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The Stanchies: Brock Boeser’s hat trick helps propel Canucks to stunning, last second, come-from-behind victory over the Predators

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Photo credit:© Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports
The Stanchion
1 month ago
After watching the Canucks pull off one of the most miraculous comebacks in their playoff history, all I could think of was one thing: Bob Cole would have absolutely loved that one. Everything was happening, and oh baby, how, about, that, what an ending for the Vancouver Canucks, who took game four in overtime by a score of 4-3.
Now here’s the rub: for 57 minutes of that game? Vancouver was awful. Putrid. Disgusting. Embarrassing. A stain upon your family tree. The worst thing to happen since UPN was taken off air. The kind of effort that made you consider taking up competitive cribbage instead of watching the game of hockey; at least in the crib, the pegging is over quickly.
And you’re going to see that reflected in many highlights in this article. I am not going to be able to make these clips look sexy. I’ll try my best, of course, because it’s playoff time and I have to raise my game as well. So if Elias Pettersson turns around and enters the Charlie Brown phase of his life, standing still as he lets a 2 on 1 develop the other way, we can talk about how good The Beekeeper movie is instead. About how all good movies need a rock bottom moment, so the heroic comeback lands even harder.
Because for the majority of the game, the Nashville Predators out-worked, out-hit and out-played the Vancouver Canucks. It’s as if the Canucks took the advice of Michael Jordan and took that game two loss personally, so they dedicated themselves to making sure the Predators knew the pain of losing a game in which you felt you deserved to win.
You thought game three was torture for the Nashville Predators? That was but a mere flesh wound. Game four was essentially the Red Wedding of the first round, with Nashville fans grinning ear to ear at what was surely about to be the start of a grand feast. At one point, the Predators almost made it 4-2 on an empty net, the bench celebrating what was surely the final nail in the coffin. But as Patrik Stefan has taught us, never assume anything in life. Mere moments later, Brock Boeser completed his hat trick, tying the game up with 6.2 seconds left, joining Matt Cooke’s 5.7 seconds and 1.2 seconds in the Hall of Decimal Points Fame in Vancouver playoff sports history.
But unlike that goal against Calgary, this time, the good guys won. This time, it was Corolla Garland evading Luke Schenn behind the net to connect with Elias Lindholm for the game-winning goal. This time, it was the Vancouver Canucks completing the unlikeliest of comebacks in a game that many people, myself included, had long written off. I was already contemplating how morose of a tone to use for this article halfway through the third period. Too sad, and you bum people out, and they won’t want to read it, but too happy, and people wonder if you’ve lost the plot and had a couple of beers to gather up the courage to tackle post-game duties.
Instead, we are going to talk about JT Miller and Brock Boeser coming through in the clutch. About how Artus Silovs was handed an impossible task and instead of wilting away, excelled. About how Elias Pettersson had perhaps one of the worst games of his season, yet found his legs at the right moment to help out on the second goal. And about how despite getting beat up and neutralized the entire game, Quinn Hughes broke a pair of ankles when it mattered most.
In the end, maybe Ted Lasso was right. Maybe sometimes you just have to point at the sign and believe. Just embrace the chaos of the playoffs and see where it takes you.
It’s the only way to make sense out of any of this.
Best pre-game news dump
Apparently the Canucks are taking a Dr. Who approach to goaltending, replacing their leading actor at various times despite the audience growing very attached to the previous one.
This time, it was Casey DeSmith getting the late pull, and much like the Thatcher Demko situation, the talk about the injury was odd. It’s playoff time, so we’re used to it being a “lower body injury” vs “upper body injury”, but with Demko and DeSmith, the talk surrounding it feels strange. Like, instead of being, “Oh yeah, his knee is borked,” we’re getting weird metaphors trying to describe the injury scenario.
“It’s like if he was a flower, he wouldn’t have lost all his petals, but some of them are drooping, you know? Like you can tell his pollen count isn’t quite where it should be, if you catch my drift.”
And with Casey, we had the added luxury of the internet posting a picture of him standing around happily with some fans in Nashville as if that added intrigue to the situation.
