I Watched This Game: Canucks at Columbus Blue Jackets, March 7, 2013

It’s hard to get into these early-start games. The Eastern timezone throws everything out of whack, and suddenly, with puck drop three hours earlier, it’s nigh impossible to settle into the usual routine. The pregame meal happens at the wrong time. You miss the pregame nap. Everything’s awry, and sometimes, it’s difficult to doff that feeling.

I’m not excusing Vancouver’s performance tonight. I’m referring to myself. The 4pm puck drop ruins my whole routine. With my dinner early and my nap straight-up cancelled, I found myself fighting the post-meal snooze blues all night. It was terrible, and the fact that the Canucks and Blue Jackets combined for a game that had all the waking magic of Goodnight Moon didn’t help at all. But because I am a professional, I didn’t fall asleep. Instead, I watched this game.

Canucks 1 – 2 Blue Jackets

  • Let’s go straight to the bright side for those of you fretting over this loss: despite what you may think, the Canucks did not lose to the NHL’s worst team tonight. When the night began, sure, the Blue Jackets were 30th, but the two points they collected propelled them ahead of the Florida Panthers for 29th. In other words, the Canucks lost to the second-worst team. That’s not as bad.
  • And there’s another bright side: the Canucks don’t play the Panthers this season, meaning that not only did they not lose to the NHL’s worst team, but it’s literally impossible for them to do so. Things are looking up, Vancouver.
  • Alex Edler and Chris Tanev had a rough night, which won’t do anything to assuage the folks claiming that, if Keith Ballard is benched for his mistakes, so too should Alex Edler be. (Granted, while Edler’s performance won’t assuage this group, neither will reason, so it’s okay.)  Edler and Tanev were responsible for both Columbus goals. On the first, they got crossed up in front of the goal, leaving R.J. Umberger wide open when Nick Foligno’s wrap-around attempt came off the post and onto his stick. Untouched, Umberger buried it like it was the natural despair one feels upon realizing his best years will be spent in Columbus.
  • On the Blue Jackets’ second goal, the game-winner, Edler made the curious decision to dive towards a puck with Matt Calvert coming down the wall. It didn’t work, as Calvert moved past Edler and beat Schneider high to end the game. I could have told Edler going to his belly was a bad idea. He does his best work upright, like the serpent in the Garden of Eden.
  • Originally, that last line started out He does his best work erect, like… and then I couldn’t think of a simile that wouldn’t get me fired.
  • You think Edler never gets punished? He spent some time in the third paired with Cam Barker. Let that be a lesson to you, Edler.
  • David Booth continued his strong, yet bafflingly unproductive play. He had 5 shots, second only to Edler, and several golden scoring opportunities. A few of his power moves were highlight-reel stuff if he could have finished. But he couldn’t, for two reasons: first, the goalie can see him. Booth is used to his victims thinking he’s a part of the environment, and the NHL refuses to allow him to wear a jersey that lets him blend into the ice. Second, Booth isn’t used to getting this close to his targets. If only he could shoot the puck from an unseen vantage point in the stands.
  • Zack Kassian looked good too, but his beard is really having a negative effect on his play. It’s hard to do much on the ice when you have to spend the entire night evading Sasquatch hunters and Tenacious D.
  • The Canucks only had one powerplay in this game, and the NHL.com play-by-play summary does a good job detailing its ineptness. Here are the events, in chronological order: Columbus won faceoff, Hansen missed shot, Hansen blocked shot, Stop — puck in netting, Vancouver won faceoff, Burrows blocked shot, Daniel Sedin missed shot, Columbus takeaway, Vancouver giveaway. I’m not saying it isn’t an intimidating powerplay these days, but the first unit has started bringing a bowl of off-brand tortilla chips and a seven-layer bean dip to the offensive zone faceoff.
  • Speaking of the first unit, with Ryan Kesler missing from it, the Canucks are in dire need of a shoot-first player. Jordan Schroeder’s not it. He needs to not be on this unit anymore. I understand he’s American, but not all Americans are shoot-first. He’s from Minnesota, not Texas. Here’s how to tell the difference: Minnesotans say things like “Dontcha Know”, and Texans say things like, “I don’t think our state does enough executions.”
  • Max Lapierre had several chances tonight. As a result, several chances died on his stick. His lack of offensive acumen has been the biggest obstacle to him getting third line icetime in the past, and it really showed Thursday. Eventually, Lapierre was dropped from line three in favour of Schroeder, and I can assure you that was a demotion for Lappy, not a promotion for the Shredder.
  • The Canucks spent much of this game trailing by one, but they managed to tie it up early in the third on a goal from Henrik Sedin, who had a point shot dribble to him at the side of the goal and put it up over Sergei Bobrovsky. The real hero of the play, however, was Dan “Community Man” Hamhuis, who put that puck through traffic to the other side. And after the game, he did the same for an elderly woman by assisting her crossing at a dangerously underlit intersection.
  • Jannik Hansen had an opportunity to win this game late in the third when he was sprung on a shorthanded breakaway. Unfortunately, with all that time and space, he inadvertently transitioned into shootout mode and put a weak one into Bobrovsky’s glove.
  • Andrew Alberts had an eventful first period. First, he knocked Derek Dorsett from the game with a big hit just outside the Canuck crease. Then, he had a puck disappear into the folds of his jersey. It was sort of funny, but it led to the funniest moment of the game, when a Columbus fan in the corner realized where the puck was and let out the most audible, hen-like guffaw I’ve ever heard on a hockey broadcast.
  • Speaking of broadcasting, there are times when Shorty and Garrett sound like a broadcast team, and there are times when they sound like an old married couple. Tonight was the latter. We had Garretty saying “You know I don’t like to whine,” then Shorty responding with a sarcastic “yes.” We heard about where they went for lunch, which was adorable. And in my favourite moment, Shorty told us of Garrett’s penchant for putting fries on his nose and then dropping them into his mouth, hands-free, which is exactly the sort of uninteresting story a guy tells about his partner, somehow failing to realize no one is as interested in the subject as he is. It’s like George-Michael Bluth talking about Ann Veal’s mayonegg.
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47 comments

