Well, it can’t be worse than yesterday, right?
The #AbbyCanucks have signed forward Nicolas Guay to a professional try out agreement.
— Abbotsford Canucks (@abbycanucks) January 7, 2022
In the lede burial of the century, the Abbotsford Canucks announced the signing of forward Nicolas Guay from the USports’ University of New Brunswick.
Casually slipped into the replies of that signing was the news that the team had mutually agreed to terminate the contract of Cameron Schilling!
Djurgården kan presentera Cameron Schilling som ny spelare i Stockholms stolthet. Försvararen, som på elva säsonger i AHL producerat 215 poäng samt noterat tio matcher i NHL, har skrivit på ett avtal till 2024.https://t.co/TrlF7ol3I1#DIFHockey #AlltidOavsett pic.twitter.com/irfhdryNAI
— Djurgården Hockey (@DIFHockeyse) January 7, 2022
The good-guy Canucks released Schilling from his contract to sign with Djurgardens IF of the SHL.
Djurgardens IF is presently the worst team in the SHL, with a whopping five victories in thirty games. Still, tough to pass up the opportunity of playing for a top-tier league again.
Schilling was quite critical to the Abbotsford Canucks. His thirteen points in nineteen games place him first among Canucks defencemen scoring.
The shot control numbers at 5v5 weren’t too great with Schilling on-ice, but goals were scored quite frequently.
Schilling’s absence was most apparent on the Canucks powerplay last night against Bakersfield. Through nine minutes of powerplay time, the Canucks failed to generate any meaningful looks or set plays. At one point, through two powerplay opportunities, the Canucks registered zero shots on goal while giving up one shorthanded.
Replacing Schilling on the Canucks powerplay won’t be easy, especially with Jack Rathbone out with injury.
Trent Cull spoke about Schilling post-game, saying, “Cam Schilling, came here, had a good year for us. We played him in all situations. I liked his game for us, and obviously, someone else liked it as well.”
Trent Cull has tried Jett Woo and Adam Brubacher on the team’s powerplay units, but neither has looked capable of holding down the position.
Tough test for the Baby Canucks. 10 forwards and 5 D for Abby tonight. 3 of those players are effectively on tryouts. https://t.co/6BZSOANNlC
— James Cybulski (@JamesCybulski) January 8, 2022
With only ten forwards and five defencemen at his disposal, powerplay options will be the least of Trent Cull’s concerns in tonight’s game. Every player is bound to get a look on special teams tonight!
Stuart Skinner gets his fifth straight start as the Condors look to extend points in six straight. Lineup remains unchanged from last night when every line contributed at least a goal. Talk to ya in 15! #Condorstown
— Ryan Holt (@CondorsHolty) January 8, 2022
Some fresh faces in the lineup tonight as we look for redemption! ⤵️
➡️ Nicolas Guay will make his debut in @TheAHL after signing a PTO today
➡️ Yushiroh Hirano will make his Abbotsford Canucks debut
➡️ Martin enters tonight with a five-game winning streak#AbbyCanucks pic.twitter.com/UlVfDyfBuk
— Abbotsford Canucks (@abbycanucks) January 8, 2022
- Brandon Cutler slides into the second-line center role in his second AHL game. Oh, dear…
- With a full complement of players, this Canucks team got sparked 6-2 by the Bakersfield Condors.
Don’t feel like reading? Click here for spoilers!!
The Abbotsford Canucks lineup has one forward line with experience together at 5v5!
— Cody Severtson (@CodySevertson) January 8, 2022
- They should’ve dressed Silovs as a defenceman to try and get the kid some game-action!
- Early DUB for the Abby Canucks as they control the puck for the first thirty seconds!
- Luke Esposito draws a cross-checking penalty against Ashton Sautner to put the Canucks on an early penalty kill.
- This is the second penalty drawn by Esposito in two games; Sautner is a major player for the Canucks PK. This will be a crucial kill for Abbotsford.
PK1: Stevens, Bowey, Juulsen, Bailey
- GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 1-0 Canucks: LMAO, of course! Justin Bailey (#95) pounces on a flubbed pass and races end-to-end with John Stevens (#16). Philip Broberg loses his footing on the retreat, and Bailey sets up Stevens for the net-front redirect past Stuart Skinner. This is the second game in a row where the Canucks have scored a shorthanded goal!
