Canucks Shelled 6-1 To Conclude Tournament
Tonight the Vancouver Canucks faced off against the Calgary Flames in the last game of the 2014 Young Stars Tournament. The game ended in Calgary shelling Vancouver 6-1.
This game saw a lot of back and forth action but the Canucks’ prospects were simply overwhelmed by Calgary’s talent as the game progressed. The Canucks had noticeable difficulty with puck possession and getting comfortable in the offensive zone. The Flames out shot the Canucks 39-16.
Jim Benning’s Post Game Comments
Notes From The Game
One of the few bright spots of tonight’s game for Canucks fans was a spirited performance from free agent invite Jonathon Martin from the Kootenay Ice. Martin scored the Canucks’ lone goal and had a spirited scrap with Calgary’s giant Hunter Smith. Martin was ejected from the game following the fight.
Most of the Canucks forwards were quiet tonight. Of note was Dane Fox again showing his agitating ability as Flames’ players were noticeably annoyed with him through the game. Hunter Shinkaruk had a few flashes of skill but disappeared for long stretches of the game.
Brendan Gaunce drew praise from Jim Benning during the course of the game but Benning later commented that he’d like to see the 6’2 center play more physically. Gaunce is noticeably one of the biggest Canucks’ forwards. The large center had an excellent performance in his pervious outting when he exhibited a noticeable physical presence. Tonight Gaunce was largely invisible and had difficulty asserting himself. But he did play a strong defensive game exhibiting intelligent positioning.
Bo Horvat will unfairly be the source of controversy for the rest of his career due to his being drafted via a high draft pick acquired in a controversial trade. The controversial trade saw potential franchise netminder Cory Schneider sent to the New Jersey Devils. Horvat has done little to quiet critics during this tournament going scoreless again. Horvat has managed only 1 point in the 3 games of the tournament.
The real test of Horvat will be in the main Canucks training camp set to start in a few days. However he displayed very little offensive flair in the tournament. Horvat’s game is very reminiscent of Sami Pahlsson. The question will be can Horvat do enough to silence his critics early in his career before the high pressure hockey market of Vancouver turns on him.
Canucks’ GM Jim Benning praised free agent invite Curtis Valk in his comments to the media after the game. Benning praised Valk for exceeding expectations in the tournament. Valk was the Canucks’ leading scorer with 3 goals in 3 games and demonstrated competent two way playing center. It was announced after the game that Curtis Valk was invited to the pro camp.
Subban and Elbows
The Canucks blueline in this tournament had difficulty playing up to this level of hockey. This was especially noticeable tonight when the Canucks had immense trouble with it’s transition game. The Canucks’ defense had the absence of defenseman Jordan Subban. The 19-year old defenseman was absent tonight to give other prospects ice time in the tournament. The smooth skating offensive defenseman’s absence noticeably hurt the Canucks’ transition game and ability to the gain the offensive zone.
Canucks’ free agent invite Spencer Humphries has quietly strung together two decent games in the tournament. Scoring an assist last night and being only one of two Canucks to escape tonight’s game with a positive rating. The young BC native has been invited to the pro camp.
Noteworthy from tonnight’s game was when Frankie Corrado caught Johnny Gaudreau with a vicious elbow in the closing minutes of the game. Gaudreau has generated a lot of virtual ink with being arguably the best forward in the tournament. It caused quite a bit of tension when Corrado caught him with a dirty elbow. Gaudreau continued to play in the game and the Flames ran up the score with two goals on the resulting five minute power play to close the game.
Canucks Hang Lotz Out To Dry
Canucks invite goaltender Austin Lotz was in net tonight. Lotz played about as well as a goaltender can in a 6-1 losing effort. Lotz showed a lot of composure and impressive technique holding the Canucks in the game for as long as he could. But eventually Lotz was shelled with 39 shots on which he saved 33. It was announced after the game that the 19-year old Lotz had been invited to the pro camp.