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Game #62 NY Islanders (36-18-7) @ Vancouver Canucks (26-28-8) – game recap

Jay Beagle’s ex-coach Barry Trotz and the NY Islanders rolled into town. For Brock Boeser, this might have been an important game mentally because it was around this time last year when his rookie season ended prematurely courtesy of a bad (not dirty) reverse hit by Cal Clutterbuck that resulted in a fractured vertebrae that took a while to heal. Nikolar Goldobin drew back into the lineup after sitting Thursday in favor of Tim Schaller. It might be the last game for Goldobin if he is traded before the deadline. Antoine Roussel played despite feeling ill enough that he skipped the morning skate. Speaking of the morning skate, injured Canucks Alex Edler (wearing a regular jersey) and Thatcher Demko skated with the team for the first time since they were hurt two weeks ago.. The rest of the lineup remained the same as Thursday’s game. Could the Canucks defeat the Islanders? Here is tonight’s game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Islanders opened the scoring just under five minutes into the 1st period off a weird ricochet off the boards that Casey Cizikas found and flipped over a helpless Jacob Markstrom
  • Just over 9 minutes later the Islanders doubled the lead on a delayed penalty as Ryan Pulock eventually wired a shot high glove side on Markstrom
  • The Islanders added a goal just over two and a half minutes into the 3rd period after Jay Beagle badly missed a shot, sending the Islanders on a 3-on-2 rush the other way. Anthony Beauvillier deftly finished off the tic-tac-toe play
  • The Islanders added an empty-netter with 74 seconds left as Cal Clutterbuck stuffed the puck in the yawning cage
  • Jacob Markstrom stopped 19 of 22 shots
  • Final score: Islanders 4 Canucks 0

My Take:

  • I don’t know what to say. Such a critical must win game and the Canucks did not play desperate hockey. In particular in the 3rd period, Ben Hutton slowly skated the puck up the ice like he had all the time in the world. The Canucks weren’t hustling back for pucks when they were down by just 2 goals. Was the team tired? Were they discouraged by the standings heading into this one? Whatever the case, they needed to have a much better game than they did
  • The Canucks now have the dubious record of being shut out the most times this season (8 times after tonight). If the Canucks miss the playoffs, you can definitely point to this stat as a big reason why. It’s difficult to win when you don’t score
  • This one is definitely not the fault of Jacob Markstrom, who could not be faulted on any of the three goals, which came on a fluke bounce off the boards, a delayed penalty, and an odd-man rush
  • Boy does the Canucks PP ever miss Alex Edler. In their 4 opportunities, they looked disorganized and disheveled to say the least. They couldn’t hold the puck in, and with a 90 second 6 on 4 with the goalie pulled, they mustered three measly shots.
  • The Canucks won 52% of the draws tonight, led by Jay Beagle who won 60% of the draws he took tonight. Actually, all four centers were above 50% tonight (Elias Pettersson and Bo Horvat both won 57% of the draws they took and Adam Gaudette won 55% of the draws he took)
  • The Canucks landed 12 hits tonight, led by Erik Gudbranson and Tyler Motte, who both had three hits.
  • The Canucks blocked 8 shots tonight, led by Adam Gaudette who blocked a pair of shots
  • Here’s why the Islanders shutout the Canucks and won this game. They outhit the Canucks 22-12, they blocked 25 shots (sound familiar? Anaheim blocked 20 shots when they shutout the Canucks 8 days ago), and they only coughed up the puck once the whole game, whereas the Canucks turned it over 7 times.
  • Up next, the Canucks take on the Anaheim Ducks, who shut them out just 8 days ago. The game will be several hours after the trade deadline and both teams might look a bit different. After tonight’s game, Jim Benning might be trading some players.
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