Thoughts of the game
From the start of the game, there were a lot of shots from the point. That wasn’t just coming from the Islanders, the Canucks were also throwing pucks from the point through screens.
Vancouver’s start to this game was a massive improvement from their start last game. There was some urgency to get some scoring chances and there weren’t as many defensive mistakes.
The power play looked kind of sluggish, however. The passes weren’t really clean and they had trouble taking passes. There was a moment where Bo Horvat was in the bumper but he couldn’t take the pass cleanly.
It was a dull first period and the Canucks fell behind early in the second period.
Tyler Myers made a nice play to break up the Islanders rush but then made a blind pass and he and Oliver Ekman-Larsson ended up screening Demko as Noah Dobson got a shot through from the point.
Thankfully, the Canucks didn’t wilt. Not long after, Maple Ridge native Brad Hunt got his first as a Canuck with, you guessed it, a shot from the point. Travis Hamonic probably should have got a penalty for taking down Sebastian Aho (different player, not the guy from the Carolina Hurricanes in case you are wondering.) but the Canucks will take the break.
The forecheck came alive after the goal. They were moving the puck well especially on the boards as they got lots of good zone time.
Höglander threw the puck around the boards and Quinn Hughes won the board battle and J.T. Miller tipped in Brock Boeser’s shot from near the blue line.
With the goal, Miller is on an eight-game point streak. According to NaturalStatTrick, he lead the Canucks in Corsi for with 68.18%. There were only three Islanders shots against when Miller was on the ice and that was the least among all Canucks players.
Miller and Boeser were on a line with Tanner Pearson. Pearson looked pretty good in this game, despite not getting a point in the game. (ending a five-game point streak.) as he was fighting for the puck and got some good chances. The three of them looked good together.
After the Islanders tied it up later in the second, (Kyle Palmieri was left all alone after Miller lost the faceoff) and took the lead in the third, (a bad turnover from Boeser led to Anthony Beauvillier scoring.) the Canucks continued to push on. They were still making quick passes and were trying to get the puck up the ice quickly.
Höglander has been under the scrutiny of Canucks fans due to his defensive mistakes and lack of offence.
The 21-year-old finally got on the scoresheet as he redirected Garland’s pass behind Semyon Varlamov. That was Höglander’s first goal in 21 games. His last goal was New Year’s Day against the Seattle Kraken. The line of Höglander, Pettersson and Garland were also really good. They displayed skill and lots of good puck movement.
Höglander’s fellow 2019 draftee also decided to get on the forecheck and it didn’t take long. Just 45 seconds later, Horvat managed to win the battle along the boards and found Vasily Podkolzin in the slot. Podkolzin is the latest Canuck to hit the double-digit mark in goals.
Podkolzin was the receiver of the Championship Belt after the game.
Of course, we can’t forget to mention Thatcher Demko as he managed to shut the door to seal the victory
It was a total team effort from the Canucks on Thursday as every player played a part in the win. It was also a nice bounce back after the terrible loss in New Jersey. Sure, there were some defensive mistakes, giveaways and the power play didn’t look that good but it was a good performance, especially with the forecheck and passing.