61
Photo Credit: Canucks / Twitter

Vancouver Canucks vs Columbus Blue Jackets Post Game Recap

Preview:

In the second half of a back-to-back at home, the Canucks saw the return of a few players: Pouliot, Baertschi, and Goldobin. Josh Leivo was out ill, and Schaller was a healthy scratch. Demko drew the start after Markstrom drew the short straw to start the game last night against Calgary.

Columbus is fighting for their playoff lives and we’d expect them to play like a desperate team coming into tonight’s game because they find themselves on the outside looking in.

1st Period:

The Canucks started strong, with a point shot from Biega leading to an Eriksson tip and a scramble in front of Bobrovsky. After firing a number of shots at the net they found themselves retreating a bit when Luke Schenn took an interference penalty against Oliver Bjorkstrand trying to block him out when a teammate drove to the net.

The Canucks would have one of their best scoring chances in the first when, short handed, Granlund recovered a Columbus shot off the goal post and took it end-to-end. He fired the puck off the leg pad of Bobrovsky.

After the penalty the game opened up a bit, with play moving quickly from end to end. Demko’s first save of the night wouldn’t come until after the 5:00 mark in the first, although he had confidently challenged Pierre-Luc Dubois on a 2-on-1 just prior.

What was notable in the first half of the opening frame was the significant offensive contribution Travis Green and the Canucks received from their defenseman. Pouliot, Stecher, and Biega all had drives to and put shots on the net.

Columbus had their first legitimate scoring chance with 11:00 to play in the first as Wennberg first a shot from just below the hash marks of the right circle, but Demko was there to make the save. 30 seconds later, Josh Anderson boarded Alex Edler, but there was no call made on the play. Edler took exception to the bad hit.

With 8:45 to play in the first Luke Schenn hit Ryan Dzingel in a similar fashion. Again, no call was made on the hit which left Dzingel on the ice long enough for the referees to stop play. Schenn would be credited with six total hits in the first, including this one on the former Senator.

The Canucks went to the power play when Oliver Pjorkstrand hooked Troy Stecher at the 12:15 mark. The top unit generated a scoring chance off a good controlled entry when a point shot was deflected just wide of the net. The second unit took over with fifty seconds to go. Goldobin had their best opportunity as he fired a shot from the near circle off the blocker of Bobrovsky. Both units would fail to convert.

Columbus opened the scoring as Josh Anderson fired a laser over the glove of Demko. Anderson saw Pouliot had pinched in the neutral zone and took advantage of the open space to gain speed through the zone. He entered the Canucks end of the ice relatively uncontested all the way to the net and beat the young goaltender cleanly over the glove.

2nd Period:

While the Canucks started strong in the first, Columbus pushed back significantly in the last three minutes after the Anderson goal. The Canucks struggled to make clean entries and exits. This trend continued in the second as the Canucks were generally over matched from the initial puck drop after intermission.

The Blue Jackets worked the puck behind the net and Cam Atkinson caught the Canucks defense puck watching and found Panarin open from ten feet out. Demko challenged the shooter and made the save.

Demko wouldn’t be so lucky on the next attempt as a broken play in the neutral zone led to an easy entry for Pierre-Luc Dubois. Josh Anderson cut across the middle of the ice between the d-men and Dubois caught Demko deep in his net, perhaps anticipating a pass to Anderson. Seeing the goalie deep in his net, Dubois fired the puck over Demko’s shoulder to give Columbus a 2-0 lead.

Vancouver would end up on the power play at the 2:30 point in the second when Bjorkstrand cross-checked Biega face first into the boards. The top unit’s best chance came from a pass into the slot from Pettersson to Horvat, but again, Bobrovsky was there for the save. The Canucks would again fail to covert with the extra man.

Capitalizing on the momentum from the kill, Columbus kept their foot on the gas. This time Dzingel forced a turnover in the neutral zone and makes his way into the offensive zone uncovered. Josh Anderson, who brought the puck into the zone, threw a back hand dish to the front of the net where Dzingel was waiting uncontested to pot the Blue Jacket’s third goal of the night six minutes into the second period.

Tyler Motte would not return after this point after taking a stick to the face late in the first. He was listed as out with what was deemed an upper body injury. On the back half of games in consecutive nights, this third goal really let the air out of the tires for the home team.

