What happened and thoughts on the game
The Canucks didn’t want a repeat of Saturday’s woeful start against the Ducks and this time they started as fast as The Flash.
Just 11 seconds into the game, Tyler Motte got Vancouver on the board. Boudreau has really liked the line of Motte, Juho Lammikko and Matthew Highmore and has refused to split them. One reason why must be because of the way they forecheck. After Motte dumps it in, Lammikko and Highmore put pressure on the Kraken and Motte buried it past Chris Driedger.
Despite the quick start, the Canucks continued to display the sloppiness from the Anaheim game. They had trouble entering the offensive zone, weren’t making good passes and got caught napping on defence.
The Kraken were quick to tie it up as the Canucks were caught on a two-on-one and Jared McCann (playing his 400th NHL game) beat Thatcher Demko. The former Canuck scored his 21st goal of the season and is on pace for career-high numbers.
Tyler Myers looked like his controller disconnected while defending here.
The Canucks also gave up a shorthanded goal from Mark Giordano as Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes were caught napping.
However, the Lammikko line got back to work in the second. Lammikko pressured Mason Appleton and Tyler Motte found the loose puck and passed it back to Lammikko and passed up to Travis Hamonic. It looked like Driedger made the save at first but Hamonic got his first goal of the season and his 200th NHL point.
Great job by Highmore on the screen here as well as the forecheck and puck movement from Lammikko and Motte.
We have to talk about this bizarre sequence. Everyone was battling for the puck but apparently, there was a rip in the space-time continuum and the puck found its way to the other side of the ice where Hamonic and Pearson were carrying it towards the Kraken zone. Hamonic almost got his second but was foiled Driedger. If he scored, the memes would have been a thousand times funnier.
Vasily Podkolzin hasn’t scored in 16 games. His last goal was on January 1 which was against the Kraken.
Fortunately, he got back on the scoresheet for his eighth of the season. The goal started with Hughes throwing a hit and Pettersson got the puck and passed it to Hughes. He then threw it on goal and Podkolzin batted in the rebound and the Canucks took the lead. Podkolzin was at the right place at the right time.
The power play has in the last few games and it continued to look lifeless against the Kraken. Bo Horvat has also faced criticism from Canucks fans over the past few days for his lack of effort against the Ducks and his lack of production the past few games. (He only had six points in his last 13 games and had zero hits the last two games.)
However, the power play came alive early in the third period with a classic Horvat bumper goal which must have felt good for him.
Pearson sealed the game with an empty netter.
It was a much better effort this time around. Sure, there were still some sloppy defending and some bad passes but there was an effort to win puck battles and some quicker transitions up the ice. The fourth line really stepped up their game and you could see why Boudreau likes having them together with their forechecking and energy. They had a High Danger Corsi For of 75% per NaturalStatTrick.
Yes, the Kraken are a bad team but it was nice to see a good effort from the Canucks after that horrid game against the Ducks.