GAMEDAY HARVEST: Abbotsford wins fifth straight game, but lose Jack Rathbone to devastating injury

Don’t look now, but the Abbotsford Canucks are kind of killing it lately!

On their second four-game win streak of the season, the Farm team heads into enemy territory to take on the Edmonton Oilers affiliate, Bakersfield Condors, for a rare non-double-header!

Abbotsford Canucks @ 5v5: Last 10 GP

Currently, the Farm is 7-3-0-0 in their last ten on the backs of several crushing defeats of the Tucson Roadrunners and the Manitoba Meese.

Some fun, positive vibe stats to kickstart this game recap:

  • They have outscored opponents thirty to fifteen at 5v5
    • Forty-six to thirty-one across all situations
    • At an evens/tied game-state, the Canucks are outscoring opponents at 5v5 by a two-to-one margin!
  • At 5v5, the Canucks have out-attempted opponents 424 to 380 for a raw CORSI-FOR percentage of 52.74%
    • At an even score state (tied at any score 0-0/1-1 etc.), the Canucks have out-attempted opponents eighty to seventy-seven for a CORSI-FOR percentage of 50.95%.
  • Points-percentage over their last ten has given them a ten-point gap over the seventh-place San Diego Gulls (last Calder playoff spot).
    • They’re currently scoring the fifth-most goals-per-game in the league!
  • Powerplay has elevated to sixth-best in the AHL.
    • The penalty kill is hurting at 20th-ranked in the AHL

Considering how this team took nearly two months to earn five regulation wins, it’s pretty impressive the strides the team has made since the calendar rolled over to 2022!

  • At 5v5 evens, they’ve out-attempted opponents in ten out of sixteen games
  • They’ve earned points in ten out of sixteen games for a .594 points-percentage
    • They finished 2021 with points in thirteen out of twenty-two games for a .524 points-percentage

Goaltending remains pretty suss, but the forward and defence group has never looked as solid as it has now.

  • Michael DiPietro has a .884 save percentage in his last five starts
    • .882 if you include his time as a reliever for Arturs Silovs
  • Spencer Martin has a .893 save percentage in his last five starts, which includes one shutout
  • Arturs Silovs has only started four times in 2022 and carries a .869 save percentage
Abbotsford Canucks head-to-head matrix (After 38 GP)

The Bakersfield Condors are on a similar heater as the Canucks. With a 7-2-1-0 record in their last ten, the Condors sit third in the Pacific Division with an impressive .635 points-percentage.

Abbotsford Canucks Head-to-Head versus Bakersfield: 5v5 Stats

The Canucks have struggled to pick up points against the Birds; the Canucks have been outscored nineteen to eight, crushed in shot attempts, and have only managed one loser point through four contests.

Note that three of those losses came drop-dead in the middle of Abbotsford’s hellacious COVID/Injury-bug that ravaged the roster. Maybe with the roster playing as good as it has, with a loaded skater group, the return of Noah Juulsen to the lineup, the Abbotsford Canucks can finally start earning some much-needed points against a top division rival?!

SCORING LEADERS

Look at that scoring distribution! With Kannok Leipert’s primary assist picked up on February 9th, Karel Plasek remains the only “active roster” player not to have a point this season.

  • Plasek has not played since sustaining a knee injury back on November 6th versus the Stockton Heat. His status remains a mystery.

HARVEST STATS UPDATES:

I was hoping to have the Nucks Harvest stats pages updated for tonight’s game, but life uh uh uh uh uh found a way.

Game recaps will be few and far between over the next couple of weeks as I adjust to my new life as a dog-dad.

Say hello to Murphmallow:

STARTING ROSTER

  • With Juulsen back in the lineup, Devante Stephens takes a turn in the press box.
  • Spencer Martin starts for Abbotsford, his fifth in the Canucks last seven games.
    • At some point, someone needs to put their foot down and demand that Silovs and DiPietro play games. Yes, they’ve struggled this year, but what is the organization accomplishing here? They have a ten-point lead on the seventh-place Gulls! Play the kids who didn’t play last season!

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

GAME 39:

1st period:

  • Bakersfield ices the puck ten seconds into the period, giving Abbotsford an early offensive zone faceoff
  • Spencer Martin blocks a shot from Phil Kemp, and Will Lockwood takes a hooking penalty to give the Condors an early powerplay opportunity.

PK1: Sautner, Juulsen, Wouters, Stevens

PK2: Di Giuseppe, Dries, Bowey, Brisebois

PP1: Rathbone, Di Giuseppe, Dries, Rempal, Lukoseivicus

  • GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 1-0 Canucks: Moments after being forced to reset from behind Martin’s net, Sheldon Dries (#15) scores his twenty-third of the year with a heater, low blocker side, on Stuart Skinner. Jack Rathbone (#3) picks up the assist with the quick-up to Dries, who catches Rathbone’s stretch-pass perfectly on the Condor’s blueline for the entry and the goal!

