Canucks lose Tanev, a 2-0 lead, hockey game in overtime to Toronto Maple Leafs.
It was going to take a herculean effort from the down on their luck Canucks to take out a mostly healthy and well-rested Toronto Maple Leafs team on home ice. They came close, but close only counts in horseshoes, or so they say.
Brock Boeser scores his 22nd of the season.
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) January 7, 2018
Brock Boeser (who else?) opened the scoring early in the middle frame after a Thomas Vanek setup put him in perfect position to snap the puck past Leafs netminder Frederick Andersen for the lead.
About a period later, on a five-on-three power play, Sam Gagner scored from about the same spot to double the Canucks lead, and you know he celebrated that goal with as much enthusiasm as he has the rest.
The Canucks were, seemingly, in full control of this game and appeared poised to leave Hockey Night in Canada with the unlikely victory.
Auston Matthews scores to make it a 2-1 game. Don't go away.. pic.twitter.com/cauJCrJTa6
— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) January 7, 2018
Then the Maple Leafs started to push back, and everything got a little bit more complicated. The Canucks were sloppy in the neutral zone, and the Leafs caught the Canucks flat-footed for a pair of goals in transition. First, Auston Matthews sent the Zach Hyman setup home at full-speed to get Toronto on the board. Then a Morgan Rielly stretch pass sent Tyler Bozak in for the equalizer, and he made no mistake.
FINALLY! Great pass from Rielly to set up Bozak on the break, who gets his own rebound.
— Flintor (@TheFlintor) January 7, 2018
This had all the makings of a typical third period meltdown from the Canucks — the kind that’s all too familiar to their fans.
They battled back though and didn’t let the game get out of hand. In fact, they mounted quite the charge in the final minutes of the game in an attempt to tie it, and mustered several chances with a lot of traffic. Andersen held the fort for Toronto though, and this game went to overtime.
Both sides traded chances, but the Canucks appeared to have won it early on a Boeser shot off both posts and out. Of course, the shot was so good that even the ref was fooled, as he awarded the goal prematurely before a review deemed it hadn’t crossed the line.
Boeser so close. So very very close. pic.twitter.com/UdW25lCaDh
— Wyatt Arndt (@TheStanchion) January 7, 2018
So this game went to a shootout. The Toronto Maple Leafs scored on their first and third shots, and the Canucks only scored one goal in return. The Maple Leafs completed the comeback.
Matthews-Y Gagner-Y, Marner-N Boeser-N, Bozak-Y Vanek-N….#Leafs win 3-2 in the SO over Vancouver.
— Michael Augello (@MikeInBuffalo) January 7, 2018
Liked Del Zotto tonight, steady, neutral zone game, safe and effective with the puck in his own zone while playing 26:17.
Overall, the d-men really struggled getting the puck out tonight. pic.twitter.com/8f3VXGwCXf
— Darryl Keeping (@dkeeping) January 7, 2018
- Anytime you blow a 2-0 lead in the third period; it’s a bad look. Understandably, a lot of Canucks fans are going to be pretty miffed by tonight’s loss — all the more so because it was against those damned Maple Leafs! In fairness to this team, they’re without a lot of their key contributors up front and the Maple Leafs are supposed to be Stanley Cup contenders, so really, I think a result like tonight’s is to the Canucks credit.
- This Nic Dowd thing is getting out of hand. I thought when the Canucks acquired him, Dowd would be a fourth-line centre or a 13th forward, and that made sense. Tonight, the difference in ice-time between Dowd and Boeser was barely a minute. Dowd took at least two shifts that I caught in overtime. I know the Canucks are banged up, but no team is ever going to be injured enough to justify Dowd playing 18 minutes. It’s not like he was playing a good game either. The Canucks were out-attempted with Dowd on the ice, and he didn’t do anything noticeable at any point in this game.
Don Cherry says leafs would have to give up Brown or Marner to get Gudbranson. Sounds fair to me.
— Jackson McDonald (@Johnny_Perogy) January 7, 2018
- In-between his usual insane, mildly racist and over the top nationalist rant about the World Juniors, Don Cherry said that the Maple Leafs should trade Mitch Marner for Erik Gudbranson. Wouldn’t that be neat?
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) January 7, 2018
- Sam Gagner continues to pile up the points. Gagner’s been a funny one for me all season, because all the underlying data suggested he would bounce back, to a certain degree, eventually. Offensively, Gagner was just getting really unlucky. After tonight’s game, he’s on pace for something close to 40 points. The Canucks are starting to get their money’s worth on Gagner when they need it most.
- Chris Tanev left today’s game in the first period after taking a deflected shot off his own stick in the chops. Tanev lost a couple teeth and didn’t return to the hockey game. This would, obviously, be a huge blow to a team that’s already decimated by injuries. Here’s hoping Tanev didn’t suffer anything in the way of a long-term injury. That would be most unfortunate.
- Jacob Markstrom got lucky. He let in a floating fly-ball that was u-g-l-y, but the goal was called back on a missed offside call. To Markstrom’s credit, he bounced back and played a mostly excellent hockey game for the Canucks otherwise.
- I’m about to head to TSN 1040 Studios with Jackson McDonald to provide post-game coverage on Nation Network Radio! We’ll be taking callers and have a poll question at the ready, so be sure to tune in and offer your thoughts on the Canucks 3-2 OTL to the Toronto Maple Leafs and every other Canucks storyline.