- Sheldon Rempal and Brandon Cutler replace Stevens and Bailey for the neutral zone faceoff.
PK2: Nielsen, Lukosevicius, Stephens, Kannok Leipert
- PK2 clears the zone; nothing is happening for Bakersfield on this man-advantage.
- Jarid Lukosevicius (#14) and Tristen Nielsen (#84) play a little tentatively on the PK. Instead of one guy playing as the aggressive pressure-man at the top of the triangle, the PK defers to a more passive “box” approach. The lack of movement leads to a shot on Spencer Martin from Raphael Lavoie.
- Sautner leaves the box, and Justin Bailey leads a rush into the offensive zone for a shot on goal.
- Nicolas Guay (#91) sends a hard pass for the breakout, but it works, and the Canucks change.
- Bakersfield’s Seth Griffith finds himself behind the Canucks defence, but Spencer Martin comes up huge on the breakaway opportunity.
- Graham McPhee moves around Nielsen (#84) in the neutral zone for the zone entry. Danila Klimovich (#46) then sauces a pass to Nielsen for the breakout. Nielsen races down the right-wing for a shot that deflects off of Skinner’s glove.
- With a burst of speed, Brandon Cutler (#48) works his way down the left wing around Vincent Desharnais for a setup to the slot.
- Sheldon Rempal draws a hooking penalty against Bakersfield’s Cooper Marody to give the Canucks their first powerplay.
PP1: Stevens, Rempal, Arseneau, Bailey, Bowey
- Bakersfield wins the faceoff and quickly clears the zone.
- A Bakersfield board-and-out hops over Bowey’s (#4) stick at the blue line, handing Luke Esposito another shorthanded rush chance. Fortunately, Spencer Martin makes the save to keep this one even!
PP2: Cutler, Juulsen, Klimovich, Lukosevicius, Sautner
- Ashton Sautner (#6) sets up Noah Juulsen (#47) for a bomb of a one-timer. Lukosevicius (#14), at the net-front, backhands the rebound narrowly wide of the net.
- It didn’t amount to anything, but I love seeing Klimovich (#46) flash his puck-handling like this under pressure.
- Powerplay expires, but the Canucks second powerplay unit generated some decent looks.
- The referee somehow misses the blatant trip on Rempal (#56) by Ostap Safin.
- Rempal draws a holding penalty against Graham McPhee seconds later. Canucks to their second powerplay of the game.
PP2: Klimovich, Sautner, Juulsen, Cutler, Lukosevicius
- Another early clear for Bakersfield forces the Canucks to reset from the d-zone.
- PP2 loses the zone after re-entry, and PP1 hops over the boards.
PP1: Stevens, Rempal, Arseneau, Bailey, Bowey
- Another board-and-out hops over Bowey’s stick, forcing the Canucks to reset from the d-zone.
- Esposito with another shorthanded rush chance. This one bounces off the post and over Spencer Martin. PP1 is struggling as much as they did on Thursday night.
- Bowey (#4) sends a shot that deflects high into the face of Klimovich (#46).
- Noah Juulsen (#47) hits the deck after taking a hard check into the endboards from Devin Brosseau.
- Tristen Nielsen (#84) wins the offensive zone faceoff back to Yushiroh Hirano (#71), who moves to the slot for a quick shot on Skinner.
- Interesting strategy from the Canucks; the final minute of play sees the Canucks gain possession of the puck and cycle the puck around the d-zone, not even attempting a breakout play.
- Shots even at eight apiece after twenty minutes!
- Devante Stephens (#24) gets tied up at the Canucks blue line, and James Hamblin capitalizes for a dangerous high-speed breakaway chance!
- Canucks are on their heels, and Klimovich heads to the box for hooking to send the Canucks to their second penalty kill.
PK1: Stevens, Bailey, Sautner, Juulsen
- Bailey with an early clearance for Abbotsford
- Rempal and Nielsen hop on for Bailey/Stevens, and Remapl clears once more for Abbotsford.