  1. Dougster
    March 7, 2013

    In what was a truly awful game I really like Kassian’s play–his slap pass to Booth would have been a goal if it had been Burrows or Daniel on the receiving end. I’m thinking he needs to be back with the twins for a game or two.

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  2. Nee
    March 7, 2013

    We really scraped the barrel with this one. : /

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    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  3. chinook
    March 7, 2013

    Harrison, you’re spot on about Shorthouse and Garrett. They spend waaay too much time together. But I enjoy their repartee and here is an exchange you missed. Garrett listed a number of older players who got off to fast starts and lead their teams in goals (Marleau, Jagr etc). Shorthouse was quick to agree: “Yes, and in terms of our broadcast crew, you John came flying out of the gate.” Garrett’s modest reply: “Well, I was staying in shape, working AHL games.”

    And did you notice after Daniel Sedin took a cross-checking penalty against Adrian Aucoin, their extended chat and laugh? What were they going on about? Thought for sure you would tell us.

    Finally, maybe Booth can score if shoots from behind a (hunting) blind. Surprise the goalie while hiding behind a Bluejacket defender. As you say, that would likely work better than going hard to the net. And oh yeah, thanks for not reminding me that Umberger was a long ago Canuck first pick.

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    • chinook
      March 7, 2013

      PS Harrison: Apologies if I seem to be picking holes in your holes in your (yet again) great game review. Its just that as I too watch the game, I find myself saying “Oho! whatever will PITB say about that!” And I nearly forgot to be devastated about losing to Columbus. I agree with Cathylu’s plan – screw the President’s trophy, its all about the playoffs.

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    • best behaviour
      March 8, 2013

      “the NHL refuses to allow him to wear a jersey that lets him blend into the ice.” – can’t he wear one of those old baby-blue Penguins jerseys? Close enough to camoflage…

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  4. Brent
    March 7, 2013

    “assuage the folks claiming that, if Keith Ballard is benched for his mistakes, so too should Alex Edler be”

    That would include me. bench him, what do we have to loose? Call me Crazy, but I actually think that if we had benched him for a couple of games against LA, we may have won at least one more game. He does not completely own the winning goal tonight though. Sure that was a butt head move, but Henrik could have stepped up and done something, rather than playing the disappearing man and backing up and letting Calvert walk right in. Maybe he wanted Schneider to get a good view of the shot and not have it deflect off his stick or something. May have worked, but Schneider went down a little early I though.

    Man I wish I had not watched this game!

