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Vancouver Canucks vs New York Islanders Post Game Recap

The Canucks opened tonight’s game against the Islanders having dropped their last two games and four of their last five as they try and hang in the playoff picture via the wild card. Given that these losses have come against division rivals they find themselves on the outside, looking up at Arizona not to mention the entire Central.

Unsurprisingly, Markstrom drew the start for the home team against Lehner and the Islanders. New York dropped their last game in a shootout to Edmonton. For those of you who live under a rock, the Trotz-led Islanders and Lehner have been one of the leagues biggest surprises this year. They lost a considerable amount of talent in the offseason and basically rolled two fourth lines to start the season and well, it works?

They’re certainly not trying to win any awards in shot share, but they’ve done a fairly decent job of keeping allowed shots to the outside as Robin Lehner’s only seeing 2.33xG per game.

the Trotz effect

Why does this matter? Well, we know this Vancouver squad – especially with the additions of Gaudette, McEwen, and even Spooner – can shoot the puck. The question is, will they be able to get in close and capitalize if and when they do so?

1st Period:

The first notable sight in the game was Matt Barzal centering Kuhnhackl and Komarov. This is a telling example of how dedicated Trotz is to having balanced, defensively sound lines.

After both teams traded chances in the first few minutes, Casey Cizikas opened the scoring at 4:48. He flipped a bouncing puck from a Johnny Boychuk shot off the end boards up and over Markstrom.

The Islanders drew a penalty with fourteen minutes to go in the first when Loui Eriksson took an offensive zone holding penalty. He got beat in a puck battle on the boards and made a bad play to send the Canucks to the PK.

The Canucks had the better of the chances on the PK starting with Jay Beagle’s breakaway 30 seconds in. He approached the net with considerable speed, had Lehner beat, but couldn’t get the puck up and over the leg pad on net. This was likely due to a stick in the hands. We saw the impact of the system Trotz has so successfully implemented with the boys of Barclays as the Granlund brought the puck in on the rush only to have the centering pass end up on the stick of a back-checking forward right where you’d think your attacker would be.

With 10:45 to go, Barzal flew past a Vancouver defender, but had little support for when Jake Markstrom came out of the net to challenge him.

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Following this sequence, the Canucks had their first extended shift in the visitor’s zone. Roussel made the controlled entry with a nice play at the line. They worked the puck around the boards to Biega who had his point shot tipped in front, but directly into Lehner’s leg pad. Granlund tried to bury the rebound, but couldn’t get the puck through traffic. The Islanders failed to clear giving the Granlund and Gaudette another opportunity working behind the net. This promising shift would end with Biega hap-haphazardly throwing a puck to an Islanders forward instead of his D partner along the blue line.

The Canucks had their next good scoring opportunity with seven minutes to play in the first. Stecher threw the puck on net from the blue line and Lehner had trouble holding on to it, but Horvat’s between-the-legs backhand pass on the rebound went no where. Horvat would follow this with an offensive zone penalty when he tripped up the Islanders’ defenseman Pelech in on the rush.

The Canucks would never make it to the PK, as Pulock would score on the delayed penalty after nearly a minute of possession with the sixth man in the offensive zone. Pulock fired a laser one-timer into the high glove side from Ovi’s office. Barzal had done an excellent job working the puck left-to-right at from the point to generate the opportunity. The Canucks, late on their shift, seemed entirely content with letting the visiting team pass the puck around and around until they finally decided to pull the trigger.

Markstrom made an impressive sprawling save with a minute or so left to keep things 2-0 as we headed to the second period.

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2nd Period:

The second period opened with what nearly 90 seconds of zone time from the Islanders. Thankfully, the Canucks ran what appeared to be a set play off the Gaudette face-off win to get the change after the ensuing icing. The Pettersson line would follow, but had nothing going.

The Horvat line followed that group, with Leivo getting robbed on a shot from the doorstep when Lehner threw out the two-pad stack. Goldobin, Leivo, and Horvat weren’t able to convert on scoring chances they had when they pinned the Islanders in for sixty more seconds of offensive zone time.

The Canucks continued to pour on as the Beagle line drew a penalty. With the short change, Travis Green was able to then swap in the Pettersson line. They had nearly 90 seconds with the extra man before the referees arm got tired and play was blown dead as Devon Toews tapped the puck.

The home team opened the Power Play with 13:30 to go in the second and notably Hutton on the spot Stecher had been occupying. He nearly scored in the opening seconds, firing a point shot past Lehner, off the post, off Lehner, and along the goal line only to be cleared by Scott Mayfield.

Mayfield wouldn’t be so lucky when he went to clear the puck with 25 seconds to go on the PK as he threw a puck into the stands, taking a delay of game penalty.