We can see that, while the Canucks were holding things together in the first, they really began to unravel in the second, especially so at even strength. This was exemplified by a sequence where Panarin was able to make two cross-slot one-time passes to Wennberg, who fired away at Demko. Had you not been paying attention, you might have believed the Blue Jackets were on the power play as they were able to move the puck at will.

Even Strength Adj. Corsi

 

The Canucks received another power play with 6:40 to go in the second. This was their worst power play yet, having trouble just getting set up, but they were able to generate a scoring chance when a puck dibbled across the slot to Granlund whose slap shot was knocked out of the air by Bobrovsky’s glove. Again, both units would fail to convert.

When the Canucks did get shots off, they appeared to be aiming for the crest on Bobrovsky’s sweater.

This play by Jake Virtanen could do a better job describing Columbus pulling away from Vancouver than I ever could:

3rd Period:

The never-say-die Canucks had a quality scoring chance to open the third period when Horvat found Pearson in the slot. Pearson fired five-hole, but Bobrovsky slid over and locked up his leg pads to make the save.

At the 7:30 mark in the third, Oliver Bjorkstrand found his way onto the score sheet. The Canucks allowed another shooter relatively uncontested into the slot as Sautner and Baertschi miscommunicated about picking up the man through the zone. Bjorkstrand was able to easily fire the puck over the glove of Thatcher Demko.

Columbus took yet another penalty with 11:15 to go in the game. Panarin went off for holding in the offensive zone. The Canucks won the opening draw, but had trouble making consistent passes, leading to a turnover that allowed Columbus to clear the zone. Their best opportunity came one a Stecher point shot that was deflected past Bobrovsky, but just a bit wide of the net as well.

With nine minutes to play, almost immediately after the power play ended, Josh Anderson potted his second goal of the night to put Columbus ahead of the probably-should-have-said-die Canucks. The Blue Jackets had a 3-on-1 with Panarin included, but Anderson elected to keep the puck and fired from the right circle to the far side of the net, past Demko’s blocker.

Gaudette took a hooking minor with five minutes left to play in a 5-0 game. A bright spot here was seeing Stecher with Edler, which I believe should be a more frequent sight. The Vancouver penalty kill looked more organized and reliable than the team had almost the entire game preceding the Columbus power play.

Recap:

Maybe Columbus is starting to gel for the first time since the trade deadline. Maybe the Vancouver Canucks just aren’t good. Tonight’s 5-0 result is likely a combination of both. The last two periods consisted mostly of the Blue Jackets pushing and the Canucks getting pushed. Sure, Luke Schenn had 68 hits in 15 minutes of play, but even still, the Canucks offered little in the way of resistance.

There’s a couple of goals Demko would have liked to have had back, but, as is often the case in shut outs, you can’t hang this loss on the goaltender. I thought he was aggressive with his positioning tonight in the way young goaltenders tend to be. This left him and his teammates scrambling at times, especially with the rebounds he was kicking out. I would describe his movement tonight as a bit “erratic”, especially in comparison to Bobrovsky.

If we’re looking on the bright side, I thought Sautner had flashes of exceptional skating, puck moving, and shooting. I’m not at all a fan of the Edler-Biega pairing, but I’m cautiously optimistic about pieces of this current D-corps. Stecher showed earlier this season he can carry an increased load, as did Hutton. With Hughes joining the team and an off-season to get healthy and maybe add another piece, you’d wonder if this group can move forward a bit in the offseason.

I’m a late arriver on the forward depth train, but especially this late in the season, you’d hope the Canucks could find someone to contribute along side Pettersson, Boeser, and Horvat.

player usage via hockeyviz.com

Travis Green tried to get things going tonight by moving forwards around, but it appears as though none of Goldobin, Baertschi, Pearson, Leivo, or Virtanen can consistently produce in a complimentary fashion to Vancouver’s top forwards. When Markus Granlund is your best forward, you need to seriously re-evaluate your forward depth and deployment.

Up Next:

The Canucks get a reprieve from playoff hockey as they take on Anaheim on Tuesday and the L.A. Kings on Thursday. Hopefully their forwards find these two defenses a bit more porous than the stifling pairs from Columbus.

