The Provies: Marky’s thirst, D-day is coming and the way to handle Goldy

 

 
 
 
 
Vancouver Canucks right wing Jake Virtanen (18) tires to get a shot past Carolina Hurricanes goalie Scott Darling (33) during second period NHL action in Vancouver, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017.
 
 

Vancouver Canucks right wing Jake Virtanen (18) tires to get a shot past Carolina Hurricanes goalie Scott Darling (33) during second period NHL action in Vancouver, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017.

Photograph by: JONATHAN HAYWARD, The Province

BEST LESSON

If you’re looking for a life lesson tonight, you can probably start with this:

“Don’t be so thirsty.”

You can apply it to Pouliot.

And Markstrom too.

The Canucks goalie finally ended his bizarre run of shutout-less games.

It had become such a big story it managed to eclipse the fact Horvat left the ice limping midway through the third and never returned.

That’s not good.

Marky, however, was.

He was efficient, quick and patient. Subtle, too. Dare I say, in several key moments, he looked a lot like … Nilsson. Calm and in control.

The athleticism was still there, the wildness was not.

This, this is the best he’s played as a Canuck.

He’s now that one tipped shot away from riding a two-game shutout streak. The way he played Tuesday, he looked like he’s about to get another one. Soon.

Maybe two.

Markstrom was asked if some of Nilsson’s game is bleeding into his. He suggested it may be a stretch. But he may not even be totally aware of it happening.

“I think for sure, there’s more technique (in my game) and not to chase the puck,” Marky said. “I get hungry for pucks.

“(But I’m letting) them come to me, using my size more.

“Especially, earlier in the year (it was an issue). You’re so excited. You want to play so well. It’s almost not to your advantage.

“You want it too much. Instead of being relaxed.

“If you breathe slower, the game gets slower and you accept that the game doesn’t have to be this fast.

“Take a deep breath. Don’t chase it.”

Yeah, it’s looked good for the past 120 minutes.

Asked if he’s playing differently now, he said:

“A little different for sure. I feel like I am playing different.

“But it’s confidence too.

“Last year I only played 20 games.”

Twenty-five.

But who is counting?

BEST SAVE

Justin Williams in the slot is no joke.

He’s made a living there. He’s won huge games there. He’s crushed beating hearts there. And lots of those beating hearts belonged to goalies.

Marky would call the glove stop he made on this one a “desperation” save.

He wasn’t thinking. He was reacting.

It was probably a good indicator of the type of save Marky can make in practice. The type of save which explains why he’s been in 20 games, and Nilsson just nine.

If he comes out looking to block it, the shot whizzes over his left shoulder.

“It happened so fast,” he said. “It’s more ‘just make a save.’

“It’s desperation … I don’t want to take that out of my game. I don’t want to be one of those goalies who is all technique.

“Sometimes, you need to be desperate and use that to your advantage, your athleticism.”

He sure does have that.

BEST TIMING 

What’s amazing world this is.

Today, and yesterday too, Pratt was pontificating about his thoughts that Marky would never get a shutout.

Like, ever.

In his entire career.

  

BEST REVELATION

Marky needs Nilsson. He needed him last week to start games so he could take practice days and work with Cloutier.

The reset helped.

But you know what else is helping?

Competition.

Marky suggested the pressure Nilsson applies as his teammate is pretty freaking important.

Now, that was a surprise to hear.

“With me and Nils, it’s wide open as to who is going to get the net,” Marky said.

“It’s a new thing for me on this level.

“You guys pushed on it earlier. I tried to play it down. But there is pressure.

“It’s two games I’ve played really well. I feel like I have to play 30, 40 or 50 games like this.”

BIGGEST CONCERN

This did not look good.

 

BEST SOUNDTRACK

BEST LOL

BEST PLAYER

It had to have been liberating to hear.

Green sat Pouliot down for a meeting not long after he arrived from Pittsburgh.

The message?

Don’t be so thirsty.

He told him the last thing he had to be concerned about was points.

“It was good. I’ve been trying not to worry about that stuff,” the defenceman said.

“The big thing I had to do in coming here was to get my overall game in order before I started looking to add things.”

By overall game, he means play on the defensive side.

Excelling there has begun to impact things on the offensive end for him.

It culminated tonight in a three points. Heck, it would take most D on this squad a month to get to three points.

