GAMEDAY RECAP: Danila Klimovich’s two-point night and the spicy new Canucks goalie controversy

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.

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.

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.

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.

MEMBER BERRIES

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.

THE OPPOSITION

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Tonight marks the first of eight matchups against the San Diego Skyrats Gulls.

Abbotsford and San Diego: Twins

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.

  • 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).

STARTING ROSTER

  • 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!!

GAME 20:

1st period:

PP1: Schilling, Rempal, Stevens, Bailey, Petan

PP2: Brisebois, Lockwood, Arseneau, Klimovich, Dries

PK1: Sautner, Brisebois, Dries, Bailey

PK2: Rempal. Stevens,

  • Rempal blocks a hard shot then clears for Abbotsford to get a wholesale personnel change.

PK3: Lockwood, Petan, Schilling, Bowey

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.

2nd period:

PK1: Bailey, Dries, Brisebois, Sautner

PK2: Petan, Lockwood, Schilling, Bowey

PK1: Sautner, Brisebois, Dries, Bailey

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.

3rd period:

PK1: Bailey, Stevens, Brisebois, Sautner

  • 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.

RESULT:

Abbotsford Canucks def. San Diego Gulls 4-0

SCORESHEET:

Game 20 Scoresheet versus San Diego

TAKEAWAYS:

  • 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.

  • 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.
Abbotsford Canucks Goaltending Stats (19GP)

Cody’s Three Stars

  1. Sheldon Rempal
  2. Danila Klimovich
  3. 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.

Plugs

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!

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