Final Score: Anaheim Ducks 5, Vancouver Canucks 1
The Canucks and Ducks, it just rolls off the tongue. Unfortunately for hockey fans in BC, the Vancouver Canucks got rolled in Anaheim.
Taking the crowd out of the game wouldn’t be much of a challenge because there wasn’t much of one there, but the Canucks weren’t in it for long.
The game progression …
First Goal Again
For the second straight game the Canucks scored first. Nils Höglander with a 140-foot solo rush beat goalie John Gibson with a wrister through the moving screen of backpedalling defenceman Josh Manson. The puck hit the bottom of Gibson’s glove, deflected down and in off his left leg pad. The 20-year-old Swede is heating up following a two-goal game in Vegas Saturday night.
An unfortunate high sticking call on Justin Bailey cost the Canucks the lead. The Ducks scored late in the second half of the double-minor. The return of Tyler Motte appeared to help the penalty kill. His sense of anticipation was noticeable. Even with their best penalty killer back, the Canucks didn’t and don’t need to be taking chances with bodies in the penalty box.
Solid first period in general for the Canucks other than not staying out of the box.
Sorry, what was I just saying about staying out of the box. Early second, the Canucks return to the penalty box, Kyle Burroughs for tripping, and early second, the Ducks take their first lead of the game. Trevor Zegras 2, Vancouver Canucks 1. It was ultimately all they needed.
The puck was knocked away from Halak in the crease, right on to Zegras’s stick six feet out in front, and he went shelfie glove side from close range.
At this point the Canucks had given up 16 power play goals over their last nine games. And this one ain’t over yet. Troy Terry had an assist on the second goal, extending his now 14-game-point streak. A Ducks win in this game would be their seventh in a row.
As we progress, and as I’m finishing that thought, Zegras assisted on the Ducks third goal of the evening, on a 2-on-1 backhand pass through the slot that Sonny Milano converted with a nifty backhand of his own, glove side on Halak.
This doesn’t bode well. The Canucks have yet to score more than two goals in a game started by Halak. They’ve given him 1 goal, 1 goal, and 2 goals in his three starts. Um, and just go ahead and make that 1 goal for his fourth game as well.
I’ve seen it before at different levels, NHL, minors, university; your club gets in a rut, you’re chasing games and the confidence level is non-existent. The Vancouver Canucks are a fragile team right now. Time for that players only meeting at least. Time to get angry. It’s happened in small stretches, mostly on the ice, led by JT Miller, but there appears to be no ferocity.
Elias Pettersson is physically fragile. He seems to be playing with a certain level of conscientious fear. It dates back to the first week of the season. He’s discombobulated. He’s not happy. He might not be happy to be here. The catalyst or cause my be a bit mysterious, but the fact that he’s not right is no mystery at all. I date it back to the Buffalo game. More thoughts on this forthcoming.
Regardless, talk is cheap on fixing the doom and gloom, and if the players can’t figure it out soon, the focus will turn to the coaches.
The team just lost two consecutive games within the Pacific Division, three in the conference.
They Said it:
“Obviously not the results we were looking for in these three games,” said defenceman Tyler Myers. “We can’t feel sorry for ourselves during this tough stretch. We’ve got to get back to playing with confidence, get back to playing the way we were at the end of the last home stand.”
“When you play a game like this, a fourth game in six nights, special teams are going to be a big part of it,” Head Coach Travis Green said. “I think our penalty kill is gonna have to help, it’s gonna come around. I know our power play will score, and I know some players will produce, who have produced before. When we get some of our defencemen back, it will also help.”
By the way, right-shot D-man Travis Hamonic, not travelling because of Covid protocols, didn’t play in either weekend game for the Abbotsford Canucks.
“We have to find a way as a group to respond to things when they go badly in a game and when the game doesn’t go our way we have to respond going into that next game,” Myers added.
They’ll get that chance again Wednesday when they host the Colorado Avalanche at Rogers Arena.
Simmer’s Canucks 3-Stars:
3) – Jaroslav Halak – Yeah, I know. Five goals. But considering the guy at the other end, John Gibson, saw very few grade-A chances, Mr. Halak kept his team in the game for as long as he could. They once again didn’t produce for him.
2) – Bo Horvat – Ended up finishing the game strong in the face-off circle after a slow start. Three shots on goal. One blocked shot, one takeaway. This is courtesy star to the captain because I’m not inspired to give it to anyone else.
1) – Nils Höglander – Third game in a row for the Swedish kid, who saw his ice time pop to more than 15-minutes. He scored, he’s on a roll, and he created and found himself with multiple other chances. He’s the “maniac” and the Canucks need more like him.