The short 5-on-3 would prove to be no more fruitful than the prior PP. The Canucks then struggled to gain entry into the zone. Valtteri Filppula forced a turnover in the neutral zone and gained a breakaway, but Markstrom challenged the shooter into a poor shot and made the save.

With nine minutes to go, Tyler Motte brought the puck in on the rush. Lehner, continuing to struggle with rebounds, allowed him to get his own rebound, but he fired it off the post.

A minute later the Islanders got away with too many men as they botched a change while having possession near the boards in the neutral zone. Call or not, the Canucks continued to press the Islanders, drawing an icing with 6:30 to go. Gaudette won the ensuing face-off, but again, a great opportunity was missed because no one was home in front of the net.

At the 15:45 mark in the second, the Beagle line started an impressive shift in the offensive zone. Sautner and Gudbranson aided the fourth line tremendously with some crisp passing at the point. This culminated with a point shot from Sautner with no one in front able to clean up the rebound and the Islanders taking another icing penalty. This opportunity was spoiled when Boeser made a behind-the-back pass to no man’s land.

Barzal took a high stick on Pettersson with 2:44 to play. Their best opportunity came on a deflected Pettersson pass/shot, but unfortunately for the Canucks, Lehner happened to be in the right spot to make the save.

The Canucks would end the Power Play having doubled up the Islanders in shots 30-14, with nothing to show for it. A shame, really, as it was one of their most dominant periods of the year against a strong Islanders squad.

A Dominant Second Period from the Cancuks

3rd Period:

The Canucks opened the third hoping to finally cash in on a dominant second period and close the gap with the Islanders.

Unfortunately, the Islanders would land an absolute dagger off a counter from a missed Jay Beagle shot. Two minutes and thirty seconds into the third period Filppula, Bailey, and Beauvillier went tic-tac-toe through the Canucks defense and ultimately past Markstrom for the goal.

This goal really let the air out of the tires of a previously energetic Vancouver squad. By the ten minute mark, they’d only amassed two (2) shots on goal in the third. They flat-lined.

When you decide the game’s over but there’s still ten minutes left.

Maybe it seems like I’ve mailed things in here for the third period, but honestly, this was about as exciting and event filled to read as it was to watch.

With 4:22 to go Vancouver went on another Power Play, hoping to at least break their scoreless streak if nothing else. After failing to generate anything on their first PP possession, they pulled the goalie to get the 6-on-4 with 1:07 left with Anders Lee in the box. They made a nice entry after losing the face-off, but nothing came of it.

With the goaltender pulled, the Islanders continued to fail to challenge Lehner, taking shots from a distance without breaking the goaltender’s line-of-sight.

The final nail in the coffin was the empty net goal from Cal Clutterbuck with 75 seconds remaining.


We knew going into the game the Canucks would likely out-shoot the Islanders. That’s exactly what happened. They dominated a good Islanders squad in the second:

When the other team is totally cool with you out-shooting them

While I’d like to celebrate Biega and Pouliot being in the “good” section of the chart. It’s always scary to have a defensive pairing that doesn’t take a single defensive zone start. They were highly sheltered, which likely led to less-than-optimal deployment of other pairings (looking at you, Sautner-Gudbranson).

It was apparent tonight that a big part of the Islanders’ success isn’t just the way they pack it in defensively, but also their exceptional support of the puck carrier. Frequently, when Vancouver would apply pressure, the player on the puck would look up to see one or more teammates available nearby. The juxtaposition provided in tonight’s showcase highlights a key area where the Canucks, from the top of the lineup to the bottom, could stand to improve if they intend to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Their best sequences are certainly the result of tight support of the puck carrier and some of their more egregious plays and turnovers are the direct result of the lack thereof.

Robin Lehner seemed to struggle holding onto the puck and controlling his rebounds tonight, but the Canucks were unable to capitalize. It was frustrating to watch so many point shots generate juicy rebounds only to be scooped up by and Islanders defenseman with nary a Canuck in sight. The home team tonight appeared unwilling or unable to battle to get to the front of the net. This doomed the Canucks to one-and-dones off the rush or shots from the point. It appears as though there’s no “next man in” once the player in front of the net is pushed out or steps away to play the puck.

The Spooner deployment has drawn some criticism given his performance this year with the New York Rangers and Edmonton Oilers. While he trailed all forwards in TOI, it’s apparent that Travis Green is trying to get the former Bruin into a role aligned to his strengths. His best performances with Boston came with extremely favorable offensive zone deployments, paired with a playmaker in Krejci and a mobile shooter like Jake DeBrusk or a Power Forward like Backes or Jimmy Hayes.

I think anyone who has watched either the Rangers or Oilers this year might conclude that maybe the decline in output is related to the quality of the input (teammates) in those scenarios.

