Abbotsford Canucks close five-game homestand with disappointing 3-2 loss to the Marlies

Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Cody Severtson
1 year ago
The Abbotsford Canucks ended their longest losing streak of the season in the best fashion possible to endear themselves to the Vancouver fanbase by shutting out the Toronto Marlies on home ice in a 4-0 victory.
After nearly doubling their total home losses of the season with three straight defeats to the Calgary Wranglers, the results against the Marlies were a welcome surprise!

Week 15 predictions review

Should Abbotsford perform at its peak, we predict the Canucks will draw at least three points from three games. The Abbotsford Canucks seem to find another gear at home, and even without Rathbone in the lineup, we expect that trend to continue against Calgary. That being said, three straight losses would not be surprising. Calgary is very good.
The Canucks’ five-game home stand was bound to be an uphill battle. First, the Farm started with three games in four nights against the second-best team in the Western Conference, the Calgary Wranglers. Though Abbotsford outshot their opponent 98-83, Calgary won the goaltending battle, outscoring the home team 12-9.
The Calgary Wranglers have had the Farm’s number through seven games this season. Though the boys in green & blue have fought valiantly to pick up loser points in three of the seven games, that pesky Matthew Phillips really has it out for the Farm! Phillips has produced 5 goals and 6 assists through 7 games against the Wranglers. The Canucks’ leading producer against the Wranglers is Christian Wolanin, who produced 2 goals and 8 assists through those same seven games.
As we said in last week’s preview, Calgary is very good.

Game 39 versus Toronto Marlies

Fortunately, the Toronto Marlies are also very good, but that didn’t stop the Abbotsford Canucks from dominating on Tuesday night!
Heading into their mid-week back-to-back, the Marlies sat second in the Eastern Conference and fourth in the AHL, with the third-highest total goals scored and the fourth-highest rate of goals scored per game while holding the best power play in the league. By comparison, Abbotsford left their series against Toronto with the sixth-highest total goals scored and sixth-highest rate of goals scored per game while holding the eighth-best power play and the third-worst penalty kill in the AHL.
Despite the rough matchup, coming off the heels of four straight losses, the Farm crushed their opponent.
Though Abbotsford’s power play failed to make hay out of the 12 minutes on the man advantage, they obliterated their Canadian rival at 5v5. Drawing the hard matchup, Nils Höglander, Kyle Rau, and Tristen Nielsen put the gears to the Marlies’ veteran line featuring ex-Canuck Adam Gaudette, Semyon Der-Arguchintsev, and Kyle Clifford. Höglander scored two goals, earning the AHL’s first star of the night award, before Phil Di Giuseppe scored a third 5v5 goal in the third period, with Justin Dowling sinking a rinkwide empty netter for good measure.
After 60 minutes, the Abbotsford Canucks had outshot the Marlies 33-12 at 5v5, 45-18 across all situations. Though their power play went 0/7, their PK went 2/2, helping Arturs Silovs earn his second shutout of the season! At one point, Silovs was involved in a scary collision while attempting to play the puck from behind his net. Fortunately, Silovs wasn’t harmed and finished the game with 18 saves on 18 shots.
Though he didn’t end up on Tuesday night’s scorecard, Danila Klimovich earned a special commendation for his incredible effort against the Marlies.
Truthfully, Klimovich probably should have scored a few points, but Marlies netminder Joseph Woll stood on his head whenever facing down Klimovich’s scoring chances. Klim led the Canucks with seven shots on goal, drawing two penalties and generally being an absolute nuisance on the forecheck.

Game 40 versus Toronto Marlies

The rematch against the Marlies saw the Abbotsford Canucks looking significantly less dominant but putting up a valiant effort nonetheless. Despite scoring the opening goal, coming back from a one-goal deficit, and holding the league’s best power play to zero goals across seven opportunities, it was not enough to secure an additional two points.
The Wednesday night result was too bad because Arshdeep Bains had one of his best performances as an Abbotsford Canuck. Whether it was 5v5, the penalty kill, or the power play, Bains asserted himself in all three zones with an impeccable work rate and willingness to battle hard for 50/50 pucks.
The opening goal of the game came from Bains’ cutting through the defence, creating a screen, and tipping the puck past Toronto’s Erik Kallgren.
Bains’ 6th goal of the season was also his 20th point scored at 5v5. Through the Canucks’ 40 games, Bains sits in a three-way tie alongside Danila Klimovich and Linus Karlsson with the third-highest 5v5 points on the team, with 16 total.
With Phil Di Giuseppe up with the big club, Bains saw a promotion to the team’s second power play unit, where he showed his commitment to defensive play, singlehandedly denying a shorthanded scoring chance generated by the Marlies’ Dryden Hunt.
The Abbotsford Canucks power play has struggled massively of late, scoring only 3 goals on their last 27 power play opportunities! Linus Karlsson’s power play tally to tie the game at two ended a 26-minute long goal-less drought from the team’s power play units. And my word, what a goal it was!
Racing down the wing off the entry, Karlsson cut around the defence and ripped a shot top shelf over Kallgren’s shoulder from behind the redline.
While their power play wasn’t hot over this homestand, their penalty kill stood out. Over their five-game homestand, the Canucks successfully killed 15 of 17 power play opportunities, conceding 2 goals across 26 minutes of shorthanded ice time. As a second-shift penalty killer, Bains’ was a significant factor on Abbotsford’s PK through this homestand. His ability to force turnovers came up huge for Abbotsford against Toronto. Late in the third, Bains’ forced a turnover in the neutral zone, pulling the puck away from two defenders to set up Nils Aman for a shorthanded shot attempt.
Again, it’s a shame the Canucks lost their late lead off a bizarre scramble around Silovs’ net, as they put in a great effort to outshoot the Marlies overall at 5v5, 18-17.
Though Abbotsford finished their homestand with a pretty tragic 1-2-1-1 record, they still sit comfortably fourth in the AHL’s Pacific Division by points percentage.

What’s next?

The Abbotsford Canucks hit the road for a Saturday/Sunday doubleheader to take on the AHL’s leading points producer (and former Canuck property), Michael Carcone and the Tucson Roadrunners! Abbotsford has yet to face the Roadrunners but will play them four times this season.
Meep Meep!

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