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CANUCKS RECAP: Markus bests Mikael, but Bachman suffers Minny meltdown

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NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Minnesota Wild
Nov 15, 2018; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin (25) protects the puck against Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson (40) during the first period at Xcel Energy Center.
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Richard Bachman entered this game for the Canucks, hoping to recreate some of that Disney magic he displayed against the Anaheim Ducks in 2017.

Instead, Freddy Krueger dragged Bachman into a hellhole known as the Xcel Energy Center.

This game had all of the essentials for most Canucks games this season. Horvat continued to lead by example, Pornhub Pete was at his usual filthy self, the defence was their usual mediocre self and the goaltending was questionable, at best.

At points in this game, the Canucks looked like they were right there with the Wild despite the score. At others, their heads were already on the plane back to Vancouver.

There were good moments for Vancouver on this road trip, but the Canucks left some points on the board, going 1-3-2 during their six-game sprint across the continent.

Before you read about the 6-2 drubbing, here’s a random stat to distract you.

The Senators should hang that up in their dressing room....

1st Period

The Canucks got out to an early 4-1 lead on the shot clock, but it didn’t help them take an early lead in the game.

On an Erik Karlsson-like play, Jonas Brodin flipped the puck out from his own zone. That sprung Charlie Coyle on a breakaway, and he buried it past Bachman to give Minnesota the 1-0 lead.

Later in the period, Bachman went into Bachman TurnOverdrive, with the sweet set up on Mikko Koivu’s blade.

His pass to Koivu to make it 2-0 Wild was so perfect, even the NFL analysts couldn’t help but chime in.

Canucks were up 11-10 on the shot clock (NUCKS WIN, RIGHT JIMMI?), but they trailed 2-0 after one.

2nd Period

Poor Bachman. No more Disney magic...

Nino Niederreiter would put the Wild up 3-0, after deflecting a shot from Mikko Koivu. Big night for the Fin through 22 minutes of hockey, as Koivu had a goal and two assists.

The Canucks came back on the rush shortly after, and Del Zotto rung one off the crossbar after a feed from Pettersson. Is Del Zotto snake-bit after two crossbars on this road trip, or is this punishment from the Hockey Gods for the whole Fortnite debacle?

Speaking of Fortnite, Bo Horvat got the Canucks on the board on a power play goal off the rush. Adam Gaudette found his way onto the score sheet with that one with a primary assist on the goal.

Just 36 seconds later, the Bachman Sympathy Ballad would continue. This time, Nikolay Goldobin did him no favours. The two inexplicably got tied up in the crease, and Eric Staal got an easy goal to restore the Wild’s three goal lead.

Next up on the Canucks to turn his back on Bachman was Del Zotto. He was screening the Canucks 4th stringer on a Matt Dumba point shot, and the shot sailed past Bachman to give Minnesota a 5-1 lead.

In case you haven’t been paying attention to what’s going on in Minny, Dumba has been pretty good.

3rd Period

At this point, Bachman was probably just hoping that his teammates wouldn’t let him down once again.

Well, that was probably wishful thinking. Some poor tracking from Erik Gudbranson and Ben Hutton led to Jason Zucker burying his sixth of the season - and the sixth goal for the Wild in the game.

Hey, one positive came out of this game, Markus Granlund won the battle of Granlund’s!

Nice play by Granlund to kick the puck to himself before scoring. He was used heavily by Green in this game, finishing with 18:53 ice time overall. That total trailed only Bo Horvat (19:09 and...Nikolay Goldobin (20:41), among Canucks forwards.

If you’re one of those Canucks fans who has patience, diligence, and a tinge of optimism, you could ignore the scoreboard and enjoy what Pettersson has to offer. Even without scoring, he made some sweet plays with the puck in the third. That included some ankle-breaking on Eric Fehr during a power play, followed by some more sweet dekes on Jared Spurgeon later in the period.

Even during a game like tonight when the Canucks are getting creamed on the scoreboard, there’s optimism to be found. If only Pettersson could play 60 minutes a game, then the score would never matter.