Canucks SixPack: Blackhawks dominate at the Madhouse

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Vancouver’s lack of secondary scoring and special teams failures cost them again as the Chicago Blackhawks dominated the Canucks 4-0 on Sunday night.

Well, that wasn’t pretty…

With the way that the Vancouver Canucks have been playing lately, losing against the Blackhawks in Chicago isn’t exactly surprising.

To be fair, the Canucks did match the Blackhawks with 30 shots, but outside of a few chances on the power play, it never really felt like they had much of a chance.

Despite what Ryan Miller would have you believe:

Turns out, they couldn’t win this one.

Time to crack a SixPack and mourn the loss of Vancouver’s two-game winning streak.

Final score: Blackhawks 4  – Canucks 0

Canucks goals: NONE

Blackhawk goals:

  1. Duncan Keith (5th goal) – Assisted by Artemi Planarian and Patrick Kane
  2. Dennis Rasmussen (2nd goal) – Assisted by Bryan Bickell and Andrew Shaw
  3. ENG – Andrew Shaw (5th goal) – Assisted by Niklas Hjarlmarsson
  4. Brandon Mashinter (1st goal) – Assisted by Trevor Daley and Dennis Rasmussen

 

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1. Kane Gets to 26

Was there ever any doubt?

With Vancouver’s defence, it wasn’t so much a matter of “if” but a matter of “when”. It only took about half of a period thanks to a penalty taken by Chris Higgins and the dynamic duo of Alex Biega and Matt Bartkowski trying to defend the Blackhawks.

Again, this thing was inevitable.

However, Patrick Kane’s assist didn’t come without controversy as a debate regarding the validity of the assist exploded on my Twitter feed:

Or…

But but…

And finally:

At the end of the day, who gives a crap.

The Canucks still gave up another power play goal and their defence continues to be nowhere near where they need to be to compete in the Western Conference.

Well, other than the Pacific Division. Somehow they are still competing there.

 

2. Jake Off to Murder Teenagers

I just wanted to step away from The Canucks-Blackhawks game to touch on Jake Virtanen being loaned to Team Canada for the World Juniors.

Pass it to Bulis had the most astute observation about Jim Benning’s desire to see teenagers get murdered.

That is a sick sick man right there…

Ultimately, sending Virtanen to the World Juniors is absolutely the right decision. Not only is he barely playing a regular shift under Willie Desjardins, you can also see his confidence evaporating. He is still playing hard, but he’s not targeting the opposition like he used to, but that could also be because he doesn’t want to be out of position out of fear that Willie will bury him alive in the backyard.

It will be a good opportunity for Virtanen to try and find his scoring touch as well as take on a leadership role. Although my money is on Victoria Royals’ defenceman Joe Hicketts getting the C. Don’t know why.

We’ll see.

Anyways, the Canucks are apparently still mulling over whether they are going to send Jared McCann who, similar to Virtanen, could probably use the confidence boost.

But if they do send McCann…

Hmmm…

 

3. Jared McCann to the World Juniors?

Even though the thought of a lineup of centres consisting of Sedin-Horvat-Cracknell-Vey is horrifying, sending Jared McCann to the World Juniors may not be that horrible of an idea.

I personally think that McCann deserves to stay in the NHL because he can help the Canucks. I mean, if Willie Desjardins ever decides to give him a chance.

Tonight proved once again that the Canucks are pretty much screwed this year, despite the fact they are still within reach of a playoff position. Even if they do sneak in, it would be tragic because there is no way that they can compete with teams like the Kings and Blackhawks. I say that it would be tragic because Vancouver would be sacrificing a decent draft pick for two or three home playoff dates.

I like how Jared McCann is developing, but he’s not going to help the Canucks over the next month. So why not just send him over to Europe with Virtanen?

 

4. Secondary Scoring Problems

The game against Buffalo notwithstanding, the Canucks’ secondary scoring has been, well, non-existent:

Oof.

Everyone knows the Sedins are the Sedins. They are going to carry this team as far as they can but these droughts are just pathetic.

I think Derek Dorsett can be forgiven as he wasn’t brought in to score goals. He also wasn’t overpaid to score goals either.

Wait, why is he here again? Oh right. Leadership and toughness or something.

Bo Horvat has been having a miserable time trying to live up to the lofty expectations set during the preseason, but is still young and struggling taking over Brandon Sutter’s role.

Adam Cracknell is Adam Cracknell so you can’t be too angry about that one.

Sven Baertschi is starting to show some signs of life which is encouraging.

But in my opinion, the worst offender here is Alex Burrows who is struggling through a nine-game goalless drought. On one hand, he is playing with Horvat and Baertschi so not much going on there. But on the other hand, he is also getting some power play time with the Sedins on occasion.

You’d think that would be good for something.

 

5. Team Tank

I know it’s painful to see the Canucks struggling against pretty much everyone except the Buffalo Sabres. But look at this:

This may be all worth it one day.

Even if they don’t land the first overall pick (they are the Canucks after all…) there is still enough there to make a down year worth it.

Plus, if they aren’t in contention, Jim Benning could potentially cut the cord on some of his pending Unrestricted Free Agents such as Dan Hamhuis and Radim Vrbata to (hopefully) collect some more draft picks.

Again, this will all be worth it.

 

6. Around the League

The Anaheim Ducks are last in the Western Conference. LAST.

It’s amazing because Ryan Kesler is still there believing his team will make the playoffs. The Ryan Kesler who left Vancouver to win a Stanley Cup.

But wait a minute. If this continues, the Anaheim Ducks will have a shot at the number one overall pick in next years draft and Auston Matthews.

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Steve Lancashire Canucks Contributor
@lankey22

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