The Vancouver Canucks should file this loss under the “bitter medicine” category.
The Vancouver Canucks were handed a ninth-straight loss in a row and seat with the Toronto Maples Leafs and the Edmonton Oilers when they lost 4-1 to the San Jose Sharks. But this loss, one which drops Vancouver’s home record to 13-21-5, was not without valuable lessons to be learned.
Though the goal-scoring woes continued and Jacob Markstrom was hung out to dry, the Canucks will try to rebound and prepare themselves for a showdown in the Shark Tank on Thursday.
In case you didn’t follow the game too carefully, here are some team stats to pass around. The Canucks took three minor penalties, two major infractions, and one game misconduct.
That’s not a good night for the Canucks when you know that none of Adam Cracknell, Derek Dorsett, Brandon Prust, or Alex Edler were even dressed for the night. It is even worse knowing that penalties added up for nearly two minutes of 5-on-3 hockey.
Andrey Pedan actually took the first penalty of the game for the Canucks when the Micheal Haley dropped the gloves. This was a good scrap that put more energy into the building in a tied situation. No harm done — not to the Canucks, that is.
But that was not the highlight of the night. Or should I say the “low-light”?
Just a couple of minutes into the second period, Jake Virtanen laid a solid check on former Leaf Roman Polak. The issue is the timing of the hit and the potential intent to aim at the head, which does not seem to be the case with this angle.
On Wednesday morning, the league has revealed that the rookie forward will have a hearing. This is the norm for all game misconduct penalties, so there is nothing fishy happening just yet. The league also has to deal with this Duncan Keith incident from Tuesday night:
Wonder if the two cases are treated differently and becomes another case of Vancouver getting the shorter end of the stick. More to come. My bet is that the maximum suspension for Virtanen is for one game, the minimum five games for Keith. But this is also an interesting take from the Sharks’ point of view:
The one and only goal of the night of the Canuck variety came from the most unexpected situation. Chris Higgins scored his first since the recall on the penalty kill, beating James Reimer over his shoulder with a wrist shot.
It is great to see that beard smiling again.
The post game show on TSN1040 had Ian MacIntyre saying that Higgins would be a decent player for a strong team that needs bottom-six defensive help. A strong buyout candidate, too.
In case you missed my in-game injury update, the big man Nikita Tryamkin was a late scratch after taking a shot off his ankles in Tuesday’s morning skate. According to Willie Desjardins, he is a day-to-day.
Andrey Pedan looked great (besides the fight) in Tryamkin’s spot. He was a physically dominating force and recorded six hits. Markus Granlund returned to action, winning three-quarters of the draws that he took while recording no shots.
So with lots to learn for Virtanen, to keep his cool, for Pedan, to stay physical, and for Higgins, to not lose hopes of playing in the NHL, it was a night of bitter learning for the Canucks. The Canucks go at it again on Thursday in San Jose.