The Stanchies: Checked out Vancouver Canucks squad falls to Seattle Kraken
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
8 months ago
The Canucks annual tradition of peek-a-boo continues. You know the one, play horrendous hockey all season, then put together a little run near the end of the season in meaningless games, talk about “structure” and “learning to win” and “getting something to build on for next season”, just long enough to drop out of good lottery odds, before closing out the season with soul crushing dead inside losses.
The good news is Rick Tocchet is way ahead of you on that one. Give the man credit, he knows how to hammer home a narrative, as we saw with his constant talk about North/South hockey. The latest storyline? The summer of redemption.
Someone playing poorly? Let’s see how they respond over the summer.
Someone could do with giving a little more? Let’s see how they respond over the summer.
Someone playing well but you really like talking about summer overhauls? Let’s see how they respond over the summer.
The summer of Ryan Kesler is remembered fondly in this city (the one where he figured out how to become a 40 goal scorer) and it looks like that challenge has been extended to the current roster.
Clearly his favorite show is the O.C., but he’s not wrong in that everything is on the table next season, aside from a handful of top players. Jobs will be won and lost depending on how players show up and play under the Tocchet system next year. Cardio and forechecking is on the menu, lads and lasses!
In the meantime, we still have five games left to run out after the Canucks latest dismal loss, this time in the form of a 5-2 loss to the Kraken.
Don’t let those two goals fool you, this game was just as sad and depressing as the one against the LA Kings. Whatever personal bests some of the Canucks players seemed to be playing for during their winning streak has seemingly wilted away as the team looks more checked out than you during a three hour office meeting where nobody brought any snacks.
The good news? Elias Pettersson scored a down right nifty goal. A humdinger of a goal if I may be so bold.
The bad news? Every single other part of the game. If the Canucks are a plucky undersized baby face, then Vince McMahon booked this night of hockey.
But, we still have some gif money to make. Shall we?
Best setting the tone
If ever there was a tone being set for the game, it was the “oh wait that’s the sad dog lady isn’t it?” vibe from Sarah McLachlan belting out the anthems.
Nothing gets you pumped quite like visualizing animal cruelty?
Best Collin it early
Mike was at it again, ensuring a breakdown in nets as is tradition, but early on Collin Delia at least made us think we might be in for a night of Fun Collin:
I know Delia didn’t catch the puck with his glove so we can’t count it as a slick save, he just sort of fanned at it like a bee attacking him on a summer day, but it was still a save. The game was still 0-0. There was still hope in the air that this might be one of those fun 6-5 losses we all enjoy.
Was there a worrying moment early on that made you think maybe Collin wasn’t exactly dialled in?
I mean, sure, yes, but the important thing is the puck didn’t go in. If love can be blind, so can goaltending, damn it. Irina stumbled here and there too, but the important thing is she recovered, and ok this metaphor is falling apart fast, let’s just move on.
The Disgusting Brothers provided the best moment of the night for Canucks fans when a bit of puck luck from the hands of Andrei Kuzmenko led to Elias Pettersson doing the hockey equivalent of taking a long slow drag on your cigarette and flicking it over your shoulder as you walk away with a leather jacket dangling from one finger:
I straight up asked Quadrelli if I could stop The Stanchies here and just end the article on this. Why subject everyone to the rest of all of this? But he screamed something about “integrity” and “do your damn job” or whatever it is kids are talking about nowadays (he used some emojiis I’m not familiar with), so we will continue the article.
But before we get to that, let’s just sit back in awe of how easy Elias Pettersson makes hockey look. I can almost see his agent researching “max NHL contracts” with every point EP40 gets on his march to 100.
Just having the werewithal to try that move is astounding. Truly the Disgusting Brothers are the the dirtiest players in the league.
Also we need to give credit to Dakota Joshua for his work on this line. Is he an end-game build for this line? No, he’s not the set armor they need. But for ending the season and giving himself a headstart on Rick Tocchet’s Summer Challenge, he feels like a candidate who might shoot out of the gate early next year.
Best he is that guy, pal
JT Miller’s reversal of fortune has been enjoyable to watch, mostly because instead of terse conversations with teammates on the ice, or trying to breakdown eye rolls on the bench from Elias Pettersson, we can take comfort in the fact Jimothy Timothy is being a grumpypuss with the other team now:
Honestly, that’s the kind of player I enjoy watching. Go out there, play a little too hard, and watch the other team get all upset and start demanding apologies in the form of baby punches and long hard stare contests.