 



  • Rodeobill

    Yikes! This one was a stinker. Most games, even losing ones, have some entertaining moments this season, this one had Luke Schenn. No heart and soul in this one. Hopefully they sort themselves out for next game.

    • Braindead Benning

      This would be #12 shut out of the year… Correct me if I am wrong?

      But at some point you would think that even if the roster was scoring challenged from what JB has given to Green he could come up with a better system.
      This is pathetic…i get trying to make players like Goldobin responsible for their defensive indifictioncies but the whole team is playing like their afraid of getting out of the zone.
      Green needs to get a whole new attitude on how he is going to approach finding a way to learn an aggressive offence instead of “earning”

    • canuckfan

      Luke Schenn was the heart and sole nice to see that he has taken oven from Gudbranson in a role where he actually played the body and made his presence known.

  • Beer Can Boyd

    I’ll be surprised if Benning and Green are here by Xmas. Disgracefull performance. Theres been way too many of these this year. If not for Markstromm they’d be right there with the bottom feeders. Sorry, but its true.

    • Bud Poile

      Back-to-back the night after they lost any playoff hope.
      Demko didn’t play particularly well and that sealed it.
      Brock and Sven both had 0 shots on goal in spite of first unit PP time.
      With six games left I would hope mgmt.play rookies for the stealth tank.

    • DogBreath

      Benning should have another year. If they aren’t in the playoffs or there at the end, it would be time to change the GM. Green has done an excellent job with what he has and should go longer than that (provided things don’t go horribly south next year). This team achieved more than most of us thought, their youth have been Calder favourites for most of the past couple of years. These are the results you want to see at this stage of the rebuild.

      My bet is a new president is hired before Xmas and will make decisions thereafter on Benning and green.

    • Braindead Benning

      Markstrom has been fabulous this year and hoping JB and the rest of the retards realise this and sign him another 3 years… Instead of another Beagle. Sutter & Schaller = almost 10 Mil for. Like, 10 goals… Yay

      • Bud Poile

        Not sure you noticed but Sutter has missed 50 games which allowed Gaudette NHL development.
        Beagle was signed so Elias and especially Bo would have more offensive zone starts.
        He’s not on the team to score goals.
        Schaller is a $1.9m depth signing on a team that still has $8.5m in cap space.
        So,your complaint is about Schaller not scoring which is an issue of deployment and ice time under Green.
        Yay

          • Bud Poile

            Really?
            Bo doesn’t have a record offensive year without Beagle.
            With Sutter injured Bo would have been loaded with D-zone starts.
            Now you’re whining about your whining.

          • PotKettleBlack

            There is no point Brainer, don’t you get that? He trolls for attention bro… don’t feed the troll.

            His act is as stale as his breath. Everyone (else) is wise to it now, hence the numerous trashes. Time to smell the coffee brainer. Don’t feed the troll.

        • Braindead Benning

          Sorry, and what part has the 10 Mil for 3 players = like 10 goals part of your argument… Because Sutter and his injury or the fact Schaller has like2 goals in 1 game. JB is one of the worst if not the worst at signing UFA Contracts.. How you cannot get that through your thick head… Even people who have played the game for years in the NHL and also writers for many years have come to the same conclusion…
          I guess you know better 😂

          • Braindead Benning

            Sorry Bucket. That I had to reply to myself to respond to you. I am sorry that I dont have the links to Ray Ferraro on 1040 or any of the other writers or personal commentaries on the major Canadian NHL sports networks… But I am quite sure being the smart guy that you are you can research and prove me wrong.
            Please go ahead and give an example of all the UFA signings that JB has done where its a slam dunk.
            Cheers bro

          • Braindead has a point. Just look at this TSN article from September where they say “He has accumulated some good talent through the draft, but some of his free-agent signings have raised eyebrows, including the four-year contracts given to veteran grinders and this summer.”

            https://www.tsn.ca/a-look-at-nhl-coaches-and-gm-potentially-on-the-hot-seat-in-2018-19-1.1181169

            I’m fully behind keeping Benning for a few more years because I think it’s premature to dismiss him before his core draft picks get a chance to play in the NHL and supplant the stop-gap players (i.e. Sutter, Granlund, Pouliot, even Baertschi can be in this category). But just because I’m pro-Benning doesn’t mean that I can’t recognize that…let’s face it, he sucks balls at trades and UFA signings. A few good signings and trades (e.g. Stecher, Baertschi, Leivo, Granlund, Dorsett, MacEwen) doesn’t excuse him from all of the bad transactions (e.g. Pouliot, Gudbranson, Larsen, Etem, Prust, Vey, Eriksson, Schaller, the McKenna fiasco, Burmistrov, Del Zotto, Megna, Chaput, Skille, Bartkowski, etc.).

