Photo Credit: Golden Knights Twitter

Vancouver Canucks @ Vegas Golden Knights Post-Game Recap: Stop, Stop, They’re Already Dead

The Warm Up

The Vancouver Canucks walked into T-Mobile Arena today 7 points out of the last wild card spot in the Western Conference and a 2.5% chance of making the playoffs, according to Sports Cub Stats. They would go on to walk back out having done themselves no favours bettering either of those unfortunate stats.

Travis Green started this game with the Big 3 split up and spread across different lines to try and even out the scoring, but that curious move quickly became a forgotten storyline as the Canucks quickly found themselves helplessly in the weeds.

This was Jacob Markstrom’s 50th start of the season, good for 3rd most in the entire NHL, while Marc-Andre Fleury was given the start for a Golden Knights fresh off two wins against Dallas and Florida.

As usual, Jeff Paterson provided tonight’s rosters via Twitter:

*heavy sigh*

I’m not even going to bother separating this by periods. To write a standard play-by-play of this miserable game would be just as miserable to read.

Anyways, here we go:

The Game

The entire game can basically be summed up as follows: The Canucks lose control of the puck. Vegas immediately has a high quality scoring chance. Markstrom makes an unbelievable save. Or five. Rinse and repeat.

The beginning of this garbage excuse of an effort by the Canucks at least gave fans the benefit of not yet knowing just how badly the following 60 minutes of hockey were about to go.

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Reilly Smith started things off for Vegas by setting up William Karlsson right in front of the net. Markstrom responded with an unbelievable save and followed it up with another when Jonathan Marchessault tried to tip in a rebound, despite being tied up by Ben Hutton. This sequence would go on to play out over and over and over again in different ways.

Nikolay Goldobin, who is having a nice little hot streak of good play the last few games, managed to steal the puck early in the first and get it over to Elias Pettersson, who was sneaking around the back of the Vegas net. Pettersson dropped to his knee in the attempted slapshot, but the puck was deflected off of Fleury’s chest protector.

Tyler Motte had a few moments where he stood out. In one instance, he used a bit of speed to carry the puck into the offensive zone. He couldn’t get by a pinching Vegas defenceman, but was able to recollect his own dump in before the play was whistled dead.

Jay Beagle had a rare moment of offensive energy when he skated in from centre ice and threw a backhanded shot on net, where Motte was waiting for a possible rebound. Fleury once again managed to knock the puck away.

That was pretty much the end of any solid offensive chances the Canucks had in the game. A Roussel penalty for Roughing was assessed at 9:09 in the first, and Vancouver never really threatened Vegas after that, despite finishing that power play only having managed a single shot on net.

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Once the second period began, there was a distinct “here we go again” feeling when Vegas immediately went back to work. The Canucks often looked like stones in a river; overwhelmed by the relentless, never-ending flow of the Golden Knights’ attack.

All 3 goals were scored in the middle frame, and by the halfway point of the game the shot count was already 26-9 for Las Vegas. The Canucks definitely started the game with energy, but by this point they were worn down and it showed. It was great chance after great chance for The Golden Knights, with incredible save after incredible save for Jacob Markstrom.

The third period did not feature any change in play whatsoever. If the Canucks thought that Vegas might take their foot off the gas a bit after seeing how easily they were beating the visiting team, they would be mistaken. This is a Stanley Cup contender that just added a star forward in Mark Stone at the trade deadline. They’re just getting revved up for the playoffs, and the Canucks were practice.

Other than a careless penalty for High Sticking taken by Goldobin, the game ended much as it started. The Canucks were totally overwhelmed and drowning in shots at times. Ben Hutton took a particularly nasty looking shot off the outside of his right foot, and just barely managed to get to the bench before doubling over in pain.

The Reaction

Honestly, the best way to understand how this game went is probably just to check out what was happening on social media:

And so on, and so forth. You get the idea.

The Goals

The Summary

This game sucked.

We’re talking about a 3-0 shut out where the Canucks were outshot 48-19; their lowest shot count in a game all year. They were utterly dominated. It was hard to watch, and I’m sure it was even harder to play in. It was all Vegas from the first puck drop, and it didn’t get better. There’s unfortunately not too much more that can really be said about it.

The only positive thing to come out of this albatross was the play of Jacob Markstrom, who more and more is convincing me that this isn’t just a lengthy hot streak he’s been on. If he keeps playing like this, he could potentially finish the year with career highs in wins, goals against average, and save percentage. He’s making an excellent case for himself as the Canucks MVP this season, even over Elias Pettersson, who has been slowing down as the season nears it’s end.

Markstrom was once considered the best goaltender in the world not in the NHL. He was a blue-chip prospect who was supposed to peak as an above-average starter. At the age of 29, we might just be seeing him finally reach that potential.

