NHL Final: Vancouver Canucks 5, Arizona Coyotes 1
Notes Heading In:
Defenceman Kyle Burroughs returns to the Vancouver Canucks line-up. The 26-year-old Vancouver native last played against the St. Louis Blues when he suffered an injury after 12:00 of ice time. We like Burroughs, he’s not afraid to hit anyone and everyone and he’ll chuck knuckles.
With Quinn Hughes out due to Covid, Oliver Ekman-Larsson moves up to the top pair with Tyler Myers while righty Burroughs will likely play the left side partnered with Luke Schenn.
Lefty Brad Hunt and righty Noah Juulsen making up the third pair. Right-shot Tucker Poolman remains out due to migraines.
2nd Period 1-0 Vancouver – Conor Garland (11) – Noah Juulsen, Oliver Ekman-Larsson (3:48) Even Strength
2nd Period 2-0 Vancouver – Bo Horvat (14) – Oliver Ekman-Larsson, JT Miller (4:44) Power Play
2nd Period 3-0 Vancouver – Elias Pettersson (12) – Vasily Podkolzin, Nils Höglander (6:10) Even Strength
2nd Period 3-1 Arizona – Lawson Crouse (12) – Travis Boyd, Anton Stralman (13:31) Even Strength
3rd Period 4-1 Vancouver – JT Miller (16) – Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Noah Juulsen (6:20) Even Strength
3rd Period 5-1 Vancouver – Brock Boeser (13) Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat (12:50) Power Play
The Baltic Line
Canucks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau put “The Baltic Line” back together, the dynamic young threesome of Nils Höglander, Elias Pettersson and Vasily Podkolzin. Though concerned about the defensive work of “Hoagie” and “Pod”, Boudreau recognizes the creative potential. They were particularly dynamic in the Canucks 3-1 win in Nashville against the Predators on January 18th.
The magic continued, much to the pleasure of this scribe. At 6:10 of the first period, “The Baltics” combined to tally Petey’s goal. They were never a liability.
That said, why take chances. With a 3-1 lead starting the 3rd period, Boudreau took Höglander off the line and moved Jason Dickinson to his spot.
Overall, mission accomplished.
By the way, as I was reminded, yes the Baltic countries are officially Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, but we’re not being that literal. The Baltic Sea also touches a large swath of Sweden to the north (Höglander and Pettersson) and Russia to the east (Podkolzin) as the Gulf of Finland. The Sea also washes up to the Russian territory of Kaliningrad to the south.
Thus endeth your geography lesson.
Tonight’s game at Rogers Arena features the NHL’s worst power play – Arizona Coyotes 12.6% – against the league’s worst penalty kill – Vancouver Canucks at 69.9%. At the other end, the Canucks sit near the middle of the pack at 18.9% with the advantage against the league’s 2nd worst PK – Arizona at 73%.
First period, Canucks forward Juho Lammikko went off for holding in the offensive zone at 9:33. The Coyotes didn’t do much on the advantage, but they were the slightly more effective team in at five-on-five.
Jason Dickinson of the Canucks saved a goal when he hooked Alex Galchenyuk in front and went off at the 19:10 mark. The penalty carried over into the 2nd period and the Coyotes failed.
The Canucks didn’t take long to convert their first power play after Phil Kessel when off for slashing at 4:21 of the 2nd period. Horvat tallied :23-seconds later.
The Desert Dogs made it 0-for-3 with the advantage after the Canucks survived Höglander’s high sticking infraction at 13:51.
In the third period, Tyler Motte went off for a phantom high stick at 7:17 and the Canucks killed that off as well.
Also in the third, the Canucks earned their second power play of the night. Defenceman Ilya Lyubushkin went off for slashing. Brock Boeser tipped home a Pettesson slap-pass in front to make it 5-1.
Late in the game, as things became a bit chippy, Coyote Riley Nash took a cross-checking penalty at 18:14. Time ran out before the Canucks could convert.
Arizona Coyotes PP: 0-for-4
Vancouver Canucks PP: 2-for-3
With his assist on Horvat’s power play goal, JT Miller reached 400 career NHL points. His 401st point, on his 16th goal of the season in the third period, came on a remarkable end-to-end rush with a dipsy-doo around defenceman Janis Moser and a deke, tuck-in finish in front on goalie Karel Vejmelka.
Gabby Said it:
Boudreau on turning the page for the New York Islanders match-up Wednesday night – “We certainly can’t give up 25 scoring opportunities like I think we did tonight against the Islanders. The Islanders are finally healthy. They lost their last game to Seattle and I think they want to make amends for that. They’re like us, they have to win a vast majority of their games if they want to make the playoffs. This is a do-or-die trip for them.”
Simmer’s Vancouver Canucks 3 Stars:
3) Elias Pettersson – Petey’s game is back. He looked confident in tallying a goal and an assist in 14:46 of ice time.
2) Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Seamlessly played both ends of the ice like a number-one NHL defenceman and tallied three assists against his former club in 22:14.
1) JT Miller – Reached and passed the 400 career point mark in style. Played a whopping 22:11 and won 73% of his face-offs.