GAMEDAY RECAP: The Abbotsford Canucks kick off a five-game road trip with an impressive five-goal game against the Barracuda

The Abbotsford Canucks begin their first extended road trip of the season with a trip to San Jose.

The San Jose Barracuda have been decimated all season by injuries and call-ups, picking up thirteen points out of seventeen games played. The Barracuda’s 0.382 points-earning percentage places them second-last in the AHL, ahead of only Philadelphia’s affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Sidenote, the ailing Philadelphia Flyers AHL team has won just three games out of nineteen games this season. OOF!

Despite the Barracuda’s struggles against the rest of the Western Conference, they’ve had no troubles against the Canucks. At least, in terms of out-attempting their Canadian opponent.

San Jose / Abbotsford head-to-head

The Abbotsford Canucks have earned five points out of a possible eight against the Barracuda while outscoring them eighteen to eleven through four contests.

The Canucks have been consistently outmatched by the Barracuda at 5v5, a trend they only recently broke with their five-two victory this past Sunday.

Barracuda goaltender stats to date.

Fortunately for Abbotsford, unfortunately, for San Jose, the Barracuda have not had quality goaltending at all this season.

The Barracuda’s best netminder has allowed nearly four goals-against per game through ten starts and is rocking a sub-860 save percentage.

The Canucks currently sit sixth in the Pacific Division, good for a playoff spot. Still, they’ll feel infinitely more comfortable with their team if they can string together some dominant performances against an inferior opponent.

It took the Abbotsford Canucks seventeen games to reach five regulation wins.

They better hope it doesn’t take another fourteen to reach ten, or this season will be going down the tube real fast.

Missing an expanded Calder Playoffs bracket would be an ugly look for the first-year franchise after a near-decade of spotty development and playoff successes.

THE OPPOSITION

https://twitter.com/nathancsn/status/1469781217272741888?s=20

Oh yah, Evander Kane makes his 2021-22 season debut for the Barracuda tonight.

It should be interesting, to say the least…

STARTING ROSTER

https://twitter.com/abbycanucks/status/1469777965953302528?s=20

  • Carson Focht returns to the lineup after a three-game conditioning stint with the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL.
  • Interestingly, Spencer Martin earns the crease for the afternoon start over Silovs and DiPietro.
  • Jack Rathbone misses tonight’s game after going down with an injury during Sunday’s game.
  • Jett Woo returns to the lineup with the call-ups of Travis Hamonic and Noah Juulsen’s to the Canucks.

Don’t feel like reading? Click here for spoilers!!

GAME 18:

1st period:

PP1: Petan, Stevens, Bailey, Rempal, Schilling

  • GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 1-0 Canucks: Thirteen seconds on the man-advantage was all the Canucks needed as Sheldon Rempal (#56) scores his sixth goal of the season; his third on the powerplay! Cam Schilling (#5) dishes a simple feed over to Rempal, who wrists a laser past the glove of Zach Sawchenko. Barracuda give up the opening goal for the sixth straight game. Sounds familiar, Canucks fans? Haha.

PK1: Petan, Di Giuseppe, Sautner, Bowey

  • Abbotsford loses the opening d-zone faceoff but wins the ensuing puck battle and forces the Barracuda to reset from their end.
    • Lockwood and Dries hop on for Petan/PDG after the zone clearance.

PK2: Stevens, Rempal, Brisebois, Woo

2nd period:

  • GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 4-0 Canucks: The Canucks are making a habit of capitalizing early as Justin Bailey (#95) breaks his seven-game scoring drought with a nasty breakaway goal twenty-three seconds into the middle frame. Danila Klimovich (#46) kicks off the sequence with some slick evasion in the d-zone before dishing a nasty rink wide bank pass to the streaming Bailey for the entry and the goal.

PK1: Di Giuseppe, Sautner, Petan, Brisebois

PK3: Dries, Lockwood, Bowey, Stephens

PK4: Rempal, Dries, Stephens, Bowey

3rd period:

PK1: Sautner, Bowey, Lockwood, Dries

PK2: Bailey, Dries, Brisebois, Sautner

  • Barracuda force themselves offsides, allowing the Canucks to tie the puck up and clear.

PK3: Di Giuseppe, Petan, Stephens, Brisebois

PP1: Lockwood, Di Giuseppe, Brisebois, Arseneau, Dries

  • Canucks lose the zone and elect to take their sweet-ass time in the d-zone before attempting a re-entry.

PP2: Focht, Klimovich, Nielsen, Schilling, Bowey

  • You have to love the late-game, “we’re crushing this team, so let’s throw whoever we want to out on the powerplay.”
  • Canucks sit in the d-zone for the final twenty seconds behind Martin’s net, a deflating loss for the Barracuda.

