BUFFALO — Points to ponder as another one got away from the Canucks as they had some passengers in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Sabres on Saturday afternoon that overshadowed some strong efforts and proved the club misses the injured Brock Boeser on the power play:
SHOT, SAVE, HIGHLIGHT-REEL MATERIAL
It could have got everything rolling earlier and maybe sparked a different outcome.
On an odd afternoon where Bo Horvat looked to have it going early with a wrist shot that forced Carter Hutton to make a good glove save, the Canucks centre came back with a better move a better shot that will make the highlight reels.
With the Canucks down 1-0 in the first period, Erik Gudbranson rang a shot off the post on a spirited rush before Horvat looked like he was going to pot the equalizer. He took a cross-ice feed at speed and hesitated for a moment to get Hutton moving. The stopper then somehow got his glove on the shot as he dove across the crease as he was falling backward.
“It was pretty incredible,” said Horvat. “I don’t think I’ve ever been robbed that hard in a long time and sometimes you have to tip your hat. The puck was rolling and I wanted to settle it down as quick as I could.
“When you’re in tight like that, you’ve got to try and get it up. I thought I made the right play getting it up if he had his pad over there and unfortunately I put it right in his glove.”
And Horvat then watched the Canucks blow their second two-goal lead of this six-game trip.
“It’s dangerous,” he said. “You’ve got to keep pressing and keep it in their end.”
GOLDOBIN BETTER, BUT JUST ONE GOAL?
Nikolay Goldobin hasn’t scored since the season opener, but there’s reason to believe the Russian winger might be finding some mojo with Jake Virtanen and Elias Pettersson.
Goldobin played one of the best periods of the season with two good scoring chances in the opening frame — including a quick-release wrister from a sharp angle — and also had a take-away. He then missed the net with two second-period shots but also had two gaffes.
He failed to keep the puck at the offensive blue-line as his line applied pressure and tried a tricky cross-ice, breakout pass that was picked off for a Sabres chance. But the goals have to start coming.
“He’s got to find a way,” said Green. “There are times when we harp on certain parts of his game, but he does bring an offensive side. But you can’t just keep talking about offence, you’ve got to put some numbers on the board. It’s up to him if he gets the results or not.”
It was a shot across the bow of a guy who is now better without the puck as he is with it.
“I feel like he’s getting to pucks quicker and holding on longer,” said Virtanen. “He’s not throwing it away. He’s finding us and not shying away from stuff, which is good to see. Some guys have to play more direct, like me, to get pucks in and use my speed to get behind. But Goldy has that skill set where he can pull up and find late guys and take pucks to the net.”
JAKE’S BEST TAKE IS TAKING IT TO NET
Virtanen’s goals in consecutive games shouldn’t be shocking because he had three shots in the first period Saturday and had it going early with Goldobin.
On a strong rush late in the second period, Virtanen raced down the left side and got enough space on Zach Bogosian to send a backhander along the ice to the far side post. The goal was better than the dribbler looked because Virtanen dove the net, instead of going around it. It has been a marked improvement in the winger’s game.
“I like to go wide and take it to the net, but I just tried to go off the pad for someone (else) coming in and went far side,” said Virtanen. “So you’ll take those any day. I feel confident out there, but I can’t take my foot off the pedal. I have more in my toolbox.”
HEALTHY GUDBRANSON’S GIDDY-UP
The big blue-liner has been telling anybody within earshot that he has been feeling better, skating better and more confident with making sharp breakout passes and jumping up into the play.
Gudbranson jumped up into the play in the second period and ripped a wrist shot from the high slot off the post. And then in the third period, his seeing-eye wrist shot got by a maze, including the outreached stick of Horvat, to find the high short side to give the Canucks a two-goal cushion.
“It got tipped in front of net,” he said. “I just got it by the first guy and see what happens. I feel like I’m skating better, finding holes and getting up in the rush. That’s the way I expect to play, but there are some things in the D-zone that I need to clean up.”
And the Canucks can’t keep blowing two-goal leads like they did Saturday and Tuesday in Detroit.
“You need to close it out, it’s that simple,” stressed Gudbranson. “That definitely burns, but we’ve got to use it to our advantage and not let it happen again. They were pressing and found some holes. Their top line is creative, you give them space and they going to take a mile.”
BOESER IS NOW OUT WEEK-TO-WEEK
Travis Green referenced Brock Boeser with an 0-for-3 performance by the power play that should have put the game away in overtime.
Loser suffered a groin injury Oct. 18 in Winnipeg and had been trying to play through discomfort, hasn’t played on this six-game trip and won’t be for some time.
“He saw a specialist and got some irritation is his adductors and he’ll be out for the rest of the road trip,” said Green. “We’re going to call it week-to-week. He’s working out and he’s going to be fine.”
Green called it “good news” because the NHL club — and Boeser — now know what has caused the 2017-18 Calder Trophy finalist to sit out games Oct. 24 and Oct. 25 in Las Vegas and Arizona before playing four more. And that’s where Boeser aggravated what was thought to be a groin ailment following an encouraging four-point (2-2) outing on Nov. 2 against Colorado at Rogers.
However, Boeser had soreness following that game, didn’t practise the next day at UBC on only took a brief pre-practice twirl in Detroit on Nov. 5 and called it a day and didn’t skate again.
An adductor muscle strain is an acute injury to the groin muscles on the medial aspect (inside) of the thigh. Although several different muscles can be injured, the most common are the Adductor Longus, Medius, and Magnus and the Gracilis.
The Adductor Longus Muscle belongs to a group of the hip adductor muscles and is located in the inner part of the thigh. The function is to control the movement inwards and to the sides of the thigh bone.
Note from WSOE.Org : This content has been auto-generated from a syndicated feed.