The Canucks lost 3-2 in a shootout on Wednesday to the Colorado Avalanche in Denver.Every rink you learn something new.Most rinks, things are pretty well cordoned off for the players. We see them in the dressing room, which really is the hockey gear-removal room. That’s where we do the post-game interviews and the like.When we leave, sometimes we’ll see a couple players chatting with family or perhaps a friend from another team.But their way out to the team bus is somewhere else, hidden, behind other doors.And the medical rooms, those are definitely somewhere else. Sometimes you might note that they’re off the main dressing room, but never halfway around the building, near the elevator that takes the media back up to the press box.Except, it seems, at the Pepsi Center.So you can imagine our surprise when we passed Elias Pettersson still in his long underwear (workout clothes, really), walking in the opposite direction, back towards the Canucks’ room – well after we were done our interviews with players and coach – he having walked out of a room that had medical room signage on the door.I know nothing more than this: I saw #Canucks Pettersson emerge from the Avs medical room long after tonight’s game. That fact alone is a red flag and certainly something worth monitoring moving forward— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) February 28, 2019What does it mean? Maybe nothing. Precautionary. He seemed to be walking fine, after all.But here we are. You know how things have gone this season. And you know how important the young man is to the future of this team.In probably any other building, we probably don’t know any of this. Safe to say the team will be raising questions about the layout of the Pepsi Center.Thursday night is everything. It’s it. The Canucks’ playoff dream will either die or flicker on based on what happens in Glendale.And if Pettersson isn’t available…oh boy.
Vancouver Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom, left, stops Colorado Avalanche center Derick Brassard during the shootout of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, in Denver. The Avalanche won 3-2.
David Zalubowski /
Standing tall.The Canucks did get a point. But it’s hard to ignore how it could have all been over pretty early.Thank Jacob Markstrom for that.“This one is going to sting,” he said about not getting the win. This is a goalie who hates losing. Shoot, he hates not winning.“I don’t celebrate when we tie games up,” he said. Just the wins? “Yeah. The wins count.”The man needs some help, though: in four of his last eight starts he’s faced 38 or more shots.The matchupsOther than putting Nathan MacKinnon out against Jay Beagle’s line whenever he could, Avs coach Jay Bednar wasn’t too fussed about matchups. Beagle’s line got crunched, but Bo Horvat’s dominated their icetime. The centre was +7 in shot attempts, a tidy little number that shouldn’t surprise us.More impressive was the quality of their shots, which were solid and from the spots you want.Of course, they need to convert those shots into goals better.Shootout shootersSemyon Varlamov did well in the shootout, facing down the Canucks’ best off the top and then stonewalling the second-wave shooters.Four of the six shot attempts were at the five hole. Did the Canucks have data on that? Or were they sucked in by by his wide stance?Markstrom gave his team every chance to win. 4/6 @Canuck players in shootout tried 5 hole as varlamov baited them with wide stance. Looks like lots of room but that’s where he wants guys to shoot. They all took the bait. Gotta watch guys that shoot in front of you. 🤷🏼♂️ pic.twitter.com/jLYMPGfKeO— Corey Hirsch (@CoreyHirsch) February 28, 2019Goldy trainThe creative Russian is back with his buddy The Alien.He scored last game. He had some good chances again tonight. He’s also opening up scoring lanes for teammates.Was getting past the deadline a relief for him? It sure looks like it.Getting big ice time from his coach helps too, no doubt.His coach was effusive in his praise.“You could probably tell I was riding him a bit and putting him on a couple different lines,” Green said.“It’s good to see. I’m happy for him and it’s good for our team,” he said of Goldobin’s play.Clearly, he feels that Goldy is getting the message Green and his assistants have been trying to deliver to him, that there are a lot of things he can do more of and many other basics he can just be better at.Twitter, you’re a funny thingJim Rutherford must have seen this photo and thought “there’s the toughness we need!”BoomNice goal, Reid Boucher.Think he could help the wayward power firstname.lastname@example.org/risingaction