“In this one still frame picture he looks fine, what’s going on guys, what PSYOP are the Canucks running here…”
All of which is to say Artus Silovs got the start on the night, which, at the very least, felt like a parallel move from DeSmith. Both goalies are a step behind Demko, but both have had their moments this season, so it was just a matter of if Silovs was going to settle in and give his team a gem of a game or not.
Best boots on the ground
Best LOL
“Technically delivering a package to Google is working at Google, I don’t see what the issue is.”
Best waiting in the shadows
All I’m saying is if you start smelling taco meat in the air in Vancouver, you should check the Canucks’ IR list at this point.
Best scouting report
Remember, goalies are voodoo.
Best tradition
Nashville is now 0-2 in the playoffs when they start off the game with an anthem rendition that stretches into a three-part-mini series.
It’s hard for a fan base to keep the hype going when they’re listening to four people stretch out the word “free” into next week.
Best welcome to the Arty Party
Ian Cole made a lunging stab with his stick in honour of Inigo Montoya early in the first period, which opened up a lane for Jason Zucker to test out the resolve of Silovs fairly quickly:
Silovs ate the shot to his mask and fought it off, which is better than what I would have done if I had been put into this situation, which is wet my pants and then try and explain to the refs that it must have been lemon Gatorade that dripped onto the ice.
Best rise before the fall…before the rise
Two players that have stepped up to the plate and have not been intimidated by the post-season war ahead of them have been JT Miller and Brock Boeser. I assume because Boeser gets his own “Brockstar” image when he scores a goal and JT Miller really enjoys it when Al Murdoch leads people into saying his last name really loudly.
Buoyed by that build-up of self-worth, it was no surprise to see Miller and Boeser combine to score on the Canucks’ first shot of the game:
Now, to me, that’s a set play off the faceoff. I don’t know if there is anyone in the league who gets off on set plays from the draw quite like JT Miller. All season long we see him directing traffic and lining people up “just right” before he takes the faceoff; He’s like a school crossing guard out there, making sure his children cross the street safely.
And as we saw many times this season, the Canucks have been pretty good at striking quickly off of a draw due to their plays. You can see JT Miller spin off of the dot almost immediately after winning the puck back to Soucy, giving Carson an open lane to feed it over to him.
Brock, for his part, waits by the sideboards like he’s bored and wants nothing to do with this play before quietly sliding into the soft part of the ice like an unannounced house guest who just wants to use your washroom room for a quick second. You both know he needs to drop a loaf because what other emergency could it be, but you’ve already committed to being polite, so all you can do is wait until he finishes his business.
And that’s one of Brock’s skills. Not pooping, but finding open areas of the ice. That was always one of the things about the Brett Hulls and Brendan Shanahans of the world: their ability to make themselves open for prime scoring opportunities. You wonder how in the world could a team leave them open like that, but then you watch enough games and realize their the ones finding the open space, it’s not about the other teams letting them get open. It’s the “call an ambulance….but not for me” scenario of the hockey world.
So when you add in JT Miller and the team having these set plays off of faceoffs, it just lends itself to Brock’s skill set. The team wins the draw, opens up some lanes, draws in defenders, and lets Brock slide into these scoring areas.
Watch the play again, and look at how, at one point, JT Miller has three Predators focused on him. They’re all sliding over to the left side of the ice, because they have to respect JT Miller’s shot. If that’s Ilya Mikheyev, this play doesn’t work. They watch Mikheyev with the puck and they don’t even bother guarding him.
But with JT Miller, the Predators essentially panic and three guys try to cut down his time and space. Ian Cole raises his stick to fake the one timer possibility, which further helps to draw the Nashville coverage out of sorts. Then Pius Suter takes Dante Fabbro out of the picture in front of the net, leaving Brock Boeser wide open.
And even Juuse Saros’ stranger danger alarm doesn’t go off because he’s so focused on JT Miller being the biggest threat on the play.
All of which is to say this was a pretty skookum goal from Vancouver.
It was also the last joy you’ll have for another 50 minutes.
Best Kuzmenk-who?
Elias Lindholm will feature prominently at the end of this article, but he does deserve some love before we get there.
