30
Photo Credit: The Province

Canucks Army Game Day 71 – Canucks Vs. Devils (Loui Loui Lemon Edition)

THE INTRO

Normally, the Canucks and Devils wouldn’t be appointment viewing and it isn’t exactly that tonight but Cory Schneider is back and there are a significant amount of injuries on the Devils’ squad that gives the Canucks a fighting chance to win their second-straight game. Wins and losses aren’t all that significant in the final stretch but it would be great to see things get back to normal before the season ends.

Like a power-play or maybe Elias Pettersson’s dominance. Stuff like that.

Let’s Do This!™

WHAT ARE THE ODDS?

The odds for tonight’s game are: (VAN -160/NJD +140 ) courtesy of OddShark

TV / RADIO / PUCK DROP

SNP / SN 650 / 7:00 PM

LINEUPS

Loui Eriksson was FINALLY healthy scratched last game and the team was better for it. Believe it or not, that may have been the final “we screwed up” fix after unsuccessfully trying Erik Gudbranson, Sam Gagner, Michael Del Zotto, and even Tim Schaller. You have to think that players that will be on the Canucks next season will be the only ones that play again this year. He will return to the lineup tonight

Ben Hutton is still out as is Ryan Spooner. Brandon Sutter may have played his last game as a Canuck, despite his injury.

Quinn Hughes isn’t expected to play his first game until next weekend at the earliest and with Chris Tanev back in the lineup, Derrick Pouliot shouldn’t see another game while Guillaume Brisebois may see a few more potentially.

And finally, Antoine Roussel. This just flat out sucks. Roussel has been a warrior all season and an unfortunate accident has ended his season. This guy has CANUCK written all over him and he has a chance to be one of the culture-changers, one of the difference makers. Just awful.

Jacob Markstrom was once again a destroyer of worlds as he almost earned his second shutout of the season against the Rangers on Wednesday. The plan should be to put Thatcher Demko in to pad his starts but then again, who knows? If this team is going to be different next season they need to exhaust all options before then.

Canucks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

LW C RW Forwards
Loui Eriksson Bo Horvat
BO HORVAT

Rating: 75.8#46 C

Tanner Pearson
TANNER PEARSON

Rating: 71.9#77 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 73.27#30 FL1
Josh Leivo
JOSH LEIVO

Rating: 73.5#50 LW

Elias Pettersson
ELIAS PETTERSSON

Rating: 77.6#32 C

Brock Boeser
BROCK BOESER

Rating: 81.2#7 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 77.41#6 FL2
Nikolay Goldobin
NIKOLAY GOLDOBIN

Rating: 70.3#102 LW

Adam Gaudette
ADAM GAUDETTE

Rating: 71.3#132 C

Jake Virtanen
JAKE VIRTANEN

Rating: 71.7#82 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 71.10#27 FL3
Loui Eriksson
LOUI ERIKSSON

Rating: 71.3#104 LW

Jay Beagle
JAY BEAGLE

Rating: 67.5#189 C

Tyler Motte
TYLER MOTTE

Rating: 69.2#119 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 69.33#30 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Alexander Edler
ALEXANDER EDLER

Rating: 76.0#18 LD

Chris Tanev
CHRIS TANEV

Rating: 71.7#76 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 73.80#26 DL1
Guillaume Brisebois
GUILLAUME BRISEBOIS
Troy Stecher
TROY STECHER

Rating: 72.6#57 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 72.55#24 DL2
Derrick Pouliot
DERRICK POULIOT

Rating: 71.0#103 LD

Alex Biega
ALEX BIEGA

Rating: 71.9#74 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.46#19 DL3

 

The Devils have a laundry list of injuries and unfortunately, they’re out of detergent. (That was a dad joke). Taylor Hall had arthroscopic knee surgery so his season is most likely done. Nathan Bastian (undisclosed) missed two straight games and is questionable for tonight’s game, Nico Hischier (UBI) did not make the Western Canada trip.

Miles Wood is out with a fractured ankle, Pavel Zacha (UBI) is still out, and John Quenneville is also out until further notice.

Cory Schneider is back and unless he’s dehydrated he should play. Good times!

