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Instant Reaction: Boeser scores 40th, Miller tallies 100th point as Canucks refuse to lose to Golden Knights

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
1 month ago
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Welcome back to Insant Reaction — the series here at CanucksArmy where we give you our instant reaction to tonight’s game and ask our readers to do the same in the comments section below. 
The Canucks started the game with some urgency, which was a good thing. Then Brock Boeser was called for a hook that had both him and Rick Tocchet displeased with the officials.
You be the judge. Was this a penalty? The officials thought so.
Vegas scored on the ensuing power play to put the Canucks down by a goal.
After a solid shift from the Garland-Miller-Joshua trio, Jack Eichel scored his second goal of the game on his — and his team’s — second shot of the game.
Is it the goaltending’s fault? No, not really, but there is something to be said for the calming factor Thatcher Demko might be for this team if he were healthy.
The Canucks got their first power play of the game just past the halfway point of the first period, and immediately, Elias Pettersson helped them get to work, blasting a one-timer that JT Miller tried to finish off on the rebound. The Canucks’ PP was clearly focused on getting pucks on net, and that paid off when Quinn Hughes let go of a point shot that Conor Garland was ready to clean up for career goal number 100.
Against LA, the Canucks’ special teams hurt them, and after allowing the Vegas power play to score, it was going to be imperative that they capitalize on their power play opportunities.
They got their second opportunity when Quinn Hughes drew a penalty for taking a hit to the head.
Hughes immediately went to work at creating on the power play, scoring his 17th of the year to even things up for his Canucks team.
In case you missed it, earlier this week, an anonymous Norris Trophy voter — who we have to think are based on the east coast — cited Cale Makar’s three extra power play goals as a reason why the Avalanche defenceman should win the Norris Trophy over Quinn Hughes. Harman Dayal already ended that debate, using stats to back up why that debate isn’t even close. It’s Hughes’s award to lose.
But Hughes hears things. He may have heard about this idea that Makar’s extra power play goals are what could be keeping him from the first Norris Trophy win of his career, and he chose to address it directly tonight.
More important, the Canucks’ power play is leaving their struggles from February and March behind. Tocchet urged his power play personnel to stop looking for set plays. To start snapping the puck around with urgency and to get pucks on net and then be the first on those pucks. They’ve done just that lately, and the results have followed.
Another important thing from the first period is that Ilya Mikheyev was flying around the ice like we haven’t seen him do this season.
The Canucks opened the second period by killing off a penalty, another very important thing for them to do in this game and as we head into playoffs.
Carson Soucy took a penalty later in the second, and Vegas wasted little time in scoring to make it 3-2 with just over ten minutes to go in the second.
Brock Boeser scored his 40th — yes you read that right — goal of the season to tie things up again as the Canucks simply refused to go away.
Of course, it’s been a while since I reminded you all that I predicted that Boeser would score 30 goals back in August. I was accused of “running out of content”, “putting out clickbait”, and “scraping the bottom of the barrel”.
And while all that is certainly true, I WAS STILL RIGHT! My only regret is not predicting 40 to pull in those extra two thousand pageviews.
The Canucks picked up their first lead of the night late in the second when Dakota Joshua set up JT Miller for a quick release chance in the high slot that Conor Garland banged home for his second of the night.
Just like that, the Canucks were up by a goal heading into the third, simply refusing to go away against the defending Stanley Cup champs.
Another thing that happened in that period was JT Miller hitting 100 points for the first time in his career thanks to his third point of the night coming off of Garland’s goal.
The Canucks kept their foot on the gas in the third. They didn’t play like they were scared to lose to the big bad Golden Knights. They played like a team confident that they deserve to be the Pacific Division’s top team. They were responsible at five-on-five. They killed off an Elias Pettersson penalty that wasn’t really a penalty.
For all their warts and inability to beat any playoff teams over the past month, this was one of the Canucks’ most convincing performances of the season. Tocchet has been urging his players to get things back on track, because you can’t just expect to switch things on for the playoffs.
The Edmonton Oilers were hot on the Canucks’ heels heading into tonight, and tonight’s win makes it far less likely that Edmonton manages to track the Canucks down over the final games of the season. Tonight was a big win for this team, and also marked the first time in their franchise history that the Vegas Golden Knights have lost in regulation on Rogers Arena ice.
What’s your instant reaction to tonight’s game? Let us know in the comments section below!

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