the NHL. It’s a 21% (averaged out) chance that a pick in that range ends up being a top 6 forward or top 4 defenseman. Those are absolutely terrible odds.

            So in the end the average expected player we can expect to get from those draft positions stand a very large possibility of not even playing as many games in their entire careers as Edler most likely will over the next 3 years. Let alone being as good as what he will be in those three years.

            A single first round pick is very very over rated. Especially outside the top 5. It’s not enough of a return to justify giving up a player who will play 3 more years at a decent level.

        • Holly Wood

          I’m a believer that they keep Edler, mainly because he is the current #1. There is currently no one in the system capable of handing that role. When Hughes arrives, I suggest there will be a steep learning curve for him. Also suggest that he becomes an offensive driver, like we have never had but not a traditional #1 D man. It may take a while for him to become that guy and he will need teammates that can play the hard minutes for him. Like Smyl and Snepts pointed out he will get swatted out of the way in front of the net .

        • DeL

          Beer, I can see too much beer and the accompanying hangovers killing a lot of first rounders (Patrick Kane excepted) but too many girls? Never! Imagine how much better Edler would be if he only played 20-21 minutes a game because your top two pairings were great and your third wasn’t far behind. Just sayin’. Perhaps packaging some lower round picks and/or some players would bring back a young D that could step into that second pairing or free up enough cap space to sign someone in free agency. Probably wishful thinking

        • crofton

          I think Hutton is #3 already, and ready to displace Tanev, but not the one to mentor Hughes. So if Hughes goes to top pairing with one of Tanev or Edler, the other goes to 2nd with Hutton, at least to try it. Stecher and whoever for 3rd pairing with Stecher ready to move up soon as well.

          • DeL

            Hutton is not as consistent as Tanev and doesn’t read the game as well. Woo might be the guy to eventually replace Tanev with more offensive upside. Seems like he is developing his all around game in Moose Jaw, but only time will tell

        • bobdaley44

          Hughes will be a Brian Leetch type player. Pretty tough being a minute munching all situation D at 5’10” 180lbs. You still have to block shots, clear the front of the net and contain the cycle down low. Hence why Edler and Tanev are so valuable to the Nucks. They don’t have much of what they provide and nobody coming up who can do that right now. Edler will be resigned and Tanev will stay unless a deal they can’t refuse comes up.

          • truthseeker

            That’s why I’m really hoping Woo pans out. The odds are against it, but it would be so huge for this team if he can become a top 4 quality D man.

            A lot is riding on Woo and OJ. I sort of see them, in a perfect world of course, as being the replacements for Edler and Tanev. The canucks could probably handle one of them not working out but if both of them are busts, that would be a pretty hard hit to take on the back end.

    • Burnabybob

      I agree Edler has some good years left. But he’s going to be 33 in a few months. By the time Pettersson is entering his prime in a few years, he will be 36. Not many players are still very effective at that age.

      It seems worth it too me to trade Edler for a late first round pick (an added prospect would be a bonus). Benning is pretty good at assessing talent, and it would be pretty awesome if he could pick up a forward in the first half of the draft, and a good defensive prospect in the late first round. Even if the defenseman only had a 40-50% chance of developing into a top four d-man, it seems to me like a good chance to take.

      The NHL is increasingly a young man’s game. Edler is a fine player, but it would be better for everyone involved if he finished his career with a contender.

      • Holly Wood

        So trade Edler for a pick and a prospect who may or not make, plus wait 3 years to make that determination. Then without a solid D core we get the snot beat out of us. If your gonna disagree with this viewpoint please tell us your counterpoint

        • Ser Jaime Lannister

          If Edler wants north of 5 mill and 3 plus years i wouldnt resign, you can see the decline in his speed and that will only get worse with age. Also playing those tough minutes and his injuries theres too much risk imo.

          I would go after Jake Gardiner. 5 year deal around 5-6 mill, less mileage and i think he would do well under TG system.

          • wojohowitz

            Jake Gardiner? They are booing him out of Toronto and management are publicly defending him. Wait until he`s a FA next June and then offer him Pouliot money. $1.4m @ 1 year which he will be happy to accept.

            Even the suggestion is ludicrous. Looks like you`re out of the closet at last Leaf fan.

          • truthseeker

            He won’t. Especially since he loves it here so much apparently. Canucks will easily sign him for 5 and I think probably less than that. He’ll be good value.

            I’m not opposed to a guy like Gardiner. His numbers look good. I’m assuming you mean sign him as an FA this summer and not trade for him.

            And don’t be stupid wojo. 1.4 million. Come on. Why do people like you feel the need to make such stupid statements? Do you think it makes you look “clever” or something? Stop being a cockroach.

