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Canucks 2, Canadiens 1 – Changes Still Coming?

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Vancouver Canucks, Elias Pettersson
Elias Pettersson rips a slapper past Montreal Canadiens goalie Jake Allen to give the Vancouver Canucks a 1-0 lead.

Final score: Vancouver Canucks 2, Montreal Canadiens 1 – Five Takeaways

Who Wants It?

I’m thinking before the game the Vancouver Canucks were thinking, “there’s no way in hell we can lose to these guys.”

I’m thinking before the game the Montreal Canadiens were thinking, “there’s no way in hell we can lose to these guys.”

This had a three-point game written all over it, but instead the Canucks won in regulation 2-1. It was a glorified game of shinny – each team with 20 giveaways and very little hitting. The Canucks outshot the Canadiens 42-34.

The Vancouver Canucks improved to 7-14-and-2 while the Montreal Canadiens fell to 6-16-and-2.

Special Teams

The Vancouver Canucks picked up a rare win in the special teams battle. The Canucks went 1-for-2 on the power play, the Canadiens went 0-for-2. Elias Pettersson scored on a one-timer from the right wing circle at the 8:00 of the first period.

Conor Garland picked up the game winner at 6:27 of the 2nd period on a feed from Bo Horvat off a D-zone turnover by the Canadiens Josh Anderson. Anderson tried to reverse the puck along the left wing corner boards as he headed behind his own net but the pass went right to Horvat who quickly distributed it in front to Garland.

Garland and JT Miller share the team lead with seven goals each.

Franchise Upheavals

As we briefly described in today’s “morning skate” in VHN, the Montreal Canadiens just fired their GM, Asst. GM, and Sr. VP of Communications. Not sure how that last guy affected the hockey team’s performance necessarily but he’s gone just the same.

Naturally given the Canucks similar performance this early season to that of the Habs, theories have abounded regarding changes in the Vancouver organization as well. The latest concept, unconfirmed, surrounds the end of this road trip that concludes Wednesday night in Ottawa. There is a two-day break before the next Canucks home game Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins and more than one prognosticator has suggested that it’s the perfect time to make a change in the hockey operations department.

They Said it:

Elias Pettersson – “I feel that everything is confidence. Of course, a slow start for me personally, I’ve been having a tendency to over-think, kind of got away from hard work, so today I was just thinking about working as hard as possible, and it was definitely nice to get one on the power play too.”

Head Coach Travis Green – “It’s hard right now, there’s a lot of adversity it feels like around our group. We talked about that before the game. When things are going tough, you’re going through adversity, it shows a lot about a player, a lot about an individual, it shows a lot about a team, how you respond. Talked about character, times like this reveal a lot about players and teams.”

Thatcher Demko – “We’ve been playing a better game I thought, and like you said we’re not getting the results, so, it’s nice to see one go tonight. Ton of back-to-back travelling, from Boston last night, it’s tough, a tough set-up for us, but I’m proud of the guys showed up and had a good start and playing a pretty solid sixty minutes. Head to Ottawa, try to do it again.”

Simmer’s Vancouver Canucks 3-Stars:

3) – Conor Garland – Named first star in the building, he earns third star honours from me. No doubt he played a strong game, including scoring the game winning goal. These three guys were interchangeable.

2) – Thatcher Demko – Turned aside 33 of 34 shots including a beautiful pad stack to rob Ben Chiarot on the door step off a rebound with just more than three minutes to play.

1) – Bo Horvat – The defensive plays he made don’t show up on the official scoresheet, but he made a few beauties, breaking up passes and plays in key moments. He also had the beauty assist to Garland on the game winning goal. Won 59% of his face-offs, only had one shot-on-goal, but had an active stick, blocked a shot and had two hits.

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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