The Stanchies: Silovs’ solid start, and the history behind the NHL’s first and last goalie goal
Photo credit:© Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
9 months ago
That dang Patrik Allvin did it again!
Hours before the team’s game against the visiting Boston Bruins, the Canucks announced they had acquired Vitali Kravtsov in exchange for Will Lockwood and a 2026 7th-round draft pick. For perspective, players eligible at the 2026 draft are 14/15 years old right now. With the acquisition of Kravtsov, the Canucks had officially cornered the market on Dan Milstein’s Gold Star Sports Management clients. Unfortunately, the Canucks’ wise, low-risk, low-upside bet on a former first-rounder whose development had stagnated in New York undid my entire plan for a classic gallows humour opening!
Nope, I couldn’t commiserate with Vancouver fans on watching the Bruins come to town days after loading up for their third cup run since 2011.
Nope, it didn’t make sense to joke about the Blackhawks peddling Patrick Kane, the Blues shedding Tarasenko and O’Reilly, or the Predators trading Niederreiter for pennies on the dollar. At the same time, the Canucks bide their time for a team to pay the premium for Luke Schenn.
But we’ll take it! Canucks fans would rather read the joys of another low-upside bet on a project winger that cost the team absolutely nothing, big picture.
Since being drafted in the 3rd round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Will Lockwood has done nothing but work his bag off for an NHL opportunity. Through 28 games played, Lockwood failed to generate anything in the way of offence but did challenge Schenn’s position as the team Hitz King. Lockwood’s 37 hits in 13 games this season placed him 6th among forwards. Factoring in ice time, Lockwood finished his tenure with the Canucks as the leader in hits/60 since 2020-21. Credit to Lockwood for his speedy, relentless, and gutsy reckless-disregard-for-his-health playstyle. The offence was never there, but a team like New York certainly saw value in his game, allowing the Canucks to land a slightly younger development project in the same position.
The tidy piece of business from the Canucks also opened the door for GM Dan Milstein memes. With Kravtsov added to the fold, Milstein — the founder and principal agent of Gold Stars Sports Management — now has six of his players he represents in the Canucks organization, joining Andrei Kuzmenko, Ilya Mikheyev, Danila Klimovich, Wyatt Kalynuk, and Kirill Kudryavtsev.
If you fancy yourself a hockey insider, you can try to figure out who the Canucks will trade for next by going to Milstein’s Puckpedia page!
Saturday “night” ahead of a snowpocalypse, the Vancouver Milstein’s took on the best team in the NHL, debuting their two newest additions in Orlov and Hathaway, and put forth a great effort toward the tank!
Oh, and apparently, it was Star Wars night? Which was great news for the folks that have made liking the Mandalorian their personality. Not great for me, who had to think of a bunch of terrible puns with zero prep.
Let’s see how those puns play as we review how this tankly effort went down!
Best командир танка
Best worst start
Look, two new guys from New York come into town wearing #72 and #27. You’re bound to run into this problem now and then. Hopefully, no one was fired for this blunder.
Even worse start
The broadcast had barely even gotten through the lineup cards for the two teams before a point shot from the Bruins drilled Ethan Bear square in the face, taking him out of the game for the rest of the night.
The game settled into some normalcy soon after. Elias Pettersson was leading rush chances alongside Quinn Hughes, the fourth line was shelled inside the d-zone, Arturs Silovs was making clutch saves, and fans were booing Brad Marchand every time he touched the puck.
It was beautiful.
Then Sheldon Dries drew a holding penalty against Derek Forbort to give the Canucks an early power play opportunity.
Unfortunately, J.T. Miller had one of those shifts where everything seemed to go wrong.
First, Miller capitalized on a failed clearance only to rip his shot off the nob of Linus Ullmark’s stick.
Then, it was Miller whiffing on his one-timer on a picture-perfect cross-ice feed from Pettersson.
Then, like something out of a bad comedy — Attack of the Clones, for example — Miller again whiffed on a one-timer opportunity, drawing jeers from the crowd.
Best “well, at least you tried!”
The Canucks didn’t land a shot on goal at even strength until the seven-minute mark of the first period.
Of course, it came from Pettersson.
Otherwise? It was just a masterclass from the Bruins. A schoolyard beating. Anakin Skywalker versus a room of younglings.
It was bad.
The Canucks struggled to generate legitimate scoring chances. Their best looks came from a Kuzmenko wraparound that only threatened after the puck deflected off Brandon Carlo’s skate toward Ullmark.