When you watch Lindholm on the ice, he makes a smart play nine times out of ten. He’s the guy you send to get groceries because he’s coming back with everything on the list and not just two bags of Doritos and a bottle of Jack.
He also is very aggressive in playing defensive hockey. He doesn’t just sit back and react; he gets involved:
The Predators are cycling in the offensive zone and once Garland loses his check, Lindholm steps in and takes over coverage. He then engages in a puck battle along the boards to get the takeaway, and it leads to a zone exit.
If this play was a contract signing it would have been a tidy bit of business.
Best insult to injury
Nashville would promptly tie the game up due to the current Weisbrod Revenge Tour that’s taking place in this series, as Mark Jankowski, the Batman of the NHL, managed to tip this shot past Silovs:
Firstly, don’t worry, I can assure you that tip was as deft as they come.
Secondly, Filip Hronek can’t box out Marky Mark and The Janky Bunch, and ends up releasing him back into the wild, only to watch him get a piece of the Jeremy Lauzon shot.
Thirdly, I also immediately assume it’s UFC Alumni Joe Lauzon and not Jeremy Lauzon, as I don’t have enough room in my brain for two Lauzons.
Fourthly, Jeremy might actually have a future in MMA as he absolutely runs over EP40 during the goal celebration:
Objectively, this play is very funny. If the officials want to let this kind of play go, then have at it. Let both sides throw a hit on someone after scoring a goal, have your Wrestlemania moment. Because the optics of Elias just minding his own business before getting bounced around like a pinball did elicit a giggle from me. He just had no idea it was coming, and then his body sort of wiggles in the wind like a dancing Dee Reynolds.
And admit it, if Nikita Zadorov had done this, we would have created a national holiday in his honour. A statue would have been erected, and we would have gruffly told each other, “Playoff hockey!’ before shotgunning some beers in celebration.
It also feels like a moment where a player can step up and do something about it, or wilt away into obscurity. When you get punched in the face, you either stand up or sit down. And I don’t mean throwing fists, I just mean in terms of continuing to play your game, and putting the other team on their heels — whether it’s with physicality or skill.
With Elias, it felt like he sort of wilted away for the majority of the game.
Best don’t bring me down like that
Normally, Jeff drops depressing stats, but this time, it’s good news, and no, wait, I see what he’s done here.
Best continuing the Arty Party
I am not a goalie expert by any stretch of the imagination. I leave that up to Kevin Woodley. When Woodley breaks down a save he can spend ten minutes explaining in exact technical detail how it all played out, whereas I’m like “he whacked the puck with his blocker thingy.”
But from my end, it felt like Silovs struggled at times going across his crease and keeping himself anchored in the net during his regular season games with Vancouver. It just felt like he wasn’t able to move side to side as smoothly as DeSmith or Demko.
Well, on Sunday, that wasn’t an issue at all. Part of that was due to Vancouver not allowing a ton of east-to-west shots, but also Arturs was just tracking the puck really well on the night:
The Predators get a quick shot off from the point on a Quinn Hughes turnover, and even with a tip (not a deft one), Silovs eats up the shot and covers the rebound.
There felt like a lot less panic in his game compared to even what DeSmith did the game before. Arturs might have given up some rebounds, but he was quick to jump on them, and he didn’t punch them into traffic like Casey can do at times. Don’t get me wrong, watching Casey drop a Chuck Liddell overhand right to a puck into the slot will always get me jacked, but it’s also very stressful.
And yes, you read that correctly, a Quinn Hughes turnover led to this chance on net. Nashville has done a fantastic job of landing thunderous hits on Quinn Hughes to the point where he isn’t keeping the puck on his stick as much as he did during the regular season. So now those picture-perfect outlet passes of his? In this series, he’s hurrying them up a bit more, which can lead to a play like this where he just straight-up hits the wrong angle on his attempted pass off the boards.
Rather than getting Eifel Towered behind the net, he throws it hard and fast up to JT Miller, who misses the pass. And to Quinn’s credit, it’s still a very good attempt, and it’s pretty accurate. It’s just JT is checking his blind spot and takes his eyes off the play for a split second, and the pass ends up falling a bit short of his stick.
