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Vancouver Canucks vs. San Jose Sharks Post-Game Recap: Yikes

Warm Up

The San Jose Sharks and their five game win streak accompanied Lunar New Year celebrations at Rogers Arena Monday night, as the Vancouver Canucks attempted to improve a 2-2-1 record since coming back from their bye week.

The two big stories of the night for Canucks going into the game were, of course, the NHL debuts of both 22-year-old Zack MacEwen on right wing and 19-year-old Mikey DiPietro in goal. We had known that MacEwen would draw into the lineup much earlier in the day, but the DiPietro news dropped less than an hour before the puck did. Fans were understandably losing their minds at the prospect of seeing both of these players get the nod:

At first, it was curious that Travis Green chose tonight of all nights for DiPietro to make his first NHL start. With games against both Anaheim and Los Angeles later this week, there were far more beatable opponents on offer for the young goalie to face first, not to mention the fact that those two games are scheduled on back-to-back nights. After a Herculean 44-save effort against the Calgary Flames on Saturday night and a rare day off Sunday, it wouldn’t be crazy to suggest that Jacob Markstrom simply needed a break after starting 5 games in 8 nights. It would later turn out that simple lower body tightness was the reason for the start, but questions would arise as the game played out regarding how Canucks management chose to handle their goalie situation.

Lineups for both teams as per Jeff Paterson on Twitter:

Side note: With Sutter out of the lineup, Beagle was given an A to wear for the first time.

1st Period

Unfortunately, the Year of the Pig would not start well for the home team. Logan Couture easily out-battled Erik Gudbranson behind the Canucks net before snapping a quick pass to Timo Meier, who was ready and waiting to bang it past DiPietro for the Sharks first goal of the night. Tyler Motte was in position to cover Meier, but got caught watching the play and failed to clear the front of the net:

Couture’s assist increased his scoring streak to 11 points in his last 8 games against Vancouver (6 goals, 5 assists), while Pavelski’s assist was the 400th of his career.

Things very quickly got worse on a weird play at 3:22 when Vancouver native Evander Kane tossed the puck into the Canucks zone. Ben Hutton tried to glove it down, but it bounced off his hand, over DiPietro, and into the net:

Hutton was visibly upset with himself and was later seen on camera apologizing to DiPietro, taking responsibility for the goal. This series of events would end up summarizing how the night would go overall. The team fell into a deep hole pretty much right off the bat and just never really threatened to come back. Fans who were initially excited to see a bit of the future hit the ice saw their excitement turn to complete, abject horror in a matter of minutes:

Melkor Karlsson would then tip in a Brent Burns shot from the point at 8:48 to make it 3-0 Sharks:

3 goals on just 5 shots. The one positive takeaway from this god-awful period was the fact that DiPietro wasn’t really at fault for what was happening at light-speed around him. The Canucks clearly miss Alex Edler, and the rest of the defence simply did nothing to prevent the Sharks from treating the 19-year-old OHL goalie the way a pack of vicious, hungry wolves would treat a sick baby deer. The fans were obviously desperate for the young goalie to do well, cheering every successful save despite the lopsided early score.

The Canucks didn’t even manage to register a shot on net until the 12-minute mark of the period. There were a series of sloppy passes and line changes, and even Elias Pettersson looked a tad off to start. Luckily, Kane got called for roughing Troy Stecher and gave Vancouver their first power play of the game. When things are looking down, you just have to start taking baby steps in the right direction, and getting some time in the offensive side of the ice is exactly what the team needed to finish strong. The 1st unit was quiet, but Markus Granlund and Loui Eriksson had an energetic series of surprisingly good chances; particularly Granlund off of a nice rebound. Signs of life, but no luck yet.

Things finally changed for the better with only a handful of seconds left in the period when Horvat connected on a pass from Pettersson. It was Horvat’s 20th goal of the year, giving him his third straight 20-goal season:

It can’t be said enough how well this play demonstrates what makes Pettersson as good as he is. He entered the zone only to be challenged directly by Brent Burns, with Kevin Labanc providing double-coverage in support. He responded by throwing on the brakes, weighing his options, faking left, and throwing a perfect no-look, cross-ice pass to an open Bo Horvat.