When the Bruins were in Vancouver’s end, the Canucks’ collectively stood still and watched as the Bruins set up chance after chance after chance.
I mean. It was great news for the “tank for Bedard” crowd. But even the “tank for Bedard” crowd has its limits on its ability to stomach poor play.
The “we’re just a few pieces away” crowd wasn’t given much to work with. Especially when the first line was caught doing their best “deer in the headlights” impression on every d-zone shift.
It wasn’t just the Canucks’ fourth line getting worked by the Bruins’ top line. It was a team effort! The Pettersson-Kuzmenko-Beauvillier experience couldn’t control the Bruins cycle, even with Hughes and Burroughs backing them up.
Best attempted shot block
Poor Arturs Silovs stood tall against the onslaught of scoring chances by the best team in the league for 17 minutes. Then Guillaume Brisbois took an elbowing penalty against Nick Foligno, and the wheels fell off!
In defence of Brisebois, it was a pretty soft elbowing call. Brisesbois appeared to be bracing himself for a ride into the boards just as Foligno skated into position.
Regardless, the penalty left the Canucks with just three defencemen available to kill the penalty, as Christian Wolanin had yet to be used by Tocchet on the PK.
It wasn’t Silovs’ fault when the Bruins capitalized on the power play. In fact, he looked incredibly sharp, turning aside Bergeron’s one-timer from the slot.
The Canucks were 15 seconds and an inch away from killing off Brisebois’ penalty.
Death, taxes, a power play goal against, and J.T. Miller swearing.
Then, after losing the offensive zone, Brad Marchand drew a concerningly loud cheer from the crowd in Rogers Arena after burning Kyle Burroughs for a wrist shot over Silovs’ left shoulder.
After 20 minutes, the B’s had outshot Vancouver 20-7 and led 2-nothing.
Best “oh good, Aatu Räty puns!”
Vancouver answered their piss-poor opening-period performance by taking a too-many-men penalty in the first two minutes.
The classic whoopsy-doodle-dump-in from the new guy, Aatu Räty (pronounced Ah-too Rah-too), sent the Canucks Twitterverse into a death spiral of cringe-worthy punnery exchanges that some believe they will never recover from.
Despite a brutal giveaway up the guts from Hughes and an incredibly lazy shot block attempt from Tyler Myers, the Canucks PK succeeded! Much to Team Tank’s chagrin.
If the awful giveaways, terrible gap control, and horrendous goal-differential haven’t earned Myers scratch consideration, surely the “I’m just here for a paycheque” effort on the PK will.
I value my time with CanucksArmy, so I don’t want to upset David Quadrelli by criticizing his favourite struggling defenceman too much here. So I’ll take my friend’s advice to “not just give negatives, give me a star and a wish.”
I liked that at the end of his gruelling PK shift, Myers battled hard to clear the zone.
I wish he used his giant frame to take away shooting lanes better.
J.T. Miller missed a critical block by inches and raged when the Bruins scored. The least Myers could do here is try to get in the way to deny the shot.
Myers finished the game with the second-highest ice time among defencemen at 24:20.
Best “what CAN’T he do?!”
Midway through the second, Pettersson drew a trip against Charlie Coyle to give the Canucks a teeny tiny bit of momentum. Through the first nine minutes of the middle frame, the Canucks had generated just four shots on goal.
Leading the team in scoring?
Breaking his stick and sending it so high into the stratosphere that the US Air Force tried to shoot it down?
What can we say? The kid’s a freak athlete!
Unfortunately, the Canucks power play came up empty-handed, shooting the puck like stormtroopers trying to hit the broad side of a barn.
Best effort to prepare for an Andrei Kuzmenkshow third period
Not feeling confident in the team’s tanking effort for the night, Christian Wolanin took a holding minor against David Krejci.
The Canucks penalty kill went 2/2 in the period. But Pavel Zach nearly made it 1/2 with a rocket off the post.
After killing Wolanin’s penalty, Hughes drew a hooking call against Taylor Hall (hey, that rhymes!) to send the Canucks to their second power play of the period.
Unfortunately, the Canucks’ late power play was exactly like The Mandalorian season 2: weak.
Fortunately, Arturs Silovs looked like The Mandalorian season 1: so very, very good.
Yes, these Star Wars references are poorly thought out and clearly cooked up at the last second out of desperation. Similar to the marketing of Saturday’s Star Wars theme night, which saw its first advertisement six hours before puck drop. So, I guess it fits!
