What do you do when you want to snap a streak? You play the Canucks.
The Canucks lost 4-2 to the Sharks, putting an end to their six-game winless streak. The spotlight of Hockey Night in Canada combined with a slumping opponent was the perfect opportunity for the Canucks to make a statement after their poor performance in their win against the Hurricanes. Unfortunately for the Canucks, they started slow and once again couldn’t generate quality chances, making Aaron Dell look much better than his career .907 save percentage would suggest. A win would have put them within 1 point of a wild card spot. Instead, now the Sharks are only 2 points behind them in the standings.
It was a rough start to the game for the Canucks and for all their fans watching this one. They only managed 9 shots on net throughout the first half of the game. Jake Virtanen finally ended the Canucks goal drought of over 160 minutes with only one regulation goal. Since the Canucks were back on the road that meant Bo Horvat could resume scoring and netted his 9th of the year and third at even-strength.
Another game, another lineup change. Travis Green really shook things up with a fresh line up featuring:
Pearson-Horvat-Leivo Fantenberg-Tanev Markstrom
However, this only lasted a period as the Canucks only managed 7 shots on net in the first and struggled to break out of their own zone. So when in doubt you go back to ol’ reliable, the lotto line. Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser are struggling to score 5-on-5. They are playing fine, but only have one goal each in the last 10 games and right now the Canucks are struggling to score. They need their best players to find a way to help out Markstrom and find the back of the net.
Quinn Hughes can do it all. He’s already the best defenseman on the Canucks. Tonight he was the leading minute-man for the Canucks playing 27:00, while Myers was second with 22:43. Tonight he notched his 26th assist in his 37th game played. In the last 10 games when 5-on-5, Hughes is the only Canucks defender with a Corsi for percentage above 50% and he leads the defense with 5 points. As David Quadrelli discussed earlier today, anyone who is paired with Hughes instantly becomes a better player.
When Alex Edler returns to the lineup it will be important to limit his ice-time in order to insure he doesn’t burn out and can play to the best of his capabilities. Quinn Hughes is the man who can take the burden off old man Edler by playing his minutes.
The Canucks continue to struggle to generate shots and goals. The lines are constantly in a blender as they can’t seem to figure out a consistent top-six. Sven Baertschi could have been a solution to the problem, but he was given a quick look and then sent back down to Utica where he continues to dominate. He should have gotten a longer look on his bestie Bo Horvat’s line. Now his agent has been given permission to seek a trade for him and its unfortunate because the Canucks look like they could use his offensive abilities.