Canucks Additional: Treading water doesn’t get you into the playoffs


The Canucks have been badly outclassed Monday by a Stanley Cup contender, a reminder of the place issues want to finish up.

And like that, the Canucks are Four-Four-2 of their final ten.

Enjoying .500 hockey isn’t going to get them to the playoffs.

They’re sitting behind groups who’ve extra video games left than them, for one. And simply because the St. Louis Blues have gotten scorching and are actually gunning for the Dallas Stars and third place within the Central — sure, neglect the wild card for St. Bathroom — you’ve received to imagine one other group within the Canucks’ neighborhood goes to as effectively.

As noted in the game story, the Canucks having only one wholesome goalie will not be going to get them the place they have to be, even when that goalie is Jacob Markstrom.

Regardless of the consequence, Mike DiPietro known as it a “dream come true.”

“You by no means need to let within the first shot, however I felt higher as the sport went on. There are classes I’ll take from this and work on to finish this season and all through the summer season,” he mentioned.

There’s each purpose to assume DiPietro has a shiny future, however he’s removed from an NHL goalie at this level. He battled laborious in opposition to the Sharks, however there have been loads of examples the place he did issues that given a 12 months or two he gained’t be making.

Consider the rebounds and the place the pucks typically went, for example. He reacted effectively sufficient to NHL shooters, and clearly improved as the sport went alongside, however there have been loads of situations the place the ensuing puck location was a mirrored image of a goalie who solely simply received to the shot.

“It’s not straightforward to return from junior and play within the NHL,” Bo Horvat mentioned afterwards. “We hung him out to dry on a number of of these objectives. It wasn’t a ok effort from our group. We gave them too many Grade-A possibilities they usually made us pay.”

He’ll get higher, however growth calls for repetition. Optimistic progress in growth additionally isn’t linear; this isn’t constructing a brick wall, this can be a far difficult course of — and simply take a look at Markstrom, who’s 29 and simply now appears to be like like a constant No. 1 goalie.

Anyway, the Canucks do have a beneficial schedule within the coming weeks, however their subsequent two actually are in all probability the largest of the entire playoff chase.

In Anaheim on Wednesday and Los Angeles on Thursday, the Canucks must win each. These are groups under them within the standings. These are 4 factors that will likely be essential to no matter playoff goals they could nonetheless harbour.

They will definitely hold their hat on the truth that something is feasible and level to Saturdays’ smash-and-grab win over the Flames as proof, however that doesn’t cover the truth that there are some wins they only must have whereas nonetheless hoping to search out extra repeats of wins like that.


Chinese language dancers go away the ice as Vancouver Canucks goalie Michael DiPietro places on his masks.

DARRYL DYCK /

THE CANADIAN PRESS

The goalie query

Full mea culpa right here: I didn’t ask about who the beginning goalie is likely to be on Monday morning. Others might have too, in fact, so it’s actually on all of us.

We didn’t. Travis Inexperienced prodded us just a little about it.

“I knew after he received off the ice (Monday morning),” Inexperienced mentioned of when he knew Markstrom had a difficulty.

“Fortunately you guys didn’t ask for the primary time in a very long time … it was kinda good.”

The reply he did give us post-game laid out a few of the timeline and the reasoning for beginning .

“Marky got here in, had a pressure. I felt like if we performed him tonight it might flip into a bigger harm that I didn’t need it to show into.”

Now, Markstrom didn’t observe on Sunday, both. We assumed on the time it was only a logical case of getting a man some relaxation. However in hindsight, this additionally absolutely means there have been questions *earlier than* he went on the ice. It was a really optionally available morning skate; most starters aren’t displaying as much as these.

So if Markstrom was a possible harm on *Sunday* … would which have made the potential utilization of the emergency backup goalie ought to one thing have occurred to DiPietro problematic? Markstrom was on the bench, however he wasn’t going to go in internet if DiPietro had faltered or had been injured.

The Canucks had an emergency backup goaltender prepared within the dressing room. These guys are presupposed to solely be utilized in a real emergency.

And what concerning the extra urgent downside: discovering one other goalie on an NHL deal? DiPietro did his finest, however ultimately he was a junior goalie doing his finest in opposition to one of the best shooters he’s ever seen. He’ll get higher in the long term, however he’s nonetheless 19 and really, very uncooked.

The Canucks have Michael Leighton sitting there in Utica, able to signal an NHL deal. There are others on the market, again tallied up in the game story, who might serve in a pinch as effectively.

Inexperienced mentioned he figured it was seemingly Markstrom would begin Wednesday in Anaheim and if he needed to begin DiPietro on Thursday in Los Angeles, he would.


Brandon Sutter tries to skate previous Ivan Provorov of the Philadelphia Flyers in the course of the first interval at Wells Fargo Heart on Feb. Four.

Drew Hallowell /

Getty Pictures

The Sutter scenario

A groin-ish downside for Brandon Sutter, Inexperienced acknowledged post-game. He’s going to be out “a short while,” he mentioned.

For weeks individuals, your author included, have been pondering the thought of buying and selling Sutter. It will create an area for Adam Gaudette, one that you just assume will likely be wanted subsequent 12 months anyway. (Are they actually going to push Gaudette to *one other* 12 months in Utica? Appears daft.)

He has a no-trade clause, however a contender might need preferred him as a penalty-killer/fourth line centre, particularly if the Canucks ate half his remaining contract. (He has two mores seasons after this one, which means it expires the identical low season they should re-sign Elias Pettersson.)

Now with Sutter gone in the meanwhile, and Gaudette seemingly the again up, this group as soon as once more appears to be like extra like one for the longer term, much less for the short-term. Which makes, once more, a powerful case for being sellers on the commerce deadline.

The kick

The astute eyes of Omar Canuck pointed this out to me.

Assume Kane will hear from the league?

The (different) child

Zack MacEwen’s recreation grew as the sport wore on.

He picked up an help on the Canucks’s second purpose, organising Derrick Pouliot.

It wasn’t an amazing consequence, however it was a great begin for the person from potato-land.

“He performed effectively, made performs, was bodily, did effectively within the offensive zone,” Horvat mentioned of his linemate.

MacEwen mentioned the nerves have been passed by the second interval. And he gave credit score to his veteran linemates, Horvat and Antoine Roussel.

“All optimistic issues, selecting me up on something I believed I did mistaken.”

The luck

There was some unhealthy luck concerned in a pair Sharks objectives, certain, however they scored seven.

The Canucks, alternatively, managed simply two, although they did get loads of strain as the sport wore on.

The Canucks in all probability deserved one other purpose or two, given the work they finally put in.

Their unhealthy begin did them in.

“I don’t assume we got here out laborious sufficient,” Horvat mentioned. He identified how the primary shot he confronted was from proper on high of his crease and Timo Meier made no mistake.

He and his teammates wanted to have completed a greater job ensuring the primary photographs weren’t grade-A alternative cuts, he added.

The shot steadiness

That is typically a difficult chart to grasp, however it’s a mirrored image of what was occurring shots-wise with the Canucks. Often the trailing group will get extra photographs, so in case you can take away that affect, you get a greater sense of true expertise and what we see right here is numerous Canucks, at finest, in a really common window, whereas the Sharks have been closely within the optimistic.

That’s a group that’s a Stanley Cup contender.

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