Photo Credit: Canucks / Twitter

Canucks Army Game Day 61 – Canucks Vs. Coyotes (Who Wants Playoffs? Edition)


The Canucks have been off since the weekend and a lot has transpired since then. Ryan Spooner is now a Canuck and gets the duty of playing alongside Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson. Ashton Sautner will see his first game of the season and like so many seasons prior, Vancouver has a mish-mash that they’ll have to make do with until possibly the end of the season.

Arizona is in the middle of the win, loss, win, loss pattern and tonight would be “loss” night. The Coyotes are tied with the Canucks with 59 points and one of them will be inside the playoff line after the evening is over.

Every game is a playoff game now, every game is the most important game of the season. Will the Canucks treat them all that way? Time to find out.

Let’s Do This!™


SNP / SN 650 / 7:00 PM


Ryan Spooner has something special to offer apparently because Travis Green has him with the top two scorers on the team. Tough task. Tyler Motte saw line duty in practice with Bo Horvat and Zack MacEwen is still patrolling the fourth line. Defense is getting thinner and thinner and Ashton Sautner will make his season debut as Alex Edler and Chris Tanev are both still out with injuries.

Jacob Markstrom will once again be the starter.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Canucks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

LW C RW Forwards
Josh Leivo

Rating: 73.5#53 LW

Bo Horvat

Rating: 76.2#46 C

Advertisement - Continue Commenting Below
Tyler Motte

Rating: 68.8#121 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 72.83#30 FL1
Ryan Spooner

Rating: 70.0#159 LW

Elias Pettersson

Rating: 79.4#24 C

Brock Boeser

Rating: 81.9#4 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 77.12#7 FL2
Antoine Roussel

Rating: 72.0#84 LW

Adam Gaudette

Rating: 73.4#79 C

Markus Granlund

Rating: 71.3#87 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 72.24#18 FL3
Loui Eriksson

Rating: 70.8#111 LW

Jay Beagle

Rating: 67.2#183 C

Zack MacEwen
FL4 Rating
Rating: 69.00#31 FL4
Ben Hutton

Rating: 71.4#94 LD

Troy Stecher

Rating: 73.1#50 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 72.23#27 DL1
Ashton Sautner

Rating: 73.0#60 LD

Erik Gudbranson

Rating: 68.3#106 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 70.64#28 DL2
Derrick Pouliot

Rating: 71.1#99 LD

Alex Biega

Rating: 71.9#70 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.48#18 DL3

Arizona is loaded with injuries: Christian Dvorak (lower body) is in Tuscon for a reconditioning stint and has been out since training camp up until now, Jason Demers is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, Antti Raanta is out (LBI) and also could be done for the year, Michael Grabner is still out with an eye injury, Nick Schmaltz (LBI) is done for the season as well, Kyle Capobianco has a torn ACL and (guess what?) is done for the year.

Richard Panik may play.

Darcy Kuemper should be the starter.

Coyotes lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

LW C RW Forwards
Lawson Crouse

Rating: 69.6#127 LW

Derek Stepan

Rating: 74.0#63 C

Josh Archibald

Rating: 70.3#105 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 71.29#31 FL1
Alex Galchenyuk

Rating: 75.0#51 LW

Nick Cousins

Rating: 72.6#98 C

Clayton Keller

Rating: 73.0#58 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 73.52#29 FL2
Mario Kempe

Rating: 70.2#116 LW

Brad Richardson

Rating: 71.2#136 C

Vinnie Hinostroza

Rating: 72.6#64 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 71.34#26 FL3
Conor Garland

Rating: 74.4#44 LW

Jordan Weal

Rating: 71.0#142 C

Christian Fischer

Rating: 72.5#67 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 72.64#4 FL4
Oliver Ekman-Larsson

Rating: 76.4#19 LD

Niklas Hjalmarsson

Rating: 72.2#63 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 74.28#18 DL1
Alex Goligoski

Rating: 73.7#41 LD

Jakob Chychrun

Rating: 73.1#57 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 73.41#14 DL2
Ilya Lyubushkin