The more advanced data doesn’t do much more than confirm what fans saw with their own eyes this afternoon, but it still paints quite the picture:

Bottom line? Yikes. Super yikes.

Your next chance to catch the Canucks in action isn’t until Wednesday night, when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs at Rogers Arena. Hopefully that one won’t feature a dude wearing a full suit of armour serving the other team Krispy Kreme doughnuts off of his sword at the end of the game. Puck drop is at 6pm PST.

  • Freud

    Lost in the events of this week was the fact Arizona past Vancouver in the 2015-now standings. Benning’s teams, that he assembled each season to compete for the playoffs, is dead last in the NHL over the past 4 seasons.

    This team has been 30th overall in scoring chance differential all season long. An ending to the season like this was easily predicted, if not inevitable. Dad just walked into the room, shrugged his shoulders and said “I told you so.”

    I flipped the game on in the 3rd, you know, for a laugh. I watched to the end just to see if Vegas could get to 50. My 10 year old saw the shots 45-15. My kid told me they don’t want to go to school tomorrow because they’ll get teased again for being a Canucks fan. I’m also tired of being embarrassed, kid.

    Are we not tired of the gawddamn sh*t sandwich we’re being served? To continue to support this garbage makes you the part of the problem.

    Imagine the mess a new GM will have to dig out from under? Multiple multi year and over priced contacts for an absolute garbage bottom 6. Spooner was 0/9 in scoring chances today. Beagle was 3/13 matched up against Marc-F*ckin’ Bellemare.

    A least we’re rebuilding, right? There are no extra picks in the pipeline. Only Hughes has the potential to be an elite prospect.

    The clock is ticking on Pettersson, Boeser and Horvat and this team showed today they are still 7-10 players away from being at an expansion team’s level. Even a competent manager would need at least 3 more seasons to acquire that many players. Pettersson, Boeser and Horvat are checking out right now. I imagine they’ll be shells of themselves, Edmonton style, if they have to suffer through this garbage for the next 3 seasons, while Jimbo pathetically tries to acquire the 7-10 players he’ll need to compete.

    And the usuals around here are now realizing there won’t be playoffs and wondering about the coaching and line combos? F*ck me.

    Fire the clowns running this team now before Edler gets his 3rd year and and July 1st cripples the team for the next 5 years.

  • Freud

    “At previous training camps, you could quickly spot 12 or 15 players who looked out of place, couldn’t play at a high level. This year at Whistler there’s not one. Jim and Travis are going to have some tough decisions. A good problem !” Aquilini – Sept 2018.

    Add this quote up with the news this week that Aquilini complained to Gillis when Shane O’Brien wouldn’t hang out with him at the Roxy. This clown needs to be forced out as well.

  • Bud Poile

    Reverse back to last summer and the beginning of the season with the Sedins retired and the hockey world had no idea who could replace them.
    The writers stated that the Canucks would be rebuilding,at best.
    Pettersson,Goldobin,Bowie,Hutton,Markstrom,Edler and Roussel all had impressive seasons.
    Serious injuries to Baertschi,Tanev,Sutter,Edler,Demko,Virtanen and key Comets such as Juolevi and Chatfield set the team back substantially.
    The season had the Canucks on winning streaks and bad runs due to injury but the final outcome was expected by all.
    The team could use another great draft and that is now assured.

    • Cageyvet

      The team isn’t able to put together sustained runs of success that overcome their strings of losses.

      Let’s face it, even being in the playoff race was due to an underwhelming performance by numerous Western Conference teams.

      Really, it’s a surprise we haven’t been steamrolled like this more often. The team has had a surprisingly good season, and I’m liking the ending for the draft position.

      I don’t know what all the angst is about. You can’t shuffle this many bodies around, most of whom are still finding their way in the league or are lucky to be here, and expect to have success.

      Green may just be coaching with a wtf attitude, he has to know that even if Maelstrom dragged them into the playoffs, a sudden end was certain. Coaches like high draft picks too, even if they’ll never admit to helping engineer it.

      There’s lots of good this season. Players who I’m not at all worried about are Pettersson, Horvat, Boeser, Maelstrom and Roussel. Hutton, Stecher, Leivo and now Goldobin look like they’re emerging. Gudbranson, Del Zotto, Gagner gone with Spooner, Pearson, Schenn looking like decent pieces and upgrades, at least.

      There’s a long way to go, but steps have been taken, and those who would have these guys fired couldn’t have come close to achieving this. If JB hadn’t picked Pettersson or Boeser, he’d be pilloried for it, but there is no equal amount of credit for nailing those picks. Tough crowd, as usual.

      • Cageyvet

        I keep missing Markstrom being auto-corrected to Maelstrom, lol. Note to self – add Markstrom to phone dictionary as the edit button disappeared long before our playoff hopes faded.