Given the success he had in these situations and the current deployment strategy of the Pettersson-Boeser line, you’d think he’d find some success in that role. In his defense, he’s in his age 26 season and only one season removed from being a 2 P/60 player. I think it’s likely we see this again, as the significantly heavier defensive zone deployments the Horvat line takes makes that a non-starter.

Spooner doesn’t do DZS

Up Next:

The Canucks have now dropped eight of their last ten games. It’s beginning to look like the string of recent injuries is dragging this team further and further away from a bonafide playoff run.

Optimistically, the West, behind Vegas is open for the taking. Arizona has been equally unlucky in terms of injuries. The Wild have traded away one of their best players in Nino Niederreiter and are in a free fall. You have to wonder if this recent win streak by Chicago is sustainable. After looking like a playoff squad when they knocked the Blues of their win streak, the Stars hoped to turn things around before being shut out today.

All this to say, “Hey, why not us?”

The Canucks look to get back on track Monday night in Vancouver against an Anaheim squad that can’t make up their minds on if they’re better with or without their prospects. You have to wonder if Miller, who has been the subject of rumors of late, will be making that start. Hopefully, the Canucks get some good news on Edler or another forward in the meantime.

  • Kanuckhotep

    In the dark days of November when the Canucks had all those key injuries and lost all those games they nonetheless bounced back into play off contention after that. But to go through the same injury bug and the subsequent plethora of losses that accompany it again, bouncing back a second time seems very unlikely. The big clubs are going into the last 20 games or so playing like the big clubs do and unfortunately the Canucks are not one of them. Craig Button said on HNIC in effect that Travis Green has gotten a lot of mileage out of his young roster this year but have probably run out of gas now. It ain’t over yet but I think we know what we’re seeing in a young, inexperienced team going into March soon. Other teams are simply better right now.

    • truthseeker

      I pretty much thought that November streak was going to be too much to over come even before this mini slide. But it’s alright. Still 20 games left. It’s not likely but you never know. I’m sure we’re not the only team in this lower wild card section who’s going to have a losing streak. I just want the same thing I said at the start of the year. Just to see them play hard every night and let the chips fall where they may.

  • Captain Video

    Spooner is delivering the same production that he did for the Oilers. The fact that management wants Spooner on the first line while giving up on Dahlen is extremely concerning. The Club seems to have abandoned the “rebuild” in favour of the previously failed “reboot” strategy based around reclamation projects.

      • Defenceman Factory

        Apparently Sekeres speculated the Canucks may be looking to move Dahlen because he wasn’t in the line-up recently. He was ill but the weak minded among us do love their rumours and conspiracy theories.

    • Freud

      The way Spooner is described here is exactly what Goldobin is.

      So let’s sit or trade Goldobin and replace him with an older, much more expensive version in Spooner because he once played for Boston?

      Sounds like a typical Chiarelli/Benning move.

  • Burnabybob

    I thought the Canucks played reasonably well last night. They just don’t have the depth win many games when they are missing two of their top defensemen.

    • MattyT

      … and who is at fault for that after FIVE seasons in charge Bob?

      Here’s a clue…

      “I like our defence now and i like our centre ice, I can’t wait to get the season started” – Benning

      Men against boys out there – the Isles are doing it textbook and contending again after just HALF a season all without their longtime franchise player, as i told you before the game.. oink oink

      • Burnabybob

        Stop whining. Rebuilds take time. This is the second year in a row they have a Calder trophy candidate. They added one excellent and another very good defensive prospect in the draft last year. Juolevi has taken longer than hoped, but he will make the team soon. In the meantime, they will probably add another good forward prospect in the first round this year, and if they don’t improve significantly next season, will be in a position to draft either Drysdale or Barron, both of whom are excellent RHD prospects. One or two more drafts, a free agent or two, and they should have the makings of a good team.

          • Beer Can Boyd

            Sorry, 5 years.They fired the coach, and then fired the GM in 2014, the rebuild ostensibly began then. I see the playoffs in 2015 as an outlier in between several terrible seasons. My point being, that based on the on-ice evidence, we’re still miles away from seriously contending. And really, what is in the pipeline? Hughes is very small and as yet unproven, Julolevi suffers injury after injury, Demko has played 2 NHL games, and Woo is 2-3 years away. After that, its a pretty serious drop off talent wise. And now there are rumours that they have already soured on Dahlens ability to be a “Travis Green guy” and are shopping him.