          • wojohowitz

            Give us that speech again about respecting each others opinion excepting anyone who disagees with you as those posters must be “stupid”. you know what that makes you; a hypocrite.

          • truthseeker

            Don’t recall ever making a speech like that.
            You said a stupid thing. Don’t like it? Then don’t say stupid sh…..
            But don’t expect not to be called out for it.

            Yeah….it’s totally reasonable to suggest a guy with pretty great numbers, is 28 years old, and is already making 4 mil a year will be “happy to accept” a single year at 1.4 million….lol. And you have the nerve to insult him as “ludicrous”.

            If that’s not stupid, I don’t know what is.

          • Ser Jaime Lannister

            Wojo…put the gravity bong away…1.4 mil @ 1 year ? Jesus kid what is that a PlayStation4 signing? And dont worry about what leaf fans think lmao they are excited that they signed a soft, perimeter, defensive liability to 7 million dollars ffs! (who is making 10 million dollars this year and has 3 points..yikes!) i mean could you imagine signing Nikolay Goldobin to 7 mill….that is ludicrous.

            I agree with what you posted earlier TruthSeeker, a first round pick is not enough for Edler or Tanev, if its not a first plus blue chip D prospect then you resign them, they will provide more value to the team in the next few years.

      • truthseeker

        That’s the point Bob. They don’t have a 40 to 50% chance when picked in that range. It’s a 21% chance. And those are terrible odds. It’s more likely they will be a player who’s lucky to make it past 200 nhl games.

        That’s a lot less “effective” than what Edler will provide for 3 more years.

  • Gored1970

    The shoot out loss to Edmonton was in Vancouver, Vancouver doesn’t pack it in for the all-star break after the Detroit game because they play Carolina at home on Wednesday, and Carolina hasn’t been idle since Tuesday as they played Calgary last night.

  • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

    Anybody else starting to get concerned with how slow the team is coming out of the games lately? 10(ish) shots on average through the first 30 mins of play in a bunch of games lately…. This kind of opening snoozefest offensively is going to catch up to them sooner or later, and when it does, they’re going to start getting their doors blown off

  • Kanuckhotep

    The Canucks won with Demko who was very sound in goal and without Petey. They couldn’t penetrate the blue line initially but began dumping it in deep on BUF D squad inept in their own zone and that’s why Vancouver won this game. The Sabres are a one line team with two great young Ds (#55 and #26) but are clearly beatable. Hey, we’re in 8th right now and it’s January 18th. Wait til Petey is back.

  • DJ_44

    The Canucks started super sluggish, no skating legs, but then played a solid, albeit not spectacular game by any stretch. We’ll take it. Likely Leivo ….a lot last night.

    Finally, I think Eichel is becoming one of my favourite players in the league to watch. The more I see him, the more I appreciate his game. Maybe it is his upright stance when skating, but the kid is a just great.

    • crofton

      Remember all the talking heads before that draft? Saying Eichel and McJesus were very close, with some even debating if Eichel should go 1st overall? Eichel is a pretty damned good hockey player, just not McJesus

      • bobbert

        Remember all the talking heads on here saying Juolevi was easily the best D-man in the draft, That he would step in right away and be the premier D for the Canucks for years too come. That he was so much better than Sergachev and McAvoy… and worth twice that of a lowly winger like Matthew Tkachuk?

        These are the same yappers telling us now that Hughes is gonna be even better… before he has even played one game for the the Canucks.

        Some yappers never learn eh.

  • Tedchinook

    One of the highlights was when the cameras went to Markstrom and you could see how happy he was for Demko’s success. Here’s the young guy who may eventually take his job and he’s clearly rooting for him. That’s a great team mate.

  • NeverWas

    How big of a win was that Levo trade?
    Who cares if Toronto was in between a rock and a hard place… 30 other GMs had the chance but Benning pulled it off. Huuuuugggee win with that trade!!

    Demko looked great and the Canucks looked decent! Hopefully they keep up the strong play and play some meaningful games down the stretch!

    • Beer Can Boyd

      Leivo, Motte, Beagle and Roussel (Schaller not so much) have been a huge upgrade to our bottom 4. Leivo was amazing last night. I can see the 3rd line next year being him, Gaudette and JV. Young, fast and hard to play against.

    • Rodeobill

      Speed, grit, creativity. That was probably his best game I have seen him play yet. If he can play like that with consistency, Green will have no problem putting him out in our top 6 with big minutes. It is nice to see what he can do, I just hope he brings that game each night, more a bro horvat workhorse than a on-again-off-again goldy.

  • chris16w

    It’s sad to see JV and whoever else be combined with Brandon Sutter and expect to produce. With all the various pros and cons of trading or not trading our defensemen, I most look forward to Sutter exiting this team. Move him at the TDL for anything, and let JV play with Gaudette going forwards.