A game after posting a shutout in Sunday’s 6-0 win, Jacob Markstrom got pulled for allowing four goals in the first period against Florida. Vancouver lost 4-3 to the Panthers on Wednesday.
That 6-0 win came after 4-1 loss to Carolina.
The only reason I’m pointing out this recent stretch is to show the marked inconsistency being put out by this Canucks team from game to game.
Management went with the tag line “Compete is in our nature” this season, promising a more competitive product on the ice.
What have they delivered? Mixed results at best.
One thing we do know – this team you follow, the one you live and die with, they just signed up for three more years of the same direction.
Some of you were happy. Some, not so much. We’ll get into that.
As divided as Canucks nation was on this eventful day, you have to say this about the team’s fans: they showed once and for all that they are obsessed with the future. What’s happening on the ice right now – almost entirely inconsequential.
So for anyone who said fans in Vancouver couldn’t stomach a rebuild – a rebuild is pretty much all they want to think about, not this excuse for “competitive” hockey they see in front of them.
First, some points from the game.
1. Trade this man
Watch this. (The play right in front of the London Life ad, in particular)
Then read this.
Not sure what was a bigger revelation over the past hour on @Sportsnet650
a) @imacSportsnet saying he thinks a Gudbranson contract extension actually happens
b) @AndrewWalker650 reading Valentine’s Day poetry on air
— Scott Rintoul (@ScottRintoul) February 15, 2018
Not the part about Walker – that’s his usual attention grabbing stuff.
That revelation from iMac is the reason I’m including this tweet.
This is not Alex Edler – a top-pairing defenseman with 21 points who makes a mistake here and there.
This is a third-pairing guy who is going to command top-4 money.
One who regularly makes plays like the one where he has his pocket picked by none other than the young forward he was traded for – Jared McCann – and has none of the upside possessed by Edler.
How and why signing him is still a discussion is beyond me.
But so is a lot of stuff at the moment.
2. Goals goals goals
That Petrovic goal off McCann’s steal was Florida’s 3-2 goal.
There were six others. Some were worth giffing.
I mentioned Edler sometimes makes mistakes – this soft play on Dadonov won’t go far in convincing his haters how valuable he is. (He is though).
Markstrom might’ve been even softer than Edler on that one…
And here’s Boeser, showing he needs about 0.5 seconds of 5-on-3 time to capitalize.
One more – the one that ended Marky’s night.
3. Reactions to the Benning news
I’m not going to get into my thoughts on the Benning signing too much in this SixPack. I’m working on that for the next couple of days. What I’ll do here is include some feedback the signing received.
There was good feedback.
So he made a few mistakes in his rookie campaign as a GM but he built up such a young talent pool never seen before in a very long time . Yes I’m happy he’s got his extension and hope he’s learned from his early mistakes
— steamer12 (@BastoneJeff) February 14, 2018
And there was bad.
What is the opposite of happy? Almost as depressing as when Lafayette hit the post. Almost as depressing as watching Chara lift the Cup. Benning has failed miserably at his pronounced directives & now is accidentally rebuilding while spending to the cap. Guddy extension 2morrow?
— Marcus Blumensaat (@Blumensaat) February 14, 2018
I’d have rather got dumped on Valentine’s than heard about a Benning extesion
— thecanucksons (@thecanucksons) February 14, 2018
The eternal optimists weighed in.
Im fine with it, its a hell of a lot better than bringing in holland and have him give out deals like the ones in detroit, plus i think jims done a very good job last two years, and his drafting has also been pretty great, i aint giving up on jv18 or OJ yet either.
— Charmander in Chief (@ItsBuhrice) February 14, 2018
And there were those who have gone from sad to apathetic.
At this point I think canuck fans are so beaten down that they hardly care anymore. I would’ve been upset a few years ago, now It’s just another day as a Canucks fan.
— Østyn Farmer (@OstynCade) February 14, 2018
With today’s decision to extend Jim Benning, you’ve lost me as a long-time season ticket holder. I’m still a fan of the team but I will not support your clueless organization financially.@Sir_Earl
— Sir Earl (@Sir_Earl) February 14, 2018
That’s a cause for concern, if you ask me.
— W. Ron Sweeney (@wronsweeney) February 14, 2018
My wallet is happy. It means I won’t have to waste hundreds of dollars on https://t.co/heZoW7Ne2n for the next couple of seasons.
— Stephen King (@stephenVking) February 14, 2018
This one, in response to a tweet from the owner about the news, might be the best.
Sell the team to Eugene Melnyk
— Athletic Insider Dinger (@atf13atf) February 15, 2018
4. The best quote
Linden and Benning said a lot in their press conference earlier Wednesday, and as I said, I’ll get into it later. This quote from Benning, though. It’s a keeper:
“We’re going to to do things the right way and I think that’s what we’ve been doing since we’ve taken over.
We want to do things the right way, develop our kids and when they’re ready to play give them an opportunity to be successful.
I think if we do things the right way and we set the culture, I don’t know when we’re going to be good, but I think if we’re doing things the right way, I’m hoping it’s going to be sooner rather than later.”
All this about “doing things the right way” makes me wonder… what’s the wrong way? Being more aggressive with trading pending UFAs at trade deadlines? Not trading draft picks for short term solutions? Not signing UFAs to massive deals in order to keep the team competitive?
Just questions that popped into my mind, that’s all.
5. Real talk
During the game’s second intermission Iain MacIntyre said he thinks fans still don’t realize just how bad the roster situation Linden and Benning inherited was.
This, to me, is ridiculous, because Linden has repeatedly talked about what a tough situation it was every time he’s asked how the team is going and about it’s direction going forward.
Every pro-Benning Canucks fan uses it as a fall-back, and every one on the other side has heard it a hundred times. So to suggest fans don’t realize how bad it was… they realize. They have no choice but to realize.
Matthias, Richardson, Hamhuis, Vrbata all not traded despite being UFAs. Richardson and Matthias were in the midst of particularly productive years IIRC. Then when they decide to flip Bonino they move him for Sutter instead of futures. Oh and they targetted Sbisa in Kesler trade
— Harman Dayal (@harmandayal2) February 15, 2018
6. The hammer
I’m going to end the SixPack with this tweet. They’ve made a lot of promises, but this is one you shouldn’t forget…
Q: How long until Canucks are competitive?
A (2018): “You can’t put a timeline on these things.”
— Van Isle Canuck (@DustinDame) February 14, 2018
Elite by their fourth or fifth year, huh? Wait, by my count that would have them verging on being an elite team.. now.