          • Goon

            Benning’s had three full drafts from which players should now be in the NHL or at least knocking on the door (2014, 2015, and 2016) and two more from which the elite players are in the NHL or knocking on the door (2017 and 2018). I’m not sure it makes sense to say Benning deserves more time to get his picks to the NHL.

            Of the 2014 draft, Virtanen looks to be a career third-liner, McCann was traded, Demko is looking good, Tryamkin is in the KHL and isn’t coming back, Forsling was traded, and Petit and Stewart are not NHL players.

            Of the 2015 draft, Boeser is very good / elite, Gaudette is a solid depth centre, and no one else is likely to be an NHL regular. Brisbois may be a 6/7 guy.

            Of the 2016 draft, Juolevi still hasn’t made it thanks to a combination of injuries and developing more slowly than expected, and Lockwood might make the NHL as a 3rd/4th liner. No one else is coming.

            Benning did a good job of finding NHL depth players in those first three drafts. The problem is he found some of those depth players with a 6th overall and 5th overall pick. Had Benning hit on at least one of the two top-6 picks he whiffed on, and had he not traded away other NHL talent he drafted, you wouldn’t be saying that his core draft picks haven’t had a chance to make the NHL.

          • I see the components of a solid core emerging but they aren’t there yet. Focusing only on what Benning has acquired, we have really only seen Petterson, Boeser and Virtanen as regulars. I still want to see Gaudette as a regular (i.e. more than 10 mins TOI per game, that’s sub-4th line minutes), Hughes, Demko, and Juolevi. Those four guys are the blue-chip prospects that address significant problems with this team: lack of scoring depth, defense, and (back-up) goaltending. Along the way, we’ll see a few other good prospects develop (e.g. DiPietro, Woo, Rathbone, Madden, Lockwood, Lind, Gadjovich, Jasek) who will replace the other guys that are currently adding nothing in terms of depth scoring (i.e. anyone not named Pettersson, Boeser, or Horvat).

          • Dirk22

            Forever – I see this a lot with certain people on here and their take on management so it’s not just you. How can you say he “sucks balls at trades and UFA signings” and then say you’re “fully behind” keeping him? What am I missing here? If you’re enamoured with his drafting (which has been good but overrated) nothings going to change unless the scouting department is overhauled which is unlikely. It’s not Benning out there scouting all of these players – you know that right? It would be impossible for him to do that.

            At this point my grandmother could make the Canucks first round pick this year and get them a great prospect – we can’t hail Benning every time a top-10 pick looks like an impact player – it’s ridiculous. Bottom line is this team needs new innovative, creative leadership if they ever want to get anywhere. With a lot of cap room and a GM trying t9 save his job, there’s no better time than now to move on.

          • Dirk22 – The part that is missing is that I see Benning improving in the areas where he is weak (e.g. UFA signings, trades) but there’s still a lot of room for improvement. With the benefit of hindsight, I attribute a lot of bad transactions to the “retool-on-the-fly” philosophy and appeasement (e.g. Vey, Gudbranson trades). Using trades as an example, I see he has improved (e.g. acquiring Motte when everyone wrote him off, acquiring Goldobin, a 4th, and Dahlen for Burrows and Hansen) but I need to see more of a track record where he wins trades. I do have to acknowledge his poor (and hopefully distant) trade history.

            In terms of drafting, I think you’ve sold Benning short. Last year, I scrubbed the Eliteprospects draft database from 1998 to 2017, figured out who were the GM’s for every draft, and looked at the drafting success rates since 1998. I focused on Burke, Nonis, Gillis, and Benning to see who was the most successful. (Maybe I’d write an article for CA before the 2019 draft if there was interest in the findings. Would need to rescrub the EP database again and reallocate the GM’s, that was a lot of manual work.) The conclusion that I came to was that Benning is really good at drafting. No surprise but it’s ridiculously hard to pull a legit roster player out of anything except the 1st round and even then, there are plenty of fails. I’ve been saying that if a GM can find one roster player in 7 rounds of a draft, that’s a success. If a GM can pull more than one, that’s exceptional.

