With the owner not in the building as many expected he would be — he elected to stay in Vegas to watch Sunday Night Football — the Vancouver Canucks took the ice at Honda Center to look to salvage at least something from this disastrous three-game road trip.
— Brendan Batchelor (@BatchHockey) November 15, 2021
Jaroslav Halak started in goal for the Canucks, with John Gibson lining up opposite him.
The game got off to a quick start, with the Ducks pouring on all the momentum early. Jaroslav Halak made a few key saves early to keep the Ducks at bay.
Elias Pettersson took a hooking penalty and sent the Ducks to the power play early.
The Canucks’ dreadful PK, which got a much needed boost in the form of Tyler Motte added to it tonight, hopped over the boards.
Canucks fans everywhere rejoiced as the penalty was killed off.
As he stepped out of the box, the Canucks managed to get the puck up to Elias Pettersson, who moved in on a breakaway but was poke checked by John Gibson.
Shortly after, Nils Höglander went coast to coast and caught Gibson off guard to open the scoring and make it 1-0 Canucks.
For the second night in a row, the Canucks struck first.
And for the second night in a row, the Canucks tested fate to see if they could kill their own momentum.
Justin Bailey was assessed a double-minor high-sticking penalty and the Ducks were given a four-minute power play.
Motte made some huge plays and clears, and the Canucks managed to kill off the first half of the double minor.
Unfortunately, with 23 seconds remaining on the power play, Trevor Zegras let go of a one-timer that was rifled over Jaroslav Halak’s right shoulder to tie the game at 1-1.
The Canucks didn’t generate much else for the remainder of the period, but thankfully, Halak was doing his best Thatcher Demko impression early on in this one.
The only player who did generate quality offensive chances in the first period was Höglander. Not only was he rewarded with a goal, but he took SHOT TOTALS.
If it weren’t for Halak and Höglander, this easily could have been the worst first period of the Canucks’ season.
The second period began with a Canucks penalty when Kyle Burroughs was sent to the box for tripping Troy Terry.
The Canucks’ PK hopped back over the boards and once again killed off the first half of the Ducks’ power play — but couldn’t get the job done as Zegras once again found the back of the net to make it 2-1 Ducks.
The Canucks’ PK has allowed 16 goals against in their past nine games. Even with Motte back, the PK still struggled tonight.
The Canucks also didn’t look great at 5-on-5 either tonight.
After not generating anything of substance, Sonny Milano managed to beat Jaroslav Halak with a wrist shot after a pass got under the stick of the backchecking Conor Garland. 3-1 Ducks.
Shortly after, Jason Dickinson sprung Brock Boeser for one of the Canucks’ best chances of the game up to that point when Boeser broke in on a breakaway. Boeser went to the backhand but couldn’t beat the crossbar.
The Canucks got their first power play opportunity of the game late in the second when Hampus Lindholm tripped up Höglander with under a minute remaining in the second frame.
The Canucks failed to convert, and with a little over a minute of power play time remaining, headed into the second period down by a pair of goals.
With 1:18 remaining on their power play, the Canucks were looking to once again come back from a two-goal deficit against the Ducks for the second time this season.
The Ducks killed off the penalty, and the teams were back to even strength.
The two teams went back and forth, but the simple fact of the matter is the Canucks did not look ready to play in this one tonight.
This easily could have been another blowout loss if it wasn’t for the play of Halak, especially early in the third when the Canucks gave up more than a couple grade-A chances.
After their power play expired, the Canucks went almost eight minutes without registering a shot on goal.
In the second half of the third, the Canucks at least started to generate some offence.
With just over three minutes remaining, the Canucks Halak for the extra attacker but didn’t score. In fact, the Ducks scored an empty netter to make it 4-1, then, in embarrassing fashion, the Canucks allowed the Ducks to score yet again.
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What else can you say about this team? Canucks Twitter was relatively quiet for the first time this season, and the Canucks didn’t come ready to play once again.
In an attempt to get a better feel about how Canucks fans are feeling at this point in the season, I put out the following poll:
Apathy means that fans no longer care one way or the other.
The results of this poll overwhelmingly suggest that fans are checking out. For that to be happening just one month into the season in a year where fans were sold on the hope of a triumphant return to the playoffs is simply unacceptable.
This is the worst record the Canucks have had after 16 games since 1997, the first year of the Mark Messier era in Vancouver.
If that doesn’t bother you as a Canucks fan and show you that change is desperately needed, we don’t know what will.
The Canucks return home after going 0-3 on this road trip Wednesday night when they will take on the Colorado Avalanche. Wednesday night will be a game where fans will finally be able to voice their displeasure if this team turns in another stinker once again.