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.
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.
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.
Oh yah, Evander Kane makes his 2021-22 season debut for the Barracuda tonight.
It should be interesting, to say the least…
- 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!!
- It’s so great to see the Canucks in their road-greens
- Nic Petan (#7) sends Phil Di Giuseppe (#34) into the offensive zone on a breakaway after a d-zone shot from Ryan Merkley deflect off PDG’s skates and into the waiting arms of Petan.
- San Jose’s Montana Onyebuchi (g.o.a.t. name) steps into the offensive zone for a totally not pre-planned fight with Devante Stephens (#24).Tough to score, 10-10 round.
- Both teams are now down to five defencemen for the next five minutes!
- Joachim Blichfeld pings iron after a d-zone faceoff win for San Jose.
- Sheldon Rempal (#56) draws a tripping penalty against San Jose’s Ryan Merkley while executing a zone entry.
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.
- A questionable pinch at the Canucks blueline opens up the ice for Sheldon Rempal (#56) to send Nic Petan (#7) down the ice for a breakaway chance. Petan styles on Merkley with a spin-o-rama in the right circle to set up Guillaume Brisebois (#55) for a tap-in at the netfront.
- GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 2-0 Canucks: Vinny Arseneau (#18) outta nowhere with the go-ahead snipe off a stretch-pass from Madison Bowey (#4) to extend the Canucks lead! Arseneau throws a last-second look to his trailer, Carson Focht (#19), before launching a rocket under Sawchenko’s glove side. Nasty shot.
- Justin Bailey’s (#95) frustrating return to the AHL continues with him taking a stupid roughing penalty while holding the offensive zone blue line against San Jose’s Evan Weinger.The AHL’s twelfth-ranked powerplay takes on the AHL’s eighth-best penalty-kill.
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
- Martin loses his glove while defending his crease, and then San Jose’s John Leonard gets into it with Sheldon Rempal near the Canucks d-zone half-wall.
- Canucks clear the zone as Bailey’s penalty expires.
- A soft exit-pass from Sheldon Dries (#15) ricochet’s off a skate, allowing Evander Kane to record a shot on Martin.
- San Jose is pressuring hard inside the Canucks zone, closing the gap in shots-on-goal from nine-to-four to nine-even.
- GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 3-0 Canucks: Another two-on-one breakaway opportunity for Nic Petan (#7) and the Canucks leads to a gorgeous goal from Phil Di Giuseppe (#34). Still riding the ‘CanucksConversation bump,’ Di Giuseppe completely undressed Zach Sawchenko for the backhand-goal into the empty net. Petan displays brilliant patience while evading a sliding Merkley, who emphatically smashes his stick after the goal.
- Zach Sawchenko makes an incredible scorpion-kick save to deny Jarid Lukosevicius (#14) the four-nothing goal.
- Canucks finish the period even in shots-on-goal, eleven-all. Canucks are taking advantage of the Barracuda’s poor goaltending and defensive play but are struggling in their end as well at effectively clearing the zone.
- 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.
- Justin Bailey (#95) puts on the jets to race down the right-wing around Merkley for a shot on Sawchenko.
- Cam Schilling (#5) inadvertently creates a dangerous scoring opportunity for Danila Klimovich (#46) after his fanned-on one-timer rolls slowly towards the side of the net past a sprawled-out Sawchenko.
- Abbotsford is dishing tremendous pressure on San Jose through the opening five minutes of the period.
- Tristen Nielsen (#84) leaves San Jose’s Adam Raska alone at the net-front, allowing John Leonard to set up Raska for a dangerous one-timer chance on Spencer Martin.
- GOAL – SAN JOSE – 4-1 Canucks: Moments after a dangerous scoring opportunity, Adam Raska torches Guillaume Brisebois (#55) on a chip-and-chase to drive on Martin for the Barracuda’s first goal of the game; Raska picks up his first AHL point.
- And heeeeeere cooooome the teddy beaaaaaaaars!
- Canucks generate a long shift inside the offensive zone off the post-Teddy Bear Toss whistle; excellent puck movement displayed despite a lack of shot attempts.