Best beat your meat
And again, give the Predators credit. They heard the cries of “Quinn Hughes is too small for the playoffs” and decided to test that theory by running him into the ground any chance they got:
There is no way Quinn didn’t leave that collision without some bruised ribs at the very minimum. He in fact missed a couple of shifts due to this hit, which means you know it had an effect on him.
Like, we know Quinn Hughes looks sad at the best of times. We know he carries himself like a divorced dad who just found out he was catfished on Tinder but is still wondering if he can make it work. But on Sunday, he looked even sadder than usual, which is a testament to the abuse Nashville was handing out to him:
All I know is if I got hit even half as hard as this, I would be having a Travis Wolford moment out on the ice, so kudos to NHL players for the absolute beatings they have to endure in the post-season.
Best never let them see you sweat
Alexandre Carrier hasn’t quite caught up to Alex Ovechkin in career goals, but a breakaway is never an easy test for an NHL goalie, so give Silovs his flowers for making this big stop on the Predators d-man:
Nashville once again ate up the middle of the ice, which led to Vancouver trying out a variety of bad-angle Jake Virtanen shots from the outside. And on some of those shots, the Canucks would find themselves caught deep in Nashville’s zone, watching as the Predators counter-attacked them as they did in the clip above.
All it takes is one JT Miller attempted hit where Tyler Myers doesn’t realize he needs to cover the guy JT released and baby, you’ve got a breakaway stew going.
Luckily, Silovs doesn’t appear to get rattled. The guy was doing Hulk Hogan poses after the game ended in overtime, so I think it’s safe to say this guy has some swagger to his game.
Best proof of concept for helmets
On a day in which Namestnikov had to be taken to the hospital after being hit with the puck, there was a scary moment in the Canucks game where Tyler Myers was dropped by a similar-looking play:
The Chaos Giraffe was down for a few moments but managed to get up under his own power and continue playing.
Best physical pushback
The Canucks ended up out-hitting the Predators on the night 35 to 31, but each hit is not alike in the NHL. Sam Lafferty hugging someone along the boards is not the same as Ryan McDonagh throwing a forearm into the back of Quinn Hughes.
And at this point in the game, it felt like Nashville was dishing out the most pain on the night.
The few players on the Canucks with pushback?
Well one was Dakota Joshua, who landed a hit that wasn’t flashy, but got the vaunted replay of McDonagh on the bench wincing:
That’s like the movie scene where the hero has a big fight, and when it’s over, he no sells it and tells you he’s fine, only to watch him discreetly check the stab wound on his chest moments later.
And who else but Nikita Zadorov would be the other guy handing out the punishment:
Look, I get it, we can’t get too excited about Zadorov’s performance in one playoff series. And it wasn’t like he played a perfect game, there were several times he thought he was Cale Makar and tried deking out the entire Predators team only to turn the puck over into a dangerous counter attack.
But from a primal, let’s watch someone try and kick the shit out of the other team and impose their will upon them way? Zadorov clearly needs to stay.
This guy is absolutely built for the playoffs. Even if he sometimes thinks he is Bobby Orr’s distant cousin at times, that doesn’t take away from the fact there has never been a big moment that he’s shied away from.
Best credit where credit is due
Nashville played pretty great hockey for the majority of the night, I won’t lie.
It’s hard to tell where Vancouver playing poorly met up with Nashville playing great, but overall, it felt like the Predators were the ones dictating how the game was going to be played on Sunday.
Best Pew Pew no more
Sometimes I wonder which is more cursed, a Pius Suter high danger chance, or an Ilya Mikheyev shot:
Pew Pew can’t pull away from Ryan McDonagh, and instead of shovelling the puck on net with a backhander and seeing what happens, he goes full Hank Sedin and pulls up to see if he can set up the trailer. In this case, it’s Brock Boeser, and passing to Brock in the slot isn’t the worst plan in the world. It’s just Brock had a guy covering him as well, and it ended up in a play with no shot on net.
This is one of those plays where if it works, we’re all celebrating the cerebral assassin Pius Suter, and when it doesn’t, we openly wonder if it should be illegal for him to ever play hockey again.
