Instant Reaction: Vancouver Canucks drop a spirited match in Colorado

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Dave Hall
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! David Quadrelli will be bringing us The Stanchies later tonight. The Statsies — CanucksArmy’s analytics-based post game report by Mike Liu — will be posted tomorrow morning.
Heading into Denver is always a stern test, especially when the Colorado Avalanche have been red-hot as of late, with 22 goals over their last five games heading into tonight.
Regardless, it’s a test that the Vancouver Canucks should be thrilled to challenge.
With hopes to establish themselves as legitimate playoff contenders, coming out of Colorado with two points is a heck of a way to show the league that you mean business.
One thing I half-expected to wake up to this morning was a captivating preview of the epic battle between Cale Makar and Quinn Hughes from the NHL.
Okay, I’m half kidding, I never really expected the league to showcase anything, but it got me thinking…
Why not? Why does the league consistently miss opportunities to highlight elite-level matchups worthy of some PR? This is an obvious headline and an easy home run for promotion.
But I digress.
The first eye-catching moment, for me, came within the initial five minutes when Anthony Beauvillier stood out on yet another shift. This was noteworthy, considering we’ve officially hit the 20-game mark of this season, and the instances I’ve noticed him have been few and far between.
For him to have, what I considered his best period of the season against the Sharks, and follow it up by looking good in his first shift is a positive development for both him and the team.
It seems Rick Tocchet agreed, as he was sent out alongside J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser the very next shift and for the remainder of the game.
Speaking of standing out, it’s incredibly fitting for Nils Höglander to open the scoring tonight, and even more so to have it assisted by the aforementioned Beauvillier. Both players have been noticeable as of late, and it’s truly a breath of fresh air to have the bottom six churning out contributions. You can add Dakota Joshua to that list of standouts, as well.
As for Höglander, who was our first star last week here at CanucksArmy, has points in four straight games and is finally getting the praise he deserves.
Unfortunately, the lead was short-lived, and within three minutes, the Avalanche surged ahead with two quick goals, with Makar contributing an assist in one of them.
After one period, advantage, Cale.
The second period was a complete blur, and if you like special teams, this was the place to be.
Honestly, it felt on par with catching a midday episode of Oprah – “You get a penalty, you get a penalty”. By the 10-minute mark, it was difficult to decipher who would have the advantage following the 4-on-4, or if it would be a wash.
Luckily, the Canucks would find an equalizer through all the mess, although, they did miss opportunities on three consecutive power plays of their own.
Leave it to J.T. Miller, who continued his extremely consistent play and extended his point to eight games off of this extremely impressive solo effort.
As always, be sure to catch The Stanchies for a full breakdown of tonight’s game, which will be covered by our fearless leader, David Quadrelli.
Of course, Quinn Hughes notched an assist on the goal for his league-leading 31st point.
Quinn and Cale, tied after two.
After the emotion-filled second stanza, the third did not allow much time to adjust, as Riley Tufte put the Avalanche ahead early, scoring a greasy goal just 1:24 into the frame.
And finally, with just over seven minutes remaining in the final frame, the obvious scenario unfolds, and Cale Makar collects a breakaway goal to seal the victory for his 18th point in eight games.
After three periods, advantage, Cale.
Despite the loss, the Canucks outshot the Avalanche 29-25 and actually played a decent match. At the end of the day, it’s just nice to have “big game feels” in late November. And this one felt like it had all the feels.

Additional thoughts

-Both Mark Friedman and Tyler Myers left this game. This is a frightening reality, as for the first time this season, the organization’s depth could face its first real test. I am not so sure that this team is quite ready to take that on.
-With Anthony Beauvillier switching spots with Phil Di Giuseppe, I am curious how everyone thought they played?
– Is it just me, or does a top power play unit, chock-full of shooters, need to shoot more?
– With it being the obvious talk of the day, I am curious about everyone’s opinion on the Quinn Hughes vs Cale Makar discussion?
What’s your instant reaction to tonight’s game? Let us know in the comments section below!

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