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Not Enough Finish/Luck For Canucks In 2-1 Shootout Loss To Blue Jackets

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(Westy part)

The return of Torts kinda distracted us from all the other questions we were talking about during the all-star break. And there are lots of questions as the trade deadline is approaching fast. The Canucks came into this game not having played in what feels like months. Remember they lost their last game to the Preds. Columbus came into the game still trying to live up to the promise of a couple years ago. Ryan Johansen was traded to Nashville for Seth Jones and it really had no effect on the Blue Jackets as they have been 4-5-2 since the trade.

1st Period

Eight minutes into the game and the shots were 3-1 for the Blue Jackets, which is no surprise to me. The game was back and forth with little in the way of controlled play by either team. The Blue Jackets took a penalty and who would have put money on Linden Vey to open the scoring on the PP. See the key is to get Vey away from the Twins on the PP and make sure Horvat is around to feed him the puck. Sounds easy, right? Vey has 5 points in his last 7 games….what the…I guess he really doesn’t like living in Utica.

The Canucks are still sloppy in their own end, so the break didn’t fix that. And Columbus is very sloppy which lead to Brandon Sutter almost splitting the defense and scoring. Ben Hutton had a nice chance at the end of some Sedinery as well. McCann and Sutter may have a future together as their chemistry looked ok as Jared set up Sutter for a one timer that Korpisalo stopped. I wasn’t too impressed with the Nucks breakout as the forwards were hanging back a little too far back and it gave the Jackets time to get back and before the Nucks could gain the zone. The Jackets got one last barrage at Miller with 20 seconds left in the first, but Ryan kept the puck out. The period ended 1-0 Canucks. Columbus did outhit Vancouver 13-2 in the period.

2nd Period

You know the one guy I feel for on the Jackets is Brandon Saad. He was winning cups in Chicago and now he’s learning to lose. Oh well, he’s 22 and makes a lot of money, c’est la vie. The Canucks gave the Jackets their first opportunity as Luca Sbisa made a very sloppy change and caused a too many men penalty. The Canucks killed that penalty just to give the Jackets another penalty soon after. The Brandon Sutter effect is definitely seen on the PK as having that extra guy means a guy like Bo doesn’t have to play as much PK time.

The Sedinery portion of the second took place 7 minutes into the period and had a couple chances and the usual Vrbata shot from too far out and a bad angle. I am almost to the point of cheering for a Vrbata trade. McCann and Sutter then created another chance for Edler who just skated too far behind the net to stuff it in. This game had me bored at times as shots were 4-4 after 14 minutes. Both teams looked rusty…or just bad. There was a lot of neutral zone activity and trapping which made for dullsville. The third line of Vey/AMFB/Etem had their own little version of Sedinery but couldn’t get a clear shot on net. The period ended the same way it started.

(Zanstorm part)

3rd Period

Did Westy use the word dullsville? Yea, a lot of that in the turd period as well, but it had a few "moments." 6:00 in, Rene Bourque went off for high sticking. The Canucks put a lot of pressure on the BJ's for the entire power play but they just couldn't capitalize. Henrik Sedin missed 2 consecutive glorious opportunities wide-open to Korpisalo's left. One I believe was missed and the other went off a Jacket defender. Sven Baertschi hit the center of the crossbar after the PP1 unit went off. The Canucks controlled the play for most of the period until that power play ended. About half a minute after their PP, Jared McCann went off for hooking. The Jackets went into the Canucks' zone about 30 seconds in and passed the puck around beautifully. Maybe the Canucks were bewildered, because Scott Hartnell was all by himself in prime scoring position. He received a pass from Cam Atkinson and buried it past Miller, who had no chance. Brutal defence. Check it out:

Brutal, but also great puck movement by Columbus.

Jannik Hansen pissed away 2-on-1 moments later by making a lousy pass instead of shooting and then Columbus seemed to take over for quite a while. The Jackets pushed and crammed the puck at Miller and crammed into Miller a few times, pissing him off, but couldn't score. The Canucks pushed back in the late stages of the third. The best chance they had was with about 10 seconds left. Edler pinched from the point and received a pass. He let a wrister go that went off Korpisalo's glove and just wide. Damn.

The Canucks outshot Columbus 17-11 that period. Most of those shots were from the outside. Korpisalo was solid back there but I did notice he had a hard time controlling his rebounds. The Canucks could not get to those rebounds very well. They also made 2 crappy line changes that period. Very crappy. They do that every game.

OVERTIIIIIIIME

Of course, 3 on 3 makes the game far more interesting. The Canucks are 3-9 in OT's this season so I was a bit scared by that stat.

Hansen immediately split 2 BJ dmen but rung a shot in close off the crossbar. That was the best chance for either team until William Karlsson ruined the 3 on 3 fun by taking an interference at the 2:26 mark. The Sedins and Vrbata and co managed to kill the majority of that Canucks PP off (not a typo) by passing the damned puck around for most of it. Korpisalo stoned Vrbata at one point, as a Hank pass got across to the invisible wizard. They were trying to make that play the whole time.

A late, lousy line change almost cost the Canucks the game, but Miller made a huge left pad save on Alexander Wennberg.

That was the only CBJ shot of OT. Canucks had 4, including another one off the post at some point there.

SHOOTOUT

We're gonna win this one! We have the go-to shootout goalie! They have a goalie who has never been in an NHL shootout before! Here comes the pain!

Burrows: Does his typical fake-forehand then to backhand move and Korpisalo reads it perfectly. Arggg!

Atkinson: Deked Miller out of his goalie pants but gets in a little deep and hits the post.

Vrbata: Does the typical Vrbata move...comes in hard-left, fakes forehand, goes backhand and Korpisalo stays with him perfectly. Trade this bum! FUUUUUUUUUUUUuuuuuuuuuu

Dubinsky: Comes in fast and just shoots it low. It goes through a standing Miller's 5-hole but catches a piece of his skate and goes wide. Miller channeling his inner John Garrett there. Stop that, Miller.

Baertschi: Had all the dangles but slid it low and wide.

Wennberg: Does the same thing as Dubie did. Miller again channels his inner Garrett and this time gets burned...5-hole...game over. Don't channel your inner Garret, Ryan! Stop it!

Miller was pretty solid in this game though. It never should have gotten to a shootout... or overtime even. The Canucks need to put teams away when leading after 2 periods. They suck at it! Here we go down the stretch where every point is so damned important. This felt like a game they sh*t away. Not enough determination and mostly: no finish and no luck. Kind of infuriating actually.

Canucks outshot Columbus 38-28. Don't we fare better when we are outshot? Screw that theory, right?

Edler had 8 shots. More than anyone. Vey was 2nd with 4 shots and named first star of the game. He was not the first star. Korpisalo was. Easily. Vey was pretty good though. Hats off to him.

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