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    • Nick
      March 8, 2013

      Yes … Henrik looked really bad on that play. Backing up and backing up, and letting 3 Blue Jackets have the slot all to themselves.

      Schneider might have been muttering something about a stupid “iron man streak” after that one.

      And Edler was probably thinking “thank you Henrik.”

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  5. Cathylu
    March 7, 2013

    I keep telling myself “Keep calm and wait for the playoffs”.

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    • steveB
      March 7, 2013

      I’m starting to worry that the Playoffs may well become moot unless the Canucks wake up from their snooze.

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      Rating: +1 (from 9 votes)
    • Rob
      March 8, 2013

      At this rate they will be lucky to make the playoffs. The season is half over and they have lost more games than they have won.They have to wake up and get their act together or they will be on the outside looking in.

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  6. Amor de Cosmos
    March 7, 2013

    Was this a new low? I’m beginning to believe that this particular iteration of the Canucks crested in Boston in January 2012. It’s pretty much been a slow decline since then. I could be wrong. I really hope they’ll turn this dog’s breakfast of a season around, and I certainly don’t think anyone’s job should be on the line yet. But this inexorable downward trajectory needs to be arrested.

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  7. akidd
    March 7, 2013

    the most exciting moment of the broadcast came when gary valk flipped the pool postgame. never seen him flip before. pretty good flipper, i’d say.

    8 regulation wins in 23 games, said he. not good enough. said not enough skill among the forwards and then showed some booth highlights and talked trades. maybe he was just pissed john and john bumped him from the ‘first comment’ line.

    it’s hard to really feel good about flipping though in the wake of the shark and king games. the team’s a mystery…again. and so goes life in the canuck speculation club. i may be ready for the next level. i followed that link to the Genisis Creation discussion board. now those guys can speculate! next time pitb crashes i’m there:)

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    • akidd
      March 7, 2013

      “Genesis” //slink, slink, slink….

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    • Brent
      March 8, 2013

      I deleted the game before I got to Gary. have to see if I can get it back and watch it. Sounds like something to see.

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  8. jenny wren
    March 7, 2013

    We watch this game with Chicken Hawk
    Creating couplets as we talk:

    “Booth makes a fine rush to the net,
    In seven games he’s not scored yet.”

    “The jury’s out on David Booth,
    And also on The Missing Tooth.”

    “If you can’t beat the last place team,
    Lord Stanley’s Cup is but a dream.”

    “Who would deem me indiscreet
    To think this team less than elite?”

    “Woo whoopee ding a goal I see
    From Two to Twos to Thirty-three!”

    “When refs call nothing all game long,
    Then petty stuff, well that’s all wrong.”

    “And now at last the game is done
    Columbus two, Vancouver one.”

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    • best behaviour
      March 8, 2013

      It’s a very competitive league with teams packed full of good players in a shortened, highly-compressed schedule. Any given night, any one NHL team can beat any other.

      (That’s blank verse.)

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  9. obituary mambo
    March 8, 2013

    Sadly, I too watched this game. I was questioning the wisdom of waking up for it even before the Jackets took the lead. Utterly exhausted with only a couple of hours of sleep, the pace of this game did absolutely nothing to help the situation. I had been hoping for a better performance; instead we got this bore-a-thon. How it is earthly possible to go from the form seen against San Jose to this dreck in a matter of days — as if they’ve learned nothing — will likely remain a mystery to me. The Canucks so desperately need these points but they seem intent on throwing them away, leaving me to channel my inner Willow Rosenberg and mutter a “Grumble, grumble…”

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    • charlie1605004
      March 8, 2013

      Points for that apt Willow Rosenberg reference. Druther watch the Scoobie gang vs soulless Angel than a game like that.

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  10. Carlo
    March 8, 2013

    Awful game. This is getting really really frustrating. I feel no sense of urgency from the guys and it’s always “yeah I thought we played a good game, we just didn’t get the results.” Well, results matter folks, and it’s only a matter of time before we get to the playoffs, where results REALLY matter. You gotta get to working on getting two points man.

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  11. Donna
    March 8, 2013

    As a Blue Jackets fan who adores you, Harrison, I am nobly ignoring your insults and have only this to say: Neener neener.

    As a Pens fan, I will add that I know how hard it is to watch your team when it’s so good and has a bad game, so I sympathize.