Best going up one
The Predators’ ability to counter the Canucks when they were deep in the offensive zone finally paid off when Nashville got their second goal of the night:
The Canucks initially tried to counter the Predators, who then turned around and countered the Canucks, as both teams essentially decided to play Uno on the ice.
The two-on-one for Nashville basically arises because Ian Cole ends up moving in really deep to shoot the puck, and nobody covers for him at the point. Dakota Joshua had a chance to slide back and provide coverage, but he went into the slot to provide a passing option. Ian Cole only knows one kind of life, and that’s bar down 24/7, so he takes the shot.
When the shot gets blocked, Nashville counter attacks the puck and finds an easy odd-man rush at their disposal.
Ian Cole then skates back and tells Zadorov to back off the shot, to which Gus Nyquist says thank you very much, and he makes a tremendous shot. Hard to fault Silovs on this one either.
End result it was 2-1 for Nashville.
Best close enough?
This feels like optics are what called this a penalty:
Hronek actually plays this really well, and makes sure not to hit any hands with his stick (the biggest no no in the NHL), but it’s how Zucker shifts to his side at the end that I think sells this. Nevermind that Zucker looks to be shifting angles to avoid the goalie (thus blowing Mike McCarron’s mind), the officials just sort of assume a tug had to be involved, and so they hand out a penalty.
This was not a great penalty call. If I were to leave a Yelp review, it would not be very flattering.
Best playoff hockey mentality
You get punched in the mouth you either fold or you stand right back up. And after going down a goal and then having to kill a penalty, Jimothy Timothy Miller stood straight up and asked for more:
Miller causes the turnover and then skates hard to the net, where after being taken out, he makes a pass from his ass, which isn’t crass, it’s just sass.
The fact he’s able to make that play is applause worthy. Like if I saw Miller on the Skytrain I would stand up and give three hearty claps for what he did here.
But because Pius Suter is forbidden from scoring from a high danger position, he hits the crossbar, as is tradition.
Best few and far between
Much like game three, the Canucks did generate a handful of scoring opportunities that could have easily turned into goals, had it not been for Saros and/or luck and/or hockey gods despising rain forest-based cities:
Once again it’s a shot from Jake Virtanen’s office as the Canucks fail to get to the middle of the ice. But this time, the rebound leads to Nils Höglander almost wrapping the puck around into the net.
But as we know, that’s a save Juuse Saros and those damn legs of his makes, unlike Tim Thomas.
Best accepting responsibility
I did get a chuckle out of Lauzon hammering away at Conor Garland with cross checks and then being surprised and annoyed he was called on the third one:
Hey, you know what doesn’t break down no matter how badly you treat it?
Corolla Garland.
Best low point
I thought game three was promising for Elias Pettersson. His underlying numbers were decent, all things considered, and he had a couple of moments where he looked like vintage EP40 was starting to shine.
And while the playoffs can be a cruel mistress at the best of times (people calling for EP to be healthy scratched, that’s a bit much), this was the play where I honestly started wondering if he was playing through an injury:
Now, I would never wish an injury upon anyone, but part of you hopes he is hurt because that’s the simplest explanation for his poor play. You almost hope it comes out he lost a hand in a tragic Alpaca incident, and he had it replaced with a Jaime Lannister special and he was simply trying to play through it. Then we could all discreetly delete our angry tweets about his play and adjust our opinion of how his post-season has gone.
But no matter what is happening, that play is a bad look. EP40 sees the pass is out of reach and he simply…watches.
To his credit, he makes a spirited effort to skate once he sees the odd-man rush has begun in earnest, but that play should never happen in the first place. If he had the energy to skate back, he had the energy to get to the puck in the first place. In the playoffs where one bounce can mean the difference between victory and defeat, you absolutely cannot have one of your top players stare at a puck in a moment like that.
Now, we have seen JT Miller do this in the past. Being a bit lazy on the ice is something that can happen to any player.
But when EP40 isn’t bringing the physicality or the defensive edge to his game, a play like this is going to stand out very brightly as a “WTF is going on with Elias?” moment.
If the Canucks had lost this game, this clip would be running on loop on social media for days.
Luckily for EP it will be lost to the joys of a comeback, but time is running out for Elias to figure out his game.
