Canucks vs. St. Louis Blues: What we learned from their 5-1 loss
The death by a thousand cuts defence came home to roost again Monday night at Rogers Arena, and the Canucks couldn’t overcome it
By losing 5-1 on Monday night at Rogers Arena, the Vancouver Canucks added to a series of ignominious lists.
Eight times in their last nine games the Canucks have given up the first goal of the game.
It’s been 10 games since the Canucks won a game in regulation.
This was the 14th time in 31 games this season they’ve given up five goals.
These are bullets that at some point you just can’t dodge anymore.
That the Canucks have remained within spitting distance of a playoff position in recent weeks has distracted many from all these truths.
The Canucks have some fine pieces, but this roster is just too flawed to do anything sustainable.
Time and again they leave opposing shooters wide open and in the National Hockey League, even the depth players are going to nail their opportunities, given time and space.
Vancouver Canucks vs. Seattle Kraken
7 p.m., Rogers Arena. TV: Sportsnet. Radio: AM 650.
Just ask the Blues’ Nathan Walker, for instance.
The grinding winger found himself all alone coming down the right wing in the second period and it wasn’t like he was on an odd-man rush.
There were four Canucks in the defensive zone, but no one challenged him at the blue line.
He fired the puck past Spencer Martin, giving the Blues a 2-1 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Jordan Kyrou had a hat trick for the Blues, scoring the first goal of the game off a nice setup by Vladimir Tarasenko.
That also came off a defensive breakdown by Vancouver: Tarasenko had found an opening in the slot, got a shot off and then was able to collect the rebound unhindered.
Standing around and watching is an ongoing issue for the Canucks.
Kyrou sealed the game with two goals early in the third. Robert Thomas also scored for St. Louis, while Ilya Mikheyev scored shortly after Walker’s goal, giving the Canucks and their fans a brief glimmer of hope.
But the death by a thousand cuts defence came home to roost again and the Canucks couldn’t overcome it on this night.
Boo birds and sell the team
Fans are making booing and sell the team chants a regular feature of games.
They’re not impressed.
How long until they just stop coming altogether?
With a delayed penalty on the way and his team in possession, goalie Jordan Bennington hustled to the bench.
Meanwhile, two other Blues hustled off for a change, meaning St. Louis was on a three on five in the Canucks’ end.
And the Canucks’ defenders just stood there while the trio made a couple of passes.
There was no reason for the Canucks not to blitz the Blues’ puck carriers — the three new Blues took a while to get in the zone.
It could have turned out worse.
The Mikheyev move
Speed kills and also often lets you get away with just one move.
Ilya Mikheyev’s only move on breakaways, scouts will tell you, is to deke forehand and pull the puck across to try a backhanded tap-in.
It sure worked on his goal in the second period, where he was afforded an inch of space and accelerated away on a breakaway, something he has not done much of this season despite his reputation for finding open ice to show off his skating prowess.
He came in on a great angle, opened up Binnington by cutting across the crease and calmly tucking the puck in on his backhand.
With Brock Boeser back healthy, Boudreau chose to keep Lane Pederson in the lineup and scratch Nils Hoglander.
It felt like a tough decision, give Hoglander had his best game of the season last Wednesday in Calgary and the coach has talked a lot about his team needing to play more like they did in Cowtown.
Boeser missed two games because of a virus. Now Pettersson is out for his second game in a row with a virus, presumably the same bug that felled Boeser.
Given the nasty flu bug that’s been going around Metro Vancouver, the odds seem high that that’s what the duo have been battling this past week.
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