      • canuckfan

        I have watched a lot of the games from beginning of December and it is my opinion that Markstrom has covered up some of the horrid play of the team. Only difference is they were not able to score in this game whereas in others they were able to pot a goal or two and end up winning. Just love the way Markstrom has developed and look forward to a good year next season IF we add some scoring power.

        • If you replaced Markstrom and Pettersson with “average goalie and second line centre” this team would be competing with Ottawa and Los Angeles for last in the NHL.

          It looks like the Canucks can expect this level of performance from Pettersson going forward, but Markstrom has never played this well and is turning 30 – can the team be confident he can carry them for multiple seasons going forward?

  • I am Ted

    Season over dudes, to far back now ta squeak in and let’s be honest, we are playing like cr(a)p. Let’s go golfing lol. Appreciate we are all angry and frustrated but let’s put our differences aside and meet up again at the draft ‘k. Move along, nothing to see here.

    • crofton

      No shame there at all. The Oilers were supposed to challenge for the cup this year, Vancouver was supposed to finish at or near the bottom. Any shame should be worn by the Oilers for taking so long to pass Vancouver

      • Defenceman Factory

        What is with this obsession with the Oilers. Are we supposed to seek solace in the fact that we are missing the playoffs again just because the Oilers aren’t winning the cup either. Bizarre vindictive logic.

        • Defenceman Factory

          I did not post this. To the troll who is spending a great deal of time annoying everyone and hijacking others’ user names I remind you again; mental health professionals understand the personality disorders you suffer from. They will help you. Please seek their help, you must be very sad and lonely.

          • Green Bastard

            Sorry D F it’s my fault, i started it. I have been cloning ids for years and trolling here relentlessly as Green Bastard, I am Ted, Locust and Canuck4Life20 etc.
            Hoping i don’t get an IP ban when the IT guys get in lol but it’s been a blast all the same. Sorry again D F – guess you reap what you sow, right?

          • Green Bastard

            No, the REAL Green Bastard is King and you know it PQW, that’s why you follow him, Bud, DJ, Gino and the rest like a lost pup looking for another leg to hump.

        • canuckfan

          The Canucks will be better next year where as the Oilers not so sure they are locked into a lot of their players that will keep them in a lower spot in the standings. Canucks have cap space Oilers not so much. As a Canuck fan I am feeling bruised and beat up but know that with a summer of rest and a few changes and additions to the lineup we have something to look forward to.

  • LTFan

    That is it. No playoffs this season – the team just isn’t good enough. Also what is Green doing with his line juggling?
    Can’t he see the chemistry between Boeser, Pettersson and Goldobin. Our draft position odds are getting better.

  • Kanuckhotep

    The Canucks have provided much excitement and hope for fans this year but the reality of going down the stretch run for all teams is brutally apparent for Vancouver now. Sure you’ll lose games but mailing in the 2 pts would have saved a lot of trouble in terms of this awful stinker. Boring, uninspired, pick your own adjective. Better get a world class prospect in June, Mr. Benning, because this was nasty to watch.

  • Burnabybob

    I can’t help but suspect that team ownership, management and coaching has gone all in on the tank. It isn’t simply that the team is playing badly, it’s the weird line combinations.

    If it’s true that FA meddled in decisions around trades and draft selections, maybe he’s been chastened by the consequences, and is letting Benning do whatever is required to build a contender.

  • Gino's 3rd Cousin

    What are we going to do now the season is over, get lives or just keep posting here through the playoffs and summer? Thought we were better than this.

      • PotKettleBlack

        Hey a$$wipe… but it’s ok to wish it on others yeah?

        Gino’s 3rd Cousin
        5 days ago
        I support Marty T’s Mom in her tenacious pursuit of PQW/Matty T posts. It’s a breath of fresh air since the banning isn’t working. I have faith that mom will continue to doggedly whip the ignorance out of her imbecile offspring.

        Shut er down Gino, you and your big mouth are done here. Got it?

        • Gino's 3rd Cousin

          Yes, you are the only one I wish it on PQW. You are a POS inside and out. When you are on your deathbed (hopefully soon) you will look back on your life with disdain for the amount of time you wasted here creating your troll accounts and posting all day instead of actually living a life.

        • petey 40

          Hey you guys aren’t supposed to say anything back. Don’t take the attention away from me, or I’m smashing my scrotum with a hammer again. Then you’ll be sorry.

  • Defenceman Factory

    Tired and uninspired. Boeser has never played close to this number of games in a season and just looks done. Spreading out the best scorers isn’t working very well.

    Vegas looked like a very good team dialled right in for a playoff run. Stone was a great addition.

