Instant Reaction: Pettersson and Miller’s PK KO’s Maple Leafs

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Lachlan Irvine
1 year ago
Welcome back to Instant Reaction — the series here at CanucksArmy where we give you our instant reaction to the game, and more importantly, ask our readers to do the same in the comments section below!
Who could’ve predicted that a Phil Di Giuseppe holding penalty would be the breakthrough the Canucks needed?
For this iteration of the Vancouver Canucks, beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 is both an exceptional upset and, in some ways, the likeliest outcome. But if you know enough about the Matthews-Marner-era Leafs or the Pettersson-Demko-era Canucks, it’s that the only guarantee for them is chaos.
And that’s exactly what we got.
The Canucks’ PK suddenly went off on Toronto in a tie game, as Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller teamed up for a pair of shorthanded goals in just 44 seconds.
It also makes sense that I’m on Instant Reaction on the same night that Thatcher Demko returns to superstar form. Demko turned aside 36 Leafs shots and looked a lot like the same goalie that earned Vezina votes last year. Without his inspired play, this game might’ve been lost in the first 20 minutes.
So many crucial players got involved in the action for the Canucks tonight. Andrei Kuzmenko had the ice breaker in the second period to get the ball rolling. Quinn Hughes had a a pair of crucial assists. And Brock Boeser followed up months of trade rumours by setting up Nils Åman for a game-sealing third period goal.
How this game will be remembered in the future is anyone’s guess. It could be as a step that put them out of the conversation for a top three draft pick. Or as the first game of the front office’s retool on the fly plan bearing some fruit.
But no matter where your team finishes in the standings, outdueling a top tier club like the Maple Leafs is always a valuable brick to build a foundation of success on.
What’s your instant reaction to tonight’s game? Let us know in the comments section below!

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