Oh, Calamity that is Hockey Culture.

When Madeline Martha Mackenzie said “oh, calamity” she easily could have been talking about hockey culture. In my own eloquent words, hockey culture fucking sucks.

As some of you may know, I started this blog because I love the electrifying sport of hockey. It first captivated me at the wee age of four and it became an obsession shortly after. Further, I wanted a career in sports, especially hockey but was discouraged by people close to me. Honestly, I felt dismayed when I was told not to get into hockey. Now, looking back I know they were rightfully concerned especially about the culture that stems from hockey. Basically, if you aren’t a white dude, it might as well be the Hunger Games, cue Effie Trinket saying, “the odds are never in your favor.”

It has always caused me much distress that there is a lack of women covering hockey. The few prodigious women trailblazers, who cover the sport often do not get the credit or recognition they deserve. Vancouver is such a lovely and diverse city, however, the hockey coverage as exceptional as it is, lacks a divergent flair. That’s why I decided to create Canucks Crux.

Lately, I question why I decided to invest my efforts in covering a sport that is filled with sexism, misogyny, racism, homophobia and pretty much anything that isn’t quite white. Hockey culture is a problem I firmly stand against and writing about this league causes me inner turmoil. At the same time, it is imperative that the Vancouver hockey market has female representation, and this is where I find myself at a crossroad. I could focus my efforts on something that is a better representation of myself and my thinking or continue to try and be a difference in a world filled with coxcombs.

Take a look at your favourite team and I guarantee you will be able to find many fools. The Canucks have had their fair share like David Booth, Brandon Prust, Brandon Leipsic and more. Social media has given us a window into the culture surrounding hockey. Often, these things are chalked up to “locker room talk.” Unfortunately, none of this is shocking to hockey fans. Most recently, was Brandon Leipsic’s abhorrent Instagram group messages filled with misogynistic comments and photos. This is another example where its justified by hockey boys being boys. It’s incredibly frustrating to support these players and a league that often doesn’t regard females as human beings. We are seen as objects or “puck bunnies” who are here only for the hockey boys to make disgusting comments about and put down. Despite the fact, we are intelligent fans who love the sport of hockey just as much if not more than the boys.

Unfortunately, this culture also extends to some media outlets that are celebrated by the NHL and players alike. Personally, I find it disheartening that NHL stars frequent a podcast like Spittin’ Chiclets where women are constantly disrespected and referred to as “kills.” It’s one of the most popular sports podcast on iTunes, only further proving misogyny is the cultural norm in hockey. It’s hard to support players who make the choice to go on a platform and conform to the show.

When will the NHL finally take a stand against the misogynistic prejudicial hockey culture? These things are well known and occur regularly in hockey. However, for reasons I will never comprehend, the NHL does not take any steps to prevent these things from continuing to happen. It’s simply not enough to release a silly PR statement complete with an insincere apology. After the apologies, nothing ever changes and in a couple weeks another twit will be sure to reveal himself.

The NHL needs to take a stand today. They could hire a diverse team with no affiliations to the NHL or its players, to oversee these kinds of issues. They need handle them in a way that punishes and educated a player who makes these repugnant posts or statements. Take away that players money, playing time and have him volunteer in the community at women’s shelters. The players need to show us they have learned from their mistakes before they are welcomed back or the cycle will always continue.

Casting the Canucks as Succession Characters

The end of the world is upon us and alas, there is still no hockey. To pass the time I’ve been revisiting some of my favourite television shows and movies. Currently, I’m re-watching Succession, the show with a banger of a theme song so phenomenal, it’s my alarm clock tone. It’s an amusing character driven show, featuring some of the most abhorrent personas on T.V. Thus, naturally, I’ve compared those repugnant Succession characters to some of the Canucks.

Logan Roy

He is the Rupert Murdoch founder and CEO Waystar Royco and patriarch of the Roy family. In true media conglomerate fashion, he positions the company before family. Logically, Francesco Aquilini is Logan Roy. The billionaire is a fine owner when in comes to the Vancouver Canucks. However, true to his billionaire form he puts profits before people. Ask those underpaid migrant workers about the working conditions on his berry farms.

Connor Roy

The large adult son of the family, Connor is the most disconnected from Waystar Royco and its politics. He desires to be the President of the USA which, embarrasses his family. Loui Eriksson is the large adult son of the Canucks. He is the overpaid, under-contributing member who is often healthy scratched. He embarrasses Canucks fans with his detested salary and subpar performances. Loui, with his 36 million dollars, might be one of Connor’s perspective investors for his podcast, on Napoleonic history.