            So getting back to Benning’s draft history, I need to see if certain players will pan out or bust. Specifically, I’m looking at Demko, Brisebois, Gaudette, Jasek, Juolevi, Lockwood, Lind, Gadjovich, DiPietro, Rathbone, Hughes, Woo, Madden. That’s a ton of prospects who have a legitimate chance of becoming NHL players, more than half a team at all positions. That’s a lot of work that will be incorrectly attributed to Benning’s replacement, if that happens. It takes years for a prospect to mature into an NHL roster player.

            To say that one’s grandmother can draft better than a GM is a ridiculous statement. Drafting is bloody hard but Benning has accumulated a lot of really good prospects, the best pool in decades. That’s an empirical fact. That being said, I am looking forward to pitting Grandma Dirk22’s draft list from rounds 2 to 7 against Benning/Brackett.

          • Dirk22 – Just so you know that I wasn’t kidding about scrubbing the EliteProspects database, here is a ranking of teams that show the average number of players per draft that played at least 200 games from the 1998 to 2013 drafts. Hopefully, we can agree that a draft pick should last more than 200 games, that’s a low bar that I set just to show how difficult drafting is. Set it to 410 games (5 full seasons) and these numbers get worse.

            Look at Vancouver. Burke, Nonis and Gillis would have been lucky to get just 1 player to have played 200 games. That’s terrible, no wonder why we haven’t won a Cup yet. Now contrast the number of prospects Benning has acquired since 2014, in only 5 drafts? Can you see now why I think we should hang onto Benning for dear life and hope that he improves his UFA signings and trading? Benning is our secret weapon, the data/evidence backs it up, but people just don’t know or are too impatient to care because the grass is always greener on the other side, right?

            Ottawa Senators 2.13
            Buffalo Sabres 1.94
            Los Angeles Kings 1.94
            Chicago Blackhawks 1.88
            Montréal Canadiens 1.88
            Columbus Blue Jackets 1.86
            Anaheim Ducks 1.81
            New York Islanders 1.75
            Minnesota Wild 1.64
            Nashville Predators 1.63
            San Jose Sharks 1.63
            Colorado Avalanche 1.56
            Pittsburgh Penguins 1.56
            St. Louis Blues 1.56
            Washington Capitals 1.56
            Calgary Flames 1.50
            Edmonton Oilers 1.50
            Florida Panthers 1.50
            New York Rangers 1.44
            Atlanta Thrashers 1.42
            Detroit Red Wings 1.38
            Toronto Maple Leafs 1.38
            Boston Bruins 1.31
            Dallas Stars 1.25
            New Jersey Devils 1.19
            Philadelphia Flyers 1.19
            Tampa Bay Lightning 1.13
            Carolina Hurricanes 1.06
            Vancouver Canucks 1.06
            Winnipeg Jets 1.00
            Arizona Coyotes 0.94

          • Goon

            I don’t think Benning’s draft record has been impeccable, but it’s definitely been good. The issue that concerns me is that no team builds a contender on drafting alone – you have to surround those players with a supporting cast, and Benning has shown himself *completely* incapable on this front. He’s the inverse of Gillis – drafting under Gillis was unquestionably terrible, for a variety of reasons, but Gillis was the best GM in the league at the time in identifying and acquiring high-end players to support Vancouver’s home-grown talent.

            Benning’s clearly got a very valuable set of skills, but I don’t think they’re the set of skills that makes for a good GM – they’re the set of skills that makes for a good AGM, director of amateur scouting, or that kind of thing. That’s clearly the role he’s suited for and in that role, he’s one of the best, if not the best, in the league.

            Also, kudos on that work – you should get in touch with Ryan about writing an article, I’d be interested to read it.

          • Goon

            Also, your table is interesting, but there doesn’t seem to be much correlation with long-term success. Ottawa and Buffalo are at the top of the list, and Ottawa’s been all over the map in the past 20 years, while Buffalo, after being very strong out of the lockout, has been the worst team in the league for nearly a decade. Kings and Hawks both have cups, obviously, but Montreal and Columbus haven’t been elite teams in Montreal’s case since the early 90s, and in Columbus’s case, ever.

