Special teams big difference once again
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, but special teams will continue to make or break the Canucks this season.
It appeared hopeful for the home team early on, killing off Florida’s red-hot powerplay at the end of the first period before drawing a penalty of their own.
The duo made their impact right away, contributing to the double deflection that made its way past Knight for the opening goal of the game. The tally was eventually rewarded to Chiasson, marking his sixth powerplay point of the season, which is good for fourth amongst all players behind Miller, Pettersson and Boeser.
Vancouver was rewarded with two more powerplay opportunities in the second period, but were unable to set up any sort of offensive pressure in Florida’s zone, aside from a Pearson wrister that clanged off of the post.
The Canucks also managed to stay focused and disciplined throughout the middle frame, something that they’ve excelled at doing since Boudreau took over at the helm.
Unfortunately, that was short-lived entering the final frame after Höglander took an unnecessary tripping infraction that sent Florida back to the man-advantage. Like we’ve seen far too often this season, the Panthers didn’t waste their opportunity, tying the game thanks to local boy Sam Reinhart’s 12th goal of the year.
The Canucks were able to bounce back on their final powerplay chance of the evening, highlighted by sustained pressure and quality puck-movement, but eventually came up short in securing the game-winning goal on the man advantage.
And if the Canucks want any hope of climbing back into the playoff conversation, they’ll need to find ways to execute their special team strikes much better than they’re currently doing right now.
- Quinn Hughes registered the secondary assist on Chiasson’s goal, bringing the puck-moving blueliner up to two goals and 30 assists in 40 games this year. Hughes currently sits second in team scoring behind Miller, and is tied with John Carlson for seventh in scoring amongst all NHL defencemen.
- Friday’s contest also marked Vancouver’s 10th annual Hockey Talks night, an initiative that aims to end the negative stigma around mental health through open dialogue and awareness. Hockey Talks was inspired by Rick Rypien, who lost his battle to clinical depression back in 2011.
The Canucks will continue their mini homestand on Sunday night, taking on Ryan O’Reilly and the St. Louis Blues. Puck drop is set for 7:00pm PST.
What are your thoughts from Friday’s shootout loss to Florida? Make sure to drop a comment below!