Kendall Roy

The addict with an austere need to win his father’s endorsement. He is introduced to us in the back of Mercedes, rapping along to “An Open Letter to NYC” by the Beastie Boys. In season two, he wrote his own rap about his dad “L to the O G.” Jake Virtanen is Kendall Roy. Besides being a fuc boi, he has a burning desire to earn his Dad’s, aka Travis Green’s, trust. Every time he gets close to earning that trust he ruins it with an imprudent decision, falling back into his poor defense and inconsistent offensive ways. Its easy to picture JV18 rapping along to Logic in order to hype himself up before game time.

Siobhan “Shiv” Roy

This calculated queen is the most astute of the Roy children. A stone-cold killer in the workplace, she orchestrated political backchanneling on her wedding day. Elias “Petey” Pettersson is the Shiv of the Vancouver Canucks. Petey is cutthroat on the ice. He is the niftiest player on the team and lacks compassion for all opponents. Also, they both share a ravishing sense of style that stops spectators dead in their tracks.

Roman Roy

Roman is perceptively self-aware that he is a dreadful person just like the rest of his family and he doesn’t care. He wants to take over Waystar Royco but, he is the utmost unqualified to do so because he doesn’t want to work hard. He abuses his power at whim. Brandon Sutter is his counterpart. Brandon is the least productive member of the Sutter family, statistically. Unfortunately, he is always hurt and unable to contribute to the team causing him to be an expensive bottom 6 forward. Similarly, to Roman Brandon would buy Brent Sutter the wrong soccer team in a desperate attempt to win his affection.

Cousin Greg Hirsch

Cousin Greg is the inelegant, underprivileged, far-removed great-nephew from the Roy family. He was training to be a mascot before infiltrating the Roy’s and working his way up the company under Tom. He ends up working at ATN, the Fox News of Waystar Royco. He channels his inner Roy and connivingly blackmails Tom to get out of ATN. Who else would be the gangly giant other than Tyler Myers? Myers often looks awkward like a giraffe on ice skates. He infiltrated the Canucks top two defensive pairings while being underqualified. He should take a page out of Greg’s playbook and blackmail Nolan Baumgartner so he can play with Quinn Hughes.

Tom Wambsgans

Sycophantic towards the Roy family, Tom never came from money and climbed the corporate ladder before he and Shiv got together. He is into weird hazing which, he often takes out on cousin Greg and his juniors. Adam Gaudette is your Tom Wambsgans. He is a typical hockey boy, and like Tom, probably refers to his bros as the “Fly Guys.” Desperate to be with his hockey bros, he climbed the hockey ladder from the AHL to the NHL and earned a place on the roster.

Season 50 Episode 35: Another Lead Bites the Dust

The Canucks are back in Vancouver for five games home games that will take them right past Christmas. The time is now for the Canucks to get back on a winning streak and bump the slump. Last year they finished the season in 23rd place and they currently sit in 23rd. With the team improved from last year they should be higher but the lack of another top six forward and top 4 defender is what’s prohibiting the Canucks from moving higher.

First on the docket were the Montreal Canadiens who were in town for their seasonal visit. The Canucks have struggled with slow starts and have allowed 344 shots on goal and a shots for percentage of 46.33% in the last 10 games. Thanks to incredible play by Jacob Markstrom things could be a lot worse for the Canucks. In his last 10 games he has posted a 0.921 SV% and 2.59 GAA. They need to help out their goalie and better effort right out the gate would be a start. The Canucks had a tough test tonight against a Canadiens team that started the season rough but has since been playing well especially on the road.

Lines

Tell me if you heard this one before, Travis Green once again has put the lines in a blender to start the game.

lines 12-17.jpg

The Canucks Strike First

Shockingly the Canucks scored first when Adam Gaudette, the self proclaimed hockey gaud shot a rocket bar down on powerplay. Tyler Myers and Josh Leivo grabbed the assists and the Canucks were up 1-0 at the end of the first period.

 

The Canadiens Clap Back

An Antoine Roussel turnover leads to the Canadiens first goal of the game scored by Nick Cousins. There was a big pop from the many red sweaters in the crowd which probably ticked off Roussel. Earlier today, when asked about the Habs fans in Vancouver and how the takeover Rogers Arena Roussel said “to be honest, I hate that. There are too many red jerseys here. It pisses me off they way come in our building, and they feel like it’s their home. It’s our home. Get the hell outta here.”

No Goals For You!

The hockey gaud thought he had his second goal of the game but it was called back due to a Canadiens challenge for offside, which Josh Leivo was by a mile. Oddly, even with the goal called off, the Canucks still got a power play out of the situation even though it occurred after the missed offside call. Things evened out when 5:14 later the Canadiens also had a goal disallowed due to a coaches challenge by Travis Green for goaltender interference. The second period ended tied at 1.