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    • Nee
      March 8, 2013

      However, as a Pens fan you do have a recent Cup win to make you feel better. All we have is a recent Cup loss. : (

      43 years…

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  12. Ali
    March 8, 2013

    I love Shorty and Garrett. Their banter is fun to listen to, especially in a bad game.

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    • Nick
      March 8, 2013

      Meh … I prefer Cuthbert and Ferraro.

      I want my play-by-play guy to focus almost exclusively on the action as it unfolds … Cuthbert never drifts away from this, but sometimes Shortie will stop calling the action for long periods of time, and start telling non-hockey stories like he’s a colour man instead.

      And I want my colour guy to be completely focused on the game and have good game insights … Ferraro is excellent in this respect, and he doesn’t waste time bantering about Kraft Dinner and movies he’s seen.

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      • Ali
        March 8, 2013

        I dunno, I watch at least part of almost every Canucks game on Gamecenter. That means not every play is important to me, and I do a lot of just listening while glancing. If you want intense play by play, listen to the radio broadcast while watching TV. I’ll take some stories during my admittedly large over indulgence in Canucks games.

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  13. BBoone
    March 8, 2013

    Actually Booth is at his very best when he has his target trapped and tied up. If you don’t think that is easy drop a line to Dick Cheney’s shooting buddy.

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  14. Rob
    March 8, 2013

    The Nucks are 0.400 when outshooting their opponents which tells me that the entire team is snake bitten. I dont know how Booth can drive so hard and put so many shots on net and NOT SCORE, it is the most frustating thing I have ever witnessed. The real @#$%ty thing about it is there is nothing they can do to change that except keep working hard and generating scoring chances and hope the puck luck changes. According to canucksarmy the Canucks are consistantly out-chancing their opponents they just can’t finish. So frustrating.

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    • Chris the Curmudgeon
      March 8, 2013

      Booth isn’t “snakebitten”, he just isn’t a very good scorer. Most consistent scoring forwards in the NHL carry a career shooting percentage between 11 and 13% (eg: Patrick Kane, Ovechkin, Parise, Hossa, Tavares, Carter, Plekanec were a few that I looked at). Lower tier forwards sit a little lower, whereas Steven Stamkos has a percentage above 17%, for his career, suggesting that either he’s more selective or he makes the most of his chances (or most likely, both). David Booth is paid and treated like a top 6 forward, but he scores at about a 9% clip for his career, bolstered considerable by his 12.9% career season in 08-09 with Florida. By and large, his ability to bury his chances is more consistent with a third line forward, for instance he’s higher than Lapierre but lower than Malhotra, Hansen, Higgins and Ebbett.

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      • Daniel Wagner
        March 8, 2013

        Who cares about the percentages when Booth has consistently scored at a 20+ goal clip? In the last 5 seasons, he’s consistently either scored 20+ goals or been on pace to score 20+ goals when he’s been injured. And those injuries have not been because he’s “injury prone.” They’ve been the result of suspendable hits, though Mike Richards didn’t get suspended for his blindside hit to Booth’s head, as it was before the rule change.

        In any case, it doesn’t matter what his shooting percentage is when he generates the amount of shots that he does, which is why he still scores goals. Sure, he hasn’t scored yet this season, but that’s far more due to puck luck than anything he’s doing wrong. Even at his career shoot percentage, he should have at least 2 goals this season based on his number of shots, which sounds about right with the chances he’s generated. What pace would that be over an 82-game season? 20 goals. Considering he’s been playing third-line minutes to start the season with minimal to no powerplay time, a 20-goal pace would be phenomenal.

        Cherry-picking his shooting percentage and saying that it’s lower than a third-line forwards ignores how he’s scored goals at a higher-rate than a third-liner throughout his career.

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        • Chris the Curmudgeon
          March 8, 2013

          Daniel, it must be exhausting for you to keep trying to come up with reasons why David Booth isn’t scoring. Obviously he’s way below his shooting percentage, and he generates a lot of shots, so he’s not going to go 0 for the season. However, I also think the fact that he’s a below average finisher for his career either indicates that his shot selection is poor (meaning that he takes more shots from lower percentage spots than others), or that the shots he takes are less likely to go in. I appreciate that you are a proponent of advanced statistics, but we hardly need them to evaluate David Booth right now: he skates fast, he gets the puck into the zone, he shoots it, and the goalie saves it. That’s great for his possession numbers and Corsi and whatever, but on the scoresheet it means a big fat nothing. I’m not saying Booth can’t be a useful player, just that he’s not an elite scorer. Unlike Damien Cox, I have been extremely consistent with my message on this: the Canucks forwards either do not generate enough quality scoring chances, or they are incapable of burying the ones they get. Last night’s game was just another in a discomforting series of examples in support of my point.