Also, yes, that is Arturs Silovs making another tremendous save. Eddie Lack would have wanted me to point that out to you. Silovs was very good at getting his blocker thingy on the puck.
Best more of the Arty Party
Speaking of Silovs, he was equally as good using his hand thingy to stop the puck as well:
You can see the swagger in that glove save. You can see him putting a bit of spice on that save. He was feeling it on Sunday.
Best kickstart my  heart
Nashville would then make it 3-1 early in the first period on Filip Forsberg’s goal that certainly looked like it belonged in the Champions League more than the NHL:
The rule for kicking in the puck is that you can’t make a distinct kicking motion on a goal. You can announce “I’m going to kick this in now!” but as long as you don’t make that kicking motion, you’re fine.
Now it treads the line at times when a player angles his skate, because that’s certainly a motion, and then you have decided how kicky it was. And on this play, that feels far more like it was kicked at rather than angled in.
But in the NHL, coaches cannot challenge kicked in goals. You can challenge offsides and goaltender interference, but somehow kicking the puck is purely up to the NHL.
And in this case, the league decided it was fine, nothing to see here, move along.
Does this make sense? Not really. I would assume the league doesn’t want to bog the game down with too many challenges, but how often do we see a debate over a kicked in goal? It feels like it’s few and far between.
Best Big Z goes all the way to 11
The thing with Zaddy Daddy is he only knows one way to live: ALL OUT ALL THE TIME:
Down 3-1 in the third, I’m not quite sure that’s the time to get creative with the puck in our own zone, but who am I to question the best dressed Canuck on the team. For all I know this play was a fashion statement.
Best grasping at anything
Nashville essentially went into shut down mode for the third period, and honestly, before the end-of-game shenanigans started, this was the Canucks’ best scoring chance in the third:
Sam Lafferty taking a shot on net in which Saros was ready and waiting.
That was honestly the clip I thought this game might end on at one point.
You can see why this article had a very different tone until around 3 minutes left.
Best going full Z
Like I said, who am I to question Nikita Zadorov?
Down 3-1 with under four minutes left, should Zadorov be trying to dangle around multiple people? Probably not.
But the man has an extensive sunglass collection because his future is so bright, so who am I to question him?
Best and so it begins
The Canucks powerplay has been an issue for half of the season.
The Canucks had been unable to get to the middle of the ice ALL GAME LONG.
So you’ll excuse me if I didn’t have high hopes of the Canucks scoring a goal with Silovs pulled.
Yet…
That is Brock Boeser scoring his second of the game. And it happened because for the briefest of moments, Nashville broke down in their own zone.
Which is funny, because initially they are doing their usual thing of clogging up the middle of the ice. But the Canucks move the puck around so efficiently that Nashville starts over extending a bit, and then Joe Lauzon goes full Sex Giraffe and falls to the ice, taking him out of the play. And with the extra man and extra room on the ice, well bah gawd, that’s The Flow’s music.
Brock even misses the handles on the puck initially, but calmly recovers and goes top shelf where Gnash keeps the illegal painkillers.
The skill from Brock on this goal cannot be understated enough. If that’s Suter, that’s crossbar and out. If that’s Garland, he spins and finds someone in the slot with the pass. If that’s Mikheyev, he retires from the game of hockey rather than be forced into making a decision there.
But Boeser just goes upstairs like the question of if he’d ever get 30 goals in a season was a stupid question, and how dare you for ever asking it.
And another thing that occurred just before this goal was an Elias Pettersson zone entry:
Now you might be saying to yourself “A zone entry? Big whoop? I make zone entries every time I eat too much at Subway.”
But for the majority of the night, the Canucks found themselves dumping the puck in and losing the battle to recover it. Gaining Nashville’s zone in control of the puck was a vital part of this goal, and as cliché as it sounds, you just have to hope for EP40’s sake that he gets a bit of confidence from this.
Best horseshoes and hand grenades
The best part about all of this? Colton Sissons was THIS close to icing this game away:
Like, Colton had this game on his stick. He didn’t deal with traffic on the Lions Gate Bridge his entire childhood just to hit the post in this situation. This was the equivalent of getting onto the Lions Gate when both arrows are going your direction only to see one lane go yellow immediately.
