I suppose you can chalk up one in the moral victory department that they were able to keep Connor McDavid in what passes for check when it comes to the heir to Sidney Crosby's throne. Just one goal from the 19 year old phenom feels like the Canucks did good, and to be honest that was a pretty decent game from an entertainment standpoint. Sadly, this team has gone another game without scoring, and once again questions are starting to arise as to just what the coaching and management are trying to do here. From player usage to the roster itself, what the Canucks say they want to do and what you see before you are diametrically opposed.
They have one game left on this homestand before a 6 game Eastern road swing, and it comes against a team that's probably in the same boat as the Canucks: pretty upset coming off a loss to the Oilers.
|Lost 3||Streak||Lost 2|
||Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
||Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
|12.0 (26)||Power Play %||10.5 (29)|
|84.2 (10)||Penalty Kill %||72.2 (28)|
|48.9 (20)||Faceoff Win %||51.0 (10)|
||Shooting %||7.0 (29)|
||Corsi For %||54.0 (4)
Stats from NHL.com and www.hockey-reference.com
The Canucks and Capitals find themselves in similar boats at the moment. A seemingly strong start derailed by a couple losses. Where it differs is there are many confident that the Caps will be just fine, and they should. They also are sharing another trait with the Canucks: getting some pretty great goaltending, yet not scoring at all to take advantage of it. The Caps have actually scored one less goal so far this season than the Canucks, and that's not something you associate with a team that has this type of fire power.
This scoring drought has led coach Barry Trotz to do a bit of line shuffling himself:
Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom are reunited on the top trio, with Justin Williams skating the right side. Tom Wilson slides up to play on the right side of a line with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Marcus Johansson, and Brett Connolly draws back into the lineup on the fourth line with Jay Beagle and Zach Sanford. Lars Eller centers for Andre Burakovsky and T.J. Oshie on Washington's other line.
They're outshooting teams, and they've got good possession numbers, so it's more a slight hiccup from running into a couple hot goaltenders than anything else, it would seem. The Caps special teams are killing them right now, from a power play that makes the Canucks look downright potent to a PK that is almost the worst in the NHL. Fix this, and they should be fine.
Yeah, we're back to talking about moral victories. Yay for keeping McDavid to one goal! Yay for Bo Horvat going 14 for 19 in the faceoff circle! Yay for Troy Stecher! Yay for... um...
Yeah apart from Ryan Miller and the play of Stecher and Horvat, there really wasn't much for Canucks fans to get excited about. It's pretty clear that for now, the Loui Ericsson 3rd Sedin thing needs to stop. Time to get the greatest gift Denmark has given the world since King Diamond, Mr Jannik Hansen back with the twins. Also, if Willie is so determined to Sven Baertschi scoring, he might want to maybe, oh I don't know... not put him with Jack Skille?
And it's not that I want to rip on Skille, but he's slowly becoming the poster child for what is wrong with the Canucks. They want you to believe, that they can contend for a playoff spot. And how do they show this? By bringing Jack Skille in.
Nothing screams "This team can compete in the Pacific Division!" like Jack Skille, amirite? So between the ongoing Jake Virtanen drama, Nikita Tryamkin turning into one of those 'enigmatic Russians' people like to talk about, and a bunch of guys who the Canucks were looking to lean on for scoring shooting blanks right now, at least the Canucks are health...
Add Jason Megna to the injured list, and while Brendan Gaunce is part of the optional skate this morning, we have yet to hear if he'll be ready to go tonight after crashing hard into a goal post during last night's loss to the Oilers.
#Canucks on ice for morning skate:— Jon Abbott (@HockeyAbbs) October 29, 2016
50/14/15/88/55/51/36/40 and Markstrom
If Markstrom starts, he aims for 1st career win vs Caps (0-3)
Jacob Markstrom should get the start tonight after another strong performance from Ryan Miller. Let's hope the Canucks, whose goalless streak is now over 135 minutes, can give him some support on the scoreboard.
It would certainly be good to see Jake Virtanen pop one, as the distance between JV and William Nylander & Nikolaj Ehlers is becoming larger all the time. When you look at how well these two are developing, knowing the Canucks passed on them to take Virtanen is upsetting when you see how things are progressing. The road back to respectability is a long one, and right now it feels like the Canucks map is seriously out-dated. The game is changing around them, and they've put together a team that isn't built to handle the shift towards speed and skill like we see in teams like the Oilers. God, I can't believe I am even writing that, but here we are. Life comes at you fast. Let's hope something this team tries actually works, or we will have to start talking about someone being made responsible for this mess.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
Municipal Waste covering Celtic Frost? You're welcome.