THE REPEATED HISTORY THING
For the second time in ten months, an outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted the Vancouver Canucks organization.
For those who missed it, last night in Vancouver, Tucker Poolman was pulled midway through the first period after his RT-PCR test came up positive for COVID-19.
Some clarity on Tucker Poolman playing 15 minutes.
Enhanced protocols require players to conduct a rapid test before any on-ice session and more frequent RT-PCR tests.
Rapids were in before the game and flagged Brad Hunt. RT-PCR was received later, causing Poolman to be pulled; pic.twitter.com/eBShXddB2h
— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) December 15, 2021
After the entire Adam Gaudette positive-test at practice debacle of 2021, I’m shocked the NHL protocols allowed the Canucks ice players without confirmed negative tests in hand.
Fortunately, because the majority of players are double-vaxxed and, in some cases, double-vaxxed with a booster, those who are testing positive are reporting that they are also symptom-free.
Regardless, it is not great seeing COVID-19 spread from team to team in such a short period.
On Wednesday morning, we saw twelve members of the Nashville Predators placed into COVID protocol and the Calgary Flames place their entire roster on the COVID protocol list. Externally, the Erie Otters of the OHL suspended team activities after thirteen players tested positive for COVID-19.
Back to the NHL:
- The Flames played Carolina on the 9th, and now the Hurricanes are dealing with a teamwide outbreak.
- The Flames played Boston on the 11th; today, Patrice Bergeron joined Brad Marchand on the COVID protocol list.
- One day after playing the Carolina Hurricanes, both Luke Schenn and Juho Lammikko were placed on COVID protocol by the Vancouver Canucks.
- On Tuesday Morning, the Canucks pulled Brad Hunt from morning skate then pulled Tucker Poolman during the first period after receiving positive tests.
"We talked quickly as a group and told guys what had happened last year. We felt it was unnecessary to go on the ice until our test results came back… It didn't seem like the right thing to do." – Bo Horvat on the player's advising against morning skate on Tuesday. #Canucks
— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) December 15, 2021
Despite relying on their experiences during the 2021 outbreak, the Canucks players were again let down by the NHL’s protocols.
Not only did Poolman’s late test result endanger his teammates, but the Columbus Blue Jackets roster with whom Poolman shared six minutes of ice-time.
Fingers crossed we're not about to cheer on a superspreader event… Getting major 2021 outbreak vibes
— Cody Severtson (@CodySevertson) December 15, 2021
Here’s hoping the Blue Jackets and the Vancouver Canucks come away from this screwup unscathed.
After a stirring comeback victory, the Canucks fifth straight, it would be mighty disappointing to see their momentum halted by another COVID-related shutdown.
The last time the NHL was on the verge of a shutdown due to COVID, the Utica Comets disappointed at home with a lacklustre effort against the Syracuse Crunch.
Justin Bailey scored the lone goal for Utica on the powerplay, assisted by Nikolay Goldobin and Brogan Rafferty. The latter who the Abbotsford Canucks will face off against tonight in San Diego.
Before the NHL and AHL shuttered their regular seasons, I closed my last pre-pandemic world game recap with a line that feels weirdly applicable to our present news cycle.
Stay safe everyone, shits about to get real nutty in the coming days…
I think I speak for everybody when I say that “real nutty” was the understatement of the century.
Tonight marks the first of eight matchups against the San Diego
Spiritually, the Canucks and the Gulls are pretty much the same team, middle of the pack in the Pacific Division with similar special teams prowess and an identical points-earning percentage.
- The Gulls are coming off a 3-1 victory against the Ontario Reign, their first win in December.
- The Canucks head into tonight’s matchup on the heels of an embarrassing 2W-2L split against the worst team in the Pacific Division; the San Jose Barracuda.
— San Diego Gulls (@SDGullsAHL) December 16, 2021
- The Anaheim Ducks recalled defenceman Jacob Larsson on Wednesday morning.
- Four of the Gulls defencemen, including Larsson, are in the team’s top-10 for scoring.
- The Abby Canucks, on the other hand, have two defencemen in the top-10 of scoring (Schilling/Woo).
Our lineup tonight in San Diego!
➡️ Petan enters with a franchise record six-game point streak.
➡️ Arseneau enters with a career-high four-game point streak.
➡️ Martin will make his fourth start in six games (3-0-0 record).#AbbyCanucks pic.twitter.com/fafXkWGQgH
— Abbotsford Canucks (@abbycanucks) December 16, 2021
- The Canucks recalled Phil Di Giuseppe after placing Juho Lammikko on their COVID protocol.
