December weekends can be brutal.
In the shops, at Christmas parties and on social occasions, there is traffic jam in the mall and hand-to-hand battles, trees and houses for decoration and the Golden Knights of San Jose Sharks and Vegas for playing.
We're not sure about the other things, but the Sharks and Knights have wiped out the Vancouver Canucks, whose weekend Sunday less than 24 hours after a 2-4 loss in Las Vegas with a 3-6 Defeat collapsed in San Jose.
The Canucks could have beaten the Sharks, but they weren't very close to the Golden Knights, who shot them 46-29 and led 4-1 15 minutes before the end. Vancouver looked like you would feel uninterrupted after a busy, hectic December weekend.
After the Canucks won three out of four games, they now lost three out of four. You are now four points behind the last playoff spot in the Western Conference and it will not be much easier.
Starting Tuesday against the Montreal Canadiens, the Canucks end their pre-Christmas schedule with four games in seven nights.
Here are some takeaways from their lost weekend.
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CANUCKS NEED PATCH FOR THESE
It took three games, but the Thatcher demo effect was evident on Sunday.
The Canucks' support, which was added to the list of injuries on Thursday with a concussion that had been suffered in practice, would have started for the second time in a row on the weekend. Instead, Jacob Markstrom had to play his second game in 22 hours and looked ragged.
At the first goal of the Golden Knights, shortly after 2:22, Nick Holden's shot from Markstrom's glove fell into the net, although both Canuck Jamie Benn and Knight Alex Tuch visited the goalkeeper.
But after Elias Pettersson's 1-1 draw, Markstrom looked suspicious again when he scored another goal for Vegas and turned the ricochet from Max Pacioretty's shot to the top of the net the puck should swallowed or cornered have been angled.
After the Golden Knights shot 19: 5 against the Canucks in the second half, Markstrom still parried hard, but stopped with 9: 11 after Pacioretty scored five goals in 39 shots for the Golden Knights.
Demko was similarly concerned at the start of last season – he had a friendly fire from his goalkeeper mask – and missed two months, so there are serious concerns about the impact of this new injury on the 24-year-old and the Canucks. Markstrom has always been the sharpest with regular resets and focused on practicing with goalkeeper guru Ian Clark while his backup is playing.
If Demko fails in the long term, market electricity could get into the ground.
THE NEW DiPIETRO
When Demko retired last winter due to a knee injury and Markstrom was unable to start after 12 of 13 games, the Canucks had to start against junior goalkeeper Michael DiPietro in a game on 11 February due to minor league injuries sharks.
It was an NHL debut in a nightmare: two goals were allowed before DiPietro parried, and seven goals against 24 shots in a 7-2 fix for the Canucks.
Almost a year later, DiPietro has an excellent rookie season in the AHL. With the Utica Comets, savings of 0.910 percent are achieved with the 8-4-1. On Sunday, DiPietro had its first NHL action since the last winter catastrophe, stopping six out of seven shots in Vegas in the last nine minutes while running for Markstrom.
Before Pacioretty defeated him at the last minute, DiPietro saved Mark Stone and William Carrier in the top division.
You can't measure on such a small sample, but it was an interesting relief when the Canucks played every other night until Christmas and then nine times in 17 nights from January.
20-year-old rookie Quinn Hughes, with top defender Alex Edler still out, drove an ice age of 50:12 over the weekend, including a personal best of 27 minutes against the sharks. He led Vancouver easily, scored a goal every night and scored 52.5 percent of goals. This is more impressive than it appears given the Canucks' results, and particularly the fact that they were poorly played in two game periods, makes Golden Knights appear.
The Canucks still miss nobles. But without the Calder candidate Hughes, they would be in a crisis right now.
MOTTE & # 39; S BAM-ATO
The NHL statistics crew loves to land a few hits in Las Vegas, which is statistically roughest place in the league. Hits spring up like coins from the jackpot of old slot machines. However, the statistics are still of relative importance, making it impossible to ignore the 11 goals that Tyler Motte scored for the Canucks in his first game in seven weeks.
Canucks head coach Travis Green has said several times how much the fourth has been missing since his rebound against Washington on October 25, as Motte is an excellent penalty and constantly balances energy, speed and physicality – shifts strength. In Vegas he did not play a fourth minute of the game and recorded the 5:11 pm ice age. The rest of the Canucks, which were eliminated by the beefy Golden Knights, scored 16 goals, four of them by 5 foot 10 defender Troy Stecher.
Brandon Sutter played both weekend games, mainly as a winger after missing 13 with a groin injury.
Winger Michael Ferland, who was placed on the long-term injuries list with his $ 3.5 million salary to activate Sutter and Motte, is the only striker still outstanding. In addition to Sutter and Motte, Jay Beagle and Antoine Roussel have also returned to the lineup after serious injuries, which is why Green has its healthiest striker group since the start of the season.
The coach attributed some of the Canucks' problems during the November 3-2 break-in to a critical mass of injuries in the bottom six that affected Vancouver's style of play. These conditions no longer exist. Any problems that now maintain direct physical play will not result from injury. it will be up to the players.
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Tim Schaller, a wonderful comeback story in October before largely disappearing in November, was scratched healthy to make room for the moth lineup. After four goals in three games at the end of October, Schaller is senseless in his last 22 games.
Ferland's move to LTIR saved Loui Eriksson, who has become a $ 6 million replacement part, a probable journey through waivers and minors. For now.
Sven Baertschi is probably now made in Vancouver. Four-year-old Canuck, who was not pre-season resigned, was sent to the American Hockey League before returning to the NHL for injuries for a last chance of six games in November. The 27-year-old, who had suffered concussions and anxiety last season, was brought back to Utica Comets three weeks ago.
Jim Benning, general manager of Canucks, tried to trade with Baertschi before the squad was cut in September and has been trying to trade with him since then. But Baertschi's $ 3,367 million salary is a killer, even if the Canucks are willing to take part of it.
When Baertschi's agent Andre Rufener complained to The Athletic on Saturday that the Canucks were not giving his client a fair chance in Vancouver, Benning replied by referring Baertschi to waivers.
Criticism of the Canucks while the team tried to do everything possible to find another NHL team for Baertschi was a bad look for Rufener. But a bad look for Benning is the current cap hit for Baertschi, Eriksson and Schaller: almost $ 10.2 million.