Rating: 71.9#81 LD

Jordan Oesterle

Rating: 73.4#42 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 72.68#10 DL3



  • Both teams are deadlocked at 59 points. Chicago and Colorado will be putting up a slugfest tomorrow night so the winner of tonight’s game will need to keep it going to try and pass the duo ahead of them and stay ahead. The West is a gong show and will very likely come down to the last day of the season.
  • The Coyotes have scored 13 fewer goals than the Canucks this season so if you thought the Canucks were struggling, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Add to that the injuries on both teams and the band-aid lineups, this game could be 0-0 going into a shootout. Yikes!
  • Vancouver has a staggering 10.9 PP% since January 1. Not good by many accounts. Arizona is slightly higher with a 17.2 rating. We’re doing our best to get you excited for this one but even the best run into a wall every now and then. Seriously, 10.9%? Maybe the playoffs are “not” what we want.
  • Keeping with special teams, the Canucks do have 4th best PK unit since Jan 1 with a solid  87% kill rate. Oddly enough, they’ve been disciplined in 2019 having only been shorthanded 54 times.
  • Elias Pettersson thrives on a heavy workload. He has amassed 8 goals and 6 assists in his 10 busiest games clocking over 21 minutes of ice time. Seems like a simple answer to a complicated problem. More Pettersson equals more goals.


The bad news just keeps mounting as the Canucks are now without Virtanen, Sutter, Edler, Tanev, Demko and the power play. The points won’t be coming any easier and the Coyotes are in the same position as the Canucks so don’t plan on anyone rolling over. Vancouver does have a few new toys but they might not be game breakers.

I don’t see the Canucks forcing the issue in this one but knowing their unpredictable ways, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a blowout.



    • Spooner averaged 9:47 TOI in Edmonton. During his first 5 games, he was giving 13:27 TOI but for the remaining 20 games he averaged 8:48 TOI. After getting some looks with McDavid, Draisaitl and RNH, he played wing with Khaira (16 pts in 53 games), Puljujarvi (9 pts in 46 games), Brodziak (7 pts in 54 games), Kassian (16 pts in 56 games), Cave (0 pts in 10 games), and Yamamoto (2 pts in 17 games).

      His time in NYR was down this year from last year as well. He only averaged 12:41 TOI this year compared to 14:30 TOI in Boston and 16:51 TOI in NYR.

      So can you really blame Spooner for only getting 3 points in 25 games with Edmonton? He goes to Bakersfield and racks up 6 pts in 7 games. Low TOI + Low QoT = Low Point Production.

      All of his TOI can be calculated from his game logs: https://www.hockey-reference.com/players/s/spoonry01/gamelog/2019

    • Me

      I know plus/minus isn’t a perfect indicator of a player, but Goldobin has the worst +- of any Canuck who doesn’t regularly see PK time. He also plays exclusively with the best players on the team.
      Games are won by scoring MORE goals than the opponent. Letting them in to his own net with boneheaded giveaways cancels out any good he does in the scoring department.

      Giveaway Goblin is not a good player! I have no idea why so many here support him.

      • Goldobin’s even-strength goal differential this season is *zero*. He’s been on the ice for 30 goals for and 30 goals against at evens. That’s better than almost everyone else on the team. +/- includes empty net goals and shorthanded goals against, which is problematic, but even by that stat he’s only -6, which is pretty average for this team.

        So… uh… what are you talking about?

        • For clarity, if you give up a goal against while on the power play or score a goal shorthanded, or give up an empty net goal, it counts on your +/-, but scoring on the power play or giving up a goal on the penalty kill does not. This makes it a practically-useless stat, because it arbitrarily counts some game states and not others.

          So playing on the PK and not on the powerplay can actually artificially inflate your +/-, because goals scored in those situations will add a +, but goals against will not add a -.

        • DJ_44

          Goldobin’s goal difference at even strength main factor is that his minutes are incredibly sheltered. If you not trusted to maintain a lead, like in the last 10 minutes of a game when the opposition will be pushing hard, then you are less likely to have goals against (or shots against) as opposed to if you are out chasing a lead when you defence will pinch and more risk is accepted.

          Hence, his stats are deceptive.

