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Instant Reaction: Lots to like about the Canucks’ 5-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights

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Photo credit:© Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
2 months ago
Welcome back to Instant Reaction — the series at CanucksArmy where we give our instant reaction to the game and ask our readers to give theirs in the comments section below! As always, The Stanchies by Wyatt Arndt will be posted later tonight and The Statsies — CanucksArmy’s analytics-based post game report — will be posted tomorrow morning. 
They’re going to get right back at it in less than 24 hours, but first, here’s our instant reaction to the Vancouver Canucks’ Saturday night tilt with the Vegas Golden Knights.
As we thought they would, the Canucks scored goals in this game. But far more importantly, they managed to keep the puck out of their net almost all night long.
The passing play between JT Miller and Bo Horvat — and the tenacity shown by Nils Höglander to make it all possible — will certainly get 500 words and three GIFs dedicated to it in The Stanchies tonight, as it was a thing of beauty.
The penalty-killing and defensive prowess of Elias Pettersson were once again on full display, as EP40 recorded his 11th goal of the year and his first power play goal of the year with a booming slapshot. That goal also marked Pettersson’s fifth goal in his last five games.
Brock Boeser kept his point streak alive, as the winger has three goals and seven assists in the nine games he’s played since returning from injury.
Spencer Martin kept this team in it early. Martin made two key saves in the opening ten minutes to keep the game scoreless and allow the Canucks to pull away with a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes of play. How different does this game go if Martin doesn’t make those key saves off high-danger chances early? He was great tonight, and although the Hockey Night in Canada crew threw out the idea of going to Martin again tomorrow against San Jose, this writer believes you have got to give Thatcher Demko the chance to build some confidence with a game against the lowly Sharks.
And if Demko isn’t sharp in the game tomorrow? Then you’ve got Spencer Martin ready and waiting in the wings.
And yes, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that Bogilny scored again. If it weren’t for Jason Robertson scoring seven goals over his last five games, Horvat would be the league leader in goals. He’s now ahead of Connor McDavid in the NHL goal-scoring race.

Overall…

As we said earlier today, the Vancouver Canucks are playing meaningful games in November. The season has been filled with drama early on, but these past two games have done a lot to instill confidence back into the fanbase. The team winning these games still doesn’t change the fact that they have to fix the root causes of what was giving them fits early, but there’s nothing wrong with enjoying watching a streaky team on its hottest streak of the year.
After winning four of their last five games — all against good teams — the Canucks are right there in the playoff race once again.
Sure, they may end up finding themselves in that dreaded spot of not being good enough to make the playoffs but not bad enough to get a high draft pick, but if they find themselves in that spot for a second year in a row with this management regime, you have to believe the necessary changes to the roster — particularly the blue line — won’t be ignored, right?
In the meantime, our overall instant reaction is that this game was a lot more fun to watch than basically any other game the team has played in this season. And we’re not trying to turn a blind eye to the future outlook of this team — no, we’d never do that — but watching entertaining hockey simply makes everything better, and tonight was full value.
What did you think of this game? Let us know in the comments section below!

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