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          • Daniel Wagner
            March 8, 2013

            It’s not exhausting at all, because it’s not a difficult position to argue.

            But heck, if all you’re saying is that Booth isn’t an elite scorer, then sure, I agree. Who the hell is arguing that he is an elite scorer? I’m arguing that he’s a 20+ goal guy, which makes him a second liner, not an elite scorer.

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            • Chris the Curmudgeon
              March 8, 2013

              Well, for the 4th highest paid player on the team, 20 goals is still setting the bar pretty low don’t you think? But even then, he should have at least 2 or 3 goals by now. I’m saying that Booth is not only not an elite scorer, but neither is any other forward on the team except Daniel Sedin, streaky Alex Burrows and maybe Ryan Kesler, assuming 2010-11 wasn’t an anomaly and he’s actually capable of being healthy. Similarly, I’d argue the team doesn’t have any elite playmaking forwards not named Sedin. That pretty much means that 3/4 of the lineup on a given night is a longshot to score or set up a goal. It’d be a stretch to say the team has 4 healthy top 6 forwards right now, depending on how you see Booth. That puts us basically in Minnesota Wild territory.

              David Booth may not be an elite scorer, but I think what I’m ultimately driving at is that as it stands, this team needs him to be one, because of where depth is lacking. This is less a criticism of David as it is of Mike Gillis. The GM has traded away or allowed to walk gifted offensive players in favour of grinders such that a guy like Booth needs to be more than he is. I guess you’re sick of me talking about Cody right now, but that trade STILL makes me mad every time I think about it, because I could applaud that time the team had actually gotten one of those gifted offensive talents that don’t fall in your lap too often, especially when I thought they’d do the dumb thing and take local kid Kyle Beach (OMG 6’3 210 lbs, must be the next Bertuzzi). Then they traded him away for just another Kyle Beach type. I’ve never ever wavered from that, I don’t care how much he had issues, Gillis traded away the only legitimate offensively gifted, high hockey IQ, blue chip true playmaker/scorer the team had drafted in years for just another bruiser, when the obvious, glaring hole on the team that Cody alone had the potential to fill was in top end talent. Now Gillis has a team of hard working grinders, but not enough scorers and no bluechippers in the pipeline either. Grinders, even big ones with some hands, are a dime a dozen, whereas the guys with the next level of hockey IQ, the ones who can think the game at a higher level (eg: Cody), those are the true gems. It’s always the same story from me because it’s always painfully apparent: this team lacks offensive talent, and has offloaded the remedy to those woes. At least the fact that Gillis apparently pursued Kadri for Luongo shows that maybe, behind the scenes, he’s woken up to that fact.

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      • Nick
        March 8, 2013

        And the southeast division teams Booth played against while scoring goals as a Panther were not exactly world beaters.

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  15. Chris the Curmudgeon
    March 8, 2013

    You know, it’s so lovely that Booth is getting tons of scoring chances. The problem is, that unlike his prowess with a gun in his hands, he’s not very good at hitting his target with a hockey puck (unless that target happens to be the crest on the goaltender’s jersey). Apply all of the advanced metrics you like, or even some basic ones like shots, the fact is that some players are good scorers, and others are good skaters and puckhandlers but lousy scorers. Booth seems to be the latter, not unlike a number of players on this team. I think the problem should be obvious: they have too many hustle guys, not enough scorers. Canucksarmy can tell us just how much they’re outchancing their opponents, but that means nothing if they aren’t capable of finishing. As much as the coaching and management teams are patient, this issue is not going away.

    Canucks fans used to success have also become accustomed to giving the team a break for the occasional loss. Detroit: meh, bad games, bad bounces happen every now and then. Phoenix: oh they just bored us to death. San Jose: lots of chances, carried the play, good try. Calgary: oh well the travel snafus killed us. Columbus: Now what? To win, a team has to be able to win under non-ideal circumstances, against different types of opponents. The Canucks get plenty of chances, they usually look good most of the game but they lose, and that, more than shots or chances or whatever, is what the game’s about.

