Instant Reaction: Vasily Podkolzin finally gets rewarded in Canucks’ 7-2 win over Sharks
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
8 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! 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 later tomorrow.
The story of the night was Filip Hronek’s debut. Tonight was Hronek’s first game since the Canucks traded a first and second round pick to the Detroit Red Wings ahead of the March 3rd trade deadline. With 12 games remaining, Hronek has a small window of time to show Canucks fans what he’s got ahead of next season. And so far, so good.
Hronek’s decision-making with the puck stood out right away, and his poise in the neutral zone with the puck on his stick was simply undeniable. His gap control, decisions on when to pinch, and ability to clear the net front were all noticeable as well. He stood out for all the right reasons and looks as good as advertised so far.
The Canucks kicked off the game with two goals off three shots, with Elias Pettersson setting up Andrei Kuzmenko for his 35th of the season. That 35th goal broke Pavel Bure’s Canucks franchise record for the most goals by a player in their first NHL season.
JT Miller tallied his 70th point of the season in the first period after a nifty takeaway at the San Jose blue line. Also worth mentioning is the fact that Elias Pettersson extended his point streak to ten games, which is a career-high for the 24-year-old Swede. He’s now up to 90 points on the season.
Tonight felt like the best game in Canucks colours for Vitali Kravtsov, and also one of the best games we’ve seen from Vasily Podkolzin this season. The Canucks’ two young Russians were noticeable all night long, and continue to build off the good things we’ve seen from them lately. Finally, Pokdolzin was actually rewarded for his efforts, tallying his fourth goal of the season.
Oh, and the Canucks are now tied with the Edmonton Oilers for the most shorthanded goals on the season with 13. Sheldon Dries scored with just under 30 seconds under the game to help the Canucks’ penalty kill remain the most confusing penalty kill of all time.
Before we close out tonight’s instant reaction, we need to give a special shoutout to John Garrett, who announced tonight that this will be his final season as the colour analyst on Canucks broadcasts. Cheech is truly one of the best people in the business and will be dearly missed in the broadcast booth. All the best in retirement, and thanks for the memories Cheech!
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