The Vancouver Canucks lost on Saturday, but damn did they look good doing it.
Saturday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche was the first of three this season in which the Canucks will wear throwback black, red, and yellow Flying Skate jerseys.
Yellow. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/HeHZZlmTra
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) November 17, 2019
Many (including myself) are left wondering… only three times? What gives?
The Canucks will also break out these retro uniforms for 90’s night on January 4 against the New York Rangers and Legends Night during Sedin Week against the Nashville Predators on February 10.
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Fans want MOAR Flying Skate
The fans have spoken, and in overwhelming fashion… they want more of this.
How is this not a full time thing already pic.twitter.com/wYVHP9JKES
— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) November 17, 2019
The skate jersey needs to be worn more often
— Joshua Rey (@JoshuaRey91) November 17, 2019
The Vancouver Canucks didn’t deserve a point tonight. The skate jersey deserves one
— Mr Booth (@MrBooth_7) November 17, 2019
OMG WOW BO THE SKATE JERSEY AND THE C I AM JUST 😍🔥🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/VnBoMgyRqH
— A (@Canuckgirl20) November 17, 2019
Imagine not liking the Canucks flying skate adidas jerseys. Wouldn’t be me
— David Quadrelli (@QuadreIli) November 16, 2019
leafs down 5-0 followed by canucks game in their skate jerseys pic.twitter.com/wD7e0zzdmz
— kiran (@xkirannnn) November 17, 2019
Even non Canucks fans love the skate jersey
— Ryan Day (@VANcanucks92) November 17, 2019
Much like the Skate jersey, @kbieksa3 is so natural on the panel. Both need to be full time.
— Ryan Hank (@always90four) November 17, 2019
It’s not just the fans, the players all seem to love the jersey too.
— B I L L (@ahbeel) November 17, 2019
#Canucks Horvat on Flying Skate jersey: 'I think we look big and mean and scary in black'
— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) November 16, 2019
— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) November 16, 2019
It’s easy to see why people like it, and though I don’t expect it to become the full-time jersey anytime soon, I can’t help but wonder why they don’t use them more often.
Perhaps the idea with only using them three times this year is to keep it as more of a ‘novelty’ occurrence, and I can understand that. But given how good they look, it’s quite the tease.
Hockey Gaud here to stay?
It’s been a big couple of months for Adam Gaudette.
The 23-year-old wasn’t supposed to make the Canucks out of camp, but his excellent preseason forced the team to keep him around.
That ended up being short-lived, as Gaudette played in just three games and didn’t see a lot of ice time before being sent back down to Utica for more seasoning.
After a pair of games in Utica, Gaudette was back with the big club to start November, and he hasn’t looked back since.
— Sportsnet 650 (@Sportsnet650) November 17, 2019
Gaudette scored a pair of goals against Colorado, which now gives him four goals and seven points in his eight games since being recalled from Utica. He has eight points in 11 games despite very limited usage in some of those games.
If you include preseason, Gaudette has eight goals and 14 points in his last 17 games.
It’ll be an interesting storyline to follow once the Canucks start getting some of their injured players back. Gaudette is the easy choice to send down as he doesn’t require waivers but he is likely forcing them to rethink that if his strong play continues.
That will change once Gaudette plays nine more NHL games though. After that threshold, he’ll require waivers to be sent to the AHL – effectively locking him into a roster spot in Vancouver.
Controversy over goalie controversy
The words ‘goalie controversy’ have been thrown around a lot in Vancouver over the years.
Thather Demko’s strong play has naturally brought up questions of whether he is ready to be the No. 1 guy, with some even wondering what Jacob Markstrom’s trade value would be, but we should have a little bit more patience here.
This market is known to react too quickly – either positively or negatively – and that seems to be the case right now with Demko.
Undoubtedly, the 23-year-old goaltender has been very good so far this season. Even after allowing five goals to the Avalanche on Saturday, Demko still boasts a 5-2-1 record with a .916 save percentage and 2.50 goals against average.
The 29-year-old Markstrom certainly has not been bad, owning a 5-5-3 record with a .914 save percentage, and 2.59 goals against average – but the team in front of him simply hasn’t played as well as they have in front of Demko.
With Demko in the net, the Canucks have scored 30 goals for in eight games (3.75 GF/GP). Meanwhile, Markstrom has benefitted from just 37 goals for in 13 games (2.85 GF/GP).
While Demko might very well be the goalie of the future, there shouldn’t be a rush to make him the goalie of the present.
Goaltending is a very fickle position, and I think it would behoove a team trying to push for a playoff spot like the Canucks to put all their eggs in one basket so soon.
People will point to Markstrom’s UFA status as a reason to speed up the process, but any potential assets returned in a Markstrom trade would likely not be worth the potential setback at the position.
It’s been a long time since the Canucks have had two good goalies, they really shouldn’t be in a rush to give one up.
A tough road ahead
It’s a good thing the Canucks took advantage of their ‘easy’ early season schedule, because the tables are turning in November. The team is set to embark on a six-game road trip to end the month in which they’ll play Dallas, Nashville, Washington, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Edmonton.
Five of those six teams currently sit in a playoff spot and the other, Nashville, won the Central division last season.