Canucks: 3 takeaways from 4-2 win over the Calgary Flames

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 13: Quinn Hughes #43 of the Vancouver Canucks knocks Johnny Gaudreau #13 of the Calgary Flames to the ice while chasing after a loose puck during NHL hockey action at Rogers Arena on February 13, 2021 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 13: Quinn Hughes #43 of the Vancouver Canucks knocks Johnny Gaudreau #13 of the Calgary Flames to the ice while chasing after a loose puck during NHL hockey action at Rogers Arena on February 13, 2021 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
1 of 3
Next
VANCOUVER, BC – FEBRUARY 13: Quinn Hughes #43 of the Vancouver Canucks knocks Johnny Gaudreau #13 of the Calgary Flames to the ice. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC – FEBRUARY 13: Quinn Hughes #43 of the Vancouver Canucks knocks Johnny Gaudreau #13 of the Calgary Flames to the ice. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /

In their final home game of the season, the Vancouver Canucks secured the win over the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-2.

As the regular season winds down in agonizing fashion, fans were reminded that there is more to the game than just hockey, as yesterday’s contest was also the Canucks’ Frontline Worker Appreciation Game, acknowledging all the hard work our frontline workers have done throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The boys in blue took today’s warmup in special jerseys, with their nameplates accompanied by names from frontline workers across the province, followed by a special Fan Hero Award ceremony, honouring those continuing to do their part throughout the pandemic.

Yesterday’s pre-game ceremonies were a nice touch by the Canucks marketing team, as they continue to applaud our everyday heroes in unique ways, as the seats in Rogers Arena remain unfilled.

Now, after falling behind early on Sunday, it was the Canucks who came firing out the gate.

In his NHL debut, Will Lockwood, lining up alongside Jimmy Vesey and Travis Boyd, played with intensity from his first shift of the game. The trio led all lines with a 63.64 CF% in 9:34 at 5v5, according to Natural Stat Trick.

After impressing during training camp, Lockwood’s Canucks audition on Tuesday was another pleasant surprise for fans already looking towards next year.

The first period saw the Canucks score two goals. The first came at 9:43, off a Travis Hamonic shot in the slot, tucked far side on former Canuck Louis Domingue. The goal came off a nifty feed from Tyler Graovac, who recorded his first assist of the season on the tally.

Hamonic’s second goal in as many games came at the perfect time for the Canucks, as the Flames seemed to dominate possession up to this point but lacked any offensive potency.

The Canucks grasped a two-goal lead in the period’s final minute, off a great hustle play from Nils Höglander.

The rookie’s excellent work along the boards led to a Tyler Myers point shot through traffic that Domingue couldn’t control, allowing Höglander to clean up the mess for his 13th of the year.

After an opportunistic first period, the final 40 minutes of the frame was almost all Calgary. The Flames peppered Thatcher Demko with 32 shots, racking up 13 high-danger chances in that time.

As the tale usually goes, the team dominating possession racked up goals and ran away with the game.

Just kidding, of course not.

Calgary was “rewarded” for their efforts with a nasty Myers goal, off an equally nice feed from Brock Boeser.

While he has his lumps, you have to give credit to Myers for his ability to join the rush. Sometimes it curses you, and sometimes it gives you sequences such as this.

Myers giveth and Myers taketh.

While the Flames took some time to get going, they did their best to solve Demko, but the Canucks netminder shut the door as best he could. As per usual, he tracked pucks exceptionally well, made difficult saves look easy with his sound positioning, and exhibited superb rebound control.

Demko maintained the shutout until 16:38 of the third period, when Andrew Mangiapane caught three Canucks behind the net, charging the crease for his 17th goal of the season.

As made abundantly clear by Demko’s nod as the first star of the game, this game would have fallen into Calgary’s lap had it not been for the American.

In classic Canucks fashion, yesterday’s matinee turned nerve-wracking for a hot second after Matthew Tkachuk pulled the Flames within one with a minute to go.

Demko left just enough room between his glove-side and the post, allowing Tkachuk to swat home the rebound from a Johnny Gaudreau shot.

However, the Canucks pulled through in (hopefully) their final game in an empty Rogers Arena, as Brock Boeser provided empty-net insurance, his 23rd of the year.

While controversy has followed the franchise incessantly throughout the season, it’s nice to see the team end their home schedule on a positive note.

With that being said, here are three takeaways from yesterday’s win.