Power Play Prowess

The Canadiens wasted little time taking over the lead in the third. Jake Virtanen put the Canucks on the penalty kill and Tanner Pearson followed suit with a penalty of his own but the Canadiens’ Tomas Tatar scored before the Canucks got possession so they still had a full 2 minute power play.

Shea Weber also scored on the power play giving the Canadiens a two goal lead in the third. Right now goals are hard to come by for the Canucks so hope was deflating quickly.

Grappling With Goals

The Canucks had a couple good chances in the third ,including a crossbar from Pettersson that just stayed out but, once again they struggled finding the back of the net. A lot of the Canucks shots were coming from the perimeter and when you are grappling with goals that’s not the most ideal way to break out of the slump.

Stats

Quinn Hughes: Lead the Canucks with 28:04 TOI

IMG_0160 (2).jpgIMG_0161.jpg

The Canucks are back in action Thursday night and seeking revenge against the Vegas Golden Knights who handed them 6-3 loss two days ago.

My rating for this game is: 5.5/10
Stats provided by Natural Stat Trick

 

Season 50 Episode 31: Quality vs Quantity

The Canucks were back in action tonight and looked to extend their winning streak to three games in a row. They took on the Leafs who were in town for their annual visit to Rogers Arena. The Canucks have had their defensive struggles this season but the Leafs defence has played worse. The Leafs are currently 28th in shots on goal allowed averaging 32.7, 23rd with 3.26 goals allowed per game and 25th in penalty kill percentage with a 76.5% success rate. On the flip side the Canucks are 12th in shots on goal averaging 32 per game, 8th in goals per game averaging 3.33 and the 4th best power play scoring 27% of the time. This was a prime opportunity for the Canucks to capitalize on the Leafs while they aren’t playing at the top their game.

The Canucks lineup was the same from the previous game against Buffalo except Jacob Markstrom was back in net tonight after a two game hiatus to attend his fathers memorial. It was a fast paced and even first period. Both teams went 0/1 on the power play and had 3 high danger chances each. The Canucks took the edge with a 51.35 CF% and outshot the Leafs 11-8. The Leafs bested the Canucks in scoring chances 9-6. The first ended 1-0. Quinn Hughes was a standout in the period for the Canucks. Hughes when on the ice 5-on-5 had 14CF 0CA, 8SF 0SA, 5SCF 0SCA and 3HDCF 0HFCA. Here are some first period highlights featuring Hughes:

After a scoreless first period The Leafs opened the scoring 1:45 into the second thanks to Auston Matthews who scored his 19th of the year.

John Tavares scored the Leafs second goal of the game with only 19 seconds left in the period making it 2-0.

It was a story of quality vs quantity at the end of the second. The Canucks outshot the Leafs 12-10 in the period but the Leafs had the advantage with quality chances. The Leafs bested the Canucks with a 56.41 CF%, 17SCF 9SCA, 4HDCF 1HDCA and most importantly a 2-0 lead. Quinn Hughes, Josh Leivo and Tyler Myers were on the ice for both goals against. Micheal Ferland left in the second with an upper body injury and wouldn’t return.

It was desperation mode for the Canucks to start the third. They came out firing and outshot the Leafs 16-8 in the period. Josh Leivo scored the Canucks first goal of the game 11:14 into the third. It was Leivo’s 5th goal in five games from Tanner Pearson and Bo Horvat.

The Canucks could get through the Leafs defence generating three breakaways, but they struggled beating Frederik Anderson who made 38/39 saves total tonight.

John Tavares scored his second of the game with only 5:02 left putting the Leafs back up by two and delivering the dagger to the Canucks. Zack Hyman added an empty net goal to seal this game 4-1.

The Leafs were able to contain the Canucks to the perimeter for most of their shots preventing the better scoring opportunities. The Leafs capitalized on their opportunities and won despite the Canucks outshooting the them 39-26 in the game.

Game Stats:

12-10

Team Highs 5-on-5:

top 12-10

Team Lows 5-on-5:

