1. Power play, where art thou?
The Canucks power play is colder than Antarctica right now.
It is drier than saltine crackers.
Star Wars stormtroopers have more firepower than the power play! Yes, they miss a lot but they don’t fire blanks!
The Canucks power play went zero for five on Friday night. In case you are wondering, the last power play goal scored by Vancouver was on October 26 against the Minnesota Wild. That was scored by Alex Chiasson who has two goals on the man advantage so far this season.
After Friday’s game, the power play is ranked 25th in the NHL at 14%.
“They weren’t very good,” said head coach Travis Green after the game. “It’s pretty simple. I know they’re frustrated, too. We’ve spent a lot of time in the offensive zone the last few games, we’ve drawn penalties. But we’ve got to get the job done.”
According to NaturalStatTrick, the Canucks gave up two (!) high danger chances against on the power play. Those were the two shorthanded breakaways that were foiled by Thatcher Demko.
Giving up high danger chances against or shorthanded breakaways is simply unacceptable.
The power play is stagnant as the ship Ever Given in the Suez Canal last March.
There wasn’t enough movement on the power play and it was just as predictable as those Christmas films you will see on the Hallmark channel soon. (Or maybe they are there already.)
The power play lacks plays from down low. There hasn’t been puck movement from behind the net or any form of cycling. It was just constant predictable passing plays and some one-timers that either missed the net or were stopped by Jusse Saros.
The personnel has been changed with the likes of Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Conor Garland bumped up to the first unit and Quinn Hughes and Bo Horvat were relegated to the second unit. But it wasn’t working at all.
Elias Pettersson’s struggles continued and he couldn’t get going on the man advantage and even at even strength. (Also went zero for five in the faceoff circle.)
The power play has been very frustrating to watch and something needs to happen for it to get going again. At this rate, the Sedins could strap on a pair of skates for the next game and make the power play better.
In the NFL, teams can decline penalties, and if only the Canucks could do the same.
2. The penalty kill makes you want to facepalm
Just like the power play, the penalty kill also has been very frustrating. Yup, the special teams are once again the biggest story of the game.
The Predators scored on two of their three attempts in the game.
Once again, the Canucks gave up the first goal of the game for the ninth time in 11 games as Roman Josi scored a blast from the blue line on the power play.
Philip Tomasino got Nashville’s second power play marker late in the second and that turned out to be the game-winner.
The Preds moved the puck quickly unlike the Canucks power play. They also had Luke Kunin not just stand in front of the net but move to the side (or down low) to receive a pass and find Tomasino open.
Vancouver’s penalty kill doesn’t look confident either.
They weren’t attacking the puck carriers and were just standing there. There also wasn’t much effort to clear the puck out either. Losing faceoffs also didn’t help. (Vancouver’s faceoff percentage was at 41%.)
After Friday’s game, the Canucks penalty kill somehow isn’t the worst in the NHL. They ranked 30th clocking in at 66.7%. The two teams worse than them on the penalty kill are the Winnipeg Jets at 64.7% and the Arizona Coyotes at 63.9%.
The Canucks have given up at least one power play goal in six straight games. Ouch.