Devils lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

LW C RW Forwards
Blake Coleman
BLAKE COLEMAN

Rating: 73.9#67 LW

Travis Zajac
TRAVIS ZAJAC

Rating: 73.1#79 C

Kyle Palmieri
KYLE PALMIERI

Rating: 77.2#25 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 74.76#25 FL1
Kenny Agostino
KENNY AGOSTINO

Rating: 71.1#108 LW

Kevin Rooney
KEVIN ROONEY

Rating: 72.1#102 C

Drew Stafford
DREW STAFFORD

Rating: 68.6#122 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 70.61#31 FL2
Eric Tangradi
ERIC TANGRADI

Rating: 73.5#52 LW

Michael McLeod
MICHAEL MCLEOD

Rating: 72.6#92 C

Joey Anderson
JOEY ANDERSON

Rating: 72.0#76 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 72.69#13 FL3
Stefan Noesen
STEFAN NOESEN

Rating: 70.3#124 LW

Blake Pietila
BLAKE PIETILA

Rating: 71.2#106 C

Nick Lappin
NICK LAPPIN

Rating: 69.2#118 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.27#25 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Andy Greene
ANDY GREENE

Rating: 71.5#90 LD

Damon Severson
DAMON SEVERSON

Rating: 72.2#62 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 71.86#29 DL1
Will Butcher
WILL BUTCHER

Rating: 74.0#42 LD

Connor Carrick
CONNOR CARRICK

Rating: 70.3#90 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 72.14#26 DL2
Egor Yakovlev
EGOR YAKOVLEV
Steven Santini
STEVEN SANTINI

Rating: 69.2#94 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 69.23#29 DL3

YOUR INFORMATIONAL NEEDS FOR TONIGHT’S GAME

  • Of the goalies having played at least five games against the Canucks since the beginning of the 2015 season, Cory Schneider leads all backstops with a .952 Sv%, he’s second only to Brian Elliott with a 1.39 GAA to Elliott’s 1.26, and Schneider’s five wins in five games played ties Aaron Dell with a perfect record against the Canucks. This could be a problem this evening.
  • Elias Pettersson has tailed off. He has two assists in his last seven games. No goals to speak of right now and the wear and tear of the season may have finally caught up with him. His last goal was over a month ago and his last multi-goal game was against the Senators on January 3 when he potted a hat-trick. There isn’t as much flash in his game but he’s still helping set up the game. Patience may be in order before it gets better.
  • Brock Boeser has five points in his last five games and nine points in his last 12 games. Brock is finding his groove once again but he only has one assist to claim against New Jersey.
  • Alex Edler and Bo Horvat are the only Canucks in the lineup who have scored a goal against the Devils since 2015. In the seven games played in that time, Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Loui Eriksson, Radim Vrbata, Chris Higgins, and Sven Baertschi are the only other players to have scored for Vancouver. Three PPG have been scored and thankfully Bo Horvat was one of them. There’s hope yet.
  • Jake Virtanen will look to quench fan’s thirsty appetites for a second-straight game. Virtanen has six goals and four assists against the Eastern Conference this season. His six goals on the road are just under half of his total goals scored this season. Schneider has been red-hot against Vancouver but Virtanen could be the solution.

MY 94 CENTS

New Jersey has its fair share of injuries but the ones on the Canucks stand out just as much. Quinn Hughes debut has been delayed but because of that, he’ll be protected in the expansion draft. Roussel is out and it feels like there is one more band-aid on the way. You know that feeling?

Like, what is the final “Canuck” thing that could happen?

I know what it is: they win out and lose out on getting into the top 10.

THE TWITTER TAKE

Said it earlier this year, without Pettersson this team is even worse than before. But, you already knew that.

  • Just think guys.. our FORWARD lines could and SHOULD be looking like this..

    Tkachuk Larkin Pastranak

    Dahlen Pettersson Boeser

    McCann Horvat Debrincat

    Baertschi McCann Goldobin

    That’s Stanley Cup contender type FORWARD depth, speed and scoring pedigree any way you mix and match it.

    Take off the blinkers and THINK about it. #firebenning

    • If only Benning had a time machine he could always draft the best player available. I blame Gillis for trading away the DeLorean.

      But Baertschi’s on the IR, and Dahlen probably isn’t ready for the big show.

      • Marmit – REAL fans love their team and therefore hold management accountable for their years of lies, ineptitude and inability to build, WIN and deliver playoff hockey as consistently promised by this so called draft guru Benning.

        Trolls and apologists make lame excuses and pretend that everything is just fine and dandy, as the losing seasons continue on and on. Which are you?

      • Exactly Boobaner… it went right over marmit’s head of course.

        The skewed logic on here from the apologists is that if you hold the franchise accountable and the windowlickers who back them with their empty rhetoric, it’s YOU who are a ‘troll’. The opposite is in fact true.

