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Instant Reaction: Canucks turn in another strong effort and lose in regulation

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Photo credit:© Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
1 month ago
Another day, another game against a superior team that the Canucks kept close.
Sure, there were less shots and less goals tonight than there were Monday in New Jersey, but this was another entertaining Canucks game. It’s almost jarring to see the Canucks put in complete efforts, because we’ve seen it so few times this season.
It feels like all season long, we’ve been hearing about how unacceptable the losses are, and how they just need to figure out how to come together and put in a complete 60-minute effort. Well tonight they did that, and the result was a regulation loss in which they lost by just one goal.
This one was close. It was close in shots (the Canucks actually outshot the Rangers by a count of 25-21!) and it was close in hits.
The reason these games are nice to watch is that Rick Tocchet came in and among other things, made it clear that not putting in full effort each and every night wouldn’t be acceptable anymore. And with the loss against the Seattle Kraken a couple of weeks ago aside, you can’t question this team’s effort level in these losses.
Yes, it hasn’t resulted in wins, but that’s due to the roster not being good enough more than anything. Now, make no mistake about it — president Jim Rutherford was correct in saying this roster needs major surgery, but the Canucks’ habits and overall effort also needed some serious fixing.
It’s hard to find positives with this team, but another game in which Tocchet has this team playing the right way and they lose in regulation while keeping it close? There are two positives right there.
As for individual players, Conor Garland has looked like a different player under Tocchet, and that continued again tonight. This time around, Garland was rewarded with a goal for his efforts, but Garland’s improvement ever since Tocchet came aboard is becoming increasingly more undeniable.
Elias Pettersson and JT Miller stepped up big tonight in the faceoff dot. With no Bo Horvat to help bear the brunt of the load, Miller and Pettersson both turned in solid efforts on the draw. Pettersson won 13 faceoffs with a percentage of 68%, while Miller rocked a 63%, winning 10 draws on the night, including a key offensive zone faceoff late when the Canucks very much so needed a faceoff win.
All in all, it was another good loss for the Canucks. A solid effort, an entertaining game, and another step closer to the best draft lottery odds possible.

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