          • Holly Wood

            Matt Sekares May have inadvertently started the Jonathon Dahlen trade rumours when he was held out of a Comets game a few trades ago. Corey Hergott reported he was ill with the flu as was Kole Lind. Crack reporting by Sekares, throw crap at the wall and see if it sticks

          • North Van Halen

            The rebuild started when Aquillini gave permission to start the rebuild, right before Burrows & Hanson were traded.
            I’m not sure why people keep wanting the rebuild to start on their schedule. It began and ends with FA. No whining will change that reality

          • Burnabybob

            The Leafs, who are often held up as a model rebuild, finished in the bottom 10 in the standings in 8 of the 9 seasons between 2008 and 2016. It’s important to keep things in perspective. Lots of teams spend long periods in the bottom of the standings as they rebuild.

            Do I agree with all of Benning’s moves? Certainly not. Did not like the re-signing of Gudbranson. Did not like the LE signing. But I also doubt they would be a dramatically better team if they had Jared McCann on their roster. And Benning has generally drafted well. Juolevi obviously wasn’t a great pick, but it made sense at the time. Hughes is one of the top defensemen in the NCAA. And I truly believe that they will have the makings of a good team following next year’s draft, after which they can hopefully rid themselves of some bad contracts and move more aggressively into the free agent market. I always knew it was going to take time for the Canucks to turn things around, and I’m not surprised where they are right now.

          • Beer Can Boyd

            But Benning has shown no aptitude for getting rid of bad contracts, he only takes on more of them. 4 years for a 33 year old Beagle was insane. He got rid of the ridiculous Gagner contract, and took back one that was just as bad.

          • speering major

            When it should have started and when it actually started are two different things. They were hoping to start after the Sedins retired but the team was so bad they started a season early. If the Canucks can draft a top end #3 center (that could also fill in at #2 or better) or a top 4 D this year, the rebuild is in great shape.

            Hopefully the last 5 games gives Benning the ammo he needs to ship out some assets for futures. Although the Canucks still have an outside chance of making the wildcard, they’re only 5 points out of the # 3 lottery position as well. Add either Hughes, Kappo, the next best center, or Byram to the prospect pool plus some futures from selling this deadline and the rebuild is in great shape. Still some depth issues but plenty of core pieces and difference makers in the system.

          • The rebuild should have started seven years ago when Mike Gillis said “this team needs to be rebuilt”. Instead he was told they had to stay a contender with a terrible-fit coach, then fired and replaced with a yes-man who said the team could be turned around in a hurry, before finally admitting they had to rebuild three years later.

        • MattyT

          Stop dreaming. Go dance around on the Lionsgate in your rara skirt and then jump off so we can’t hear your ridiculous blind cheerleading.

          Sick of the losing and the patehetic excuses from all you trolling losers. Have some RESPECT for those that actually PAY to support this trainwreck franchise. It’s a DISGRACE.

  • Puck Viking

    5 points out of 30th place.

    I have zero faith in Benning and Francesco to realize the team needs more. Look for them to add at the TDL, then look for them to add big UFAs while having loads of horrible contracts and before the team is ready to take the next step due to the lack of depth on this team.

        • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

          Reactive and passive GM’ing vs Active and agressive

          It’s no surprise Benning rarely does anything leading up to TDLs considering how poorly he negotiates and deals.

      • LTFan

        Goon – I agree – Benning has nothing to sell. Boeser, Horvat and Petterrson + draft picks are the only saleable assets and they are not for sale. As Brian Burke has said – “sometimes the best deal is no deal”.

        • Defenceman Factory

          Trade deadline moves are typically for UFAs from non-contending to contending teams. Contending teams do not want injured players and seldom want to acquire players with term on their contract. Beyond some RFAs unlikely to bring much in return the Canucks have one UFA of significant value. He is injured and has a NTC. Sutter and Tanev may generate some interest but both are injured and have term left. Sutter has a NTC that doesn’t expire till the end of the year. It is disingenuous to conclude not moving any of these 3 is based on a decision to stand pat.

          The move I am hoping for most is the departure of Gudbranson. A tall order for a deadline move given the remaining 2 years on his contract. I think Guddy would have got moved last year if not injured. The Canucks chose to re-sign rather than see him walk for nothing. Not convinced that was a good decision but if he can be moved for something of value now or in the off season the decision looks better.

          Benning will invariably be criticized for not getting much done this deadline but the fact is there is little he will be able to do whether he wants to or not. Granlund, Motte, Leivo, Hutton and Poulliot are all RFAs with arbitration rights. At the least he has to, if there is no intention to qualify some of those guys, try and get something for them.

          If there is any truth to the notion Linden left because he wanted to continue being patient with the rebuild I’d love to see some impatience. Unfortunately there just isn’t much opportunity to make serious moves this deadline and we probably need to wait till the offseason.

          For everyone feeling angst about roster decisions over the last few games, relax. Putting expendable players on the ice in front of the deadline is hardly the end of the world. Showcasing Spooner in the best possible light probably didn’t work but is hardly a bad idea.

