The Vancouver Canucks are doing well this year, coming all the way up to the number four spot in the Pacific Division–certainly an improvement from last season. This week, they played four games including a win on Saturday against the 2017 Stanley Cup champs, the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Canucks came into this week excited to play and win. Vancouver played their rival the Calgary Flames on Tuesday, November seventh, and it certainly made for an exciting game.
When the Canucks played the Detroit Red Wings on Monday, both teams had won their previous games, and both were hungry for another win. The first period did not have much action, but Detroit did come out on top at the end of period one. Both save-makers made crazy stops throughout the second including a high glove save by Markstrom, until Detroit scored a powerplay goal, again near the end of the period. The Canucks tried to challenge this goal for goaltender interference but had no luck: the score stayed two nothing. In the third, Daniel Sedin scored his first goal in seven games that was assisted by his brother. Eventually the ‘Nucks tied it up and the ice became a battlefield. With a minute fourteen left to play, Detroit’s offense went to work and scored the game winning goal. Canucks played well almost having a comeback win, but Detroit triumphed.
On Tuesday Vancouver played their rivals in Calgary. The game was almost equal in skill and was very exciting with lots of penalty minutes throughout the game and with high scoring as well. The first period started off strong, both teams sharing the puck but Calgary got the first goal. The head coach of the ‘Nucks challenged the goal for an offside. This was only the second challenge of the season and was a risk considering last game’s challenge was desperate, but it was clearly an offside and the goal was waved off. The period ended one to one, both goals scored on the powerplay. The second was more intense with the Flames dominating the ice but the Canucks tendy Markstrom made many excellent saves, only letting two goals in, one of which was another powerplay goal. The Canucks still managed to tie it up three to three at the end of the period. At the start of the third, Bo Horvat got the goal he deserved after so many missed scoring chances, and now Vancouver led four to three. Almost immediately after, the Sedin twins got to work with Daniel feeding Henrik a pass, and Henrik scoring for the first time in over five games. The Canucks came out on top having a great start to their road trip. Markstrom was a key part of this game really putting the spotlight on himself.
Next game was Thursday against another Pacific team, the Anaheim Ducks, an offensive team by nature. Expectedly, this was be a tough game for the Canucks who are still developing as a team, and playing against former Canuck, Kevin Bieksa. The ‘Nucks got the first goal off an accidental pass from Bieksa to Baertschi, on the tape and in the back of the net past Miller. The Ducks caught up quickly scoring a goal from behind the goal line, and by the end of the second Anaheim had their first lead of the game, two to one. Silfverberg scored two goals thirty-five seconds apart putting the game away for Anaheim. The Canucks had two more games until they’re off the road and playing at home again. Markstrom had a great first period making purely amazing saves, but that didn’t stop Anaheim’s great offense from scoring and winning the game four to one.
Vancouver faced San Jose on Saturday, a team on the rise who got the first goal only forty-eight seconds in–not an ideal start for the ‘Nucks. However there was no further scoring until four minutes left in the second. An awkward bounce led Henrik to lose control of the puck at the blue-line and as a result Couture got a breakaway on Markstrom and scored through the pads. The last three goals came one after the other in the last two minutes of the game. Two of the goals were empty netters and the last was a penalty shot scored by Tierney.
The Canuckleheads were up and down really having a good start last Saturday but they lost their groove throughout the week, moving down the rankings and now sit behind San Jose at fifth place. The team shows they have great possibility and drive, with future stars like Bo Horvat, and Brock Boeser leading the team the cup is within their grasp this year.
In the Paint is a regular column by Fish ‘n’ Chips covering the NHL. Got a suggestion for Fish ‘n’ Chips? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.