2nd period penalty trouble sinks Canucks in 4-2 loss against Winnipeg

Another day, another December loss to Winnipeg for the Vancouver Canucks.

The team visited Canada Life Arena on Thursday night, hoping to keep their current three-game winning streak and seven-game road winning streak alive against Kyle Connor and the Jets.

As expected, head coach Bruce Boudreau didn’t make too many roster tweaks, more or less icing the same line-up from Tuesday’s 6-2 win against San Jose.

The only addition came on the blueline, with Travis Dermott finally making his season debut after missing the first 34 games of the year due to concussion issues.

The Canucks made sure to hit the ground running in their second-last game of 2022, thanks to a smart offensive zone interception from Elias Pettersson, who then teed up Andrei Kuzmenko for his 15th goal of the season just 41 seconds into the game.

Unlike we’ve seen before when the Canucks have a lead, the team was actually able to keep the Jets at bay for the remainder of the period, outshooting Winnipeg by a margin of 5-0 in the first seven minutes, while also showcasing strong puck control and retrieval in both ends of the ice.

The Canucks even managed to carry that pressure over into the second period, almost doubling their lead on an early powerplay opportunity.

Unfortunately, like we’ve seen too many times before when this team can’t take advantage of their opportunities, their opponent made sure to make them pay, and they only needed seven minutes to do so.

After a tripping minor on Lane Pederson, the Jets went to work on the man advantage, eventually tying the game on a nifty tip-in from Mark Scheifele.

The momentum stayed in the home team’s favour, and it was Pierre-Luc Dubois who helped them secure their first lead of the game.

The former Columbus Blue Jacket initially found himself on a partial breakaway before being hauled down and given his first-career penalty shot, which he made no mistake on to give his team the 2-1 lead.

The penalty trouble continued for the Canucks right afterwards, with newcomer Ethan Bear making a trip to the sin bin for boarding.

Vancouver did manage to put out that fire early into the man advantage, thanks to Bo Horvat drawing an interference penalty on Dubois while applying pressure in Winnipeg’s zone.

Unfortunately, the Canucks returned the favour almost right away, with Dermott being forced to take an interference penalty of his own to stop a potential 2-on-0 after a sloppy neutral zone play from Pettersson.

The Canucks almost managed to slip into the second intermission only down by one goal, but Scheifele wouldn’t have any of that, notching his second goal of the period with under three seconds to go.

Vancouver did manage to make it interesting in the final frame, with Conor Garland bringing his team to within one, but it was too little, too late for the Canucks.

The Jets eventually hammered the last nail in the coffin, with Scheifele securing his seventh-career hattrick and second one of the month to lift his team to the 4-2 victory.

Despite his poor puck-handling and rebound control, Collin Delia kept the Canucks in the game for as long as he could, stopping 35 of 38 shots, including this highlight-reel glove save on Dylan Demelo.

The 28-year-old was also part of an eyebrow-raising and, quite honestly, a disrespectful exchange with J.T. Miller, who was noticeably frustrated at the netminder for not leaving the net for the extra attacker in the third period.

Miller finished the game with five shots on goal and a minus one rating in just under 20 minutes of ice time.

With the loss, the Canucks stayed five points back of the Oilers for sixth in the Pacific Division with a record of 16-16-3.

They’ll wrap up 2022 with a Saturday night tilt against the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome.

But hey, at least Luke Schenn registered hit #3000, right?


What are your thoughts from Vancouver’s 4-2 loss in Winnipeg? Drop a comment below!