Best Luke Schenn replacement
With Will Lockwood’s hits/60 gone from the organization and Luke Schenn sitting in the press box awaiting trade news, it was up to Wes McCauley to play Hitz King for Vancouver.
Savour it, Canucks fans!
Best “same, bro”
Best Silovs content to satisfy the Vancouver goalie guild
Something something challenging the shooter!
Something something challenging the shooter and steering the rebound out of danger!
Something something reverse post-integration VH, etcetera!
After being soundly outshot, outgunned, outskated, outplayed, and out-everything’d for the first 40 minutes, the Canucks decided that the hometown crowd deserved some late heroics. Moments after Brad Marchand’s shot off the post, the Canucks’ put themselves within a goal with time to spare.
Pro: the goal came from the birthday boy, Brock Boeser!
Con: the goal came as terrible news for the “Analytics Gretzky” crowd, with Conor Garland beating Hampus Lindholm to the puck behind the net for the hook back to Boeser for the primary assist.
Since Tocchet became head coach, Garland has 4 goals and 6 assists in 13 games.
Best “Don’t you do it. Don’t you dare.”
With 10 minutes left in the game, the Bruins remembered that they’re the best team in the league for a reason, repeatedly stifling the Canucks’ comeback attempt. Specifically, stifling Elias Pettersson. Despite leading all forwards with 21:44 in ice time, Pettersson finished the game with just 2 shots on goal — a testament to the Bruins’ defensive prowess.
It wasn’t just denying EP40 his shooting lanes. It was the physicality in the neutral zone that repeatedly took Pettersson out of the action.
After several icings, Charlie MacAvoy blew up Pettersson off a zone entry like he was Starkiller Base. That is to say, “very easily.”
Even when Pettersson did get his looks, he was shooting off-target like he was Greedo inside the Mos Eisley Cantina!
Dekey Pete tried to give the Canucks a late power play following a trip inside the offensive zone.
Sadly, the third period played out like the Bruins’ game seven against Tampa Bay in 2011. No penalties.
The Bruins force-choked the Canucks so severely in the third that Tocchet couldn’t get Silovs to the bench for the extra attacker until there was 1:15 left in the period.
Best goal of the night
I’ll give the full play-by-play for the goalie guild for this one because, let’s be honest, goalie goals rock.
With 57 seconds left in the game, having finally pulled Silovs for the extra attacker, Garland dished a stretch pass to Boeser at the Bruins’ blue line.
Boeser either intentionally tipped the puck into the corner or mishandled the pass.
Either way, it led to the ultimate disrespect against the Canucks this season. And that’s saying a lot.
Nursing a one-goal lead with time left on the clock, Ullmark caught Boeser’s misplay of the puck and sailed it high over three Canucks forwards for the empty netter.
Naturally, the crowd went wild.
As did the Bruins skaters.
Ullmark became the first goalie in Bruins history to score a goal. Ullmark rightfully earned himself fistbumps at the bench and guaranteed no last-second game-tying goal from Kuzmenko.
With the 3-1 victory, Boston sweeps the season series against the Vancouver Milsteins.
Not as if that should come as a surprise.
Best shameless Twitter plug
That’s good, right!?
Best food for thought!
At the start of the 2021-22 season, the New York Rangers led the league with the most Russian players on their active roster, with five total: Artemi Panarin, Vitali Kravtsov, Igor Shesterkin, Pavel Buchnevich, and Alexandar Georgiev.
With their Saturday trade, Vancouver now leads the league with four: Kravtsov, Mikheyev, Kuzmenko, and Podkolzin. A completely irrelevant, mildly interesting aspect of the Canucks present roster composition? Or, essential hints toward the Canucks’ target at the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, Matvei Michkov?
Michkov is signed with SKA St. Petersburg until the 2025-26 season. By Jim Rutherford’s admitted timeline, the club believes they can return to contention within three years, just in time for Michkov’s stateside debut.
The Boston Bruins embarrassed the Canucks early, coasted on their systems through 40 minutes of play, and had their goalie score a goal.
A demoralizing loss? Yes.
A moral victory that the Canucks are closer to landing a player like Michkov? Absolutely.
Dan Milstein of Gold Star Sports does not represent Matvei Michkov, just so we’re clear.
Best history lesson
Billy Smith became the first NHL goaltender in history to be credited with a goal in 1979, but the first time a goalie actually shot the puck for a goal was Ron Hextall against the Bruins in 1987.
One of his teammates who you can see him celebrating that goal with? Rick. Tocchet.
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