28
Photo Credit: © Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

CanucksArmy Postgame: Six-Forty-Nine, damn good time, Canucks beat Wild 4-3 without overtime

The Vancouver Canucks fell right into the Minnesota Wild’s trap in game one.

On Tuesday night they would get a chance to even up the series before a matinee game on Thursday. Many were questioning Travis Green’s lineup as the big two topics of conversation were: Would we see The Lotto Line reassembled and would Jake Virtanen get into lineup after the team struggled to generate any offence in game one.

The real question is: will the Canucks be able to breakdown the Wild’s defence corps and generate enough offence to get goals past Stalock. They simply were not good enough in game one and learned a lesson in post-season hockey.

The Canucks were 16th in the league this season when it comes to high danger shot attempts. They were 11th in high danger goals scored. It’s clear that the formula of getting to the net works for this team. They have shooters that can score from distance but after getting shutout in game one, there needed to be a strong focus on getting to the crease.

The lineup did see changes for game two as it was a last-minute shocker to see that Tyler Toffoli would be out due to a foot injury. Along with Toffoli, Adam Gaudette was taken out of the lineup. In turn, Loui Eriksson and Virtanen drew into the lineup.

Jacob Markstrom started for the Canucks, Alex Stalock for the Wild.

Lines

Thoughts from Twitter

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Well, we saw the lineup and this team looks a lot more average without Toffoli in the lineup. Eriksson was back in the top six and Virtanen skated on the fourth line with Tyler Motte and Jay Beagle. The bottom six was now centered by Brandon Sutter and Beagle.

I guess it’s that time.

Advertisement - Continue Commenting Below

Let’s go!

First Period

It didn’t take long for the Canucks to make a statement. Bo Horvat missed over the top of the net about 10 seconds in and that line kept the pressure on as Tanner Pearson sniped one over Stalock’s glove hand. The Canucks were up 1-0 only 24 seconds into the game.

The Canucks needed a good start and it came from a line that featured Loui Eriksson. Who would have thought?

After the Pearson goal, the Canucks took back to back penalties. With those penalties, the Wild were able to get a lot of momentum. It looked like the Wild were going to get the equalizer but were unable to beat Markstrom.

After the back to back penalties, the Canucks would get three consecutive powerplays of their own.

They had a few chances on their first go with the extra man. Brock Boeser just missed a bouncing puck that would have put the Canucks up two to nothing early on.

After the first powerplay, the Canucks looked absolutely horrendous on the powerplay.

They kept doing the useless drop passes and it played right into the Wild’s aggressive powerplay. This went on for a while and then finally it ended up biting the Canucks in the ass.

Luke Kunin scored during a bad change from the second unit and with that shorthanded goal, the Wild tied the game up 1-1.

This is the score that we would end the period with, half of the period was on the powerplay and it was tough to get much flow at 5-on-5.

The best play of the period might have been a backcheck from Elias Pettersson. He made a mad dash to get back and break up a potential scoring chance, and instantly transitioned the play the other way while doing it.

You can’t not love this Pettersson kid.

Second Period

The second period started off similar to the first, as Troy Stecher took a tripping penalty just 43 seconds into the period. This time there would only be six minutes of powerplay time. The Wild had two powerplay chances in the period but the Canucks penalty kill looked strong.

Tyler Motte had some great penalty killing shifts, he was hustling around the ice and clearing the puck easily. He also held the puck in the Wild zone for a few seconds and almost had a scoring chance while shorthanded.

The Canucks only had one powerplay in the period. During their one powerplay, they were able to gain the zone and set up a strong powerplay that resulted in a couple of dangerous looking chances.

The bulk of this period was played at 5-on-5 and the Canucks looked good in that period. The Canucks outshot the Wild eight to six at even strength and they were able to get a couple of goals past Stalock as well.

The first goal came from JT Miller when he had a great toe drag to get back the Wild defender and then fired an unstoppable shot off the post and in. That goal made it 2-1 Canucks.

After the Miller goal, the Lotto Line kept the pressure on.

Alex Edler fired a shot from the point that was redirected by Pettersson right onto the stick of Boeser and he made no mistake burying the open net goal.

Boeser almost had his second of the night when he dangled around Stalock but was denied by Matt Dumba in the crease.

The Canucks wrapped up the first 40 minutes up by a score of 3-1 and looked like they had found a way to beat Stalock and the Wild’s tough defence. They would need to have a better third period than they did in game one. If they were able to continue to pressure the Wild, they would be cruising into Thursday with a series tied up at one win apiece.

However, it wasn’t all good news in the second period.

Micheal Ferland left the bench with 12 minutes remaining in the game. Ferland was only on the ice for two and half minutes in this game and the broadcast mentioned that they did notice he blocked a shot earlier in the game.

Let’s hope it’s just a bruise from a blocked shot.

Third Period

The third period began with some 4-on-4 hockey as Myers took his first of three penalties. The Canucks would get some powerplay time early on in the third period as Pettersson drew two penalties early in the period.

The Canucks then capitalized on their second powerplay of the third period.

Hughes fired a shot that was tipped in by Horvat and the Canucks would take a commanding 4-1 lead.

Roussel took a Virtanen shot off the visor which resulted in a gash above his eye and he was forced to leave the game. He did not return.

The loudest laugh definitely came when Miller and Eriksson came in on a 2-on-1.

Eriksson had a wide-open net and we all know what Eriksson does with an open net. If the Canucks weren’t winning 4-1 at the time I’m sure the mood would have been very different. Eriksson had a good laugh after the shift.

Myers took back to back penalties late in the period but the Wild weren’t able to solve Markstrom late.

The Wild were able to get two late goals from Kevin Fiala absolutely sniping two shots on Markstrom’s glove side. It was a tough end to the game as the Canucks could have walked away with a huge win. In the end, it was a big win for the Canucks even if it ended in a one-goal game.

The Fancies

Best of Twitter

Top Performers

Jacob Markstrom was good tonight. Aside from the two late snipes from Fiala. He was good when the Canucks needed him and he kept the Wild away from the Canucks who were able to score four goals tonight. He wasn’t outstanding but he was good enough to get the win for the Canucks tonight.

The Lotto Line was great tonight. In a game where special teams dominated the game, it was good to see the Canucks scoring trio come up with a couple of goals at 5-on-5.

The Canucks formula to win is going to be their top six players being able to carry the team while the depth works through battles in the bottom six. Tonight that happened as the top players came to play.

Wrap-Up

In a game that saw only 31:12 of 5-on-5 action, the Canucks were able to take a commanding 4-1 lead from three 5-on-5 goals and one powerplay mark to extend the lead in the third period. The two Fiala goals definitely made this game closer than it needed to be. The Canucks capitalized tonight and were able to find a way to penetrate the Wild defence at 5-on-5.

This is a good sign for the Canucks as the series goes on.

Tonight the Canucks got to the net, which resulted in the team being able to draw some penalties and get to the powerplay for 12:46. It was a good game for both penalty kill units as there were over 24 minutes of powerplay time between the two teams while there was only one powerplay goal — there was also one shorthanded goal from the wild.

The Canucks needed a bounce-back game with a new lineup. Virtanen was fine tonight, he really didn’t do a lot no matter what Twitter tells you. Eriksson was fine as well, he did the little things.

Now Canucks fans will have to wait and see what is going on with Roussel and Ferland. We could see Sutter and Zack MacEwen jump into the lineup for game three if those two are unable to go.

We did get an update on Toffoli’s reason for missing tonight’s game.

The injuries will be the story to follow over the next 24 hours.

The Canucks take to the ice at 11:30 AM on Thursday for game three against the Wild.

We will have you covered all the way up until puck drop!