  • Hockey Bunker

    Canucks, except for Marky Goldy were so unprepared to play it was appalling. Realize they are auditioning some of the new guys but this game stunk.
    Now coaches need to coach for their jobs, unless all this line juggling is part of a stealth tank…….the team has lost it’s way.

  • ned

    The boys will have to try to resist temptation next time they’re in Vegas. Brock and Petey and I’m sure others too went to the UFC fights Saturday night, so I doubt they got a whole lotta sleep.

  • Beer Can Boyd

    Bridge deal for Boeser. No way has he earned a long term, big money contract with his half hearted play this year. And 2 years max for Edler. Otherwise, in the 20-21 season, they will have about 15 million tied up in a 35 year old(Elder) a 37 year old (Beagle) and a 36 year old (Erickson), all of whom are going to totally suck by that point. Benning better have an amazing draft this year, if he wants to have a job beyond next season.

    • Sedin33

      But we needed to keep Edler so that the young players know what it’s like to compete for a playoff spot. No Edler trade at TDL and the team is out of it.

      First job of a GM is to know what he has in his own team. This guy has been wrong so often, I’m not sure whether he recognizes mediocrity.

      • Bud Poile

        Not one Gillis draft pick remains in the entire NHL from the farm team Benning inherited from Gillis’ final year.
        Here’s what Benning was given to work with on the farm from the year Gillis was turfed:

        Madden,Hughes and Lockwood are all said to sign with the Canucks organisation in the next weeks.
        I expect Hughes to play with the Canucks and Madden/Lockwood to go to Utica for their playoff run.
        Hughes makes eight the number of Benning draft picks that will have played for the Canucks this season,alone.

        The “First job” of GM Benning was to realise he had been given NOTHING from Gillis’ prospect pool on Utica’s roster he could move to his own team.

        • And yet, until the arrival of Boeser, *all* of the best players on the team remained Gillis acquisitions or re-signs. Even now, the Canucks lose Edler (signed to a very good contract by Gillis) and Tanev (college signing by Gillis) and the team completely falls apart.

          Benning has been running this team for *five years*. This is his team now and its few successes and many failures are entirely on his shoulders. A smart GM can completely re-stock a prospect pool in a couple of seasons with a few smart moves and good drafting. Instead, Benning pissed away draft picks and valuable assets on replacement level players like Linden Vey, Adam Clendenning, and Brandon Prust, whiffed on two of his first three top picks in Virtanen and Juolevi, and signed a bunch of crap aging players to long-term contracts. He was forced to do all of that by Mike Gillis, of course, and bears no responsibility at all for the state of the franchise. It’s all on the shoulders of a guy who hasn’t been here in five years.

      • Bud Poile

        Sedin 33 1/3 mediocrity blues…..
        617 NHL games played
        10 years pro career
        WHL defenceman of the year in 80-81
        Employed for 25 years by NHL clubs.
        Stanley Cup winner.

      • In the 20-21 season, the last year of Pettersson’s ELC, when this team should be making their push to be a contender, they’re going to have over $20 million tied to Eriksson, Roussel, Beagle, Pearson, and Sutter, and that’s not even counting cap recapture if Luongo retires, or a new contract for Edler. Depending on whether some of those players can be moved and how Roussel and Beagle play going forward, it has the potential to be a real mess.

        • Beer Can Boyd

          Pretty sure Jimbo will be able to move Sutter in the off-season, although they will end up retaining salary. Roussel I’m not worried about, he’s been great. There is some hope for Pearson. The other 2 contracts are unmoveable, and unpardonable. And personally I’m hoping they let Edler walk. he’s been no better than average for the last 5 years, yet mysteriously has a bounce back year in his contract season? At age 32? Uh….sure. Why not?

          • Roussel has been good this season, but is he going to be effective at 32? Maybe, maybe not. Sutter could probably be moved without too much trouble, but will he be?

            As for Edler, two years more for $5 million? Sure – it won’t hamper them too much going forward, Edler remains one of the best defencemen on the team, and they lack defensive depth. They definitely shouldn’t go longer than two years though.

        • Actually, this is pretty amusing and sad at the same time. That there is an individual somewhere out in the world that has such a pathetic life that they need to fake-post on a hockey fan website. Thank you for thinking of me as a credible poster, one so worthy of being ripped off. But at the same time, you really need to look yourself in the mirror (whoever you are) and really think about how sad you are. In order to feel some sense of self-validation, you need to appropriate the identity of anonymous Canucks fans and post hate. I look forward to seeing how much of your life you’re throwing away to try to bring my handle into disrepute.

          Anyways, if you see Forever 1915 (bolded), it’s the faker.

          As for Canucks Army (e.g. Ryan Biech), you really need to get a move on in moderating the comments. It’s pretty awful.

          • Locust

            It is part of their loser business plan.
            What we all need to do is just go away for six months until someone cleans house again and operates this site as it was intended.