Vancouver Canucks vs Chicago Blackhawks Post Game Recap

The Rundown

Ah, the old rivalry that has slowly faded as time has gone on. The Vancouver Canucks faced off against Chicago Blackhawks tonight in a game with more playoff ramifications. The Blackhawks came into tonight’s game riding a 5 game win streak, while the Canucks had dropped their previous 2 games and were still missing Sven Baertschi, Alex Edler, and Thatcher Demko. The Canucks held a 3 point lead heading into tonight’s contest, and had the chance to open up a 5 point lead over Chicago in the standings with a win.

1st Period

The game started out tight, as both teams struggled to get any zone time through the first 4 minutes, around the 5 minute mark the Canucks got 2 great chances. The first was an Alex Biega drive to the net, but he couldn’t beat the Blackhawks starter, Collin Delia. The 2nd was a great wrist shot from Boeser right by the right circle, but Delia made a nice glove save.

7 minutes in, the Canucks got another chance when Jake Virtanen stripped his man of the puck, and got into the slot, but was stopped on the backhand.

The Blackhawks pushed back, and Markstrom made his first solid stop of the night 9 minutes in on a shot from Drake Caggiula.

The 2nd half of the period was frantic, and it started off 12 minutes in when the Canucks received their first power-play of the night after Tyler Motte hustled to negate an icing. Former Canuck prospect Gustav Forsling held Motte on the boards right after, and was called for holding.

The power-play didn’t start off great, but only 50 seconds in Ben Hutton was hooked from behind by Caggiula, and Caggiula was sent off for hooking. The Canucks had 1:10 seconds of 5 on 3 to try and open the scoring.

Unfortunately, the Canucks were unable to score on either power-play chance. However, right as the Caggiula penalty expired, the Canucks got 2 great chances right in front, but Delia made 2 fantastic stops and then the Canucks rang a shot off the post… Game remained scoreless.

15 minutes into the period, and the Canucks got one of their best chances when Loui Eriksson came in on a breakaway. Delia stood tall however, and stoned Eriksson with a great pad stop.

A minute after Eriksson was stoned, the Canucks took their first penalty of the game when Jay Beagle tripped up Caggiula in front of the Canucks goal.

Chicago’s power-play looked much better, and then 1:23 in, Brandon Sutter took an undisciplined slash against a Blackhawks forward, which put Chicago to their own 2 man advantage… An awful spot for the Canucks after such a strong first period.

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The Blackhawks took advantage on the 5 on 3, as Alex DeBrincat made no mistake on a one-time opportunity and blew a shot right through Markstrom to make it 1-0. Chicago still had a power-play to work with to try and extend their lead.

The Blackhawks did just that, and made it 2-0 on the ensuing 5 on 4. Markstrom made a nice stop on a deflection in front, but Brandon Saad picked up the garbage and put it over Markstrom for the Hawks 2nd power-play goal 59 seconds after they opened the scoring.

The Canucks almost trailed by 3, after Patrick Kane made a great move to get around Hutton, but Markstrom made a nice glove stop to keep the Canucks down by 2. That’s where the boys stood as they went to the intermission. A great start to Vancouver was foiled by their penalty-kill, but their 5 on 5 play was great that period. As long as the boys remained disciplined, they stood a chance.

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2nd Period

The Canucks kept up their great play, and got one past Delia a little over 2 minutes in. After a good shift from the Elias Pettersson line, Alex Biega ripped a shot through traffic past the goaltender for his first goal of the season to make it 2-1.

A minute after they got one back, they nearly tied it up after another great shift from the Brandon Sutter line, but the shift ended when Sutter slammed a wrist shot off the post and out of play.

A minute after the Sutter chance, the Canucks tied the game! Josh Leivo came in on the left side and sniped a wrister under the glove of Delia for his 10th of the year.

7 minutes into the game, Brock Boeser had a couple of great looks to give the Canucks the lead, but he was stopped on the doorstep both times by Delia.

The Canucks received their 3rd power-play of the night a minute later when Pettersson was hooked by Slater Koekkoek. The Canucks looked to have a much better power-play then the 2 they had in the first.

Unfortunately, their power-play only lasted 1:15 before Hutton was sent for the box after he slashed Saad, who came in on Markstrom after he forced a turnover at the blue-line.

30 seconds after Hutton took a penalty, Derrick Pouliot laid a brutal check on Dominik Kahun, and the Canucks needed to kill off their 2nd 5 on 3 shorthanded attempt of the game.

It took a couple of massive stops by Markstrom, but the Canucks killed off both Chicago power-plays, and the game remained tied.