The impressive thing isn’t just that he did all of this in a split second. The impressive thing is watching how he pivots and angles his body; how he controls his speed and distance. He makes a series of decisions mentally under extreme pressure at incredible speed, and once he’s decided what the play is going to be, he is able to perform the exact series of precise body movements necessary to execute what he’s decided to do.

And we’re not talking about one big sweeping body motion. If you really slow the replay down, you can count a crazy number of interdependent movements that he’s making as his ankles, knees, hips, and other joints all seem to be doing different things all at the same time. It’s nuts.

I honestly can’t stop watching it.

2nd Period

This was a much better beginning for Vancouver, giving hope to distraught fans that the Pettersson magic at the end of the last period was a sign of a potential comeback. The Canucks outshot the Sharks 4-0 and would find a way to somehow lead San Jose in shots for the rest of the game. Unfortunately, the 3 goals scored by the opposition in the 1st frame were matched in the 2nd:

Evander Kane in from centre ice, firing a wrist shot over DiPietro’s left shoulder at 4:36. Shark goals on their first shots of each of the first two periods, and Kane’s 16th multi-point game this season.

Tomas Hertl takes a short backhand pass from Kane and makes it 7 goals and 7 assists in his last 11 games against the Canucks. I’d say that the Sharks have some real Canuck killers on their roster, but the truth is that the Sharks are just a great team with some great players. And they have been for a while.

By this point, Travis Green was constantly line juggling, looking for anything to give his team a lift. Fans were finally able to see Virtanen play with Roussel and Horvat, but the trio produced nothing together in the game.

For the Sharks’ 6th goal of the game, Joe Thornton lumbered down the wing and made a pass he’s probably made over a thousand times…

Right, I guess he has made that pass over a thousand times. Joe Thornton finally passed Gordie Howe to take sole possession of 9th overall in the record books for career regular season assists. He has more than a decent chance to pass a few more guys on that list, too. All in all, a great career and a great player who I think will be sorely missed the day he retires.

Anyways, I love Joe Thornton as a player, but this is beginning to feel like too much celebrating of Shark accomplishments. Let’s see how Canucks Twitter is doing:

Oh.

3rd Period

Antoine Roussel started the next period in a way that is quickly becoming familiar to Canucks fans – his team was down, so he got in Brenden Dillon’s face and tried to fire everyone up. On a night where it felt like many players were simply passengers, Roussel’s effort was both noticeable and appreciated.

At the 0:45 mark, Pettersson was tripped by Justin Braun, sending the Canucks to the power play. Unfortunately, the highlight of the man-advantage was a windmill save by DiPietro to block a short-handed attempt by Evander Kane to score a hat-trick goal:

The Sharks would then be gifted a series of power plays as Boeser and Gudbranson were each called for slashing. Gudbranson’s was particularly egregious, and obviously came out of frustration. While I can understand that a night like this isn’t fun for the players, they still can’t let themselves get to that point. They just can’t afford it, and Gudbranson has played long enough to know that.

A better moment for the boys in blue, and one of the only rewarding moments of the night, came in the form of a Pouliot goal assisted by… #71, Zack MacEwen:

It was a great effort by all involved. Horvat batted the puck down out of the air. MacEwen took control on his forehand and spun to face the goalie before trying to tuck it in behind Martin’s left pad. Goldobin did a great job staying involved, recollecting the puck immediately behind the net, and making a nice play to slip it back to MacEwen, who circled back and passed it right through the legs of Melkor Karlsson to a well-position Pouliot. Good for MacEwen to get his first point, and a nice group effort. I want to see more of Goldobin and MacEwen together.

It was almost immediately followed by another Sharks goal, but I’m honestly sick of talking about the Sharks scoring, so we’re just gonna skip that part. The silver lining here is that this is surprisingly only the second time this season that a team has scored 7 goals against the Canucks. The first was in their second game of the year; a 7-4 loss to the Flames. So that’s nice.

Summary

The Canucks were never in this game. If anything, this game exposed what they are as a team without Alex Edler or Jacob Markstrom on the ice. Of course you can say that most teams are obviously going to see less success in general if you take away their best defenceman and starting goalie, but truly good teams have enough good players that they can overcome losses like that. That’s why depth is important. If you take away one or two guys and the drop is that precipitous, can you really say that you have a good “team”? This isn’t meant to pile on and be negative, but these are the sort of questions you have to ask yourself if you think you’re a playoff team and you’re facing a trade deadline in a few weeks. That’s the difference between contenders and pretenders. Hopefully Canucks management knows what they honestly are.