low 12-10

My rating for this game is: 6.5/10
Stats provided by Natural Stat Trick

Season 50 Episode 29: The Return of the Dragon Slayer

The dragon slayer Alex Burrows was back in Vancouver to have the ring of honour bestowed upon him. His story is inspirational. He was the ultimate underdog who came from the ECHL and eventually worked his way up to the NHL, playing on the Canucks’ top line alongside the Sedins. There isn’t a more fitting place for the Canucks fan favourite who gave us a moment we will hold on to forever. Every Canucks fan remembers where they were in 2011 for game seven overtime when Burr slayed the dragon. The Canucks finally defeated their arch nemesis the Blackhawks and sent the city into euphoria. To this day I’ve never experienced extreme elation like that so thank-you Burrows and congratulations to player who truly exemplifies Vancouver.
The Canucks continued their home stand and had a great opportunity to take advantage of a slumping Senators team that’s riding a four game losing streak. The Canucks took another bullet on the injury front with Alex Edler being placed on IR today. They also got hit with shrapnel as Tyler Graovac is on IR too. However, all hope was not lost because they got an important piece back in Antoine Roussel who made his Canucks season debut tonight. 
Thatcher Demko got the start in net and Michael DiPietro was his backup because Jacob Markstrom is away attending his Dad’s memorial. The defence remained the same from the previous game vs the Oilers. The forward lines were shaken up again and featured:
Pearson-Horvat-Leivo
Miller-PetterssonBoeser
Roussel-Gaudette-Virtanen
Eriksson-Schaller-MacEwen
It was a wonderful ring of honour ceremony that evoked memories and emotions from the incredible career of Alex Burrows that inspired the Canucks right out of the gate. It was his admirer and friend Antoine Roussel letting everyone know he’s back by scoring the first goal 1:50 into the game. He celebrated by saluting Burrows’ freshly minted ring of honour spot and with a Jake Virtanen hug from behind.

The Canucks dominated the rest of the period channeling inspiration from Burrows‘ ring of honour ceremony. Their next goal was scored by Tanner Pearson who was set up by Chris Tanev.

The Canucks went 1/2 on the power play tonight and their lone goal came from Elias Pettersson assisted by line mates J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser. Petey is third in the league with 17 power play points.

Zack MacEwen closed out the first period by scoring his first goal as a Canuck. Defencemen Jordie Benn and Tanev grabbed the assists. This was Tanev’s first multi-point game of the season. The Canucks led 4-0 after the first period.

Ex-Canuck Anders Nilsson was pulled from the Senators net to start the second period. J.G. Pageau scored the Senators first goal of the game and the only goal of the second period making it 4-1.

It only took Tyler Ennis 0:40 into the third period to score for the Senators and brought them within two goals of Canucks.

The final goal of the game was Oscar Fantenberg’s first as a Canuck. It was assisted by Virtanen and Gaudette.

The Canucks defeated the Senators 5-2 on a special night honouring Burrows. They came out of the gate hot scoring four goals in the first period and that was enough to win the game. The Canucks were a perfect 3 for 3 on the penalty kill. The Senators took over scoring chances in the second and third periods combined but they couldn’t solve Demko more than twice.
Game Stats:
12-03
Thatcher Demko: 40/42 saves, 0.952 SV%, 2 GAA and 12/13 high danger saves
Antoine Roussel: 12:49 TOI, 1 goal, team high 4 shots, 2 hits and 1 shot blocked
Tyler Myers: team high 21:28 TOI, 3 hits, 2 blocked shots and 5-on-5 51.35CF%
Troy Stecher: 20:55 TOI, team high 5-on-5 19:19 TOI, 1 takeaway, 1 hit and 1 shot blocked
12-03 cf%
My rating for this game is: 7.5/10
Stats provided by Natural Stat Trick

Season 50 Episode 28: Home for the Holidays

After playing six games in twelve days on the road to close out November, the Canucks returned home to open December with a five game home stand. They faced the Pacific Division leading Oilers in the second game of their home and home series. Last night in Edmonton the Canucks came out victorious winning 5-2. Bo Horvat and Elias Pettersson had the tough assignment of matching up against the Oilers top line featuring NHL points leaders Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. They did a great job keeping Draisaitl off the score sheet. Jacob Markstrom had a strong performance in net posting 28/30 saves and .933 SV%. Despite playing 24 hours prior Markstrom got the start again tonight. Alex Edler was out of the lineup after leaving last game with an upper body injury and in his stead Oscar Fantenburg made his season debut on a pairing with Troy Stecher. The other two pairings featured Hughes-Myers and Benn-Tanev. The forward lines remained the same as the Canucks looked to have a repeat performance from last night.

Oscar Fantenberg had the games first shot 5:14 into the first period. The Oilers first shot came at 8:37 and their next shot was a Josh Archibald goal assisted by Connor McDavid who got his 50th point of the year.

The Canucks scored the equalizer thanks to Brock Boeser who netted his 11th after sacrificing his face to a stick. The assists went to Quinn Hughes and J.T. Miller who displayed their poised passing skills.

The Oilers thought they scored the go ahead goal but it was called off after Travis Green successfully challenged the call and it was overturned due to goalie interference.

The Canucks grabbed a lead in the second period when Josh Leivo scored his second goal in consecutive games from Jordie Benn and Bo Horvat.

The Oilers quickly responded with a goal of their own 1:45 later when Leon Draisaitl finally cracked the Canucks, scoring on the power play from McDavid and Chiasson. The second period ended tied at two.

The Oilers were on the power play to open the third period and it took 46 seconds for Draisaitl to score his 18th of the year and give the Oilers a 3-2 lead.

