Photo credit:© David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Instant Reaction: Canucks take over in second period to beat Blackhawks in first game vs. Bedard
2 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 in the comments section below! Lachlan Irvine is on Stanchies duty, and Mike Liu will have The Statsies — CA’s analytics-based post game report — published later this evening.
Saturday’s matinee affair between the Vancouver Canucks and Minnesota Wild saw the Canucks fall in a shootout after their power play went 0-5 and was a key reason for the extra time loss.
That, and a slow start, of course.
On Sunday, there were moments where it looked like the Canucks were headed for the exact same fate. There was the slow start — getting outshot 6-0 at 5v5 and 5-13 overall — and the power play nearly going 0-3 with the man advantage. All within the opening 20 minutes. Against the league’s worst team.
Let’s start with the opening goal against, which came off the stick of Nick Foligno ten minutes into the first.
It’s a miscue from Filip Hronek behind the net that leaves everyone in scramble mode, followed by Quinn Hughes getting beat for body position at the net front. 1-0 Chicago on their 11th shot of the period!
The Canucks’ woes at 5v5 continued, but thankfully, Elias Pettersson scored a one timer to tie things up, meaning today’s instant reaction isn’t all about how the Canucks’ power play cost them another game. Was it great today? No, but our deep dive into how it’s a huge problem will have to wait at least another day. It is still top five in the league, after all. Wait a second…
I kid, of course.
Heading into the second tied up at one all, the Canucks were looking to pull ahead. If they’re going to command respect as a top team in the league, they simply need to take care of business against teams like Chicago.
And when they gave up the first goal of the period just minutes into it, things looked too similar to they way they did in the first.
And then the Canucks woke up.
Following the Hawks’ second goal of the game (the Connor Bedard show didn’t disappoint), the Joshua-Blueger-Garland line got to work, as they so often have this season. As Wyatt wrote in yesterday’s Stanchies — this line needs a name. And that’s because they’ve been a spark plug for this team so often this season, including today. Maybe that’s it: The Spark Plug line. Here was today’s effort, where Dakota Joshua scored after a setup from Conor Garland:
A 5v5 goal! But the Canucks didn’t stop there! Just moments later, Brock Boeser came in off the rush and gave the Canucks their first lead of the afternoon.
That’s a goal scorer’s goal right there folks.
From there, the Canucks continued to control play, and looked like a completely different team in the second period. They scored their third unanswered goal of the period to push their lead to 4-2 when Elias Petterson’s line (featuring Pius Suter in place of Sam Lafferty) got to work. Ilya Mikheyev tipped home a Tyler Myers point shot, with Suter picking up the secondary assist.
Suter’s best work came right before the pass he made, when he went hard in behind the Hawks’ net to allow the Canucks to keep possession of the puck in the offensive end. With plays like that, coupled with how good Blueger has looked with Joshua and Garland, it’s hard to imagine that he’ll be off that line anytime soon.
And just like that, it was a two point night for Tyler Myers, and Brock Boeser was back to being tied for first in the NHL goal scoring race.
In the third, Chicago converted on a power play opportunity, but overall, the Canucks continued their strong play from the second period. Maybe not quite as strong as their second period play, but the Canucks did even up the shot total in the third and weathered the storm when Chicago pushed to tie the game late.
What’s your instant reaction to tonight’s game? Let us know in the comments section below!
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