Canucks: 3 takeaways from 4-2 loss to Columbus

Nov 26, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov (44) dives for the puck against Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat (53) in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 26, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov (44) dives for the puck against Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat (53) in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Too many low-danger shots, not enough high-danger scoring opportunities

You can’t win hockey games if you can’t create high-danger scoring opportunities, and the Canucks once again learned that lesson on Friday night.

There was no doubt that Vancouver was the better, more-deserving hockey club at Nationwide Arena, registering 41 shots on goal, including 29 in the first 40 minutes.

But upon further review, it’s evident that the quality of their shots fell quite short compared to the quantity.

Aside from a few strong pushes from Podkolzin and captain Bo Horvat, many of Vancouver’s shots on goal came from the outside flanks, making it quite easy for Merlikins to keep the puck out of the net, particularly in the last 12 minutes when his team had the one-goal lead.

Yes, the Canucks still managed to outshoot Columbus by a lopsided margin of 41-21, but they were only able to muster up 11 shots in the final frame.

For reference, Columbus also registered 11 shots in the third period.

More importantly, the Canucks weren’t able to capitalize on the majority of these shots because they were just simple, long-distance attempts that didn’t generate any rebounds. For some unknown, extremely baffling reason, the Canucks also continue to force the puck back up to the point instead of firing shots from in-tight, despite its predictability and ineffectiveness.

At the end of the day, we’re well past the moral victory achievement of outshooting our opponent, so the team better find a way to put pucks in the back of the net, and fast.

Other notes:

  • Pettersson and Brock Boeser put up yet another disappointing performance against Columbus, combining for three shots and a minus three rating. Boeser has gone pointless in his past eight games, while Pettersson has only notched one assist in that span, both of which are unacceptable statistics for your team’s top players. Pettersson’s lack of energy and commitment also showed in the final few minutes when the young Swede barely put up a fight against Max Domi, who eventually potted the easiest empty-net goal of his career.
  • Vancouver’s special team woes reared its ugly head on Friday, this time in the form of a shorthanded goal from Gustav Nyquist, who intercepted a brutal cross-ice pass from Pearson before firing the puck past Demko for the game’s opening goal. Vancouver was fortunately able to kill off Columbus’s one and only penalty in the first period, but were also unsuccessful on their own two powerplay opportunities.

Vancouver will be back in action on Sunday night, taking on David Pastrnak and the Boston Bruins. Puck drop is set for 4:00pm PST.

Next. Could J.T. Miller be heading to Minnesota?. dark

What are your thoughts from Friday night’s disappointment in Columbus? Make sure to drop a comment below!