In a game that the Canucks outplayed the Oilers from start to finish, ultimately they were unable to finish enough of their chances. With the score tied 1-1, Lauri Korpikoski (Korpi-costs, get it??) finished off a two-on-one, beating Ryan Miller for the OT winner. The Canucks earned a point, but the Oilers won the game 2-1.
But enough about that, let’s talk about North Bay.
— Tara Slone (@TaraSlone) October 19, 2015
Before diving into the action on the ice, let’s talk about Hometown Hockey. Tonight’s game was part of Sportsnet’s weekly show where they go to a different small town in Canada and tell stories about a hockey community. Tonight they featured North Bay, Ontario… But does anybody care?
@RobTheHockeyGuy Do people in North Bay even care?
— josh (@Jarsh019) October 19, 2015
I get what Sportsnet is trying to accomplish here. Hockey Day in Canada has been an incredible success since it started and they’re trying to make it into a weekly thing. But for me, it’s overkill.
It’s also a bizarre choice to have Hometown Hockey in North Bay when you’re playing in Vancouver.
@RobTheHockeyGuy it's such a weird idea. At least have the "hometown" in one of the provinces of the teams playing
— Matt Gunn (@mattgunn18) October 19, 2015
Matt makes a great point. If you’re going to continue with this idea, it would make a lot of sense to have it in the same province, or at least in a province that cares about one of the teams involved in the game.
Call me old fashioned, but I’d like to know about the game. Spend your money on that, Sportsnet. And maybe give Canucks fans more than 2 minutes of post-game analysis while you’re at it.
"It's the Sedin's playing with Vrbata"
As Hansen is clearing on the ice lining up a hit.#Canucks
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) October 19, 2015
"Sutter, Burrows and Hansen combo out there now"
Vrbata is clearly on the ice.
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) October 19, 2015
…And maybe brief Paul Romanuk on who wears #17 and #36 on the Canucks.
2. Daniel’s miss
Here’s a slow-motion version if it takes you a couple of tugs to rip your hair out pic.twitter.com/Lro5qPeSr0
— CanucksArmy (@CanucksArmy) October 19, 2015
The Canucks outplayed the Oilers tonight, but were unable to put away their chances, none better than this one from Daniel Sedin. Daniel lifted that puck like he was Jose Bautista flipping a bat (that’s still topical, right?). https://twitter.com/_Twurtle/status/655940551305375744 As you can see on the slow-mo replay, the puck was bobbling as Daniel tried to chip it, causing it to sail over the net. Bad luck, sure, but with a clear path to the net it doesn’t make sense to do anything but bury the puck along the ice. Other than you know, actually putting the puck in the back of the net, the Sedins played well. Daniel, Henrik and their linemate Jannik Hansen had the best even strength Corsi of all Canucks forwards tonight. They held the puck for long periods of time and looked dangerous all night long. I guess they were due for a night like this against the Oilers (being held off the scoresheet). They’ve shredded them consistently for the last ten years.
3. McDavid Report
Connor McDavid wasn’t dominant tonight, finishing with one assist and one shot on goal in 16:28 of ice time in his first regular season game in Vancouver. He was, however, the catalyst for the Oilers’ first goal.
McDavid turnstiled Luca Sbisa, which broke down the Canucks’ defensive coverage and allowed him to set up Nail Yakupov for the opening goal on the power play.
McDavid now has 5 points in 6 games for the Oilers. He’s not a superstar yet, but it’s only a matter of time.
4. Finally, Bartkowski
It only took him 137 games, but Matt Bartkowski finally has his first NHL regular season goal.
1st of the season, 1st with the #Canucks and 1st OF HIS CAREER!
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 19, 2015
Bartkowski had scored one goal in the playoffs before with Boston, but that was two and a half years ago.
Bartkowski goal song is Baton Rouge… I was all for the individual goal songs but now I'm not sure.. Should have had guidelines #canucks
— Mike Stefanuk (@Mike_Stefanuk) October 19, 2015
Unfortunately he ruined everything with his chosen goal song… Just kidding. Kidding that he ruined everything, the song is legitimately terrible.
I don’t care what position you play or what role you have on a team, going that long without a goal is going to hurt your confidence.
For the rest of the game, I thought Bartkowski looked as good as we’ve seen him so far in his short stint with the Canucks. He was using his best asset, his speed, carrying the puck up the ice effectively.
5. Names out of a hat
Willie Desjardins’ philosophy with his lines has completely changed this season. Last year, he chose lines and stuck with them, giving players a chance to gel as a unit. This year, he has been the complete opposite.
Brandon Sutter has been yo yo’d between wing and centre, the Sedins get a new linemate seemingly every game, and Radim Vrbata looks like a lost puppy.
Part of the problem is that Desjardins is loath to sit a veteran forward, but also wants to get his young players in the lineup. The result has been a rotation of left winger Sven Baertschi, right winger Jake Virtanen and centre Jared McCann getting scratched. The problem with that is that scratching a different position wreaks havoc with the rest of the lines and I think we’re seeing issues with that now.
Stick the Sedins with Vrbata, Horvat with Baertschi and Virtanen, Sutter with Burrows and Dorsett, McCann with Prust and Hansen and leave it alone. Do for no other reason than to make Paul Romanuk’s job easier.
Romanuk calling horvat edler now
— Wayne O'Brien (@WaynesPlanet) October 19, 2015
6. Play Jake
Jake Virtanen is fun to watch.
Virtanen is so fun to watch 😻
— oh okay (@hamjuice) October 19, 2015
Too bad we can’t see more of him. He played just 9 minutes tonight, had 3 shots on goal, 4 hits and was on the ice for the Canucks’ lone goal.
He also set-up a breakaway with a bodycheck.
He’s still a bit of a raw talent, but I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that I’d love to see him get more minutes. His physical play is sorely needed on this team and his shot looks dangerous. Play him, live with the rookie mistakes early and reap the rewards by the end of the season as he improves with experience.