          • If you are not capable of pushing play in the right direction, you’ll get scored on, whether it’s in the first five minutes or the last five minutes of the game. I am in no way saying Goldobin is a defensive dynamo, but saying his +/- is bad and therefore his is bad is simply not true – his goal differentials, no matter how you slice them, are not bad, particularly for this team.

        • Kootenaydude

          Well Goon. Goldobin plays on Petterssons line a lot. So that means that Goldobin gets a LOT of offensive zone starts. Kinda like the Sedins used to. Pettersson has shown his tenacity playing defence. Which you think should inspire Goldobin. Unfortunately it hasn’t and Goldobin, although skilled, has not shown tenacity defensively or offensively. He’s on a dream line for most and is underachieving. Considering who he’s playing with.

    • apr

      Benning on the radio the other day basically said that Goldobin hasn’t developed and implied they are moving on from him. Add him to Scherback, Petan, Bowey, Honka, on and on of first round picks that can’t crack their team’s line up….

    • Smyl and Snepsts

      Playing almost anyone instead of Goldobin is good bench management until he learns to play as hard and responsibly as the rest of the team. Being “offensively gifted” is no excuse. Look at Petterson as an example.

  • MattyT

    Zzzzz. Two perrenial bottomfeeders who are always racked by injuries because [email protected] teams have to work that much harder to stay in games while proper contenders just coast along nicely into playoff mode. Neither belongs in the post season.

    Time for change after five yers e can NEVER have back. Depth and an elite team by year three was promised and never delivered.

    Frankly, I am sick of losing, it’s a shame others here don’t feel the same… but to them it’s ‘ok’ as long as there’s a Canucks game to kill time until golf season. Disgraceful really.

  • The Canucks will not be in a wildcard spot if they win tonight – they’ll be tied with Colorado on points, but lose on the tiebreaker – Canucks will have more games played and fewer regulation/OT wins. It’s also totally moot if Minnesota wins their game tonight, which will put them back into 8th and bump the Canucks down to, at best, 10th.

    • TheRealPB

      I don’t know, I watched the Arizona Edmonton game the other night and Keller, Hinostroza, Garland and Galchenyuk all looked pretty good. I mean none of the turtle derby is going to last more than four games against SJ, Calgary, Nashville or Winnipeg, but I’m not sure Arizona’s that much worse than us (though I think our young forwards are better than theirs and they don’t have the tire fire of a D that we do, you’re right).

  • Killer Marmot

    Spooner has been catapulted from the AHL to one of the most notable lines in the NHL on a team fighting for a playoff spot. His practice drills with the Canucks earlier this week must have gone well.

    • Beer Can Boyd

      Canucks would flip him in a heartbeat if anyone showed interest. He’s in the lineup to showcase, much like Schaller tonight. Pretty sure the management knows that the playoffs are a long shot, and that a first round exit would be a given, should they squeak in. Maybe I’m giving Benning too much credit, but he knows his team must improve from where they are now.

      • Killer Marmot

        My reading is that Green knows that they will only make the playoffs by taking some chances. So he throws a struggling but talented player a lifeline to see if he’ll grab it.

  • Kanuckhotep

    I suppose the Canucks want a look at Spooner in game conditions to see if he can contribute or not. He’s probably not as good a player as the much maligned Nikolay Goldobin but they’ve gotta try it out. Just wish Goldy went harder on the puck than he does because otherwise you’d have a pretty good all round player. Tick tock…..

  • Bendervîlle Tîgres

    Lol. Canucks fighting for a wildcard spot in a massive four-pointer and the thread is flooded with pointless chit chat and carping about plus-minus. Some of you guys need to find a new hobby. Seriously. #wastingyourlivesaway

  • rediiis

    Spooner does this weird skate move that never scores. He is a good passer and is fast, he’s just never been a finisher. I hope he has 9 points tonight. Goldobin sitting could be a trade thing.

  • Kootenaydude

    I’m loving where the Canucks are trending when it comes to their draft selection. If they get the 7th spot. Perhaps they can give up Goldobin and their draft pick to move up and draft Byram from the Vancouver Giants !