The team lacked energy and urgency
John Shorthouse said it on the broadcast. The Flyers were playing the second half of a back-to-back but given how the game was going it seemed like the Canucks were the tired team.
From puck drop, it felt like Vancouver was chasing the game.
They weren’t testing Martin Jones with good scoring chances. There were odd-man rushes given up, turnovers, and overall, the team looked tired and lost.
“Everyone in the room wanted that one,” said Hughes after the game. ” It was an important game. It’s still a young season, but that was frustrating. We get another chance Saturday.”
The Canucks didn’t look like they were giving much of an effort again.
Justin Bailey and Juho Lammikko probably gave the most effort on the night. Brock Boeser had some good looks late in the third but the rest of the team looked flat.
There were glimpses of hope in the second and third (particularly on the power play) but it wasn’t enough.
The Canucks top players in particular had nothing to show for.
“They’re smart guys,” said head coach Travis Green on the top players’ lack of production per Brendan Batchelor of Sportsnet 650. “They know they need to score and need to produce. I thought tonight was a little bit of a step in the right direction. Those guys have scored in the past, and they’ll score again.”
Will the real Elias Pettersson please stand up?
Speaking of top players, Elias Pettersson’s struggles continue.
The Canucks centre didn’t look like himself at all.
He was bobbling the puck, fanning on his one-timers, easily getting checked, and even took a bad penalty in the third.
Pettersson finished the night with a 46.67 Corsi for percentage and a 30.20 goals for percentage (the second-lowest on the team in the game.) per NaturalStatTrick.
Just like last game, it was like he lost his superpowers.
From the way he has played, it seems there isn’t much confidence in his game. Like the rest of the team, the effort isn’t there. There could be something going on with him that we don’t know about or maybe not.
Maybe the real Pettersson has been kidnapped and the one we are seeing on the ice is an imposter?
All jokes aside, we all know Pettersson can be a game-changer. In Thursday night’s game and this season so far, he hasn’t been the player we all know he is.
If you weren’t worried before, I can’t blame you for being worried now.
The Canucks need Pettersson to be that bonafide playmaker and goalscorer and I’m sure he’ll get out of this funk soon. Lots of young players go through slumps and sooner or later, Pettersson will silence the doubters. But it would be better if he awakes from his slumber sooner rather than later.