Where do we begin?
We could start with the Canucks having a lead for a tick over 5 minutes, and still losing? We could talk about how the Canucks response to an emotional, punishing loss Saturday was a completely passive 3rd period? How about a team desperate for goals sitting a #6 overall pick in the press box to let a guy with no points play in his stead? Oh, I know... let's talk about the defense.
One of the few bright points from Saturday night was the instant chemistry we saw in the pairing of Nikita Tryamkin and Troy Stecher. They weren't flawless, but you could see there's something there, and given time this could end up being a fairly dynamic D pairing for the Canucks. So naturally when Alexander Edler returns to the lineup, the obvious choice is that Philip Larsen is eating press box popcorn, right? Not in the land of the Canucks, where doing not just what makes sense, but doing what will actually help the team is avoided like the plague.
There are 3 distinct camps of Canucks fans right now: Team Fire Willie, Team Fire Jim Benning, and Team Fire Them All. Team Fire Willie seem to think that because there's a couple prospects in the cupboard like Thatcher Demko and Brock Boeser that sunny days are ahead. Team Fire Benning will tell you that 'you can't fire Willie because look at the team he's been given'. The problem is that this one or the other mentality ignores the true problem: top to bottom, this organization is a mess, and they are all responsible and making things worse with every move they make. Look at the news coming out today about Jake Virtanen for more proof of that.
This morning Willie announced that Virtanen has not made enough of the chances he's been given and only when he does, will he get more ice time. Yup. That's where we are right now. This prized draft pick, one that we were told was going to be one of the new core is once again sitting in the press box for a guy whose sole contribution last night was one of the most embarrassing dives since Ryan Kesler's heyday. And this is not just a Willie move. This is the direction the team wants to be in. If Benning thought that this was wrong, then you know Virtanen would be in.
||Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
||Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
|9.8 (28)||Power Play %||22.7 (8)|
|85.7 (8)||Penalty Kill %||83.3 (12)|
|49.9 (13)||Faceoff Win %||50.9 (9)|
||Shooting %||14.2 (1)|
||Corsi For %||51.0 (9)
Stats from NHL.com and www.hockey-reference.com
When you're hot you're hot and our old pal Alain Vigneault and his New York Rangers are on a roll right now. They've won 5 straight, are scoring at a clip of over 4 goals a game and getting decent goaltending as well. How well is it going right now? Sunday's win against Winnipeg saw the Rangers get goals from 5 different scorers. This was the 2nd straight game they'd done this. And, the Rangers are 8-1 at home and have outscored the opposition 42-19. Now compare this to what we are seeing in Vancouver. Yeah, the streak doesn't end tonight. Not even close.
Antti Raanta will start in net for the Rangers, and as the Canucks have shown all year long, the backup getting the start is a sure two points for the opposition.
Jacob Markstrom gets the start tonight, and Troy Stecher returns to the lineup, though he won't be paired with Tryamkin. Instead, he will buddy up with Alex Edler tonight for reasons only known to the coaching staff. Michael Chaput will play again tonight, and as mentioned Virtanen is again a healthy scratch.
Desjardins: "It’s not that I don’t think Jake is a good player, he’s not consistent enough. Until he gives you that he can't play." #Canucks— Ben Kuzma (@benkuzma) November 8, 2016
That would be Jake "Not on the ice for a single goal against this season" Virtanen. But yeah, you be you Willie.
And lest you think this is as bad as you can get with the Canucks, a reminder on one of the darkest days in franchise history:
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
Another New York metal band doing a kickass cover? Hmmm... how about Nuclear Assault doing Venom's 'Die Hard'? You're welcome.
And to all our American friends: Please. Vote. It's never been more important.