    • steviewire

      Wow. It’s simply unbelievable that a man who has risen to the highest management position in a highly competitive professional sports league, and is respected by his peers, cannot see that his team is not good enough. I may not have faith in Benning to have the tools to pull off the deals needed to improve the team, but I think he is smart enough to “realize the team needs more”.

  • Gored1970

    The Canucks’ lineup has far too many small perimeter players like Goldy, Granlund and Spooner who are relatively ineffective. Roussel’s game and point production has been a pleasant surprise, he works every minute of every shift while others float. We could use a 6’4” 220 pound left winger who has soft hands, goes to the net and is a leader (ie. Mark Stone).

    • steviewire

      Too often size is equated with grit and toughness. What is needed is players that are willing to go to the dirty areas and don’t take a shift off. The top of the stats sheets are filled with small players who do that. My eye test tells me that a lot of larger players rely to much on their size and coast through a lot of shifts. Competitive hard working players, regardless of size, is what is needed

  • “Optimistically, the West, behind Vegas is open for the taking. Arizona has been equally unlucky in terms of injuries. The Wild have traded away one of their best players in Nino Niederreiter and are in a free fall. You have to wonder if this recent win streak by Chicago is sustainable. After looking like a playoff squad when they knocked the Blues of their win streak, the Stars hoped to turn things around before being shut out today.

    All this to say, “Hey, why not us?””

    Why not the Canucks? They’re five points behind Dallas and Colorado for a wild card spot, behind the Wild (four points up) Arizona and Chicago (both a point up) and only two points up on Edmonton, which has a game in hand. They weren’t likely to be a playoff team to begin with and their complete lack of depth has been exposed by this recent injury run. To make the playoffs, the Canucks will have to win three or four more games than all of Dallas, Colorado, Minnesota, Arizona, Chicago, and Edmonton – in other words, to make the playoffs they’re going to need a record of around 15-5. That’s simply not happening. Put the idea of playoffs to bed.

    • Beer Can Boyd

      Every team has injuries. The Canucks are a small, soft, perimeter team who constantly concede their own blue line, never apply pressure on the PK, have an atrocious power play, and very little organizational depth. Add to that, they were thoroughly out-coached last night by a true master. Yes, they may have out-shot the Isles last night, but to suggest that they out-played them is ludicrous. At least half of those 36 shots were harmless muffins from 40+ feet out. At the beginning of this season, you would not have found a single pundit who would have picked the Islanders to be 19 points ahead of the Canucks right now, based on their pre-season rosters. They need to forget about the playoffs immediately, call up some of the kids, and somehow find a way to give poor Markstromm a break. Watching them right now is depressing.

      • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

        You forgot to mention that they also have two like-minded individuals at the helm who have repeatedly refused to insulate/surround themselves with creative thinking mgmt which has caused their pseudo-rebuild to stall due to the numerous holes you addressed.

      • canuckfan

        It isn’t the small players who are injured except maybe Sven and most of the pundits had the Canucks at the bottom which would have meant that the Islanders would be ahead of them.
        It is now about getting ready for next year. I agree with bringing up some of the prospect to see what they look like especially the wingers. Our top centers need some help on the wing. Teams have forced the Canucks to play on the outside. The power play is all from the outside.

        Yes watching them now is depressing, and yes Markstrom needs a break.

    • truthseeker

      You’re probably right, but I’d quibble with your numbers just a bit. The Av’s in the last spot remain at an 86 point pace. Around 85 points has been the pace for the final spot for a couple of months now. Of course that could change. But then, it could change down as well. There’s nothing to say that all of these teams could continue to suck even worse for the remainder of the season. We’re all just making assumptions about what teams might or might not do. So if we simply take the current 8th place pace, 86 is the number the canucks would need to get. 13 wins in their final 20 to be in the conversation. Again…not likely, but more likely than you are implying.

      • They might *squeak* into the playoffs with 86 points if everyone around them continues to play poorly.
        I think that’s unlikely – someone’s going to get hot. In order to be pretty certain of making it I think they’d have to win 15.

  • Freud

    To watch Eriksson try to dump the puck in on a 4 on 2, only to dump it into the linesman’s leg and go offside was amazing even for him. Remember, Benning wanted Lucic first and likely was trying to trade the pick that became Boeser for Lucic.

    To watch Gudbranson play defence on the first 3 goals was amazing. Evidence suggests he is the worst regular defence man in the league thus season. A first and second rounder were given up for him and then he was re-signed.

    Beagles breakaway was also pathetic. He is signed until he is 37. He has one goal this year when the goalie is in the net.

    Guys with only publically available evidence were screaming at Benning not to go near these guys.

    Now there is only one prospect on the horizon who has the potential to be elite and Benning’s more focused on resigning a 32 yr old defence man, getting rid of younger players and making “Hockey trades” than acquiring futures at the deadline.

