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Instant Reaction: Höglander, Garland, and Joshua lead Canucks to win in Chicago

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Photo credit:© Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
2 months ago
Welcome back to Instant Reaciton — 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! Wyatt Arndt is on Stanchies duty and Mike Liu will have The Statsies — CA’s analytics-based post game report — up tomorrow morning!
The Canucks’ top two lines both had lacklustre starts to the game, making Phil Kessel drive a little bit faster from YVR to Abbotsford.
Despite this, the Canucks generated the first eight shots of this game, as the dysfunctional mess that is the Chicago Blackhawks looked overmatched early on. Fittingly, the Canucks picked up the first goal of this game when the third line got to work. Dakota Joshua made a nice pass to Conor Garland, and Garland made no mistake in burying his 10th goal of the season:
Chicago didn’t get their first shot on Demko until the final minute of the period. There was a Bronx cheer from the United Center faithful. Oh, and we also saw this “goaltender interference” penalty called against Sam Lafferty.
In the second period, Conor Garland got back to work.
 
What a story Garland has been this season. After starting this season with his new agent working to find him a way out of Vancouver, Garland has found a home in the Canucks’ lineup really for the first time since he came to the organization in 2021. 2-0 Canucks.
The Blackhawks made it 2-1 after Tyler Johnson finished a tic-tac-toe play on the power play:
Now, this is where our story really starts.
In the dying minutes of the second, just moments after Johnson’s goal, Nils Höglander scored for the third straight game.
Yes, that’s three straight goals for Höglander on his 17th of the season. And that’s also his 17th 5v5 goal of the season, a number that leads all Canucks skaters. Despite these phenomenal scoring numbers in limited minutes, Höglander still isn’t getting any power play time. Hopefully, he’s done enough to stick in the top six.
Also, take notice of Elias Lindholm’s work on this goal in boxing out. That’s the kind of high hockey IQ play we heard so much about when this team traded for Lindholm. He hasn’t seemed to find his footing perfectly just yet, but he’s certainly still proving his worth in the top six.
In the third, Dakota Joshua picked up his third point of the night when he scored his 13th goal of the season.
Speaking of great stories, there’s another one. A three-point night for Dakota Joshua — and a Gordie Howe hat trick to boot — is a first-ballot great story.
Look, it was a game against Chicago, so you knew the Canucks were probably going to win tonight. Their secondary scoring came to play, and Nils Höglander continues to show he deserves to keep his spot in the top six. If you’re looking for negatives, you’re likely turning your attention to the Canucks’ star players, who still don’t look like they’re at their best.
But hey, you’ll take the win, and you’ll be happy that the Canucks are heading back home while sitting at first in the NHL standings.
And Phil Kessel might be a whole lot of fun too.
What’s your instant reaction tonight? Let us know in the comments section below!

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