Unfortunately for Canucks fans, the Blackhawks retook the lead around the 14 mark of the 2nd period after the Canucks failed to clear their own zone. Markus Granlund couldn’t receive a pass cleanly, and it led to the Hawks playing the puck down low. Dylan Strome took the puck, and fired a beautiful pass across to a wide open DeBrincat, who ripped home his 2nd of the game for his 28th of the year.

A minute after the goal, the Canucks got their 4th power-play of the game after Jonathan Toews hooked Boeser in the slot. The boys needed to do something with their power-play, after their previous 3 looked terrible, but alas not much changed and they failed to convert.

The period came to a close with the Canucks down by just a goal, and while their 5 on 5 play had been fantastic, it was their special teams that had sunk the team through 40 minutes.

3rd Period

The first 5 minutes of the final frame saw great action at both ends of the rink. The Canucks came out with purpose to begin the period, and had some solid pressure through the first few minutes before the Blackhawks big line fired back with a couple chances of their own.

6:30 minutes into the period, Eriksson got called for a pretty weak interference call after he laid a pick on Forsling, and the Blackhawks went to their 5th power-play of the night.

The Canucks had their best penalty kill of the night however and killed it off, and a minute later watched as Goldobin got hounded in the Blackhawks zone on 2 separate occasions with no call. Right after, Brendan Perlini came down the wing and nearly sniped home a 4th Hawks goal, but he hit the post.

The Canucks kept up the pressure for a majority of the next 5 minutes, as they looked for the equalizer.

16:30 into the period,and the Canucks got their most important power-play opportunity of the game when Sutter got struck up high by the stick of Perlini. So the Canucks went to the power-play for the 5th time in the game.

The Canucks pulled their goalie with the extra man, and the 6 on 4 power-play converted! The Canucks worked the puck around the zone, until finally Troy Stecher fed Pettersson for a patented Pettersson one-time bomb that shot right past Delia up high to tie the game at 3.

The 3rd period came to a close with the game tied up at 3. It had been a great 60 minutes for the Canucks, and momentum was on their side as they began the extra frame.



Only 30 seconds in, and the Canucks found themselves with a great chance to end the game when Virtanen and Horvat came in on a 2 on 1. Virtanen took a shot off the pad of Delia, but it bounced over the stick of Horvat and the game continued.

Then only 30 seconds later, Markstrom made a phenomenal play to send Pettersson in on a breakaway. However, Pettersson was stoned cold by Delia.

Finally, 3:19 seconds into overtime, Toews undressed Chris Tanev and roofed a shot over the shoulder of Markstrom to win the game for Chicago. With the overtime loss, the Canucks fell out of their wildcard spot as the St. Louis Blues won their game earlier in the night.

Advanced Stats

Both photos courtesy of naturalstattrick.com

Wrap Up

This game was a much better game for the Canucks then 2 nights ago, and if not for the great play of Delia, and a poor special teams effort the Canucks probably come away with 2 points. However, hockey can be a cruel mistress and the boys couldn’t get it done tonight.

Josh Leivo was an absolute monster tonight, and was the best player for the Canucks. 3 points on the night, and more than a few noticeable dangles to create space and open passing lanes. While his goal was ‘weak’ in comparison to Pettersson’s blast; it was a sneaky release that fooled Delia.

Last game, I thought the Canucks played terrible in the 1st period. Tonight, they were great 5 on 5 throughout all 3 periods, and looked dangerous in the overtime. The Canucks played hard, they battled for pucks, they generated good chances throughout the entire game, and didn’t give up too much in the defensive zone at 5 on 5. A lot to like from the squad at 5 on 5…

However, their special teams play was atrocious through the first 2 periods. Their power-play was non existent until their 6 on 4 opportunity when Pettersson scored the equalizer, and their penalty kill wasn’t good until the 3rd either. This is where the loss of Edler and Baertschi really stung. The Canucks missed what Edler brings to their power-play, as Hutton had a few costly turnovers while on the man-advantage.


The Canucks needed the win to remain in a playoff spot. They weren’t able to deliver, and will try to regain their spot on Saturday against the Calgary Flames.

  • Kootenaydude

    Wow. The Canucks controlled this game, but they sure made a lot of mistakes. Funny thing, I suggested this powerplay unit and they sucked ha ha!! The Canucks don’t get nearly enough shots from the slot. They also seem incapable of deflecting a shot into the net. Green is going to have to change things up in the offensive zone for this team to succeed.

  • wojohowitz

    Biega was the energizer bunny – he was pumped. He was also the forgotten man after not playing one game in January. He`s a perfect 7th defenceman that should play 3-4 times a month.

    Both Tanev and Hutton looked fatigued from being overworked.

