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Photo Credit: © Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Postgame: Sympathy For The Canucks

The Canucks put forth another disappointing performance this afternoon, dropping their fourth straight game to the lowly New Jersey Devils. In what is rapidly becoming a troublesome November for a team that looked dominant for most of the first month of the season, the Canucks have often looked fatigued and out of sorts, even when the underlying numbers have suggested they deserved a better result. It was more of the same tonight, as the Canucks were fighting the puck all night, even as they were able to sustain pressure in the Devils’ zone for much of the second half of the game.

Unfortunately for them, the schedule isn’t getting any easier, and the team could extend their skid into next week if they don’t right the ship within the next couple of games. The good fortune this team saw at the beginning of the season looks as though it’s beginning to run out, but the good news is the Canucks have still mostly stayed on the right side of the shot share battle, so it isn’t time to hit the panic button just yet. While they obviously aren’t happy with the result this afternoon, there were still a few positives the Canucks can take with them into their next game on Tuesday night vs. the Predators.

Stats

 

Highlights

Game Notes

  • Let’s start with the good news: the “Lotto Line” was dominant once again tonight, controlling over 70% of the shot share tonight during the eight minutes they spent together at evens, while Miller and Boeser combined for the team’s lone goal, which came on the man advantage. Miller was equally dominant during the brief time spent with Bo Horvat. The Miller-Horvat-Pearson combo also controlled upwards of 70% of the shots at evens. J.T. Miller has had a considerable impact on his linemates’ two-way contributions so far this season, which is a big part of why he’s been such a good fit with Boeser and Pettersson so far. While the pair has always been dominant offensively, their underlying numbers have taken a huge jump since they started playing with Miller. While you can quibble with the price the Canucks paid for him this offseason, but there’s no denying he’s been the team’s most impactful addition so far this season.
  • Unfortunately, Miller’s dominance on the top line has left Bo Horvat right back where he was last season, playing with a revolving door of wingers and struggling to find chemistry. That was especially the case this afternoon. Horvat played with at least six different wingers today, taking turns alongside each of Tanner Pearson, Josh Leivo, Sven Baertschi, J.T. Miller, Jake Virtanen, and Brock Boeser.

  • Mackenzie Blackwood is quickly turning into a Canuck killer. He’s 4-0 against the Canucks over his brief career, recording two shutouts and allowing just three goals in the process.
  • The officiating was all over the place tonight. Tim Peel missed one of the most blatant hooks I have seen this year on Elias Pettersson, only to give Taylor Hall a phantom embellishment call moments later. The linesman also elected to call an icing at the end of the game when Quinn Hughes clearly had plenty of time to play the puck.
  • Tanner Pearson’s offence has fallen off considerably from where it was at the beginning of the season. After potting four points in as many games to start the year, he now has just two assists in his last 14 games. While Pearson hasn’t been quite as noticeable as he was early on, there’s plenty of reason to believe he’s on the verge of breaking out. He was one of the team’s better forwards this afternoon, firing five shots on net despite being moved up and down the lineup. He’s currently second on the team in shots, and his personal shooting percentage has fallen to an abysmal 4.1%. While the dreams of Pearson taking the next step forward to become a 50-60 point player now seem like a distant memory, with some luck, he should be able to go on a run and finish the season back in the 40-point territory where he’s spent most of his career.