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A #Yeesh Game Recap ( 6-1 L )

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"The Puck Gods Must Be Crazy"

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

How bad did it get ?  Well, the sense of dread set in at about the twelve minute mark of the first period, ( 3- 0 ) and the recently traded starting goaltender was gently trolling the team on Twitter not much later.

You want numbers to help understand your hockey ? Well, the team that had the dominance in the various mathematics got slaughtered.  It was like the Puck Gods were trolling the #fancystats community.

I don't know man, but maybe those same dark and terrible deities of the frozen playing surface were just having some fun, maybe the Canucks' historically ghastly season and recent streak really is this bad,, this hard to describe, I have a hard time remembering a team that was, at least in the regular season, as productive as the Canucks fall so quickly,  I will say this. It is hard for a Canuck fan not to take this **** personally at this point.

Consider :

- The Canucks won the draws, hits, shots ( by a numbers warping 33-22 margin. ).  They were the Corsi and Fenwick leaders in several of the predictors that are supposed to be a good thing. ( Go to yourself and look at them....I just shake my head a little bit at this point... ). The face offs were 37- 30, and the hits 20-16, in the opposing barn.

- The guy that was introduced to the fanbase as the other guy in a Suddenly Swedish Crease Mafia was this amazing 11 second clip, that gets a special and rare, in the recap, non hockey related video clip embed...

To be fair to Jacob Markstrom, I was repeating his monologue ad nauseum to myself to get through this one...might I ad, spot on.  I could watch this over and over and probably smile the last time... "No, you're the better goalie". Say it in that same high pitched Swedish accented tone to yourself and try to stay straight faced. I dare you.

- The Canucks forced 16 giveaways ( to only 4 themselves ), and had numerous rushes, rebounds on a sprawling and out of it Lehtonen. They had the edge in zone time seemed to be pretty good at times. There were some Canuck players that pushed the rock up the  hill more than others, but it was like the Puck Gods were just trolling for fun, like one to the other "Watch this one..." and then Hansen whiffs on a prime scoring chance from the slot with traffic,, giving Benn and Seguin the chance to make the sixth goal the first on the new goalie Markstrom on a goal that probably shouldn't have gotten through, but by this point sage viewers of the game of hockey knew that P.G was just ****ing with us again, so whatever.

It's about the 4 minute mark of this video of the game.

- Here's the other stats too. Scroll down a bit and just shake your head at how the new guy had a great night, and no one will even care tomorrow.  Shawn Mattias was the best Canuck on the night, with 7 shots, had 16:43 TOI , which was 3rd most of the forwards, 3 seconds behind Jordan Schroeder, ( both a bout a minute and a half less than Henrik Sedin... ) earning his minutes in spite of getting zeros across the stat line, including an even on a night with 6 goals, 4 not on the power play. Dalpe and Archibald were the others to be without a dash. Schredder was 8 of 15 on the draws, while the new guy was a 64.3 % inducing 9 for 14, 2nd to Dalpe only losing one draw of the 5 he took.

- None, absolutely none of the paper deludes in any way the game the dallas Stars put on the ice, who completed the three game sweep of the Canucks, on home ice ( in front of a house that looked to be about 12 K, without looking it up, )  in dramatic style.  Sure they took advantage of numerous occasions where the Canucks had the puck, mistimed chance at a rebound, a puck misread ( that point might be summed up in the play that led to Seguins 1st goal, when Tanev had a shorthanded chance that got through Kari, but instead of going off his arm / jersey and in, goes out around the boards, is chipped past Henrik misreading it by the defender up the ice. #sigh ) The Stars used their speed, took advantage of every good chance with relentless execution that seemed to mock the Canucks current troubles, and made it a laugher.  They were full marks for their game.  But, like I said, the Puck Gods really like those green uniforms too.  I don't know what it is.   Maybe they invested heavily in Oil stocks, and wanted to entertain #TeaPartyTimmy  Thomas, who was on the bench to watch the whooping in the state known for both Oil and TeaParty...  Yeesh...