PK2: Bowey, Stephens, Lukosevicius, Rempal
- A wrist-shot from Bakersfield sails wide of Martin’s net and out of the zone
- Oh dear, Bowey heads to the box for high-sticking. Bakersfield with a considerable 5-on-3 powerplay opportunity.
PK1: Sautner, Juulsen, Stevens
- Philip Broberg and Adam Cracknell fumble a hand-off at the Canucks blue line, forcing Bakersfield to reset from the neutral zone.
- Klimovich leaves the box, picks up an errant shot attempt, and generates a shorthanded rush for the Canucks!
- An interesting play as Raphael Lavoie fires a shot into the mask of Spencer Martin, who shakes off his mask while calling the ref’s attention. As Martin shakes off his mask, Bakersfield scores a goal.
- After some deliberation at center-ice, the ref’s rule that the goal does not count.
- Bowey leaves the box.
- Hirano (#71) forces a turnover in the offensive zone, then races to the endboards to fish a pass back towards the slot. Unfortunately, no one is there to receive Hirano’s pass.
- Seth Griffith loses an edge in the offensive zone and takes out Martin. No call on the play.
- Klimovich (#46), a little too cheeky with the puck, along Bakersfield’s blue line.
- Bailey (#95) with a wicked no-look wrist shot on Skinner
- Guay (#91) flashes some quick feet through the neutral zone for the zone entry.
- Vincent Arseneau (#18) centers for Guay (#91), and Guay draws a hooking penalty against Matteo Gennaro to hand the Canucks their third powerplay of the night.
PP1: Stevens, Rempal, Arseneau, Bailey, Bowey
- Rempal whips a cross-ice pass out of Bailey’s reach, forcing the Canucks to reset from the neutral zone.
- Another pass is intercepted by Cooper Marody, again forcing the Canucks to reset from the neutral zone.
PP2: Sautner, Cutler, Lukosevicius swap for Arseneau/Stevens/Bailey
- Cutler (#48) sends a cross-ice feed to Rempal (#56) for a dangerous one-timer on Skinner.
- Powerplay ends
- Klmiovich (#46) denies a tap-in opportunity for Bakersfield’s Matteo Gennaro after a shot from Luke Esposito trickles through Martin’s crease!
- Jarid Lukosevicius (#14) hooks Adam Cracknell while denying his zone entry attempt.
- Canucks head to their fourth penalty kill
PK1: Stevens, Sautner, Juulsen, Bailey
- James Hamblin nearly scores early for Bakersfield! Juulsen (#47) blocks Cooper Marody’s shot, and it redirects to James Hamblin. Hamblin has a wide-open net available to him, but his shot hits his teammate in the ankle and deflects wide.
PK2: Bowey, Stephens, Cutler, Rempal
- Canucks clear the zone and allow for a full change
- Canucks kill Lukosevicius’ (#14) penalty
- GOAL – BAKERSFIELD – 1-1 TIE: Bakersfield nets the equalizer off a speedy rush chance generated by Yanni Kaldis. Kaldis parts the sea and, while engaging in a 1v1 with Juulsen (#47), drops for Raphael Lavoie, who picks the corner on Martin’s glove side.
- Juulsen’s (#47) one-timer is blocked, resulting in a dangerous 2-on-1 opportunity for Bakersfield. Spencer Martin comes up huge with a piece of his glove on a shot by Cooper Marody.
- Lavoie rips into the Canucks d-zone with speed and fires a shot off the inside of the bar and out!
- Less than one minute remaining, and Bailey draws an interference penalty against Philip Broberg.
PP2: Sautner, Cutler, Nielsen, Juulsen, Lukosevicius
- Cull is switching things up on his powerplay after going 0/6 against Bakersfield these past two nights.
- Lukosevicius attempts to tip a shot from Juulsen on Skinner but can’t get the angle.
- The buzzer sounds on the middle frame; Canucks outshot seven to five, fifteen to thirteen after forty minutes of play.
- Canucks start the period with a minute of powerplay time
- Twenty-three seconds into the period, and Tim Schaller (yes, that Tim Schaller) generates two scoring chances for Bakersfield shorthanded.
