VANCOUVER CANUCKS (13-14-3) vs ST LOUIS BLUES (15-15-1)
ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER, BC
7:30 PM PST
TV: SPORTSNET PACIFIC RADIO: SN650
Another absolute embarrassment of a game on HNIC Saturday Night, as the Canucks showed yet again they are nowhere near as good as their record suggests, getting absolutely schooled by a team that knows how to play defence in today’s NHL. And let me tell you, this game was another one that exposed some truths about this current iteration of the Canucks.
It showed us that Bo Horvat leaving the Canucks via a trade cannot come soon enough. It showed that Bruce Boudreau’s in-game decisions need to be questioned a hell of a lot more than they are. And if Elliotte Friedman is right, that the Canucks management are as utterly clueless as the last crew running this franchise, if they think they should entertain offers on the only legit top pairing defenceman they have.
What a bloody mess.
#Canucks had a chance to move past Minnesota with a regulation win last Saturday night. Now 9 points back of the Wild who have won 5 straight— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) December 18, 2022
I don’t give a good god damn about how close to a playoff spot they are right now thanks to an inept Western Conference. It’s an illusion, and if the Canucks actually make the post season and do anything besides bow out with a whimper, I’ll buy a Bruins hat and wear it for the duration of the playoffs.
Let’s start with the Captain. He’s having his best season yet, statwise. Fantastic. None of this is translating into anything beneficial for the team. He’s padding his stats, but I am seeing little in his play on ice that is in any way inspiring his teammates to play better. Y’know, leadership stuff. I’m at the point right now where the sooner they send him off to the Eastern Conference to go chase a Cup, the better. Anyone can see that Luke Schenn is the true leader of this team and it’s not even close.
When Neil Pionk scored to make it 3-0 halfway through the 2nd period Saturday night, the Canucks looked absolutely dead inside, and for reasons only known to himself apparently, Bruce Boudreau decided to leave Spencer Martin in goal. Why is he so unwilling to try and send some kind of message to this team that their play is unacceptable? Look, I have a lot of time for Martin, who’s done as well as he can in front of one of the NHL’s worst teams defensively, and if not for him, they’d be at the bottom of the NHL pile right now. I was hesitant to jump on the #BruceTimeToGo bandwagon, but coaching decisions like this (and the constant return of Riley Stillman to the lineup) have me completely out of fucks to give at this point.
Elliotte Friedman's update on the #Canucks' situation:— Lachlan Irvine (@LachInTheCrease) December 18, 2022
1) The team isn't interested in rebuilding or a teardown
2) Their only untouchable currently is Elias Pettersson
3) In Quinn Hughes' case, it would take a "mammoth offer" for the Canucks to consider trading him pic.twitter.com/d12dqX9omP
How on earth can Jim Rutherford and Patrik Allvin even be considering such a thing? Quinn Hughes is the best defenceman this franchise has ever had, and it’s not even close. If you’re going to blow up the core (and holy shit, stop waiting and do it already!), you delete Horvat, Brock Boeser and maybe this summer Thatcher Demko. Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes are the two you keep, and that should be so obvious to even the most casual observer.
Anyway, tonight the Canucks going up against directly ahead of them in the standings, like we saw on Wednesday when they faced Calgary. The Blues are another team that’s been nowhere near as good as most expected them to be, and one of the big issues has been in the crease. Jordan Binnington and Thomas Greiss have mirrored their team’s play, with both keepers sporting .500 win/loss records. With the Blues not getting a ton of goalscoring from some of their usual suspects so far this season, they’re going to need better from their last line of defence if they hope to catch the Wild Card holders the rest of the way.
In a world that time forgot, there was a document that told of a battle between two average armies... or we may have gotten it from nhl.com :
Blues projected lineup
Canucks projected lineup
So it’ll be Brock Boeser back in tonight, which means Lane Pederson will be in the press box. He’ll be joined by Kyle Burroughs because Bruce Boudreau hates us with a passion that burns hotter than the sun, apparently. Arturs Silovs is in the backup slot tonight, as Collin Delia’s wife recently gave birth, so he’s back in Abbotsford for some family time. Congrats to the Delias!
EP40 is still recovering from the flu, so he’ll be out again tonight, which is a shame since he plays well against the Blues. They’ve lost their last three meetings against St Louis, so a big time bounce back game tonight would be nice.
The Canucks could be getting some defensive help soon (aka making sure Riley Stillman doesn’t have to play anymore).
General Manager Patrik Allvin announced today that D Travis Dermott has been assigned to Abbotsford (AHL) for LTI conditioning loan. G Collin Delia has been returned to Abbotsford (AHL) and G Arturs Silovs has been recalled from Abbotsford under emergency conditions.— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) December 19, 2022
GAME DAY CHATTER
big penalty kill battle tonight:— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) December 19, 2022
Blues 68.5%#Canucks 68.1%
only Anaheim at 67.2% is lower
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
Gonna get a little progressive here with this one from Australia’s NE OBLIVISCARIS. This stunning (both visually and sonically) video for their song ‘Equus’ is from their most recent release ‘Exul!’. It’s a powerful statement on the horrendous wildfires that plagued Australia, and the toll it took on the wildlife in the country. Anyone who thinks music videos, especially metal, aren’t art should rethink that after watching this. Absolutely breathtaking.
Enjoy the game, if that’s possible. Go Canucks Go!