The Farmies: Filip Johansson’s AHL debut, Arshdeep Bains’ two shorthanded goals, and the worst game management in the history of the AHL
9 months ago
Folks, we’re not sure what to tell you. On Wednesday night, the Abbotsford Canucks rallied back from two one-goal deficits to force overtime, only to lose. Dustin Wolf stopped 37 of 39 and was only beaten by picture-perfect snipes from Marc Gatcomb and Aatu Räty. That was with the Wranglers missing Matthew Phillips, who was ejected from the game after spearing Jett Woo 10 minutes into the first period.
On Friday night, Arturs Silovs stopped 38 of 42, facing down and turning aside a barrage of rush chances and cross-ice one-timer feeds from the AHL’s most potent offensive team. Arshdeep Bains scored two shorthanded goals on the same penalty kill to tie the game and hand the Canucks a one-goal lead. Then, Tristen Nielsen scored on a breakaway chance during the second period to give the Canucks a two-goal lead ahead of the third period.
And that still wasn’t enough to beat the Calgary Wranglers…
Four straight goals and another overtime loss, and some of the worst game management penalty assessments in the history of the AHL. Both teams combined for over 20 minutes of power play time and only produced two goals. Each from the Calgary Wranglers to both tie the game and win in overtime. The flow of the game was atrocious. The Canucks’ power play was even worse than it was in game 1 of the series. It was really, really, really, really, really tough to watch.
We’ll let the graphic do the talking.
Let’s get into Friday night’s quarterfinal action and try to make some GIF money!
Don’t worry, we skip most of the dreadful power play opportunities!
It was a bit of a slow start for Abbotsford to start. Calgary held a clear possession advantage for the first few shifts. Offsetting minors put the game at a 4-on-4 state which saw Filip Johansson’s first noticeable play of the game when Matthew Phillips wheeled around him for a drive on Arturs Silovs.
All things considered, Johansson’s first taste of toughs went quite well! Johansson got the arm around Phillips to disrupt his drive on Silovs, then recovered the puck after colliding with the net to kickstart a breakout. Pretty decent start for the rookie!
The 4-on-4 soon led to a 4-on-3 power play for Abbotsford, then the ultra-rare 3-on-3. During the first period, mind you! It was a very bizarre start.
Midway through the period, Connor Zary rifled a shot off the post, forcing Silovs into making an incredible sprawling split save on his right post.
The Wranglers must have got a note from their coaching staff advising them to attack down the left wing. At the conclusion of Calgary’s mid-period power play opportunity, Kevin Rooney cut around Jett Woo down the left wing for a backhander on Silovs from the crease. While Silovs did great on the initial stop, the uncontrolled rebound popped out to Clark Bishop, who tapped the puck five-hole to give the Wranglers a 1-nothing lead.
There wasn’t much 5-on-5 play for the opening 20 minutes. With 7:30 left in the opening frame, the Canucks earned themselves a second power play opportunity off an interference penalty taken by Mitch McLain.
If you read our last Farmies, you’ll know the Canucks power play has been abysmal against Calgary. The 1st period was no different.
The Canucks’ failson power play did give way to Arshdeep Bains, knocking the Wranglers’ net over top of Dustin Wolf accidentally.
That was fun.
Then the Wranglers earned a third power play opportunity off an Arty Silovs roughing penalty.
The PK opened the door for Arshdeep Bains to make Game 2 all about him with an incredible shorthanded goal to tie the game!
Then, on that same shorthanded PK, it was Matt Alfaro forechecking aggressively in the dying seconds of the Wrangler’s power play to set up Bains for a second shorthanded goal!
This is not a typo. Arshdeep Bains, the local kid, scored two shorthanded goals against the AHL’s two-time reigning MVP, Dustin Wolf, to give the Canucks a late lead.
Despite some ugly power plays and early defensive lapses, the Canucks finished the opening frame with a 2-1 lead and even in shots at 12 apiece.
Sadly, the second period opened with a Canucks power play. You know the drill: not much for Abbotsford, shorthanded chances against, yadda yadda yadda, back to 5-on-5.
The Wranglers then got themselves a power play opportunity which was promptly turned aside by the Canucks penalty killers and a magnificent post-to-post save from Silovs.