PP2: Bowey, Petan, Klimovich, Lockwood, Dowling

  • PP2 gives up a couple of shorthanded chances; PP1 hops over with one minute left on the man-advantage.

PP1: Dries, Rempal, Di Giuseppe, Rathbone, Lukosevicius

PP1: Dries, Rempal, Di Giuseppe, Rathbone, Lukosevicius

  • Canucks lose the zone, and time winds down on the period. But they will start the middle frame with one minute and change on the man-advantage!
    • Canucks overcome a brutal start to finish the period, having outshot the Condors sixteen to ten through twenty minutes.

2nd period:

  • GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 2-0 Canucks: Sixteen seconds after the opening faceoff, Sheldon Rempal (#56) cuts behind the Condors’ defence for a filthy backhander over Skinner to make it two-zip for Abbotsford. Rathbone with his second point of the night.

PK1: Wouters, Stevens, Bowey, Brisebois

  • Martin makes an early glove save on Seth Griffiths

PK2: Dowling, Sautner, Juulsen, Lockwood

  • GOAL – BAKERSFIELD – 2-1 Canucks: Brad Malone, on the powerplay, scores the easiest tap-in goal of his life as a point shot from Seth Griffiths floats past Dowling, Sautner, and Juulsen to Malone on the doorstep uncontested. EZ.
  • Less than two minutes later, Guillaume Brisebois heads to the box for high-sticking to give the Condors their second straight powerplay opportunity.

PK1: Dries, Sautner, Di Giuseppe, Bowey

PK2: Wouters, Petan,

PK3: Murphy, Dowling, Lockwood, Juulsen

Totally not game management
  • Spencer Martin gloves down an early shot from the Condors, then the Canucks chew away 1:20 off the Condors man advantage with an impressive game of rinkwide keep away.
  • The buzzer sounds to end a tedious period as the Canucks get outshot fourteen to eight after twenty minutes.

3rd period:

PP1: Petan, Dries, Rempal, Di Giuseppe, Bowey

  • GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 3-1 Canucks: Sheldon Rempal (#56) takes a twirl around the right circle before rifling a shot over Skinner’s right shoulder to regain the two-goal lead. Canucks still with three minutes and change left on the five-minute major.
  • Vincent Desharnais and Will Lockwood take offsetting slashing minors; 4-on-4 with four minutes left in the period.
  • Canucks are treating the 4-on-4 like a PK; content to skate the puck to the neutral zone and dump the puck.
  • While defending a Condor zone entry, Phil Di Giuseppe takes a tripping penalty with less than three minutes remaining in the period.
    • Forty-six-second 4-on-3 powerplay for Bakersfield

PK1: Stevens, Sautner, Bowey

  • John Stevens (#16) with two clutch clearances for Abbotsford
  • Lockwood and Desharnais leave the box for their offsetting minors.
  • Bakersfield pulls Skinner for the extra attacker.
  • GOAL – ABBOTSFORD – 5-2 CanucksPhil Di Giuseppe leaves the box, and as he does, the Canucks wrangle control of the puck in the neutral zone and enter for a three-on-two. Chase Wouters dishes to Nic Petan off the entry, and Petan seals it for Abbotsford.
  • Bakersfield arena intentionally (maybe unintentionally?) plays Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” before the final puck drop closes this one out.

RESULT:

Abbotsford Canucks def. Bakersfield Condors 5-2

SCORESHEET:

Game 39 Scoresheet versus Bakersfield

TAKEAWAYS:

  • There are probably some takeaways, but frankly, my thoughts are only with Jack Rathbone at this time. That was a disgusting hit. The arena was dead silent for close to sixteen minutes straight. Thirteen minutes is a long time for a player to be motionless on the ice. Fingers crossed, the long time spent on the ice was out of an abundance of caution, and Rathbone is okay after all is said and done.
  • Canucks set a franchise record tonight with their fifth-straight victory!

EDIT:

Quickly throwing this tweet in the takeaways because I’m seeing a lot of vitriol towards the Canucks skaters for their “lack of response.”

On the play, Rathbone gets crushed along the endboards seconds after playing the puck towards the halfwall. Every single skater is following the puck as the Condors reach it first and cycle low to high. Nic Petan sort of gives a glance in Rathbone’s direction but it’s before he falls facedown to the ice. I understand the frustration with the “lack of response” but I really think the players are owed the benefit of the doubt for simply not having seen the aftermath of the hit.

It sucks, but I don’t think throwing hate towards the four guys on the ice solves anything.

Morning update:

Cody’s Three Stars

  1. Jack Rathbone
  2. Sheldon Rempal
  3. Nic Petan

HM: Sheldon Dries

Next Up on the Docket

The Farm earns a few nights off, but they return to action for a Saturday Sunday double-header versus the Colorado Eagles.

Plugs

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