- The team placed Travis Hamonic on LTIR to accommodate his cap hit.
- Jack Rathbone has not played since December 5th, against the San Jose Barracuda, due to injury.
- Jett Woo was helped off the ice during the San Jose Barracuda’s Teddy Bear Toss on December 11th.
- Spencer Martin starts in place of Michael DiPietro, which we absolutely should read into.
Don’t feel like reading? Click here for spoilers!!
- Early shot on goal for San Diego to start.
- A long shift for the Abbotsford Canucks after two Gulls’ skaters break their sticks while defending in the d-zone. Unfortunately, the Canucks fail to generate any scoring chances.
- Cam Schilling (#5) loses possession inside the neutral zone but recovers on the backcheck. Seconds later, Schilling (#5) skates into trouble while Danila Klimovich (#46) looks lost following the puck in the d-zone. San Diego’s Hunter Drew gifted a point-blank scoring chance while the Canucks try to find the puck.
- Former Canuck, Brogan Rafferty, sets up Brendan Guhle for a one-timer on Spencer Martin. Canucks fourth line so very slow to backcheck after applying some offensive zone pressure.
- GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 1-0 Canucks: The Canucks open the scoring after a brutal giveaway from San Diego Gulls defenceman Greg Pateryn. Sheldon Rempal (#56) draws Pateryn and Trevor Carrick, down low, behind the Gulls’ net, then escapes Carrick to circle out to the doorstep for the tap-in goal set up by Nic Petan (#7).
- Gulls head coach will not like Carrick’s “disconnected controller” moment.
- Gulls generate a rush scoring chance for Vinni Lettieri after Justin Bailey (#95) and Jarid Lukosevicius (#14) flub their assignments after Guillaume Brisebois (#55) fumbles his entry denial.
- An aggressive forecheck from Rempal (#56) results in a Gulls’ turnover and a dangerous scoring chance for the Canucks.
- Justin Bailey (#95) races through center-ice and draws a hooking penalty against Greg Pateryn while driving towards the goal.
PP1: Schilling, Rempal, Stevens, Bailey, Petan
- PP1 crashes the net off a shot on goal from Rempal (#56).
- Rempal plays give-and-go with an unsuspecting Cam Schilling that forces the Canucks outside the offensive zone.
PP2: Brisebois, Lockwood, Arseneau, Klimovich, Dries
- Klimovich (#46) backhands a pass to the blue line, but no one is there to receive.
- The Canucks powerplay expires.
- Carson Focht (#19) enters the offensive zone with speed and snaps a wrist shot off the glove of Olle Eriksson Ek.
- Brayden Tracey picks off Rempal’s (#56) blind drop pass in the neutral zone to send Jacob Perreault into the Canucks’ zone. Perreault dances around three Canucks skaters before handing off to Pateryn at the right point.
- Seconds later, Alex Kannok Leipert takes an interference penalty, the Canucks first of the game.
PK1: Sautner, Brisebois, Dries, Bailey
- Justin Bailey (#95) with a slick stick-lift on Brenda Guhle to disrupt the Gulls zone-entry attempt.
PK2: Rempal. Stevens,
- Rempal blocks a hard shot then clears for Abbotsford to get a wholesale personnel change.
PK3: Lockwood, Petan, Schilling, Bowey
- Brayden Tracey tucks and slips a shot around Madison Bowey (#4) and into the body of Martin.
- Bowey blocks a shot and allows the Canucks PK to clear the zone.
- Kannok Leipert leaves the box, and Jacob Perreault heads to the box for a tripping penalty eleven seconds later.
PP2: Brisebois, Lockwood, Arseneau, Klimovich, Dries
- GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 2-0 Canucks (PPG): The Canucks extend their lead with another tap-in goal. This time, Danila Klimovich (#46) slips Trevor Carrick while entering the Gulls’ zone, then battles Benoit-Olivier Groulx before ripping a shot on Eriksson Ek. Ek fails to control the rebound, and Sheldon Dries (#15) cashes in for his thirteenth goal of the year.
- Canucks fumble their zone-exit attempt, leading to a scoring chance from Hunter Drew.
- Not the prettiest display of passing, but the Canucks fourth line moves from out of the d-zone and into the offensive zone for a shot on goal by Cam Schilling (#5).
- Klimovich (#46) attempts to clear the d-zone with a bank pass off the boards to Sheldon Dries (#15), but the angle is off, and Klim passes to Trevor Carrick, who launches a shot on Martin.