- Canucks ice the puck while on the powerplay, which is always neat.
- “Powerplay” over
- Hirano (#71) prevents a board-and-out while inside the offensive zone and hands off to Nielsen (#84) for the shot attempt. Nielsen’s attempt deflects wide, but Devante Stephens (#24) jumps on it for a follow-up attempt that deflects into the netting.
- You have to respect it. Stuart Skinner makes an absolutely incredible save on Rempal (#56). Rempal, with a wide-open opportunity, throws the puck to the net, and Skinner somehow clamps his right arm on the puck, redirecting it wide of the net.
- Abbotsford saved again as Bakersfield has a goal called back after a further review. The referee’s rule was that Kesselring’s goal was scored with a high-stick.
- GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 2-1 Canucks: Oh my goodness! Shades of Alex Burrows on this absolutely filthy slapshot goal from Justin Bailey (#95).
- Someone in the crowd just yelled SKINNER like Superintendent Chalmers. Someone buy that person a beer!
- Alex Kannok Leipert skies a puck so high that it hits the jumbotron and leaves a mark, haha!
- Some dicey moments in the d-zone for the Canucks. Fortunately, a sprawling Arseneau (#18) disrupts the Bakersfield cycle, and Nielsen (#84) leads the breakout for a shot on goal.
- Canucks are playing the final thirteen minutes like they are on a penalty kill; loads of sticks on shot attempts, selling out for blocks, hits, and dump-ins. They’re doing a great job at making Bakersfield work for their looks. But it’s a risky game they’re playing.
- I don’t know if this was intentional, but this skate redirect by Hirano (#71) to Sautner (#6) on the blue line was super slick.
- Spencer Martin loses his footing but still manages to make a sprawling save on Vincent Desharnais.
- With Skinner pulled for Bakersfield, Philip Broberg completely fumbles a simple hold at the blueline forcing the Condors to reset in the neutral zone.
- GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 3-1 Canucks: Has the improbable been done!? Sautner (#6) settles the puck back for Juulsen (#47), and he skies it for the empty netter. Broberg is probably not feeling too hot after that brutal misplay at the blue line that led to this goal.
- GOAL – BAKERSFIELD – 3-2 Canucks: With one minute left in the game, Bakersfield puts themselves immediately back within one! Canucks lose a d-zone faceoff then fumble assignments as three Canucks skaters choke up the slot with no one applying pressure down low. Bakersfield repeats the evening’s opening goal with the net-front redirect tap-in.
- GOAL – BAKERSFIELD – 3-3 TIE: L M F A O. The improbable has not been done yet. With TWO SECONDS LEFT, James Hamblin ties the game at three! Fantastic comeback effort from Bakersfield.
- A scoring chance from Hirano (#71) followed by a sharp-angle try from Nielsen (#84)
- Spencer Martin comes up huge in OT with a quick stop on Kaldis at the netfront!
- Hirano caught out for an extended shift in OT defending in the Canucks zone.
- Rempal goes end to end for a shot on Skinner; Cull calls a timeout with the offensive zone faceoff.
- GOAL – BAKERSFIELD – 4-3 Condors: Oof. The Canucks give up two goals in the game’s final minute after scoring an empty netter, then lose in OT. Brutal sequence on the goal as Cooper Marody wries a shot on Martin that deflects out to the crease. Vincent Desharnais, who provided the initial screen, shoves Stevens (#16) to the ice before turning out to catch the rebound and seal it for Bakersfield.
Bakersfield Condors def. Abbotsford Canucks 4-3 in Overtime
- Okay, it was a better performance than yesterday. But, somehow, a more deflating loss.
- It’s always been interesting how a little desperation and a short bench can spark life in a struggling team. See tonight’s effort against Bakersfield. See the Canucks COVID return versus the Toronto Maple Leafs.
- Trent Cull spoke highly of his team’s effort tonight, “we asked them to play a certain game plan tonight, and I thought for the most part they were really good. They worked so hard for each other. For us. For me. Of course, three-one game with a minute-something left, we’ve got to put that away. That being said, I understand the fatigue. I understand the mistakes that guys make at that point because there’s just not much left in the tank. But the guys really played hard and I really appreciated it; proud of them, for sure.”
