1. Thatcher Demko was strong between the pipes again
By far the best Canuck this season, Thatcher Demko once again made sure his team only lost by three. It would have been much worse without him and his stellar play.
Demko stopped 33 out of 36 Pittsburgh Penguins. His back must be hurt from carrying the team in front of him. You have to feel sorry for the poor guy at this point.
Some of his best saves of the night include stopping Sidney Crosby on a first-period penalty kill and stopping a Jake Guentzel one-timer in the third.
With the way Demko has been playing, he is making a case for the 2022 US Olympic hockey team.
2. Canucks have slow start and give poor effort
As mentioned earlier, the Canucks were outshot double in the first. At the halfway point in the opening frame, they only had two shots on goal.
They started slow and couldn’t recover.
“We got off to a slow start today,” said J.T. Miller. “We were chasing the game…Just not good enough.”
The effort was not there on Wednesday night. It did show up in the later parts of the third period but it was too little and too late.
The Canucks once again were not creating good scoring chances and there were plenty of turnovers.
One glaring example is this brutal one by Quinn Hughes. Not too sure who he intended to pass it to but it went straight to Evan Rodrigues who then scored. It was a rough night for Hughes as he kept turning the puck over.
Here is another one.
Tucker Poolman joins the rush into the offensive zone and decides to make a drop-pass to Nils Höglander. The Penguins get ahold of the puck and get up the ice on a two-on-one. At this point Poolman and three other Canucks are in too deep and Kyle Burroughs is left alone on the two-on-one.
Zach Aston-Reese makes them pay.
Oh, and Poolman was signed to a four-year contract worth 2.5 million dollars in the offseason. He was on the ice for ten scoring chances against and three scoring chances for as well as five high danger chances against and one high danger chance for.
Also, leaving Crosby all alone in the front of the net isn’t the best idea either.
The defending was woeful with the turnovers and made the Penguins look dangerous on the rush they got easy chances on Demko.
The offence looked lifeless for the most part and did not look threatening at all.