If you learned about Greek mythology when you were a kid, you probably know the story of King Sisyphus. The legend goes that when Sisyphus died he was sent to the Underworld, where he was given the eternal punishment of pushing a boulder up a hill, only for it to roll all the way back down before he could reach the top.
This is where we sit after four games with the Canucks. The team seemed like they’d roll the rock to the top of the hill after beating the Oilers last Saturday, but with every passing game the boulder has fallen back, finally hitting the bottom with last night’s embarrassing 5-2 loss to the Calgary Flames.
The loss to Calgary wasn’t painful because they were outclassed; it was because Vancouver had every opportunity to take over the scoresheet, but instead laid a giant, roster-wide egg. If it wasn’t for an amazing breakaway goal from Brock Boeser, I would’ve labeled the contest a total disaster.
And yet, I can’t say it. All because of one beautiful, exhilarating snipe past the glove of Mike Smith. A shot that almost seems to represent the future of the franchise.
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) October 15, 2017
For every painful loss the Canucks take now, there’s going to be years of wins to make up for it down the road. That’s what I make sure to remember after games like yesterdays. Canucks fans might yell and complain about this game now, but seeing plays like that from guys like Boeser, Bo Horvat and Jake Virtanen are what’s going to fuel the fanbase through this season.
Alex Edler out 4-6 weeks with sprained MCL
The Canucks’ 2016-17 campaign was largely derailed by the massive amount of injuries the lineup mainstays gained, and three games into this year the first casualty comes in the form of Alex Edler’s sprained MCL. Edler’s injury paved the way for Derrick Pouliot’s Vancouver debut last night, but whether he’s a good long term fix remains to be seen.
I’m assuming the Canucks plan on recalling Patrick Wiercioch during the team’s upcoming five game road trip, but if Pouliot can show he’s capable of playing full minutes they might not risk sending Wiercioch through waivers again later.
As for Edler, losing him to another long term injury is a massive blow to the Canucks, even if a lot of people think otherwise. Last year Edler missed one game against the Maple Leafs in November and 13 straight from a hand injury in November and December. During that period the Canucks put up a record of 5-8-1.
Loui Eriksson leaves game vs. Flames with leg injury
There’s no better way to describe Loui Eriksson’s tenure in Vancouver then by quoting Lando Calrissian; “This deal is getting worse all the time.” Eriksson had looked to rebound from a rough 2016-17 campaign, but that’s been quickly derailed by a reckless hit from Calgary’s Tanner Glass.
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) October 15, 2017
First of all, I’m going to need to air out my grievances with this play. Not only was this a stupid decision on Glass’ part for the fact that Eriksson didn’t have the puck, but he also could’ve injured his own goaltender, Mike Smith, had Smith been deeper in his crease. While there’s obviously not going to be a hearing for this play, I think this was a predatory hit by Glass and the NHL should keep an eye out for plays like this going forward.
After the hit, Eriksson left the ice favouring his left leg and didn’t return to the game. While he was able to leave the ice under his own power, I’d be pretty surprised to see Eriksson back in the lineup anytime soon. This opens the door for Jake Virtanen to jump back into action after being named as a healthy scratch last night. As for a call-up, Reid Boucher has six assists with the Utica Comets, while Nikolay Goldobin has three goals and two helpers. My belief is that Goldobin will get the call, since he’s put a few pucks in the net and has that beautiful waiver exempt status.
Around the Rinks
- The Ottawa Senators have turned two straight overtime losses to start the season into a 3-0-2 record and eight points out of a possible ten, thanks to a sweep on their road trip through Western Canada. Not only has the turnaround included games against the Oilers and Flames that they won by a combined score of 12-1, but they’ve done it all without superstar Erik Karlsson. When he does make his return to the lineup, the Sens are going to be one scary team to deal with.
- Legendary hockey podcast Marek vs. Wyshynski ended a tremendous six-year run this week, due to co-host Greg Wyshynski’s move to ESPN. He and Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek are considered pioneers of the hockey podcast genre and helping cement its’ place in the mainstream media. If you want to listen to their final episode, you can right here. Hopefully this isn’t the last we’ll see from the dynamic duo of Jeff and Greg.
- At the beginning of the season, I had the Arizona Coyotes pegged as a sleeper pick to push for a playoff spot. That could still happen, but they’ll have to dig themselves out of an abysmal 0-4-1 start first. With the Buffalo Sabres’ 3-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks earlier tonight, the Coyotes will earn the distinction of being the last winless club this season. How long they go without earning that first win, however, could be later rather than sooner thanks to an injury for starting goalie Antti Raanta.
- The L.A. Kings will be honouring longtime play-by-play announcer Bob Miller with a statue outside the Staples Center in January, but this week the City of Los Angeles declared “Bob Miller Day” to celebrate the announcement. Congratulations, Bob.
- FUN FACT: This article marks my 100th post on lachinthecrease.com! Thanks to everyone who’s followed and supported me throughout these past two years, I appreciate every last one of you .
Lach Talks Canucks is back!
After nearly a year on hiatus, I’ve finally brought Lach Talks Canucks back to YouTube. After things went south last season, I’m very intent on preventing a similar issue this year. I’m once again setting out to make 82 videos for all 82 Canucks games, and maybe a few extras if there’s time. Be sure to check out my first video of the season below, and don’t forget to click the subscribe button on my YouTube channel if you enjoy it. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week!
Author’s Note: Boeser’s Twitter account likes questionable Canucks Tweet
This is something I noticed right as I was finishing up this post. Normally I’m not one to make a big deal about things I see on social media, but this isn’t a good look for Brock Boeser’s official Twitter account.
For the record, I was not the first person to pick up on this. Another Twitter user caught this earlier tonight, and you can see his different screenshot of the account here.
I sincerely want to believe that this was an accident on Boeser’s part, considering the tweet not only appears to take a shot at Canucks management but also teammate Derek Dorsett. Hopefully it turns out to be nothing but an accidental slip of the thumb, but nonetheless there’s probably going to be some tough questions surrounding this in the coming days.