Instant Reaction: Canucks pick up their most disappointing overtime loss of the season in Nashville
Photo credit:© Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
6 months ago
Welcome back to Instant Reaction — the series here at CanucksArmy in which we give our instant reaction to the game and ask our readers to do the same! Cody Severtson is writing The Stanchies tonight, and The Statsies — CA’s analytics-based post game report by Mike Liu — will be posted tomorrow morning.
As we await the fate of defenceman Luke Schenn, we’ve got a game to talk about!
Tonight, the Vancouver Canucks were on the road to face off against the Nashville Predators, and yes, they were without veteran blue liner Luke Schenn, who was healthy scratched for trade-related purposes. Schenn flew home to Vancouver as he gets set for the next step in his NHL journey with his pregnant wife at the front of mind.
The Canucks fell down by two before goals from Andrei Kuzmenko and Sheldon Dries in the second frame brought them back even with the Predators. The Predators scored with just ten seconds remaining to give them a 3-2 lead heading into the third.
And that 4-2 goal. That darn 4-2 goal…
Tonight had to be the worst game I’ve seen from Tyler Myers in a Canucks uniform. There were turnovers, bad reads, costly pinches, and then there was the turnover. You know the one, and you’ll see it in The Stanchies tonight.
This goal resulting from a blown tire made it 4-2 Predators and really deflated any momentum the Canucks had built towards mounting a comeback from their one-goal deficit in the third period.
For almost 59 minutes, the Canucks put on a masterclass in tanking. Players will never try to lose — this is the number one defence from the commissioner of the league and other people who don’t understand what tanking is — but it wouldn’t be all that hard to believe that there was more than one Canuck making a conscious effort to lose tonight. The problem is most of them play defence.
Riley Stillman and Myers were absolutely dreadful together but didn’t get split up. Not to steal The Statsies’ thunder, but a quick peek at Natural Stat Trick shows that the Stillman Myers pairing was just awful in every sense of the word. In just over five minutes of ice time together tonight — Myers played more with Wolanin than Stillman — the Stillman-Myers pairing was on for two goals against, 10 chances against (five of which were high danger) and just three chances for.
Watch this clip of the 3-2 goal twice. The first time, watch Stillman. The second, Myers.
Despite the defence’s best efforts, the Canucks didn’t walk away with a regulation loss. Goals from Conor Garland and JT Miller late pushed this game to overtime and into a shootout, where the Canucks eventually lost, picking up the most disappointing single point they’ve earned all season long.
Okay, now for some positives.
It was a day ending in Y, so Quinn Hughes recorded a multi-point game, becoming the fifth US-born defenceman to record at least 50 multi-point games before the age of 24, joining Phil Housley, Brian Leetch, Gary Suter, and Al Iafrate.
I’ve seen enough from Christian Wolanin to confidently say he shouldn’t get bumped out of this team’s lineup for the rest of the season. Wolanin’s poise with the puck is undeniable, and although he hasn’t really been put in any especially tough situations, his defensive game has been above the Canucks’ normal standard.
I’d like to see him continue to get a long look for the remainder of the season, and from there, the team can decide what to do with the pending unrestricted free agent.
Wolanin has greatly appreciated the opportunity he’s gotten in Abbotsford, and seems to really like it here. At the very least, the Canucks should be prepared to offer him a one-way contract. He’s more than earned that, you’d have to think. It was great to see Wolanin get rewarded for his strong play with a shift in overtime tonight, and I’d like to see him a lot more down the final stretch of the season.
Whatever the case may be, just don’t come back with a Stillman-Myers pairing next year, we beg of you.
Lachlan Irvine will have you covered for all of your tank scoreboard watching needs, but we can tell you that Montreal beat New Jersey, and Chicago made a late comeback against the Vegas Golden Knights to force overtime and eventually went on to win, so maybe the Canucks pushing this to overtime wasn’t all bad.
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