            Looking at the bottom of the list, It’s shocking to see the Coyotes at the bottom, but the Jets and Lightning are both legit contenders and the Lightning and Canes have a cup within your time span.

            It might be interesting, if you want to break this data down into useful chunks, to look at five-year drafting windows (say 2000-2005) followed by a five-year record (say, 2005-2010) where those drafted players would be in the lineup and contributing, to see how much correlation there is between successful drafting and success in the standings / playoffs.

          • Goon – Oh yeah, the data can be cut down in many ways. I whipped up those figures in a few minutes just to support what I was saying plus to show that I wasn’t kidding about analyzing the EP database! But recognize that this is only a dataset from EP’s draft history. To do what you ask requires a lot more raw data compilation: who’s on what team when, team win/loss records in the regular season and playoffs, etc. That’s a lot of work and the data isn’t instantly available. Even allocating GM’s to the appropriate year required me to look at a lot of Wikipedia entries to get it even approximately right (who was Dallas’ GM at the 2008 draft? Wikipedia lists both Les Jackson and Brett Hull). You need to find it, clean and reformat it, then figure out how to correlate the data sets in a meaningful manner. Since I’m analyzing the data for fun, I just look at the (limited) data for fast insights.

          • Dirk22

            Forever – my point about my Grandma being able to make a good selection in the first round this year was this: Benning will draft another good player this year in the draft because he’s going to get a top-10 pick (again). We can’t sit here and applaud that year after year. I don’t dispute that Benning has made some good picks but it’s too early to tell about how many of Benning’s players will make it as you assert with your data. I think he’s been good at the draft overall – but not good enough to warrant him staying on due to all the other things you aptly described as “sucks balls.”

            Here is some more data to put his picks in perspective – and yes it does not tell the whole story (as #1 selections can skew the results) but at least can give us one view of how the Canucks have been at drafting in the past 5 years under Benning. The Athletic did most of the work here but I added on the 2014 draft as they had broken it down between 2015-18 (along with other years previously).

            The Canucks have had the 4th highest draft position over the past 5 drafts in reference to where they have selected first in the draft – ie. their average first selection is 9.2. Buffalo is 4.2, Carolina is 7.8, Edmonton is 8 – in contrast Pittsburgh’s average first selection is 45, Nashville’s is 44.8 and Washington’s is 42.8.

            The average amount of points team’s draft picks have accumulated in that time is 293.6 points – the Canuck’s picks (including the ones traded) have accumulated 349 points which is above average but given their high draft position seems reasonable. It is actually the 8th most points out of the 30 teams included (obviously not LV) with Edmonton, Buffalo, Toronto, Arizona, Carolina, Boston and Winnipeg all with more accumulated points from their draft picks.

            The point is that they’ve done well at the draft to be in the position they are in – but to have the 4th best overall position and the 8th most overall points is not some extraordinary job that’s being done. As I said, there are other factors to consider (goaltenders, # of picks, #1 picks)……..these numbers do reveal something though.

          • Dirk22 – Unfortunately, I haven’t seen that article since I do not subscribe to The Athletic but a couple of questions popped into mind that challenge the article:

            – Some of those teams ahead of Vancouver include slam-dunk #1 picks like McDavid, Matthews or strong #2 like Laine and Eichel and even a #3 like Draisaitl so that data is skewed. Where’s Benning’s #1 or #2 pick? You make reference to this but I argue that having Top 3 picks need to be factored into the point analysis.

            – Other teams had trade chips to get good draft picks or fleeced another GM. Ok, I’m specifically talking about Boston. They fleeced Chiarelli on the Griffin trade and had a blue-chip RHD like Hamilton to trade. Focusing on Hamilton…what similar player did Gillis leave Benning?

            Without having read the article, I would question whether the analysis could be refined to be more accurate, arguably “fair”.