    Now we won’t even be surprised if he gives Edler a third year and a no move clause f#*king over the supposed rebuild and expansion draft even more. The bar is just that low right now.

    Siss boom bah

    • Beer Can Boyd

      Freud, you are a cantankerous pundit, but I agree with everything in this post. And don’t forget that the upcoming 3 year, NTC, boat anchor contract for Edler will be awarded after his bounce back season in….surprise!!… his contract year!

      • Freud

        BCB, I’m a long time fan of this team. I don’t want this team to be competitive or to just make the playoffs. For me, It’s a Cup or nothing. To stop the folly that is going on, the fan can only be cantankerous to pressure the team to change.

        It pains me to see people ignore all the evidence that the past 5 years have been a disaster. There is ample evidence that the owner and managers of this team make decisions on whims and antiquated notions, rather than with evidence, progressive negotiating, proactive and creative planning and critical thinking.

        The cheerleading and excuses that go on here only hurts the fans. Dummies like Aquilini and Benning will always filter out criticism if there is enough cheerleading to keep them going. We have seen this in Edmonton for a decade. The aw shucks prairie folks have done little except enable Katz and his good ole boys with their “loyalty”

        We all need to unite and pressure this team to end this garbage, anything less will only draw us closer to Edmonton.

    • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

      its amazing…where are all the optimistic, delusional, never-say-anything-negative blind supporters to flock to Benning/Green’s aid??? You all sleep in?

        • Defenceman Factory

          You really should explain what you meant by this comment. Did you just equate the management style of a hockey team to being the uncaring parent of a teen age overdose victim? That is how I interpret your comment. Please correct me if I got that wrong.

        • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

          Is that after the deadline and no moves are made? Or after an Edler 4yr $5.5M AAV extension is announced? Either way, no focus on draft pick acquisitions for 4 of 5yrs is beyond sad.

    • Nuck16

      Yeah, I don’t think Spooner should play on the big club again unless the injury situation worsens. We can hope he has a good offseason and comes to camp ready. This season is over for him.

  • Tedchinook

    It’s extremely frustrating watching the powerplay fritter away chances when the problem’s so obvious. When it’s looking good and generating chances there’s lot’s of movement. Guys are moving to space, interchanging positions and creating passing angles for each other. When it’s looking bad it’s because 5 guys are standing around doing nothing and making it easy to defend them. And when you look at other teams successful powerplays it’s again because there’s lots of movement.

    • DJ_44

      Yes, it is extremely frustrating. 5×3 is terrible … and it is coachable. You must make the defenders move. Giving the puck to Boeser in the at the point and have him blast a slap shot into the defenders shin pads is not a good look. I liked that the Canucks put Lievo on the left half boards since he is better handling the puck and pressure than Boeser, and creates movement. I also like it when Goldobin or Spooner are on the left half boards on PP2 for the same reason.

      I prefer Hutton (and Poilliot for that matter) to Stecher on the point, Although I would like to see Sautner on the point on either unit since he can shot the puck, and, at least in Utica, gets puck through to the net.

      Here is another thought … maybe try some low to high plays every once in a while … just sayin.

    • TheRealRusty

      You are there. The great movement almost reminds me of pond hockey when things are so fluid that there is an appearance (or illusion) that there is no structure on the ice between the 5 players.

    • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

      And yet the illustrious GM decided he needed to rehire the guy that was previously fired to “fix” the PP….and by “fix”, I mean make it worse…like waaay worse, and static, and toss in like 4 drop passes per zone entry attempt (guaranteed success!)

  • Kootenaydude

    Did anyone watch the game? That so called powerplay is killing this team. Apparently only 1 powerplay goal this month! Time for you guys to stop pointing fingers at Benning and call out Green and his assistant coaches. The powerplay has been crap all season and doesn’t look like we have the coaching to do something about it!

    • Tedchinook

      Absolutely it’s coaching. I’m watching last nite’s game and screaming at the TV, “somebody f’ing move!!!” There’s enough skill out there to have a fairly successful power play, but right now teams aren’t worried about taking penalties against the Canucks. So the lousy power play is making 5X5 harder too because teams can play a lot tighter defense without worrying about taking penalties.

  • Bud Poile

    “Bud ‘the lapdog’ Poile here will still put the blame on GMMG. Lol” Real Rusty

    In last night’s game there were two Gillis draft picks playing on the VC roster.
    In last night’s game eight NYI draft picks were playing on the NYI roster from that same time period in which Gillis drafted for the VC’s.

    The total GP by all Gillis draft picks in a Vancouver uniform equals 944 GP.
    Over that exact same draft period the NYI picks have played 4,953 games in a NYI uniform.

