We could not all be Canucks, however we’re certainly all Mike DiPietro.
Beginning a 19-year-old goalie, freshly up from junior hockey, in opposition to the second-highest scoring staff within the NHL — a real Stanley Cup-contending squad — within the San Jose Sharks was at all times going to be an enormous danger.
There was, after all, the prospect that the child would play his lights out, however behind the defence the Canucks have, that was a really tall order.
DiPietro received little assist from the defenders in entrance of him, because the Canucks have been shelled 7-2 by the Sharks on Monday night at Rogers Area.
You needed to really feel for the child.
Beginning DiPietro was a pressured transfer, as “lower-body stiffness” knocked Jacob Markstrom out of motion, two days after he stood on his head to information the Canucks to a 44-save Four-Three shootout win over the fearsome Calgary Flames.
As Canadian hockey followers noticed in the course of the world juniors, DiPietro is a gifted younger man. However the job handed him on Monday night time was past him and likewise very unfair.
That the Canucks have been on this state of affairs spoke of dreadful planning going again months. After Richard Bachman, the Canucks quantity 4 goalie, went down for the season with a torn Achilles in a December recreation for the Utica Comets, the Canucks waited a month earlier than shifting to usher in Mike McKenna to shore up the crease in Utica … however after all they shipped out Anders Nilsson in trade.
When McKenna was misplaced two days in a while waivers to the Philadelphia Flyers, the Canucks immediately discovered themselves on a tightrope. Thatcher Demko was recalled, however between him and Markstrom, the Canucks had simply two goalies on NHL contracts.
If something went mistaken with both goalie, they’d be in pickle. When Demko harm his knee final week, the decision went to DiPietro.
After which he was the starter Monday, with Markstrom on the bench. Had the Canucks wanted to name on him, they might not have been capable of. “Markstrom won’t be accessible to play tonight’s recreation,” the staff mentioned on its official Twitter account pre-game.
Now the Canucks face “what subsequent?”
It’s actually absurd that it’s gotten up to now. There’s no have to stroll this tightrope: there are goalies within the minors with NHL expertise who the Canucks might name on, guys like Michael Leighton, who’s presently on short-term cope with Utica, or maybe Jeremy Smith, presently in Bridgeport; Chris Driedger had a .921 in AHL in 13 video games this 12 months; Jamie Phillips had a .912 in AHL final 12 months and is in ECHL now; or Ken Appleby, who has cut up time between the AHL and the ECHL this season.
And in the event that they’re ready on Mike McKenna to return on waivers this week, the Flyers certainly know the Canucks are in a pickle and have to be seeking to juggle their goalie state of affairs round for so long as attainable, even when they should handle their means by 4 wholesome goalies.
As for the sport, the Sharks scored a minute into the sport and by no means regarded again.
The guests received two objectives from Evander Kane and singles from Timo Meier, Melker Karlsson, Tomas Hertl, Kevin Labanc and Joe Pavelski.
The Canucks received a first-period tally from Bo Horvat, a purpose that made it Three-1 and briefly gave the house aspect hope, and Derrick Pouliot in third-period rubbish time.
Right here’s what we discovered…
A shock begin
DiPietro getting the nod was a little bit of a shock, however the Canucks introduced shortly earlier than faceoff that Markstrom was coping with “lower-body stiffness,” no matter that’s.
With the Canucks taking part in three video games in 4 nights this week, together with back-to-back must-win tilts Wednesday and Thursday in Anaheim and Los Angeles, they’re certainly hoping Markstrom is able to go.
With Thatcher Demko additionally on the shelf injured, the Canucks haven’t any margin for error — they don’t have one other wholesome goalie on an NHL contract of their system and DiPietro, whereas a gamer, continues to be a good distance from being actually prepared for normal NHL motion.
However a tricky begin
It was not the dream begin for the younger netminder.
DiPietro didn’t get any assistance on the sport’s opening purpose, when his teammates turned over the puck within the impartial zone after which virtually all went for a line change.
The Sharks pressed the benefit and Logan Couture arrange Timo Meier on the door step for the sport’s opening purpose 1:04 into the sport. DiPietro didn’t actually have an opportunity.
The sport’s second purpose, although, was not a superb one. Evander Kane flipped the puck from the blue-line, Ben Hutton put his hand up, knocking the puck barely extra in DiPietro’s route. The rookie tried to punch the puck to the nook along with his blocker however mistimed his jab, as a substitute knocking the puck down and into his purpose.
The shoulders of the normally upbeat DiPietro sagged afterwards. Chris Tanev and Jay Beagle looped again down and gave him a supportive whack on his pads earlier than the centre-ice faceoff that adopted.
He did his level-best the remainder of the way in which, however the Sharks picked up 5 extra objectives, scored in a mess of how: a few suggestions, a defenceman-deflected laser beam off the frenzy, one other scored on a quick rush that the Canucks’ defence couldn’t deal with and one other on a two-on-one.
A little bit kick
Erik Gudbranson received tied up with Kane within the third interval and gave the Sharks winger a slash, drawing a penalty.
However moments earlier than, it appeared that Kane kicked Gudbranson within the aspect of the leg as they battled for the puck.
Would possibly the NHL have a look?
Within the midst of the nightmare in internet, Zack MacEwen performed a tidy recreation in his NHL debut. He had a number of high quality scoring probabilities from in tight and helped create Pouliot’s purpose, choosing up an help.
He noticed a lot of high-end ice time too, taking part in an everyday shift alongside Bo Horvat.
He and DiPietro additionally have been handed the standard pre-game solo-lap of the ice for warmup, their teammates holding again for a dozen-or-so seconds whereas the rookies skated across the crisp white ice on their very own.