            Getting back to making a good selection in the Top 10…I disagree. It’s bloody hard. Look at all of the “busts” (just looking quickly at point production only) from 2014 to 2016: Dal Colle, Fleury, Puljujarvi, Nylander. I had Nylander, Ehlers and Virtanen as a toss-up but we got the short straw on that pick, relatively speaking. Juolevi hasn’t played yet so I’ve politely put him aside (I continue to maintain that we should have drafted Tkachuk to replace Daniel, I disagree with Benning that Juolevi was the BPA compared to Tkachuk). Conversely, Benning had a major coup getting Pettersson at #5…nobody saw that coming. Nor did anyone see Hobey Baker winner Gaudette in the 5th round of 2015.

            To me, it’s too early to dismiss Benning. They’re too much potential that he’s accumulated in such a short time. If you dismiss him for that, then you have to say that picks like Makar, Glass, Boqvist, Bouchard, Zadina, are also busts as well.

          • Dirk22

            I think you’re missing my point regarding the top-10 pick. Quinn Hughes is a good example – I loved the pick and as shocked he fell to 7 – he’s also used to prop up Bennings standing as a GM as if we’re to look at that pick and be amazed. That’s ludicrous. The top-10 pick from this year may or may not work out. My point is that we can’t start exalting Benning for bringing in a blue-chip prospect because he had a bad team. That’s different from saying he drafted Pettersson at 5 which has turned out to be an excellent pick.

            As far as draft analysis goes there’s lots of variables – teams with better drafts in 2014 are going to be ahead based on time alone. Weaker teams probably give more opportunities to young players trying to get in. There’s a ton of factors including weighting draft picks. Bottom line is the Canucks have had the 4th best average position so you can’t be bemoaning the lack of 1sts and 2nds. Nashville has averaged in the 40’s for their first selection and are only a couple points behind the Canucks as far as accumulated points (333). Tampa Bay is at 318. How do you reason that Benning has been excellent when presented with those comparisons?

            Boston by the way wasn’t involved in Edmonton/Griffin Reinhart. That was the Isles. And who did the Canucks have that was comparable to Hamilton? – we’ll they got a first for Kesler so that’s factored in. I’m sure Tanev was worth a first at some point. We don’t need to go through the multiple other missed opportunities.

          • Bucket

            So Ray Ferraro on 1040 and any other writer on Canadian NHL sports networks. Right, got it. So if I just google ‘any Canadian writer on NHL networks’ I’ll find them all saying that will I? Cheers bro

          • Dirk22 – Yes, I agree that one shouldn’t misattribute a GM’s success to skill when it was more luck. However, drafting Hughes wasn’t as clear cut. He could have easily drafted Dobson or Bouchard as all 3 D-men had differing strengths, weaknesses and evaluations. Moreover, Benning went with drafting positional rarity / hometown over BPA in 2014 and could have gone off the board like Montreal and Arizona.

            Referencing Hughes also weakens the Athletic’s ranking because Dahlin was included but Hughes was not. So is it safe to say that the Canucks point production is understated because we didn’t have an opportunity to draft a Top 5 impact player (which Benning did when he went off the board with Pettersson)?

            Finally, I’ve lauded Benning for his ability to draft outside of the 1st round. I’ve posted this in the past (where’s a good little lackey troll when you need one), our secret weapon is Benning’s ability to find at least one more promising prospect or roster player in rounds 2-7. That’s where we will succeed in the long run *if* Benning stops screwing up trades and UFA signings.

      • Markstrom has been very good (don’t forget he was pretty bad the last 1.5 seasons) but he’s also a UFA at the end of next season. Do you really think he’ll resign for a short duration when he’s at his UFA-prime? That’s exactly my fear with Markstrom, his great play going to force us to choose him (e.g. 4-6 year UFA extension) or Demko (UFA in 4 years) and put us in a situation down the road where Demko leaves and DiPietro isn’t ready to replace Markstrom as a starter. Don’t forget that Markstrom may just be on a hot streak this year…has he really evolved into a true No. 1? Mind you, this isn’t necessarily a bad situation (oh no, we have a great goaltender and another on the way!) but it is a tricky contract situation that Benning will need to negotiate well.

    • LTFan

      BCBoyd – Hmmm. You just had to know they weren’t going to play with the same tempo as they did on Saturday against the Flames. Even though they lost to the Flames 3 – 1 it was, IMO one hell of a game. Then on Sunday night they face the Blue Jackets who were hanging out on Saturday watching the game on TV. I agree it wasn’t a good game from a Canucks fan perspective but we are not going to make the playoffs so maybe our chances of getting a better pick at the draft improve.