After the Canucks dominated in the first and second periods but the Oilers saved their best for the third period. Once they had a 3-2 lead they didn’t relinquish it and kept the Canucks on their heels. The Canucks and Oilers exchange road wins in back to back games with the Oilers staying atop the Pacific Division and the Canucks falling to 5th. The Canucks will look to bounce back Tuesday night when the Ottawa Senators come to town.

Game Stats:

12-01

d 12-01

Chris Tanev shutting down McDavid

Jacob Markstrom made 25/28 saves, 0.893SV% and 3.09 GAA. Following his great performance only 24 hours prior I would have opted to start Demko and give Markstrom the rest before Tuesday’s game. Thatcher Demko should start Tuesday against the Senators.

Only five Canucks had a Corsi For Percentage under 50% and they were Adam Gaudette, Tyler Myers, Tyler Graovac, Tim Schaller and Zack MacEwen. It’s time for Nikolay Goldobin to have another look in the lineup replacing Zack MacEwen.

Adam Gaudette has his best faceoff night of the season winning 5 out of 8 for 62.5%

Tyler Graovac left early after blocking a shot off the top of his skate. After the game Travis Green said he would be out for awhile. Antoine Roussel has joined the team after a conditioning stint in Utica and this would be the opportune time to get him back in the lineup. Loui Eriksson needs to be moved down from the second line to give Horvat a more competent winger and Roussel is that. Next game I would have Pearson-Pettersson-Boeser and Roussel-Horvat-Miller as the top two lines.

My rating for this game is: 6.5/10

Stats provided by Natural Stat Trick

Season 50 Episode 26: My Name is Not Oswald, it’s Penguin! I am an Animal! Cold-blooded!

The Canucks are in Pittsburgh for their last east coast stop of this six game road trip. They faced a Penguins team without their Captain Sidney Crosby who is out for six weeks after sports hernia surgery. Thatcher Demko got his second consecutive start in net and was looking to improve his .919 SV% and 2.45 GAA. The Canucks needed to provide better scoring support unlike last game against the Flyers where they were outshot 18-34. Demko was the only reason why the only lost 2-1. This will be a tough test for the Canucks because the Penguins are 5th best in the NHL with and average of 2.58 goals allowed per game and 29.8 shots allowed per game. The Canucks have finally called up Nikolay Goldobin from the Utica Comets. He leads the Comets with 20 points coming from 8 goals and 12 assists in 18 games played. In his stead Sven Baertschi was assigned back to the Comets after only playing six games and putting up 2 assists.

Travis Green gave the lineup a makeover and it featured:

Miller-Pettersson-Goldobin

Pearson-Horvat-Boeser

Leivo-Gaudette-Virtanen

Schaller-Graovac-MacEwen

Edler-Stecher Hughes-Myers Benn-Tanev

The Penguins’ Jake Guentzel opened the scoring 2:29 into the first period, thanks to Evgeni Malkin beating Adam Gaudette in the faceoff circle.

It went from bad to worse for the Canucks as they didn’t manage a shot on net until Tyler Myers’ shot 13:50 into the period. While Troy Stecher was in the box for interference Bryan Rust put the Penguins up 2-0. Travis Green mixed up his lines and put Miller-Horvat-MacEwen together and it paid off immediately with a J.T. goal from Quinn Hughes and Bo Horvat.

Quinn Hughes notched his 20th point of the season off a gorgeous pass from behind the Canucks net to find Pettersson at centre ice. Petey finished off with a give and go from Jake Virtanen for his 11th of the year.

Thatcher Demko made a big save at one end and after getting an assist on the previous goal Jake scored his 8th of the year from Zack MacEwen and Chris Tanev.

The Canucks struck again quickly when Hughes notched his 3rd assist of the game. Josh Leivo also helped set up Adam Gaudette for the Canucks’ 4th goal of the game. Matt Murray was pulled for Tristan Jary with 59 seconds left in the second period and the Canucks up 4-2.

It didn’t take long into the third for Jake Guentzel to score his second of the game. He opened the third period scoring 1:01 in and brought the Penguins within one.

The Canucks’ first power play came 1:24 into the third period. J.T. scored his second of the game and 12th of the year from familiar faces Brock Boeser and Petey.

Only 35 seconds after J.T.’s goal. Adam Gaudette scored his second of the game and 6th of the year from Tanner Pearson. The Canucks were up 6-3.

It was all downhill after that. The Penguins were relentless with their pressure and had the Canucks on their heels. The Penguins bitch slapped the Canucks scoring five in answered goals including one empty netter to beat the Canucks 8-6.

The Canucks were dominated in every area of the game tonight. They ended the night with a 35.9 Corsi for percentage, 22 shots for and 40 against, 21 scoring chances for and 40 against, 9 high danger chances for and 16 against.

