After stumbling through Alberta, the Canucks looked a lot like the teams of the past couple seasons, and it had some people concerned. The power play had struggled, and after dropping a game in Edmonton where they outplayed the Oilers, got their lunch fed to them in Calgary. Canucks Nation collectively hoped that getting home, and the ceremony to officially kick off this anniversary season, as well as name Bo Horvat the 14th captain in team history (come on, you really didn’t think it was going to be anyone else, right?) would be what they needed to get the first win of the season. I don’t think anyone dared dream the game would go like this.
THE GOOD: To a man, the team came out and played one of the most complete games we’ve seen from the Canucks in the Travis Green era. They staked out a lead in the first period, and every time the Kings had a sniff of getting back into it, they responded, and that might have been the best part of the evening. As far as individual performances, 3 players truly stood out. When the Canucks brought JT Miller in as a free agent this summer, many wondered about the cost the team paid in terms of what they were getting back. A 4 point night from Miller showed that maybe he’s going to be a solid part of this rebuilding Canucks squad.
If not for a phenomenal performance from Miller in his first regular season home game as a Canuck, all of the attention would be on Quinn Hughes. He has arrived, ladies and gentlemen. And lord, did he bring it last night. Solid, responsible defensive play, and a memorable first NHL goal.
That shot. Holy smokes. And he also had an assist that was as beautiful as the goal, as he made Christopher Tanev look like the elite scoring machine the Canucks need. Wait, what?
Beautiful pass from Hughes leads to a tap-in for Tanev. Second career multi-point game for Hughes! pic.twitter.com/Bk6AcZsquK— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 10, 2019
Also good last night? Brandon Sutter. No, I’m not drunk, just giving credit where it’s due. With 2 goals and an assist, the much maligned ‘foundational’ piece was solid all night long, and that first goal was one of the nicest he’s scored as a Canuck.
Jacob Markstrom had a great night, stopping 37 of 39 shots he faced. The shot totals are misleading, to say the least as LA had 4 straight power plays including three in the 2nd period, and they had 10 shots on those power plays. Let’s face it: you know the team had a good night when they score 8 goals, and we mention that Elias Pettersson scored as an aside.
THE BAD: Apart from Los Angeles’ 2nd goal, where Alexander Edler was far too passive, allowing Sean Walker to use him as a screen to beat Markstrom, the Canucks were good defensively last night, and when the Kings did get chance, Marky was there to shut the door, channeling his inner Kirk McLean a couple times with some remarkable saves.
THE UGLY: Let’s see? How about 8 goals on 25 shots for Jonathan Quick? Probably the worst performance of his career.
To clarify, that's 10 years after next year -- so 11 years in total of our goaltender being better than yours.— LA Kings (@LAKings) June 28, 2012
Also ugly? Drew Doughty. The NHL’s most notorious giant diaper-soiler was in fine form again last night, offering up this verbal diarrhea
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty wasn’t holding back after 8-2 loss to the Canucks tonight: “It’s (expletive) just embarrassing. A team like that should not be beating a team like ours 8-2, there’s absolutely no way."— Kevin Woodley (@KevinisInGoal) October 10, 2019
These comments come about 24 hours after his classy, subdued celebration after his OT winner in Calgary.
Hmmm … I can’t seem to make out what Drew Doughty is saying to those Flames fans. pic.twitter.com/TLiyMA0594— Scott Brown (@BrownieScott) October 9, 2019
He’s garbage. It’s not the arms up stuff. That’s fine. But ‘Suck my dick!” to the crowd? Really, man? All you have to do is look at who’s coming out in support of him over this (hint: it rhymes with Narstool Jorts) tells you everything you need to know. Doughty’s act grows more tiresome as his considerable talents start to fade, and the thought of the Kings being saddled with him for years as he declines is definitely pleasing, even more so than the Kings still having Jonathan Quick on nights like this one.
WHAT THEY SAID:
Quinn Hughes > Jack Hughes pic.twitter.com/N7xEyLkyOd— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 10, 2019
To the surprise of no one, the Canucks named Bo Horvat the 14th captain in team history last night with a ceremony that brought out some Canucks legends from each era. Original Canuck captain Orland Kurtenbach and Dennis Kearns from the 1970’s, Stan Smyl from the 80’s, Kirk McLean (in full skate jersey goalie gear!!!) from the 90’s, Todd Bertuzzi, such a huge part of that West Coast Express line in the early 00’s, and Daniel Sedin from the more recent years. Then, Kurtenbach and Henrik Sedin presented Horvat with the C. He’s been groomed for this, and responded well to the pressure. He’s gonna be a great captain, and this game was a fine first chapter.
Kurtenbach. Sedin. Horvat. What an amazing moment. pic.twitter.com/JPHnoLs91N— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 10, 2019
Next up for the Canucks is the Philadelphia Flyers, who are in town for a HNIC date Saturday night. The Flyers are coming off a 4-0 win over the New Jersey Devils, in a game that saw Carter Hart get his first career NHL shutout. In the other game last night, Jack Eichel scored twice, and set up Marcus Johansson for the OT winner, taking a 5-4 victory over Montreal. The Sabres are off to a 3-0-1 start, and getting a 4 point nights is going to help their efforts to try and finally claw out of the Eastern Conference basement.