- It was all Canucks in the first as they soundly outshoot the Gulls twelve-to-seven and outscore them two to nothing.
- Rempal (#56) sets up Petan (#7) for an early missile launch.
- Dries (#15) attempts to chip the loose puck out of the d-zone, only for it to deflect off a stick and out to an open Brogan Rafferty, who rips a shot on Spencer Martin.
- Will Lockwood (#10) steals the puck from Rafferty and sends Petan (#7) on a rush chance the other way. Petan races into the offensive zone, then rips a shot off the goalpost and wide.
- Danny O’Regan skies an empty-net scoring chance after a sloppy line-change from the Canucks hands the Gull’s a three-on-two rush chance.
- Out of nowhere, Brendan Guhle turns on the jets to blitz around Brisebois (#55) for a shot on Martin.
- GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 3-0 Canucks: Danila Klimovich scores his first goal in fifteen games off a turnover by the Gull’s Greg Pateryn! Pateryn throws the puck away while facing pressure from John Stevens (#16) before getting absolutely trucked by Vinny Arseneau (#18). Right place, right time, Klimovich (#46) scores his third with a twisting snapshot past Eriksson Ek. Canucks with a great demoralizing goal after spending the majority of the opening five minutes inside their zone.
- Lettieri attempts to bank the puck off the back of Martin and into the net, but Martin spins to pull the puck into the crease. An early whistle prevents the loose puck from being knocked into the net by Benoit-Olivier Groulx.
- The San Diego crowd is not happy with the early whistle!
- Brisebois (#55) sets up a dangerous scoring chance …for San Diego when he throws the puck to the stick of Groulx inside the Canucks d-zone.
- A well-placed stick from Bowey (#4) strips Jacob Perreault of the puck and allows Focht (#19) to send Tristen Nielsen (#84) into the offensive zone for a shot attempt.
- Vinny Arseneau (#18) fights off Nikolas Brouillard during his chip-and-chase zone entry, then takes a minor penalty for boarding Brendan Guhle.
PK1: Bailey, Dries, Brisebois, Sautner
- Spencer Martin makes a one-timer save on Bryce Kindopp, and Brisebois (#55) clears the zone with over a minute and a half to go on the PK.
PK2: Petan, Lockwood, Schilling, Bowey
- A brutally long shift for PK2 as the Gulls pepper Martin with attempt after attempt. Arseneau leaves the box and helps the Canucks clear the zone for a much-needed line change.
- Klimovich (#46) capitalizes on a neutral zone turnover by Bryce Kindopp to create a two-on-one entry. But Klimovich misses his pass to John Stevens (#16) after entering the zone.
- Klim attempts to set up Kannok Leipert for a one-timer, but that pass is also out of Leipert’s reach.
- Sheldon Dries (#15) manages a shot on Eriksson Ek after settling a knee-high pass from Bailey (#95) behind his back!
- Forty-one seconds left in the period, and Nic Petan heads to the box for a slashing penalty.
PK1: Sautner, Brisebois, Dries, Bailey
- Bailey (#95) dodges a bullet after lodging his stick in Groulx’s skate. Groulx trips to the ice while sending the puck out of the Canucks zone.
PK2: Stevens, Lockwood,
- Canucks get a freebie on a delayed offside after a neutral zone faceoff but clear the puck down the ice after failing to notice the advantage.
- Canucks finish the middle-frame outshot nine to seven, but they’re running away with this one three-zip.
- Canucks look a little sleepy throughout and will start the third period facing one minute and nineteen seconds of PK time.
PK1: Bailey, Stevens, Brisebois, Sautner
- Canucks lose the opening faceoff but force the Gulls to reset their powerplay entry from their zone.
- Canucks keep the Gulls inside the neutral zone and hold them to zero attempts on the powerplay.
- Petan (#7) all over Greg Pateryn, forcing a turnover, allowing Sheldon Dries (#15) to set up Rempal (#56) for a one-timer chance on Eriksson Ek.
- Canucks fourth-line impress with a suffocating shift along the offensive-zone half-wall. Gulls pbp team marvel at the Gulls passive play against Ethan Keppen and Tristen Nielsen.
- At the end of a long shift, Keppen (#92) finds Stevens (#16) with a pass, who then swings down-low for a bank-shot attempt.
- Focht (#19) with a brutal d-zone giveaway to his #19 counterpart, Vinni Lettieri.
- Lockwood (#10) pressures inside the offensive zone before losing an edge behind the goal. Nic Petan (#7) then forces a turnover to Rempal (#56), who hammers Eriksson Ek with a shot.