        Myself and other true Canuck followers will NOT accept mediocrity and the excuses, vitriol and double talk that are ruining this forum from trolls.

        Like the current loser management ruining this franchise, you WILL be held accountable. Dismissed.

    • Here is a technical reply to your hypothesis. You have McCann on your third and fourth lines and as a Left Wing and a Centre. Please correct this and slot in someone else Benning missed out on.

  • “Said it earlier this year, without Pettersson this team is even worse than before. But, you already knew that.”

    Is that a fair statement? When you exclude a team’s best players (i.e. Sedins & Vanek) and don’t include the replacements (i.e. Pettersson), of course the team will be worse off. But when I crunch my numbers, I see something different.

    I used Points-Per-Game (PPG) to measure a player’s scoring ability because absolute totals don’t take into consideration things like scratches or injury. The following players are significant roster players and how they fared:

    Improved: Hutton (218%), Stecher (87%), Motte (76%), Virtanen (44%), Granlund (29%), Goldobin (20%), Baertschi (8%), Edler (8%), Horvat (4%), and Gaudette (#DIV/0! – 12 pts > 0 pts).

    Declined: Boeser (-5%), Tanev (-15%), Eriksson (31%), Del Zotto (-35%), Pouliot (-37%), Sutter (-46%), Leipsic (-54%).

    If we contrast these two lists, we can see (with the exception of Boeser and Tanev), most of the players that improved were the ones that we want to build around. The ones that underperformed where guys that are already gone (Leipsic, Del Zotto) or guys that should be gone this summer (Pouliot, Sutter, Eriksson).

    This list also doesn’t include a bunch of new players who have or should improve the team next year (Pettersson, Roussel, Leivo, Hughes…I arguably include Pearson and Spooner here too). This also doesn’t account for Markstrom’s improved play either.

    So is the team worse? I would argue actually no, this team is better. It’s better because the good performances of players that actually count towards the future were dragged down by underperforming players. Our young core is carrying the play rather than relying on aging veterans. Del Zotto and Leipsic are gone (don’t forget Nilsson), Eriksson is finally getting scratched, and if Benning gets rid of Pouliot, Sutter, and Eriksson this summer for anything, it only gives more ice-time and roster spots to those young guns.

    TL;DR – This team is better than it appears. An analysis of points-per-game show that young players who we should be building around had improved performances that were masked by the underperformance of over-valued veterans or failed reclamation projects.

    • The improvement / return to form of Stetcher and Hutton is definitely something to be celebrated. The rest of those (minor, mostly) improvements are related to ice time / deployment, I think, since with last year’s entire second line departed, and significant injuries to Sutter and Baertschi, there’s been a lot of opportunity for other players in the top 9.

      Also, these numbers would be more illuminating if compared to career averages instead of to last season, when several players (Hutton, Stetcher, Granlund) all had down years.

    • Loui IS the problem. He was signed with the pretty much universal expectation of being a 25-30 goal scorer. He has totally underwhelmed. Not overwhelmed or even whelmed…totally underwhelmed. If he had done as expected, would it still be a bad signing?

    • Said it earlier this year, without Pettersson this team is even worse than before.

      Only if you look at goals scored. The goal differential is now at -26. Last year they finished at -41.

      At any rate, “the Canucks would be a worse team if they didn’t have their best players” is not an enlightening argument.

      • Markstrom is helpful on the goals against front.

        There’s a difference between losing a key player or two and being not as good, and losing a key player or two and being the worst team in the league. The Canucks are in the latter position, which is not a good position to be in.

        • Whatever advantages Markstrom brought, Nilsson negated it in his last 2.5 months where he logged 9 losses in a row.

          We can play games of “what if” all day long. I’m not sure it proves anything.

          • All I’m saying is that this team does not have nearly enough depth. I don’t think that’s really a contestable point.

    • Also on the tweet — we also have the subtraction of 105 points from the Sedins and Vanek’s production (plus more points from Baertschi, Sutter and Gagner). I mean the team still wouldn’t be very good but with 2 retirements, 1 trade, and 55 games out of 6 of your ten top scorers from last season, we would’ve been hard pressed to match even last year’s pedestrian point totals. 5 of our top 10 last year were (well) over thirty with Sutter and Gagner 28. 6 of the top 10 this year are 24 or younger with Stecher the grizzled old man and the rest 22 or younger.

      Silver lining in another forgettable season. The real weakness continues to be the vets who were supposed to insulate the young players and cannot score or stay healthy. With the exception of Tanev, Edler, Roussel and Beagle, the others have really underwhelmed.