Roller coaster affair, Canucks find way to secure shootout victory – .

Roller coaster affair, Canucks find way to secure shootout victory – .

The Vancouver Canucks crush two-goal deficits and explode two-goal leads. They’re up, they’re down, winning shootouts, losing shootouts. They have the fans on the other team booing or roaring with joy.
Dude, what a season. And those are just the Canucks’ first two games.

With 80 left to play in the Vancouver National Hockey League schedule, it’s too early for anyone without self-invented simulation models to definitely call the Canucks good or bad, but they’ve been fun to see. watch so far. And with the NHL and its fans gathered in arenas after the COVID-19 split, the fun seems important.

On the road in a hostile building – Philadelphia fans can be hostile to any team, including their own – the Canucks lost a two-goal lead in the final two and a half minutes of the third period on Friday, to dominate overtime before winning 5-4 in a shootout when Flyers goaltender Carter Hart turned pumpkin again.

The one-game bungee jump followed the Canucks’ season opener Wednesday loss in Edmonton, where they rebounded from a two-goal delay before falling 3-2 to the Oilers in a shootout.

The bottom line is that this flawed club, with a bunch of new players in the lineup and a bunch of old ones still unavailable, launched into the regular season taking three out of four points at the start of a road trip from six games. .

“We got better as the game progressed,” Canucks coach Travis Green said Friday night. “We weren’t very good in the first half. Philly has surrounded us in our area. I didn’t think we had our skater legs. We spoke to the team after the first one, and I really like the way they responded. The second half was good. I thought our third period could have been our best period.

“For the most part, I’ve probably enjoyed five of our six periods so far, and it’s good to see our guys pay off tonight.


It’s almost ridiculous now to call Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko a “Bubble Demko” every time he plays well because he has done so so often since his brief and brilliant appearance in the playoff bubble there. has two summers. Its identity deserves a much deeper (and updated) foundation.

Due to the twists and turns and emotions at the end of the game, Demko’s sublime work in the opening period, when he appeared to be the only Canuck facing the Flyers roster, was easy to overlook. Philadelphia made the first eight shots of the game, outscored Vancouver 14-5 in the opening 20 minutes, but led only 1-0. And that goal was a fluke, the rebound from Joel Farabee’s shot bouncing off Canucks defenseman Tucker Poolman.

The most fundamental element of Friday’s win was that Demko was way better than Hart, who was horrible in the middle of the period before making a bunch of saves in the final 25 minutes.

But during the shooting, Demko stared at Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux, while Hart was beaten badly by Elias Pettersson and JT Miller. Hart sort of lost his angle on Pettersson, leaving the Canucks’ top player with a ton of open net to the left of the goalie’s receiving glove.

“At the last second I changed (my shot) because I saw there was an opening on the side of the low glove,” Pettersson explained. “So I went to this when I saw the opening. “


There was a lot of talk after the game over a contested penalty call against Canucks defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and a questionable ice call that Vancouver winger Matthew Highmore appeared to beat, which allowed the return of Philadelphia. But we haven’t talked enough about Canucks captain Bo Horvat, who needlessly put the puck between the Flyers third and fourth baseline by shooting for the empty net from his blue line.

Horvat is generally excellent on five-on-six defense, but on the icing that led to the face-off before Giroux’s tying goal at 6:48 pm, the Canuck had room to skate with the puck or make a soft chip. but rather combed the void. net 120 feet apart.

“The icing on the cake is one of those games that you would love to get back, but I thought he (Highmore) had beaten it,” Green said.


Part of the Canucks’ second-period push that saw them score four times was fueled by the sheer, undiluted euphoria of rookie Vasily Podkolzin after scoring his first NHL goal to tie 1-1: 2: 36.

After a nice play in Tyler Myers’ neutral zone to start a three-on-two run, Podkolzin carried the puck on the right wing, watched the pass, then shot brilliantly under the bar on the glove side on Hart. It was with a similar shot that Pettersson scored his famous first goal against Mike Smith and the Calgary Flames three years ago.

“I’m so happy for him because when he scored I remembered 2018 when I scored my first goal,” said Pettersson. “I just remembered the joy I had, like something was exploding inside of me. I mean (from Podkolzin) worked so hard. He always comes with a smile to practice so he’s a great guy to have on the squad and I’m really happy he got the first one there.

Green said, “We were joking with him this morning. I told him I had a feeling he was going to have one tonight. It’s great to see. It is such a special moment, something you will never forget. Everyone knows. . . it is difficult to access this league. And to get that first goal, you always dreamed of it when you were a kid.


Miller said he didn’t feel the Flyers took the game away from the Canucks late in the third. What he felt at the time, besides confidence, was gratitude for the privilege of performing in front of 19,338 screaming fans at the Wells Fargo Center.

“You don’t want to give up two goals in the dying minutes,” Miller said. “But at the start of extra time I looked up into the crowd and it was chilling to feel that again. It’s a big reason we play. We need the fans; they must be here. It was a pretty rock atmosphere. I definitely took a step back before extra time and realized how kind and lucky we are to have the fans back.


We would need a thousand more words to fully unbox this game, but Canucks twin dynamos Conor Garland and Nils Hoglander still seemed to be on or stalking the puck. They were excellent. But another striker who was really good but had little love was control center Jason Dickinson, who had three shots and three hits and whose team had a 10-2 advantage and 80.1 percent of expected goals when he was on the ice at five years old. out of five.


Pettersson, who had six shots on goal for a second straight game, went 0 for 7 in the faceoff. No one asked him about that when he was available Zoom after the game.

“No questions about faceoffs? He thought as he left the microphone. “They will be better. “


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