- Jarid Lukosevicius (#14) with an excellent forechecking effort to strip Ryan Merkley of the puck and regain possession for Abbotsford inside the offensive zone.Merkley is having a brutal game.
- Danila Klimovich (#46) with an impressive end-to-end skate to chase a Devante Stephens (#24) board-and-out.
- Evan Weinger races down the left wing into the Canucks zone before ripping a shot off Martin’s glove and wide of the goal.
- Klimovich heads to the box for hooking to give the Barracuda their second powerplay of the game.
PK1: Di Giuseppe, Sautner, Petan, Brisebois
- Di Giuseppe (#34) picks off Evander Kane’s cross-ice feed and clears the zone for Abbotsford.
- Bailey/Stevens hoop on for Petan/PDG, and they force the Barracuda to reset from their zone as well.
PK3: Dries, Lockwood, Bowey, Stephens
- Ryan Merkley continues his terrific game against Abbotsford with an absolutely giga-boosted giveaway to Sheldon Dries (#15) for a shorthanded breakaway scoring chance.
- Canucks lose the offensive zone faceoff, and San Jose posts up inside the offensive zone.
PK4: Rempal, Dries, Stephens, Bowey
- Martin deflects a shot from Joel Kellman into the netting as the Klimovich penalty expires.
- A failed exit by Cam Schilling (#5) leads to a dangerous two-on-one chance for the other Merkley (Nick).
- Will Lockwood (#10) races to block a shot after accidentally gloving down the puck inside the d-zone to the stick of Jaycob Megna.
- Canucks score twice on five shots, but San Jose pulls ahead twenty to sixteen in total shots on goal.
- Lockwood (#10) loses possession after skating the puck through traffic inside the offensive zone.
- San Jose continues to pressure with offence as Jarid Lukosevicius (#14) drops to block a shot.
- GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 5-1 Canucks: The Canucks fourth-line regains the four-goal lead as Tristen Nielsen (#84) hammers in a Bowey (#4) rebound for his second of the season.
- Zach Sawchenko gets the hook; Alexei Melnichuk comes in as relief.
- Second time in six games that Sawchenko gets hooked.
- Sheldon Rempal (#56) battles with Joachim Blichfeld and takes a four-minute double-minor for high-sticking.
PK1: Sautner, Bowey, Lockwood, Dries
- Ryan Merkley elects to set up his brother Nick Merkley for the powerplay one-timer over NHL forward Evander Kane.
- Canucks clear the zone and get a full personnel change
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
- PDG races the puck out of the zone and into the Barracuda zone to kill precious seconds off the Rempal penalty.
- Canucks hold the Barracuda to zero shots on goal over four minutes; the AHL’s eighth-best penalty kill is bound to move up a few more spots on the leaderboard.
- A whole lot of back-and-forth action with very low-danger shot attempts
- Danila Klimovich (#46) loses possession by the d-zone half-wall, leading to a dangerous scoring chance for Sasha Chmelevski. A massive scrum ensues outside of Martin’s crease that sees Jeffrey Viel ejected.Scott Reedy serves Viel’s minor penalties for slashing and roughing.
- Canucks close the game on the man advantage.
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.
Abbotsford Canucks def. San Jose Barracuda 5-1
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pour one out for Ryan Merkley, who will want to forget this game ever happened. I feel bad for the video coach who will have to clip this game for Merkley.
Cody’s Three Stars
- Sheldon Rempal*
- Justin Bailey
- Nic Petan
HM: Madison Bowey
Next Up on the Docket
The Abbotsford Canucks will rematch the Barracuda tomorrow at 4 PM PST.
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter for your daily dose of memes, sarcasm, stats, and gameday clips from the Vancouver and Abbotsford Canucks!
You can also catch me on Podcast format with Lachlan Irvine over at the Creasecast! Please give us a follow on your go-to podcast platform and rate, like and subscribe to help us out!
And if you’re more of a visual person! You can check out the Creasecast Youtube channel, where we upload all of our podcasts in video form!