In their first visit to Little Caesars Arena, the Vancouver Canucks played a near-perfect game in a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings. We take a look at three key lessons from the victory.
The Vancouver Canucks have to feel good about this one, as their impressive 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings ensures that they will leave with more than half the available points. But it was the performance all-around that this team should be proud of most.
Vancouver — who entered this game with just three wins in their last 11 against the Red Wings — completely dominated their old Western Conference foes with a 4-1 victory. It was just their second win in the Motor City in the past five years.
There was nothing to dislike about this game. Jacob Markstom shrugged off a soft goal and made some big saves, the defence gave Detroit few chances in the third. And oh, this low-scoring team put four on the board!
The Canucks move to 3-1-0 on the road trip, and will cap it off with a visit against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday. Regardless of the outcome, they have to be happy in knowing they’ll take no less than six of the 10 available points.
Here are three key takeaways from the Canucks (rare), win in Detroit.
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Derek Dorsett can’t and won’t be stopped
Have a day, Derek Dorsett.
This “overpaid” fourth-liner scored his fifth tally of the season, which held up to be the game-winner. Dorsett also had four shots on goal and dished out three hits while playing 15:18 — more minutes than both Sedin twins.
That’s now four goals for Dorsett in his last three games. Is it sustainable? Well no. But it’s nice to see this big bottom-six player earning his cash a bit. Dorsett will surely reach double-digit goals this season, which is more than Canucks fans can ask for.
Side note: He reminds me a little bit of Jeff Cowan. You all remember him, right?
Dorsett was once again all over the ice. You can never have too much of a high-character player who will fight for the loose pucks, dish out the hits and score the dirty goals. Thus far, Dorsett has been the team’s MVP. Just as we all expected.
Markus Granlund scored his first goal of the season against the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. On Sunday, two more of the Canucks key forwards chose a good day to score their firsts of the season.
Sven Baertschi scored twice to (hopefully), get his offence going. He opened the scoring in the first then scored on a beautiful wrister late in the second to provide the Canucks with some early insurance. Finally, slump busted.
The Canucks also got a big goal from Jake Virtanen, who was visibly happy and relieved after finally scoring his first of the season. He showed great chemistry with the Sedins, and will get more opportunities to score.
So that means basically every Canucks key forward has a goal except Sam Gagner and Henrik Sedin. But for now, it’s a relief to see both Baertschi and Virtanen finally capitalize on their opportunities.
Jacob Markstrom reclaims the crease
In a battle that is probably far from over, Jacob Markstrom has once again gotten a leg up in the starting goalie competition over Anders Nilsson. Markstrom made 20 saves, but many of them were tough ones that prevented Detroit from taking leads early in the game.
Markstrom has shown the mental toughness in these last two games; shutting the door on both the Sabres and Red Wings after giving up ugly goals in the opening frames. He moves to 3-2-1 on the season with a 2.48 goals against average and .908 save percentage.
Though it’s hard to ignore his porous outings earlier in the season, Markstrom has looked fairly solid thus far. With consecutive strong showings, you have to think the starting job is his to lose.
If he starts and leads the Canucks to another victory over Minnesota on Tuesday, then Markstrom will probably end the goalie debate for now. It’s tough to ignore the strong showings he’s done on the road.