Coming off their 6-2 loss at home to the Vegas Golden Knights, the Vancouver Canucks took on the New York Rangers last night, winning by a score of 4-1.
The Vancouver Canucks were looking to bounce back after their second straight loss that came on Saturday night. Winners of just two of their last ten games prior to last night’s tilt, the Canucks were looking to get something going. Here are my three takeaways from last night’s entertaining tilt.
You get a game misconduct, you get a game misconduct!
In the words of the great Bob Cole, oh baby, that game could have gotten out of hand in a hurry. It all began when Rangers forward Chris Kreider, who is infamous for injuring star players — goalies in particular — delivered this elbow to the face of Elias Pettersson.
You can see in the video that Pettersson avoids the hit as he usually does, but was unable to get out of the way of the elbow that came flying his way as Kreider followed through. I was at the game, and because the puck was away from Pettersson, I only caught a glimpse of the play but saw Pettersson on the ground right away.
You hear about it on the broadcasts how a hush falls over an arena when a player gets hurt. Especially a star player such as Pettersson. After the boos directed at Kreider had quieted a bit and Pettersson was still on the ice clutching his face, the arena then went into a hush.
That was, until the replay of the play was put up on the scoreboard — then the silence turned into what was hands down some of the loudest booing I have ever heard at Rogers Arena. Then again, I wasn’t there when the Florida Panthers visited back in January and fans got a chance to voice their displeasure with defenceman Mike Matheson — who also hurt Pettersson earlier in the year. To say Canucks fans love their star rookie is a grave understatement.
Originally, Kreider was escorted to the penalty box and was still hearing it from the fans inside the arena. Then the referees talked it over and decided to give Kreider a five-minute penalty and a game misconduct.
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When the penalty was announced as five minutes and Kreider began the long skate from the box to the Rangers tunnel, the fans at the arena voiced their pleasure with a loud cheer, followed up by an even louder boo directed at Kreider.
Shortly after, Antoine Roussel took a hit to the head from Brendan Lemieux and then his knee bent under him in a way that human knees are not supposed to ever bend. He had to be helped off the ice and Lemieux was handed a five-minute penalty and a game misconduct as well, for the illegal check to the head. The Canucks scored on the play, and Roussel picked up an assist.
After the game, it was announced that Roussel will miss the remainder of the year. It’s tough to see any player go down with an injury, but it’s especially tough to see one who brings so much energy and passion to the team go down with one.
The game had two game misconducts and resulted in the Canucks having ten minutes of power play time in the second period, where they scored three goals. One came from Brock Boeser, and the other two from Tyler Motte. Motte almost completed the hat-trick late in the game when the Rangers had their net empty, as his teammates were all trying to find him to cap off the hat-trick.
The teams were playing hard last night and that game could have gotten much, much uglier had the refs not taken action and handed out the penalties they did.