The Canucks just don’t have another defenceman with the vision Pouliot has.

That move was during the Canucks best shift of the game. Pouliot and MDZ laying the pressure for more than a minute.

Speaking of things other D on this team can’t do, his goal his bananas. And his goal absolutely has to keep him in the lineup for the forseeable future.

“I was trying to get the middle there. I thought if I got the middle, I’m shooting back the other way.

“I wanted to get the goalie moving. If he’s sliding, you shoot against the grain.

“I’m not a goalie, but I think that’s a tough save.”

Yes, it sure as hell is.

BEST SHAP

BEST COACHING

Check out this coaching session Tommy Guy gets going at the bench.

I have no idea what he’s telling Daniel, but it coudn’t seem more important.

By the end, Daniel couldn’t agree more aggressively.

 

BEST POLL

The poll didn’t go great for Hutton.

The mentions, however, took another turn entirely.

BEST REACTION

BIGGEST GUT PUNCH

Seeing Roberto Luongo go down, it was difficult not to feel for him.

This was developing into some season for the former Canucks star.

At 38 years old, his start, and remember how those used to go, was among the best of his career.

He has a .928 save percentage for a team that’s been notoriously not good defensively.

It’s way too early talk Vezina, but if somehow he was there at the end, it’s easy to envision a scenario where voters give him the nod in a close race, given his age, accomplishments and the fact there were years they didn’t vote for him and they really should have.

It sure made you think of a groin injury he suffered as a Canuck back in 2008.

And sure enough:

That will all but kill his shot at a Vezina.

BEST RESEARCH

I have no idea what got Sir Earl on his shootout jag recently, but I found it all extremely interesting.

I know the Sedins and their shootout history, still this amazed me:

Henrik is the greatest offensive player in Canucks history and he is likely going to end his career having never scored a shootout goal.

Remarkable, especially if you remember him twisting Brodeur into a knot, scoring a beautiful penalty shot goal back in 2010.

How can a guy with moves like that never score in a shootout?

Guess if he tried that now, no one would be biting on that wrist shot fake.

Of course, he did have a near shootout like moment tonight.

Guess what?

He never got a shot off.

BEST FOLLOW UP

The other quirk that stuck with me was this:

Let’s ask.

“I have stone hands, haven’t you seen?” Staal joked.

Nah, caman,

What gives?

“When I was in Pittsburgh, we won a lot of them and won them very quickly,” he said.

“It was Sid, Geno and Letang. And Flower was pretty good at stopping them.

“So for those six year, it never got to my turn. I never went.

“It just never seemed like we got to No. 4 and 5.

“So many times, they’d be done in three.”

But could you score on a shootout?

“Weren’t you watching me out there?

“I just dangled Wardo.”

BEST LOOK WHAT THEY’VE DONE

BEST QUOTE

Do emojis count as player quotes?

Yes, I believe they do.

If so, uh, unreal.

BIGGEST CHANGE

I don’t entirely agree with this. I think it undersells how effective BFG was last year and probably oversells MDZ.

Still, it’s a fascinating debate point and I have a lot of time for the idea that maybe they don’t trade for Pouliot if BFG is here.

Ultimately though, if Guddy is moved, the Canucks would be in the market for a blueliner with size.

BFG has that and much, much more.

Circling back to the MDZ front, there’s been an interesting development in his deployment.

In the first month of the season, he led all Canucks defencemen in both even strength ice time and total ice time.

He was a good story, and many believed he really found a fit with Travis Green’s system.

The total ice time lead he had wasn’t by a little either.

Around mid-November, things changed in the way Green was leaning on him and they changed in a big way.

It gets a little more interesting when you look at who has been leading the Canucks in ES ice time on the blueline since then.

With Guddy coming back in a week, it’s time to start guessing on who could come out.

Tanev and Edler are in. Hutton and Stecher are the two youngest. It just seems counter-intuitive to sit one of them.

You can’t take Pouliot out of this lineup.

That leaves MDZ. But there he was wearing an A Tuesday.

BEST GAME

JV18 played nearly 15 minutes.

He had four shots.

He had three hits.

It didn’t always look, uh, pretty or, well, orthodox. He can be an odd player to follow around the ice.

On this, his line had possession deep, and he just moonwalks his way right out of the off zone.

