Tonight’s game felt like it was straight out of 2016.

Half of twitter was talking about election results, and the other half was talking about how the Canucks’ were struggling to score at home against a superior team. Everyone was oscillating rapidly between bored and depressed.

The Canucks, and this can’t be stressed enough, did not play a good game. They struggled to generate chances at even-strength and went 0-for-5 on the power play. If not for the absolutely lights-out performance of Jacob Markstrom, the Canucks absolutely would not have come away with the win.

The Canes, for their part, also put on a vintage performance, firing 43 shots at Markstrom and scoring zero goals.

Sometimes, all it takes is one shot, and Elias Pettersson’ proved just that, as he finally broke the score to end the game 1-0 in overtime.



Game Notes

  • It can’t be overstated how uneventful tonight’s game was. It was, in many, ways, the reverse image of Tuesday night’s outing against the Leafs, where the team outplayed their opponent and generated at least a dozen quality scoring chances, but were denied by a hot goaltender. We can consider tonight’s result to be a bit of karmic retribution for the Canucks, and particularly Jacob Markstrom, who put on a clinic against the Canes. He stopped 43 shots tonight, making it the most saves by a Vancouver netminder in a shutout performance since Corey Schneider also stopped 43 against the Avalanche in March of 2012.
  • While the first two stars of the game should obviously go to Markstrom and Elias Pettersson, who finished the game with a beautiful backhander 40 seconds into overtime, I would like to nominate the referee who blew down the play during a delayed penalty against Chris Tanev midway through the second period, just a nanosecond before Sebastian Aho was able to put the puck past Markstrom in what would have held up as the game’s only goal. It was a stroke of luck for the Canucks, especially considering that Jordan Staal confirmed after the game that the officials went so far as to admit that they blew the call.

  • The Canucks actually managed to get decent performances from their top-six at even-strength. The Lotto line was even in Corsi for the night, with the Pearson-Horvat-Leivo combo at just -2, which is actually quite impressive considering how badly the Canucks were outshot tonight. The real issue was the team’s bottom-six, who were outclassed tonight. Travis Green through his lines in a blender tonight on multiple occasions, and some players really struggled. After a stellar start to his season, Antoine Roussel was on the ice for just one shot attempt for and eleven against, matching Schaller and Beagle’s totals for the night. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Green shake up the middle-six from the get-go this weekend, given how his line fared and the fact that Roussel and Virtanen both looked sharper during their brief stints in the top-six.
  • Bo Horvat’s struggles to light the lamp, particularly at even-strength and at home, have been the subject of scrutiny this season; but I thought he had a fairly strong game. He drew some tough matchups, generated a couple of the team’s only real chances at evens and led the team in 5v5 shots with 4. As concerning as his lack of production has been, I don’t think it’s cause for too much concern. He’s getting good looks, has linemates that are producing now, and has been victimized by an absurdly low personal shooting percentage at 5v5. He’s tied with Jake Virtanen for third among Canucks in 5v5 shots, behind only frequent linemates Tanner Pearson and Josh Leivo. we’ve seen major breakouts from them over the past handful of games, and I fully expect Horvat to follow suit. If he keeps playing the way he has, the goals will come.