Game Stats:

Once again Alex Edler played way too much leading both teams with 25:25 TOI. He also put his body on the line delivering 8 hits, blocking 7 shots and taking 6 hits. He had a 29.41 CF%, was on the ice for 4 goals against, 6 scoring chances for 21 against and 1 high danger chance for and 11 against. Alex Edler is already being pushed to his maximum and he is not playing optimally.

Thatcher Demko’s stellar stats took a hit tonight he finished with 32/39 saves, 0.821 SV% and 7.14 GAA.

Nikolay Goldobin in his Canucks season debut played 8:37 but only 19 seconds in the third period. He had the lowest Corsi for percentage on the ice at 7.69% and had 1 scoring chance for and 8 against.

Chris Tanev, J.T. Miller, Bo Horvat and Nikolay Goldobin all finished with a 5-on-5 Corsi for percentage under 25%.

Jake Virtanen, Brock Boeser, Elias Pettersson and Alex Edler were on the ice for 4 goals against.

Quinn Hughes: 19:40 TOI, 3 assists, 1 shot and 3 shots blocked. On ice stats: team high 59.38 CF%, 4 GF 2 GA, 12 SCF 8 SCA and 6 HDCF 2 HDCA.

Adam Gaudette: 13:52 TOI, 2 goals, 2 shots, 1 takeaway, and 3 hits. On ice stats: 59.26 CF%, 2 GF 3 GA. 9 SCF 5 SCA and 4 HDCF 2 HDCA. One area he can improve is faceoffs. He won 3 and lost 7 for 30% tonight and last game he was 0/10.

My rating for this game is: 4/10

Stats provided by Natural Stat Trick

Season 50 Episode 25: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

The Canucks are in Philadelphia for their fourth stop on this six game road trip. After kicking the trip off by being embarrassed in Dallas, the Canucks responded with two wins against the Predators and the best team in NHL, the Capitals in a thrilling 2-1 shoutout. The Canucks looked to extend their winning streak to three wins against the Flyers who are coached by a familiar face in AV. The Flyers have only won one of their last six games. This game also features the two best faceoffs teams going head to head. The Flyers are 1st 53.8% and the Canucks are 2nd 53.2%. Thatcher Demko got the start in net and that was the only change in the lineup.

The first period was not like the others. So far this season, in 17 out of 24 games the Canucks have allowed the opening goal. However, tonight the Canucks shockingly scored the opening goal of the game. J.T. Miller netted his 10th of the year thanks in part to pretty pass from Capetian Bo. The Canucks killed off the lone power play they faced. They outshot Flyers 9-8 and ended the period up 1-0.

It was all downhill after the first period. The Canucks had their first power play of the game 1:24 into the second and couldn’t manage a single shot. Jordie Benn had the Canucks first shot 4:07 into the period and then they went 6:45 until their next shot from Tyler Graovac. Sean Couturier tied it up after a mad scramble and a Canucks giveaway in front of the net. The Canucks ended the second being outshot 5-19 and knotted at 1.

The Canucks appeared lethargic again to start the third. Their first shot of the period came on their second and final power play of the game. It was the only shot on both abysmal power plays. The Canucks have two players ranked in the top five for power play points. Elias Pettersson is third with 15 points and Quinn Hughes is 5th with 13 points. Unfortunately, both Petey and Q didn’t manage one shot tonight. Also notably, forwards Tanner Pearson, Adam Gaudette, Zack MacEwen and Jake Virtanen didn’t have a shot all game either. It was only a matter of time until the Flyers scored again and Jakub Voracek made it 2-1.

The Canucks lacked urgency being down by a goal with under 10 minutes remaining in the game. In a last minute effort Coach Travis Green pulled Demko but the Canucks couldn’t find the equalizer. For the second consecutive period the Canucks were outshot, this time 4-9 bringing their game total to 17 shots compared to the Flyers 34. The Canucks lost 2-1 in a lacklustre game. The Canucks had a subpar 40.59 CF%, 16 SCF 24 SCA and 4 HDCF 8 HDCA. Also, they only won 38.5% of faceoffs.

Game Stats: Tonight’s game stats section is dedicated to Thatcher Demko.

The Canucks would have been obliterated without the dynamic Demko in net tonight. Despite the minimal support from his teammates he gifted them a chance at a single point but they couldn’t deliver. He posted 32/34 saves, 0.941 SV% 2 GAA and 5/6 high danger saves. Here are some of his great saves from tonight:

Some good news on the injury front. Jay Beagle is day to day. Micheal Ferlund will join the team tomorrow. Brandon Sutter will be evaluated after practice tomorrow. Antoine Roussel is on a conditioning loan to the Utica Comets. Hopefully this means Tim Schaller can move back down to the fourth line and Loui Eriksson can move out of the lineup. He played a game low of 8:28 tonight. The Canucks are back in action on Wednesday in Pittsburg to take on the Crosby-less Penguins.

