Instant Reaction: Canucks manage to get a point despite ineffective power play in 2-1 shootout loss to Wild

Photo credit:© Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
5 months 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. Wyatt Arndt is on Stanchies duties, and will be posted for your reading pleasure later this afternoon. Mike Liu’s Statsies will also be up later today.
Anytime you have a team playing a matinee game on the road, you hear about and watch to see the players’ energy level. Especially when that team is playing their first game on the road after a five game homestand. Just think of how tired you were at 11 AM watching this game! These players’ bodies are used to the same time zone as you (for our west coast readers)!
And that’s the position the Canucks found themselves in this afternoon’s matchup against the Minnesota Wild. So let’s start there: with the Canucks’ start in this one.
It wasn’t the best first period for the Canucks, but more importantly, it was far from their worst. They escaped the first down by just a goal after being outshot 13-9. Thankfully, Filip Hronek and JT Miller drank their morning coffee during the first intermission, and this defensive breakdown that had the Canucks down by a goal early was soon forgotten.
Miller and Hronek are the easy players to highlight on that play, but here’s a fun exercise: pick a Canuck — any Canuck — that was on the ice for that goal against, with the exception of Nils Höglander. Keep your eye on them and see how they had a hand in that defensive breakdown. Seriously, everyone but maybe Höglander did something wrong on that play.
In the second period, the Dakota Joshua-Teddy Blueger-Conor Garland trio got to work, which they’ve made a habit of doing this season. Teddy Blueger buried the goal to tie things at one apiece in the second period.
For the rest of the second period, it was a story of the special teams.
First it was Joel Eriksson Ek called for holding the stick. The Canucks generated some quality looks, the best of which came early with Brock Boeser in the bumper spot. Despite them getting their chances, the game remained tied at one — a theme we saw for the rest of this period as well.
Despite Casey DeSmith banging his stick on the ice at the expiry of the penalty, Hronek didn’t get back far enough, allowing Eriksson Ek to step out of the box and find himself on a breakaway. DeSmith turned the chance aside, but Hronek was assessed two minutes for slashing (although it really didn’t look like much of a slash). On the ensuing power play, DeSmith was the Canucks’ best penalty killer, and was instrumental in keeping this game tied up heading into the third.
As a side note: Phil Di Giuseppe replaced Nils Höglander on the JT Miller line to start the second period. It will be interesting to hear if Rick Tocchet speaks about this post game, as Höglander has really been coming into this own as of late. That being said, it’s no surprise that Tocchet is keeping his standards high. Later, Pius Suter got a shot with that line in PDG’s place.
The Canucks’ power play got two late chances in the third, but didn’t convert either time. Their percentage has still been good, but JT Miller has been especially critical of the Canucks’ first power play unit as of late, and this afternoon, it could have been a real difference-maker.
To start the third period, the Canucks seemed to be in a bit of a rut at 5v5. The Canucks were given their fifth man advantage of the game near the halfway mark of the third with the two teams still tied at one. Once again, the Canucks’ man advantage couldn’t convert as this game remained tied up.
The Canucks pushed in the final moments of the third, pulling ahead on the shot clock by the end of regulation, but this one needed extra time to be solved. We also need to mention this last second save sequence from DeSmith to send this one to OT.
It was a bit of a boring overtime, which was somewhat fitting for a boring first 60 minutes. This one needed a shootout to solve. This was the Canucks’ first shootout of the season, meaning every team in the NHL has now been in a shootout this season.
Mats Zuccarello opened the scoring for the Wild by sliding the puck through Casey DeSmith’s legs. Andrei Kuzmenko lost the handle on his attempt. DeSmith gave the Canucks another chance by turning aside Matt Boldy’s attempted five hole shot. JT Miller was turned aside for the Canucks, giving Kirill Kapirzov a prime chance to finish this one. The Wild star missed the net high. Elias Pettersson tried to go blocker side to keep the Canucks alive, but was turned aside, ending the Canucks’ win streak at four.
2-1 Wild final, and more importantly, 0-5 for the Canucks’ power play.
What’s your instant reaction to this game? Let us know in the comments section below!

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