I know groundhog day was yesterday, but are we truly stuck in a loop?
The Canucks once again lost to the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night. And, once again, Tyler Toffoli torched his former team, all the while passing Brock Boeser and Connor McDavid for the league-lead in goals.
Here are six sloppy-as-poutine thoughts after last night’s loss in Quebec.
Canuck killers currently in the NHL
So, yeah, the Toffoli thing happened.
He’s currently the first name that comes to mind when you think of a Canucks killer.
tweet of the damn year https://t.co/1MR8XJvukw— Kyle (@kylebhawan) February 3, 2021
fun pain, here are some other current NHLers who have torched the Canucks.
- Steven Stamkos (11 goals, 21 points in 14 games)
- Connor McDavid (11 goals, 31 points in 23 games)
- Jake Guentzel (9 goals, 14 points in 8 games)
- John Tavares (9 goals, 20 points in 16 games)
Great, another Canuck killer on the horizon this week...
The Jalen Chatfield Situation
I tuned into the Habs broadcast yesterday, and they seemed all full of praise for the “quiet” presence that Jalen Chatfield had on the ice.
To me, he looks like he can hold his own, but like many young defencemen, there are mistakes.
He inexplicably skated into Edler against the Canadiens in the neutral zone on Monday night, leading to one of 384 odd-man rushes against. Then, he was steamrolled by Josh Anderson during the Habs' first goal of the game.
A shot from Chiarot deflect off of Horvat's stick and out to Josh Anderson. Chatfield gets a few looks at Anderson but doesn't block the tap-in in time. Tough break after a really solid PK from the Canucks#Canucks #Chatfield— Cody Taxivertsquad (@CodySevertson) February 3, 2021
On the flip side, he and Edler were the only Canucks pair that won the possession battle last night. Travis Green didn't shelter the pair either.
It’s fine to let Chatfield work through the mistakes because he’s earned a spot in the line-up. He’s far from the Canucks biggest problem on defence right now.
Did ya hear, subscribing to the @nucksmisconduct podcast network WILL make your hockey life a little bit better.— Trevor Beggs (@TrevBeggs) February 3, 2021
Speaking about being a little bit better...I talk about the Chatfield dilemma & tweaks to the #Canucks defence this morning on The Quickie.https://t.co/wBjxjVOFZo pic.twitter.com/hutpTcb6hN
The Hughes & Benn Thing
Underlying numbers and talking heads on TV will tell you that Jordie Benn has looked fairly solid alongside Quinn Hughes.
However, over the last two games, I’ve seen a guy that’s gotten himself in trouble with slow decision making and turnovers in his own end.
Part of this is on Hughes as well. He continued piling up points, but he also spent a lot of him in his own zone with Benn.
I’m not sure what the solution is, but the Canucks should, by no means, be married to the Benn-Hughes pairing. If this continues against Toronto, I’d almost consider trying something like this.
Hughes — Schmidt
Edler — Chatfield
Juolevi — Myers
It could be time to put the Canucks two most mobile defenceman together. Hell, what do they have to lose? They’re only the worst defensive team in the league at even-strength...
As mentioned, Edler and Chatfield have looked good together. Juolevi and Myers also showed some promise in limited minutes.
For this to happen, the Canucks have to put their trust in both Juolevi and Chatfield shorthanded. I don’t think that should be an issue as both rookies, along with Myers and Edler, have posted some decent numbers shorthanded. All four defenders are below the league-average rate of 96 shot attempts against at four-on-five.
Benn, on the other hand, is worst on the team in terms of shots against shorthanded.
Lotto Line Check-In & Pettersson vs. Matthews
The Lotto Line primarily faced off against Toffoli’s line last night. So, yeah, things could be better.
Pettersson jokes that Toffoli never should have left here and that it “sucks he has to score all those goals against us”. Sounds like a lot of #Canucks fans right now. @TSNHockey @TSN1040— Farhan Lalji (@FarhanLaljiTSN) February 3, 2021
Nice to see Petey get his shot back on the power play though.
Do you see this Elias Pettersson (@_EPettersson) rip? pic.twitter.com/5lix8jfDP8— NHL (@NHL) February 3, 2021
Although it’s been a slow start for Pettersson, we all know the dude is a competitor. He’ll want the chance to show that he’s one of the league’s most dangerous forwards as the Canucks prepare to battle Auston Matthews for the next three games.
Jake Virtanen debacle
Just one night after Virtanen found his way back into the line-up (and looked okay while he was out there), he just as quickly found his way back into the press box again.
It feels like this is going to end in a trade, although I get a little sick to my stomach when I hear about Sam Bennett being tossed around as the return.
Beat the Leafs (at least twice)
If you’re like me, you believe that Montreal, Calgary and Toronto are the biggest threats to the Canucks in the North Division.
Well, so far against the Flames and Canadiens, the Canucks have one shootout win and six regulation losses.
If this team wants to be taken seriously, they need more than a good effort against the Leafs. They should win at least two of those three games.
After the Leafs, the Canucks will play four straight against Calgary. This season could fall off the rails quickly if they don’t learn how to beat good teams.
Sippin’ On a 40 host Kyle Bhawan talked a bit about this on the postgame show last night. It’s time for the Canucks to put a halt to their embarrassment in front of the nation.
NEW— 40 (@sippinona40) February 3, 2021
Not in front of Canada
LISTEN EVERYWHERE https://t.co/zcyRefIgrv #Canucks pic.twitter.com/5YnZcPkeov