Sorry to get political on ya', but it is just such a struggle for CanuckNation.  Twitter was filled with landmines, gallows humour, dark portents of doom, calls for the coach, the GM's, and, while didn't see it, probably the mascot too, and, until he was traded, my favorite Canuck was almost breaking it with his attempt at breaking the hockey RT record, with Ol' Strombone's #PrayForEddie at 6833 RT's as of this writing, and the subsequent two others totally 7 K.  I'll link to the coach's comments at the bottom. But I imagine Coach might have been at a loss for words.  How bad is it ?  Well, I usually at least try to listen to TEAM on game days to get a feel of the zeitgeist in the city, usually clicking off when someone says something stupid.  I got through 2 minutes the first time, was just amazed to hear Tony Gallagher basically call Kesler a bald faced liar, had two other attempts at listening where everything from Fire Gillis to Fire Torts to Fire Everyone to Tank Nation was the trigger to see what kind of music sounded better.  The papers were relentless, where everyone from Tony to Eddie to Botch, to Kooz all picking a chunk of the carcass to rip and rend on.  The Sun guys were at their passive aggressive best, and most folks you meet on the street would rather talk about the freaking rain instead of the team.  Ouch.  I shudder to think what the rest of the Puck Pundits will do with this one tomorrow.

- Their might be one Puck God with a sense of pity for our star crossed team. Zac Dalpe's opportunistic goal was on one of those plays that used to bedevil Luongo, and was at least a little bit just for all the times Lehtonen should have been scored on. He certainly made sone nice saves too, but I am going to go ahead and say he didn't deserve geting another shutout added on the Canucks record this year. There's been enough of those already.  Some of those were things like Jason Garrison seeing him laying "turtle" in the crease and responding with the half slapper into the side of the net instead of the wrister into the wide open top shelf, and some of them were ill timed plays by the Canucks crashing the net.  Bounces off instead of in, pucks hitting him while looking the other way, swings and misses on wide open might not have made a difference, the way his fellow PG's in the Pantheon were screwing with every player gripping the stick too tight, thinking too much, having no confidence, or just plain old getting out skated.  It is definitely one of those games the TEAM folks will replay over and over in the bi polar fanbase. I hope we at least react with a bit more humour and positivity than they will be feeding us. The knives will be out in the presser after the next practice.  The searching, just  on the edge of too snaky to answer questions to get copy will begin.  It always does in the spiral that a 11 out of 12 losing streak brings.  I get that. I am just hoping, probably feebly, that folks will try to look at the long view, and at least try to stay positive.  The point of being a fan is not to give oneself a heart attack from stress, right ? ;-)

- It has to be said though.  This may have been one of the worst games of the season for the captain, and the other leaders didn't have great games either.  The Stars took the puck away from Canucks 14-11, and since that stat seems to be written as something that happens in the defensive zone, it might be a number that perfectly shows how sometimes stats just don't mean much.  Every chance created seemed to give the home team a grand chance, or a superlative play, like Whitney's sauce to Goligoski to beat a sprawling Lack.  They executed. The Canucks, maybe a few times the victims of puck luck, Puck God screwing around events, just did not execute.  They had spotty and uneven efforts from too many players to take advantage of some of the lesser lights good efforts.

- The defense simply backed off too much.  They read plays wrong.  They overcommitted on some chances, were victims of bounces on others, and flat out made the wrong play on a few more.  Not one guy, ( for the flaws inherent in how it is adjudged and referred too , all + / - is is who was on the ice on a goal.  ), even with remembering that plus / minus is harder on the defense of a struggling, can't score team, but Bieksa and Edler were -2,( I think he might be a Green Jacket nominee at -27-ish right now ) Hamhuis a -1, Tanev a -1, and the lesser used pair were both -1 as well.  It was a team collapse, of course, but the blue line had a bad game, up and down the line up.

- The Corsi For % and Fenwick For % were 56.8 to 43.2 and 60.3 to 39.7 in all situations ( slightly less at 53.2 to 47.8 Corsi, and 55.3 to 44.7 Fenwick at even strength ) for the visiting team tonight.  Now, of course, even though that was a bit more close at 5 on 5, and flipped right on over to the Stars at 84.6 to 15.4 on Corsi, and 77.6 to 22.4 on Fenwick at 5 on 5 close, and slightly less ( 77.8 to 22.2 and 66.7 to 33.7 ) on 5 on 5 tied.  Now, obviously, the great line led by Benn's 1 goal and 2 assists, and Seguin's 3 goal, 5 point night helped dominate and skew those numbers.  I just get the feeling this is the kind of game Brian Burke would point to at the Sloan Conference and go "neener- neener ".

So, now what? Well, nothing up at the mothership from Torts, but here's Juice and the Captain...I like what Juice had to say, but Hank's analysis might be better

OK then...Time to do it on the ice like he said.  A 17 game miracle to make the playoffs, or who knows what.  It's the Flames that are next up on the "just win a game" odyssey.  At least you can't say the players don't care, at least the two above.

Step away from that ledge son...back away and take a deep breath ( "no, hey, what are you doing son....don't do THAT!" one needs to get hurt here.