Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
CanucksArmy post game: The Canucks’ good start goes up in flames in a 4-1 loss
By Faber2 years ago
After a quick start to the game, the Canucks took a snooze in the final 40 minutes of the game in a 4-1 loss against the Calgary Flames.
Friday night featured the first Vancouver Canucks Sportsnet broadcast of the year. The Canucks were in Calgary to face the Flames.
It was the first start for Thatcher Demko in the preseason as he faced off against Jacob Markstrom who received the call to start for the Flames.
It was a NHL-heavy lineup from the Flames and the Canucks matched it with their own strong lineup.
It was another chance for Jonah Gadjovich to show his value as an NHL player. He was set to play on the fourth line and needed to have a strong game for any chance of landing an NHL job.
It was also a good opportunity for Justin Dowling, who has a good chance to make the NHL lineup due to his ability to kill penalties and play centre.
There are a handful of key points to keep an eye on so why waste any more time…
The Flames received an early power play just 3:31 into the game when Zack MacEwen took a goaltender interference penalty.
72 seconds into the penalty, the Flames took a penalty and we were set for some four-on-four action.
Vasily Podkolzin had a good scoring chance in the slot but he ended up missing the net on a quick-trigger shot attempt. With Bo Horvat not in the lineup for this game, the power play had some new faces with Brad Hunt being the quarterback and Podkolzin sliding into the bumper position.
Everyone was keeping a close eye on Demko as he made his preseason debut and looked strong early. He made a big save in tight against Dillon Dubé around 10 minutes into the game and looked under control through the first half of the period.
Olli Juolevi continued to struggle as he was turned and burned by an AHLer down the boards. Juolevi was playing with Kyle Burroughs as his partner and Burroughs continued to look like a potential call-up option for the Canucks. He has looked like a solid player throughout training camp and the preseason. Not NHL-level solid, but definitely call-up level.
Luke Schenn was caught spinning around as the Flames put together a pretty passing play around him and Johnny Gaudreau roofed the puck over Demko. 1-0 Flames.
The Flames received a late power play as Nic Petan took an interference penalty with 18 seconds left in the period.
Thoughts from the first
None of the Canucks’ defence pairs looked good in the first period. The steadiest was the Hunt-Myers pairing as Tyler Myers had a few good scoring chances and Brad Hunt continued to look solid but not overly impressive.
Demko was dialled in right away as he made some big saves in the first period and was left hanging on the goal due to Schenn being put in a blender by the Flames’ top line’s great passes.
Juolevi and Schenn had a bad period. Each player looked like their foot speed was a major issue and neither made a positive contribution to their pairing.
The Canucks killed off the remainder of the penalty and were back to five-on-five for the second period.
It was another tough look for Schenn as he blew his assignment to attempt a fight against Nikita Zadorov after a big hit on Jason Dickinson. 2-0 Flames.
The Canucks got a quick goal back when Olli Juolevi fired a shot that deflected off of Gadjovich and past Markstrom. 2-1 Flames after the Gadjovich goal.
The Flames immediately went back to the power play when Matthew Highmore took a penalty just seconds after the goal.
Demko made some big saves on the penalty kill as it was a one-minute scramble for the Canucks when one of their penalty-killers (Phil Di Giuseppe) broke his stick.
With 10:08 remaining in the period, the Canucks received their first full power play of the game.
They were unable to amount much pressure in the two minutes and the power play time expired.
J.T. Miller took a penalty with 5:11 left to give the Flames their fourth power play of the game.
Brad Hunt took a delay of game penalty with 2:30 remaining and that sent Calgary to their fifth power play of the game.
The Canucks were doing a fine job killing off the penalties to that point in the game but were playing with fire giving the opposition that many power play opportunities.
Thoughts from the second
Gadjovich got his goal from doing what he does best. He went to the net and a good thing happened when the puck hit him and went in.
There were some movement between the lines as Travis Green got his blender out.
The Flames swapped out Markstrom for Dustin Wolf in net for the third period.
Juolevi made a good defensive play defending a two-on-one and I feel it needs to be noted in this post game report because it’s been a brutal week for Juolevi.
Gadjovich was moved up to play with Dowling and Nils Höglander as one of Green’s mixed-up lines.
Connor Mackey scored the Flames’ third goal of the game when he fired a pass off of Nic Petan’s stick and into the back of the net.
Zack MacEwen and Erik Gudbranson dropped the gloves and Gudbranson won the judge’s vote. MacEwen took a big hit in the corner and immediately went to centre ice and dropped the gloves.
Gudbranson got the instigator penalty and that sent the Canucks to the power play with a two goal deficit.
On top of the single power play, Chris Tanev took a delay of game penalty with 57 seconds remaining and the Canucks had a long two-man advantage.
It was a weak performance in the one minute five-on-three. The Canucks followed that up with a weak performance at five-on-four. Their power play was not good in this game.
The Flames had a solid minute and a half of puck possession in the Canucks’ end that featured excellent passing and finished with Conor Garland taking a hard shot off his right foot. He was in pain on the bench but didn’t head to the locker room.
The Canucks pulled their goalie with three minutes left and Garland was right back out there as the extra attacker.
Jack Rathbone took a high-sticking penalty with just over two minutes left in the game and that looked to be all she wrote for the Canucks.
The Canucks pulled their goalie to get back to even strength but the Flames scored an empty net goal pretty quick. 4-1 Flames.
Thoughts from the third
The Canucks were flat throughout the period. There wasn’t even one player that stuck out as someone who gave a lot of effort. Garland showed some strength coming back from that hard blocked shot and that was it.
The Canucks totalled seven shots in the period. It was a tough way to finish a game.
Nobody was really worth mentioning. It was nice for Gadjovich to get a goal and Myers had some good moments as well.
Overall, it was a bad game from the Canucks and felt like a snoozer after the first period. The lines were constantly being shuffled as it felt like none of the lines amounted many extended possessions.
The good news is that Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes are reportedly on their way to Vancouver and will join the team soon. Travis Green spoke about their arrival in the post game media availability.
“I think it’s vital that they are here and I haven’t changed my stance on that. I hope they are here as soon as possible.”
The next preseason game is Sunday at 4 pm when the Canucks host the Winnipeg Jets.
Recent articles from Faber