    In the first five minutes both Motte and Hutton turned over the puck in their own zone. That`s the message the Chicago coach gives his team – pressure the D early and there will be turnovers.

    • Nuck16

      Actually, Biega is the perfect #5 defenceman, at least on our team. He’s an upgrade on Guddy and Poulliot and he shows enough upside that he should be given an extended look and now is the time. He should be playing ahead of Poulliot for the remainder of the season.

  • Kanuckhotep

    Saddened by the passing of Andre Boudrias this evening. Super Pest was one of the very first credible Canuck stars and an original from 1970. A very damned underrated player and pretty good numbers for playing on such horrible Canucks rosters. We’ll miss ya #7.

  • Holmes

    Boys need a finisher beyond Pete and Boeser. Look at that forward group and the glaring need is a kid who can put the puck in the net. You saw it last night – Horvat, Loui, Jake all banging away but none are consistent scoring threats. I’d really like to see Benning trade our first rounder for a 20, 21 year old with scoring upside who can fit in with the arc of this core group, which I think is pretty high end.

    • DogBreath

      Another finisher, as Holmes said, is needed. I also wonder whether this turtle derby of a race for 16the place creates a bit of a mirage relative to where the franchise is actually at. It’s hypothetical, but how many points would they have if they were in the east this year, and where would they rank? Glad to hear Benning is still focused on the long term. Put the phone away on July 1.

      • Freud

        At 5 on 5, Vancouver is 30th overall in scoring chance differential and 28th overall in possession.

        That is not a mirage, nor is it hypothetical.

        But, somehow it means they are “so close to having a winning team!”

        The dim look at the standings rather than the actual performance.

        It’s fair to say, according to previous behaviours, the owner and Benning are a pair of the dim. So don’t hold your breath on trade deadline or July 1st.

          • Killer Marmot

            According to the NHL site statistics, the Canucks have allowed 70 goals in 821 shots since December 1. That’s a save percentage of 91.5%. Good but not incredible.

            The reason for the goal differential is their shooting percentage, which is an above average 9.5%.

          • Killer Marmot

            Either way, the Canucks statistics have not been far off from an average team over the last ten weeks.

            Which brings me right back to my original post. They are close to having a winning team.

          • They’ve had both an elevated save percentage and elevated shooting percentage and are still out of a playoff spot and playing ~.500 hockey. They’re a couple of pieces away from being a playoff bubble team. That shouldn’t be the goal, though.

          • Killer Marmot

            Their Shooting Percentage + Save Percentage since December 1 is 101.0%. That’s not outlandishly lucky. In fact, there’s no reason to think an elevated SPSV is due to luck.

          • North Van Halen

            By using your flawed and well below average logic, you realize 3 in 10 people are also below average intelligence….which account for basically every up vote you receive.
            It’s apparent your void intellect can’t understand rudimentary concepts like respect nor acknowledge that just because an opinion is different does it make it any less valid or intelligent. 2 smart people can disagree and amazingly it has no effect on their IQ whatsoever. But it takes nuance and intelligence to understand that, something that is severely lacking here

    • Defenceman Factory

      Killer I agree there are just a few pieces missing before the Canucks really turn a corner. Unfortunately they are large pieces. They need a first line LWer and they need 2 top 4 Dmen. They also need more depth on D to ensure Tanev and Edler can be replaced when the time comes. A third line centre with more offense would also make a significant difference.

      I hope and expect Canucks management shares this view and will have the patience and acumen to put these pieces in place. It’s difficult to be really confident in that.

      If the Canucks make the playoffs this year it says as much about the failure of other teams as it does the improvement in the Canucks. Next year the Canucks are likely a playoff team and the draft position falls back even further. It will be unfortunate if the Canucks don’t make some trades to acquire the picks and prospects needed to develop or trade for the needed pieces.

  • Dragonslayer

    Deja vu – same story diff season!!! Don’t be fooled by a weak mid to bottom half in the West FOLKS, this Canucks team is still a bottom feeder and with St Louis 8-2 in the last ten they are in pole position for playoff hockey that we have not seen in Van for FOUR straight seasons now.

    Also, Petey regressing to a terrible 25 per cent in the circle, 30per cent last game – this is simply NOT acceptable for a top two centre… get the kid on the wing where he plays for his country and did primarily in the SHL!

    #getthegolfclubsready. Over and out.

  • Beer Can Boyd

    Very entertaining game last night, as almost all of the Canucks games this season have been. As Green said, with the way they played, they could have had 6 points on this trip. Here’s 3 things that bug me though. 1) the passive penalty kill, where they sit in the 4 man box and never challenge the man with the puck. NHL players have enough skill that, given enough time, they will find the open man. Its a system from the 80’s, and I don’t think there is another NHL team that employs it. 2) the uncontested zone entry. Why do the Canucks D rarely challenge right at the blue line? They always seem to back in far enough to allow the opposition to gain the zone with possession. 3) the drop pass on the power play. Enough already. Despite these complaints though, the Canucks are an exciting young team with a bright future. And fun to watch now, which they haven’t been for at least 5 years.

  • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

    How amazing was JD Burke’s visceral tearing apart of the Canucks farm team and Trent Cull just now on 1040???

    Nice to see some reporters out there asking the hard questions and digging up the smelly odour that is the Utica ‘Development Team’ Comets.

    Clap clap clap JD Burke

    • petey 40

      One of the best takedowns I have heard on local sports radio and bang on from JD.

      The whole idea of having a farm team is to develop prospects and provide the NHL team with legit young players that stick and contribute like Toronto and the poster franchise Pittsburgh Penguins have with their AHL affiliates…


      This whole franchise under Benning never learns and thinks it can rebuild, develop and compete all at the same time by loading up with overpaid/over termed vets and AHL lifers (in Utica) while benching the kids it’s relying on for the future on both teams! It’s totally inept and insane.

      It’s also been reported that Green is calling the shots to Cull who is another yes man coaching merely to save his AHL job and raise *his* stock.

      Just gonna pay up for the Athletic now so i can read more JDBurke after this. I miss his unbiased takes. Superb.

          • petey 40

            I’m going to STOP this idiotic stuff, I promise. I’m sorry. I’ve had trouble making friends ALL my life, and I guess I was just trying to make everyone else miserable with me. You know, trying to make a group of losers, where I’d be like the captain, and start to gain a little confidence, MAYBE kiss a girl one day. Anyway, sorry guys, sorry Bud. I know I’m the LOSER here, and I’ve got to do better

    • DJ_44

      He wrote an article in The Athletic. It was incredibly suspect, to say the least. For example, he looked at only 5v5 TOI per game, and plotted against age, and included Biega’s three game conditioning stint and Schenn’s three game to get the incredibly weak (Rsquared at 0.06 ) relationship his narrative required.

      No inclusion of PP and PK time (which represents and estimated 16 minutes a game) on which the young prospect play. Not even a mention of the rash of injuries that struck the prospects this year (for which older PTO’s were forced to fill in). Chatfield, Sautner, Lind, Jasek, Joulevi, Gautdette, Demko. All have been out with injuries or illnesses

      No mention of player development and increased responsibility as the season progresses and the players adjust to the AHL (like Carconne and MacEwen did in their first season and like Joulevi prior to injury, and Lind and Gadjovich now).

      It is more than obvious that JD does not watch the Comets games, yet he somehow is telling Cull how to deploy players.

      I did not listen to his 1040 hit (he is a hack) … however let me guess …. he complained about Palmu and said the Liiga was better than the AHL? And that Gadjovich should have gone back for an overage season in the OHL?

      JD has a suspect grasp on reality, let alone hockey.

      • Wait, so did JD base his narrative on a correlation or lack of correlation in regression analysis? An R-squared of 0.06 means that there is virtually no correlation between the two variables under analysis. If he was asserting a point that depended on a direct correlation, an R-squared of 0.06 isn’t incredibly weak – that’s beyond an understatement. It means that his analysis actually refutes his own assertions.

    • Gino's 3rd Cousin

      JD does not have the voice for radio. Try listening to his voice and imagine he’s a coach or a player. He sounds like a bitter nerd who lacks true insight as to what takes place on the ice and the dressing room. He’s a novice reporter who has built his career on being a critic.

  • Ragnarok Ouroboros

    What’s going on with Tanev. In the last three games, he has fallen down which led to a goal, got stripped of the puck which led to a goal, and then gets walked by Toews for the overtime winner. He is my favorite defensmen, but he sure hasn’t been playing well lately.

  • Puck Viking

    5 points out of last place in the west with all other teams having games in hand.

    7 points out of 30th. 10 points out of 31st. Again all other teams have games in hand.

    Time to sell of the vets so we dont squander anymore picks.

  • Holly Wood

    @Cole Marton, it appears several of the commenters accounts that have been replying to your post game have been hacked by a group of grade 9 boys. It’s too bad some have chosen to tarnish your work

    • petey 40

      Yes, It’s ME. I can’t help myself. It’s like squeezing the zits on my back, I just can’t stop. SORRY. I’ve made a few other apology posts in here, I know I’ve GOT to find a way to stop this borderline psychotic behavior. Not the zit squeezing, HAHA, nice try! No FLIPPIN’ way. Maybe sometime in the future, but I’ve got to have SOME hobbies. Am I right?