    I like this blog in large part because of a reluctance to panic: both goldeneyes need to be inserted to turn the key. However, and I say this frankly and without panic myself, how much longer will it take to realize that this squad is NOT a serious contender right now? Having Kesler hurt is unfortunate, but it’s not like this is his first time on the shelf either, and the team needs to be able to function even missing a key player. This team needs to address their lack of scoring, right now!

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  16. MB13
    March 8, 2013

    I remember at the start of the season there were lots of comparisons between Cody Hodgson and Zach Kassian’s respective point productions… whatever happened to those? I found them useful.

    Listened to Ray Ferraro on the radio this morning and he said something that I don’t think anybody in the Vancouver media has said yet… The Canucks, as the roster is currently constructed, just aren’t good enough.

    Maybe MG can get YET ANOTHER PLAYER from Florida to help us out. Hmmm – Florida is terrible with Ballard, Booth and Garrison – let’s commit about $13M of our annual payroll to these guys.

    I say the GM isn’t good enough.

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    • Nick
      March 8, 2013

      The Higgins trade is the only Florida acquisition Gillis has made that is a winner.

      I think AV complicates the Ballard deal, and makes it seem worse than it really is … maybe Keith is not a good fit for AV’s style, but might blossom elsewhere.

      And maybe Gillis felt that Grabner, while a good prospect at the time, just wouldn’t get a fair chance for 2nd or 3rd line ice time under AV, so he might as well move him.

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    • Nick
      March 8, 2013

      Dale Tallon sure has seen a lot of his overvalued, long-term overpaid players being acquired by Gillis.

      Makes me glad that Gillis did not make another deal with Tallon when the Luongo rumours were at their peak.

      Reminds of how Sam Pollock, in the 60s and early 70s, would trade his older and overrated players to the poorly managed California teams for high draft picks that turned into Lafleur et al.

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    • B-Fitz
      March 8, 2013

      Is the GM not good enough or are we finally seeing the results of a salary cap system? The Hawks and Ducks are really good, after that everyone is about the same. Am I the only one who sees the league getting more and more watered down each year?

      Booth was a bad pickup, but considering we gave up Marco Sturm and Michael Sammuelsson for him how bad was it in reality. The cap hit sucks but a compliance buyout this summer fixes that. Garrison is coming around, he had no real off season training due to his surgery so my judgement has been reserved for the time being. I do agree that deals with Florida should cease (ask the Flames how awesome J-Bo has been)

      Long term I think Kassian will work out as a top 6 forward, not sure if Vigneault will make it faster or slower getting there though. Anyone got Lindy Ruff’s phone number?

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      • Daniel Wagner
        March 8, 2013

        The Hawks are very good. The Ducks are riding unsustainable percentages and are likely to crash and burn as the season goes on.

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      • MB13
        March 8, 2013

        The GM isn’t good enough. Part of being a GM is managing the cap.

        That means:

        - not overpaying players that are healthy scratches (Ballard)
        - not overpaying players that don’t score (Booth)
        - not overpaying players that can’t play on a given night (Luongo or Schneider depending on who is sitting)
        - not overpaying players that have had one good season in their career (Garrison)

        I have no clue what the Canucks are at this point. Worse is, they don’t. Apart from their top line and 2nd line centre, I can’t think of a position that is solidified. The bottom 6 are a mess. Who are their 2nd line wingers? They still don’t even know who their starting goalie is! The defense pairings change almost daily.

        Once everyone takes off their rose colored glasses, they’ll realize that the Canucks aren’t much different than the disfunctional teams Canucks fans like to mock – only the current GM was dealt a hand with high end players all over the ice and has done virtually nothing to supplement them.

        I’m tired of excuses from Canucks fans, media and management. Whether it’s the refs, the schedule, the injuries or the excuse of the day – it comes up like the Canucks are the only team that suffers from adversity.

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        • Nick
          March 8, 2013

          I’m not sure what to make of the post-Higgins Florida acquisitions … but maybe it raises questions about the Canucks pro scouting.

          After all of the hype about them, both Booth and Ballard have both been mentioned as buy-out candidates … and people are wondering if paying Garrison $27.6 million over 6 years was that wise.

          Maybe the pro scouts who advise Gillis are not that stellar.

