The Canucks came into tonight trying to forget last night’s game against the …..I forgot already. That’s how it’s done. Tonight they face a Carolina team that they beat 3-2 just 9 days ago. Jakob Markstrom got the start against Cam Ward. The Canes come into the game on a 4 game winning streak and they are just out of a playoff spot in the east.
The Canucks came out skating pretty well and Horvat missed an early chance, followed by Burrows soon after. Matt Bartkowski showed what we expected from him with a nice little rush.
Unlike last night’s play……breath……let it go……it’s over…..
There wasn’t a lot of exciting action as the discussion on twitter moved towards the attendance in Carolina.
There are 62 people in the entire lower-bowl section behind the Canucks bench. I counted. Carolina. Friday night. 4-game win streak.— Iain MacIntyre (@imacVanSun) January 16, 2016
It is not a surprise to me that hockey struggles in an area that is in the throes of NFL playoff fever and has NCAA college basketball that is a bigger draw. It could be Carolina’s lack of offense or their stingy defense (least shots/gm allowed in the league) that makes their games boring…like this first period was.
Finally, on this the 15th of Jan, we saw an occurrence that has not been seen this year. The event has been whispered about in coffee rooms (do those still exist?) around Vancouver and probably bet on in Vegas. This event may not occur again once Brandon Sutter comes back. I am talking about a Linden Vey goal.
Brandon Prust was called for holding with 3 minutes left as he tried to get back into the defensive zone. The Canes took advantage of the PP as Kris Versteeg got a slapshot by a screened Markstrom.
Hurricanes goal pic.twitter.com/mT8TfjMULI— Stephanie (@myregularface) January 16, 2016
The Canucks were put back on the PK a minute later as Jake Virtanen could control his stick and he high-sticked Faulk and Jake received a double-minor. The period ended thereafter tied 1-1.
The Canucks spent the first 3+ minutes killing off Virtanen’s penalty, which they did successfully. Unfortunately the offense of the Canucks was stone cold because of this. After last night…I keep bringing it up, sorry….but after last night the Canucks are playing a better defensive game. Carolina plays a stingy game and had the clear advantage in shots but the Canucks were doing a better job making sure there was only one shot and no rebounds.
Almost half way through the period Bo decided to that you didn’t need to shot a lot to score, you just needed to shoot well to score.
I think Bo has done a great job of fighting through the first half the year. He spent many a night playing against vets and top lines and he struggled. Bo’s offense took a hit as he was being counted on to play the defensive stopper role in his second year. That’s a steep learning curve. I think it should be interesting when Sutter comes back and Bo can get a little more freedom when it comes to match ups. He can get 15+ goals this year.
The only real excitement in the rest of the period was a 2 minute push by the Canes and a Kris Versteeg tantrum after he got high-sticked and there was no call. Meh, he’s an ex-Blackhawk from the nasty rivalry years. I have no love for him. The period ended 2-1 Canucks, which is nice considering they were brutally outshot 18-5 in the period
I have to admit that I cheated and watched the first two periods on gamecenter again, but the third period was live for me. It is a different experience when you watch something live….you pay more attention. Like noticing that Vrbata had the lowest amount of ice-time on the Canucks through two periods. It’s almost like he’s a fourth liner…again. The Sedins were down at the bottom with him. Those ice time numbers help explain why that line led the corsi numbers so far.
The Canes continued to dominate play at the start of the third leading the shots 6-3 after 7:30 minutes. Markstrom made some great saves as the defense had problems clearing the zone. This is usually the part of the game where the back to back starts to catch up with the body.
Stand tall pic.twitter.com/WD9vrru7pW— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) January 16, 2016
Jared McCann tried to out-wait Cam Ward and try the backhand/forehand move around the goalie, but Ward stay with him.
After a good fourth line shift than hemmed the Canes in their own zone for 30 seconds, the first line comes out and gets hemmed in their own end where Liles scores against the Nucks again.
John Michael Liles, Canuck killer— CanucksArmy (@CanucksArmy) January 16, 2016
Some would say the Canucks should be happy with a point, and some would say they should have had 2 already. They were outshot 39-18 and were abused in the faceoff circle 41-26.
The Sedins had a couple of great chances in O/T, including a 2 on 1 that Daniel whiffed on. Etem also had a point blank chance on Ward that was saved. Bo Horvat was tripped going to the net and the Canucks got the extra attacker out just in time for Vrbata to feed Bo for the winner.
Great game by Markstrom and Bo.