Instant Reaction: Canucks sloppy in second and third periods in loss to Leafs

Photo credit:© Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
7 months ago
Welcome back to Instant Reaction — the series here at CanucksArmy where we give our instant reaction to the game and ask our readers to do the same! Wyatt Arndt is writing The Stanchies, and those will be posted later this evening. The Statsies — CanucksArmy’s analytics-based post game report by Mike Liu — will be posted tomorrow morning. 
The bright lights of Saturday night. The prime-time game of Hockey Night in Canada. No eastern media sleeping
The best team in Canada vs. the team Rogers wishes was the best team in Canada.
The story of the first period was the instigator penalty. This was because the Leafs took two of them after two clean open-ice hits. The first from Dakota Joshua — to which Mark Giordano answered on — the second from Ian Cole. Before we continue the instigator penalty chat, let’s take a moment to realize how much of a well-calculated risk Cole takes here by choosing to step up to lay the boom instead of retreating and facing a Leafs 2-on-1:
All of Cole’s teammates are behind the play after the scramble in front, and he reacts accordingly.
Former Canuck-turned evil media member Kevin Bieksa did a great job breaking this down for the infuriated Leafs faithful. If you’re going to challenge a player to a fight after a clean hit, ask them first, don’t just run in with your gloves off and grab his collar. Unfortunately, both Giordano and Domi chose the latter, which resulted in two Canucks power plays, both of which they converted on.
Filip Hronek’s point streak continued on the Canucks’ second goal of the game, much to the delight of his agent Allan Walsh, who continues to try to make #FilTheThrill a thing. Hronek is now up to nine consecutive games with an assist, 12 assists over that time. He’s still looking for his first goal on the year, but is up to 15 points through 14 games this season nonetheless.
The Canucks left the first period up by a goal, but their second period was a tire fire. At 5v5, on the power play, in every situation they found themselves in, the Canucks were simply not good enough in the second period. Turnovers, lackadaisical efforts galore, JT Miller F-bombs, the second period resembled the Canucks teams of recent years — not the “wagon” we’ve seen this season. Unfortunately, the third period wasn’t much better.
The Leafs were the better team tonight, full stop.
As you’ll read in The Statsies tomorrow morning, the Leafs’ bottom six had themselves a night. Unfortunately, part of that night included scoring the Leafs’ fourth and fifth goals of the game in the third period to ice this one. Something to note: The Hughes-Hronek pairing was on the ice for both of those goals against, with both coming at 5-on-5. It’s not concerning, per se, but that’s statistically the pairing’s worst performance of the season, as the Canucks were outshot by a total of  13-14 with that pairing on the ice tonight.
Some other observations in tonight’s 5-2 loss:
-Pius Suter picked up the Canucks’ second goal of the game, which was also their second power  bnplay goal of the first period. Suter finding his goalscoring touch has been a welcome sight. Through five games in November, Suter is up to four goals. Suter appeared in nine games during the month of October. Not only did he not score a goal, but Suter didn’t even tally an assist. His offensive outburst of late is good news for the Canucks.
-Mark Giordano became the oldest Leaf to get into a fight, beating out Tim Horton’s record by 19 days. That’s perhaps the most Ron McLean stat I’ve ever heard, and it got me wondering who the oldest Canuck to get into a fight is. Any historians in the comments section? Could it be Alex Edler…?
Overall, the Canucks’ uncharacteristic sloppiness cost them tonight. Stay tuned for Tocchet’s thoughts in The Stanchies…
What’s your instant reaction to tonight’s game? Let us know in the comments section below!

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