Instant Reaction: Conor Garland comes alive to lead Canucks past Canadiens 5-2

Photo credit:© David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
3 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 duty and those will be posted later tonight. The Statsies — CanucksArmy’s analytics-based post game report by Mike Liu — will be posted tomorrow morning. 
Well, that was much more fun to watch. It’s nice being on the winning side of a 5-2 game.
As we’ve already established, last night was the worst we’ve seen the Hughes-Hronek pairing play, and tonight, there were a couple of unfortunate moments, but for the most part, the pairing looked to get back to what we have come to expect from them. There were a couple of uncharacteristic gaffes with the puck from Quinn Hughes, but each time, the Canucks’ captain was able to recover before any damage could be done. Unlike last night, they controlled the shot share at five on five in Montreal.
Thankfully, that pairing wasn’t the story tonight. Instead, that honour goes to Conor Garland. Ray Ferraro said it best when he pointed out that Garland has been doing a better job of getting to the inside as of late. Garland continued that tonight when he opened the scoring in the second period before playing a crucial role on the Canucks’ third goal of the game — and third goal of the period.
The first one, scored by Garland:
The third goal, off the stick of Dakota Joshua, was a direct result of Garland putting in an incredible effort all over the offensive zone:
The second period was ultimately the difference maker, as although the Habs managed to score their first goal of the game in the third period, the three goals the Canucks scored in the second set the tone for a solid third period finish as the club now gets set to return home.
Some other takeaways from tonight:
-Noah Juulsen couldn’t have started the season much worse. He was called upon tonight as Mark Friedman was scratched from the lineup. Juulsen’s chances are no doubt going to be few and far between this season, so it was good to see him play relatively well in his return to the lineup. He finished the night with three hits and two blocked shots.
-Speaking of hit totals, Dakota Joshua has been throwing the body around plenty since he was scratched from the lineup, and of course, was rewarded for his efforts when he scored the third goal of the game. He then assisted on Boeser’s final goal.
-Not the best Canucks debut for Teddy Blueger. The defensive stalwart slotted into the lineup for Nils Höglander but had a couple of miscues in the neutral zone and defensive end. Nothing wrong with a little bit of rust though, right?
-Filip Hronek extended his point (assist) streak to ten games tonight, much to the delight of Allan Walsh.
-Carson Soucy left the game tonight and did not return. Hopefully, it’s nothing too serious.
-Brock Boeser’s got 12 goals already, folks.
-Casey DeSmith deserves plenty of love for his play. The Cancuks were solid defensively tonight (outside of times during the first period), but DeSmith managed to pick up the two wins the Canucks managed to get on this three-game road trip. Almost more importantly, DeSmith was able to give Thatcher Demko some time off — something he hasn’t gotten much of the last few seasons.
What’s your instant reaction to tonight’s game? Let us know in the comments section below!

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