This game also raised serious questions about the organization’s ability to manage their roster and be prepared to deal with injuries. Questions are being asked about why Travis Green didn’t have another goalie available to play if Markstrom truly was hurt enough to not be an option to play. Who exactly is going to be in net against the Ducks? The Kings? Against the Sharks again next Saturday?

It could very well be Markstrom. But what if the injury is more serious than they thought? The Canucks don’t have a great record when it comes to dealing with injuries the right way the first time around. What if he suffers a new injury? Throwing the kid a game was a fine idea, but are we a tweaked Markstrom groin away from having DiPietro, an OHL goalie, as the indefinite starter of the Vancouver Canucks?

This was an issue that was raised as far back as a month ago. Why hasn’t it been resolved yet? Why did they give Anders Nilson away, basically for free? And why wasn’t another move made to acquire a goaltender when management lost McKenna to waivers?

As far as the storyline going into the game, DiPietro deserved better. He was hung out to dry by his teammates and by his organization. It may not have been on purpose, but they still let it happen. Luckily, he doesn’t seem like the kind of guy to let something like this really get him down, but the Canucks all of a sudden find themselves desperately needing another goalie option.

As for Zack MacEwen, he honestly had as good of a game as you could hope for. He was obviously nervous and a bit jittery to start, but calmed down as the game progressed. He made some good plays and didn’t really do anything to show that he doesn’t belong given the current state of the Canucks forward group. He’s a big man who skates well and works hard. He scored his first NHL point in his first NHL game, and it was a beautiful effort. There is a ton of value there to be had. It will be interesting to see how he performs against Anaheim on Wednesday.

  • I am really glad I did not watch this game. I saw the 2-0 score as I was about to start and said, yeah no thanks.

    I do think you’re being needlessly harsh about the goalie situation. These things happen — remember, the reason that we lost McKenna on the waiver wire after the Nilsson deal was because the Flyers had gone through six goalies already because of injuries and poor play. And Nilsson was dealt so that Demko could get his shot. Demko got hurt in practice and Bachmann got hurt in Utica. Yes it’s unfortunate that DiPietro got ventilated but this stuff happens. In fact regularly. I wish it wasn’t the Sharks who seem to regularly do this — I still remember Schneider’s debut when they scored something like five on him in quick succession. The Sharks are a MUCH better team than the Canucks and it showed. In fact it made me think that overall they will be a much tougher matchup than a lot of the other pretenders in the West — I think they are a far more balanced team than the Flames for example. Onto better games.

    • Yeah no that didn’t happen – “Schneider made his first NHL appearance and start on November 29 against the Calgary Flames, making 28 saves in a 3–1 loss” – also he was 22 and into his 2nd pro season. That’s a little different than Dipietro letting in 3 goals on the first 5 shots against the Sharks as a 19 year old.

      Also, not surprised to see the proactive excuses flying in but to pretend like it’s normal to have a 19 year old CHL’er make his pro debut against one of the top offences in the NHL is a new level. Below you’ve only exposed the incompetence of this management group by showing other examples of organizations who have had multiple injuries to starting goalies – yet all of them had pro goalies to take the spots.

      “What about Vegas last year when Fleury, Subban, Dansk, Fucale and Lagace all went down and Ferguson got the start?” – PB. What’s your point here? Vegas did a better job of getting pro goalies in their organization to mitigate this sort of scenario? Vegas was down to their 6th option and Ferguson played about 10 minutes of relief against the Oilers.

      “This stuff happens” – PB. Only with Benning and Weisbrod running the show did “this stuff happen.”

      • You are correct — I misremembered. The game where Schneider gave up 5 goals on 15 shots was 7 games later. That season when he made his real debut, he was 2-5-1 with a .877 GA. He seemed to recover.

        My point about Vegas – and I could pick any number of teams — is that it is an unusual situation but it happens to others as well. Is it that difficult to get that point? Are you really saying that this is an earth shattering abnormality?