Following the Canucks failed power play, it was all Wranglers, all the time. For 13 minutes, Calgary outshot Abbotsford 9-3, out-chancing them by what felt like a 50-1 margin. The Canucks’ rush defence was nonexistent, and were it not for Silovs’ stellar goaltending, the Canucks’ lead would have been erased threefold before the period’s end.
It was truly ugly stuff from the boys in blue and white.
A late hit from Jett Woo on Matthew Phillips drew offsetting roughing minors following a scrum, putting a halt to the bleeding and eventually opening the door for Tristen Nielsen to extend the Canucks’ lead.
With the Wranglers holding possession inside the Canucks d-zone, a fortunate bounce threw the puck out and into neutral territory, allowing Nielsen to race ahead on a breakaway for a top-corner snipe over Wolf’s left shoulder.
You really have to respect Nielsen for embracing the heel role after the goal.
Throwing his hand to his ear while staring down the crowd after pushing Abbotsford to a 3-1 lead is some masterful trolling.
Somehow with 3:35 left in the period, two more penalties were issued to both teams, resulting in more tragic power plays for both teams. After 40 minutes, the Wranglers had outshot the Canucks 22-18, 10-6 in the second period alone, but found themselves down on the scoreboard by a pair.
The 3rd period started about as poorly as any period could.
37 seconds into the final frame, the Canucks were caught deep inside the neutral zone without possession. A rink wide feed from Ilya Solovyov off the Canucks’ backboards landed right on the tape of Ben Jones’ stick, who instantly ripped one past Silovs to put Calgary within a goal.
It was Johansson that Jones beat on the outside to cut the Canucks’ lead; a rude “welcome to the show” moment for the debuting Swede.
With the sheer volume of power play and PK time, there wasn’t much 5-on-5 ice time to go around for Danila Klimovich. For one of his very few 5v5 shifts, Klimovich did what little he could by crushing the behemoth Adam Klapka in the neutral zone.
The home team earned another power play opportunity early in the third period, resulting in a game-tying goal from Dryden Hunt.
A minute after Hunt’s game-tying goal, the shusher himself, Tristen Nielsen, took a 2-minute minor penalty for hooking while on the forecheck to hand Calgary a seventh power play. Then the Wranglers took a penalty to send the game to 4-on-4 before the Canucks brief seventh power play opportunity.
With 8:11 left in the final period, the Canucks earned their eighth power play opportunity. Mercifully, Colliton started with a 2nd power play unit featuring Rathbone, Johansson, Rau, Klimovich, and Bains.
The 2nd power play unit was given 42 seconds to work before the first unit came onto the ice. The 1st unit promptly lost the zone and gave up a couple of shorthanded chances.
As I said, it was truly an unwatchable game of hockey.
Anyways, here’s a GIF of Arturs Silovs coming up huge for Abbotsford during their time of need.
With 48 seconds left in the period, Nils Höglander took a high-sticking penalty after being cross-checked to the ice by Nicholas Meloche.
The penalty gave Calgary their ninth power play of the game.
Fortunately, the Canucks survived long enough to push the game to overtime, but it was an atrocious period overall. The Farm was outscored 2-0 and outshot 17-6 over the final 20 minutes.
Though the overtime period began with some frantic chances for Calgary, the Canucks PK held their ground for the eighth time in the game.
Following the Wranglers’ power play, the Canucks generated their first chance in what felt like ages, with Johansson springing Max Sasson into the Calgary zone for a rush chance on Wolf.
Wolf had not been tested much starting with the third period; Sasson’s shot was the first dangerous chance Abbotsford had generated since late in the second period.
Arshdeep Bains played a huge role in the Canucks overtime. Bains started sudden death on the PK, then took a breather before being double-shifted at 5v5. Then with 13:30 left in the period, Nils Höglander took his second straight penalty to give the Wranglers their tenth power play opportunity.
That was the difference maker.
1:13 into the power play, Matthew Phillips scored Calgary’s fourth straight goal to complete the comeback and send the series to Abbotsford.
Canucks Army Three Stars
The series heads to Abbotsford for (potentially) three games starting next Wednesday, May 3rd. Canucks must win three straight to move on to the next round, a tall task against a team like Calgary.
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