Funny funny news
Funny funny news The Canucks got a huge performance from their goalie and crucial goal from their best player.
The stats are wild.
It’s the first time the Canucks have given up more than 50 shots against since 2010. (They did give up exactly in 2016 vs. St. Louis.)
It’s the just the fifth time this century the opposition has racked up 50 or more shots on goal.
So yes, Jacob Markstrom’s performance on Saturday was *the* story.
He was tremendous. He tried to down play the volume of shots against, but really, there were a pile of shots from the best scoring area: the slot.
That’s not a winning strategy. Against a better team, it would have been a disaster.
Good thing Markstrom turned nearly everything away.
After Toffoli scored, I was just about to tweet that the Canucks were going to need more than Markstrom if they were going to pull this game out of the bag, then Pettersson scored.
It was a bit of sweet relief for the Alien, who had been denied by Jonathan Quick on a breakaway in the second period.
“It was great. He saw me kind of stopped. And then, he had a better lane for me to pass and I tried to just one-time. It was a great pass by him,” Pettersson said of the goal.
“We found a way to win. Of course we know that we can’t play like this, we know we’ve got to work harder, be better with the puck.”
Chris Tanev said the winning goal actually went all the way back to a strong play by Brock Boeser.
“A huge goal by Petey, I mean he always comes through in those big moments. A great pass by Millsy and great play by Brock to just to lay it into an area I think that gets that’ll get lost in the whole play, but it was a great play by him just to put it in space and let Millsy skate on to it.”
What’s with those second periods?
Now, after the first period, the whole game was a mess for the Canucks. Forget the third on this one, that’s a whole other story. Here it is notable that again they’ve struggled in the second.
I asked Tanev if he had any thoughts on why. He had some good ones. It’s about not getting stuck out there on a long change.
“Just executing. I mean when you have that long change, if you’re not playing it properly and getting pucks deep, guys get tired on the ice and you’re going to be in your end longer than you want to be so. That’s a big part that we need to improve on in the second.”
It makes sense. Mistakes build up zone time for the opposition and the more tired you get the more mistakes you get, just compounding the problem. Pettersson suggested that on this particular night, there was too much loose play at the blue line, which kept bringing the pressure back on them.
Some nights go that way
The Beagle line got crushed. And somehow Tyler Motte scored a goal on one of the four shot attempts he was on the ice for.
“Lucky to skate into one,” Motte admitted about the drop pass he took off Pettersson on his goal.
The rest of the night was tough on the Beagle/Motte/Schaller trio: they saw the Kings direct pucks towards the Canucks’ goal 25 times on the night.
The only Canucks forwards to finish above 50 per cent in shot quality were Jake Virtanen and Antoine Roussel; they did a good job of keeping the Kings to the outside while driving the puck towards the Kings’ net.
Chris Tanev was the only other Canuck in the positive by that metric; he did another outstanding job in similar terms.
Oscar Fantenberg, on the other hand, had a nightmare of a game, basically his whole game was played in his own end. Bet on Jordie Benn drawing back in in his place in Calgary.
More Markstrom contract comps
There are a handful of goalies who have played more than 100 games in the NHL from the 2008 draft.
The only three to play more than 200 games are Braden Holtby, Jake Allen and Jacob Markstrom.
In a given draft, you’ll find three to five goalies who play any kind of true stretch in the NHL.
From that draft 11 years ago, Holtby is far and away the race leader. Allen has had a solid if relatively disappointing career.
Markstrom, as we know, is the late bloomer.
Holtby is on a deal that expires this season; it’s carried a $6.1 million cap hit.
Markstrom, obviously, is a tier below.
Allen had a run as the starter in St. Louis but now finds himself back in the backup’s role behind Jordan Binnington.
He’s making $4.35 million over the next two seasons.
Markstrom has played just 22 fewer games than Allen. Allen’s career save percentage is .912. Markstrom’s is .910.
Markstrom, surely, will point to the salary Allen’s been making and thinking he deserves above that.
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Mikko Koskinen signed a $4.5 million extension last season, with next to no NHL track record.