        • For a team to go 5 + weeks short a professional goalie in their system- yes that is not normal. For a 19 year old goalie who was never played a professional game in his life to get thrown to the Sharks in his debut, when it is obvious he’s not ready yet, yes that is far from normal.

          The Canucks trading today for that goalie is evidence that even they know it’s not a normal situation!

      • I would be happy to have Dipietro play the next couple of games if needed. I think the lack of depth shows that Benning knows they aren’t a contender. Nilsson was traded to make room for Demko. They reasonably expected McKenna to go through waivers. I would rather see Dipietro play again and have the chance to work with Clarke afterwards than give up a draft pick for a goalie we don’t want long term. This is subject to both Demko and/or Markstrom returning soon. Demko was only supposed to be 7-10 days which could be up any day now. I would also rather they keep their open contract spots to sign free agents out of the NCAA and CHL, although one contract for a waiver wire goalie would be okay. Although, they want the goalie in Utica, not in the NHL which would mean they would need to get the goalie through waivers.

        As is stated in the article, the Canucks lack some talent and the depth to be a contender. Let Dipietro make some money and learn some lessons, although monitor him to make sure no harm is being done. From what is written about him, I doubt this will have any negative long term affects.

        For those that doubt it, this should prove Benning knows where the team sits. In a normal year they aren’t even contending for a wild card spot. Don’t waste resources to address a goaltending problem at this point if Demko and Markstrom are close to returning. Can you imagine the outrage if Benning traded a pick for a goalie who claimed off waivers within the next week if Demko and Markstrom return?

        Last night was embarrassing and a very poor way for the team to start the game in front of Dipietro. That’s on Green and the players for not being ready to play.

  • They lost to the best team in the conference. And relax about the goalie thing. It’s not a big deal. RealPB is exactly right. Write it off and onto the next game…and if DiPietro has to start again then that’s fine too. Great experience for him.

    • It’s not a big deal from Dipietro’s point-of-view as I’m sure he’ll be totally fine.

      It is a big deal from an organizational point-of-view who pays millions of dollars to executives who had 5 weeks to find a goalie after McKenna was claimed and couldn’t.

      • I’m about half way on that one with you Dirk. Should Benning have worked harder to fill a goalie hole in Utica? Yeah probably. He should take some criticism for that. But could he predict Demko and Markstrom both going down and needing a fill in on short notice? Happens from time to time in today’s NHL with the way the teams are structured.

        At least the canucks didn’t have to play a 36 year old accountant. (although the hawks did win that game…go figure).

        If you think it’s some “big deal” issue about canuck management, then have at it. I personally don’t really care about this particular situation.

  • File this game under “Why depth is critical at every NHL position”. Obviously, Jimbo needs to re-read that chapter of ” GMing for Dummies”.

    And Hutton should buy DiPietro a dinner for the own goal. Yeesh, way to welcome the kid to the NHL.

    • So is your solution that we should have 5 or 6 NHL calibre goalies just in case? The Leafs have Anderson and Sparks as their duo, with Hutchinson, McAdam and Kaskisuo in the minors. Should Dubas read GM-ing for dummies? What about when both Anderson and Sparks were injured? What about Vegas last year when Fleury, Subban, Dansk, Fucale and Lagace all went down and Ferguson got the start? I mean this is ridiculous.

      • When Anderson and Sparks were injured the Leafs went out and acquired a veteran journeyman goalie in Hutchinson, despite having Kaskisuo, who has extensive professional experience, also in the minors. They didn’t rely on a 19-year-old OHL call-up.

  • Some thoughts:

    1) You can’t really blame DiPietro on the first few, but he definitely appeared slow tracking the puck all night. Hopefully its just the nerves and he does better in the next game.
    2) Macewen was tentative through much of the game, but appeared better in the 3rd. His footspeed looked not NHL ready – hopefully he can get them moving a little quicker to make a strong case to be on the team next year.
    3) They’ve had a few games now in the last while when they’re clearly not ready to play. Markstrom has bailed them out of a few of them, but it’s clear the franchise still has a lot of building to do before they ‘re to challenge the big boys.

  • And kudos to Big Joe. Its true that he’s done some damage to the Canucks over the years, but he’s generally been a classy, somewhat underappreciated player. Good to see players like that in elite company.

