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Instant Reaction: Canucks lack urgency, fall 2-1 to Capitals for second straight loss

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
26 days ago
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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 comments section below!
Look. Let’s be honest about what we’ve seen from the Vancouver Canucks this season.
They started the season on an absolute heater. A heater so good that they’ve basically been a lock for a playoff spot since mid-November. A heater so good that they were dubbed cup contenders by many by January. Then they went through a month of February where they were just one more win away from finishing the month at .500. Instead, February became their first and only month of the season that they’ve finished with a record below .500.
They started the month of March by winning four straight games in convincing fashion before falling in overtime to the Colorado Avalanche this past Wednesday night. But it’s in this game where context matters.
The Canucks dominated the Avs for the first 40 — well, 39, really — minutes of the game on Wednesday. In the third period, the Canucks allowed the ever-dangerous Avs to prove why they’re ever-dangerous, and eventually lost in overtime. That brought the Canucks’ March record to 4-0-1, their overall record to 42-17-8 — the best of any Western Conference team.
So, yes, in the grand scheme of things, not the biggest deal. And if the Canucks score the OT winner, we’re probably not even talking about it still. But right now, we are talking about it, because the common theme between that game and tonight’s game against the far less dangerous Washington Capitals is the Canucks turtling at the first sign of adversity. That’s concerning at this time of year, no matter how you slice it.
Let’s get into this game.
Brock Boeser got things started off right for the Canucks, scoring in the opening minutes to give Vancouver an early 1-0 lead.
The rest of the period was on the boring side, as the two sides finished the opening frame tied in shots at six apiece.
The Canucks kept up that boring lifeless pace from the first period, but the Capitals came out trying in the second, and it showed basically no matter where you look. Hits? Capitals. Shots? You bet. Goals? Oh yeah, the Capitals had more of those.
It was all Capitals in the second period, as the Canucks found themselves on the wrong side of a 12-0 run of shots. First, Tom Wilson scored after one of the worst icing calls I’ve ever seen.
Shortly after, the Canucks absolutely mailed it in on their defensive zone coverage, while Casey DeSmith made a choice.
What a mess of a goal.
In the third, all you were looking for was to see the Canucks come out with something even resembling a sense of urgency. Elias Pettersson drew a penalty early in the third to give the Canucks a chance to come back. It was a Pettersson one-timer that represented their best chance of the man advantage, but the Canucks failed to tie things up.
As time ticked away in the third, the Canucks continued to apply the pressure, and we even saw the Lotto Line get reunited for a brief period of time as Rick Tocchet looked for any sort of spark to break through and tie this game up. It was all for naught, and the Canucks fell by a final score of 2-1.
So to recap. On Wednesday, the Canucks brought the heat for 40 minutes against the Avs before falling off in the final 20. Tonight, they were lackadaisical through 40 against the Capitals, and their push in the third period was too little, too late.
What’s your instant reaction to tonight’s game? Let us know in the comments section below! I’m off to host Rink Wide Vancouver with Jeff Paterson, and you can find it wherever you get your podcasts!

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