- The Canucks saw plenty of action from three PTOs in Brandon Cutler, Nicolas Guay, and Yushiroh Hirano. At a certain point in the third, Hirano, Cutler, and Nielsen were seeing more ice time than Lukoseivicius and Klimovich.
- Brandon Cutler, for my money, has been the best of the PTO’s picked up this year. Though his conditioning is better suited for a sprint than a marathon, his skating looks okay. He’s tenacious, aggressive in 50/50 puck battles, and has proven quite adept at forcing turnovers along the blueline. Cull liked what he saw in Cutler’s game. We saw Cutler rotating in on lines with John Stevens, Sheldon Rempal, and Justin Bailey at multiple points tonight. Cutler even earned looks on the powerplay and penalty kill. Yes, the bench was short, but that’s a pretty big leash for an unproven PTO!
“Cutler has been good, he’s been solid, he’s got some good details to his game. He just looks like he kind of belongs.” – Trent Cull
- Nicolas Guay flashed some good speed and had a couple of decent heads-up plays for his first pro game!
- Hirano saw plenty of ice-time, but I didn’t think he had particularly good speed. However, despite his skating deficiencies, I thought he provided the 3rd/4th line with multiple quality scoring chances with crafty passing plays along the boards. Several times in tonight’s game, Hirano prevented easy board-and-out clearances and turned them into sustained offensive-zone time for Abbotsford or outright scoring chances.
“Yush was good, he’s a big guy, he’s got a good shot, and thought he did some good wall-plays for us. But, yeah, I thought the three of them contributed to what we wanted to achieve.”
- I asked Trent about the struggling powerplay, and he laughed, citing how he’d love to have Jack (Rathbone) back for his powerplay alongside Nic Petan as both are key contributors.
- Tristen Nielsen, Sheldon Rempal, and Brandon Cutler rotated heavily on the Canucks PK and performed admirably! Through four opportunities, including a brief 5-on-3, the Canucks held Bakersfield to just three shots on goal while scoring a shorty to start the game.
- I asked Trent about the PK variety we’d seen lately in Abbotsford and the game plan moving forward.
“With only ten forwards, we’re trying to see what the right guys are for the right fit for our kill. There’s some guys that just aren’t comfortable and it’s not an easy thing to do. Sometimes you actually have to block a shot, etc. I think the guys that are having that opportunity did a good job for us tonight. Even our penalty kill last night, we had a tip go off a guy’s chin, or something, and the other one was just bad circumstances. So, our penalty kills been good, but it’s good to have other guys come in, and good for us to entertain other guys and see if they can gel.”
Trent Cull confirms that Sheldon Dries, Will Lockwood, Jett Woo, Carson Focht and Adam Brubacher have entered COVID protocol.#Abby
— 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 Faber 🔥🎙 (@ChrisFaber39) January 8, 2022
- The Canucks have Saturday off but return Sunday and Monday for the re-re-rematch and the re-re-re-rematch against Bakersfield. No timeline on any player’s return currently. We could see more PTO’s added tomorrow, so the team has enough bodies available.
“That was a coaching decision.”
-Trent Cull on not playing Danila Klimovich in the third period
I asked if it was due to injury (he took a puck in the face in the first period) or if it was a coaching decision.
— 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 Faber 🔥🎙 (@ChrisFaber39) January 8, 2022
- In a game where you only have ten forwards, I’d say it’s a pretty bold move to bench one of your skaters. Klimovich wasn’t all that great tonight, but not so bad that Hirano or Guay outplayed him for ice time. Bizarre move.
- Play Arturs Silovs now. Or, at the very least, play DiPietro Sunday and let Silovs play the Monday game. The kid needs reps. Spencer Martin doesn’t.
Cody’s Three Stars
- Justin Bailey
- Every Abbotsford Canuck not named Justin Bailey
- The guy in the crowd chanting SKINNER like The Simpsons’ Superintendent Chalmers
Next Up on the Docket
January 6th, 2022 vs. Bakersfield January 7th, 2022 vs. Bakersfield
January 9th, 2022 vs. Bakersfield
January 10th, 2022 vs. Bakersfield
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