    • Classy except when he was hacking and slashing Henrik in the face-off dot or badmouthing him when he was talking to the refs. Never been a fan of Thornton, though he’s definitely been a pretty amazing player over the years.

    • I agree JT is a talented player but IMO he is a dirt bag. He likes to use his size to try and intimadate smaller players. He hacks/slashes/punches players after the play on a continuous basis. Nothing would make me happier than seeing him get his clock cleaned.

      • Big Joe is no worse than Kesler and Burrows were for the Canucks and y’all loved them so spare us the hypocrisy.

        Hockey is a rough, physical game where many play on the edge. Don’t like it go watch curling or soccer – where players roll around like they have been shot upon the slightest touch.

  • What a complete and utter joke franchise. Win one lose two, steal one then a blowout – rinse and repeat. No playoffs year after year.

    No wonder so many of you diehard cheerleaders (mostly stuck on Vancouver Island) are so miserable, bitter and angry… you’ve been blindly supporting this charade for the past five years! “Call up the kids, they are ready” bla bla bla.

    The HUGE difference? San Jose did NOT panic and completely blow it up after losing a cup final like we did… and here we are. The Sharks are STILL elite. Vancouver are STILL a trainwreck bottomfeeder – rinse and repeat. What a complete MESS this franchise is. Prove me wrong. You can’t.

    • You are right about one thing, the Sahrks still have lots of vets onboard and have brought in enough quality to keep contending. Us, not so much. Would love Kane on Peteys wing.

    • Too bad you weren’t a supporter until recently. Too bad you don’t remember the criminal owner, the horrible trades (Tallon, Dailey, Vaive, Derlago, Neely and others), the astonishingly-bad drafting, the soulless music and beer-free arena, the endless parade of second-rate players who seemed allergic to effort, and of course Laforge, Keenan and Tortorella.
      Compare the organization of today to those of the past. A HUGE difference, yes?

      • What has this ancient prehistoric hogwash got to do with the current state of this team the past four seasons? That’s all paying fans care about and a 7-2 blowout with a OHL goalie in net is totally unacceptable for those of us who pay to go to the games in the here and now. Time for change.

        • What my comments have to do with the present is that it is better than the past. The fans I know, including “paying” fans and those “who pay to go to the games” believe the team is on the right track.

          • You are talking to the wrong fans then. Come to the Shark club and then the Executive Suites at Rogers see what we regular VIP’s think about being ‘on the right track’… clue:- getting blown out with 7 goals against in your home rink by a hated division rival is far from being ‘on the right track’ pal.

          • Um… “paying fans” and you “regular VIP’s” in “Executive Suites” are two different groups, pal.

  • Poor kid. Odd choice to start him against one of the top teams in the league. I had assumed he would just be a bench warmer until Demko was healthy again, but had wondered if they might start him against Chicago. Their next two games are against relatively weak opponents, so hopefully he gets another start before heading back down.

  • Yah…that was a tough one to watch. In fact, I stopped after 3-0 and just checked the score from time to time. Our defence is simply incapable of moving the puck effectively, or just defending well. Only Hutton and Stetcher and Tanev are really NHL calibre defencemen and against a large and fast team like San Jose, even those three were exposed. Kudos to DiPietro for battling through the mess that is his team in front of him, although he was clearly in over his head. Unlike much of our defence, however, I have confidence that he will rebound.

  • In the world of hockey, and pro sports in general, debacles like this one are going to take place unfortunately on occasion. SJS are a stacked team who will probably be there at the end, probably versus the Bolts, clearly out of the Canucks league. Mikey could have used considerably more help from his D core but a win for DiPietro clearly was not in the cards this evening. But putting in young talent like him and Zac Mac has to happen at some point. I just wish it wasn’t against a team like San Jose. Bad luck with goaltending injuries result in stinkers like this one.

  • More CA Revisionism happening. Nilsson got traded because he played like trash here. After multiple blowouts and soft goals, we were lucky to get a draft pick for him. For an analytics website, can’t you be bothered to look at Nilsson’s save percentage and GAA with the Canucks. They’re far below the league average. Demko stayed in the AHL for nearly the expected development period, it was better to get him some NHL time rather than let Nilsson drag down the rest of the season. It was just unfortunate Demko had a freak accident during warm-up.

