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THE ROUNDUP: Good News On Hughes, Bad News On Roussel, OiLOLers and more...

What seemed like a game where we’d struggle to stay engaged got pretty interesting in the 2nd.

NHL: New York Rangers at Vancouver Canucks Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

CANUCKS NEWS: I don’t know what it is about games against Eastern teams the last couple years, but they always seem to be devolving into games that look like they’re against a bitter divisional rival. We saw it in contests with Tampa, Florida, Carolina and the Islanders this season, and you can probably throw Montreal, Toronto and Boston into that mix as well. I would probably enjoy it more if so many of these games didn’t feature cheap shots and liberties being taken by these opponents and last night saw more of the same. A scoreless game that was pretty tame woke up fast in the 2nd when the King of Accidental Contact struck against Elias Pettersson.

Sorry, Chris Kreider fans but that’s a pretty careless play. If that’s his stick, he’s looking at more than two games that. It should be noted that while it’s still morning here on the East Coast, there’s not a peep from the Department of Player Safety, so it looks like Kreider, who’s been crashing into goalies his entire career has successfully expanded his cheapshot operations to going after skaters while keeping his ‘blame free’ life intact. We’ll update you if there’s any change to this, but holding your breath waiting for DoPS to do the right thing is a fool’s game.

The Canucks managed to score on the 5 minute PP (to the surprise of everyone) and then got that beautiful Tyler Motte breakaway goal just after the PP ended. Let’s not kid ourselves: Motte’s been all kinds of awful this season (along with just about everyone who’s been a regular on that 4th line), but this was a nice goal and good for him to get one after an 18 game streak without. Even more surprising? When he scores again just 11 seconds later. The unfortunate part here was the injury to Antoine Roussel after a headshot from Brendan Lemieux. It was a little surprising that Lemieux gets tossed for this, and even more confusing. I have a theory on why it happened, but first let’s look at the hit.

First, the title of the video is misleading. While Lemieux clearly makes contact with Roussel’s head, it’s with his hands and not the elbow. Now even though Roussel’s falling into the hit, Lemieux still follows through. That’s enough for a penalty, but I am pretty sure that this shouldn’t have been a major. The problem here is that there also seems to be some confusion as to exactly what they called. Unlike the Kreider penalty which was 5 for elbowing and a game misconduct, Lemieux received a match penalty. So that means it has to be for something like intent to injure. Maybe the officials felt Lemieux could have lessened the impact? They also could have felt that the hit was an escalation, and not wanting things to get out of control, took the step to throw the book at Lemieux and get him out of the game. I won’t be at all surprised if the NHL rescinds the game misconduct against Lemieux, but given it was a match penalty and not an elbowing call, there’s a chance they won’t.

The Canucks announced before the end of the game that the knee injury Roussel suffered means he’s done for the season and this is pretty crappy. Roussel was a pleasant surprise, not just for how well he played, and notching a career season in goals and points, but because this might be the first Jim Benning free agent signing that didn’t make you want to break stuff.

Pettersson was able to return to the game after going through the concussion protocol, thankfully. He did go another game without a goal though, and if his drought doesn’t end soon, it worries me that Eastern NHL writers are going to do something stupid like give the Calder Trophy to someone else.

The other injury news we got last night was the MRI results on Quinn Hughes’ injured ankle and hooray! It’s a deep bone bruise! Not serious, but serious enough to keep him out of the lineup for a bit and ensure he doesn’t eclipse the number of games that would require the Canucks to use one of their protected spots on him in the upcoming expansion draft. This means it may be next Saturday’s home game against the Calgary Flames should be his debut, and having it on HNIC somehow seems fitting. Much like Elias Pettersson making his debut against the Flames to a national audience in October the Canucks can have a spotlight on the best defensive prospect this team’s had since Luc Bourdon.

One other injury to keep an eye on, as Ashton Sautner left the game in the 3rd and did not return. We hope to have an update on his status for tomorrow’s game against New Jersey for you later today.

The other positives from last night were another strong game from Jacob Markstrom, who bounced back rather well after getting pulled in the first period of that horrendous ass kicking Saturday by the Vegas Golden Knights. I would like to see them turn around and give Friday’s game to Thatcher Demko, though. These games mean far more to Demko’s development than any misguided hope of needing a win at all costs to somehow overcome the massive odds against them making the playoffs.

Here’s some reading for you on last night’s affairs: The wrap up from The Province... PITB Watched The Game for you... The post-game wrap from our pals at Blueshirt Banter... All I can say to this is they better not, given this fan base’s propensity for rioting... Last night’s Athletties, with some good stuff on the beginning of the end for Little Things Loui...

AROUND THE NHL: Some high entertainment for the schadenfreude crowd last night, especially given the paltry schedule. First, we had the Leafs getting booed off the ice again after spotting the Chicago Blackhawks a 4 goal lead after 20 minutes. The Hawks made it 5-0 in the 2nd before the Leafs mounted a comeback that fell just short. The game also featured Corey Crawford leaving the game due to illness and Hawks backup Collin Delia accidentally on purpose dislodges the net with less than a minute and the Leafs furiously pressing for the tying goal.

Then we head off to Edmonton, where just a few days ago everyone’s favorite water boy offered up this spicy hot take:

Oh, this is reality alright. Imagine watching them beat the Canucks and think “Yes, this is a team that’s definitely for real”. HAHAHA. Awesome stuff from the king of this kind of nonsense. Anyway, the For Realz Oilers got fed their lunch by the New Jersey Devils last night. The Devils that are playing without Taylor Hall, Nico Hischier and Sami Vatanen. A 6-3 loss that’s a serious blow to Oiler playoff hopes. Personally I hope they sneak in on the last day and get blown out in the first round to ensure they somehow don’t end up winning the draft lottery again.

As mentioned we’ll have updates on Ashton Sautner and any other Canucks news as they develop, as well as our Game Day preview tomorrow morning as the Devils roll in for a Friday night tilt at Rogers Arena.