Back-to-back wins against Californian teams sure don’t have the caché that they used to, do they? It could be that the Pacific isn’t as strong as it once was, it could be that LA and Anaheim both looked asleep at the wheel in each of their respective losses in Vancouver, or it could be that the playoffs seem like an absolute pipe dream at this point in the season. At any rate, I can’t remember a time I felt less excited over a big win against an even bigger rival. 
At the end of the day, The Canucks were full value in tonight’s win, and technically are just 4 points out of a wildcard spot. So let’s stay positive? I guess?
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STATS 
HIGHLIGHTS

GAME NOTES 

  • What exactly happened to Anton Rodin? He played appeared in one game versus the Flames before the holiday break and hasn’t been seen or heard from since. Is he hurt? Or just a healthy scratch? I’m not sure what’s worse, the possibility that he’s re-aggravated his injury, or the possibility that the staff earnestly believes Chaput and Megna are better options. 
  • It was nice to see Hutton and Eriksson get points on tonight’s first goal. Both have had some well-publicized struggles on the ice this season, and both have deserved better outcomes. In Eriksson’s case, I think it’s just a case of bad luck. For Hutton, it’s been a bit more complicated. He’s legitimately taken a step back this season. Let’s hope tonight is a sign of better things to come for both players. 
  • It’s looking more and more like Desjardins may finally be willing to call it quits on the Sutter-Sedin experiment. Sutter played mainly with Granlund and Eriksson tonight, which was an arrangement that I thought benefited each party, as all of Granlund, Sutter, and Eriksson posted shot shares above 55%. It also meant Jayson Megna spent some time with the Sedins. Baby steps. 
  • Horvat wasn’t credited with an assist on Skille’s goal, but it was this amazing play behind the net that created the opportunity. Horvat, by the way, is the Canucks’ point leader in the calendar year 2016. The future is now. 
  • Speaking of Skille, he’s taken a lot of heat in this market, but I think keeping him on the roster is entirely defensible. By almost every metric, Skille is a fourth-line forward, but he’s actually produced goals at a 2nd-line rate for the bulk of his career. You can quibble about the process of keeping a 29-year-old marginal fourth-liner on the roster over a young forward, but I can see why the Canucks might be inclined to do so. 
  • Tonight was Alex Burrows’ 800th NHL game, making him just the 6th player to reach that mark with the Canucks. Considering that Burrows never played major junior until the age of 19, went undrafted, and played in the ECHL, that’s astounding. Burrows has been in the headlines a lot over the course of his career- often for the wrong reasons- but in the end, he’s getting the last laugh. 

ON THE BRIGHT SIDE 

ON THE DOWN SIDE