    2008 Draft Islanders:
    *Josh Bailey 776 GP-All GP with NYI
    Travis Hamonic 568 GP-444 GP with NYI
    *Matt Martin 620 GP-488 GP with NYI
    Jared Spurgeon 571 GP-0 GP with NYI
    Two drafted Islanders on active roster.
    1708 NYI GP by NYI draft picks.

    2008 Draft Gillis:
    Cody Hodgson 328 GP-71 GP with VC
    No Gillis draft picks on roster.
    71 VC GP by Gillis draft picks.

    2009 Draft Islanders:
    John Tavares-730 GP-669 GP with NYI
    Calvin de Haan -336 GP-304 GP with NYI
    Anders Nilsson-132 GP-23 GP with NYI
    *Casey Cizikas-467 GP-All with NYI
    *Anders Lee-404 GP-All with NYI
    Two drafted Islanders on active roster.
    1,867 NYI GP by NYI draft picks.

    2009 Draft Gillis:
    Jordan Schroeder- 165 GP-56 GP with VC
    Kevin Connauton-303 GP-O GP with VC
    Anton Rodin-3 GP with VC
    No Gillis draft picks on roster.
    59 VC GP by Gillis draft picks.

    2010 Draft Islanders:
    Nino Neiderreiter -514 GP-64 GP with NYI
    *Brock Nelson-459 GP-All GP with NYI
    One drafted Islander on active roster.
    523 NYI GP by NYI draft picks.

    2010 Draft Gillis:
    No Gillis draft picks on roster.
    1 VC GP by Gillis draft picks (Alex Friesen).

    2011 Draft Islanders:
    Ryan Strome-401 GP-258 GP with NYI
    *Scott Mayfield-142 GP-All with NYI
    Johan Sundstrom -11 GP-All with NYI
    Andrey Pedan-13 GP-0 GP with NYI
    Robbie Russo-19 GP-O GP with NYI
    John Persson-10 GP-All with NY1
    One drafted Islander on active roster.
    421 NYI GP by NYI draft picks.

    2011 Draft Gillis:
    Nicklas Jensen-31 GP-24 GP with VC
    Alexandre Grenier -9 GP-All with VC
    Joe Labate-13 GP-All with VC
    Frankie Corrado-76 GP-25 GP with VC
    No Gillis draft picks on roster.
    71 VC GP by VC draft picks.

    2012 Draft Islanders:
    Griffin Reinhart-37 GP-8 GP with NYI
    *Adam Pelech-188 GP-All with NYI
    One drafted Islander on active roster.
    196 NYI GP by NYI draft picks.

    2012 Draft Gillis:
    Brendan Gaunce-117 GP-All with VC
    *Ben Hutton-267 GP-All with VC
    One Gillis draft pick on active roster.
    384 VC GP by Gillis draft picks.

    2013 Draft Islanders:
    *Ryan Pulock-145 GP-All with NYI
    Alan Quine-93 GP-84 GP with NYI
    One drafted Islander on active roster.
    238 NYI GP by NYI draft picks.

    2013 Draft Gillis:
    *Bo Horvat-357 GP-All with VC
    Hunter Shinkaruk-15 GP- 1GP with VC
    One Gills draft pick on active roster.
    358 VC GP by Gilis draft picks.

      • Bud Poile

        With the exception of Bailey and the 2010 draft where Gillis lost/traded off his first three picks all the NYI’s on the roster last night were available to Gillis.

          • Bud Poile

            To be clear,I was referring to those eight players I listed that the Islanders drafted and have currently bolstering their present roster as being available to Gillis.
            “Scotty Bowman once said you need eight or 10 homegrown players on a team to win a Stanley Cup. I believe in that theory. Guys that you draft and develop, they work their way through your system, so that is kind of what our goal is.” Jim Benning Nov. 2015
            2014 Virtanen Demko
            2015 Boeser Gaudette Brisebois
            2016 Juolevi 2019/20
            2017 Pettersson
            2018 Hughes

          • MattyT

            More dumb, revisionist nonsense from the boring old troll who will not tell us if he was a Canucks fan from 2008 to the 2011 SCF…

            Eight franchise changing players available to ‘draft guru’ Benning… he passed on them ALL

            Dylan Larkin
            Charlie McAvoy
            David Pastranak (scouted him for Boston!!!!!!!!!!!!)
            Nic Ehlers
            William Nylander
            Matthew Tkachuk
            Mikhail Sergachev
            Clayton Keller

            Again, were YOU a Canucks fan between 2008 and the 2011 SCF?????