My rating for this game is: 3.5/10

Stats provided by Natural Stat Trick

Season 50 Episode 23: Music City Miracle

The Canucks were on the road to redemption after easily their worst performance of the season in a 6-1 loss Tuesday against the Stars. Their next stop was in Nashville to take on a Predators team that much like the themselves started hot and now they are imploding. The Predators are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games and on a 5 game losing streak. The Canucks’ last win was 9 days ago against the Predators and since then they are riding a 3 game losing streak. Something’s gotta give and either the Canucks or the Preds losing streak will come to an end.

Travis Green shook up the lineup to start this one and it featured:

Pearson-Pettersson-Boeser

Miller-Horvat-MacEwen

Leivo-Gaudette-Virtanen

Schaller-Beagle-Graovac

Edler-Stecher / Hughes-Tanev / Benn-Myers

Markstrom

Tonight was a battle of the specials teams with 12 penalties called in this game. The Canucks were off to their usual slow start. They went on the penalty kill 2:07 into the game but they were successful in killing it off. They didn’t manage to generate their first shot on net until 6:38 into the first when Pekka Rinne stopped a Brock Boeser wrist shot. Ryan Johansen opened the scoring for the Predators putting the Canucks in another familiar situation of playing from behind.

The Canucks would answer back on their first PP of the game thanks to some solid passing from Cap, Q walking the line and Petey putting it home.

They weren’t done yet because the Predators made the foolish mistake of putting the Canucks back on the PP, Tyler Graovac scored his first as a Canuck from Edler and Leivo putting them up 2-1 to end the first period.

The tale of the second period was a lot like the first with the Canucks killing off a Preds PP and then getting scored on. This time they couldn’t kill the 3rd Preds PP and it was Calle Jarnkrok who tied the game at 2.

Once again the Canucks were lethal on the powerplay J.T. Miller sniped high glove side for his 9th of the year from the deadly duo of Petey and Boeser giving the Canucks the lead again at 3-2.

The Canucks shockingly couldn’t capitalize on their next PP opportunity but they did kill another Preds PP in return. The penalty parade didn’t end there, Victor Arvidsson was next to march down to the box and it was Brocketman’s turn to make them pay from Q and J.T.

The Predators took their 6th and final penalty of the game with 1:41 left in the second and by now you know the drill. This time it was Cap’s turn to score his 8th of the year from Petey and Q. Q is a dominate force quarterbacking the powerplay. He contributed with 3 assist. The Canucks went 5/6 on the PP and ended the 2nd up 5-2.

The Predators pulled Pekka Renne to start the third. They came out desperate for a goal and Matt Duchene delivered scoring 8:31 into the period.

The Canucks were on their heels all period and then gifted the Preds a late PP when they took a too many men penalty with 3:49 left in the game. The Preds pulled Juuse Saros for an extra attacker but it lead to Marstrom setting up Tanner Pearson for a skilled shorthanded empty net goal to end the game.

Thanks to the Canucks precise powerplay stealing the show and the Jacob Markstrom holding it down in net they won 6-3 despite being outshot 48-22, having a 28.33 CF% and giving up 15 high danger chances against compared to 7 for. Travis Green continued to ride both Cap and Edler. Cap played the most with 23:52 and Edler second most with 23:16. It was a rough night for the new defensive paring of Myers and Benn, they both were on the ice for all 3 goals against and 0 goals for. The Canucks make their 3rd stop of this road trip in Washington on Saturday to take on the Capitals in an early 9:30am game.

Today’s game stats section is a montage of marvellous Markstrom saves. He came up big for the Canucks all night facing consistent action. He finished the game with 45/48 saves, 0.938 SV%, 3.00 GAA and 10/12 high danger saves.

My rating for this game is: 7.5/10

Stats provided by Natural Stat Trick

Season 50 Episode 22: Two-Face

The Canucks have embarked on a six game road trip to close out the dreary month of November. The first stop landed them in Dallas and the Canucks looked to seek revenge against the Stars who handed them a 4-2 loss just five days ago. The Stars are hot right now riding a three game winning streak and 8-1-1 in their last 10 games. The Canucks will need to find a way to score on the Stars who are 3rd best in goals allowed per game averaging 2.43. Over the last 10 games Jake Virtanen leads the team 5-on-5 with 31 shots and 3 goals, for comparison Tanner Pearson is second with 21 shots. Last game due to injuries to Brandon Sutter and Jay Beagle, Bo Horvat played 25:55 and took 32 faceoffs winning 81.25%. Beagle was back in action tonight which helped alleviate those numbers for Bo. If the Canucks want to be successful this year they will need to monitor Bo’s minutes so he doesn’t burn out and the key is staying healthy especially at the centre position.