RESULT:

Abbotsford Canucks def. San Jose Barracuda 5-1

SCORESHEET:

Game 18 scoresheet versus San Jose

TAKEAWAYS:

  • The Canucks capitalize early against a weak blueline and inferior goaltending to end this one pretty early. The Sharks finished the game having outshot the Canucks twenty-eight to twenty-three, but the game was over twenty-three seconds into the second period off the Bailey goal.
  • I thought the Sharks did well to pressure the Canucks inside their zone with shot attempts and cycling pressure; the Barracuda were capitalizing heavily on the Canucks poor puck management under pressure but not scoring off their chances. Spencer Martin wasn’t tested that heavily tonight, but he stood tall when the Canucks needed him to during those prolonged sieges in their end.
  • This game boiled down to the Canucks first line making fools out of the Barracuda off the rush. For the first time this season, the Canucks looked to have a considerable edge in the speed department.
    • Rempal, outside of his double-minor, played incredibly well.
Sheldon Rempal Production Chart
  • Rempal has been a horse for this team’s offensive efforts at 5v5 and on the powerplay. Including tonight, Rempal has eleven points at 5v5 and seven via the powerplay.
Sheldon Rempal Player Card
  • It isn’t just his scoring either. Rempal is a CORSI machine. With Rempal on the ice at 5v5, the Canucks have outshot opponents by a plus-32 shot attempt differential.
  • Starting in last Sunday’s game against the Barracuda, Trent Cull began deploying Rempal as a penalty killer. I wonder if they are prepping Rempal for a look with the NHL club?
  • Rempal has been huge for the Abbotsford Canucks, and he would be a massive loss to their on-ice output. Of the 227 shot attempts that occurred with Rempal on-ice at 5v5, Rempal has been directly responsible for 43.61% of them.
    • Calculated by dividing Rempal’s individual offensive output (Shots, goals, shot attempts, primary shot assists, primary shot-attempt assists, and secondary assists) by the on-ice events that occur with him on the ice at 5v5 (CORSI For)
  • CORSI Involvement % isn’t an end-all-be-all stat of a player’s value, but it helps separate passengers from generators.
    • For example, having a positive CORSI-relative is great and shows the team controlling shot attempts better with that player on the ice versus off. CORSI Involvement % adds to that stat to state, “Yes! The Abbotsford Canucks control play at 5v5 better with Sheldon Rempal on the ice versus off, and the bulk of that play-driving is coming off his stick, too! 43% of it, to be exact!
    • Again, it isn’t perfect, and measuring everything on shot attempts carries an inherent bias against players who have nothing happen positively or negatively with them on the ice. But, until recapping/tracking AHL hockey can become a full-time job, it’s the best we’ve got!
  • I thought Jett Woo was incredibly quiet; way too stationary inside the d-zone, and his skills with the puck are lacking considerably.
On-Net % after 17GP: individual shots on goal ÷ total individual shot attempts
  • Woo has the fifth-lowest on-net percentage of all Abbotsford Canucks skaters. Below him are
    • Carson Focht, who recently returned from a three-game stint in the ECHL
    • Guillaume Brisebois, who has played three games
    • Noah Juulsen, who has infamously low production at the AHL and NHL levels
    • Devante Stephens, who has spent the bulk of this season rotating off-role as a forward
  • Not great company to be keeping.
  • Above him is Jack Rathbone, who, despite his low on-net percentage, is a volume shooter who has managed six points in seven games played.
    • Woo has managed six points in sixteen games, five of which came in two of those games.
  • I thought Tristen Nielsen played okay though he did have some incredibly poor reads in the defensive zone at times. Given his lack of size, I’ve been consistently impressed by how hard Nielsen plays. Very honey badger-esque
  • Nic Petan and Phil Di Giuseppe are very good at this level. That is all.

https://twitter.com/CodySevertson/status/1469794920902791168

  • One of the stories that quietly went under the radar was Justin Bailey’s poor play since returning to the AHL from his stint with the Vancouver Canucks. He scored his first goal in seven games, his first point at 5v5 and just his second point since being sent back to Abby. Hopefully, tonight’s goal is a monkey off his back, and he returns to the blistering pace he was on before his NHL call-up. The Canucks love his speed and the utility he brings as an all-situations player, but certainly, there was a reason for concern that his demotion to the AHL brought on the recent spate of listless play and poor production.
  • Quiet night for Will Lockwood. I didn’t notice his trademark speed or forechecking tenacity. I still have concerns about his puck management inside the d-zone. Lockwood was responsible for a couple of giveaways that led to shot attempts against.
  • I liked a lot of the things Danila Klimovich was doing tonight. That bank pass to Bailey was absolutely filthy. More of that, Klim! AND more throwing the body around! The kid’s a big boy and can afford to throw some heavy hits.

https://twitter.com/CodySevertson/status/1469806944839815170?s=20

  • Pour one out for Ryan Merkley, who will want to forget this game ever happenedI feel bad for the video coach who will have to clip this game for Merkley.

Cody’s Three Stars

  1. Sheldon Rempal*
  2. Justin Bailey
  3. Nic Petan

HM: Madison Bowey

Next Up on the Docket

The Abbotsford Canucks will rematch the Barracuda tomorrow at 4 PM PST.

Plugs

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