It was hardly what you’d call a gem of a game, and there were some performances that were utterly forgettable (looking at you, 4th line and the Tyler Myers / Alexander Edler pairing) but the Canucks got some clutch goals from a couple guys who needed to step up, another huge night from Thatcher Demko and a highlight reel shootout winner from Josh Leivo as the Canucks won their 4th straight, downing the St Louis Blues 4-3.
The Blues scored the only goal of the first, but the game could have been out of reach early were it not for the 10 saves Demko provided in the period.
One guy that needed a goal in the worst way? Micheal Ferland. And coming off a strong game Tuesday against Detroit, FerDaddy gets rewarded for another strong effort to notch his first as a Canuck.
So 2 minutes into the 2nd, it’s tied up and things are looking good, right? No, no they are not. Why? Well, unless you’re new here, you know the answer. 90 seconds later it’s 3-1 St Louis after goals from Alex Pietrangelo and Vladimir Tarasenko.
So now they’re down two to the defending Champs on the road, and they need someone to step up? How about the guy who’s been probably the best player for the Canucks so far this season? Yeah, J.T. Miller is getting it done right now, as he scores his 4th of the season from the Tylers Motte and Myers.
Motte with a perfect pass off the post to Miller, alone in front pic.twitter.com/3YDoD8UTvH— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 18, 2019
And as John and John mentioned, the goal came after a huge kill for the Canucks, and definitely swung the momentum back their way. The period would end 3-2 for the Blues, and Demko had 21 saves after 40 minutes. Could he shut the door the rest of the way?
He did, and after a full two minute 5 on 3 where the Canucks didn’t score, the Captain got the game back to evens, banging home the puck past Jordan Binnington in a goalmouth scramble. A huge first goal of the season for Cap’n Huncho, and don’t think we didn’t see you fall on EP40, Binnington. What a sack of crap this guy is.
The Blues got away with a ton of garbage against Pettersson last night, including a pretty blatant two hand chop to the hands. He was tackled, held, crosschecked and hooked all night long, and the Canucks got one call out of all of it. He has to battle through this stuff, but so much of it should have been called. After a pretty crazy OT that went back and forth and was pretty much a showcase for Quinn Hughes at both ends of the ice, they went to the shootout. It went to the 6th round before Josh Leivo, who got an assist on the tying goal, pulled off this jaw-dropping deke for the winner.
Were they pumped about this? A little, I guess.
So that’s 4 wins in a row, something this team didn’t do last season. And the remaining 3 games of this trip are against opponents that are fairly even matches for the Canucks in New Jersey, the New York Rangers and a return match against the Detroit Red Wings. If they can keep playing the way they are right now, it’s possible they could run the table here. I imagine they’re going to be a pretty tired team come Sunday when they hit MSG for the tail end of the back to back. With the option to either play Demko or Markstrom (who will rejoin the team this weekend), they might actually pull this off.
34 saves in regulation + overtime.— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 18, 2019
A perfect 6/6 in the shootout.
One big smile for Thatcher Demko. pic.twitter.com/5uZss59jlP
Can’t say enough about Demko’s performance the last two games, coming in and giving the Canucks the kind of goaltending they needed to get the wins, and the Canucks responding in turn by providing the offence needed. There’s things that need tweaking, for sure (the power play was awful last night, and the 4th line got their heads caved in all night long, turning the puck over constantly), but early on they’re definitely getting top notch goaltending from both keepers. And after dropping their first two games, the Canucks (along with Pittsburgh) are the hottest team in the NHL, with 4 straight victories.
It’s on to New Jersey now, where we get to show everyone that we have the best Hughes. As far as brother Jack goes, he did get his first NHL point last night, an assist in a 5-2 win over the Rangers. After Quinn shows up his brother Saturday he can do the same to Kaapo Kakko in NYC on Sunday and we can start talking about back to back Calder wins for the Canucks, alright?
AROUND THE NHL: The NHL suspended Vegas F Valentin Zykov 20 games for violating the league’s Performance Enhancing Substances program. A cheater in Vegas? That’s a little too on the nose... Carter Hutton stopped all 47 Los Angeles shots as the surprising Sabres shutout the Kings 3-0. No word on whether Drew Doughty thought they had no business losing to them, either... In other games Vegas beat Ottawa 3-2 (SO), Arizona knocked off the Predators 5-2, Calgary hammered the Red Wings 5-1, the Winnipeg Jets dropped a 3-1 decision to the Islanders. Carey Price stopped all 17 shots as the Canadiens beat the struggling Minnesota Wild 4-0 and Tampa pulled off a comeback of their own to beat Boston 4-3 (SO).