He would do a spin at the blueline and then skate back in.

I had no idea why or what happened. w

But that’s the way it goes sometimes with JV18. Shit just happens..

What  I do know is that he was in the mix a lot tonight. He is playing more. And playing more is helping him.

Surprise.

Green sees how his speed can help this team even when the, uh, hockey sense isn’t shining.

He is creating opportunities. I’m hesitant to call them scoring chances quite yet.

Would have loved to see him cut this one in front of the net.

It will come.

When it does, I’m telling your right now, look out.

BEST BAILOUT

This was such a calm, relaxed save. Marky makes it look easy and it came about a minute before the Pouliot goal opened the scoring.

Check out Marky’s patience on this one.

If this were two weeks ago and this was against the Pens, he would have been charging out into the circle.

The thirst was real.

BEST JERSEY

Not sure I want to support bathroom pics, but I’m a sucker for a McCann jersey.

That one is nice. But he was a first round pic.

I get people have his jersey.

Sestito is more obscure but he was a character.

But Matthias?

BEST WHIFF

That’s not how you D up Eagle.

 

MOST FIRES

Something I’m determined to look into is acquiring an intern for The Provies.

If I had one this month, I do believe I’d have to assign the person the A&W beat.

It’s become virtually impossible to keep up with all the fires he has going. It’s like walking around Kits around midnight on a clear summer eve. There’s a little bonfire, oh there’s another, oh look over there.

He’s come for The Provies, data, bloggers, Canucks fans, data, bloggers again and as if all of this wasn’t enough, took a chunk out of his spare time to drop the hammer on the Chilliwack corn industry.

Poor Fraser Valley, damn.

I’ve never seen such a campaign of shock and awe.

If you’re looking for memes about guys who loathe underlying stats and corn, while loving 4 pm starts and watching as much hockey as humanly possible, he’s got you covered.

Some were concerned Canucks Army rained too much smarm on him in their instantly popular takedown on how much hockey does Walker really watch.

Fear not. To be honest, he was the one doing the rain dance.

Plus, he had the stones to RT it.

Not sure much gets to this guy actually.

We’ll keep trying though.

BEST REACTION

Dude, no one’s getting mad at Murph for anything, come on now.

BEST REPLY

BEST UPDATE

There’s a movement to have the SHAPYs re-instated just for the MOTY award.

BEST THIS ISNT GOING TO GET OLD

 

BEST STRATEGY

Goldy is different.

He’s 22 years old and going on 19.

Long after he had been vaporized, Willie made sure to double back on Goldy, suggesting he wasn’t mentally tough enough yet to handle the NHL.

Not surprisingly, many don’t think the Willie-Goldy dynamic was the best fit for the Russian.

It’s a point that was driven home back during training camp when JV18 pointed out he didn’t spend much time talking to Willie at all.

It seemed to be the coach’s MO with some of his youngest players

That’s not going to be how best to get the most out of Goldy.

“He’s funny,” explained Burmistrov, who has had opportunities to get to know Goldy this season. “He looks so young. He looks like he’s 12.

“But he’s a really nice person. A nice guy.”

OK, he looks young. But how should a coach handle him?

“Just let him play,” Burmistrov said. “You look at Boeser.

“They let Boes do his thing and he started scoring. It’s one of those things.

“Goldy, I don’t think you want to be hard on him. I think you want to help him. Help him play.”

Good point, every player is different. But how different is Goldy?

“Some guys, they need to get in shit from somebody,” Burmistrov said.

“Another guy, he’ll get shit and he’ll stop playing for a month.

“You can’t all be the same.

“The Russians usually take it.

“We get the shit all the time.”

Hmmm.

How about, not this time?

 

 

 

 
 
 
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Vancouver Canucks right wing Jake Virtanen (18) tires to get a shot past Carolina Hurricanes goalie Scott Darling (33) during second period NHL action in Vancouver, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017.
 

Vancouver Canucks right wing Jake Virtanen (18) tires to get a shot past Carolina Hurricanes goalie Scott Darling (33) during second period NHL action in Vancouver, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017.

Photograph by: JONATHAN HAYWARD, The Province

 
Vancouver Canucks right wing Jake Virtanen (18) tires to get a shot past Carolina Hurricanes goalie Scott Darling (33) during second period NHL action in Vancouver, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017.
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