Friday night’s game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Washington Capitals was about as frustrating a game as I can recall watching. The Canucks had their way with the Capitals for two periods, then the Capitals got a lucky score just prior to the end of the second and came roaring back in the third period. And, the Canucks didn’t know what hit them.
There were some real positives in the game, but the final score 6-5 (in a shootout no less) simply suggests how much further the team needs to go to become elite. The record is still good, but this kind of a loss can be – I would think – disheartening.
Fortunately, on Monday evening, under similar circumstances, the Canucks played the Florida Panthers. Again, the team went up by a 5-1 score, but this time (with Thatcher Demko in goal) the team held on and, in fact, increased the score to a 7-2 final victory. They didn’t make the same mistakes two times. Congratulations.
In this post, I want to engage in some of the news surrounding the Canucks’ players during the game and extra to that game. Thus, in this post, I will review some of the Canucks’ news.
Item One: Injury Report – Fantenberg is Ready to Play and Motte Must Sit Out for A Week
Oscar Fantenberg, who was ill, was taken off injured reserve (IR) Saturday the Canucks’ official media site announced. Fantenberg was a healthy scratch in every game before his injury (a concussion), but he spent two weeks on IR and now he’s eligible to play.
The 28-year-old wasn’t in the lineup against the Florida Panthers on Monday. No word yet on when he will play.
On the other hand, Tyler Motte sustained an upper-body injury and will be out for about a week.
Motte played 12:30 minutes against the Capitals on Friday. He scored one assist in six games with the Canucks this season.
Item Two: Adam Gaudette Is Back with the Team
Adam Gaudette has been recalled by the Canucks only a few days after he was assigned to the team’s AHL affiliate. Specifically, Gaudette went to the Utica Comets on Thursday, October 24 and played two games. He has an assist in three games with the Canucks this season.
Although he didn’t play in the Canucks’ 7-2 victory over the Florida Panthers, it might be because of his travel more than head coach Travis Green not wanting to slot him into the lineup. Instead, Green played Loui Eriksson who scored an assist in the game.
Item Three: Michael Dipietro Is Lighting It Up in Utica
Michael DiPietro is the Canucks’ goalie of the future and is showing why with the Canucks’ AHL affiliate in Utica. So far, he has a 3-0 record and sports a 1.62 GAA and a .940 save percentage. He’s having a great season and is worth keeping an eye out for as he rises through the ranks.
Item Four: Jacob Markstrom Finally Has a Bad Game
As noted already in this post, Jacob Markstrom had five goals scored against him. Just when he needed to be a wall, he was leaky fence. He was holding onto a four-goal lead, but a goal in the dying seconds of the second period and three during the third period destroyed that advantage. Then, sadly, Markstrom allowed two shootout goals.
That Markstrom had allowed exactly two goals in each of his last five games and then two in the shootout (perhaps within two minutes of each other) didn’t bode well. It was a tough game.
Thatcher Demko played well against Washington and looks forward to starting at least one game during the team’s trip to California. Demko is from San Diego. One thing I will note about Markstrom is that he was really happy about his goalie partner’s success during the Panthers’ game. In the end, television showed the two goalies together and it was clear that Markstrom was all smiles for Demko. Good teammates! That has to be a positive for the team.
Item Five: Tim Schaller Scores Two Goals
What a good game for Tim Schaller. Not known as a scorer, he hit the twine two times during the game against the Capitals. He also followed up those goals with another against the Panthers on Monday evening. He isn’t likely to continue that scoring, but what confidence that must give the 28-year-old winger. Congratulations, it’s been a good week for him.
What’s Next for the Vancouver Canucks?
The Canucks skate into Los Angeles to play the Kings on Wednesday evening, and the Kings will be looking for some revenge after an 8-2 loss in Vancouver the last time they played. Let’s hope the Canucks can come out with at least two wins on their upcoming road trip.
They play the Kings, then the Anaheim Ducks and finally have a back-to-back on Saturday against the San Jose Sharks. Good luck to them.
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