That’s another in Markstrom’s cap.
And yet, if he went to market, what’s his value? He’s actually going to be one of the youngest goalies, potentially, in free agency next summer.
There are teams that need goalies. (The bottom of this list is Aaron Dell at $1.9 million.)
Another name stands out: Robin Lehner, who is making $5 million to be the backup to $6 million Corey Crawford in Chicago. Those two set a standard of sorts.
My Contract Sucks: The Next Generation
Connor McDavid’s deal really looks weird now in the light of the contracts Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner signed. They both locked down shorter terms than McJesus.
There was no reason for him not take max money and no reason for him to take the term that he did. The team was already lost at that point; Chiarelli had no idea how to build out the lineup in a way that would optimize the game’s best player.
Now McDavid finds himself locked into a frustrating box. New GM Ken Holland knows it will be a couple years before this ship is righted as they have to find, well everything. They need better depth forwards. They need a top-end puck-moving defenceman … or two.
McDavid is already doing just about everything he can to keep that ship afloat. The Oilers dominate play when he and Leon Draisaitl are on the ice. They get dominated otherwise.
The team is mediocre and now it’s sinking fast.
Imagine him asking out.
The spirit of the rules
Hey, let’s be clear: I’m not suggesting Brent Seabrook’s career is definitely done. After all the guy has missed just 32 games in his career, which started in 2005-06.
He’s shown durability. He never takes a step back.
I am skeptical, though, that if it turns out that the veteran defenceman *can’t* come back from the triple-headed surgery monster — hey he’s expected to be ready for training camp next September — that, with years left on his contract and $20 million owed to him, he’ll “retire.”
If he can’t play, he’ll be retired in everything but official. It’s an old path. The Blackhawks do have cap reasons for them to simply get him off their books, but they also have the creative accounting world of LTIR to consider, too. Having his cap hit around, even if he’s never to play again.
Joffrey Lupul was a clear case of a player who should have been declared retired, but remained on the Leafs’ books because he wanted to collect his remaining salary.
That’s been the case with multiple other players. Heck, Chris Pronger even worked for the NHL while he was still technically under contract with the Coyotes. In fact, working for the league while also being employed as a player is supposed to be prohibited under the terms of the CBA.
How’s that for spirit of the rules.
It sure has a funny flexibility to it, that spirit.
(To mark the end of a story being handed in to the editing desk, be it via a local reporter or off the news wire, it was standard practice to write -30- at the end of the story, so that the editors would know where the end of the story was.)
Gerry Kahrmann is now a former journalist. He’s been working as a photographer at the Province and the Sun for three decades. Saturday, he shot his final assignment: the Canucks game.
Since I took on the Canucks beat last season, I’ve generally worked Tuesday through Saturdays.
Saturdays are always a treat, not just because it means the Hockey Night in Canada caravan arrives in town — tonight, by the way, the last game of the decade was called by John Shorthouse — it also usually meant I’d get to work with Gerry.
As our newsroom has shrunk over the years, we’ve had fewer and fewer opportunities to have our own photographers at hockey games.
Over the past year and a bit, Saturdays were pretty much the only games where I’d see one of our photogs. So it was always a treat to see one of my talented colleagues.
That it was Gerry was an added pleasure.
From just about day one, he’s been the kindest colleague. He always went out of his way to check in on how I was doing. He was a strong hand in advising me and other younger colleagues during our contract negotiation nearly three years ago between our union and ownership.
He helped land a deal with the company that saw my colleagues make sacrifices to save a large number of jobs. I’m forever thankful for that.
Staff photographers are a ever-rarer breed nowadays. The camaraderie you can have with them is special but it also enhances the ability to work together on finding the perfect photo subject to help tell your story. Last night, for instance, I suggested we get a couple photos of Drew Doughty. Gerry nailed them. And because he’s such a wise hand, he also got some key photos of Elias Pettersson trying to deke our Jonathan Quick and Jacob Markstrom stonewalling Tyler Toffoli.
Sometimes it’s just about luck, Gerry would say, but you still have to be good.
Gerry was good. He still is.
I’m going to miss working with him.
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