I was thinking of mailing it in tonight. I mean, the Canucks did, so why can’t I?
“Nobody’s going to read the SixPack after watching that,” I thought midway through Tuesday night’s 4-1 loss by the Canucks to the Anaheim Ducks. Then I saw Brock Boeser score his second goal in three games and it gave me life.
“If Brock’s not going to give up, then I won’t either!”
We’re almost there Canucks fans. We can do this together. There’s just six games left.
1. L is for Larscheiders
I’ll get to Boeser in a minute, but let’s start in chronological order.
Tonight’s anthem was sung by Canucks super fan and singer extraordinaire Arielle Tuliao. You may recognize her from numerous Canucks parody music videos she’s done with Clay Imoo and Marie Hui, or from her amazing renditions of both anthems at Canucks and Whitecaps games.
She killed it again during tonight’s anthem (she ought to be in the running to be a regular anthem singer at Rogers Arena as far as I’m concerned), but did you notice the sign she made at the end?
Yes, that was an L.
— Horvat/Boeser 🐐's (@xCodstur) March 29, 2017
No, she’s not psychic, and she was not predicting a loss.
The L, was for Larscheiders.
Arielle is a proud member of the Canucks supporters group, and could be the loudest fan in Rogers Arena.
My brother said I could yell so I started yelling. Now he says I'm yelling too much so he told me to "plug it" 😭 but.. but.. #actorlife
— Arielle Tuliao (@ajtuliao) March 29, 2017
(I wasn’t kidding)
2. WTF 1st period
Ok, I guess we ought to talk about the game for a minute.
Just as Arielle had all of Larscheiders Nation pumped up from the anthems, the Canucks had to go out and present fans with the suckiest period that ever sucked.
While the Canucks slumbered, the Ducks went to work. Despite playing without their captain, Ryan Getzlaf, they weren’t fooling around.
It only took 23 seconds for Corey Perry to make it 1-0. Watch, as Philip Larsen (more on him later) gets lost on his way to covering anybody in front of the net:
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) March 29, 2017
Patrick Eaves made it 2-0 at the 1:37 mark. Then before the period was over, Nick Ritchie made it 3-0 Ducks.
The Ducks outshot the Canucks 16-6 in the period and honestly, that stat flattered the home team. It could have easily been a four or five-goal lead after 20 minutes.
Henrik Sedin didn’t try to sugarcoat it after the game either.
"We gave them three goals, then we started playing. We didn't execute when we had the puck. We're upset with how we played." – Henrik Sedin
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) March 29, 2017
The Canucks took the first period off. That’s not a recipe for success for any team most nights, but for a team like the Canucks? It’s a nail in the coffin.
3. Why can’t they all be like Boeser?
Brock Boeser had a largely ineffective night through two periods…
Brock Boeser through two periods: played 11:03, 1 shot on goal and is -1 so far in his home debut. #Canucks
— Jas Kang (@jaskang21) March 29, 2017
…then he was taken off Bo Horvat’s line and placed with Brandon Sutter and Mike Chaput for the third period, and he took off.
Who saw that coming?!
Sutter made a nice play to create the turnover, feeding Boeser, who proceeded to break Hampus Lindholm’s ankles with a nice move, before shooting and scoring on Jonathan Bernier.
At first glance, it looked like a soft goal. But when you consider what was going on in front of Bernier (again, nice work by Sutter to go to the net), you see why it went in.
Boeser, in fact, was going to pass until he saw the screen.
“I was thinking pass first, but there was a great screen in front so I just tried to fire it on goal,” Boeser told reporters.
A nice heads-up play by the kid.
Boeser finished the night with a goal and three shots on goal in 15:51 of ice time.
4. Irf ruins it
Boeser’s first goal at home meant that we got to hear his goal song for the first time.
The Minnesota kid chose a song from legendary recording artist Prince (RIP). Yes, Boeser scored and Let’s Go Crazy blared.
People loved it.
Boeser chose a Prince song? How diverse is his music taste? What a great guy, honouring Prince, who like him, was also from Minnesota.
People… Well, people went crazy:
— Harrison Mooney (@HarrisonMooney) March 29, 2017
— permanently online (@funnyhandle) March 29, 2017
Boeser picks a Prince song. I like this kid. #Canucks
— Angry Canuck (@canuckjc) March 29, 2017
Brock Boeser's goal song is Let's Go Crazy by Prince. Kid is a stud!
— Sumeet Kumar (@sk25_) March 29, 2017
Boeser has prince as his goal song, peak Minnesota
— sedinitronic (@sedinitronic) March 29, 2017
Boeser having 'Let's go Crazy' by Prince as his goal song officially makes him the coolest player on our team. Hands down. #Canucks
— Alex (@the_bergerons) March 29, 2017
But of course, Sportsnet’s Irfaan Gaffar, the intrepid reporter that he is, had to go and ruin our illusion.
Sorry #Canucks fans, Boeser said he didn't pick his goal song. Someone else did.
— Irfaan Gaffar (@sportsnetirf) March 29, 2017
Irf later tweeted that the Easter Bunny isn’t real.
5. Biega is better than Larsen in every way
Ok, I’m making the declaration.
Alex Biega is a superior hockey player than Larsen in every way. I’m not just talking about their play defensively.
Larsen is supposed to provide some offensive punch, but honestly, I’d go with Biega on the power play ahead of him.
Because of some bizarre lineup moves, I also now know that I prefer Biega as a forward too.
Is it a demotion to go from the 3rd D-pairing to the 4th line…in the middle of a game?
Asking for Philip Larsen. #Canucks
— Clay Imoo (@CanuckClay) March 29, 2017
Biega, who started the game as a forward, ended on defence after he swapped spots with Larsen. It was the right move, given what Larsen was doing on the back end.
I seriously kind of like what I see from Biega as a forward. Not enough for him to play a regular shift up there on a playoff team, of course, but I love the energy he brings.
He kind of looks like a modern day Matt Cooke up front.
The bulldog’s night looked good on the stats sheet too, as he tied all Canucks for the team high in Corsi (+7), shots on goal (4), and hits (5).
Meanwhile, trading a fifth-round pick for Larsen’s rights looks as silly as trading away a fifth rounder can look at this point. That pick is still yet to come in this June’s draft by the way.
It’s hard to imagine what GM Jim Benning saw in Larsen to not only give up an asset (as small as it was), but to also gift him a spot on the team.
6. Going out on a high note
Look, I think at this point we all know what this team is.
This is not a good team.
The organization is in a rebuild, and they could use even more rebuilding. If it wasn’t clear before, it was clear on Tuesday night as Vancouver got their lunch handed to them.
Sure, Vancouver eventually made the shot totals close (39-35, they kept the Ducks to under 40 shots, yay!). But as any hockey analytics guy worth his salt will point out, that was largely due to score effects.
The score flattered the Canucks, and so did the shot count.
…Wait, I said we’d go out on a high note.
Ok, yes! There was good news for Canucks fans.
The tank dream is alive people.
The New Jersey Devils picked up a point on Tuesday. They’re now one-point back of Vancouver for 27th in the overall standings.
With only six games left, it’s looking very likely that Vancouver will finish either third-last or fourth-last this season, and thus will have good odds to pick up a high draft pick.
Also something to look forward to? The Canucks will have another rookie in the lineup on Friday, as new free agent signing Griffen Molino will get into the lineup.
Coach Desjardins confirms newly signed Griffen Molino will play Friday against the Kings. "I'm excited to see what he can bring."
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) March 29, 2017
Six games left, there’s only six games left…
Thanks to the gif master Ryan Biech for help with gifs in this article.