Canucks: 3 takeaways from 9-2 loss to the Lightning

1 of 3

Two winning streaks came to a head-on collision as J.T. Miller and the Vancouver Canucks visited the Tampa Bay Lightning. The home team came away with a convincing 9-2 victory.

Coming into Tuesday night’s clash, the red-hot Vancouver Canucks were determined to bring an end to the seven-game winning streak of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Dethroning last year’s Presidents’ Trophy winners, all while gathering their eighth straight victory, would send the perfect message to the entire league — that the Canucks are a playoff team.

The addition of J.T. Miller to the wing of Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser has made a very considerable difference in offensive production. The Canucks were eager to deploy the Lotto Line in the state of Florida and thus show the Lightning how lucky they are to have acquired the talented two-way forward.

But the Canucks gave up six goals in the second period, en route to a brutal 9-2 defeat. Miller was the lone player of the top line trio that was unable to secure himself a point. Jolted by a monstrous loss, the Canucks were forced back down to earth with a reality check against Tampa Bay.

Here’s what we learned.

Reality check for Canucks

Tampa Bay is an Eastern Conference powerhouse with ownership that expects 16 wins in the playoffs this season. The Canucks, on the other hand, would be happy playing more than 82 games this year, and escaping the first round would exceed expectations.

Over the past few years, while the Canucks have been hungry for playoff hockey, Steven Stamkos and the Lightning have been starving for a Stanley Cup. That was the biggest difference when the league’s two hottest teams clashed down south — two clubs teams with matching win records.

Everything was fine and dandy. Pettersson potted a nice goal off a turnover that was scooped up by Boeser to mark the ninth straight contest where Vancouver opened the scoring. The game remained tight deep into the second period. Canucks looked like they were handling it, but that’s when the wheels fell off.

Jacob Markstrom had arguably his worst performance of the year. The overworked netminder let in six goals before getting yanked from the net in favour of Thatcher Demko. Four of those goals were counted against Vancouver in three minutes of playing time. Marky can’t do it all himself, and even Superman needs a day off every now and then.

Demko wasn’t much better, but at that point, it didn’t really matter. Vancouver had simply given up and things got feisty. Not much surprise there as the Canucks’ reality was turned upside down in a catastrophic 9-2 loss.