Best talent show
Akito Hirose played his second game for the Canucks, and while we have to admit the bar is low (ie if you don’t set yourself on fire and/or score on your own net, you’re automatically in the running to be the third best d-man on the team), Hirose continues to have small moments that impress:
Again, that’s not a magical play that only the elite of the elite can make. That’s a simple smart defensive hockey play that any NHL player should be able to do.
It’s just we’re used to watching OEL set up 54 miles away from the play so he can’t get beat wide, and Tyler Myers racing off into the corner like he just ran over a mushroom in Mario Kart.
Sometimes simple is good.
Best false hope
The Canucks made it 2-0 after Nils Aman accidentally on purpose sent in a shot that caromed off the end boards right out to Connor Garland, who then cheated the game of hockey by lying about taking a shot, fooling poor Martin Jones into foolishly committing harder than you did to you high school girlfriend:
That’s honestly a hell of a play from Garland, even if it’s decieftful and mean-spirited to lie about your intentions. That’s about as easy a goal as Anthony Beauvillier is going to get in the NHL, as he closes in on a potential 20 goal season with his 18th of the year.
And I know what you’re thinking, does Beauvillier need to enter the Summer of Change like everyone else? Of course he does, Rick Tocchet demands only the best from his players. If you don’t show up with the crossfit cardio of Seth Rollins for training camp, you might as well pack it in and go home.
Best lowered expectations
I’m not going to lie, Collin Delia probably should have had this.
I mean, not probably. That was me trying to be nice to a goalie so Kevin Woodley doesn’t hunt me down and scream at me for daring to blame a goaltender and then telling me about secret super propiertary stats that prove without a shadow of a doubt he was not a fault.
But if this goal could be described by any movie, it would be Buzz’s girlfriend.
Quite simply, Delia has to have that. Unless he was told by Allvin to be more blatant about being on Team Tank. In which case, well played.
But if that was an actual save attempt? Like, I have watched this goal many many times and I still don’t quite get what he’s doing. Is he trying to clap? Is he confused about what to do with his hands? Did the wrong save animation get played?
Don’t get me wrong, bad goals happen and I have let in some of the comically worst goals you could possibly see in a lifetime, but the important thing is we can call a spade a spade.
Best of the power play
You’d think on a night in which the Canucks went 0 for 5 with the extra man that there’d be no highlights.
Well, you’d be right:
This was probably the best on the night, and it’s mostly because I could watch Boeser and Kuzmenko duel it out in front of the net on the powerplay all season long.
There is just something amusing about two guys trying to win a spot on the first unit powerplay by seeing who can score the most goals in the crease.
And just to show that despite their battles, it’s still a team effort, here’s Kuzmenko trying to set up Brock Boeser for a tap in:
Or did he set him up for failure so he could show how he is the true net front champion, and how his shooting percentage is the stuff of legends, something Brock Boeser’s paltry 11.3 shooting percentage could never understand?
Makes you think.
Best tidy piece of business
As Rick Dhaliwal tweeted about earlier in the day, the Canucks were indeed the front runner to land Cole McWard.
Now, it’s important to note that most NCAA signings don’t often amount to much in the way of impactful NHL careers, but that’s not the point. The point is the Canucks are giving themselves free lotto tickets, which is all anyone has wanted around these parts for years.
Sure, loading up on draft picks would probably be the preferred way, but lining up a handful of NCAA prospects and hoping you can snag some NHL years out of them? That’s still a good approach.
As for what kind of player he is, we turn our attention to hockey prospect guru and bandana enthusiast Cam Robinson:
Best controlling the chaos
Someone asked me recently why Tyler Myers doesn’t throw hits more often, and honestly, I would hope the Chaos Giraffe never does.
Not because he can’t hit (his hit on Duncan Keith bought him one year of good faith from the fan base alone), but because I don’t think he has the game sense to do it consistently.
He’s like that player in Overwatch who is pretty good at their character, but has zero awareness of what is going on around him. Sure, he’s 14-2 as Widowmaker, but the team just lost in under 5 minutes because he didn’t pick his spots properly.
It’s why I no longer get shocked when he beelines across the ice to cover the ghosts of Christmas past:
Myers does a good job to get back and cover on the counter-rush on his blocked shot, but then he just gives up on his check.
To make matters even worse he shoulder checks his guy and thinks “nah this is fine” and continues to skate to the far post, leaving a wide open man near the front of the net.