  • canuckfan

    Canucks had a crap game, they played hard the night before playoffs out of focus and the goalie can’t come up with a good save they get behind 3 – 0 and are deflated. Injuries have been hard on the team again the defense made up of Stetcher and Edler and 4 fill ins makes it hard to win. Add Hutton and Tanev you have more of a chance which gives a young goalie a chance.
    It was fun thinking they had a chance as they were playing some exciting hockey, but now its all about next year. Its time to give some prospects some NHL time from Hughes to some of the forwards in Utica including McEwen, and Lind.
    The night could have been different if Jake had not missed that hit, man that sure summed up the game more than anything just imagine if Hughes turns out like Seth Jones, I’d be happy with that.

  • kermit

    Torts rolled all 4 lines with equal TOI. Having the lead allowed him to do this, but using a high paced shut down game was a good strategy for an opponent who was playing their second game in two nights.

    The thing that surprised me was how invisible Duchene was. He hasn’t adapted to the Torts system and there’s no way he resigns there.

    • Braindead Benning

      I was thinking the same thing… How this player was traded for so many players and picks the last 2 years is beyond me… Joe Sakic rocked that trade

      • Goon

        58 points in 50 games this season before the trade is probably why, I’d say.

        He had the same issue for his first 10-15 games in Ottawa – he was awful. Then he adjusted and was above a point per game for his remaining time there.

  • Puck Viking

    Not impressed at all with this management group yet again. In no way should Sven been playing. There is a handful of games left, it would have been far better to let him go another 4 months or so then risking his career over meaningless games.

    • Braindead Benning

      At least the management has done admiral job of being consistent of having both teams finishing at the bottom levels in most catagories… But hey let’s blame MG

    • Bud Poile

      “This was my plan. I wanted to come back. I wanted to make sure that I’m 100 per cent and I wanted to make sure that I go into a game with confidence. I’m ready to play. As soon as coach tells me I’m in, I’m good to go.” Baertschi speaking four days ago.

      • ClassOF2011

        WTF… How many f—king losers share this account or is it one schizophrenic with memory probs?!…

        “Sven has either suffered his sixth concussion or has relapsed from his fifth into a state where he cannot play hockey. the man has suffered five known concussions and his health is in serious question as a result.
        Personally,I feel his playing career will be ultimately defined by these concerns.” – Bud Poile

        Off you go again retard, dazed confused, heavily concussed and fuming.

        • Bud Poile

          Severe comprehension problems are the least of your mental health isuues,PQW.
          Sven should allow his brain the fullest recovery possible but the player ultimately has the final say.

  • Kootenaydude

    Green outcoached again. How do the players score goals with a system that doesn’t create high danger chances. A pathetic powerplay for an entire season. Has Green ever taken responsibility for a loss or do his players always have to get thrown under the bus. If it wasn’t for the stellar play of Marky this year. Thanks to Ian Clark. The Canucks would be in dead last and Green would have been fired.

  • TheRealPB

    On the plus side it gave me better tankathon simulator odds. The most common position in 20 tries was still 9th though (x 11). Only got one #1 but hope springs eternal.

    • MattyT

      It’s obvious that you are a clueless windowlicker who knows NOTHING goof…

      “Great news – Newell Brown’s a great PP coach.” – Goon

      “The Comets are headed for the top of the AHL standings. Isn’t the justification for these terrible FA signings that the young players need to develop in a “winning environment”. The Comets are that.” Goon

      Whoops, back to the call centre hotlines…. ring ring.

    • Captain Video

      Certainly the weakest defensive line-up in recent memory. Hughes and Hutton will help shore up the left side next season – but the team’s right side remains a dog’s breakfast. I’m fully expecting Benning will overpay for Myers in the off-season. But my bigger fear is that Jimbo trades our first rounder and Juolevi for additional veteran help with lots of “intangibles” on the right side.

      • Bud Poile

        50% of the top-four is injured.
        Sautner,Rathbone and Tryamkin are all lefties that have all played the right side.
        The thinking was so has Pouliot,whom Green had in junior and gave the endorsement to acquire.
        “Jimbo” just traded that “intangibles” RHD for Pearson and replaced him with Schenn,which cost them a FA signing in MDZ .