      • 2017-2018 (Nilsson): SV% 0.901, GAA 3.44
        2017-2018 (League Average): SV% 0.912, GAA 2.78

        2018-2019 (Nilsson): SV% 0.895, GAA 3.09
        2018-2019 (League Average): SV% 0.908, GAA 2.86

        Career (Nilsson): SV% 0.908, GAA 3.00

        Nilsson played worse than the league average and his own historical average while with the Canucks.

  • Pettersson’s pass was unreal. Horvat’s finish wasn’t bad either. #20!
    I want to live in a world where Stecher can play in a good D-corps.
    Anyone else missing Edler?

    Next game, since Gaudette is coming up to spot the injured Sutter, I’d start McEwen with him. I know it won’t happen, but I’m still of the mind that you put Boeser with Horvat and Roussel, and Virtanen with Leivo and Pete. Jake is getting buried on that checking line. There is a goal scorer there. I’m certain!

    Roussel – Horvat – Boeser
    Leivo – Pete – Virtanen
    Granny – Gaudette – McEwen
    Eriksson – Beagle – Motte

    Better that Goldy is invisible in the pressbox rather than the ice.

  • I was pretty appalled to read that Pietro was going to start the game. The next game is against Anaheim, Markstrom could have played one more game before giving DiPietro an easier debut. San Jose has the 2nd best GF (210 goals) while Anaheim has the league worst GF (127 goals). He gets bounced from the WJC, gets traded from his hometown OHL team, and then they decide to throw him against one of the best teams in the league for a debut? Way to build up his confidence, next time read the damn schedule, Green.

    • Markstrom was not feeling well and starting him in this game risked exacerbating a potential injury. Good job reading the article.

      The problem wasn’t Green choosing to play DiPietro. The problem was Green having no other option.

    • So you are all over this thread criticizing the goaltending, but it was posted on another thread that you were advocating Bachman as the NHL backup even though he never played a minute in pre-season? pot/kettle/black much – stop writing checks your mouth can’t cash man. Ridiculous.

    • If Markstrom did pull something or has some rather “minor” ailment, I would say that because of his re-invigorated play over the past few months, and the belief backed by stats that he has become a true #1, that he is too valuable to risk by “playing through it” and risk exacerbating whatever is the problem. But ideally, if there was a start in the works for DiPietro, they could have, should have and would have picked someone other that one of the best teams in the conference and league.

  • Tough to watch Benning’s $10 million dollar 4th line on the first goal.

    The guys brought in to help the youth completely let DiPietro down.

    Add Gudbransen’s piece on the first goal and it pretty much summarizes the Benning era.

  • I’m away so I only get to watch the condensed game on youtube. As hard a start as this was for Michael, it’s not a wasted experience. Actual NHL playing time gives him and Ian Clarke more to work with. NHL goalies are trending towards size. Michael is not part of this trend. He is more like Jonathan Quick, he has to rely on his mobility and athleticism. (I was going to add quickness but I realized it might read as a pun). When he butterflies, there is more room between his shoulder and the crossbar than there is on a goalie like Markstrom. He will have to learn to challenge more to make himself bigger. I suspect Ian Clarke is already working with him on this.

  • I know Gudbranson isn’t the answer, but last nights game proved Stetcher is too small and doesn’t have that point shot to be a true #1 defenceman. Also after watching Marky and Nilsson in the net these last few years. DiPietro looked tiny between the pipes. As for the goalie controversy. It’s no big deal. Benning rolled the dice and lost. Traded Nilsson to get Demko some playing time. Demko got injured. This gave DiPietro a little time with Ian Clark and the big show. Great experience for the future. It’s pretty obvious Benning didn’t want to give up a draft pick for an AHL/ NHL backup goalie. We’ve seen exactly what we already know. We’re not a deep enough team to contend. We lose a centreman, we’re screwed. We lose a defenceman, same thing. We lose our two goalie, goodbye playoffs.

    • Did any one ever say Troy Stecher was a #1 defenseman? I’ve never heard anyone say that. His ceiling is a 3/4, which is pretty fine for an undrafted free agent.