This is why Hirose looks downright Norris-like in comparison at times. The Chaos Giraffe makes bold decisions at the most bizarre of times, yet somehow the Canucks refuse to put him net-front on the second unit powerplay.
It’s just not fair.
Best disgusting miss
The Canucks only had 18 shots on the night, so I felt I should probably show some of the “almost shots” as well, so I could make solid gif money on the night:
The Disgusting Brothers know there are CCT cameras in the building and they’re still trying this stuff. Very on brand.
Best and it’s gone
This was quite the chain of events (a chain reaction if you’re super into lesser known Keanu movies), so let’ first show Collin Delia making his traditional “ah, bees!” glove save:
Delia stones Dunn and the clears his own rebound, this is good.
But then Garland gets beat along the boards and Brandon Tanev goes top shelf where Mom keeps the picture of her favourite child, the one she had with the family you don’t know about:
It’s hard to blame Collin Delia for letting in breakaways, but add in that first goal, and you’re getting PTSD of so many games this season where the Canucks goaltending has been subpar.
The only answer to this? Make Roberto Luongo honor his contract and become the Canucks back-up next season.
Don’t be a coward, Lu. Do the right thing.
Best new banner
Best sure why not
It’s not often Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson combine to be at fault on a goal, but it’s the end of the season, you’re not supposed to enjoy anything anymore:
Jordan Eberle goes top shelf where Dad keeps the journal he wrote in high school about becoming a rock star with no kids to tie him down.
That is a pretty solid snipe from Jordan, but Delia doesn’t help by going full Potvin in net on that one.
Best tickling the paint
Seattle was the better team on the night, which is why they out-shot, out-scored, and out-“ohmygodthatalmostwnetin”-ed the Vancouver Canucks:
I mostly included this to see how Quadrelli would handle editing that last sentence. Editor’s note: with grace.
Best Bear fight
On the one hand, good on Ethan Bear for defending himself:
On the other hand, don’t injure yourself in a game that means nothing.
Save all your strength for the Summer of Change. You need to arrive next year a completely different person. You need to go full Kafka this summer, you can’t afford to take any time off due to being punched in the face.
Best always leave a good tip
Remember when the Canucks were lethal while shorthanded? That’s kind of fallen back to earth:
The Canucks were pretty passive on with the man advantage and when they were down a man as well, so it’s not too shocking to see Schwartz go untouched in front of the net.
“Checked out” is a word you’re probably going to hear a lot over the next couple of weeks.
Best ghost save
It’s true, if you want to take solace in something, enjoy the fact Calgary lost with Markstrom in net, and the plan heading into the game was playing Jacob back to back.
That being said, the Canucks hit the point where Delia thought he had the puck under his shoulder, and even moved his arm to drop the phantom puck into his glove:
This season has gone on long enough.
Best Tambellini Back Check of the Night award
JT Miller is a man who enjoys rocking a snake move on breakaways, but he probably didn’t figure Beniers was closing in on him so fast:
One team is gunning for the playoffs, and one is praying they can take one week off during the summer before Rick Tocchet hunts them down and demands to see their off-season workout schedule.
Best example of chaos
Tyler Myers has been paired with Hirose, and honestly, this clip summarizes a lot for me:
Hirose takes the team to cycle back to an open Myers, and then CG57 calmly skates back towards him and promptly fires the puck down the ice into a turnover.
Chaos Giraffe goes for the long stretch pass instead of making the simple play back to Hirose, who had an empty lane in front of him for the controlled zone exit.
This is the maddening side of Myers game, he just can’t help but embrace the chaos throughout the night.
Best getting stoned in Vancouver
The Canucks had no shots with four minutes of powerplay time, but they did hit a post at least?
It was a hell of a post for what it’s worth. It wasn’t one of those shots that just nicked the bar, it landed a solid Chuck Lidell overhand hook to the iron.
Best proof of concept
I just wanted to show proof that a few shots did happen in the third period:
You’re going to notice the gifs slow down considerably for this third period. Both because nothing happened and because I no longer have the will to create video clips of sad moments and trying to think up a TV reference for it.
Best end it with a whimper
The Seattle Kraken dumped Vancouver like they’d just come back from Casa Amour and found out they made out with another team and you know what, just watch the clip:
And that was ball game. The Canucks limped through the third period, and advertised fan appreciation night along the boards, all while probably e-mailing many of you to buy tickets from them during the game.
Compete is in our nature.
Best please don’t
Save yourself the pain and misery. Don’t run lottery simulations.
Best jersey Botch
At least we can end the article with a winner.
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