The Canucks did a lot of things right last night. Unfortunately, when they did something wrong, it was, as is often the case with this team, really wrong. After coughing up the lead 61 seconds after they took it, the Canucks saw Connor McDavid gifted the game winner on a brutal Brandon Sutter giveaway in a 3-2 opening night loss in Edmonton.
THE GOOD: Quinn Hughes had a hell of a night. Not all of it was spectacular, mind you. It was safe to say he was one of the best players on the ice last night though. He came out of it with an assist on the Tanner Pearson goal, and had numerous moments where he helped the Canucks keep pressure on the Oilers, using his skating ability to keep Oilers forwards chasing him down. Speaking of Pearson, he was another Canuck who had a strong game, finishing the night with a mind-boggling 11 shots on goal. That second line of Pearson, Bo Horvat and JT Miller dominated possession last night, and was everything we’d hoped they’d be.
I was absolutely shocked to see the bottom 4 forwards... who saw this coming? pic.twitter.com/Ysosm4IU4w— S7 (@S7Dsn) October 3, 2019
It was good to see him get rewarded with the goal that was originally credited to Tyler Myers. Myers had what I guess was a prototypical Tyler Myers game: some good moments mixed with some “what the hell was he thinking?” moments. He’s a high risk kind of player, so we have to take the good with the bad. Jacob Markstrom was solid, stopping 22 of 25 last night, shame he didn’t get more offensive support from the guys.
THE MEH: While limiting the their opponents to 22 shots on goal is a positive sign, not winning a game where you had 11 more shots than the other team isn’t. The goals they gave up were all ones where the D was playing passively, and allowing the Oilers the time and space to make the play. I don’t wanna knock them too hard on the last goal, because Chris Tanev and Hughes had been on the ice for a pretty lengthy shift before the goal was scored.
THE UGLY: Well, let’s see. We have the Sutter giveaway and then complete lack of interest in getting back into the play. We have Jay Beagle inexplicably dumping the puck into the Oilers zone on what should have been a breakaway.
And the bottom 6 in general seemed utterly invisible and inconsequential apart from the members that were involved in the PK last night. If I am Travis Green, I am looking at Jake Virtanen and Tim Schaller and flipping a coin, because one of these guys needs to sit and let Adam Gaudette into the lineup after the games these guys had last night. Also, thumbs up to the ref who let this go uncalled last night:
Mike Smith takes Tanner Pearson's stick. Later throws it up the ice pic.twitter.com/Ai5778iTac— Main Team (@MainTeamSports) October 3, 2019
And yes, at the end of the clip, that’s the fans celebrating as the Oilers score the tying goal. Just an absolutely brutal non-call against a guy who has made a career of embellishments and other such nonsense.
THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT: For the most part, the Canucks were the better team last night, though Leon Draisaitl was a beast in that game. They did a decent job of keeping McDavid in check, but all he needs is that three seconds Sutter afforded him and that was enough. Here’s your post game wrap from across the Smylosphere... iMac on a mostly good night for the Canucks apart from that whole losing thing... the Pass It To Bulis summation of last night’s loss...
"There was a couple minutes we'd like to have back and that's the way this league goes, those minutes can cost you the game." Tanner Pearson gives his take on the #Canucks loss in Edmonton. pic.twitter.com/WTIlWocxeR— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 3, 2019
"First road game of the year, we did a lot of good things, it's disheartening that we didn't get a point out of it." - Coach Green pic.twitter.com/S8sQOFnJc6— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 3, 2019
JPat with the 5 takeaways from the previous night’s game, always a must read...
AROUND THE NHL: The season kicked off with Toronto hosting Ottawa, and this was a fun one for a number of reasons. No, not the whole anti-climactic announcement of the Captaincy being awarded to John Tavares. How about Ottawa’s Brady Tkachuk scoring :25 seconds into the game after the pomp and circumstance that preceded the puck drop? And then Scott Sabourin scoring his 1st NHL goal in the 2nd, only to be met by a response from Auston Matthews? What was not fun about this game though, was this extremely cringe-worthy bit from Jim Hughson:
"That's how you put a little problem behind you." Big yikes from Jim Hughson pic.twitter.com/C1fSHRrOIO— Tom Urtz Jr. (@TomUrtzJr) October 3, 2019
The St Louis Blues raised their Stanley Cup banner last night, but blew a 2 goal lead on goals from Alexander Ovechkin, Dmitri Orlov and the OT winner from Jakub Vrana as the Capitals spoiled the party winning 3-2.
One of the best rivalries in the NHL right now? San Jose and Vegas, easily. This one brings back memories of the Canucks/Blackhawks rivalry. They hate each other and it shows. Vegas got the last laugh in this one as a 2 goal night from Reilly Smith led them to a 4-1 win over the Sharks. Also, this crosscheck was only a 2 minute minor. Not a great start for the stripes this season.
Tomas Nosek catches Kevin Labanc up high with a cross-check. Nosek gets only a two-minute minor. pic.twitter.com/gAF3dmDtkY— Knights On Ice (@knightsonice) October 3, 2019
8 games on the schedule tonight: Florida is in Tampa to take on the Lightning, the Jets kick off their season in NYC against the Rangers, Buffalo is in Pittsburgh and the Montreal Canadiens open their campaign against the Hurricanes. Minnesota is in Nashville, Boston is in Dallas, Arizona takes on Anaheim and the Calgary Flames meet Colorado in a rematch of their first round series.