CANUCKS NEWS: It was, to say the least, an eye-opener. And for those of you who looked at the Canucks so far and felt confident in saying that this team wasn’t as bad as predicted and they were going to stay in the mix? Still feel that way? That game, against one of the elites of the NHL showed just how far the Canucks have to go to become relevant again.
Sure, there were some positives to take away from it. Brock Boeser continues to amass points, and you know the goal explosion is coming. Travis Green said he didn’t like Nikolay Goldobin’s game last night, but there wasn’t a player who worked harder, especially in the second. The score wasn’t flattering to Anders Nilsson, but you can’t hang that loss on him, as he kept it from being a laugher. And the Sven Baertschi PPG was nice, but all night long, this Capitals team was faster, stronger and better, and it wasn’t even close.
Oddly enough, this game could have been one the Canucks could have stolen. Braden Holtby didn’t look particularly solid, and it just felt like they could have popped a couple more in if they got more shots on him. Asking this team to shoot more seems like a Herculean task at times. And sure it’s the ‘What if...?’ game, but this game is a different one if Elias Pettersson is in the lineup. They maybe don’t win still, but the way Holtby looked last night, Dekey Pete’s good for a couple, easy.
Alas, he was not and we got the reality of this Canucks squad. A defence that cannot handle teams with size and strength that enforce their will the way John Carlson did on that first goal. My goodness, it’s almost criminal he doesn’t get talked about more. We don’t yet have a Dman who can skate and shoot and see the ice the way he does. Quinn Hughes cannot get here fast enough. Instead, we get Eric Gudbranson, who continues to baffle me for a myriad of reasons. Why is he not in the press box, even for one night to try and motivate him to play better? Would that have any effect at all? Is this a player at his ceiling? What on earth was Jim Benning thinking signing this player to that contract? Why can’t we have nice things? Haven’t we suffered enough? I’m at the point right now where I am actually 100% behind MDZ getting back in the lineup in exchange for Guddy. And while we’re at it, why not send Eriksson to Utica? What’s the worst that could happen? Another team picks him up? Oh, damn... That would be tragic. Those two blue and green-clad albatrosses are the major reasons there’s not a true rebuild going on and it should make you pissed off.
Here’s your morning reading, folks: Ovi’s big night included moving into 9th in NHL history for PPG... Next time they play the Caps, they may want to stay outta the box... PITB watched this game, now relive the horror... Last night’s Athletties, as always a must-read... The Province post game wrap... And finally the recap over at Japers Rink...
AROUND THE NHL: The Colorado Avalanche look very much like they’re the real deal right now, as they rolled into Philly and notched a 4-1 win. Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon both extended their season-opening 9 game point streaks in this one. Highlight of the night though? It him.
After 2 periods, the Carolina Hurricanes were outshooting the Detroit Red Wings 36-12. That the Wings managed to keep it close is definitely the front runner for Moral Victory of the year. Jimmy Howard stopped 36 shots in the 3-1 loss... St Louis blew 3-1 and 4-3 leads, and Jacob Trouba’s 1st of the year in OT sealed the deal as the Winnipeg Jets beat the Blues 5-4. Mark Scheifele had a 2 G 2 A night for the Jets. The Blues were coming off an impressive win over Toronto on Saturday but now sit 2nd last in the Central Division...