Instant Reaction: Hughes, Demko, and basically every other Canuck dominate in 5-0 win over Blues

Photo credit:© Simon Fearn-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
6 months ago
Welcome back to Instant Reaction — the series here at CanucksArmy where we bring you our instant reaction from every Vancouver Canucks game and encourage our readers to do the same in the comments section below! Wyatt Arndt is writing The Stanchies tonight and those will be posted later tonight. The Statsies — CanucksArmy’s analytics-based post game report by Mike Liu will be posted tomorrow morning.
The vibes, they’re good.
We don’t want to give just a recap of the game. This is instant reaction, and our job here is to give you our instant reaction to tonight’s game. Typically, that means picking one thing from the game to zero in on and dive into. It’s probably cheating to pick “dominance” as our topic tonight, but that’s exactly what we’re doing.
The Vancouver Canucks dominated the St. Louis Blues tonight. It really was as simple as that. Similar to how they played in Nashville, the Canucks were in the driver’s seat all night long and didn’t really let up at any point.
Despite only finishing with one goal, the first period was arguably the Canucks’ most impressive period. Through the opening 20 minutes of play, the Canucks outshot the Blues 19-3. The Canucks’ power play finally got some chances to work in that period, as the Blues took four minor penalties. Despite the plethora of power play opportunities and overall domination in the first, just one of the Canucks’ goals came in the first period. Even more hard to believe: Vancouver’s five goals tonight all came at even strength.
The power play went 0-4 tonight, but it doesn’t really matter. Worth keeping an eye on? Sure.
My biggest takeaway from tonight is that while the Blues no doubt didn’t have their best in the second of back-to-back games, the Canucks’ effort, overall tenacity, and — dare I say it — speed were on full display tonight. They were the first on pucks almost every time, kept their feet moving in order to force turnovers, and despite the lead, nobody really took a shift off tonight. It was a complete 60-minute effort, and it’s games like tonight — where this team plays exactly the way Rick Tocchet wants them to — that are going to need to continue if this team wants to make the playoffs.
Some other takeaways from tonight:
-Phil Di Giuseppe continues to fight for everything he’s getting at the NHL level. An absolute hound on the forecheck all night long, PDG picked up a goal for his efforts with JT Miller and Tyler Myers picking up the assists.
-Thatcher Demko faced more shots as the game went on, and the most dangerous chances the Blues generated all came in the third period, and in that period, Demko made some absolutely spectacular saves in the third period. I can’t wait to read The Stanchies to see those saves. Demko earned that shutout tonight.
-It’s hard to pick one Canuck who played poorly tonight. Hughes and Hronek looked as dominant as ever, and hell, even Mark Friedman looked solid in his 15:31 of ice time.
While it’s all sunshine and rainbows tonight, Saturday night’s matchup against the New York Rangers will almost surely be more difficult, and it will be interesting to see how this team fares.
With that in mind, the fact that Quinn Hughes played under 21 minutes and Hronek under 19 is massive.
There will be nights when this team needs Thatcher Demko to steal a game, or for their first defence pairing to log 25+ minutes. Thankfully, tonight was not one of those nights.
What’s your instant reaction to tonight’s game? Let us know in the comments section below!

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