- Klimovich (#46) was caught flat-footed at the Canucks blue line while defending the Gulls rush, allowing Greg Pateryn the chance to walk down the left wing for a shot attempt.
- Klimovich (#46) takes a sneaky short elbow to the face from Pateryn while cutting towards the goal inside the Gulls zone.
- Kodie Curran turnstiles Jarid Lukosevicus (#14) inside the Canucks d-zone, but Cam Schilling (#5) recovers to take Curran off the puck.
- GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 4-0 Canucks: Rempal with the final nail in the Gulls’ coffin as he smashes a one-timer over Eriksson Ek’s blocker side. Lockwood (#10) makes a tremendous play on the goal by drawing in the Gulls defenceman before curling for a no-look backhand pass to Rempal for the one-timer.
- Canucks and Gulls trade end-to-end chances once or twice through the final five minutes, but this game’s over.
- Canucks hold the Gulls to zero shots on goal over the final ten minutes of the third.
Abbotsford Canucks def. San Diego Gulls 4-0
- What a weird game. From an exciting back-and-forth first period to one of the more dull third periods I think I’ve ever watched. An impressive victory for the farm team after an incredibly disappointing performance against the San Jose Barracuda last Sunday.
- The Nic Petan, Will Lockwood, and Sheldon Rempal trio were dominant on the forecheck tonight. The trio’s relentless pace on the forecheck gave the Gulls fits all night by constantly forcing turnovers and creating dangerous scoring chances out of thin air.
- I thought Danila Klimovich looked okay after missing the Canucks last game as a healthy scratch. I liked a lot of his passing plays tonight, even if they were just a bit off-target. His shot is lethal. The speed with which the puck comes off his shot is unreal. I urge anyone reading this to go to an Abbotsford home game and watch him practice his one-timer at the end of the pre-game skate.
- Klimovich has warts to his game. He’s a bit too stationary for my liking and can afford to move his feet way more while not in possession of the puck; he needs to be a bit more fluid and less rigid with his motion.
- It would be really funny if the Vancouver Canucks only developed skater over the last eight years ended up being Vinny Arseneau.
- I thought Brisebois looked rough tonight. The defence, third-period shutdown and Martin’s shutout aside, looked pretty brutal tonight. They gave up an inordinate amount of point-blank chances from the net front. Kudos to Spencer Martin because this game was much closer than the scoreboard would have you believe. Especially during the first and second periods.
- I’m glad I stopped tracking giveaways because this game would take 6-7 hours to finish tracking. The Canucks gave the puck away A LOT tonight. A LOT!
- Carson Focht looked pretty speedy tonight. He had some brutal giveaways and turnovers in the d-zone that resulted in several dangerous chances. But, whatever, every Canuck made some kind of boneheaded giveaway/turnover in the d-zone tonight.
- Regarding Trent Cull starting Spencer Martin instead of DiPietro or Silos. I kind of understand why Trent Cull would sit DiPietro after Sunday’s game. DiPietro has been not great this year for Abbotsford. He’s faced a lot of volume and did well most of the time to turn away shots. However, the actual goals that DiPietro has allowed have been incredibly ugly. Zero-screen shots from the point that beat him glove side. Trickling goals through the five-hole. A struggling player does need a bit of a reset at some point. What I can’t reconcile is starting Martin over Arturs Silovs. Martin is a non-asset to the organization. He might fetch another AHL asset in a trade, but you’re not pinning your NHL future on him becoming something more than he is. Good on him for picking up his first shutout of the year, but he shouldn’t have started four of the Canucks last SIX games. DiPietro and Silovs already wasted a year of their ELC’s when they combined for eleven games of professional hockey last season. While a winning culture is good for a first-year organization, Martin isn’t a guy to be stealing games from DiPietro or Silovs. Let the kids play! The organization can’t afford to waste two years of a prospect’s ELC.
Eh. Still early in the young man’s development and obviously I’m high on him- but all I’ll say is that if he doesn’t bounce back from this (he will) that full year off at such a young age is a massive shit stain on the organization
— David Quadrelli (@QuadreIli) December 16, 2021
- This local Italian said it best. The 2020-21 season could come back to haunt the Canucks if DiPietro somehow can’t find his rookie season form.
Cody’s Three Stars
- Sheldon Rempal
- Danila Klimovich
- Spencer Martin
HM: Nic Petan
Next Up on the Docket
The Canucks finish their road trip this weekend when they visit the Henderson Silver Knights for a back-to-back on Saturday and Sunday.
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