Connect with us

Vancouver Canucks

Playoff Dreams Over, Flames Handle Vancouver Canucks 6-3



Vancouver Canucks, Quinn Hughes
Quinn Hughes scores to put the Vancouver Canucks on the board against the Calgary Flames on Saturday night.

Calgary Flames 6, Vancouver Canucks 3

The valiant late season effort by the Vancouver Canucks to make up for their very poor start to the campaign came to an end with a hard fought 6-3 loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday night. The score was misleading.

Historically, this was not a situation in which a team does well — their playoff dreams gutted two nights earlier in Minnesota, trying to come back in their next game in a difficult location, trying to prolong hopes that were hanging by a thread. That described the Vancouver Canucks situation to a T, but they still managed to fight back from a 2-0 deficit to make it a game.

Entering Action …

You’re aware already, but just to recap, these are the men who have played for the Vancouver Canucks this season who were unavailable for this must-win-to-keep-a-playoff-strand-alive game due to injury: Bo Horvat, Tanner Pearson, Tucker Poolman, Nils Höglander, and Jaroslav Halak.

Special Teams

Staying out of the box is an urgent factor in a match like this one, so we monitor this all-important element throughout, if and when those penalties are taken.

So often it’s the difference.

No infractions in the first period.

Will Lockwood took the Vancouver Canucks first penalty at 2:07 of the 2nd period for high sticking Elias Lindholm off a D-zone face-off and it would be Lindholm making the Canucks pay with this 40th goal of the season. With a Canucks let down, the Flames scored at even strength 16-seconds later.

So indeed, special teams made the difference. The game turned. There were no more penalties in the second period.

In the third period, Mikael Backlund took a cross checking penalty at 7:07 and the Vancouver Canucks saw their only power play. They had two good chances but on the best opportunity Conor Garland’s stick shattered.

Calgary would get their second chance at 9:58 of the period when Brad Richardson went off for tripping. The Flames failed as the Canucks penalty kill dominated.

Goal Scorers

2nd Period 1-0 Calgary – Elias Lindholm (40) – Johnny Gaudreau, Noah Hanifin (2:44) Power Play

((– Alone in the slot near the RW circle with time, Lindholm went up under the bar glove-side.))

2nd Period 2-0 Calgary – Dillon Dube (15) – Calle Jarnkrok, Chris Tanev (3:00) Even Strength

((– From the slot on the opposite side with a screen, Dube ripped one glove side.))

2nd Period 2-1 Vancouver – Quinn Hughes (7) – Vasily Podkolzin, JT Miller (18:46) Even Strength

((– Short side shelfie alone in front for “Huggy” after a tenacious Vancouver Canucks forecheck.))

3rd Period 2-2 Vancouver – Conor Garland (18) – Tyler Myers, JT Miller (5:36)

((– Garland while moving past the far post, reached back and batted in a high speed pass that was two feet off the ice.))

3rd Period 3-2 Calgary – Brett Ritchie (3) – Chris Tanev, Trevor Lewis (5:50) Even Strength

((– A point shot hit Ritchie’s skate in the LW circle and redirected into the net past Demko. No chance.))

3rd Period 4-2 Calgary – Dillon Dube (16) – Elias Lindholm (13:33) Even Strength

((– Off a neutral zone turnover the Flames capitalized on a 2-on-1 as Dube kept it and when shelfie on a backhander.))

3rd Period 5-2 Calgary – Nikita Zadorov (4) – Mikael Backlund (13:45) Even Strength

((– A shot from the left wing boards hit Demko, bounced off D-man Tyler Myers, and then trickled through the goalie’s legs.))

3rd Period 5-3 – Vancouver – Elias Pettersson (32) Quinn Hughes (17:35) Even Strength

((– Petey simply ripped a shot from the top of the LW circle that went stick-side up under the bar.))

3rd Period 6-3 Calgary – Johnny Gaudreau (39) Matthew Tkachuk, Chris Tanev (18:31) Even Strength – Empty Netter

((– Johnny Hockey buries an empty-netter.))

Playoff Scenario

With a Vancouver Canucks loss, their playoff hopes would end Saturday night if the Dallas Stars were victorious. They were. The Stars took care of business a little earlier in the evening with a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the visiting Seattle Kraken.

A loss by the Canucks meant the Pacific Division’s 3rd place LA Kings would remain out of reach and their game result became irrelevant.

Simmer’s Canucks 3 Stars:

3) JT Miller – Could have been Hughes but we’ll give it to the man with two assists. 

2) Conor Garland – He fought the hardest and had a goal and clearly created the most chances.

1) Thatcher Demko – As had been the case for stretches this season, Demko kept his team in the game and gave them a chance to win.

Click to comment
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Discover more from Vancouver Hockey Now

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading