Instant Reaction: Akito Hirose doesn’t look out of place in NHL debut as Canucks lose to Kings

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
1 year ago
Welcome back to Instant Reaction — the series here at CanucksArmy where we give you our instant reaction to the game and ask our readers to do the same in the comment section below! The Stanchies by Wyatt Arndt will be posted later tonight and The Statsies — CanucksArmy’s analytics-based post game report by Mike Liu — will be posted tomorrow morning.
Tonight’s game was the debut of Akito Hirose, who signed as a college free agent with the Canucks after three NCAA seasons with Minnesota State (Mankato) — one of the powerhouses in college hockey. Hirose played his junior hockey with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks of the BCHL. A left-shot defenceman, the Calgary-born defenceman is almost certainly going to play most of his career in the AHL, but if he can be a sufficient depth call up option, that would be a massive win for the Canucks organization.
Tonight, Hirose was paired up with Tyler Myers and showed poise with the puck when under pressure. There were a few moments where Hirose made calm and simple plays to get the puck out from the Canucks’ end, and showed smarts similar to Quinn Hughes when it came to net front battles. Hirose seemed efficient in tying up sticks in front and his gap control looked good too.
All in all, it was a successful debut for the 23-year-old defenceman, who didn’t look out of place by any means.
As for the game itself, the Canucks opened the scoring after Brock Boeser tallied his 17th goal of the year, with Phil Di Giuseppe and JT Miller picking up the assists. Alex Iafallo tied the game up heading into the second, and it was in that second period that Iafallo scored again to extend the Kings’ lead to two heading into the third and final period of play.
The Canucks played catchup for most of the third and came close a few times, but the Kings continued to hold their ground. Then Arthur Kaliyev buried a bouncing puck to give the Kings a two goal lead with under ten minutes remaining. Once again, the Canucks were playing catchup.
A Phillip Danault trip on Elias Pettersson gave the Canucks a power play with just a hair over five minutes remaining in this one, and that power play really felt like the Canucks’ last chance to mount any sort of comeback in this one. They failed to convert, and unsurprisingly, the Kings managed to close this one out and clinch a playoff spot.
What was your reaction to tonight’s game? Let us know in the comments section below!

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