January 07 2017 12:04AM
There's an old adage that says history is written by the winners. If we believe that to be true then the story of tonight's game was about a plucky group of misfits that white-knuckled their way into their sixth straight win, buoyed by great goaltending and sheer will.
Make no mistake, this was not the case. The Canucks got manhandled tonight by the Flames, getting outshot 46-13. This was a game that had all the hallmarks of a 2012-13 leafs performance: get a little lucky, score a few quick goals, collapse, and hope your goalie bails you out. Luckily for them, that's exactly what Ryan Miller did tonight.
GAME AT A GLANCE
Frolik goal pic.twitter.com/Qn3oRxekrT— GIF Grand Maester (@myregularface) January 7, 2017
no goal, incidental contact. pic.twitter.com/33jMjjhXGW— GIF Grand Maester (@myregularface) January 7, 2017
Chaput goal pic.twitter.com/4QQLdIWgki— GIF Grand Maester (@myregularface) January 7, 2017
Eriksson goal, 2-1 Canucks pic.twitter.com/4e750lmUwP— GIF Grand Maester (@myregularface) January 7, 2017
Two down, one to go Granlund... pic.twitter.com/gXkiq3kIoD— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) January 7, 2017
- Tonight's game came down to one simple facet of the game: netminding. If Miller doesn't play at the absolute top of his game tonight, the Canucks likely lose in embarrassing fashion. He was outstanding tonight, stopping 44 of 46 shots, and was named the first star of the game. Brian Elliott, on the other hand, had a game to forget. He stopped just nine of 13 shots and only escaped being pulled because the Canucks and Flames play each other again tomorrow night.
- Under different circumstances, the story of tonight's game very well could have been Matthew Tkachuk. His point streak extended to eight tonight with an assist on Michael Frolik's first goal, making him the only rookie this season to manage that feat other than Auston Matthews. That has to sting a little, especially considering Olli Juolevi's native Finland had a collapse of epic proportions at this year's WJHC, only narrowing escaping relegation. Alarmists, however, would be advised to remain patient on that matter.
- Instead, it was the Canucks that came out looking smart, with Markus Granlund scoring a pair of goals as well as getting the assist on Loui Eriksson's game-winner. Hunter Shinkaruk, meanwhile, hasn't played an NHL game since late November and has played mainly with the AHL Stockton Heat.
- Speaking of which, what exactly happened to Granlund? At the time he was acquired, Granlund looked like a marginal player at best. There was literally nothing about Granlund's history that indicated he had a fruitful NHL career ahead of him. Yet here we stand. This season, he's on pace for 18 goals, and has been one of the Canucks' best two-way forwards by underlying shot metrics.
- Anton Rodin laced up for his third game of the season tonight, proving that he is, in fact, a real person and not a figment of our collective imagination. He didn't acquit himself very well by underlying shot metrics, (though not many Canucks did), but I thought he looked promising. He displayed tremendous puck-carrying skill at times, as well as an ability to create separation between himself and his opponents using just a couple of strides.
- Rodin played the bulk of his ice-time with Baertschi and Horvat, which is something I'd like to see more of. He also played just 9:04 over the course of the entire game. That's something I'd like to see less of, although it should be noted that Rodin was not on the bench for the start of the second period. Perhaps there's something we don't know.
If Rodin plays more than 5 mins in the third, my parents will buy me a weiner dog. pls rt— Jackson McDonald (@Johnny_Perogy) January 7, 2017
- The Sedins are still attached to the hip of Jayson Megna, for reasons unbeknownst to anyone other than Willie Desjardins. At this point, I'd say it's seriously submarining their ability to create offense at even-strength. They haven't had a decent linemate all season long, and that's something the coaching staff best get sorted out if they want to continue to win hockey games.
- If the overall tone of tonight's recap seems a little dour, it's because the Canucks simply don't deserve to have their tires pumped over tonight's performance. There should be no bones about it: They were terrible. Out-shot 46-13. Out-chanced 32-12. Out-attempted 84-22. Tonight should have been a massacre and the Canucks got lucky, plain and simple. The Canucks are due for a steep regression.
This should safely go down as the luckiest win by a team this season.— Kent Wilson (@Kent_Wilson) January 7, 2017
- Chris Tanev appeared to injure himself blocking a shot and did not return to the game. No word yet on the severity of his ailment.
- This was the Canucks sixth win in a row, making it the first time they've done so since September 2013. Surely that's a sign of good things to come. After all, the 2013-14 season went great, right?
ON THE BRIGHT SIDE
I think... I'm starting to reach the point where I'm gonna get comfortable rubbing Granlund/Shink in Flames fans faces.. but feels odd still— Jeremy Davis (@jeremydavis89) January 7, 2017