Instant Reaction: The PDO and hockey gods help the Canucks bounce back to beat Seattle

Photo credit:© Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
6 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 in the comments section below! Wyatt Arndt is writing the Stanchies, and those will be posted later tonight. The Statsies — CanucksArmy’s analytics-based post game report by Mike Liu — will be posted tomorrow morning.
As an NHL head coach, when you shake up your lineup, you’re hoping your team responds well. It’s something of a last resort, and it’s the card Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet used ahead of tonight’s game against the Seattle Kraken.
From top to bottom, the Canucks’ lineup looked different heading into tonight. Andrei Kuzmenko sat in the press box, the newly called up then immediately signed Nils Aman slotted in, while Phil Di Giuseppe’s time in the top six came to an end. Sam Lafferty lined up alongside Elias Pettersson and Ilya Mikheyev while Anthony Beauvillier moved up to play with JT Miller and Brock Boeser. Here’s how the Canucks lined up tonight:
The first five minutes of this game were Stanchies gold. Every line got a shift, and every line had a strong shift. The Canucks were overwhelming the Kraken with their forecheck early on, and every line was absolutely buzzing. Nils Höglander got a bit ahead of himself and took a careless holding penalty in the Kraken’s end of the ice. Thankfully, the Kraken power play didn’t amount to much thanks to Teddy Blueger continuing to hound the puck while the Canucks were shorthanded:
From there, the Canucks gave the Kraken eight minutes of total power play time to work with in the first period. Somehow, the Canucks managed to escape the first period with a 1-0 lead. That somehow was Thatcher Demko.
In the second period, a hardworking shift by Conor Garland and Dakota Joshua led to Joshua banging home a loose puck.
While being outshot 18-13, the Canucks found themselves in front by a score of 2-0. That’s right folks, the Canucks’ PDO — which was sky-high to start the season and below league-average as of late — took a turn in the right direction.
A quick refresher on PDO: it’s 5v5 shooting percentage and save percentage added. 1.000 is the average, with rather slim margins each way. The Canucks were far above this to start the year — at the top of the league with the Vegas Golden Knights, in fact — which suggests they were getting a bit lucky, and lately, they’ve been below this bar, suggesting they’ve been unlucky.
Tonight, they got the saves while the Kraken did not, which allowed the Canucks to pull ahead early even if they maybe didn’t deserve everything they got tonight. It’s about time this team got some love from the hockey gods again.
By the end of the second, the Canucks evened up the shot total and started to earn what they were getting a bit more. They cleaned up their lack of discipline while staying hard on the forecheck, and we’re going to guess these lines remain the same in San Jose tomorrow.
Nils Höglander improved his point streak to five games when he rifled one past Joey Daccord to make it 4-1 for the Canucks:
Some other takeaways from tonight:
-Some keen observers noticed that Elias Pettersson had his wrist taped up tonight. Wrist injury or not (he says he’s fine), Pettersson won his 10th faceoff of the night on the Canucks’ third goal of the game, winning the puck cleanly back to Quinn Hughes who found Filip Hronek for a slap shot that Sam Lafferty got a stick on in front. Pettersson won’t get an assist on the goal, but he was instrumental on it.
-Quinn Hughes is on a 10 game point streak, but it won’t be easy for Hughes to reclaim his spot at the top of the NHL’s scoring race after Nikita Kucherov’s six point night in Tampa Bay’s 8-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Hughes’ point streak is the longest active point streak in the NHL right now though, so take that Nikita Kucherov.
-Nils Aman, in his season debut and hours after signing a contract extension tallied two assists tonight. Not bad for a Friday night!
All in all, tonight was a tremendous bounce back for the Canucks, who will look to keep it rolling tomorrow in San Jose. 5-1 Canucks is your final score.
Tonight’s Stanchies should be great and I’m pleased to share that we’ve FINALLY found a solution to the problems many of you reported about the article crashing your browser, especially on mobile.
What’s your instant reaction to tonight’s game? Let us know in the comments section below!

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