Instant Reaction: Quinn Hughes getting hot at the right time as Vancouver Canucks beat Coyotes 2-1

Photo credit:© Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
1 month ago
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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!
Before we get into tonight’s game, let’s talk about what an embarrassment the Arizona Coyotes are for the NHL. Of course, we’re mainly going to focus on their joke of an arena, which drew some ire from my colleague Iain MacIntyre:
BCHL teams play in nicer arenas than Mullett Arena. It’s an absolute joke that fans are watching NHL hockey from bleacher seating, full stop. I’ll stop myself there, but the NHL needs to get out of Arizona. Enough of this “will they won’t they” when it comes to building an arena.
Let’s get into this game.
You’re going to notice that tonight, the camera angle in our clips within tonight’s edition of Instant Reaction looks like it’s coming from a college game. And while we can assure you that this game was between two NHL teams, you get the point.
It was a boring start to the game, which again, looked like it was being broadcast from a Ring doorbell camera.
The Canucks picked up the game’s first power play when Nick Bjugstad hauled down Conor Garland just before the halfway point of the first period. The Canucks’ power play personnel spent the next two minutes struggling to get set up — which they’ve made a habit of over the last two months.
The Canucks started this game just okay, but the Coyotes, of course, are bad almost every time they touch the ice. This meant the Canucks left the first period unscathed, but if they played period one of game one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs like they did at Mullett tonight, the series will be over right then and there.
The second period was more of the same — a truly stunning display of offensive incompetence from both teams. The Canucks were outshooting the Coyotes, but the chances they were generating were nothing to write home about.
The Canucks’ second power play opportunity of the game was much better. Not only did they get set up, but they also snapped the puck around with the speed and poise they’ll need if they want to find any success in the postseason.
They were rewarded with their effort when Quinn Hughes scored his third goal in the last two days:
If there’s one player who can basically be absolved of any struggles the Canucks have had recently, it’s Quinn Hughes. He’s been so consistently dominant this season and with his two goals last night and another tonight, he’s one of few Canucks playing some of his best hockey of the season right now.
Later in the second with the Canucks on another power play, Jack McBain laid out Elias Pettersson at the blue line, and JT Miller immediately stepped in to come to his teammate’s defence.
Yes, I know that this time of year — for the first time in a long time in this city — isn’t moral victory SZN, but it is good to see some playoff like passion from this group with playoffs just a couple of weeks away.
Arturs Silovs looked good in the Canucks’ net, but as long as the Canucks failed to get him run support, the Coyotes were squarely in the game.
Despite the Canucks heavily outshooting them, Arizona eventually broke through when Dylan Guenther scored on the power play to make it 1-1 with less than ten minutes to go.
With just under two minutes remaining, Quinn Hughes shot a puck wide to set up Conor Garland for what would stand as the game-winning goal.
Quinn was on the ice for nearly two minutes here. This is a captain getting hot at the right time. This is the projected 2023-24 Norris Trophy winner, leaving zero doubt in the minds of voters that he deserves to take home the title of the NHL’s best defenceman.
What are your thoughts on tonight’s game? Let us know in the comments section below!

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