“I don’t leave anything up to chance, I make my own luck.” – Harvey Dent. Jacob Markstrom sporting a new mask that Two-Face would approve of got the start in net. The lines remained the same except the fourth line where Beagle replaced Graovac. It was a nerve racking start to the first when the Stars thought they scored the first goal of the game on their first shot but Travis Green challenged the call on the ice and it was overturned due to offside.

Chris Tanev and Jordie Benn were left stranded and SOL when no forwards came back to support them leaving Jamie Benn wide open to patiently beat Markstrom for the opening goal of the game.

After being under pressure and trapped in their own zone Alex Edler on a holding call took the first penalty of the game and the Canucks successfully killed it off. The Canucks responded with a great opportunity when Loui Eriksson set up Tanev but he missed the net. There is nothing more infuriating than not hitting the net!

Markstrom with a marvellous toe save kept the Canucks within one.

The Canucks went to work on their first powerplay of the game at 4:12 but only generated 2 shots from it. Jake Virtanen had a chance late in the period from tenacious work by hockey Gaud but he was stymied by Ben Bishop.

Markstrom closed out the period with another great save keep it 1-0.

Overall it was a slow start to the period, the Canucks had 3 shots 4:09 into the first and their next shot didn’t come until 4:31 left. They ended the period outshot 11-8 and with a 36.84 CF%. Notably Troy Stecher played the least with 3:30 TOI.

Bo swapped spots with Petey in the lineup to start the second period. Beagle took the Canucks second penalty of the game 1:52 into the period sending them back to the PK. It was short lived because an Alexander Radulov tripping penalty ended the Stars PP. The Canucks were gifted a 1:16 5-on-3 PP on a goalie interference call. Brock Boeser had the only two shots on the 5-on-3 and they frustratingly couldn’t get anything going.

Quinn Hughes after being trapped on the ice for a long shift took an interference penalty and Jamie Benn cashed in scoring his 2nd goal of the game making it 2-0.

Captain Bo on a breakaway would clap back and score his 7th of the year with a quick wrist shot off a beautiful feed from Boeser. The Canucks were back within a goal. So far swapping Bo and Petey has looked good for coach Green.

Unfortunately former Canucks Taylor Fedun put the Stars back up by two after burying his own rebound. The Canucks had another crack on the PP with 4:31 left in the second and they managed 3 shots. The period ended 3-1 with the Canucks outshooting the Stars 14-10 in the period.

The third period was just like the rest of them, the Stars scored first. This time it only took 2:44 in for Miro Heiskanen to score making it 4-1.

Woefully, it didn’t end their for the Canucks because Justin Dowling made it 5-1 42 seconds later.

One last time they would strike as Corey Perry scored on a delayed penalty call. After one last failed PP to close out the game the Canucks finished with a 52.29 CF% and outshot them 33-31. However, they went 0-5 on the PP and surprisingly only won 38.7% of faceoffs. The Stars had the advantage in quality with 14 HDCF compared to only 6 against, went 1-3 on the PP and beat the Canucks 6-1.

Game Stats:

Bo Horvat: 20:27 TOI, 1 goal, game high 6 shots, game high 4 hits taken, team high 3 blocked shots and 29.63 faceoff% (on ice) 60.53 CF%, 14 SF 9 SA, 1 GF 3 GA, 9 SCF 8 SCA and 3 HDCF 4 HDCA.

Quinn Hughes: team high 23:06 TOI, 2 shots, (on ice) 71.43 CF%, 15 SF 3 SA, 10 SCF 8 SCA, 1 GF 1 GA and 1 HDCF 4 HDCA.

Brock Boeser: forward game high 21:34 TOI, 1 assist, 5 shots and 2 giveaways. (on ice) team low 5v5 36.36 CF%, SF 9 SA 9, 1 GF 1 GA, 8 SCF 9 SCA and 1 HDCF 2 HDCA.

Alex Edler: 22:01 TOI, 1 shot, 2 hits, 2 blocked shots and 1 giveaway. (on ice) 46.00 CF%, 13 SF 17 SA, 0 GF 3 GA, 9 SCF and 17 SCA and 3 HDCF 5 HDCA.

The Canucks looked exhausted tonight right from the jump. Coach Green has been riding his top players and it shows. It’s unfortunate when capable players like Stecher play less than Loui in the first period especially when Edler played 8:09. If the Canucks want to find success again Green needs to trust his players more and balance out the minutes to help his top players and the team in the long run. The second stop on this road trip takes the Canucks to Nashville where they will face the Predators on Thursday.

“You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” – Harvey Dent

My rating for this game is: 2/10

Stats provided by Natural Stat Trick