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  17. chinook
    March 8, 2013

    After a few “sky is falling” posts, time for a lighter note.
    Great link to the religious site at “serpent in the garden of eden” which I skimmed. My eyeballs glommed onto the three classes of locomotion: legged, slithering, rolling. Besides that they need to add ‘sliding’ (a la Edler), I was riveted on my favourite -’ROLLING’ as in “this old man came rolling home”.

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  18. Nick
    March 8, 2013

    How much does defense pairing stability have to do with the errors that Edler et al. are making?

    We keep hearing the old saw about how constantly juggling D pairings should NOT be a factor because NHL defenseman should be good enough to play with anybody.

    But the Norris-calibre D pretty much always have the same partner all year, and sometimes year after year (e.g., Keith with Seabrook; Weber with Sutter; Chara with Seidenberg; Lidstrom with Rafalski; Karlsson with Kuba).

    One key to their success must be knowing intimately exactly where their partner is, and what they will probably do.

    Bowness and Vigneault, on the other hand, scramble their pairings far more than they need to … presumably in a desperate search for chemistry.

    Sometimes chemistry requires patience.

    Maybe an Edler-Tanev pairing could be really good. But maybe it will Tanev some time to figure out all of Eder’s “idiosyncrasies”, and learn how to compensate for them.

    It’s funny how AV, as a coach, can stubbornly stick with some things that clearly don’t work and maybe never will.

    And yet, in other respects like juggling pairings and lines, he has very little patience.

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    • Rob
      March 8, 2013

      I totally agree! Tanev has played a lot of sheltered minutes in his career and he has played a majority of them with a very stable partner. It is a HUGE increase in roll and responsibility to go from playing with safe and sound partners to one of the most erratic partners in the league. It takes time to learn what your partner is going to do, and if there wasnt so much pressure on the Canucks to win RIGHT NOW, I’m sure there would be some more patience on the matter. Tanev/Edler are the future of the Canucks blueline, it will take some time for them to get to know each other and it’s not going to happen in a few games. Unfortunately with the pressure to win now, time is not a luxury that the Canucks have.

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  19. B-Fitz
    March 8, 2013

    The Canucks aren’t going to score more goals by getting “fancier” they need to get dirtier. 1st Unit PP should be Burrows, the twins, a D-man that will shoot (Edler , Garrison or Bieksa) and Kassian in front of the net to screen and get dirty. The kid scored his 5 goals this year playing with offensive minded players, not Lappy, not Weise, and not David Blinders…I mean Booth. Kassian has played better the last week or so, so jam him in the top 6 for a couple games…….it can’t make things any worse.

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  20. Rituro
    March 8, 2013

    Meh, we’ll get a playoff berth. So what if we drop a game to Columbus? LA snoozed their way through last season and woke up in time to steamroll everyone en route to a Cup. No reason we can’t do that, too.

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  21. BBoone
    March 8, 2013

    The Canucks gave up Sturm and Samuelson , neither of whom were playing , for Booth, Reinprecht and a useful 3rd round pick coming up this year .Very much a salary dump by Tallon. The Canuck risk was the salary cap hit if Booth did not pan out. Injuries have really dictated that the jury should stay out. Certainly Booth is playing fearlessly so he is over the concussion worries. Injuries are the wild cards of chance in pro sports. It is too early to pull the plug on Booth.

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  22. J21 (@Jyrki21)
    March 8, 2013

    I only watched a few minutes of this game, but I was pretty disappointed to see the officials letting a ton of holding go. At what point did the league decide obstruction had to come back (actually, don’t answer that: it was the 2011 playoffs). To whom is it beneficial?

    Is it any coincidence that Daryl Sutter and Ken Hitchcock’s sudden phoenix-like rise from the ashes occurs at the same time last season, after being this close to the brink of obscurity? Perhaps they owe more to the league than it does to them.

    People love to talk about players “disappearing in the playoffs”, but I don’t really see how they’re at fault when illegal contact suddenly becomes legal all of a sudden. I’m not sure if the NHL doesn’t like the narrative of skill triumphing over grit (because it’s Hollywood-unfriendly or what have you), but this seems to occur with the full blessing of Don Cherry types with their idiotic chorus of “let the players play”.

    Not reflecting on last night’s game so much as waxing philosophical about the state of the league, in light of some pretty poor quality hockey last night. We all know exactly what will happen these playoffs, but people will make up silly narratives about the team being “too European” or “not wanting it enough” rather than just admit it is harder to play skilled hockey when holding, hooking and interference are allowed.

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