Canucks: 3 takeaways from the 6-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs

VANCOUVER, BC - APRIL 18: Bo Horvat #53 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates after scoring the game winning goal on goalie Jack Campbell #36 of the Toronto Maple Leafs as John Tavares #91 looks on during the overtime period of NHL hockey action at Rogers Arena on April 17, 2021 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - APRIL 18: Bo Horvat #53 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates after scoring the game winning goal on goalie Jack Campbell #36 of the Toronto Maple Leafs as John Tavares #91 looks on during the overtime period of NHL hockey action at Rogers Arena on April 17, 2021 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 4
Next
Braden Holtby stops Auston Matthews. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Braden Holtby stops Auston Matthews. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /

Braden Holtby continues to shine between the pipes

After his best performance in a Canuck uniform on Sunday night, Braden Holtby once again showed up to win.

He entered Tuesday’s contest with an all-time record of 11-7-1 against the Maple Leafs, as well as a .918 SV% and 2.57 GAA, and he backed those numbers up big time. Holtby stopped 37 of 40 shots faced, including two or three big saves in the final few minutes of the third period when the Leafs were desperately pressing.

Despite similar shot totals to his previous contest, Holtby wasn’t as busy in the crease compared to Sunday night, but that didn’t stop him from being completely dialled in.

He was able to shut down Toronto’s dynamic duo of Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner for much of the game, limiting them to only one point apiece. The team, overall, had more trouble containing the second line of Alex Kerfoot, John Tavares and William Nylander, but you can’t blame Holtby for those goals against.

Holtby appeared much more comfortable with his overall rebound control and puck management, rarely giving up secondary scoring chances in his own end. Much like Thatcher Demko’s play prior to the three-week layoff, Holtby was able to provide the team with a boost of confidence and energy for the full 60 minutes, and he was the main reason that the Canucks were able to come away with an important two points.

Has Holtby’s two-game performance propelled him into the 1A goalie position? Unlikely.

Demko served as the backup on Tuesday night, indicating that he’s healthy enough to return to play whenever the coach calls upon him. It also wouldn’t be surprising if rookie Michael Dipietro sees some action between the pipes, especially towards the tail end of the season if the team falls out of the playoff conversation.

But, no matter what happens in the coming weeks, you can’t deny that Holtby was lights out over the past two games against the Maple Leafs. Once again, he came up with timely saves when the team needed him most, and his strong play should be whole-heartedly applauded.