How close was it? The entire bench thought the game was over and celebrated as if it was done:
Believe, baby.
Best rains of Vancouver
That Lord of CastamereBut now the rains weep o’er his hallAnd not a soul to hear
And so he spoke, and so he spokeThat Lord of CastamereBut now the rains weep o’er his hallAnd not a soul to hear
and so he spoke
Here’s the thing about the Canucks. They have incredible top end talent.
JT Miller, Quinn Hughes, Brock Boeser, and yes, Elias Pettersson, they can all end games by themselves.
So when you give them a chance to win you a game? That’s on their resume. They can do that.
It’s why despite an entire night of getting the shit kicked out of him like the high school bully was demanding his lunch money, in the biggest moment of the game, Quinn Hughes absolutely ethered Gustav Nyquist.
Watch it again:
Nyquist slides through the frame like his home planet called and needed him back.
That play is what opens up so much room for the Canucks because, as we saw on the second goal, if a dude falls to the ice when they’re outnumbered, it creates a ton of space on the ice.
Elias Pettersson now has time to find JT Miller.
JT Miller now has time to skate into a high danger spot to get a shot off.
And what have we learned about JT Miller taking shots?
Apparently Nashville fears that more than anything in the world. Much like the first goal they overreact to JT Miller in the slot. Maybe it was due to the high pressure situation, maybe the moment was too big for them, but Ryan O’Reilly and Roman Josi both utilize the Sex Giraffe on this play. Both men dive to get into the way of Miller’s shot, which only ends up taking them out of the play, leaving plenty of open ice.
And what have we learned about open spots on the ice?
Brock Boeser absolutely feasts on that shit.
By the time JT Miller gets the shot off, Boeser is already swooping in and actually tips the shot from JT Miller.
Brock then gets the rebound and just misses scoring on the play.
Then Brock collects that rebound and pulls the puck back to get the shot into the net, completing his hat trick.
So in total, Brock got three shots off in a handful of seconds to tie the game up, and Nashville could do nothing about it.
And guess who comes flying into the frame, jockstrap around his ankles, too late to stop all of this?
Gustav Nyquist.
Best big talking point
I have talked for years of wanting a net front Tyler Myers, but I didn’t realize what I actually wanted all along was net front Zadorov.
Zadorov won’t get a lot of praise on this play, but him being a net front presence was a vital part of this goal. Nikita boxes out Ryan McDonagh, preventing him from getting a stick on Brock Boeser. As a result of this, Zadorov and McDonagh are set up in the crease, so Nyquist has to try and go around them as he comes back into the play, which ends up boxing him out of the play as well.
The Canucks coaching staff deserves credit for having the guts to run Zadorov in front of the net in this scenario.
Best advice
But like, seriously. This is real advice.
Best comeback complete
It felt inevitable that Nashville would lose the game once Boeser tied it up.
You don’t go from celebrating what you thought was the empty net goal to clinch the victory to having enough mental energy to dig deep enough to play some overtime hockey.
So it wasn’t too surprising to see Vancouver end this one early, just under a minute into the first overtime:
Remember how Elias Lindholm couldn’t score goals in the regular season? Me neither.
The best part about this goal was Corolla Garland suckering in Luke Schenn behind the net. Conor Garland makes that cut back behind the net constantly, that’s a staple of his game, but Schenn bites on it. He thinks Garland is going to keep on going behind the net, not realizing that Corolla’s have tighter handling than you realize:
And you know how you can tell Nashville was rattled out of their minds? That was the first time all game they allowed someone to get to the front of the net and be as open as Elias Lindholm was on this play.
Look at him, not a single Predator is around him.
During the game? He’d have three dudes staring him down.
But in overtime, after they just blew a 3-1 lead? Nashville was mentally cooked.
Sometimes, you get punched in the face. And you have to decide if you want to stand up or sit down.
The Canucks stood up tonight.
Best earning his keep
I would have given Silovs the start based on how he played, but after he did the Hulk Hogan ear motion to the crowd after Lindholm’s goal? He’s locked in now:
The kid has swagger, what did I tell you?
Best don’t even joke

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