  • Personally I was at the game and wish the Hell I wasn’t. It was a disgrace by the time the first three had gone in you’re wishing you were some where else. But here’s my gripe

    This did not start when Markstrom suffered muscle/tendon problems this started when Bachman was injured back in December. They then recalled Kulbakov from Kalamazoo in the ECHL. He was never replaced neither was Bachman. They fiddled along and were wiith fingers crossed and hoping. Some might say that that they tried with McKenna … but they failed. To compound the situation they trade Neilsson. No one, I repeat no can convince me that this failure to address a dire goaltending situation is nothing short of incompetence. It look bad on the club and frankly the league. Can you imagine Manchester United starting a “DiPietro” in a league game, can ypu imagine a 19 year old playing first string quarterback ….you get the point. This incompetence on a gross scale. To present that as a NHL game and charge NHL prices is a disgrace.

    To compound the situation two other events in the game, Kanes attack on Stecher with no repercussions is also a disgrace IMO. Gudbransson should have been all over Kane. But no and guess what Kane gets cocky again later in the game because he knows nothing will happen. What did happen later was Roussell got into it with Braun ( I think) and what did Green do he pulled Roussell off the ice ( only one player was chnage) making it obvious that he thought Roussell push and shove face wash was not appreciated. The Shraks must have been laughing, bunch of pansies here we can do what ever we wish and they did.
    I then had the misfortune of listening to the radio while we drove home and heard Green give what I thought was an insult to the Canucks fans and IMO lost his credibility with his description of the nights events. The Canucks were embarrassed from the GM down to the stick boy in front of their home fans and he tries to give a spin on it …. he should be in politics. One thing that did occur to me was Gudbranssons lack of willingness to mix it up may in fact come from Green. I was embarrassed my daughter was incensed and most fans left early I’m sure feeling they’d been jobbed that night and wasted a lot of money. It’s nights like this that define a franchise and I can assure you they did that with great aplomb.

    • Maybe they should have replaced Bachman or McKenna, but who was available and for what cost. Acquiring a replacement would cost a pick or player who may be lost once the goalies were healthy. Nilsson was traded to give Demko a chance in the NHL. At some point they needed to see what he could do. Ottawa paid a pick to get Nilsson, so he wasn’t going to clear waivers.

      Young quarterbacks do play for poor teams in the NFL in order to learn. The Canucks aren’t really contenders, so they let their young goalie play. This will probably benefit Dipietro instead of causing long term harm, so what’s the problem?

      I was very made watching the game last night and turned it off at 5-1. I was angry at the players though, not management. Maybe a little pissed at Green that once again they were not ready to play at the start of a game. Dipietro is making NHL money right now, he is seeing how much he still needs to develop and is getting time with Clarke to address what happened during the game. Goaltending is a tough position, Dipietro will have no career if he is not mentally strong enough to survive what would be a dream for almost every junior player in the CHL.

      • Good God man do you understand Vcr took in millions I repeat million for last night game. The cost is not an option. If any one attended last night game as a first look see, I can assure you they won’t return. If you watch a concert that stinks you say that, I you’re served a meal that’s lousy you say that and often the manager will cancel the bill. This PROFESSIONAL hockey. My daughter kept telling me throughout the game like the restaurant manager apologising for the product he offered his customers …. JB should publicly apologise …….. and by the way I see lo and behold JB has come up with a goalie now after his public humiliation ….. it could have been done 2 months ago !!!!

        • You talk a lot of sense Fred and as a paying customer you have my respect (and sympathy), but you would be better off finding a new hobby, there is no customer satisfaction to be had with the Canucks, as you and your daughter saw last night.

          Remember though you are preaching to the unsympathetic here as most of the commenters don’t pay to support the team so they really don’t care as long as it kills some time on a cold winters night.

          • Isn’t that the truth. Anti or Pro JB is some thing like the political followers, there’s no truthful examination. I believe it’s right for paying fans to have a certain expectation. Why should the Canucks as a business venture get away with incompetence. They screwed up and confirmed that with their swift action to day bringing in a new goalie. My point is this should have happened in December when Backman went down with season ending surgery. They started the season with a goalie in Kalamazoo and then jettisoned their plan ??? naw they just failed to put right what had gone wrong. If they felt like they needed a Bachman backup in Kalamazoo at the start of the season how come that plan was not followed through ? they either needed at ECHL goalie or they didn’t and if there are injuries guess what it needs to be addressed.