    • Holly Wood

      I have always felt that anyone with a “ hockey news draft preview “ in their hand could have been able to draft better than Gillis. Throwing darts might have gotten at least one player in the 2010 draft

      • Braindead Benning

        WTF do people (JOCK SNIFFING BUD)keep bringing up MG and his $hitty drafting…so what !!! its 5 [email protected] years that Jimbo and Co. has been in charge and there is nothing but HUGE holes on the D and the Wings!!! … I do give him compliments on the centre position besides $hitting the bed on why the team needs both Sutter and Beagle (8 mil) which could probably fetch a Panarin type player and be more productive to help the teams overall goal (SCORING) JB does not think in a proactive way since the day he started. Maybe its Ownership meddling however, unless he starts realizing handing out stupid @ss contracts as he has done for the past 3 years is not working then its the same old 25 – 31 positioning

          • Braindead Benning

            Gawd are you that [email protected] stupid to Point out the bloody obvious… who cares about the NTC… You cannot comprehend the idiotic signings JB has done and your arguments come from pure retardation… But hey, you are alot smarter then ALL sports radio/television media people who have been implying about his questionable signings… Just Keep getting high of JB jock sweat ?

          • Braindead Benning

            Hey Bud, why don’t you watch the YouTube seen with Matt Martin and drew Miller… It actually sums up your Miller and will always be that Idiot… When your finally coming off the JB jock aroma “High” maybe you can see the actual big picture

          • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

            Gustav Nyqvist also had a full NTC…but was dealt yesterday. Get your head out of the sand with your Brian Burke-esque old world thinking/respect for NTCs.

            Other GMs just get things done. They don’t see NTCs as inherently iron clad.

        • Defenceman Factory

          Don’t really understand your point. Is there NHL ready prospects being pushed out of roster spots? Are your concerns about future costs prohibiting ability to sign drafted young players? Are you upset about the impact on Aquillini’s wallet? Did you want Benning to sign higher quality UFAs and finish high in the standings (yet still lack the depth to be serious contenders)?

          I’m not trying to defend Canucks signings. Several just did not come as promised but I don’t see any real damage they have done to the long term success of the team. Benning is putting NHL players on the ice to take on the tougher minutes while the team drafts and develops.

          You don’t have to like the plan (I don’t particularly) and you can not agree with the cost or term of the UFAs but so far these signings haven’t really impacted when the young players will lift the Canucks into contention.

          • Braindead Benning

            1, no they don’t have NHL ready prospects being pushed out(There is no high calabre player besides Gaudette ready after 5 years)
            2, of course signing veterans doesn’t effect the ELC of some players at this point however, trust me they could very much be in a bind if this continues
            3, I don’t give $hit about FA wallet
            4, no I don’t think it’s smart to go full out on UFA”s just to finish a little higher in the standings, I was only pointing out they should get better bang for the buck.
            5, by signing mediocre bottom 6 forwards (besides Russel) & 6-7 depth dmen only compounds the problem and doesn’t develop team chemistry…
            JB has essentially created a team that can compete for around the first 40-50 games..

          • Defenceman Factory

            So Braindead your only real concerns about the UFA signings is your point 5 and I don’t understand how this has negatively impacted chemistry or how you would actually know. I don’t like a lot of the signings but you have failed to identify anything meaningful way on how they have hurt the development of this team.

            Also you sound kinda silly saying there are no high calibre players besides Gaudette after 5 years. You are well aware of who the best players are and how they were acquired.

    • Benning has been running this team for five full years now.

      There are only two players left on the Leafs from Brian Burke’s tenure – Nazim Kadri and Morgan Reilly (fairly comparable to Vancouver’s Horvat, Edler, Tanev, and Hutton I’d say) – and yet somehow the Leafs are cup contenders and the Canucks remain one of the worst teams in the league. I wonder if that’s because you can rebuild a team in *five years* if you have an actual plan and execute on it.

  • Braindead Benning

    The Islanders looked like a team that deserve where they are in the standings. Like a few people have mentioneit’s rather wierd that their are in this position after losing their so called “franchise player”

    its actually refreshing to see the “old school” coaching/management put forward a great product to watch, and the ability to produce the best goals against without having a top end goalie…

    FA please take note

    • MattyT

      Class clown and forum joke Dud a day late and a dollar short to the party as usual, and FIVE SEASONS out of touch with reality as usual… let’s see…

      Markstrom – Gillis *core player*
      Edler – Nonis *core player*
      Tanev – Gillis *core player*
      Hutton – Gillis *top 4 D*
      Biega – Gillis *utility spark plug*
      Bowie Horvat (C) – Gillis *core player leader future captain*

      Gaunce – Gillis *Utica core player*
      McEneny – Gillis *Utica core D*

      and let’s not forget
      Judd Brackett – Gillis
      Inge Hammarstrom – Gillis
      Thomas Gradin – Pat Quinn

      Brackett and Gradin scouted and recc’ed Elias Pettersson NOT BENNING!

      Just the facts Dud… off you go now, back under your rock – a day late, a dollar short, humiliated and concussed as usual.